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A party of patches

A party of patches
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: June 6, 1891
This political cartoon drawn by Bernard Gilliam was copied from the satirical magazine Judge presents the Republican perception of the People's (Populist) Party. The artist depicts the People's Party as a hot air balloon made up of a patchwork of pieces, with each piece labeled with the name of the political organization or party that has been subsumed under the banner of the Populists. Some of the more recognizable "patches" include the Prohibition Party, the Greenback Party, the Farmer's Alliance, and the Knights of Labor Party. Inside the balloon's basket are two leading Populists from Kansas, William Peffer and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson.


Are these noble statesmen and lawmakers fighting for the interests of the workers? Oh, dear, NO

Are these noble statesmen and lawmakers fighting for the interests of the workers? Oh, dear, NO
Creator: Walker, Ryan, 1870-1932
Date: June 1, 1912
Political cartoon drawn by Ryan Walker for the socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, which was published in Girard, Kansas. The cartoon depicts a concerned worker watching Republican presidential candidate William Taft and Progressive presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt brawl and curse. Socialist candidate Eugene Debs and his running mate Emil Seidel received 6% of the popular vote in the 1912 election.


Forcing slavery down the throat of a freesoiler

Forcing slavery down the throat of a freesoiler
Date: 1856
An 1856 cartoon depicting President James Buchanan and Senator Lewis Cass standing on a Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". They are pulling the hair of a giant Free Soiler as President Franklin Pierce holds down his beard and Senator Stephen Douglas shoves an African American man down the Free Soiler's throat.


Gulliver bound down by the Democratic Lilliputians

Gulliver bound down by the Democratic Lilliputians
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: Between 1890 and 1895
This political cartoon from the satirical magazine Judge illustrates the Republican perception of the Democratic Party and Peoples' (Populist) Party by adapting a classic story from Gulliver's Travels. The cartoon depicts politicians, activists, and wealthy Americans tying down a giant man who symbolizes industrial prosperity. The ties stretching across his lower body represent "tariff tinkering" and "free silver," political issues where many Democrats and Populists were in agreement. William Peffer, a Kansas Populist, stands on a podium near the center giving a speech about silver. Judge magazine, created by artists who had previously worked for the well-known magazine Puck, began in 1881.


Heroic deeds for Funston yet to perform

Heroic deeds for Funston yet to perform
Date: 1899
A magazine illustration playing on Frederick Funston's recent notoriety as a war hero. Copied from the Journal (Minneapolis).


Industrial Workers of the World

Industrial Workers of the World
Date: July 24, 1920
This political cartoon shows the invasion of the Wobblies in a Kansas wheat field. The illustration was based on the June 24, 1920 I.W.W. District Court case in Butler, Kansas, that prohibited members of the Industrial Workers of the World, better know as the Wobblies, from carrying out their "unlawful practices" of political and industrial change in Kansas.


Liberty, the Fair Maid of Kansas, in the Hands of the Border Ruffians

Liberty, the Fair Maid of Kansas, in the Hands of the Border Ruffians
Date: Between 1854 and 1861
This cartoon depicts William L. Marcy, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Lewis Cass, and Stephen Douglas harassing Liberty, the representation of Kansas Territory. A former U.S. senator from New York, Marcy was a leader of the conservative Democrats, with pro-Southern leanings much like those of presidents Pierce and Buchanan; Marcy served as secretary of war (1845-1849) under James K. Polk and secretary of state (1853-1857) under President Pierce, during the worst of the Kansas troubles.


Myron A. Waterman papers

Myron A. Waterman papers
Date: 1835-1937
Myron A. Waterman was a banking executive, writer, and cartoonist from Wellsville, New York, who moved to Kansas City, Kansas in the 1890s. This collection of papers includes a short poem and two political cartoons by Waterman and a number of items penned by members of his wife Alice Gertrude Sheldon's family. There are poems and letters written by Aurilla Ward, Alice's grandmother. Aurilla also recorded the birth dates of her children on a page from a Bible and wrote her reflections on their baptisms, as evidenced by the presence of these items in the collection. There are also letters from other family members, a ledger that once belonged to Sarah Ward Sheldon, and several documents relating to Alice's father, Stuart Sheldon, and his trip to Valparaiso, Chile.


