SATURDAY | Whaterver its failures as poetry, campaign doggerel ususally provides a useful condensation of Democratic Party campaign themes. These themes are interesting because they present popular views of Lincoln and his Administration which are far beyond our understanding today.
This byline-free piece, "McClellan's Coming," refers to Lincoln's "thieving shoddy crew," their contracts and their "plunder." Lincoln is the "Joker," and will be sent up the river with Seward "and his bell." (This means Seward's quote about rininging a little bell on his desk to have any American he pleased put in jail was well known by 1864.)
The responsibility for the war seems also to rest with Lincoln: "he made us trouble/And he split us up for a spell..."
Here it is whole, with all its novelties:
Say, brothers, have you seen Abe Lincoln,
With a sour look on his face,
Go down the road towards Salt River,
Like a man who’s lost a race?
He heard a sound through all the nation,
Where the Union-lovers stay;
And he says to Hannibal, Let’s leave sudden,
While we can get away.
Abe may be smart, but Mac is smarter,
And the people think so too;
And on the eighth day of November,
I’ll tell you what we’ll do.
We’ll fix the flint of Old Abe Lincoln,
And his thieving shoddy crew;
We’ll have the Union back again,
And the Constitution too!
The shoddyites will feel so mournful,
When contracts come no more;
They can put their plunder on the Salt River steamer,
Where the Joker goes before.
We have two Georges and the Union,
And the old flag tried and true;
And it shall wave o’er all the nation,
From Maine to Mexico.
Old Abraham he made us trouble,
And he split us up for a spell;
But we will send him up Salt River,
With Seward and his bell.
The country’s saved, the word is spoken,
And McClellan leads us on;
So give three rousing cheers for the Union,
And Mac and Pendleton.