Author Topic: Political Tokens 1860 Wide Awakes and The Douglas Invincible's  (Read 3769 times)

Offline coinsarefun

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Political Tokens 1860 Wide Awakes and The Douglas Invincible's
« on: December 14, 2015, 09:37:14 AM »
The Wide Awakes were a political club that emerged across the North, during the election of 1860.
They were organized in support of the campaign of Abraham Lincoln.

Appealing mainly to those in their teens, twenties, and thirties, the Wide Awakes took on an organized military form.
They wore uniforms and had ranks and duties. These young men were motivated by the contentious sectional politics of the 1850s.
Their organization and militaristic nature alarmed the South and helps to explain the fierce opposition to Lincoln’s election.

The group began in Connecticut and probably numbered around 100,000 nationwide. This number would be around 1 million in terms
of the current-day population. Its organization spread across new communication channels, and in May of 1860
the marching of the Chicago Wide Awakes at the Republican National Convention introduced the organization to the nation.

Lincoln Campaign Token Below

The standard Wide Awake uniform consisted of a full robe or cape, a black glazed hat, and a torch six feet in length to which a large,
flaming, pivoting whale-oil container was mounted.
Its activities were conducted primarily in the evening and consisted of several night-time torch-lit marches through cities in the
northeast and border states. The Wide Awakes adopted the image of a large eyeball as their standard banner.

Campaign torch

Image below really gives you a feel for what they wore.

Article taken from the NY timesPublished: November 3, 1860

Special Dispatch to the New-York Times.

BALTIMORE, Friday, Nov. 2.1860

The Breckinridge Democratic procession tonight was large and enthusiastic. It contained about four thousand torch men uniformed,
and five hundred mounted men hav- ing banners, transparencies and music. They marched through the principal streets,
which were partially illuminated. The procession contained a large number of boys. T
he uniforms and torches were all furnished gratuitously, it is supposed, by "Uncle Sam."

The procession is supposed to have been two miles long. There was much enthusiasm. The spectators were not so numerous as on last night,
the weather being unfavorable. A singular feature was the procession heartily cheering the Bell-Everett Head-quarters as it passed, and
receiving hearty responses. The whole affair passed off creditably, and the appearance of the procession was much admired.

The Douglasites also had a procession, numbering a thousand Douglas invincibles and others. They are also holding a Douglas mass meeting in Monument-square, which is attended by about four thousand. There is speaking and great enthusiasm.

There is intense excitement throughout the City. The Unionists are also holding large meetings.

A medal from a set of Three (I think) Were Douglas has a very curious pose of his head.
It reminds me of the many Lincoln portraits of the he looks like a young Beethoven :)

Stephen Douglas Political Token Large silver dollar-sized 1860-2 campaign medal, rarely-seen copper.

Offline rrantique

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Re: Political Tokens 1860 Wide Awakes and The Douglas Invincible's
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 08:56:32 PM »
Lots of history there.  Thanks for posting. [url=http://www.freesmileys.or