Medalet promoting John Fremont for president, 1856. Brass. DeWitt JCF 1856-8; 1856-9. Holed for suspension.
Obv. JOHN C. FREMONT. FREE SOIL & FREE SPEECH., enclosing bust of Fremont. Rev. 1. Around, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA., enclosing displayed eagle. Rev. 2. Around, WM. L. DAYTON. FREE SPEECH. FREE MEN., enclosing displayed eagle.
Though organized barely two years, the modern Republican Party made a respectable showing in 1856, sweeping the North and gaining dozens of seats in Congress. For their first presidential candidate, Republicans nominated the dashing 45-year-old John Charles Fremont of California. Famed for his explorations of the American West and his exploits in the Mexican War, the political outsider Fremont was a brilliant and unconventional choice for a debut standard-bearer. And perhaps no candidate ever had a name so suited to campaign slogans. Supporters were overheard to shout, "Free speech! Free soil! Free men! Fremont!"
Fremont's outspoken opposition to slavery endeared him to Northern abolitionists, but antagonized Southerners already angered over a perceived threat to their sovereignty and economy. Historians believe that had Fremont been elected, the Civil War would have broken out four years earlier. He lost—but the stage was set for a man from Illinois.
We offer a choice specimen of the quintessential Fremont campaign token.
Note: There are two reverse variants; please specify if you have a preference. Natural patina may vary from example shown.