progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Opening of the New Republican Café



by Joseph Keppler (1889)

opening of the new republican cafe (1889)


Proprietor Harrison.—Wait till the clock strikes, boys, and I’ll give you all a show.


Lazy Curator™ sez: Benjamin Harrison stands before a banquet table laden with food items marked as office appointment positions (as Vice-President Levi Morton mans the bar). James Blaine holds the hungry horde at bay, among them including Jeptha Dudley New, Matthew Quay, Carlton Foster, Jay Abel Hubbell, William Wade Dudley, Stephen Dorsey, Thomas Brady, J. Warren Keifer, Thomas Platt, William Chandler, William Mahone and (hilariously being trampled) George Robeson.

If nothing else, this cartoon allowed me to learn the name “Jeptha Dudley New,” the most absurd and unlikely name to pop up in The Weekly Puck since Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (pride goeth before destruction)

The Mulligan Guard Lies, But—Surrenders



by Joseph Keppler (1884)

mulligan guard lies but surrenders, the (1884)


The LOC says:

Illustration shows an explosion at the "Claim Agency, Formerly Republican Head Quarters" with William M. Evarts peeking through the opening in the tent to survey the damage; several small kiosks labeled "Machine Republicans Meet Here, County Democracy Blaine Exchange, Tribune Blaine Organ, [and] Friends of Tammany Meet Here" have been blown over and damaged, also knocked to the ground by the blast were "Keifer, [Blaine holding a paper that states "I Claim Everything"], Logan, W. Reid, Butler, Dana, Burchard [labeled "R.R.R."], Robeson, Elkins, Dorsey," and an unidentified man lying on the ground next to bags of "Soap". On horseback, in the upper left corner, is Grover Cleveland holding a scroll labeled "Reform", and a Puck character carrying a standard labeled "Independents", among the ranks are Carl Schurz, George W. Curtis, and Henry Ward Beecher. Strewn on the ground are papers that state "I.O.U. If we win. J.G., I.O.U. Conditional on Success, C.W.F., [and] I.O.U. If you get there, J. Roach"; and several of the downed "Mulligan Guard" hold papers that state "We Still Claim", whereas Dana's paper states "I Give Up".


Lazy Curator™ sez: Bless you, Library of Congress, for enabling my laziness. I’ve had to shoulder most of the burden of research for what seems like months now.

Having said that, allow me to nit-pick their research.

The unidentified man looks like Jay Gould. I was leaning against him, on account of the I.O.U. from J.G. which suggested he was absent, and racked my brain to come up with other, prominent long-bearded men of the period it might represent. W. W. Belknap? William Mahone? Then I remembered the bags of “soap” and made the connection. Oh, that wacky 19th century slang!

I noticed that John Kelly and Hubert O. Thompson couldn’t even be bothered to show up in person. Pity, especially in the latter case, as I know how popular he is with the Weekly Puck’s readership.

Stevie Elkins is in a precarious position. I mean, it can’t compare with this image from [another publication], but it’s amusing just the same.

The eagle-eyed who were good at playing Classic Concentration™ will notice that I’m running out of order, both in the Mulligan Guards series (there’s more than just the two I posted) and in my usual Weekly Puck running order. In both cases it’s to get in a visual tribute (however backhanded—what do you want? It’s Puck!) to John Alexander Logan, what with his life’s legacy (i.e.: Memorial Day) coming up.

UPDATE: Re-scanned this classic image, probably the best we’ve had so far from the Google Books archive, or are ever likely to get. I hear you ask, “Mike, why are you dedicating so much time and effort in the pursuit of finding the perfect scan of this particular image? Hmmm? Trying to tell us something, are you?” Well...um...hey, look! It’s Hubert O. Thompson!

[runs]
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Little Roosevelt!!!



The Grand Old Party Must Be Hard Up!



by Joseph Keppler (1887)

little roosevelt (1887)


The old belated party knights
Equip their hero for the fray—
Yes, they who fought for equal rights
Through all the nation’s darkest day
Their earlier steps would now retrace,
And bring the spoilsmen’s slavery back—
Their only objects pay and place—
Their champion—a jumping jack.


Lazy Curator™ sez: [shakes head] I really don’t know where to begin with this one.

Image shows a young Theodore Roosevelt being placed in a suit of armor. Allow me to identify the rest LOC-style: William Evarts, John Sherman, “Hiscock,” “an unidentified man,” Stephen Elkins, “Porter,” Henry Cabot Lodge, “N. Davis,” Stephen Dorsey and James Blaine (bearing “Credit Mobilier,” “Mulligan Letters” and “Little Rock” plumes, see: “The Plumed Knight”). By “LOC-style” I mean, “Don’t know the full name? Put it in quotes! Can’t identify the personage? Put ‘an unidentified man’ down as a placeholder and forget about it!”

I feel so dirty!

Also, three exclamation points? Really, Mr. Keppler?
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

A Humiliating Spectacle



(See—Gospel According to St. Matthew XXVII, 35—Revised Edition)



by Joseph Keppler (1881)

humiliating spectacle, a (1881)


Lazy Curator™ sez: Can’t be true to my name with this one. The left panel shows James Garfield on his death bed with the Angel of Death hanging over him. The right panel shows Roscoe Conkling and Chester Arthur as Roman soldiers before the Executive Chair, Conkling bearing a mantle reading “Patronage”. In the foreground, Stephen Dorsey (with Star Route helmet), Ulysses S. Grant and Thomas Platt gamble with dice.

