Round about the middle of the 19th century, many politicians relied on the time-honored practices of broadsheets, barn-sized advertisements, newspaper endorsements, and other such forms of promotion to get the word out about their campaigns. This website, created by the Northern Illinois University Libraries, provides a close examination of this national popular political culture from 1840 to 1860 through images of the period, along with a few lively recordings of campaign songs of the day. Visitors will want to start by reading over some of the campaign histories, which offer brief synopses of the candidates and the major issues they grappled with at the time. Additionally, there are brief biographies of each major candidate (such as James K. Polk and James Gillespie Birney). After getting up to speed, visitors will want to browse through the different multimedia offerings here, and they should definitely listen to some of the catchy political jingles. Some that should not be missed include the ever-popular “A Bumper Around Now My Hearties!” and “Come to the Contest”.
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