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WHIG PARTY

The WHIG PARTY in Cleveland was made up of former Federalists, anti-Masons, and national Republicans who opposed the limited government policies of the Democratic party and Pres. Andrew Jackson. The Whigs favored an activist national government that would support internal improvements and advocated a broad program of humanitarian reforms. In Cleveland the party was supported by merchants and businessmen who profited from the OHIO & ERIE CANAL and Evangelical Protestant reformers whose concerns included temperance, public schooling, and prison and asylum reform. Prominent Whigs included JOHN W. ALLEN, SHERLOCK ANDREWS, ELISHA WHITTLESEY, and NICHOLAS DOCKSTADTER. Although party lines were quite fluid in local elections, the Whigs were a recognizable political party by 1834 and began to win local offices against their Democratic rivals. The high point for the local party was the successful 1840 campaigns by Whig candidate Wm. Henry Harrison for president and Thos. Corwin for Ohio governor. Reflecting Harrison's campaign slogan of "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," Cleveland and OHIO CITY each formed its own TIPPECANOE CLUB in Mar. 1840 and built log cabins (a symbol of the Harrison candidacy) in which to hold political rallies. A large victory celebration was held when both Harrison and Corwin won the elections. Whig candidates were successfully elected to local office in 1840 and 1841 and continued their rivalry with the Democrats until their influence on the electorate weakened. By the early 1850s, Cleveland Whigs were supporting Free Soil and "peoples" party candidates in local elections.


Davis, Harold. "Social and Economic Basis of the Whig Party in Ohio, 1828-1840" (Ph.D. Diss., Case Western Reserve Univ.).