Stephen Douglas and the Democrats


 “Douglas at Cincinnati”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  The Rail Splitter (Cincinnati)
  Date:   October 3, 1860, p. 3

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Republicans charged that Stephen Douglas was presenting two images of himself during the 1860 presidential campaign. Promoting in the North the concept of popular sovereignty, or allowing territorial voters to decide the slavery issue without federal interference; and, affirming in the South his respect for the supremacy of the Supreme Court as the final judge of territorial matters (implying his support of the Dred Scott decision, which prohibited a territorial ban on slavery).

In this cartoon from the Cincinnati Rail Splitter, Douglas feigns illness in order to avoid discussing the issue in the border city of Cincinnati, which would more likely have voters evenly divided on the slavery question. He would rather be speaking in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, or Indianapolis, Indiana, where he could deliver his Southern and Northern speeches, respectively. The artist chose to present the audience as Cincinnati pigs because the city was known for its hog slaughterhouses and the image suggests that voters were not interested in what he had to say. The crosses may be a Nativist attempt to associate Douglas with Roman Catholicism (his wife had been educated at a Catholic school).













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