This token is from John C. Fremont's 1856 nomination as the first Republican candidate for President. Following the dissolution of the Whig Party and the growing tensions over slavery, the Republican Party began to take shape as debates over the extension of slavery into new territories began. Pittsburgh has an interesting connection to the founding of the Republican Party; in February 1856, an "informal convention" was held at Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh "for purposes of perfecting the National Organization, and providing for a National Delegate Convention of the Republican Party...to nominate candidates for the Presidency and Vice Presidency" for the 1856 election (Pittsburgh Gazette, February 22, 1856). At the formal Republican Convention, held in Philadelphia that same year, Fremont was nominated as the Party’s candidate. He lost the election, but paved the way for Abraham Lincoln's victory in 1860.


  • Title: John C. Fremont token
  • Date Created: 1856
  • Type: Artifact
  • Original Source: Heinz History Center Museum Collections
  • Object ID: 2015.22.87
  • Donation Information: Gift of Elaine B. and Carl Krasik
  • Collection Information: The Elaine B. and Carl Krasik Collection of Pennsylvania and Presidential Political Memorabilia, MSS 1068

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