“Boodle” Blaine: Public Office for Private Gain


 “‘The Issue of Protection to American Labor.’—Blaine”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast.
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   September 20, 1884, p. 611

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cover cartoon by Thomas Nast reveals Republican presidential nominee James Blaine's firm stance in support of tariff protection to be a sham. Instead of protecting American workers, the former speaker of the house and senator cooperated with Jay Gould, the disreputable railroad and telegraph mogul, against the interests of labor. In so doing, the nominee built a wall of protective money for himself, which Nast labels "Fort Boodle" (boodle is slang for graft money or stolen goods). The quote under the caption is from Republican Senator George Edmunds of Vermont, known for his integrity, and the candidate of choice for reformers at the 1884 Republican National Convention. "Thurman" is former Democratic senator Allen Thurman of Ohio.












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