The Democratic Nomination


 “Trying to Coax Him"
  Cartoonist:  Eugene Zimmerman
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  May 14, 1904

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

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this cartoon from the pro-Republican Judge, various Democrats try to coax the skittish Democratic Donkey into submission. In the left background, former president Grover Cleveland leaves the field after announcing he will not seek the presidential nomination in 1904. In the left foreground, publisher and Congressman William Randolph Hearst offers his million-dollar campaign fund. On the soapbox behind him stands David B. Hill, Alton B. Parker’s campaign manager, with a halter of political corruption. Republicans considered Hill, the former New York governor, senator, and state party boss, to be a crooked spoilsman. The feather in his cap mocks his famous statement of party loyalty, “I am a Democrat,” which Republican cartoonists changed to “I am a Demagogue.”

Holding up an “Oratorical Windjammer” box is Congressman William Bourke Cockran of New York. The Tammany politician delivered a spellbinding speech against Cleveland at the 1892 Democratic National Convention and campaigned for Republican William McKinley in 1896 because of his opposition to William Jennings Bryan’s free-silver stance. Cockran returned to the Democratic fold in 1900. On the right side, an angry Bryan, the two-time failed Democratic presidential nominee, rolls up his sleeve and looks ready to bash the donkey with a “My Commoner” club, a reference to his newspaper, The Commoner. Bryan used the organ to criticize party conservatives and promote his own populist agenda. Holding “Tammany Graft Oats” aloft is the boss of the Tammany Hall political machine of New York City, Charles Francis Murphy. Beside him, offering the donkey a hay bundle tied to a long pole is Robert Pattison, the former governor of Pennsylvania (1883-1887, 1891-1895), who was being promoted for president in 1904 by Democrats in his home state. (Pattison’s last name is misspelled as “Patterson” in this cartoon.)

Presenting his “Speeches” is Charles A. Towne. He had been Bryan’s preferred choice as a vice-presidential running mate in 1900, but the Democratic convention chose Adlai Stevenson. Towne had been a Republican congressman (1895-1897) and a Democratic senator (1900-1901) from Minnesota. As a leader of the free-silver movement, he was nominated for vice president in 1900 by the Populist Party, but declined the offer and campaigned enthusiastically for Bryan. In 1904, the Great Commoner hoped his friend would be the Democratic presidential nominee, but Towne did not enter the race. In the right foreground is Judge Parker, who won the nomination in early July. He offers the donkey “Good Record Oats,” but it is tainted by his association with financier August Belmont Jr., who managed his campaign fund.













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