The Election of 1864 was an important one. At this time, the United States was in the midst of a brutal civil war. The election had incumbent Abraham Lincoln and running mate Andrew Jackson take on George B. McClellan of New Jersey and George H. Pendleton. Meetings and rallies ahead of the election occurred throughout the United States on the campaign trails, one of which happened right here in Syracuse on October 19th, 1864.
During the event, 2nd Lt. Edward F. Hopkins of Company E 149th Regiment New York State Volunteers out of Pompey, New York, wrote the following in his pocket diary:
“Oct 19: Great Union mass meeting at Syracuse. 600 teams in line with banners, mottoes, & flags & music. Streets full, nobody drunk & everybody satisfied that Abe will be elected…”
These events were Union tickets (Pro-Lincoln) who defended the aims of the Civil War, which the Democratic Convention at Chicago called a failure, which this New York Times article, dated October 15th, further describes.
The Syracuse Daily Standard ran a piece the following day saying “40,000 people” were present and commented on the crowd’s “unbound enthusiasm.” See for yourself below: