Hat badge promoting Benjamin Harrison for president, 1888. Die-cut gilt brass shell.
Formed in the shape of a log cabin, with cider barrel and beaver skin beside front door.
The log cabin had long associations with the presidency, going back to Harrison's grandfather, William Henry, whose 1840 campaign utilized the imagery of Manifest Destiny to present the candidate as a man hardened to the realities of frontier living. Abraham Lincoln, who had actually been born in a log cabin and gave stump speeches for Old Tip, drew on the same imagery for his 1860 bid for the White House, as did 1880 Republican nominee James Garfield. By the time the junior Harrison sought the office in 1888, the log cabin was a symbol of a vanishing America, used for its nostalgic associations more than its political significance.
Of the numerous incarnations of the log cabin we have seen, this scarce hat badge is certainly the most ostentatious.