Liberal Republican Movement


 “A ‘Liberal’ Surrender: Any Thing To Beat Grant.”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   May 11, 1872, p. 364

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This prescient cartoon appeared on newsstands the opening day (May 1) of the Liberal Republican Convention and depicts the Democratic takeover of the Liberal Republican cause. Viewed from behind the battlements outside of the nation's capital, Horace Greeley and Carl Schurz, diametric opposites, stand together upon the barricade. The Tribune editor plays the "charge" on his (inverted) trumpet and the senator waves the white flag of "Truce/We Surrender/Anything To Beat Grant" to summon in from the woods (right) the Ku Klux Klan, Copperheads, Slavery, the Confederate States of America, and the Tammany Ring, all representing the Democratic party. Later, in early July, the Democratic National Convention accepted the Liberal Republican nominees and platform as its own.

Closer to the line (clockwise), Nathan Bedford Forrest, former Confederate cavalry leader and Klan founder, Horatio Seymour and Frank Blair, the 1868 Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees, and Jefferson Davis, former Confederate president, attempt to scale the barrier. Inside the battlements, former president Andrew Johnson creeps out from under the tent (extreme right). The tent at lower left has figures of (l-r) Trumbull, Tipton, and Schurz caricatured on its panels.

The characterization of the Liberal Republicans as traitors is further emphasized in the action of the trio of Liberal Republican senators(l-r), Thomas Tipton, Reuben Fenton, and Lyman Trumbull, who train their "Cincinnati Convention" cannon on the forces of President Ulysses S. Grant (calmly smoking a cigar under the American flag, far left). Grant's cannon of the regular Republican "Philadelphia Convention" (held June 5-6) is ready to fire and his troops are prepared to charge.













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