The Irish Question


 “Ready for Business”
  Cartoonist:  Bernhard Gillam
  Source:  Puck
  Date:   July 23, 1884, p. 322

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In the past, most Irish-Catholic voters had aligned themselves with the Democratic party. In 1884, Republican presidential nominee James Blaine hoped to siphon off some of those votes for himself. John Kelly, the boss of Tammany Hall, the influential Democratic machine in New York City, had been a political enemy to Democratic nominee Grover Cleveland ever since the governor shut him out of state patronage. In this cartoon, Kelly auctions off the Irish vote to the highest bidder, Democrat or Republican. The image represents the fear among Democrats that Kelly would undermine Cleveland's campaign, as he had done to the 1880 presidential campaign of Democratic nominee, Winfield Hancock. Thomas Hendricks, Cleveland's vice-presidential running mate, however, smoothed over relations between Kelly and the National Democratic Committee. Cleveland would go on to win New York, and thereby the presidency, by a narrow margin.












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