The Republican Defeat


 “Benjamin ‘Where Am I At?’”
  Cartoonist:  Bernhard Gillam
  Source:  Judge
  Date:   November 19, 1892, pp. 334-335

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In the aftermath of President Benjamin Harrison’s 1892 electoral loss to Democrat Grover Cleveland, this Judge cartoon portrays the Republican ringmaster (center) dazed and confused after his political circus has collapsed around him. The Republican Elephant behind Harrison wears a patch over one eye that reads “overwhelming defeat,” while a large tear falls from its other eye.

On the right side are (clockwise): the upended money-barrel of John Wanamaker, the wealthy businessman who ran Harrison’s campaign finances and served as his postmaster general (1889-1893); the boots of downed Republican vice-presidential nominee Whitelaw Reid; the wildcat symbol of unregulated or free banking looking contentedly at the destruction; the helmet of James Clarkson, editor of the Des Moines Register and vice-chairman of the Republican National Committee, with a bundle of “boodle” (graft) money nearby; and an “Indiana Cider” jug, an emblem from the 1840 presidential campaign of Benjamin Harrison’s grandfather, William Henry Harrison, which was used by the later Harrison’s supporters in the 1888 and 1892 contests.

On the left side are (clockwise): the caged bird of tariff protection; the Judge mascot whose head has slammed through a bass drum; the dead duck of Judge publisher William J. Arkell; a broken disk of Thomas C. Platt, the “boss” of the New York State Republican machine; a self-caricature of cartoonist Bernhard Gillam as a monkey; and the scarf-festooned sword of his fellow-cartoonist, Grant Hamilton.













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