|Description||Political campaign novelty. Miniature metal coffin; a round opening near the top contains a portrait photograph of Ulysses S. Grant in uniform. Embossed inscription on the front of the coffin: "TALKED / TO / DEATH". Item measures 1.750 inches high x 1.125 inches wide x 0.375 inches deep.|
|Ownership and History||
Ulysses S. Grant was elected U.S. President in 1868 and re-elected in 1872.
The precise sentiment reflected in this item is unclear; the phrase "talked to death" or "this man was talked to death" appears in sources from the 1870s as a humorous attack on long-winded bores and was sometimes worn on a lapel pin. It was later used by supporters of William McKinley in the 1896 presidential campaign against William Jennings Bryan who was known as an orator. Grant, however, was not known as a skilled public speaker, so it is uncertain whether he is portrayed as the perpetrator or the victim of the metaphorical "death" implied by this item. It seems unlikely that the item relates to Grant's actual death in 1885 from a form of throat cancer, but more research is needed.
|Lexicon Sub-category||Advertising Medium|
Grant, Ulysses S.
|Support Acknowledgment||Online Collections Database record made possible by the Efron family in memory of Dr. Meryl Efron, December 2015.|
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