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"Populist Pond"

Topic:
The Republican Nomination
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
William Allen Rogers
Date:
August 3, 1895, p. 719
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
This cartoon mocks three potential candidates for the 1896 Republican presidential nomination—(left-right) Congressman Thomas B. Reed of Maine, ex-President Benjamin Harrison, and Senator James Cameron of Pennsylvania—for foolishly casting for votes in the shallow “Populist Pond.” Specifically, the image refers to the former two’s waffling on the money question and the latter’s embrace of free silver, a key doctrine of the Populist agenda. In the background, Senator William Peffer of Kansas, a Populist, tosses votes in the form of dead fish into the water. The term “suckers” is a double entendre for a type of fish and for people who are hoodwinked.

Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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