Republican Party campaign banner, Millner, 1860

The Wide-Awakes

A colorful parade banner from Lincoln’s presidential campaign features a large painted eye, symbolizing the Wide-Awakes, a loose organization of young men’s Republican clubs formed for the election of 1860. The group had approximately 400,000 members scattered across the North, and their name reflected the party’s political ideology, which rested on a deep devotion to the Union and its preservation.