Campaign Analogies: Sports and Entertainment


 “The Presidential Race”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  The Comic Monthly
  Date:   October 1, 1864, pp. 8-9

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon from The Comic Monthly applies a common horserace theme to the presidential election of 1864. Incumbent Republican Abraham Lincoln has the inside track as his galloping white horse pulls the “Baltimore Platform” (approved at the Republican National Convention) toward victory. The agitated Democratic nominee, General George B. McClellan, is having difficulty because his two black horses are working at cross-purposes: the “War Democracy” strides forward, while the “Peace Democracy” halts abruptly. McClellan supported the Union war effort, but criticized Lincoln’s management of it. At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, however, Peace Democrats passed a plank endorsing a ceasefire and negotiated settlement. McClellan repudiated the peace plank, but the contradictory views of the Democratic Party remained a political problem for the candidate.

In the left background, the horse and buggy of General John C. Fremont has broken down. Fremont had been nominated for president on May 31, 1864, at a convention in Cleveland of Radical Republicans who objected to what they considered to be the Lincoln administration’s lack of commitment to racial equality and crackdown on civil liberties. Increasing fearful that a Democratic victory would result in an end to the war effort and a reversal of civil rights gains, Fremont withdrew from the race in late September.

Conferring in the background between McClellan and Lincoln are prominent Peace Democrats Clement Vallandigham (left), a former congressman, and Benjamin Wood (right), editor of the New York Daily News (note the olive branches in their hatbands). Both men had been punished for speaking out against the war: Vallandigham was expelled from the Union, and Wood’s newspaper was temporarily suspended. The man with the white beard, appearing to the right of Lincoln’s profile, is William Cullen Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post. Waving his hat in gleeful encouragement of Lincoln’s progress is Henry Raymond, editor of The New York Times. Standing beside Raymond with both hands on the rail is a subdued looking Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune and supporter-turned-critic of Lincoln. Appearing in the background between Raymond and Greeley may be Frederic Hudson, managing editor of the New York Herald. The man lifting his (or Greeley’s) hat is Manton Marble, owner-editor of the Democratic New York World. Next to him is Congressman Fernando Wood of New York, a leading Peace Democrat and brother of Benjamin. Standing on the far right and having mutton-chop whiskers is August Belmont, chairman of the Democratic National Party.













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