Superb Hancock and Awful Democrats


 “A ‘Change’ in the Cabinet”
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   October 30, 1880, pp. 696-697

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Cartoonist William Allen Rogers warns the American electorate of the corrupt, incompetent, and unconstitutional rule that will flourish if Democratic nominee Winfield Hancock is elected president. Like most pro-Republican cartoons in 1880, the Democratic nominee is not attacked personally, but his supporters are reviled as shady, self-serving politicians. In the cabinet room of the White House, President Hancock rests his head on his palm in a gesture of frustration and despair, as he grimly stares downward.

Hancock's imagined cabinet consists of (clockwise from the left): Congressman Fernando Wood as postmaster-general; Tammany Hall boss John Kelly (with Irish pipe and shamrock) as secretary of state; Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry Watterson as secretary of war (he cuts out paper soldiers, an allusion to his threat to raise 100,000 men to ensure that Democrat Samuel Tilden was inaugurated as president after the disputed election of 1876); former congressman "Widow" Benjamin Butler (see,"The Widow's Wants"), who has doodled a picture of soldiers and Indians fighting, as secretary of the interior (the Bureau of Indian Affairs was in the Interior Department); Senator Wade Hampton as secretary of the Navy, welcoming former Confederate president Jefferson Davis; Senator Daniel Voorhees, a "soft-money" advocate, as secretary of the treasury; and Robert Toombs, former Confederate secretary of state, as attorney-general, neglectfully letting the Constitution fall to the floor.

The map on the wall reveals that the United States has been divided into three dominions: the Northeast for Kelly; the South for Toombs; and the West for Butler. An incongruous portrait of President George Washington watches from the other wall.













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