Superb Hancock and Awful Democrats


 “The Democratic Axe-Grinder”
  Cartoonist:  A. B. Frost
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   October 9, 1880, p. 641

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this A. B. Frost cover-illustration for Harper's Weekly, the Democratic campaign slogan-"A Change is Necessary"-translates to dissatisfaction and complaint (axe-grinding) with the peace and prosperity brought by Republican rule. Democratic presidential nominee Winfield Hancock sharpens his axe on a whetstone cranked by the irascible Henry Watterson, editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. In the latter's pocket is a paper referring to his threat during the 1876 electoral college controversy that 100,000 men would march on Washington if Democrat Samuel Tilden were not declared president. Tilden himself lubricates the wheel with coins from his barrel of tainted money. Behind the trio stands a restless mob of anxious Democrats holding signs that clamor for political patronage and federal money to pay Confederate debts. Their ready axes communicate the wholesale damage they would do to the American federal government, and indicate the violent nature of the Democratic party.












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