Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Campaigning in Crittenden County

The two presumed candidates for President are busy on the campaign trail. Their campaigns are well planned, but they just don’t have the “style” of the campaigns of the past. Back in 1888, when Grover Cleveland was running for office, his fellow Democrat, James McKenzie, better known as “Quinine Jim” because he was instrumental in getting a bill passed that lowered the tariff on quinine, traveled through western Kentucky in support of his candidate.

According to an article in the St. Louis Republic of 9 October 1888, the crowd began pouring into Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky in early morning. The street procession was formed by 10 am and was headed by the Caseyville brass band, followed by a hack containing the speakers. Behind the speakers came the glee club, consisting of 22 young ladies dressed in red, white and blue. They were followed by over 500 people on horseback, who paraded the streets of Marion for over an hour. After taking a break for dinner, the crowd gathered on the courthouse lawn to listen to a two hour speech by “Quinine Jim.” Another break occured and then the evening speakers took over. All in all, a day full of patriotism and spectacle!

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