Superb Hancock and Awful Democrats


 General Hancock Gulliver, How Do You Like It As Far As You’ve Got?”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 31, 1880, p. 484

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
The theme of A. B. Frost's "The Democratic Trojan Horse" is replicated by his artistic colleague Thomas Nast in this cartoon, appearing in the same issue of Harper's Weekly as the previous illustration. Their message is that Democratic presidential nominee Winfield Hancock, while a giant in his own stature, is controlled by the disreputable and dangerous forces of the Democratic party. Here, Nast translates a widely recognizable motif from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) into a commentary on the 1880 presidential race. General Hancock appears in uniform as the title character in a scene from the beginning of the book when the shipwrecked Gulliver awakes to find himself bound by the miniature Lilliputians. The quote reinforces the twin notions of Hancock's potential strength and his willing submissiveness to keep it in check.

The Democratic figures on Hancock are (clockwise from the left): Tammany Hall boss John Kelly as an American Indian (Tammany Hall leaders were called "sachems," a type of American Indian chief); possibly former congressman Benjamin Butler with tomahawk in hand; Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry Watterson crawling on Hancock's forehead; a former Confederate soldier, representing Southern Democrats, in front of Watterson; an Irish-American (from a key urban voting bloc for the Democratic party) wears a servant's livery and rides the bridge of Hancock's nose; General Fitz-John Porter, police commissioner of New York; Senator Daniel Voorhees of Indiana, a "soft-money" advocate, with a devalued 85-cents silver-dollar coin around his neck; unknown; a distinguished-looking Fernando Wood, congressman and former mayor of New York City, poses to the right of Voorhess; Senator (and former Confederate general) Wade Hampton of North Carolina stands beside an elderly Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy; crouching on Hancock's chest, with his pistol drawn, is a "shoulder-hitter" who enforces the will of his urban political boss; Hancock's campaign-biographer John Forney tugs on Hancock's mustache; while former Democratic party chairman August Belmont whisker's in the nominee's ear. In the background is Fort Columbus (today, Fort Jay) on Governor's Island, New York, where Hancock was stationed as commander of the U.S. Army's Atlantic Division.













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