The Reluctant Presidential Candidate

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   Levi F. Snyder

Originally posted August 2, 2013

CCHS has received some fascinating new accessions recently. One is a well-loved family album from the Civil War era of the family and friends of Levi F. Snyder, a life-long resident of Glenmoore.  Snyder had served in Company H, 97th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers and he is pictured proudly wearing his uniform.

This multi-generational album shows Levi Snyder is his wife Sarah Jane Essick, son John Horace Elmer Snyder with wife Charlotte Roemer and grandson Harold Levi Snyder with wife Lorna Jean Page.

Many thanks to Sandra Brannan for her donation of the album accompanied by a genealogical chart to further identify the people pictured.  Many prominent Chester county families are included such as Trego, Kennedy, Windel, Dilworth, Shank, Evans and others.

The fun aspect of a photo album is to see the published cartes of politicians, authors, famous figures of the day that were collected along with portraits of family and friends. These public figures were significant enough to the album creator to be purchased at the local stationary store.

Included in the album were some portraits that are common in the Civil War period – such as Col Guss, commander of the 97th Regiment, General George McClellan and General F. P. Blair.


  Horatio Seymour

In the album is a published carte of Horatio Seymour. Who was he, I wondered?  A quick check to Wikipedia disclosed that he had been a Democratic Presidential candidate in 1868, defeated by Republican Ulysses S. Grant! He was had served two terms as Governor of New York and was prominent in Democratic politics. In the presidential elections of 1856 and 1860 he made it clear that he was not interested in running.

 At the Democratic convention of 1868, there was no clear frontrunner. Seymour let it be known once again that he did not want to run. A series of votes were taken to define the strength of support for potential candidates. Once Seymour’s name was proposed, delegates unanimously nominated him. Reluctantly, Seymour was on the ticket!

During that time, it was thought highly improper to go about promoting oneself. A group of supporters undertook the campaign according to methods of the period.  However, Seymour did not have much of a chance since Grant was a riding high on a wave of fame as an esteemed Civil War General.

I am always delighted to learn something new. You never know what you will find in an old photo album!    Pamela Powell, Photo Archivist