Ballots that helped re-elect Lincoln auctioned in Knoxville

A cache of 270 ballots cast in the 1864 Presidential Election will cross the auction block January 26 at the Winter Case Antiques Auction in Knoxville.

This undated publicity photo provided by DreamWorks and Twentieth Century Fox shows Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln looking across a battlefield in the aftermath of a terrible siege in this scene from director Steven Spielberg's drama "Lincoln." A familiar lineup of Hollywood awards contenders are expected among Golden Globe nominations coming out Thursday morning, Dec. 13, 2012, whose prospects include past Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Helen Mirren, Robert De Niro and Sally Field. Other Oscar recipients may be nominated, such as Mirren and Anthony Hopkins for �Hitchcock,� Philip Seymour Hoffman for �The Master,� Helen Hunt for �The Sessions,� Marion Cotillard for �Rust and Bone,� Russell Crowe for �Les Miserables� and Alan Arkin for �Argo.� (AP Photo/DreamWorks, Twentieth Century Fox, David James)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.(WVLT)— A cache of 270 ballots cast in the 1864 Presidential Election will cross the auction block January 26 at the Winter Case Antiques Auction in Knoxville. The ballots helped re-elect Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, and thereby ultimately played a role in ending slavery in the United States.

The majority of the ballots were cast for Lincoln and his Republican running mate, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. Only about 32 went for the Democratic ticket of General George McClellan and George Pendleton.

It was one of the few elections to take place in a wartime setting, and adding to the historical interest, these ballots were all cast by Civil War soldiers in Ohio, voting from the field. Some scribbled inscriptions on their ballots such as “As I fight so I vote + no compromise with Copperheads [peace-seeking democrats] of the North or Rebels of the South” and “The Union now and forever”. Unlike ballots today, these were issued with varying printed designs like flags, eagles, and portraits of the candidates, which make them popular with paper collectors as well as collectors of political memorabilia.

Lincoln won the 1864 election with 212 electoral votes to McClellan’s 21, and the soldier vote was said to have been a major factor in his victory. No electoral votes were counted from the Southern states.

While individual ballots from the election surface occasionally at antique shows and online auctions, company president and appraiser John Case said it is unusual to have such a large grouping come on the market and he expects them to attract interest from collectors across the country. The ballots are being sold as a single lot with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$6,000.


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