Learn about the Civil War & Abraham Lincoln’s re-election

Before 1864, the United States had never held a presidential election during wartime.

Before 1864, the United States had never held a presidential election during wartime.

Yes, the 2016 presidential campaign was unique, but it wasn’t the first extraordinary election in our country’s history.

For example, in 1864, the United States held its first presidential election during wartime.

Many even suggested postponing the election, but President Abraham Lincoln refused.

At the time, Lincoln’s re-election seemed unlikely. He faced Democrat (and his former general) George McClelland with a third-party candidate, former Senator John C. Fremont, looking to siphon votes, as well.

Meanwhile, the electorate disagreed on matters of tremendous importance: Should the Union pursue peace instead of the war? Should there be a constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery?

Without exaggeration, this election decided the future of a nation.

A speaker from the James A. Garfield National Historic Site will discuss this contentious, unprecedented, and supremely important election at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at our Main Branch.

The talk is free and open to everyone. You can register to attend on our website or by calling us at (440) 255-8811.

For more on Lincoln and the Civil War, read five things you didn’t know about the Gettysburg Address.

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