The Democratic National Convention


 “Buffalo Bill Bryan’s Wild-West Show Will Open in Kansas City July 4th, 1900”
  Cartoonist:  Eugene Zimmerman
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  May 19, 1900

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
After the Civil War, William F. Cody of Iowa (1846-1917) served as a scout for the U.S. Army, earning the nickname “Buffalo Bill” for his skill as a hunter. He was made famous when his colorful character and adventures became the subject of newspaper reports and over 500 dime novels. In 1873, he began staging plays based on his life as a scout in the American West. In 1882, Buffalo Bill premiered his Wild West Show, an outdoor extravaganza featuring a cast of over 100, including marksmen, cowboys, Indians, and a menagerie of buffalo, cattle, elk, and other animals. Marketed as “a living picture of life on the frontier,” the performers reenacted buffalo hunts, Indian horse races, battle scenes, an attack on a stagecoach, life in an Indian village, the capture of wild horses and cattle, and other exiting events, all in an effort to educate and entertain. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show gained international acclaim when it was the main American contribution to Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Here, the approaching 1900 Democratic National Convention in Kansas City is depicted as “Buffalo Bill Bryan’s Wild-West Show.” The soon-to-be Democratic presidential nominee, William Jennings Bryan, appears as Buffalo Bill atop the Democratic Donkey. The candidate is surrounded by a contingent of his cowboys and Indians. In the back row are (left-right): Mayor Carter Harrison of Chicago; Senator Henry Teller of Colorado, a Silver Republican elected as a Democrat in 1901; John R. McLean, publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer; Senator “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman of South Carolina; Congressman Joseph Bailey of Texas, the House minority leader; Senator James K. Jones of Arkansas, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, driving the 16-to-1 (i.e., silver) stagecoach; and John Peter Altgeld, former governor of Illinois, riding shotgun. Aiming at Altgeld are Senator John T. Morgan of Alabama (as an Indian) and editor Henry Watterson of the Louisville Courier-Journal (as a cowboy).

In the center are (left-right): John W. Keller and John F. Carroll, both of Tammany Hall; financier August Belmont Jr.; and, looking dismayed, Senator George Frisbee Hoar, a Republican who was an outspoken critic of William McKinley’s Philippine policy, but eventually campaigned for the Republican president’s reelection. In the foreground are (left-right): former senator Arthur Pue Gorman of Maryland as sharpshooter Johnny Baker, the foster son of “Buffalo Bill” Cody; Tammany boss Richard Croker; former senator David B. Hill, boss of the New York State Democrats; and Admiral George Dewey as sharpshooter Annie Oakley.













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