The National Party Conventions


 "The Rival Fourth-of-July Celebrations"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   July 4, 1896, p. 649

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In the Independence Day issue of Harper's Weekly, cartoonist W. A. Rogers contrasts the position of the two major parties on the gold standard. In the background, the newly nominated Republican national ticket, William McKinley and Garret Hobart, celebrate the nationís birth with an elaborate and brilliant fireworks display showcasing the gold standard under which the Republican elephant runs. In the foreground, leading gold standard Democrats, William C. Whitney (left) and William E. Russell (right), try to salvage the golden, but small and rickety, Democratic Donkey. Its firecrackers have been soaked in the Populist pond of free silver, rendering it almost certainly unworkable.

Whitney had served as President Grover Clevelandís talented secretary of the Navy (1885-1889) and his successful campaign manager during the 1892 presidential contest. In 1890, at the age of 33, Russell became the youngest person elected governor of Massachusetts, and was reelected to two consecutive one-year terms. At the Democratic National Convention in early July 1896, the two men and fellow gold standard Democrats were overwhelmed by the supporters of free silver. On July 15, only a few days after the convention, William E. Russell died suddenly in the night while on a camping trip in Quebec, Canada. He was only 39 years old.













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