Rise of the Rail Splitter


Thomas Drew (comp.). The campaign of 1860. Republican songs for the people, original and selected. Boston: Thayer and Eldredge, 1860.


The Lincoln and Hamlin songster, or the continental melodist. Philadelphia: Fisher and Brother, 1860.

Another genre of published music that arose during the 19th century was the songster and, like sheet music, it became a staple of American political campaigns.  A collection of songs or poems intended to be sung, ranging anywhere from twenty to seventy-five pages in length, songsters were inexpensive to produce and small enough to fit in one’s pocket.  Shown here are two songsters promoting Lincoln in the 1860 presidential campaign.

Lin 2048.5.3   The William Whiting Nolen Collection of Lincolniana.