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"Our Political Snake-Charmer"

Topic:
Stephen Douglas and the Democrats
Source:
Vanity Fair
Cartoonist:
George Wevill (engraver)
Date:
February 11, 1860, p. 105
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
In February 1860 Stephen Douglas was the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination which was to be decided at the upcoming national convention in Charleston. In this Vanity Fair cartoon he is depicted as a snake-charmer, precariously handling the snakes of various political parties and factionsóRepublican, Democrat, American, Old Line Whigs, Anti-Lecompton, and Southern American. The artist places John Forney, the editor of the Philadelphia Press and a major Douglas promoter, in the background as Douglasís flute-player. Forneyís position is indicative of his key behind-the-scenes role in Douglasís campaign.
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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