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Stephen L. Carter

How to Shorten the Long Presidential Campaign: Stephen L. Carter

In the midst of his 1860 presidential campaign against Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas announced that he was leaving Washington to visit his ailing mother in upstate New York. Along the way, Douglas made campaign stops and speeches throughout New England.

According to the historian Paul F. Boller Jr.’s book, “Presidential Campaigns,” newspapers were agog. One editorial contended that Douglas “demeans himself … as no other candidate ever yet has, who goes about begging, imploring, and beseeching the people to grant him his wish.” Republicans distributed satirical fliers titled “A Boy Lost!” to enlist the aid of the public in tracking down Mrs. Douglas’s missing son, who had vanished on his way to New York: “He has been heard from at Boston, Portland, Augusta, and Bangor.”