Maryland Gubernatorial, Senatorial, & 6th District Campaign Buttons
Political campaign buttons as we know them today were first used in the 1896 Presidential election campaign between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. These are commonly referred to as celluloid pins or buttons. It is for this reason, and as with our website on Presidential Campaign Buttons, this website basically covers the time span of 1896 to the present.
It is important to note from the outset that, unlike my presidential and “cause” buttons, I have never really focused on collecting Maryland governors, senators, and congressmen. There are gaps, including three gubernatorial omissions from the very early part of the Twentieth Century. As time goes on I hope to occasionally fill these in. More importantly, perhaps this website will serve as a catalyst for others who have far more comprehensive and complete Maryland political collections to, if they have not already done so, share their historical treasures with others.
Although we had initially laid all this out very neatly in chronological order, the acquisition of additional material for this particular website, now numbering over 200 individual items, somewhat threw the continuation of this process out the window. It was also the case that we have only recently been able to identify or get some background on several people whose buttons we have had in our collection for decades, John Edward Hurst and David Hume being two examples. I simply did not, and do not, want to take the time and effort to re-pull the items from my collection, lay them out again, and rescan with the newer pieces. This is a volunteer effort after all. This also obviously accounts for the same person, such as Governor William Donald Schaefer for example, showing up in several locations within the gubernatorial section. I hope you will understand. We also incorporated a few non-button items that I felt would be historical or local interest, such as a campaign advertisement card for Spiro Agnew.
Why do we include only the Sixth Congressional District of Maryland? A little historical background is required. Each Congressional District elects a representative to the United States House of Representatives. The State of Maryland has eight Congressional Districts. Maryland’s Sixth Congressional District is one of the state’s originals and has had a congressional representative since 1789. For many years District Six incorporated all of Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Carroll Counties, as well as portions of Montgomery, Baltimore, and Harford Counties. As a result of the 2011 redistricting, Maryland's Sixth Congressional District now includes Allegany, Garrett, and Washington Counties, as well as parts of Frederick and Montgomery. Three counties, Carroll, Baltimore, and Hartford were removed. (I have a bunch of buttons from the rest of the Congressional Districts and would be willing to loan them if anyone ever wants to do something of a similar nature.)
Spiro Agnew for Governor, 1966
As with my previous works, this is not intended to be an in-depth scholarly effort. I am just an amateur, or what some would call a "public" or "popular" historian, and this is just a hobby. Pursuant to this we have included only very brief historical overview of each candidate and campaign. In the case of Senators and Congresspersons, it is basically the name and term of office. The reader is encouraged to do additional research into the voluminous resources that are readily available. It is also possible that I might have made a mistake here and there. In some cases, such as with the Maryland Gubernatorial and Congressional hopefuls, sources on a few of these folks were meager. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any corrections that need to be made.
I would be sorely remiss if I did not acknowledge Jill Craig and the Western Maryland Regional Library for their partnership, collaboration, and enhancement of this site's content.
Please visit our Presidential Campaign Buttons, Allegany County Campaign Buttons, Historic Women of Allegany County, and Allegany County African American History websites, all hosted through WHILBR. These are referenced in the Bibliography.
Albert L. Feldstein
Portions updated November 7, 2012
|Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to Al Feldstein for sharing his collection and research. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This collection is featured in Maryland Life, October 2010