Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Constitutional Union Party Candidates
A lithograph produced by Currier and Ives shows the third-party candidates in the 1860 election: presidential nominee, John Bell of Tennessee, and his vice-presidential mate, Edward Everett of Massachusetts, who ran as Constitutional Unionists. Both men rest their hands on a copy of the Constitution; above them an eagle perches on an American shield and holds in its beak a streamer bearing the inscription, "LIBERTY AND UNION NOW AND FOREVER ONE AND INSEPERABLE. NO NORTH, NO SOUTH, NO EAST, NO WEST, NOTHING BUT THE UNION." The open curtains behind the men reveal a rising sun.
With the Democrats deeply divided over slavery during the 1860 election, and the Republicans struggling to shore up their credentials as a responsible choice in difficult times, a third entity known as the Constitutional Union Party joined the fray. As their name suggests, their primary concern was the preservation of the Union. This new, conservative party convened at Baltimore, on May 9, 1860, and wrote a platform only two paragraphs long. Ignoring the slavery question altogether, it instead emphasized "the Constitution, the Union, and the Laws."