This week’s “150 Years Ago…” column outlines a very interesting note regarding the election of 1860. Though the average history buff will remember only a few names associated with that election, such as Lincoln and Breckenridge, two men appear on the ballot under a lesser-known political party ticket. References found in an 1860 newspaper shows that the Constitutional Union Party was established, hosting politicians from both the North and the South.
According to the October 4, 1860 “Old-Line Democrat” newspaper, published in Little Rock, the reader may note that a Bell and Everett Flag was blown down. The editor began looking for information on these men and was surprised to find that John Bell, presidential candidate from Tennessee and his vice presidential candidate for this party was Edward Everett from Massachusetts, had their own political flag that was flown even in Arkansas.
The reader will note that although Lincoln won the election of 1860, the Bell-Everett ticket scored 39 electoral votes and 592,906 popular votes. What is so interesting about this weeks column is that the flag in question appears to be a 1st National Confederate Flag, consisting of seven 4-sided stars. Below is the primary document as found in the October 4, 1860 issue:
[LITTLE ROCK] OLD-LINE DEMOCRAT, October 4, 1860, p. 2, c. 7
One night, week before last, the Bell and Everett flag, which had been raised in Searcy, was torn from its lofty position by the wind, and thrown upon the ground.