“The Mistake of a Lifetime”
  Cartoonist:  Frank Beard
  Source:  Judge
  Date:   August 16, 1884, p. 201

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Based on Democratic presidential nominee Grover Cleveland's Maria Halpin scandal, this cartoon presents Harper's Weekly editor George William Curtis as a seduced and abandoned woman. Curtis led the New York committee of Independent Republicans who bolted their party upon its nomination of James Blaine, and endorsed his Democratic rival. In his editorials, Curtis attacked Blaine's domestic and foreign policies, but especially his reputation as a corrupt influence-peddler.

Here, the editor holds the result of union with Cleveland, the Independent Party rag baby, made up of Harper's Weekly, the New York Evening Post, and the New York Times. The disillusioned Curtis stands in the wind and rain, staring at a poster of Cleveland, and shut out of the Republican home. She/he, like the nation, has been "Led Astray" by the acting talents of the New York governor. "Salt River" (on the poster behind Curtis) was a slang term for political defeat.













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