DescriptionA GROVER CLEVELAND PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN BANDANA
For President Grover Cleveland of New York, For Vice President Allen G. Thurman, 1888
26-1/2 x 28-1/2 inches (67.3 x 72.4 cm)
The Elton M. Hyder, Jr. Charitable and Educational Fund Collection: Formerly at the University of Texas Law Library.
This red, cotton handkerchief is from the 1888 Presidential Election. There are three, thin, tan lines along the border of the piece. In each corner are two, tan, crossed flags with printed black writing. The two left hand flags read "Tarrif Reform" and "For Revenue Only." The two right hand flags read "No Surplus" and "Low Taxes." Inside the thin stripped border is another tan border composed of small squares. Unlike the striped border, which encloses everything, the border of squares stops at the crossed flags and then continues between them. The small squares are also stitched either above or below each flag. Featured in the center of the piece in black ink are portraits of Grover Cleveland and Allen Thurman in oval frames. The frames have a decorative edge and a ribbon at their center appears to bind the two portraits together, reading "The Union For Ever." A banner centered below the images reads "Public Office / Public Trust." To either side are two more banners which read, on the left, "For President / Grover Cleveland / of / New York," and on the right, "For Vice President / Allen G. Thurman / of / Ohio." Above the images is an eagle with wings outstretched. The eagle sits on top of two cannons whose barrels cross one another. The cannons in turn sit atop a pyramid of cannon balls. An American flag hangs below this scene.
Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman were the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President in 1888. They lost to Republicans Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton. Cleveland had been elected president in 1884, and would be again in 1892. Hillary Weiss in her book "The American Bandanna" writes that, "one night at a Democratic rally, vice-presidential nominee Allen Thurman pulled a red bandana from his pocket, complaining it would have been cheaper without the import tariff. He was dubbed 'Old Pockethandkercheif,' ... and the bandanna itself, became the Democrats' 1888 symbol of consumer rights." This bandana is similar to many others of the period and would have been a popular campaign souvenir.
Condition report available upon request.
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