Lincoln Campaign Button
An 1860 U.S. presidential campaign button for Abraham Lincoln features his image on one side, and that of his vice-presidential running mate, Hannibal Hamlin, on the other side. Using photographs to promote a candidate was a relatively new idea in 1860. This tintype portrait of Lincoln was copied from an ambrotype that had been made in 1858; the original image was attributed to Roderick M. Cole of Peoria, Illinois.
During the 1860 presidential election Lincoln campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed, a stance that was opposed by most Southern leaders. Not long after Lincoln won the election, Virginia and ten other slave states seceded from the Union. The Confederate States of America was established with Jefferson Davis as its president and, eventually, Richmond, Virginia, as its capital.