<Go back to the People Index results>


LETTING THE LAST "DEMOCRATIC DROP"
   
Complete Explanation:
The only obvious portrait in this crudely drawn satire is that of Republican candidate John C. Fremont (right). An emaciated man (center) sits in a chair near an open window. He is apparently James Buchanan, and is dressed as an old woman, reminiscent of earlier effeminate portrayals of his Democratic predecessor Andrew Jackson in cartoons such as "New Edition of Macbeth" and "Treasury Note" (nos. 1837-7 and 1837-9). Obviously waning, he is bled by a third man, possibly either Democratic rival Stephen Douglas (unlikely), American party candidate Millard Fillmore, or Fremont running mate William L. Dayton. This man holds Buchanan's arm, having just cut his vein with a razor, and watches as blood flows into a bowl held by Fremont. The Capitol appears through the window.

The bloodletting motif may have been inspired by a popular text or speech of the day, since mention of "drops of Democratic blood" with reference to Buchanan also occurs in "The Grand National Fight" (no. 1856-16).


Website design 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com