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“Lincoln flattering himself on his chance of Re-election”

Topic:
Lincoln in Confederate and British Eyes
Source:
Southern Punch
Cartoonist:
Unknown
Date:
July 2, 1864, p. 5
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
Launched in Richmond, Virginia, in 1863, Southern Punch was intended to be an American (and pro-Confederate) version of the popular and influential British humor magazine, Punch. This simple cartoon shows a relaxed and overly confident “Abe Lincoln flattering himself on his chance of Re-election.” The president is joined in the scene by a black man who is probably meant to represent a servant. Lincoln’s self-absorption and disregard for those around him allows the black servant to rest from his duties and casually read a newspaper. Such behavior from the black servant, plus his close and equal sharing of the boss’s private room, would have been considered disreputable by the white readers of Southern Punch. In addition, the servant seems to have a bottle of alcohol tied to his wrist to prevent the president from taking a nip. Opponents of Lincoln sometimes mocked him as a drunkard even though he was actually a teetotaler. The president also ignores his son, Tad, who appears to gorge himself on food.

Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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