progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

Puck’s Plan to Rid the Country of Two Embarrassments



Give Grant the Surplus, and Let Him Spend It on a Little Court of His Own



by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

puck's plan to relieve the country of two embarrassments (1884)


The LOC says:

Illustration shows Ulysses S. Grant as a king sitting on a throne, surrounded by his courtiers, identified as Rev. J.P. Newman, Henry Ward Beecher, Roscoe Conkling, Jay Gould, George W. Childs, William Belknap, G. Jones, Senator John P. Jones, Simon Cameron, James Donald Cameron, James D. Fish, John A. Logan, T.C. Platt, George M. Robeson, [and] Joseph W. Keifer".


Lazy Curator™ sez: Conkling looks a little puffy here. Off-model, or some kind of commentary?

Needless to say, Gilliam hits another one out of the park. Is there any artwork this man produced that wasn’t amazing?
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Puck’s Pyrotechnics



Fourth-of-July Fireworks Free to All



by “Opper & Co.” (1882)

puck's pyrotechnics (1882)


The LOC says:

Print shows a fireworks display with Puck bowing on a stage in front of a "Fan Light" featuring the likenesses of William H. Vanderbilt, Russell Sage, Cyrus W. Field, and Jay Gould; on stage with Puck is a hand holding a smoldering torch which may represent Bartholdi's hand and torch from the Statue of Liberty. On the left is a pagoda labeled "Puck Office" and on the right is a building labeled "Tammany Hall". Among the fireworks are many faces of politicians and other prominent figures of the day, some labeled by type of firework, such as "Chicago Shower", Arthur, Grant, Conkling, Logan and Cameron; "Tumbler", Tilden; "Twister", Schurz; "The Falling Tammany Star", Kelly; "Bomb", Davis; "Junk Whizzler", Robeson; "Polar Rocket", Bennett; "Buster", Butler; and "Star Route Staggerer", Dorsey. Others shown are James G. Blaine, Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Tilton(?), Thomas De Witt Talmage, and Theodore Tilton.


Lazy Curator™ sez: Only a couple of days late on this. “Twinkler” seems to be N. Y. Mayor W. R. Grace. I’m guessing “Opper & Co.” means that a bunch of the Puck staff got in on the fun with this one.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Rip van Winkle’s Return



by Bernhard Gillam (1883)

rip van winkle's return (1883)


The LOC says:

Illustration shows a scene outside a building labeled "Washington Inn" with an image of the U.S. Capitol on the sign; a large group of Republican legislators, politicians, and others are laughing at an old man wearing tattered clothing labeled "Democracy", he looks dazed, as though he has just wandered in from the past, his walking stick is dated "1861". Two dogs labeled "N.Y. Tribune" and "N.Y. Times" sniff at his heels. Among those present are George M. Robeson, Ulysses S. Grant, John Logan, James G. Blaine, Chester A. Arthur (dressed as a woman, serving food and drinks), Charles J. Folger, George F. Hoar, Joseph W. Keifer, Horace F. Page, William Mahone (doing a hand-stand), James D. Cameron, Roscoe Conkling, John Sherman, George F. Edmunds, John Percival Jones and Thomas C. Platt.


Lazy Curator™ sez: Ah, Gillam, you never disappoint. Some of the expressions here are priceless, Sherman’s and Platt’s in particular, likewise “Little Billy” doing a handstand (still needs readjusting?).

Can’t add to the Conkling in Women’s Clothes tally. As you can plainly see, he gave the dress to Chester.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Building the Ark



by Bernhard Gillam (1884)

building the ark (1884)

The Republican Scoffers Heedless of Their Only Hope of Salvation



Lazy Curator™ sez: I apologize, but this is another Post-and-Run! Maybe I’ll come back and fill in the info to this one (in the meantime, check the tags).
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

To the Chicago Convention



by Joseph Keppler (1880)

to the chicago convention (1880)


A steam engine named Imperator bears the cigar-smoking head of Ulysses S. Grant on its smokestack. Roscoe Conkling is the engineer, Donald Cameron the conductor, and John A. Logan the fireman, stoking the fires with Solid South Coal.

