The Democratic "Chicago" Platform


 “McClellan’s Crafty Policy, with the Traitorous CHICAGO PLATFORM, in Full Bloom”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  The Funniest of Awl and the Phunnyest Sort of Phun
  Date:   No. 5, 1864, pp. 8-9

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This double-page cartoon in Funniest of Awl portrays the results of the Democratic National Convention, particularly the peace plank of the platform, as a traitorous scheme to collude with the Confederacy. Presidential nominee George McClellan presents his tools to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who smiles in satisfaction as he stands on the American flag. Behind Davis, Union soldiers grovel at the feet of Confederate troops, above whom a grief stricken Lady Liberty flies away. In the center background, a black man complains in an aside about Democratic hypocrisy. General McClellan is ridden by the Devil, whose tail is in the mouth of vice-presidential nominee George Pendleton, a Peace Democrat and congressman from Ohio.

The Devil holds chains from the collars of prominent Democrats. In the front row are (left-right): August Belmont, chairman of the National Democratic Party who was associated with the Rothschild banking firm; Clement Vallandingham, a former congressman from Ohio who was temporarily exiled for his antiwar speeches; and, Governor Horatio Seymour of New York, a Peace Democrat who had expressed sympathy for draft rioters and lost the presidential nomination to McClellan.

In the second row are (left-right): Congressman Fernando Wood of New York, a leading Peace Democrat; probably Frederic Hudson, managing editor of the New York Herald; and Congressman Alexander Long of Ohio, who was officially censured by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 9, 1864, for a treasonous speech calling for recognition of Confederate independence. In the third row may be Congressman Benjamin G. Harris of Maryland, who was also censured on April 9 by the House for making treasonous remarks. The next year, Harris was convicted of and jailed for harboring Confederate soldiers, but he was later pardoned by President Andrew Johnson.

In the sky are four representatives of the Democratic press: Benjamin Wood, editor of the New York Daily News; Congressman James Brooks, owner-editor of the New York Daily Express; the New York World, edited by Manton Marble; and James Gordon Bennett Sr., owner of the New York Herald. The numbers 4, 11, 44 on Wood’s horse were used by him in advertisements for a Southern lottery he ran.













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