Election Results


 “Beware! For He Is Very Hungry and Very Thirsty”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 29, 1884, pp. 786-787

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
One week after celebrating pictorially the victory of Democrat Grover Cleveland in the presidential election, cartoonist Thomas Nast exhorts the president-elect to stand firm against the Democratic hunger for political spoils. Having been out of the White House for nearly 30 years, many Democrats would clamor for their fair share of political patronage. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 estimated a merit system of hiring for government appointments, but it covered only a limited number of jobs. It was important to civil service reformers like Nast that the next president, who could expand the number by executive order, be committed to the reform.

Cleveland signed a state civil service reform law as governor of New York, and promised to abide by merit criteria in his presidential appointments. Nast encourages the president-elect to implement his campaign promise. Cleveland, as a muscular caveman, guards the White House by holding the mighty club of the independent vote in ready against the ferocity of the approaching Democratic Tiger. In front of the Capitol building in the background, vultures hover as an omen of political death, if the spoilsmen are allowed to have their way.













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