The Democratic National Convention

 “Any Thing to Beat Grant! The Results of the Fifth Avenue Convention”
  Source:  Harper’s Weekly
  Date:   July 6, 1872, p. 536

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Senator Carl Schurz, chairman of the Liberal Republican Convention, had been deeply dismayed when delegates turned from his candidate, diplomat Charles Francis Adams, to embrace Horace Greeley.  Schurz was not on good personal terms with Greeley, he opposed the nominee’s support of trade protectionism and temperance, and he was disheartened that the Liberal Republican movement’s high moral tone had been undermined by the backroom deal-making that resulted in Greeley’s nomination.  Schurz was further chagrined by the selection of Gratz Brown, his Missouri political rival, as the vice-presidential nominee. 

On June 20, 1872, Liberal Republican opponents of Greeley’s nomination, numbering about 100 and representing 20 states, met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City.  There was significant sentiment among attendees to jettison Greeley for a new nominee.  Although Schurz had objected in 1870 to Brown’s tactical alliance with Democrats in order to win the Missouri governorship, the senator realized that the 1872 Democratic National Convention would almost certainly nominate Greeley.  Faced with no realistic alternative, Schurz convinced the Fifth Avenue Convention to ratify the Liberal Republican ticket.

Nast took advantage of the situation to produce a small-sized sequel to the “The New Organ” for the July 6 issue of Harper’s Weekly (published June 26).  “Any Thing to Beat Grant!  The Results of the Fifth Avenue Convention” shows Schurz hoisting the Greeley monkey stiffly and unenthusiastically for a very chilly kiss on the lips.  A corner of the hand organ and the leash are visible.  In the original (unpublished) version, Whitelaw Reid, acting editor of the Tribune and Greeley’s campaign manager, holds the other end of the leash (as in “The New Organ”).



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