Dredging Up the Past

Log cabin hard cider campaign of 1840
Log cabin hard cider campaign of 1840


Air — “Auld Lang Syne.”

Should good old cider be despised
And ne’er regarded more?
Should plain log cabins be despised
Our fathers built of yore?
For the true old style, my boys!
For the true old style!
Let’s take a mug of cider now
For the true old style!

We’ve tried experiments enough
Of fashions new and vain,
And now we mean to settle down
To good old times again.
For the good old ways, my boys!
For the good old ways!
Let’s take a mug of cider now
For the good old ways.

We’ve had four years of Grover C,
And that has been enough,
And yet they want to put him back
In company with Snuff.
But Tip’s grandson, my boys,
But Tip’s grandson,
They’ll find has been elected when
November’s voting’s done!

Then give us your good hands, my boys!
And here’s a hand for you!
We’ll quaff the good old cider yet
To old Tippecanoe!
To old Tippecanoe, my boys!
To old Tippecanoe,
For Ben will give another life
To old Tippecanoe!

And surely you will give your vote
And surely I will, too;
And we’ll clear the way to Washington
For young Tippecanoe!
For Tip-pe-ca-noe, my boys !
For Tip-pe-ca-noe !
We’ll take a mug of cider yet
For Tip-pe-ca-noe.


Reformer Grover Cleveland had beaten the spectacularly corrupt James G. Blaine in 1884.  Now it was time for the Republicans to try again.  No one was “giving” votes, though — the going price was $2 each.

Tippecanoe was an 1811 battle that William Henry Harrison, Ben Harrison’s grandfather, won.  The “Hard Cider” campaign of “Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” of 1840 was famous, if irrelevant by 1888.  “Old Tippecanoe” was William Henry Harrison.

The “snuff” could be literal snuff (of which Grover was quite fond, and which gave him the oral cancer that had to be removed in a secret operation in 1893), or Tariff Reform.

Log cabins and cider were all about populism.

Tomorrow:  General Harrison

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