The Federal Elections (or "Force") Bill


 “Only a Mask”
  Cartoonist:  Victor Gillam
  Source:  Judge
  Date:   September 24, 1892, pp. 204-205

Click to return to previous version of this cartoon...

Click to return to previous version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon continues the Republican theme that the Democratic campaign tactic of equating the Federal Elections Bill (or “Force Bill”) with a Republican ploy to impose “Negro Supremacy” on the South is only a mask to divert attention from the real main issue of the 1892 election: Democratic efforts to replace protective tariffs with free trade. On the left, the Judge mascot explains the situation to Columbia, while a group of leading Democrats hide behind a menacing giant mask of a caricatured black man’s face. Vice-presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson is holding up the mask because he made opposition to federal supervision of elections the cornerstone of his campaign tour of the Upper South and Border States. Behind Stevenson (left-right) are: William Harrity, chairman of the Democratic National Committee (crouching); William Whitney, manager of the Cleveland campaign (scratching his chin); and Charles Dana, editor of the New York Sun (grabbing Whitney’s pant leg). In the background, presidential nominee Grover Cleveland wears a tuxedo and Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry Watterson carries a “Free Trade” banner.













Website design © 2001-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to