Republican Peace, Love & Understanding

The Huntington Library’s “A Just Cause: Voices of the American Civil War” contains this reminder that the Republican Party was once seen as the party of blacks, feminists, socialists, and the proponents of “free love.”

Bum clutching a liquor bottle: “An equal division of Property that is what I go in for—”

Hoop-skirted woman: “Col. I wish to invite you to the next meeting of our Free Love association, where the shackles of marriage are not tolerated & perfect freedom exists in love matters…”

At right is California Senator John Frémont, who preceded Lincoln as the Republicans’ first Presidential candidate: “You shall all have what you desire—and be sure that the Glorious Principles of Popery, Fourierism, Free Love, Woman’s Rights, the Maine law, & above all the Equality of our Colored Brethren shall be maintained if I get into the Presidential Chair.”

The 1856 cartoon was published by Nathaniel Currier, of Currier & Ives fame, and was probably drawn by Louis Maurer.

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