New Hampshire: Printer Unknown, 1863. First Edition. Printed broadside, 16 ½ x 11 ½ inches, archivally mounted and matted. A very good copy with some light toning, small closed tear at upper margin, light foxing at upper margin, very tiny spot of loss to illustration at fold. Item #List1004
Franklin Pierce remained politically active upon his return to New Hampshire following his presidency, advocating for the Democratic cause and generally opposing the Civil War and Lincoln’s policies. This scarce pro-Union anti-slavery broadside, printed for the 1863 New Hampshire elections which happened March 12, takes aim at Pierce and his fellow Democrats, repeating the unfounded claim first made in 1862 by William Seward that Pierce belonged to the secret Knights of the Golden Circle, the secret society formed with the goal of forming a new territory out of the CSA, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. There was never evidence that Pierce had any involvement in the KGC, though the society had members in southern parts of some Union states such as Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.
The broadside, printed for the March 12 elections, quotes heavily from Pierce as well as the other Democrat candidates and party officials who were either running for office in New Hampshire or involved in politics, a group which included Ira Eastman, John Goerge, Josiah Minot, Thomas Treadwell, Daniel Marcy, William Burns and George Stevens. The broadside includes an engraving of coiled snakes, each with these politicians named, and the caption “et id omne genus.” Eastman, the Democratic candidate for governor, won the popular vote but lacked the constitutional majority necessary for election. Marcy was successful in his bid for the First District. “Men of New Hampshire!,” the broadside asks: “Will you Vote the Ticket Made up by Such Men?,” with the final line imploring to “Please paste up in a Conspicuous Place.”
Overall an uncommon survival from the 1863 elections. A very good copy with some light toning, small closed tear at upper magin, light foxing at upper margin, very tiny spot of loss to illustration at fold. Quite scarce, with OCLC locating two copies only, at the Huntington Library and the New York Historical Society.