Monika Schiavo, Waverly Rare Books at Quinn’s Auction Galleries
American presidential elections have always been newsworthy events, often providing unexpected twists and turns as candidates travel across the country speaking to voters. The 2016 campaign for the top job at the White House was no exception. While modern campaigns now make use of Twitter and Facebook, an item coming up for auction reminds us that the art of political debate goes back to our country’s founding.
Most of us know that the phrase “stump speech” comes from the tradition of campaigners sounding off from the top of a sawed-off log. This activity raised their profile – literally – and gave them a chance to connect to a wider audience. The tree stump in the photo(s) is a reminder of a time when someone running for public office delivered speeches from a homely piece of wood instead of a fancy raised platform.
This particular item was a gift from the 40th President of the United States and the First Lady, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Imprinted on top with the double-pointed arrow brand used at their vacation ranch, Rancho del Cielo, it is a wry reminder of one small but significant part of our country’s political history. You can read more about this unusual item and see other rare and remarkable pieces of American history at www.quinnsauction.com.