The Campaign Newspaper Title Quiz

This election year the verbal thrusts and parries have been fast and thick throughout the primaries. Today Facebook and Twitter are as important as radio and TV in spreading the vitriolic name-calling and accusations of various candidates. In the nineteenth century politicians had to resort to print media, and one way to do this was through campaign newspapers.

Campaign newspapers were separate publications issued just during elections to promote a specific person, party, or issue. They were printed in local newspaper offices (and sometimes edited there) for distribution in the surrounding region. Often the title is evocative of some feature of the candidate. For example, leading up to and during the Republican convention in Chicago in 1860, there was a campaign newspaper published supporting the nomination of Abraham Lincoln as the Republican candidate titled The Rail Splitter. The title emphasized Lincoln’s humble beginnings and implied that he was a man of the people.

The Rail Splitter

Similarly, the election of 1840 produced many campaign newspapers supporting William Henry Harrison with the phrase “Log Cabin” in the title. The most famous one was called The Log Cabin and published by Horace Greeley in New York and Albany.

The Log Cabin

Sometimes the title was very explicit about who they supported but at other times they were quite imaginative. Thanks to this fact, as well as to the rough and tumble primaries of the 2016 election, we decided to create a quiz similar to one from last fall asking readers to identify genuine newspaper titles from a list, this time with titles of campaign newspapers.  Can you find the five fake titles out of this list?

  1. Sober Second Thought
  1. Castigator
  1. A Kick in the Pants
  1. Hard Cider Press
  1. The Old Soldier
  1. Tippecanoe Banner and Spirit of Democracy
  1. Cabinet Maker
  1. My Worthless Opponent
  1. Rough and Ready
  1. Give ‘Em Jessie!
  1. Harry of the West
  1. The Slasher
  1. Rough and Ready
  1. The Cane Mutiny
  1. Tough and Steady
  1. Whip & Spur
  1. The Hare Splitter
  1. The Polk-er, and Young Hickory Advocate
  1. The Thrasher
  1. Barnburner
  1. New-York Must be Redeemed!
  1. That Ball!
  1. The Giraffe
  1. Mother’s Favorite!
  1. Scott Soup Bowl
  1. That Same Old Coon
  1. The Coon Dissector
  1. The Magician
  1. The Dirty Shirt
  1. Old Granny, That Delivered the American Frontier from the British Proctor and His Army

Next week: The answers!

Published by

Vincent Golden

Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals, American Antiquarian Society

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