The Campaign of 1860: Cooper Union, Mathew Brady, and the Campaign of Words and Images

John Y. Simon, Harold Holzer and Dawn Vogel

in Lincoln Revisited

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227365
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240869 | DOI:
The Campaign of 1860: Cooper Union, Mathew Brady, and the Campaign of Words and Images

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This chapter describes Abraham Lincoln's entire 1860 election campaign. After he returned from his Cooper Union tour, the candidate himself remained home, and silent. He wrote no new speeches, no new public letters. For years, historians have mistakenly claimed that the oration was moved across the East River because Lincoln was so popular that organizers needed a larger hall to accommodate his admirers. Not so. For one thing, Cooper Union actually held fewer people than the Plymouth Church. The chapter also notes that when Lincoln stopped in New York he not only visited Cooper Union, but also the studio of master photographer Mathew Brady. To be accurate, mass photography—the little cartes-de-visite images that Americans collected in leather albums—did not become universally popular until a few months after the 1860 campaign. However, Brady's Cooper Union image did emerge as a campaign icon.

Keywords: Abraham Lincoln; election campaign; Cooper Union; oration; East River; New York; Mathew Brady; photography

Chapter.  4091 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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