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The Presidential Election in America

The Illustrated London News, vol. 45, no. 1280, p. 346.

October 1, 1864

Great M'Clellan Meeting In Union-Square, New York.

Mr. C. D. Shanly, of New York, whose sketch of an open-air political meeting in that city we have this week engraved, writes, under date of Sept. 9, as follows:--"The nomination of General M'Clellan by the Chicago Convention for the office of President of the United States was ratified last evening in this city by an immense Democatic [sic] Democratic 'mass meeting' in Union-square. This meeting was called in the name of 'the friends of M'Clellan, in favour of free speech, a free press, and the rights of the people, and all who hope in peace and reunion.' Five large stands were erected on the south side of the square, and from these, which were brilliantly lighted with Chinese lanterns, the orators of the night, surrounded by their friends, held forth for some hours to the assembled multitude. The German stand was placed close by the statue of Washington, and at this point the scene was very striking. A powerful calcium light had been placed in a distant part of the square in such a position as to concentrate its rays upon the bronze statue, illuminating it almost to whiteness, and projecting its shadow, sharp and black as a silhouette, upon the buildings behind. Sometimes a skyrocket would curve high up against the dark sky, and, bursting directly over the statue, descend upon it in a shower of sparks; at which the honest Germans, who are great M'Clellan men just now--would grasp each other by the hands, accepting the omen as one favourable to their nominee. The meeting was of a most enthusiastic character, indicating a considerable degree of popular faith in the new candidate for the presidency. I send with this a Sketch of the scene described above. The boys that figure in it are trading in M'Clellan badges, which they dispose of at fifteen cents apiece. A terrible accident occurred in the course of the evening, by the bursting of one of the calcium lights, which caused the death of at least two persons, fearfully scorching and maiming several others."

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