The National Party Conventions


 “Shoeing the Old Democratic Mule"
  Cartoonist:  Eugene Zimmerman
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  July 16, 1904

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This Judge cartoon dramatizes the ideologically diverse nature of the Democratic Party in the early-twentieth century. The Democratic Donkey is being shod with a “Free Trade” shoe by (left-right): Grover Cleveland, the former president; Richard Olney, the former attorney general and secretary of state; and Senator William J. Stone of Missouri. Congressman William Randolph Hearst, publisher of the New York Journal and San Francisco Examiner, pounds in the shoe of “Populism,” while David B. Hill, campaign manager for nominee Alton B. Parker, readies the shoe of “Jeffersonian Democracy.” The fourth hoof is on a “spoils” (patronage) shoe, with other pejoratively labeled shoes on the floor. Uncle Sam looks with dismay at the scene, while Democratic presidential nominee Parker relaxes in the background (left).

On the back wall, the poster on the left alludes to William Jennings Bryan and free silver (“16 to 1”). In the poster above it, “spavin” is a horse disease and “Gray” may refer to Judge George Gray of the U.S. Circuit Court. The poster on the right mentions a horse deformity (“ringbones”) that leads to lameness, while the name is probably meant to suggest Congressman John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, the House minority leader. Bryan had been the Democratic presidential nominee in 1896 and 1900, while Gray and Williams had been discussed as possible candidates in 1904, although neither entered the race.













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