Tilden and Hendricks


 "The Democratic (Deformed) Tiger 'Fixed"
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 22,1876, p. 589

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

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
The Democratic Tiger originated as a symbol of the Tammany Hall Democrats of New York City, but Thomas Nast also used it to represent the national Democratic party. In this Harper's Weekly cover cartoon, Nast makes two main points.

First, in the foreground he emphasizes the contradictory positions on monetary policy held by the Democratic ticket. Nast accomplishes this by drawing the nominees as a two-headed tiger, Tilden (l), the hard-money "Contraction," and Hendricks (r), the soft-money "Inflation." Resembling PushMe-PullMe in Hugh Lofting's The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle (1923), the two-headed Democratic Tiger cannot go anywhere or get anything done.

Second, the artist associates Tilden (and the Democrats in general) with the corruption of New York City's Tammany Hall. John Morrissey, representing Tammany Hall, is a gambler fixing the presidential race by buying votes. The choice of the tiger symbol also links the national Democrats with Tammany Hall. The signs on the wall (upper right) parody Tilden's reputation as a reformer. The "soft soap" in front is another reference, like the Rag Baby, to inflationist or soft-money policies.













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