Connecticut Wide-Awakes

In 1860, Republicans across the country were eager to have one of their own elected President of the United States. Those in Hartford and Waterbury, Connecticut were no exception. In both cities, clubs were formed to support this goal. Republicans in Waterbury first met on February 21, 1860, naming themselves the Red, White, and Blue Club. While cataloging today, I found their record book. It includes meeting minutes, their constitution, and a list of members. Some time later they decided to re-incorporate as a Wide-Awakes club. This required a new constitution, which is also included in the volume.

Preamble and Constitution

Preamble and portion of Waterbury Wide-Awakes Constitution, Waterbury Wide-Awakes records, 1860, Ms 53693. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

The Hartford Wide-Awakes group formed prior to the Waterbury group, as evidenced by the handwritten notes on the Hartford group’s constitution.

Preamble and Constitution-Hartford

Hartford Wide-Awakes preamble and constitution, Waterbury Wide-Awakes records, 1860, Ms 53693. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

Covers

Front and back covers of Hartford group's constitution, Waterbury Wide-Awakes records, 1860, Ms 53693. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

Sometime after the election, as people began to inquire about the history of the Wide-Awakes, the Hartford group published the following document.

Wide Awakes

Wide-Awakes history (p. 1 of 3), Waterbury Wide-Awakes records, 1860, Ms 53693. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

Wide-Awakes history

Wide-Awakes history (pp. 2-3 of 3), Waterbury Wide-Awakes records, Ms 53693. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

In addition to these manuscript holdings, CHS maintains several Wide-Awakes artifacts in the museum collections, including this banner:

Wide-Awakes banner

Wide Awakes banner, 1922.4.3, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

To learn more about the Wide-Awakes, study these and other collections, please visit!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s