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Object Name: Campaign kerchief
Date: 1888
Related People:
Medium: Cotton
Dimensions: Overall: 22 1/4 x 24 in. ( 56.5 x 61 cm )
Place made: North America, United States
Description: Copperplate-printed cotton campaign kerchief from Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman's presidential and vice-presidential campaign; portraits of both in the center with an American bald eagle and flag above; crossed flags in the corners and a diamond pattern along the white stripe border; printed in red, blue and black ink on a white ground; red background.
Object Number: X.96
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Marks: printed: in center: "THE/ UNION/ FOR/ EVER/ PUBLIC OFFICE/ A/ PUBLIC TRUST/ FOR PRESIDENT/ GROVER CLEVELAND/ OF/ NEW YORK./ FOR VICE PRESIDENT/ ALLEN G. THURMAN./ OFF/ OHIO." printed: on crosed flags: "NO SURPLUS/ LOW TAXES/ TARIFF REFORM/ FOR REVENUE ONLY"

Gallery Label:

Cleveland (1837-1908) and Thurman (1831-1895) were defeated in the presidential campaign of 1888. According to Hillary Weiss in "The American Bandanna," "one night at a Democratic rally, vice-presidential nominee Allen Thurman pulled a red bandana from his pocket, complaining it would have been cheaper without the import tariff. He was dubbed 'Old Pockethandkercheif,' ... and the red bandanna itself, became the Democrats' 1888 symbol of consumer rights."

Bibliography:

Collins, Herbert Ridgeway. Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth, 1775 to the Present. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1979.

Exhibitions:

"Campaigns on Cotton," New-York Historical Society, June 22-November 3, 2004.
"American Scenes and Events on Textiles," New-York Historical Society, September 30-November 30, 1941.