Another Cartoon from the Wasp


I am putting this one up just so you can admire the artistry of the cartoonist Charles Saalburg. It appeared in the Wasp on February 7, 1891.

Sometimes the Wasp explained the cartoons, but I couldn’t find anything in this issue. The cartoon deals with national politics and I think they assumed that the readers would understand the issues and know the players. I am not going to attempt to explain every figure, but I will point out a few things.

The driver of the “Stagecoach of State” is President Benjamin Harrison, and next to him is his Vice-President, Levi Morton. Two of the men riding on top at the back are Senators Henry Cabot Lodge and William McKinley, both Republicans. (The Wasp favored the Republicans.) Riding inside the coach is Uncle Sam.


Each of the horses is labeled with the name of a bill. Foremost among the opponents of Harrison’s plan of progress is former (and future) President Grover Cleveland (Democrat), with his boulder of Vengeance.


Other Democrats are shoving in logs labeled Ignorance and Capricious Obstruction. I don’t know who all of them are, but the one in the middle is Republican Senator John J. Ingalls of Kansas, who was getting a lot of criticism in the Wasp at the time.

If you would like to look at more of these cartoons, you can access the Wasp at the Internet Archive. (A fabulous resource, by the way.) Here is the link for the California State Library collection. On the left, search the collection for Wasp, or for Wasp 1890 (or some other year) for a particular year.





About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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