Reconstruction Era

 untitled [Greeley vs. Morrissey]
  Source:  Harper’s Weekly
  Date:   November 10, 1866, p. 720

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
The November 10, 1866 Harper’s Weekly hit newsstands on October 31, less than a week before the congressional elections on Tuesday, November 6.  In the issue, Nast’s two side-by-side cartoons contrasts a peaceable and scholarly Horace Greeley (left) as “The Candidate of the Blood-Thirsty Radical Faction in the Fourth Congressional District” with John Morrissey, a former boxing champion, a gambling house proprietor, and a rising star in the Tammany Hall Democratic political machine, as “The Conservative Candidate of the Peace Democracy in the Fifth Congressional District.”  During the Civil War, Democrats favoring a ceasefire and negotiated settlement with the Confederacy were called Peace Democrats or, more pejoratively, Copperheads (after the snake of that name).  Here, the image of a serpent biting its own tail reinforces that idea as well as symbolizes the political “ring” of Tammany Hall and alludes to the boxing ring.  This cartoon was Nast’s first published satire of Tammany Hall.  In heavily Democratic New York City, Greeley lost and Morrissey was elected to the first of two consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. 



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