Republicans and Democrats


 “Great Swimming Match to Come Off on the Fourth of July. Stakes—the White House and $100,000,000 of Patronage”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  Frank Leslie’s Budget of Fun
  Date:   September 15, 1860, p. 1

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This Budget of Fun cartoon characterizes the presidential election as a swimming race and the dual prize as control of the White House and lucrative federal patronage. The rival nominees are (left-right): Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Northern Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, and Republican Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s jibe at Douglas refers to the Democrat’s support of “squatter democracy”—a pejorative term for “popular sovereignty,” or allowing territorial voters to decide the fate of slavery. It was assumed that the white settlers, mainly from the North, would vote to ban slavery and keep the territory free of blacks and free for other white “squatters.” The senator responds by charging that Lincoln is trying to establish a regime of racial equality (or even black superiority). Breckinridge lets them know that he is still in the contest.













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