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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1880s to 1920s (Benchmark 4) - Populism (Indicator 2) - Republican perspective on Populism

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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.


C. C. Evans to Governor Edmund Morrill

C. C. Evans to Governor Edmund Morrill
Creator: Evans, C. C.
Date: December 24, 1894
The chairman of the Sheridan County Republican Central Committee, C. C. Evans, of Allison (Decatur County), writes Governor Edmund Morrill to inform him of the desperate circumstances facing farmers in western Kansas and to ask the state to furnish seed grain to the farmers. Several years of drought and low crop yields left many farmers without sufficient seed grain for the next season's crops. Evans asks the governor to rally Republican legislators to quickly pass an appropriation for farm relief. The letter claims that Populists have thwarted local efforts to address the problem and that effective actions by Republicans at this time would attract more people in western Kansas to the Republican Party.


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.


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 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 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.


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