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Membership Certificate for the Wide-Awake Club  

Redding during the Civil War

"Your eighteen Northern non-slave holding States nominate two of the most fanatical of your sect as candidates for President and Vice-President," U.S. Senator from Texas" and "fire-eating" Southerner" Louis T. Wigfall thundered during a Senate debate. "[A]nd now you tell us they shall be inaugurated. Previously to the election and to the anticipated inauguration you organized a Praetorian guard... [T]hat...its members do undergo military drill; that it is a military organization, no man who has looked upon them...and heard their regular military tramp, does or can doubt."

Hardly an official creation of the six-year old Republican Party, hundreds of Wide-Awake Clubs sprang into being in 1860. Dressed in capes and carrying lighted oil lamps mounted atop four-foot poles (which could easily be converted to cudgels), the Wide-Awakes marched in support of Lincoln and other Republican candidates, monitored polling places on election day, and added zest, excitement, and "among some non-Republicans" bitterness to what was already a crucial, and harrowing political campaign.

Caption written by Margaret Wagner, Publishing Office, Library of Congress. Purchase a copy of this certificate.



Civil War Weapons and Collectables

Civil War Re-enactment Clothing and Accessories


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History of Redding is a not a business or an organization..It's one person working to promote the history of his hometown
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