The Democratic "Chicago" Platform


 "The Chicago Platform and Candidate"
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  Library of Congress
  Date:  c1864

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
McClellan was branded a hypocrite by many critics who saw his public stance on the war issues as ambiguous and deceptive. Nominated because of his military record, he nevertheless ran on a peace platform, written by Copperhead leader Clement Vallandingham, but then asserted his support for the war in his letter accepting the nomination.

From one face McClellan says, "If you donít like the Platform, I refer you to my letter of acceptance." The hand on this side hold the "Letter of Acceptance," which reads, "War! Ö preservation Union Ö could not Look my gallant Comrades in the face." Facing right, he contradicts himself, "You see my friend I accept the nomination and of course stand on the platform."

The devil addresses Confederate president Jefferson Davis, "Well Jeff itís no use trying to hold up this ricketty old platform, I guess Iíll leave you to your fate!" Davis replies, "Iím in a pretty fix! Weldon road gone!! Atlanta taken!!! Mobile Fort surrendered!!!! Early licked!!!! And now when my last hope who led me into the crape threaten to leave me!!!!"

Vallandigham says to Fernando Wood, "Confound that letter! Iíve a good mind to bolt, and let the whole concern go smash!" Wood reassures him, "Ö donít you see itís only his little game to ring in the war men; if he is elected he is bound to carry out our policy and nothing else!: At the far-left a Union soldier repudiates McClellan, "Itís no use General! you canít stand on that platform and come that blarney over me, I smed brimstone!" In contrast, at right an ape-like Irishman holding a club and identified as a "Peace Democrat" says, "All right General! if yere in favor of resistin the draft, killing the niggers, and pace wid the Southerners Iíll knock any man on the head thatíll vote aginye."

Source: American Political Prints, 1766 - 1876: A Catalog of the Collections in the Library of Congress, 1991, by Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.












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