Bryan and Tammany Hall


 “I Can’t Afford Afford to Have That Left at My Door"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   August 4, 1900, p. 711

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan was relying on support from Tammany Hall to help him win New York, but the political machine’s involvement in the Ice Trust scandal was a political liability. That was true not only because of the taint of corruption, but because it undermined the nominee’s tactic of criticizing the Republican McKinley administration for fostering the growth of trusts. Here, Bryan, dressed as a farmer wearing free-silver overalls, exclaims to Tammany boss Richard Croker, as an ice deliveryman wearing a Tammany Tiger uniform, that he can’t afford to have the Ice Trust block left on his doorstep. The verbal and pictorial use of windmills alludes to both Bryan’s tendency toward rhetorical bluster and his unrealistic idealism that tilts at windmills like Don Quixote, the literary character. The latter trait is also conveyed in the background by the Populist symbol of an ostrich, an odd animal that sticks its head in the sand to avoid danger rather than face reality. The Populist Ostrich furthermore reminds viewers of Bryan’s attachment to free silver and agrarian radicalism.













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