Republican Nomination


 "Uncle Sam's Valentines"
  Cartoonist:  C. S. Reinhart
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   February 26, 1876, p. 172

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This set of Valentine's Day cartoons share politics as a common theme (counter-clockwise from upper-left): international recognition of the United States centennial; anti-Reconstruction violence; Catholicism and public schools; and the presidential campaign. In the latter (upper-right), Brother Jonathan (a precursor to Uncle Sam) hunts for an acceptable Republican nominee now that President Grant's third-term duck is dead. He finds four good candidates (l-r): Senator Roscoe Conkling of New York; Senator John Sherman of Ohio (or his brother General William Sherman); former Speaker of the House James Blaine of Maine; and Governor Rutherford Hayes of Ohio.

The term "Hobson's choice" derives from British innkeeper Tobias Hobson who kept a stable of fine horses, each a good choice for his customers to ride. Customers were obliged, however, to choose the one nearest the stable-door so that all would be equally well served.













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