1864 Campaign Cartoons

Battle for the White House

The 1864 presidential campaign was not unlike political campaigns today with plenty of mud slinging and name calling. These political cartoons illustrate the 1864 battle for the White House.

Horse Race 1864

This cartoon from the Comic Monthly depicts Lincoln and McClellan (foreground) in a chariot race.  McClellan's horses, labeled "War Democracy," seem to be slowed down by their attachment to McClellan's chariot, labeled "Peace Democracy" and "Chicago Platform."

Chicago Platform

This cartoon, from the Funniest of Awl and the Phunnyest Sort of Phun, shows McClellan trying to save a drowning Jefferson Davis with a paper labeled "Armistice."  McClellan is kneeling on a rickety dock dubbed "Chicago Platform." Its supports, cracking under the weights labeled "Atlanta," "Fort Morgan," "Fisher Hill," and "Shenandoah," bear the names of politicians and newspapers who supported a two-state peace. 

Commander in Chief 1864

This Harper's Weekly cartoon accused Lincoln of disregarding the suffering of Union soldiers. 

Little Mac's Strategy

This Funniest of Awl cartoon shows McClellan bedeviled by the morally ambiguous shades of the Democratic Platform of 1864: the political benefits of Confederate victories, the continued subjugation of other races, and snakes hissing "Peaccccce." 

True Issue 1864

In a rarely seen side of the discussion, here McClellan is depicted as a mediator between Jeff Davis and Abraham Lincoln, who are trying to tear the United States apart for their own moral reasons. 


This cartoon illustrates the results of the Democratic convention in Chicago, with McClellan and his party led by the devil towards an apocalyptic vision of a divided United States.

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