Blaine and Jay Gould


 “That Boodleful Dinner At Delmonico’s Before the Election (October 29)”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 15, 1884, p. 758

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
On the evening of October 29, Republican presidential nominee James Blaine attended a fundraising dinner at New York City's posh restaurant, Delmonico's. The guest list of wealthy contributors included Jay Gould and John Jacob Astor. Blaine spoke on the topic of the Republican role in generating economic prosperity for New York City and the nation. Unfortunately for the candidate, it lent credence to Democratic claims that the Republicans cared only for the interests of the rich, not the working class. The next day, the New York World published Walt McDougall's cartoon, "Belshazzar Blaine and the Money Kings," which contrasted the greed and hedonism of the Delmonico diners with a poor family begs for table scraps.

Nast's own version of the dinner was published in Harper's Weekly on November 5, the day after the election, and focuses on (left-right) Blaine, Republican senatorial candidate William Evarts of New York, and Gould. They dine on soap (to clean their soiled reputations), patronage jobs, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Western Union Telegraph (both major investments for Gould), and four Supreme Court judges. Gould had not been pleased with recent Supreme Court decisions, and it was thought that the next president might appoint as many of four justices to the high court (two positions were actually filled).













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