Tilden's Candidacy


 “Boom!!! —So Near, and Yet So Far”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 10, 1880, p. 433

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
As in the two previous cartoons, artist Thomas Nast again portrays Samuel Tilden, the 1876 Democratic presidential nominee, as an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. Although Tilden had issued a letter announcing that he would not seek his party's nomination in 1880, the former New York governor hedged his chances by not explicitly saying that he would not accept it, if offered. Nast highlights the ambiguity of Tilden's statement by adding to the sarcophagus a lightning rod to attract the nomination and the dual-purpose "letter of withdrawal or a fresh bid."

The hieroglyphics on the sarcophagus refer not only to the 1880 Democratic nomination but also to his 1876 "barrel campaign" and the "Cipher Telegrams" scandal. (See,"It Is Whispered Again That Tilden Has Given In.") The lightning has been divinely diverted "By Jupiter!" to General Winfield Hancock, the presidential choice of the 1880 Democratic Convention. General Hancock, as commander of the Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army, was stationed at Fort Columbus (today, Fort Jay) on Governor's Island, off New York City. He continued in that position after the election.













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