The Democratic Nomination


 “Rough Riding"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   January 23, 1904, p. 115

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Senator Arthur Pue Gorman of Maryland loses his presidential hat as he is bucked from the Southern Democratic Donkey because of his opposition to the Panama Canal treaty, while Uncle Sam watches with amusement in the background. The cartoon’s title alludes to the nickname of President Theodore Roosevelt’s military unit during the Spanish-American War, “The Rough Riders.”

In 1903, Senator Gorman was the presidential candidate of choice among conservative Democrats. They found his pro-business and anti-imperialist views attractive, even though his trade-protectionist record was at odds with the majority of the party. White southerners appreciatively remembered his opposition to the Federal Elections Bill (“Force Bill”) of 1890. Democratic financiers George Gould and Thomas Fortune Ryan promised to contribute generously to his campaign. However, his candidacy was killed by his vocal condemnation of President Roosevelt’s Panama policy. The Maryland senator miscalculated his ability to influence his party on the issue and the intensity of support for a Panamanian Canal in the American South (as represented here by the donkey). On February 23, 1904, the Senate ratified the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, which granted the United States sovereignty over land where the Panama Canal would be built. Sixteen Democrats joined the entire Republican majority to vote in favor. Gorman ended his presidential bid shortly afterward.













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