Peace Democrats and Copperheads


 "Democracy, 1832, 1864"
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  Library of Congress
  Date:  c1864

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Two scenes contrast Democratic presidential nominees of 1832, Andrew Jackson, and 1864, George B. McClellan. McClellan is portrayed as weak and conciliatory toward the South, whereas his earlier counterpartís staunch preservation of the Union is applauded.

In the left panel Jackson berates John C. Calhoun, leader of the Southern nullification effort of 1832. Jackson vows, "By the Eternal! this Union must and shall be preserved: A Traitorís doom to him who acts against it." Calhoun bows deeply in response, pleading, "Pardon! Pardon!" Three men in the background also bow. Calhoun was a longtime exponent of Southern autonomy.

On the right, McClellan and running-mate Pendelton kneel on the "Chicago Platform" before a standing Jefferson Davis. Davis addresses them, "Gentlemen, I am well pleased with what you ask for, you are men of sense, and to commence with I wish you to call back those fellows, Sherman, Grant and Sheridan also that old Seadog Farragut after that we will see further." The men mentioned are Union Generals William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant, and Philip Sheridan, and Union Admiral David Farragut.

In regard to the Democratic peace plank, McClellan offers an olive branch to Davis, begging, "We should like not your pleasure then please state your terms for a friendly separation." Pendleton, behind him, says, "Amen." At the far-left a Confederate soldier comments, "Those Northern dogs how they whine!" Beside him another soldier gnaws a corn cob.

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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