The Price of Freedom: Americans at War Home Collection Search

Object Record

    New Search

Democratic Election Ticket for 1864
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Democratic Election Ticket for 1864

Date: 1864
Accession #: eBay, Allison
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 9.25" H x 2.75" W

Physical Description

Printed paper.

Specific History

Democratic Election Ticket for 1864.

General History

Lincoln believed he was not going to be re-elected in 1864. The close election demanded attention to every political constituency, especially the Union soldiers. Each state determined their own process for soldiers' to vote. Wisconsin was the first to permit absentee ballots. California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all followed suit. Illinois, Indiana, and New Jersey did not pass legislation allowing soldiers to vote in the field. Delaware, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Oregon also voted against absentee voting. Whenever possible in these cases, soldiers were granted leave so that they could return home to vote. The vote between Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan offered the soldiers two distinct choices. A win for Lincoln would mean the continuation of the war. A win for General McClellan offered the hope for immediate end to the war. On 31 August 1864, Lincoln spoke to members of the 148th Ohio Regiment, who were retuning home from service. Lincoln stressed the importance of their service in protecting the American system of democratic government: "We are striving to maintain the government and institutions of our fathers, to enjoy them ourselves, and transmit them to our children and our children's children forever. To the humblest and poorest amongst us are held out the highest privileges and positions. The present moment finds me at the White House, yet there is as good a chance for your children as there was for my father's." Most historians agree that two factors carried Lincoln to victory. First, the series of crippling victories dealt to the south by the Union army. Specifically, General Sherman's capture of Atlanta. Second, Lincoln was able to portray the Democratic platform as traitorous. Republican Abraham Lincoln received 55% of the popular vote to George B. McClellan's 45%.


Country: United States
War: Civil War
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Printable ScriptVisit the MuseumEducationCredits