The rail candidate
The antislavery plank was a controversial feature of the 1860 Republican platform. Here Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln is shown uncomfortably straddling a rail--a dual allusion to the platform and to Lincoln's backwoods origins--carried by a black man and abolitionist editor of the New York "Tribune" Horace Greeley (right). Lincoln says, "It is true I have split Rails, but I begin to feel as if "this" rail would split me, it's the hardest stick I ever straddled." The black man complains, "Dis Nigger strong and willin' but its awful hard work to carry Old Massa Abe on nothing but dis ere rail!!" One of Lincoln's foremost supporters in the Northeast, Greeley here assures him, "We can prove that you have split rails & that will ensure your election to the Presidency."
Title from item.
Probably drawn by Louis Maurer.
Currier & Ives : a catalogue raisonné / compiled by Gale Research. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1983, no. 5478
Weitenkampf, p. 123
Lorant, p. 141
Wilson, pp. 30-31
Lincoln image, p. 40
Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1860-31.
New York City from 1835 to 1907 headed first by Nathaniel Currier, and later jointly with his partner James Merritt Ives. The prolific firm produced prints from paintings by fine artists as black and white lithographs that were hand-colored. The firm called itself "the Grand Central Depot for Cheap and Popular Prints" and advertised its lithographs as "colored engravings for the people". The firm adopted the name "Currier and Ives" in 1857.