Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 campaign song “Lincoln and Liberty”


The Hutchinson Family Singers

Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s Team of Rivals, about the Lincoln presidency,  is on my reading list. For no reason at all, I was wondering if Lincoln had a campaign song and, no great surprise, he did.

In this clip Ronnie Gilbert of The Weavers’ fame, tells the story of the Hutchison Family Singers and “Lincoln and Liberty.” Here’s the Wikipedia entry.

Attributed to Jesse Hutchinson Jr. of the Hutchinson Family Singers, the song was adapted from the tune of “Old Rosin the Beau” and originally called “Liberty Ball.” The title echoes earlier songs with the same melody as “Adams and Liberty” and repeated in later campaign songs. Shortly after Jesse’s death in 1853, the song was modified to support Lincoln’s presidency. The song was last sung by the Hutchinson Family at the 1892 dedication for the statue of John P. Hale. Frederick Douglass also was present and sung with the Hutchinson Family. The song expresses themes of abolitionism and log cabin virtues, with the chorus also expansively establishing Lincoln as a favorite son of three states (Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois). The Hutchinson family traveled through the country singing the song at Lincoln campaign rallies and even in the White House.

There you are.

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