1860 Lincoln - Hamlin Campaign Banner Flag

From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Museum.

This hand sewn campaign banner flag was made in the fall of 1860 by five women who lived in the northwest section of Richmond, Indiana. It was used for the campaign of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin and flown at the corner of Maple (now Northwest K Street) and Ridge Street, Richmond, Indiana.

Lincoln - Hamlin Banner Flag

The five women who sewed the banner flag are as follows:

  1. Mrs. Capt. John Hunt - resided on the west side of Ridge Street between Northwest K and Northwest L Streets.
  2. Mrs. William Craft (Margaret) - lived on Ridge Street. Her husband was a gunsmith.
  3. Mrs. William P. Wilcoxen (Minerva) - owned 80 acres in Green Township.
  4. Mrs. James Towle - resided on the west side of Ridge Street, about 100 feet from the Hunt home.
  5. Mrs. William N. Cammack - owned the lot where the flag was flown. Her husband was part of the first organized Fire Company in 1830.

The banner made its way to and from San Fernando, California. In the 1970's the banner was given to Mrs. Pansy Clendenin. Pansy had gotten to know Mrs. Bessie S. D. Lynn for over twenty years. Pansy used to do the hair of Bessie and over the years shared stories of central Indiana. Pansy had lived in Randolph County and Bessie had lived in Wayne County.

After much conversation about the banner flag, the two women decided that the logical place to put the banner was back in Wayne County, Indiana. Thus, Pansy arranged for her cousin, Jim Templeton from Anderson, Indiana to bring the flag back east.

Jim worked for the Anderson Indiana Power and Light and arranged for Irv Huffman from Richmond Power and Light to donate the banner to the Wayne County Historical Museum.

The banner was donated in memory of Dr. Frank Dunham. Dr. Dunham was Bessie's brother and their family was related to one of the original makers of the 1860 Lincoln-Hanlin Campaign Banner Flag.

Once the banner flag and its significance was identified, it was determined it needed to be conserved and put on display. Through the generosity of Holland Colours of Richmond, this project was enabled and completed in the fall of 2011. The conservation work on the banner was done by Harold Mailand of Textile Conservation Services of Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Wayne County Historical Museum would like to express their gratitude to all those responsible for making sure that future generations will be able to view this treasure.

Museum Director, Jim Harlan, with the Lincoln-Hamlin Banner

Photos © 2011 WayNet.org, Text © 2011 Wayne County Historical Museum. Reprinted with permission.

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John Finley, Richmond, Indiana mayor from 1852 until his death in 1866, wrote the poem "The Hoosier's Nest", which is often cited as the first written reference to the word "Hoosier".