New York: J.F. Feeks, 1864. 46,pp. Original yellow pictorial wrappers. Light soiling and edge wear, small closed tear to top of front wrapper, slight chipping to head and foot of spine. Light creasing and very minor scattered foxing throughout. Later gift inscription in pencil along gutter of first page. A very good copy. Item #WRCAM62428
Billed as "A Guide to the Presidential Election of 1864," this odious little pamphlet is filled with racist anti-Lincoln propaganda, aimed at the Copperhead audience in the midst of the war. It is presented in the form of a satirical catechism, alleged to be written by the Republicans: "What is the Constitution? A compact with hell - now obsolete. By whom hath the Constitution been made obsolete? By Abraham Africanus the First." The audience is made explicit with lesson XVII, which asks "What is the meaning of the word 'Copperhead?' A man who believes in the Union as it was, the Constitution as it is, and who cannot be bribed with greenbacks, nor frightened by a bastile [sic]." The "Ten Commandments" are listed on page 12, with the first being "Thou shalt have no other God but the negro."
J.F. Feeks was a viciously anti-Lincoln campaigner and printer, and many of his other publications are loudly advertised on the wrappers of this pamphlet. In the leadup to the 1864 election, he printed a collection of offensive jokes and poems titled LINCOLNIANA, a satirical pamphlet in the style of biblical verse foretelling the disasters of the "Reign of Abraham" ("as beautiful to look upon, as the skin of a sheep drawn over the skeleton of a gorilla”), a piece titled ABRAHAM AFRICANUS I: HIS SECRET LIFE REVEALED UNDER MESMERIC INFLUENCE, and many more, including a series of Democratic campaign songsters and song sheets, featuring such classic tunes as "Hey! Uncle Abe, are you Joking yet?" and "Little Mac (First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen)." His election-year output also included an edition of the present pamphlet written in German, likely hoping to shake Lincoln's perceived support in the German-American community. An unusually nice copy of this pamphlet often found in tatters, and a stark reminder of the disunity within the Union as the fateful election of 1864 drew near. MONAGHAN 324.