Civil War, "Bloody Shirt," and Black Americans


 “The Great Democratic Moral Show”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Worth
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   September 25, 1880, p. 616

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this cartoon, Democratic Speaker of the House Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania introduces the "The Great Democratic Moral Show" to the voting audience. Revealed behind the curtains, made of American flags, a long-haired former Confederate soldier, representing Southern Democrats, sits by a (glass) ballot box. Armed with two pistols, he is ready to ensure by threats or acts of violence that voters cast Democratic ballots only. Southern vote fraud through the intimidation of black and white Republican voters is encouraged in the letter to the editor posted on the wall (upper-left). The placard in the upper-center incorporates a pun on the nickname of Democratic nominee Winfield Hancock, as it announces that he will make a "Most 'SUPERB' Figure-Head" as president. Just to the right of Randall's right leg is a small poster, falling off of the wall, which pokes fun at the refusal of William English, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, to donate any of his great riches ("barrel of money") to the campaign.












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