Campaign Analogies: Military


 “General Bombshells, the True Peace Candidate; or, the War Path the True One”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  Frank Leslie’s Budget of Fun
  Date:   November 1, 1864, pp. 8-9

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Published on the eve of the presidential election, the message of this Budget of Fun cartoon is that the war will be ended by Union military might, not a negotiated settlement proposed by Peace Democrats and enshrined in the Democratic national platform. Behind the striding cannon march Union officers (left-right): General Ulysses S. Grant, General William Tecumseh Sherman, and Admiral David Farragut. Bringing up the rear, the advancing Union troops sing, “We Are Coming Father Abram.” In the foreground, the animated Union cannon breaks the Confederate table, knocking off the Chicago platform and spilling ink on the papers of Democratic presidential nominee George McClellan. Confederate President Jefferson Davis is angered by the action, while John Bull (a symbol of Britain) scratches his head in shock. Congressman Fernando Wood, a leading Peace Democrat, seems to turn his body to join the fleeing Democratic press (left-right): Scottish-born James Gordon Bennett Sr., owner-editor of the New York Herald; a figure representing the Metropolitan Record, an Irish-Catholic weekly published in New York City; and, editor Manton Marble of the New York World.

The tag on the coat of the fleeing “G. Saunders” and satchel in the center marked “Jewett Niagara” relate to failed peace negotiations in the summer of 1864. George N. Saunders, a Confederate agent in Canada, invited New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley and others critics of the Lincoln administration to meet with Confederate representatives at a peace conference at Niagara Falls. Greeley was first contacted by William C. “Colorado” Jewett, who convinced the editor that the negotiations would be in good faith. In fact, the Confederate government was merely hoping to undermine Lincoln’s chance for reelection. Greeley wrote urging the president to accept the offer, and gave a veiled threat of negative publicity if he declined. Lincoln appointed Greeley as his agent, but sent a letter to the Confederate emissaries welcoming peace if the union were restored, slavery abolished, and the military unified under federal authority. The Confederates did not accept the preconditions for peace, and they and the Northern Democratic press accused Lincoln of sabotaging the negotiations with unreasonable demands.













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