Election Results


 “The Republican Pachyderm Alive and Kicking: Pushed Things”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 20, 1880, p. 737

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cover-cartoon by Thomas Nast (published November 10) celebrates the Republican victory in the presidential election. The Republican Elephant (popularized by Nast) stomps on the "Rebel" cause of the Democratic party with its front legs, as it kicks up its back legs, knocking over Democratic party chairman William Barnum and Tammany Hall boss John Kelly (dressed as an Indian chief).

The cartoon's message that the election spelled the triumph of Republican nationalism over Democratic states' rights is illuminated in the rays of light emanating from beyond the mountains. Yet, with each candidate winning the electoral votes of 19 states, and the South solidly Democratic, national unity was perhaps more ethereal than Nast's sunshine. New Jersey's electoral votes were cast for the Democratic party, prompting cartoonist Nast, who lived with his family in Morristown, New Jersey, to disavow his residency (under his signature) and to disjoin the state symbolically from the rest of the Republican elephant.

Sent plummeting over the cliff by the bucking pachyderm are various emblems of the Democratic party: the severed body of the Democratic Tiger; the vitriolic address of Senator Wade Hampton of South Carolina; the pistols of the urban "shoulder-hitter"; the rifle of the Confederate veteran; the whisky bottle of Southern "Bourbons"; vice-presidential nominee William English, with his mortgages and foreclosures; along with the inflation Rag Baby of Greenback candidate James Weaver. Since the artist was dubious about the character of president-elect James Garfield, as well as an admirer of his Democratic rival, Winfield Hancock, Garfield is not mentioned by name in this cartoon.













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