Published by [Springfield & Jacksonville, Il, 1834
Three printed broadsides. Condition detailed below. An early example of the potential for viciousness in American politics. These broadsides pertain to the 1834 Congressional election in Illinois's 3rd District. William L. May ran against Benjamin Mills for the seat left vacant by Joseph Duncan, who had resigned to become governor. Abraham Lincoln, who was first elected as an Illinois State Representative in August of this same year, served as a clerk for the election in the Springfield house of William F. Barry, and voted for May, a Democrat, who received seventy-two votes, against only three for Mills. In 1844, Lincoln and then-former Congressman May purportedly engaged in a heated, three-day debate on the tariff at the Main Street Presbyterian Church in Peoria. May, a lawyer and mercantilist, served variously as Justice of the Peace, a state and federal legislator, and mayor of Springfield. He went to California during the Gold Rush and died in Sacramento on Sept. 29, 1849. Further details on the broadsides are as follows: 1) FELLOW CITIZENS: SOME WEEKS SINCE I WAS MOST BITTERLY AND RANCOROUSLY ASSAILED BY AN ANONYMOUS WRITER IN THE ILLINOIS PATRIOT.PUBLISHED A TISSUE OF FALSEHOODS.[beginning of text]. [Springfield: Journal Office, 1834]. Broadside, 16 3/4 x 11 inches. Printed in three columns, approximately 2,200 words. Two corners chipped, toned, foxed. Contemporary note recording the date on verso. Good. Here, May attempts to answer broadsides against him, signed "Illinois" and "Agricola," calling his accuser "Some spindle- shanked toad-eating, man granny, who feeds the depraved appetites of his patrons with gossip and slander." He continues: "We read of a certain sort of men about the Turkish seraglios, who being deprived of their virility endeavor to compensate themselves by the enjoyments of mischief-making.Those who are seen in this 'Agricola' affair are hangers-on, the tools and lick spittles of the would be aristocracy." Byrd records two copies, at the Chicago Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society; OCLC records a single copy at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. BYRD 185. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 25644. OCLC 14439538. 2) No. III. TO WM. L. MAY, ESQ. SIR - IT IS THE CHARACTER OF THE VICIOUS TO ATTEMPT TO DRAG DOWN VIRTUE TO THEIR OWN STANDARD.[beginning of text]. [Jacksonville, Il.: Illinois Patriot, 1834]. Broadside, 15 3/4 x 11 1/4 inches. Printed in four columns, approximately 3,500 words. Tanned, foxed, edges chipped, costing one word and part of another. Good. An anti-May attack, with two full columns criticizing May for his conduct during the Black Hawk War of 1832. Among many other charges, May is accused of taking credit for killing a "Dead Indian." Contains another attack on May by "Agricola," and two communications to the editor of the ILLINOIS PATRIOT, signed Winchester and Morgan, respectively. "Refers to the 'seduction' affair and May's conduct in the Black Hawk War. This first appeared in a regular issue of the ILLINOIS PATRIOT, July 26, 1834. Type was rearranged but not re-set for this printing" - Byrd. As with the first title above, Byrd records two copies, at the Chicago Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society; OCLC records a single copy at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. BYRD 188. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 27116. OCLC 14438632. 3) No. IV. TO WM. L. MAY, ESQ. SIR - I CONGRATULATE YOU ON THE EXCELLENT SPIRIT MANIFESTED IN YOUR ANSWER TO THE EXPOSITIONS OF "AGRICOLA." TRUE YOU HURT HIM NOT, BUT YOU "CLEANSE YOUR STUFF BOSOM" OF A LOAD OF SPLEEN - WHICH IS SOMETHING.[beginning of text]. [Jacksonville, Il.: Illinois Patriot, 1834]. Broadside, 10 x 8 3/4 inches. Printed in three columns, approximately 1,100 words. Tanned, edge chipped, some old tape repairs on verso. Good. Another attack on May, this one signed, "Philo-Agricola." A sampling of the text reads: "Be it your boast, that you have sunk the man in the brute.Sir, such boasts might have done for the brothel: for the grog shop they were too low; but in public print, over your own signature and you a candidate for a seat in Congress, what term in language is sufficiently strong to express our deep and abiding abhorrence of such a self-glorious Priapus. Would you vie with the gold Hercules in his thirteenth labour? - what, fifty daughters of king Thespeus in a single night? And yet even Hercules was no boaster.Sir, you profess to be the friend of the poor.Sir, you are not among the culottes of Paris.We have no poor - besides yourself, sir, we have no rabble. You talk of aristocracy. We have no aristocracy, and beside yourself, sir, a man's a man, and nothing more." Again, as with the two titles above, Byrd records two copies, at the Chicago Historical Society and the Illinois State Historical Society; OCLC records a single copy at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. BYRD 189. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 27117. OCLC 14438606. A fantastic trio of savage political broadsides from Illinois in 1834.