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Great Finds

Ballot Box Victory Celebration

July 5, 2021

We have always maintained that you don’t have to have a lot of money to acquire fun and interesting things. A case-in-point is this 8″ x 10″ post-election invitation from 1864 that recently sold for less than $100 on the internet. At first glance, it appears to be a standard announcement of a dance or soiree. Titled “Union Festival”, it invites members of the general public to “A Social Gathering at the Moravia House… Wednesday Eve., Nov. 23d, ’64, in view of the Recent Union Victories at the Ballot Box.” Union victories on the battlefield had been the means of Abraham Lincoln being re-elected for a second term. Here, the election results are equated with those battlefield victories. The announcement has some nice graphics with embossed images at the top of a steamship, food, beverages and couples seated at dining tables. We note that none of the committee members have military titles, so must assume all men of military age from Moravia and the surrounding towns were serving at the front.