THE HARRISON 1840 – 1888
Log Cabin Song Book
Revised for the Campaign of 1888, with numerous New Songs to Patriotic Airs.
O. C. HOOPER.
A. H. SMYTHE,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1888, by
A. H. SMYTHE,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
Edition of 1840,
Published by I. N. Whiting,
at Columbus, O.
[Reprinted from the Edition of 1840.]
Who can not enjoy a good song? Who can not join in one with heart and voice in joyful response? The enthusiasm of a happy people always did and always will break forth in song. A song is the language of a cheerful heart, the overflowing of a buoyant impulse. Nothing ever exceeded the rapidity with which, in these times of feeling and patriotic action, the merry Harrisonian Log Cabin Songs have rushed through the country. Everybody is singing them, and everybody but the sour and crabbed Locofocos is delighted with their simplicity and spirit. It is to meet the wants of the Harrison boys, to furnish them all with a supply of these patriotic and pithy songs, that this little work is compiled. We trust that every free-hearted son of the West will furnish himself with a copy, that he may be prepared to while away the hours of labor and domestic recreation with a cheerful song of Liberty and lift up his voice in chorus with the whole united nation in a chorus of triumph over the downfall of corruption and tyranny.
It is needless to add much, if anything, to the foregoing sentences, written in the blaze of political enthusiasm nearly half a century ago, so forcibly and well do they express the sentiments of the publisher of this later volume. The nomination of a younger Tippecanoe to the high office of President under circumstances not unsimilar to those existing in 1840, has suggested a revision of the old songs that stirred the hearts of our fathers and grandfathers. A few of the songs have been taken verbatim from the old songster; the majority of them, however, have been remodeled and adapted in their wording to the occasion. Still other new songs have been written for the book and some have been appropriated with proper credit to the author or publication.
A significant fact is the large number of songs that have been written since the nomination of Harrison and Morton, and been adapted to popular and patriotic airs. It means that the spring of enthusiasm has been touched in an exceptionally strong manner. This will, doubtless, be a singing campaign; and, if one-half the pleasure is derived from this young Tippecanoe song book that was derived from its predecessor, the object of its publication will have been fully attained.
The “sour and crabbed Locofocos” were the radical Democrats of the 1830s, the bête noire of the Whigs (for President William Henry Harrison, Benjamin’s grandfather, was indeed an arch-Whig). In the intervening half-century the Whig party had collapsed after their Pyrrhic victory in 1848, followed by the utter disaster of the 1852 election. By 1856 the “Conscience” Whigs and the “Free Soil” Democrats had each deserted their own parties and merged to form the new Republican party, putting forth their candidate John C. Frémont (“Free men, free silver, and Frémont!”)
Frémont lost, but the following election, in 1860, saw the success of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s election ushered in an unbroken string of Republican presidents until 1884 when Democrat Grover Cleveland took the White House. Now, in 1888, it would be up to war hero, international lawyer, and heir to a famous name Benjamin Harrison to win back the presidency from the Democrats and their Mugwump allies. (The Mugwumps were Republicans who voted Democratic. (Everyone knew who they were: The secret ballot did not arrive in Presidential races until 1892.))
Harrison’s running mate was Levi P. Morton, a Vermonter who, before the 1888 election, served as a Congressman from New York and later Minister to France.
Tomorrow: Tippecanoe Song (to the tune of “Rosin the Bow.”)