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[Lincoln & Douglas in a presidential footrace]. No. 1. 1860.
Complete Explanation:
Rival presidential nominees Lincoln and Douglas are matched in a footrace, in which Lincoln's long stride is a clear advantage. Both sprint down a path toward the U.S. Capitol, which appears in the background right. They are separated from it by a rail fence, a reference to Lincoln's popular image as a rail-splitter. Douglas, whose characteristic shortness is here exaggerated to dwarfish dimensions, wonders aloud, "How can I get over this Rail Fence." Over his shoulder he carries a cane on which hangs a jug marked "M.C.," which probably refers to the Missouri Compromise, repealed in 1854 largely through Douglas's efforts. As he runs, playing cards spill from his pockets (suggesting perhaps a penchant for gambling).

Lincoln, whose height is equally exaggerated, runs along beside him waving his hat and carrying a rail-splitter's maul over his shoulder. He says confidently, "It [i.e., the rail fence] can't stop me for I built it." From the fence on the far right a black youth taunts Douglas, "You can find me in dis yer Fence Massa Duglis." The last is evidently a reference to the slavery question central to the election campaign.

The print probably appeared late in the campaign, as the Library's impression was deposited for copyright on September 21, 1860. The footrace image is also used in a similar cartoon discussed by Wilson, entitled "A Political Race" (Wilson, p. 52).

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