This goes into my Top Five of Keppler’s images that would be suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. The use of color in this one is simply stunning!
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

A Grand Shakesperian Revival



(Which we have but little hope of seeing on the stage of the National Capitol)



by Joseph Keppler (1881)

grand shakespearian revival, a (1881)


The LOC says:

Print shows Chester A. Arthur as King Henry IV on a cobblestone street, with Jay Gould and William H. Vanderbilt holding his cape, and accompanied by John P. Jones; he is accosted by Roscoe "Sir John" Conkling who proposes to speak on behalf of Thomas C. "Master Shallow" Platt, behind them are Thomas J. Brady and Stephen W. Dorsey. Ulysses S. Grant and John A. Logan are standing on the left, at the head of Arthur's entourage. Includes text for brief exchange between Arthur and Conkling from "(2nd Part of King Henry IV, Act V - Sc. 5)".


Lazy Curator™ sez: Per my name, I can’t be bothered to transcribe all that text. It’s just Shakespeare with name substitution anyways. Read a book!
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)

The Pyrrhic Victory of the Mulligan Guards in Maine



by Joseph Keppler (1884)

pyrrhic victory of the mulligan guards in maine, the (1884)

“Another victory like this, and our money’s gone!”



The LOC says:

Illustration shows James G. Blaine dressed as a knight, the plumes of his helmet labeled "Speakership Record, Mulligan Letters, [and] Credit Mobilier", he holds papers labeled "Aggressive Cash Campaign", and rests his left hand on the head of W.W. Phelps who is holding a sword and a battered shield labeled "Blaines Magnetism". Whitelaw Reid, wearing a paper hat, carries a standard that states "Moral Ideas," (crossed out) "Soap and Success!" Stephen B. Elkins presents a "Report" to John A. Logan and Blaine that states "Great Victory in Maine! Blaine Vindicated! Cost $265,000". Charles A. Dana sits in the lower right corner pouring "Personal Animosity" into cannonballs labeled "Personal Animosity, Spite, Mud Bombs, [and] Malice". Frederick Douglass holds a sign labeled "Mulligan Guards Blaine's Record" that appears to have drawn considerable enemy fire. On the left, "A.M. Clapp" turns his empty pockets inside out and George M. Robeson looks at an empty cash barrel. In the background, there is action at the "Whiskey Arsenal, Fort Cleveland, Polls, [and] Fort St. John", and casualties on the battlefield.


Lazy Curator™ sez: Frederick Douglass? Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather! Of all the people I never expected to include in this feature! Although probably for the last time, so don’t blink or you’ll miss him.

Including this for the Logan, on account of the impending Memorial Day, though it’s hardly a flattering caricature (let’s face it, you just weren’t going to find that in Puck’s pages!).
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The New Leader and the Old Chorus



by Bernhard Gillam (1885)

new leader and the old chorus, the (1885)


The LOC sez:

Illustration shows John Logan labeled "New Leader" of the Republican Party, the "party of Reform and Puritee", holding a paper that states "Logan Speec[h] at Boston July 1885", standing in the street between the White House and the U.S. Treasury, leading a chorus of tramps identified as "J. Gould, Field, Mahone, Roach, Riddleberger, T. Platt, Ex leader [James G. Blaine], Robeson, Keifer, Chandler, Brady, [and] Dorsey", and an unidentified blind man who looks like Benjamin F. Butler; some carry battered hand-pails labeled "Empty Hopes". On the U.S. Treasury is a sign "Notice No Tramps" and on the White House, where President Cleveland is leaning out a window, is another sign that states "No Tramps Admitted". Uncle Sam, as a policeman, is leaning against the wall.


Lazy Curator™ sez: Bless you, LOC, for making my job easy. They don’t call me “Lazy Curator” for nothing!

Hmmm...has Logan put on weight since ’84, or is this another one we can chalk up to “off-model”?

William Mahone tag added. It was overdue.
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The Merry Star Routers



by Bernhard Gillam (1882)

merry star routers, the (1882)


Puck:He laughed too and yet he died in the penitentiary!


Stephen Dorsey and Thomas Brady are the laughing men depicted, as Puck points to a picture of “Boss” Tweed.

Read more about the Star Route Scandal.

Read more about Star Routes. I remember addressing mail to Star Routes as late as the early 1980s, even though the name for the system was officially changed to “highway contact routes” by then.

EDIT: Updated the scan, you may now read all of the caption!
progbear: Pride Goeth Before Destruction (1900) (Boss Croker inflated)

The Olympus of Corruption



“Apollo Strikes the Lyre and Charms the Gods”



by Bernard Gilliam (1884)

The Olympus of Corruption (1884)


Another commemoration of James G. Blaine’s failed bid for the presidency, and another gorgeous, detailed gatefold artwork courtesy of the immensely talented Gilliam.

Blaine plays a lyre marked “N.Y. Tribune” (with a figurehead resembling Whitelaw Reid), his sack of music filled with “lies.”

Among those depicted: Jay Gould as Jupiter, George Robeson as Neptune (bearing a basket of dead fish marked “Navy Jobs”), Charles A. Dana as Minerva (holding a jar of ink labelled “Spite”), J. Warren Keifer as Hercules, John Logan as Mars and Ben Butler as Venus. Stephen Dorsey and Thomas Brady (see “Star Route Scandal”) appear as Raphael cherubs.

Note Blaine’s tattoos. Not to mention that Logan is obviously flirting with Butler. Now that was pushing the envelope for 1884!

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