Tilden and Hendricks


  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   August 5, 1876, p. 629

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Pro-Republican cartoonists made much of the Democratic ticket's conflicting views on monetary policy. In this cover illustration, Thomas Nast plays off a pun on vice-presidential nominee Thomas Hendricks' name to show presidential nominee Samuel Tilden as a henpecked husband. The artist wants the public to believe that, if elected, Hendricks and the soft-money wing of the Democratic party will keep Tilden's hard-money inclinations in check. At Hendricks' command, an anxious, sweating Tilden nurtures the Rag Baby symbol of inflation so that it will continue to grow.

Tilden's brand of reform is put in quotation marks on the wall to indicate its false nature, while Hendricks prepares to stoke the stove where his monetary reform brews. The Democratic platform is merely a "soothing syrup" on the window ledge, above which Uncle Sam peers in warily. The term "Home Rule" (on the wall) is, in this context, a synonym for states' rights and the end of Reconstruction.













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