Author John Bicknell

When: Tue., Aug. 15, 6:30 p.m. 2017

"Lincoln’s Pathfinder" recalls the remarkable campaign of the first Republican presidential candidate, and how it paved the way for Abraham Lincoln’s victory four years later. Though you might not believe it in today’s political climate, the election of 1856 was the most violent peacetime election in American history and set the stage for the Civil War. Amid all the turmoil, the campaign of the new Republican Party, headed by famed explorer John C. Frémont, offered a ray of hope that had never before been seen in the politics of the nation: a major party dedicated to limiting the spread of slavery. For the first time, women and African Americans became actively engaged in a presidential contest, and the candidate’s wife, Jessie Benton Frémont, played a central role while serving as a public face of the campaign. Frémont lost, but his strong showing in the North proved that a sectional party could win a national election, blazing the trail for Abraham Lincoln’s victory four years later.

Price: Free.