Political cartoon by Myron A. Waterman

Political cartoon by Myron A. Waterman
Creator: Waterman, Myron A.
Date: 1898
Political cartoon by Myron A. Waterman (1855-1937) depicting E. H. Funston announcing his bid for governor. The cartoon appeared on the front page of Topeka's The Advocate and News on March 30, 1898 with the caption "From 'Way Down Yonder in de Co'n Fiel'." Waterman (1855-1937) first gained recognition in the latter part of the 19th century when he established and edited the Fort Scott Lantern. He held a number of other occupations throughout his life including working in the drug store business and serving as a deputy state bank commissioner of Kansas from 1894 to 1901. Waterman was a staunch prohibitionist and a member of the First Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas. This cartoon appeared on the front page of Topeka's The Advocate and News on March 30, 1898.


Political cartoon concerning Dr. John R. Brinkley

Political cartoon concerning Dr. John R. Brinkley
Date: Between 1930 and 1934
Political cartoon concerning Dr. John R. Brinkley. The Milford, Kansas, physician ran as an independent write-in candidate for Governor of Kansas in 1930, 1932, and 1934.


St. George and the Dragon--a modern version

St. George and the Dragon--a modern version
Creator: Kellogg, A. H.
Date: May 28, 1892
This political cartoon from the Topeka Populist newspaper, depicts the People's (Populist) Party as St. George, the patron saint of England, who is slaying the dragon that represents the corruption of government and big business. The dragon has the names of specific businesses and politicians written on its body. According to legend, St. George was a fierce warrior who saved a village in Libya by slaying the dragon who had demanded that the town sacrifice all its young women.


The foolish appeals of the political tramps

The foolish appeals of the political tramps
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: 1891
This political cartoon from the satirical magazine Judge depicts a farmer (representing Uncle Sam) standing in his wheat field talking to a Democrat and two Populists, "Sockless" Jerry Simpson and William Peffer, both from Kansas. These three men are attempting to convince the farmer of the importance of free trade and free silver, but he remains satisfied with the current situation. Meanwhile, across the sea in Europe, there are starving peasants begging for relief. The cartoon is meant as a criticism of the Populists' and Democrats' desire to "save" farmers. Judge magazine, created by artists who had worked at Puck magazine and who allied with the Republican Party, began in 1881.


The Grangers' dream of cheap money

The Grangers' dream of cheap money
Creator: Puck
Date: Between 1880 and 1900
This political cartoon from the satirical Puck magazine illustrates the Republican perception of the People's (Populist) Party belief in the coinage of silver and the redistribution of wealth to the masses. In the cartoon, Populist senator William Peffer uses a bellows to propel the windmill of the U.S. Treasury in order to pump out more "greenbacks." Outside the windmill, farmers are hungrily grabbing bags of money and carting them away in wagons. Billboards in the nearby town refer to the rapid inflation caused by the distribution of so much money.


The new chicken in the barnyard

The new chicken in the barnyard
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: June 13, 1891
This cartoon, from the cover of the satirical magazine Judge, illustrates the "birth" of the Populist Party. Hovering over the chick (who has a banner on his straw hat labeled "Farmer's Alliance") is a rooster symbolizing the Republican Party, and a chicken, representing the Democratic Party. The subtitle reads, "THE LITTLE CHICK (to old parties -- "You're too big for me just now, 'tis true, but I'll lick you both in '92. Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo!!"


The poor donkey has too many drivers

The poor donkey has too many drivers
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: Between 1890 and 1899
In this political cartoon from the satirical magazine Judge, Populist senators William Peffer and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson push a boulder (symbolizing the Farmer's Alliance) under the wheel of a wagon that represents the United States. In the driver's seat are five congressmen, each with their own agenda labeled on their sash. The wagon is being pulled by a donkey signifying "democracy." Judge magazine, created by artists who had allied with the Republican Party, began in 1881 and its sales eventually surpassed those of its rival, Puck.


William Allen White campaign cartoon

William Allen White campaign cartoon
Creator: Kirby, Rollin
Date: 1924
A cartoon titled "A Real American Goes Hunting," drawn by Rollin Kirby and published in the New York World. It was published when William Allen White was campaigning for governor on an anti-Ku Klux Klan ticket.


William Peffer scrapbooks

William Peffer scrapbooks
Creator: Peffer, William Alfred, 1831-1912
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
Populist politician William Peffer kept at least three scrapbooks of political cartoons during his six-year term as U.S. Senator from Kansas between 1891-1897. All three volumes are included here in their entirety. The political cartoons he collected appeared in satirical weeklies like Puck, Judge, Harper's Weekly, and various other publications, and feature caricatures of Senator Peffer and other politicians. The cartoons are especially critical of the Populist Party platform.


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