The Big Thing

April 20, 1867, page 256

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The Big Thing

Old Mother Seward, "I'll rub some of this on his sore spot;
it may soothe him a little."

Please see the HarpWeek commentary of this cartoon below:

HarpWeek Commentary: On March 30, 1867, the Treaty to buy Alaska from Russia for $7 million was signed. Thomas Nast showed Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was responsible for negotiating the treaty, rubbing some Russian salve on President Johnson’s sore spot on his head as Johnson looks in the mirror and sees himself as "King Andy." Johnson is shown as upset and off-balance, primarily from the passage of the Military Reconstruction Act and a new law allowing Negroes to vote in Georgetown. At the time, the purchase of Alaska was considered to be "Seward’s folly" by many Americans.

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