Four Parties, One Choice

National Political Chart from the 1860 Presidential Campaign

Item#208 - National Political Chart from the 1860 Presidential Campaign

During the third ballot at the 1860 Republican convention held in Chicago, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln obtained enough votes to secure the Republican party’s nomination for president. The fiercely contested presidential election in 1860 encouraged a split in the Democratic party with northern Democrats nominating Stephen A. Douglas and southern Democrats selecting John C. Breckinridge. A fourth party, the newly formed Constitutional Union Party, nominated John Bell of Tennessee. On election day, Lincoln received approximately thirty-nine percent of the popular vote and won every northern state except New Jersey in the electoral vote.3

 In the item above, a Political Banner from the 1860 Presidential Election, all four presidential hopefuls are pictured along with their respective running mates for vice president.


3Mark Neely, Jr., The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 57-59.↩