Lincoln and McClellan Compared


 “A Parcel for the White House; or, the Presidential Vote”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  Frank Leslie’s Budget of Fun
  Date:   December 1, 1864, p. 8 (top)

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this postdated Budget of Fun cartoon, Columbia seeks the best man to carry the “Presidential Vote.” The obvious choice is Republican Abraham Lincoln, the tall incumbent with a roomy “Union Express” already containing “Emigration,” “Monroe Doctrine,” “Pacific Railroad,” and “Emancipation.” The president’s short Democratic rival, General George B. McClellan (“Little Mac”), presents only a child’s small wheelbarrow. McClellan is not strong enough, and his “Chicago Platform” not large enough, to carry the vote. The use of “1865” may mean either the Electoral College vote or the March inauguration, rather than the popular vote in November 1864.

Despite the bulky “Emigration” package in “A. Lincoln’s Union Express,” the immigration rate to the United States was actually down during the Civil War. The choice of “Monroe Doctrine” may seem odd in that the Lincoln administration had not fully turned its attention to the advance of the French puppet ruler in Mexico, Maximilian. However, the cartoonist no doubt believed that a Democratic administration would do less. “Pacific Railroad” refers to passage of the Pacific Railroad Act (1862), which led to creation of the transcontinental railroad (completed in 1869). Since Frank Leslie’s was less enthusiastic about black civil rights than Harper’s Weekly, it is not surprising that “Emancipation” is less prominent in the wagon.













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