The Presidential Campaign of 1840

Politics ran high in 1840 throughout the United States, and Dover was no exception. Large delegations came from adjoining townships to a mass meeting here, including a group from Avon, and from Sheffield. The wagon was hitched to thirty-two yoke of oxen in one string, decorated with coon skins, and complete with a barrel of hard cider. A donkey cart headed the cavalcade and was adorned with a sign, Sub-Treasury, a deliberate rebuke to the Van Buren administration since it failed to enact certain favored banking laws.
William H. Harrison had been nominated by the Whigs for President; John Tyler, the Vice-Presidential candidate. The Democrats supported Martin Van Buren for a second term; Johnson as Vice-President.
Twenty-six young ladies dressed in white and carried a flag, representing each state of the union. A single lady dressed in black and represented Texas, the territory that had seceded from Mexico and become a republic.
Campaign songs such as the following exemplified the rivalry between parties.
“With Tippecanoe and Tyler too
We’ll beat little Van.
Van, Van, is a used up man.”

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