Lots of other details here. I won’t go into everything but there’s an “Orpheus C Car” bringing up the rear, bearing George Robeson (definitely) and (possibly) W. W. Belknap, James Garfield and George Henry Williams. “G.W.C.,” Carl Schurz and Puck are seen mourning the death of a woman wearing a “Republican Party” sash (apparently having collided with the train). In the background, William T. Sherman and James G. Blaine can be seen on horseback.

UPDATE: Fixed the “wonky scan” problem in this satirical image of President Harrison’s cabinet.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Political Convicts



by Joseph Keppler (1880)

political convicts (1880)


Donald Cameron (bearing a club marked “Patronage”), Roscoe Conkling (holding a “Party Whip”) and John Alexander Logan (with a “Logan Slugger”) lead prisoners representing the various US States in striped prison outfits marked “Third Term” with balls and chains marked “Instructed” into the “Grant Hall” of a prison building marked “Chicago Convention.” Above the door it reads, “The Way of the Transgressor Is Hard.”

And at last, the final piece of the puzzle that was this image has been found.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The Sleeping Party



by Bernhard Gillam (1885)

sleeping party, the (1885)


She Bungled With the Civil Service Reform Distaff and She and All Her Court Were Condemned to Sleep for ____ Years.


The Library of Congress sez:

Illustration shows a woman labeled "Republican Party" asleep in the background, with members of her court, some dressed as women, also asleep, in the foreground; depicted are Whitlaw [sic] Reid, Murat Halstead, Russell Sage, John Roach, Jay Gould, Benjamin F. Butler, James G. Blaine, William H. Vanderbilt, John Logan, Cyrus W. Field, two dogs labeled "Phila. Press" and "Chicago Tribune", Chester A. Arthur, Rutherford B. Hayes, William W. Phelps, John Sherman, Simon Cameron, George F. Hoar, Alonzo B. Cornell, Stephen W. Dorsey, Thomas J. Brady, William M. Evarts, George M. Robeson, William E. Chandler, and Joseph W. Keifer.


Lazy Curator™ sez:

They misspelled Whitelaw Reid’s name, misidentified Donald Cameron (as his father Simon) and missed out Jay Gould, to Vanderbilt’s left. [does the “smarter than the LOC” dance, a distant cousin of the Church Lady’s “Superior” dance]

Another gorgeous bit of artwork from Bernard Gilliam. Circa 1884-85, the man was completely on fire. Absolutely stunning! By all means, click through to the full-size and appreciate the detail. To think that this magazine once cost a dime an issue!
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

Notice to the World of Politicians



by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

notice to the world of politicians (1882)


Bosses who will soon be out of work are respectfully notified that

Puck will give them a job


Roscoe Conkling, Donald Cameron, John Kelly and Thomas Platt are shown wearing sandwich boards displaying past Puck cartoons depicting themselves. The cartoon on the boards Conkling and Platt are wearing has been featured previously, of course. It’s interesting to see Gillam’s interpretation of Keppler’s work.

EDIT: You can see (or buy a copy of) the John Kelly image here.

EDIT #2: The John Kelly and Donald Cameron images have now been posted!
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

After Their Dirty Work



by Frederick Opper (1880)

after their dirty work (1880)

A suggestion to Messrs. Conkling, Belknap, Logan, Cameron, Robeson, Murphy and Williams



Posted without comment. It’s just as well, any comment I made on this one would get me into big, karmic trouble!
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

After the Deluge



by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

after the deluge (1882)


Puck himself mounts the ruins of a wrecked ship marked “Independence” with politicians splayed out in a chaotic fashion on the shoreline (plus Ben Butler in a tiny lifeboat all by himself in the ocean, hoisting a flag that says “I’m All Right,” a funny touch) as a rainbow reading “Promise of Political Honesty” shines in the background.

Sigh. I waffled on whether or not to post this one but eventually decided on “yes.” I like it too much not to, even if the only scan available to me is, as you can see, a travesty. Someone really ought to tackle a proper digital restoration of the Puck archive for future generations. I know all the perverts on my friends’ list prefer Phyrne Before the Chicago Tribunal but I think this may be among my favourite pieces of Gillam artwork.

People who have been following this feature for a while should be experts at the “Guess Who’s Who” game by now, so I won’t bother to point out the location of Roscoe Conkling and George Robeson, except to say they are indeed both in there. Incidentally, please forgive me if the stitchery of this image looks a bit ragged, as I’ve been battling sundown glare at an outdoor café table while preparing this post.

