Photo, Print, Drawing The political gymnasium

About this Item

About this Item

Title
The political gymnasium
Summary
A general parody on the field of presidential candidates and their supporters in the 1860 campaign. At the far left stands Constitutional Union party vice presidential candidate Edward Everett, as a muscle man holding aloft a barbell on which rests running mate John Bell. Everett boasts, "There is nothing like having the Constitution, to give us strength to put up this Bell successfully." Bell states, "I have perfect confidence in Mr. Everett's ability to uphold me." Though holding second place on the ticket, the former senator from Massachusetts Everett was much more popular in the Northeast than Tennessean Bell. To the right of Bell and Everett is "Tribune" editor Horace Greeley. His political ambitions are mocked by the artist who shows him vainly attempting to climb up on a horizontal bar labeled "Nomination for Governor." Greeley complains, "I've been practising at it a long time, but can never get up muscle enough to get astride of this bar." Abraham Lincoln (center), who has successfully mounted a balance beam constructed of wooden rails, advises Greeley, "You must do as I did Greely, get somebody to give you a boost, I'm sure I never could have got up here by my own efforts." His cross bar, labeled "For President," represents the Republican nomination, which Lincoln won largely through Greeley's powerful support. Occupying the foreground is James Watson Webb of the New York "Courier," who tries a backward somersault. His wager here, "I'll bet a quarter I can beat any man in the party at turning political Summersets," is a swipe at Webb's mid-1850s conversion from Whig to Republican. At far right stands Lincoln's former competitor for the Republican nomination, William H. Seward, on crutches and with bandaged feet. He warns Lincoln, "You'd better be careful friend, that you don't tumble off; as I did before I was fairly on, for if you do you'll be as badly crippled as I am." (For a similar reference to political cripples in this campaign, see ""Taking the Stump" or Stephen in Search of His Mother," no. 1860-36.) Near Seward the two sectional Democratic candidates compete in a boxing match. Stephen A. Douglas, the regular Democratic nominee, faces southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge. Douglas taunts his opponent, "Come at me Breck, and after you cry enough, I'll take a round with the rest of them." In response Breckinridge asserts, "If I can do nothing else I can at least prevent you from pulling Lincoln down."
Contributor Names
Currier & Ives.
Maurer, Louis, 1832-1932, artist
Created / Published
[New York] : Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y., c1860.
Subject Headings
-  Abolitionism and abolitionists, parodied or attacked
-  African Americans (portrayed)
-  Bell, John, as presidential candidate
-  Breckenridge, John C
-  Douglas, Stephen Arnold
-  Everett, Edward
-  Greeley, Horace, support of Lincoln's presidential candidacy
-  Lincoln, Abraham, presidential candidate
-  Seward, William H., and the 1860 Republican nomination
-  Webb, James Watson
Headings
Lithographs--1860-1870.
Political cartoons--1860-1870.
Notes
-  Title from item.
-  Probably drawn by Louis Maurer.
-  Currier & Ives : a catalogue raisonné / compiled by Gale Research. Detroit, MI : Gale Research, c1983, no. 5231
-  Weitenkampf, p. 123
-  Wilson, p. 34-35
-  Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1860-34.
Medium
1 print on wove paper : lithograph ; image 29 x 42 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
PGA - Currier & Ives--Political gymnasium (B size) [P&P]
Repository
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Digital Id
pga 04975 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.04975
cph 3a05728 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a05728
Library of Congress Control Number
2003674595
Reproduction Number
LC-DIG-pga-04975 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-1989 (b&w film copy neg.)
Rights Advisory
No known restrictions on publication.
Online Format
image
LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/2003674595
Additional Metadata Formats
MARCXML Record
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

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  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-pga-04975 (digital file from original item) LC-USZ62-1989 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Call Number: PGA - Currier & Ives--Political gymnasium (B size) [P&P]
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Chicago citation style:

Currier & Ives, and Louis Maurer. The Political Gymnasium. , ca. 1860. [New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2003674595/.

APA citation style:

Currier & Ives & Maurer, L. (ca. 1860) The Political Gymnasium. , ca. 1860. [New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2003674595/.

MLA citation style:

Currier & Ives, and Louis Maurer. The Political Gymnasium. [New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St. N.Y] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2003674595/>.

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