The Liberal Republican Movement

 “A ‘Liberal’ Surrender—‘Any Thing to Beat Grant’”
  Source:  Harper’s Weekly
  Date:   May 11, 1872, p. 364

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Published on the opening day of the Liberal Republican Convention in Cincinnati, May 1 (in the issue dated May 11), the elaborate “A ‘Liberal’ Surrender:  Any Thing to Beat Grant” is Nast’s gamble at predicting the future alignment of the Liberal Republicans with the Democrats.  The subtitle is the first of several cartoons in which Nast used the phrase “Any Thing to…” as a way to demean the unusual political coalition as a shameless ploy for public office. 

Viewed from behind the battlements outside the nation’s capital, Horace Greeley and Carl Schurz stand together at center right.  The Tribune editor blows his bugle and Schurz waves the white flag of “Truce/We Surrender/Any Thing to Beat Grant” to summon in from the woods (right) the Ku Klux Klan, Copperheads, Slavery, the Confederate States of America, and the Tammany Ring.  Closer to the line, attempting to scale the barrier is Nathan Bedford Forrest, former Confederate cavalry leader and Klan founder, and at the lower wall are (left-right) Jefferson Davis, former Confederate president, and the 1868 Democratic national ticket of vice-presidential nominee Frank Blair and presidential nominee Horatio Seymour. 

Inside the barricade, ex-President Andrew Johnson creeps out from under the tent (far right), while Senators Thomas Tipton, Reuben Fenton, and Lyman Trumbull train their “Cincinnati” cannon on the forces of Grant (smoking a cigar under the flag on the far left), as a pair of defecting Republicans scramble for cover.  Grant’s cannon of the regular Republican “Philadelphia Convention” (held June 5-6) is ready to fire and his troops are prepared to charge.  The tent at lower left has figures of (left-right) Trumbull, Tipton, and Schurz caricatured on its panels.



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