Butler and Blaine


 “Helping the Rascals In—A Burglarious Scheme That May Be Suddenly Spoiled”
  Cartoonist:  Joseph Keppler
  Source:  Puck
  Date:   October 22, 1884, p. 226

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Like a thief in the night, Republican nominee James Blaine tries to sneak into the White House through a back window, carrying a bag marked "for the plunder" and a document on which is written "20 years on the make." Giving him a boost are his accomplices in crime, Greenback-Labor nominee Benjamin Butler and editor Charles Dana, holding a copy of his New York Sun, which endorsed Butler. The Republicans were secretly funding Butler's campaign (see "Our Friends, the Enemy").

Cartoonist Joseph Keppler's personification of the Independent Republican movement, however, has caught sight of the burglars, and, armed with a club, approaches quietly yet determinedly to stop this breach of the public trust. The artist also plays on the word "spoiled" in the caption. Both Blaine and Butler were known as "spoilsmen," politicians who used the "spoils," or rewards of office (patronage and other perquisites), for their own self-interest.













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