Harper’s Weekly – December 5, 1874

Perhaps Nast’s best Caesarism cartoon was timed to appear at Thanksgiving, as he feasted on puns. Once again, he went to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Act I), quoting the negative question from Cassius.

Emperor Ulysses Grant presided at a White House “Editorial Banquet,” carving Bennett’s “Intelligence Department” brain (Tete de Veau) as the piece de resistance. Behind him, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish held a staff topped by an American eagle, the current Republican Party symbol, while the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper was fair “game” — i.e., a cooked goose on a platter carried by Secretary of War William Belknap. Bespectacled Navy Secretary George Robeson bore a delectable dish containing Charles Dana as a bony Sunfish. Whitelaw Reid was a haughty roasted peacock. Manton Marble was a crab with its shell marked N.Y. World, another Nast pun on Marble carrying the world, but on his claws rather than his shoulders. Of course, the local Hibernian press was a pot of Irish stew, topped by Nast’s stereotyped ruffian. For good measure, the generic offering included a dish of “Interviewers’ Tongue,” and casseroles of “Editors’ Hash” and “Southern Press Gumbo.”

The out-of-town anti-Grant press also included Henry Watterson of the Louisville Courier-Journal and Murat Halstead of the Cincinnati Commercial as “(very cool) cucumbers,” and Samuel Bowles’ Springfield Republican as “Bowles of Soup.”