EDIT: Improved the image...somewhat. At least it’s all in colour now!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

The Only Baby



by J. A. Wales (1880)

only baby, the (1880)


Roscoe Conkling and Donald Cameron act as nursemaids to a baby Ulysses S. Grant in a high chair, feeding him “Third Term Pap.” Several children (including one who resembles Rutherford B. Hayes) look on with envy.

More on Grant’s attempt at a third Presidential term.

Conkling in women’s clothes tally=3
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)
The astute and clever among you will have seen this coming after reading this post:

Phyrne Before the Chicago Tribunal



by Bernhard Gillam (1884)


Bernard_Gilliam_-_Phryne_before_the_Chicago_Tribunal


The caption reads:

Ardent Advocate.:—“Now, Gentlemen, don’t make any mistake in your decision! Here’s Purity and Magnetism for you—can’t be beat!”


Wow. Lots to talk about here, so let’s begin. For years I thought Joseph Keppler was responsible for this image, so I’m a bit surprised to learn it was actually Bernhard Gillam who’s actually the creator of this iconic artwork. One of the most (in)famous cartoons found in Puck’s pages.

Essentially, a stylized image of Whitelaw Reid stripping James Blaine at the 1884 Repubican National Convention, only to reveal tattoos of all the scandals he was allegedly involved in. It’s also a parody of this image. The “magnetic pad” is a reference to Blaine’s nickname: “The Magnetic Man,” suggesting that his supposed magnetism was artificial.

Needless to say, Blaine was not pleased by this image. Reportedly he tried to sue Puck for “obscenity,” but the suit was thrown out almost immediately. Puck’s edict in response: more tattooed man images, and it became a meme.




In fact, I can imagine the conversation that went on around this time:

Chauncey: Hallo, Edgar! Where are you off to?
Edgar: Good morning, Chauncey. I’m headed to the town square. Haven’t you heard? Blaine’s giving a speech.
Chauncey: Oh really? Do you think he’ll take his clothes off?
Edgar: [startled] Whatever for?
Chauncey: You know, to show off his tattoos?
Edgar: Tattoos? I don’t think he has any. He’s not exactly a navy man. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Robeson?
Chauncey: No, no. I’m certain I saw a picture of him somewhere where he had tattoos all over his body.
Edgar: Oh...I think I see.
Chauncey: I like the one that says “Mulligan Letters” the best.
Edgar: Chauncey, you do realize that’s just a cartoon?
Chauncey: No, I’m sure it was real! I saw several of them and they wouldn’t print something that wasn’t true now, would they?
Edgar: Very funny. Now if you’ll excuse me...
Chauncey: Say, you think Boss Conkling will show up in his exploding waistcoat?
Edgar: [sigh] Good-bye, Chauncey!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

The Great Congressional Tramp Bullying the Old Women of the National Household



by Bernhard Gillam (1882)


Great Congressional Tramp Bullying the Old Women of the National Household, the (1882)


The LOC says:

Print shows George M. Robeson shabbily dressed as a tramp, standing in a doorway; Joseph W. Keifer, as a small dog with a cap labeled "Speaker" tied to its tail, stands behind Robeson, and on the floor at his feet is a broken plate labeled "Appropriatons $182,496,018 Administration 1868-76"; he carries a club labeled "Repn. Leadership" and branded on palm of his left hand is the word "More". His appearance in the doorway frightens the "Old Women" of Congress who were gathered around a table, drinking tea. Depicted wearing women's dress are William Windom standing behind the door labeled "Congress", John P. Jones spilling a pot of tea, John Sherman fainting, John A. Logan labeled "306" and supporting Sherman, James D. Cameron also labeled "306", Frank Hiscock, George F. Edmunds, David Davis eating an "Independ Plum", Benjamin W. Harris and Abram S. Hewitt locking the "Appropriations Pantry", and William P. Frye hiding behind a chair. Uncle Sam and Puck appear at far left, running toward the building.


Lazy Curator™ sez: More men in drag, none of whom are Roscoe Conkling (to his assured relief).

Why yes, I do edit the text of these entries sometimes. Why do you ask?

Click through image for the original.

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