Prohibition and the Tariff Question


 "The Good Saint Ingersoll..."
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 14, 1888, p. 519

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
The intended humor of this cartoon derives primarily from portraying Robert Ingersoll, well known for his speeches and writings questioning the existence of God, as a saint. He is a mirror image of St. Patrick, who is credited with converting the Irish to Christianity and with driving the snakes (a symbol of evil) from the island. Here, St. Ingersoll reverses the miracle of Ireland’s patron saint by enticing the snakes of free whiskey to return from exile. The image is a criticism of the Republican Party’s platform preference for abolishing internal federal taxes (which would have included those on alcohol) rather than destroy the protective tariff system. The phrase “snakes in his boots” is slang for an alcoholic suffering from DTs (delirium tremens). The cartoonist’s choice of parodying the popular legend of the Irish saint implicitly criticizes the Republican quest for Irish Catholic votes.












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