Civil War, "Bloody Shirt," and Black Americans


 “What a Pity!”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 13, 1880, p. 725

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Appearing Wednesday, November 3, the day after the election, this cartoon displays how General Winfield Hancock's record of Civil War heroism is besmirched by the dirty hands of the Democratic party, which has nominated him for president. Hancock's reputation is embodied as a statue. His likeness poses tall, erect, and proud, but his head has been turned from the right direction by the siren call of political expediency. These points are expressed by a dismayed Columbia, standing on the steps of the White House. The Hancock statue is surrounded by Democrats.

On the left side (left to right) are Southern Democrats: Cincinnati Commercial editor Murat Halsted (?); Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina; Senator L. Q. C. Lamar of Mississippi; Louisville Courier-Journal editor Henry Watterson; former Confederate secretary of state Robert Toombs of Georgia; and former Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

On the right side (left to right) are Northern Democrats: Congressman Fernando Wood of New York; Tammany Hall boss John Kelly; John Forney of Philadelphia, the author of Hancock's campaign biography; [Fitz-John Porter, police commissioner of New York City]; former congressman Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts; Congressman Samuel S. Cox of New York; and [unknown].













Website design © 2001-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to