Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Wigwam


The site of the 1860 Republican National Convention, the Wigwam was built in little more than a month entirely of wood, on Lake Street near the Chicago River. The hall was packed with more than 12,000 delegates and spectators, and the multitude of enthusiastic supporters of Abraham Lincoln in the galleries helped to stampede the Republican delegates toward the dark-horse candidate from Illinois. The building was used for political and patriotic meetings during the 1860 election and at the outbreak of the Civil War. Subdivided into several stores, the rectangular building functioned as a retail space until its removal sometime between 1867 and 1871. Its name derived from the antebellum custom (especially in New York) of calling a political campaign headquarters a “wigwam.”

Karamanski, Theodore J. Rally 'Round the Flag: Chicago and the Civil War. 1993.
Sautter, R. Craig, and Edward M. Burke. Inside the Wigwam: Chicago Presidential Conventions, 1860–1996. 1996.