The Democratic National Convention

 “Shylock, We Would Have Moneys and Votes”
  Source:  Harper’s Weekly
  Date:   July 6, 1872, p. 528

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
After “American Battle of Dorking,” Nast set the stage for the scheduled coalition of the Liberal Republican and Democratic Parties at the latter’s convention in Baltimore on July 9-10, 1872.  In another escapist retreat into the convenient detachment of Shakespeare for the July 6 issue of Harper’s Weekly, Greeley is Antonio, the merchant of Venice, presented by his crafty friend and supporter, Senator Reuben Fenton (as Bassanio), to August Belmont, the outgoing chair of the Democratic National Committee, who is depicted as the longsuffering yet apparently accommodating money-lender, Shylock.  Here, the money lending is for vote buying.

This stereotyped image is obviously predicated on a general knowledge of Belmont’s Jewish heritage, his career as a veteran agent of the House of Rothschild, and his status as an international banker.  Contrary to the theme of this cartoon, however, Belmont had never supported Greeley and strongly favored diplomat Charles Francis Adams for the presidential nomination.  Belmont had been the guiding spirit of the Democratic Party since 1860, but no longer enjoyed the confidence of party leaders.  He resigned the party chairmanship as soon as his duties at the Baltimore convention were completed.



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