Lincoln’s Elections

Joelle Nanula
The Election of 1860:
• Lincoln was elected to the presidential office in 1860. He
began occupying the office March 1, 1861.

• He was the sixteenth president of the United States.

• His election marked the nineteenth quadrennial presidential
election, meaning an election that occurs every four years.
This discrepancy exists because previous presidents
served for two terms and were elected twice.

• He served for four years before dying in office on April 15,
1860: The Candidates
• Abraham Lincoln: a Northern Republican.

• John C. Breckenridge: a Southern Democrat.

• from Kentucky.

• Was the sitting Vice President of the United States.

• Defeated by Stephen Douglas at the Democratic Convention,
though he still claimed to be the official nominee.

• Stephen Douglas: a Northern Democrat.

• John Bell: a Constitutional Union candidate.
1860: The Parties
• The Republican Party

• At the time of Lincoln’s election, it had formed only a few years earlier in 1850.

• Its main party issue was the opposition of slavery.

• However, the Republicans did not believe in abolishing slavery in the states where it already

• The Democratic Party

• The Democratic Party became split into Northern and Southern Democrats following the Dred
Scott decision of 1857, which voided the Missouri Compromise of 1820, making slavery legal
in all US territories.

• The Southern Democrats supported John C. Breckenridge.

• The Northern Democrats supported Stephen Douglas.

• Both claimed to be the official Democratic candidates.
1860: The Parties,
• The Constitutional Union Party

• The Constitutional Union Party was formed in an
effort to transcend the political divide.

• Its members were made up of former Whigs and
members of the Know-Nothing party.

• Its platform was to ignore the slavery issue, hoping to
appeal to border states.

• It nominated John Bell as its candidate.
1860: The Issues
• Slavery

• States’ rights

• Stephen Douglas represented the wing of the
Democratic party which advocated for popular
sovereignty. This meant that states should be able to
choose their own policies, including those regarding

• John C. Breckenridge represented the other, which
claimed that enslaving people was a right.
1860: Electoral Results
• A split in votes occurred among the electoral college
between Northern and Southern Democrats.

• This was emblematic of the sectional split occurring
at the time between Northern and Southern
Democrats, particularly over the issue of slavery.

• The party division leading up to Lincoln’s
presidency, and continuing through his election, set
the stage for the Civil War.
1860: Electoral Results,
1860: Electoral Results,
1860: A Look into the

• A vintage poster from the 1860 election, featuring an amusing
misspelling of Abraham Lincoln’s name.

• Woodcut or lithograph on linen. Philadelphia: H. C. Howard, 1860.
1860: A Look Into the
Campaign: Slogans
• Abraham Lincoln

• “Vote yourself a farm.”

• “Honest old Abe.”

• “The Union must and shall be preserved.”

• “Protection to American industry.”

• Stephen A. Douglas

• “The champion of popular sovereignty.”

• “True to the Union and the Constitution to the last.”

• “The Union now and forever.”

• John Bell

• “The Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of laws.”
The Election of 1864:

• Lincoln was reelected as president in 1864 against
his own former Civil War general, George B.

• Lincoln’s second term ended just six weeks after his
inauguration due to his assassination by John
Wilkes Booth.
1864: The Candidates, The
Parties, and the Issues
• Lincoln: Republican.

• Lincoln won over 400,000 popular votes and easily
won the electoral majority.

• McClellan: Democrat.

• Known as the “peace” candidate. His goal in running
against Lincoln was to unite the union.

• Did not personally believe in much of his party’s
1864: Slogans
• Abraham Lincoln

• “Don’t change horses in midstream.”

• Meant to persuade voters to reelect him to office, on the basis
that changing presidents during such a tumultuous time would
be dangerous and destabilizing.

• “Union, liberty, peace.”

• “For Union and Constitution.”

• George B. McClellan

• “An honorable, permanent and happy peace.”
• Levy, Michael. "United States Presidential Election of 1860."
Encyclopaedia Britannica. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.

• "1860 Presidential Election." 270 To Win. Web. 30 July 2017.

• "1864 Presidential Election." 270 To Win. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July

• "The Election of 1860." The Civil War in Missouri. Web. 28 July
2017. <>.

• "Presidential Election of 1860: A Resource Guide." Web Guides.
Library of Congress, 26 Apr. 2017. Web. 30 July 2017.