Lincoln: This Little Joker for President

Emerging Civil War 1860's Politics Header

Joker CoverOur recent look at the politics of the 1860s—and my own interest, in particular, in political cartoons—had me thinking of the conversation I had last year with scholar Todd Thompson, author of The National Joker: Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Satire. You can read that ECW interview here, and you can read my review of the book for Civil War Monitor here. Todd spends a lot of time in his book examining Lincoln’s appearances in the political cartoons of his day. It’s really nifty stuff.

(As a complete aside: I wasn’t a fan of the sketch that designers chose for the cover of Todd’s book because there was something disconcerting to me about the image. However, the image has stuck with me—proof of its effectiveness—and I’ve come to realize that one reason it has is because sketch of Lincoln looks like it could almost have been lifted from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.)

I had “Joker” on the brain because of another political cartoon I came across the other day while searching for something entirely different in the Library of Congress’s on-line archives. “This Little Joker for President,” the cartoon said.

lincoln-little-joker-as-president

The image is undated, but the scant LOC information does place it as a sketch that appeared for the 1864 election. It is not, as you can tell, a flattering depiction of Lincoln. The handwriting reads:

Jas Abraham Lincoln Crow
Who every time he turned about he did just so
And when he was president of these United States
Lick’d lasses-candy, told jokes, & swung upon the gates.

A similar cartoon, “Melancholy accident to a gentleman in high life,” depicts Lincoln in similar oversized clown shoes, but in that one, the shoes are labeled “Military Necessity.”

“Them’s good boots,” Lincoln says. As big as they are, though, complete with metal studs in their soles, Lincoln still manages to trip over two straws, “Constitution” and “Habeas Corpus.”

Lincoln-Melancholy Accident.jpg

For more images, visit www.loc.gov/photos/collections and type in “Lincoln 1864 election.” There’s some pretty cool stuff to see in the LOC’s collection.

This entry was posted in Books & Authors, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Lincoln, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lincoln: This Little Joker for President

  1. Jeffrey Ross says:

    Hello Fellow CW Buffs!!! I hope everyone is doing as well as me. I hoping somebody can help me out with a problem. I’ve recently started studying for the Antietam official Park guide test and I need a break. As most of you know Timothy P Smith has written several books on the western theater I have only had a chance to read Champion Hill and Corinth which were both excellent in my opinion. My problem is for the last 3 months I have looked on Amazon and eBay 4 volume 28 Issue 4 the battles of Fort Henry and Donelson and the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary issue of Shiloh both bye mr. Roth and his son Jason and they’re excellent publication blue and gray magazine. I have had no luck so if any of you are done with yours or know of someone selling theirs please contact me on my public email at jeffrey_r_ross@yahoo.com. it is a public email so don’t be shy I’m hoping for some help explanation point. Also I will hopefully get a meeting with savasbeattie after I make my submission for a book or I should say books I have been tinkering with. The first book is called Hookers right that won Antietam, the second book is called Richard Ewell and the order that sealed the confederacy’s Fate, the third book I have been tinkering with is Kentucky Richmond the shattering of Silence. So everybody wish me luck and I’ve been told to bring a good bottle of Scotch and a great box of Cubans so let’s wish for the best for everyone and let us all keep enjoying this awesome hobby we have known as the Civil War thank you and take care God bless

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s