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Jeff Bridgman Antique Flags and Painted Furniture - CAST IRON BOOTH JACK, MADE FOR THE 1864 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF GENERAL GEORGE B. MC CLELLAN, WITH A FANTASTIC SLOGAN THAT READS "THE UNION AT ALL HAZZARDS"
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  CAST IRON BOOTH JACK, MADE FOR THE 1864 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF GENERAL GEORGE B. MC CLELLAN, WITH A FANTASTIC SLOGAN THAT READS "THE UNION AT ALL HAZZARDS"
Dimensions (inches): 10.5" x 18.5" - frame, 4" x 11.5" x 3.5"- bootjack
Description:
Made for the 1864 presidential run of George B. McClellan, this cast iron bootjack is both rare and graphically exceptional. Displaying the original black-painted surface, with attractive and desirable patina, the stylized profile has a wonderful folk art quality. Molded block letters that wrap around the heel clasp read simply "Gen. Mc Clellan. These are accompanied by a prominent Civil War-associated slogan: "The Union at all Hazards." The text is intermingled with 34 stars, which was equivalent to the number of states during the opening two years of the war, but was one star short by mid-1863 and two stars short by the time of the actual election in 1864. It's not unusual to encounter this feature in civil war campaign parade flags as well as all manner of flag-related ephemera.

The iron was reportedly cast by G. & D. Cross of Morrisville, New York, though it is unsigned and I have not yet verified the attribution. I have seen two other examples, one of which had a broken and repaired tine on the U-shaped horns and newly painted surface, while the other appeared to have broken lifters and inferior, rusted patina. This is, hands-down, the best of the identified examples.

Brief History of the 1864 Campaign:
President Abraham Lincoln had a checkered relationship with his 1864 opponent, who he had formerly chosen as General-in-Chief of the entire Union Army. The career officer repeatedly knocked heads with his Commander-in-Chief. Having raised a well-trained and organized military force, McClellan often seemed reluctant to use it. By 1862, after losses in Virginia during the Peninsula Campaign, Lincoln grew frustrated with McClellan and the progression of the war and removed him from command.

By the early part of 1864 the American people shared some of the same frustrations and Lincoln was no longer the clear choice for the White House. The nation was tired of war and the remains of the Democratic Party were calling for peace. At their convention in Chicago, they nominated General McClellan to champion their platform alongside career politician George H. Pendleton.

Without its southern base of support, the Democratic Party was split in 1864 among “War Democrats,” “Peace Democrats,” and “Copperheads.” The War Democrats joined the Republicans to form the "National Union Party, " while the Copperheads never gained much strength due to blatant sympathies for the Confederate cause. The remaining "Peace Democrats" backed McClellan, but the general, who carried wide support among soldiers and remained on active duty until election day, openly disagreed with the desire for a negotiated settlement with the South. This caused further party divisions, which, compounded by significant Union victories, led to his defeat.

Mounting: The object was mounted in a deep shadow box that consists of a black-painted, rectangular outer molding with a wood grain surface, to which a flat profile molding with a gilded surface was added as a liner. The background is 100% hemp fabric. The glazing is U.V. protective museum glass (anti-reflective and crystal clear).

Condition: Minor, expected wear.
   
Primary Color: black
Earliest Date: 1864
Latest Date: 1864
For Sale Status: Available
Price $6,800
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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