Thursday, October 07, 2010

News---150 Years Ago: Wide Awakes' 5,000 Man March For Lincoln

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during a night time parade 150 years ago, between 5,000 and 10,000 Republicans carried torches for Abraham Lincoln. A few Republican newspapers reported it as a 100,000 man march or the figure included spectators and marchers. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the 150th anniversary of the march offered a review of how the Pittsburgh newspapers reported the event. The Pittsburgh Post, a Democratic paper, scoffed at an estimate of 100,000 marchers and spectators that was reported by the Daily Pittsburgh Gazette.

The Post reported that 222 carriages and wagons, 1,027 horses, and 2,052 demonstrators paraded through Allegheny City [now known as the North Side] and downtown Pittsburgh. Fireworks, torches, tossed bouquets, and a shoulder-to-shoulder throng marked the parade route during twilight. A second, daylight parade occurred the next day. Four podiums throughout the North Side hosted public speakers that included Ohio Senator Ben Wade, former Ohio Governor and U.S. Senator Tom Corwin, Pennsylvania Representative John Covode and soon-to-be-elected Governor Andrew Curtain and many others. Many of the cities iron, glass and textile factories released their workers for the political holiday. The Democratic Party's Pittsburgh Post declared it to be a farce and a Feast of Fools.

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