King Andy

November 3, 1866, page 696

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King Andy
Please see the HarpWeek commentary of this cartoon below:

HarpWeek Commentary:   This cartoon in the issue of November 3, 1866, appeared about two weeks before Election Day. It shows Johnson as King with Secretary of State William H. Seward as his grand vizier pointing to the line for the chopping block. At the left is Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles as Neptune; "290" on his chest is the original number for the Alabama, the British-built warship that the Confederates under Raphael Semmes used to sink Union merchant ships during the war. At the right, Miss Liberty sits in chains. Seward is shown below because he made a speech in St. Louis after Johnson spoke in which he referred to a king-minister relationship as an analogy for Johnson and himself.

The man with his head on the chopping block is Thaddeus Stevens, Johnson’s principal adversary in the House. Behind Stevens are abolitionist Wendell Phillips, publisher John W. Forney, Senator Charles Sumner (Johnson’s principal adversary in the Senate), Congressman (and General) Benjamin Butler, orator Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, publisher Horace Greeley, Congressman John Logan and, at the very rear, Thomas Nast himself with a sketchbook under his arm.

The upside down duck on Johnson’s medallion is significant. John Forney, whose Philadelphia and Washington newspapers irritated Johnson, had called Forney a "Dead Duck." Nast used the "Order of Dead Ducks" to lampoon Johnson on several occasions.


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