The Republican Nomination


 "Broken Loose"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   June 30, 1888, p. 468

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon acknowledges the selection of the Republican national ticket by portraying the party as a fierce, frothing, stampeding elephant that has broken away from the “Chicago Circus” (the Republican National Convention). An ill-looking Uncle Sam, carefully positioned out of the pachyderm’s path, is about to take a drink from a cider jug with Harrison’s face on it. The jug alludes to the 1840 presidential campaign of Benjamin Harrison’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison, during which an opposing newspaper’s attempt to mock the latter’s frontier pretensions backfired, making hard cider and log cabins beloved symbols of the candidate.

The jug’s label, “Young Tip,” has a double meaning. It associates the 1888 Republican nominee with his grandfather, who was the victor over Tecumseh’s band of Shawnee at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811) for which he earned the nickname “Old Tippecanoe.” In addition, “Young Tip” foreshadows the Democratic tactic of seeking prohibitionist votes by accusing Republicans of favoring “free whiskey” (a tippler is a drinker). The charge sprang from the Republican plan for reducing the federal surplus. The 1888 party platform called for the removal of internal taxes on “spirits used in the arts and for mechanical purposes” and, if an excessive surplus remained, for eliminating all internal taxes instead of dismantling the protective tariff system. The tax on whiskey was not mentioned, but would naturally be included in the abolition of all federal taxes. Likewise, the Republican substitute tariff bill in the Senate proposed discarding the tax on medicinal alcohol.

Republicans, on the other hand, promoted the identification of Benjamin Harrison with his grandfather by building log cabins at several campaign headquarters, some supplied with barrels of hard cider, and by mimicking the 1840 campaign slogan of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” with “Tippecanoe and Morton Too” (referring respectively to the vice-presidential nominees, John Tyler in 1840 and Levi Morton in 1888). As this cartoon attests, opponents of Harrison belittled the family connection.













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