Civil War, "Bloody Shirt," and Black Americans


 “The Friend of the Freedmen”
  Cartoonist:  Thure de Thulstrup
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   October 23, 1880, p. 685

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
During presidential campaigns, Harper's Weekly cartoonists concentrated on caricaturing their political opponents (usually Democrats) negatively, rather than presenting positive images of their favored candidates (usually Republicans). This cartoon is an uncommon exception. The unnaturally large figure of James Garfield, the Republican presidential nominee, dominates all other characters and the entire space of this illustration. He is sketched as the firm and courageous guardian of black Americans, who run to his protective care. One black woman even kneels in worshipful reverence and thanksgiving. The source of their fear is apparent in the right-background: the Democratic party. Southern (left) and Northern (right) Democrats lumber into the scene, wielding weapons and carrying banners with text denigrating blacks and threatening their reenslavement or extermination.












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