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"A Wild-Goose Chase"

Topic:
Chase's Candidacy
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
Thomas Nast
Date:
July 4, 1868, p. 432
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase had long sought the presidency, first as a potential Republican rival to President Abraham Lincoln in 1864, then as a Democrat in 1868. A former abolitionist, Chase insisted that the Democratic party endorse voting rights for black men-depicted as "universal suffrage salt" (salt preserves and enhances). The unlikelihood of either the Democratic party or Chase changing positions on the issue inspired Thomas Nast to characterize the justice's candidacy with a pun on his name: "a wild-goose chase." The elusive nature of the nomination to Chase is reinforced by incorporating the folklore that one must place salt on the tail of a bird-here, the Democratic goose-in order to catch it. The blackbird sitting in the tree represents black men or black manhood suffrage.
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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