Shortly before the Republican Convention, Richard Oglesby and John Hanks traveled to the old Lincoln home near the Sangamon River west of Decatur in rural Macon County. There they obtained two fence rails to be used for the "Railsplitter" demonstration. Hanks verified the rails were genuine by "whittling" them. Lafayette Whitley, who was a boy at the time claimed," ...my father would not have let them have them if he had known how the election was going, for he was a staunch Democrat."
The use of political imagery and symbols was nothing new in American politics. William Henry Harrison had used it to great benefit in his "Log Cabin and Hard Cider" presidential campaign of 1840. Other imagery featuring American Indians, laborers, flags, and political figures (George Washington was a favorite) helped to convey a particular political message to the largely uneducated voters. The use of the "Railsplitter" image conveyed to the voting public a sense of a common, hard-working man of the people who was without "nobility" or deception. by coupling this profile with technological advancements in the graphic arts, campaigners applied the "Railsplitter" icon to everything from medals to envelopes and glassware to stationery - which helped propel Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency. Even today, the "Railsplitter" image is a common one encountered by the public.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 6:12pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 332779 N 4412059|
|Decimal Degrees||39.84210000, -88.95445000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 50.526', W 88° 57.267'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 50' 31.56" N, 88° 57' 16.02" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 100-192 N Water St, Decatur IL 62523, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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