Stalwarts and Bloody Shirts

The final decades of the 19th century were largely a time of peace and prosperity. Americans, still traumatized by the rupture of the Civil War, came to a tacit agreement not to let politics lead to bloodshed, and agued over boring and benign things like monetary policy and the patronage system. There was broad consensus on most issues, so disputes were mostly at the margins, the major controversies often intra-party and factional rather than sectional or between parties. In contrast with the era's placidity, it was a bonanza of all manner of political trinkets and paraphernalia.

This month we feature a selection of items from the 1870s, '80s and '90s, showcasing the variety and multiplicity of political memorabilia then in circulation. We are fortunate that so much of it has survived, thanks to generations of collectors like yourself.

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