“Boodle” Blaine: Public Office for Private Gain


 “‘Above Petty Personal Issues,’—New York Tribune”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 1, 1884, p. 722

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
As in "Grave Regrets," Nast associates Republican presidential nominee James Blaine in this cartoon with the ghost of William Tweed, the corrupt boss of the notorious Tweed Ring which stole $6,000,000 from the New York City treasury in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Nast pictures Blaine with the usual sartorial accessories: the white-feathered hat of the "Plumed Knight"; and the salesman's bag labeled with "20 Years of …" The latter phrase in this case is completed by bluntly comparing Blaine to a prostitute selling favors. Peeking out from behind the door are two of the nominee's most vocal champions, New York Tribune editor Whitelaw Reid (left) and Congressman William Walter Phelps of New Jersey (right). (For more information on the role of Reid and Phelps, see the “Reid and Phelps” cartoon section, especially the cartoon, "Sound Political Arguments.”)












Website design © 2001-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2008 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to