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Poison Pens

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Poison Pens

Items in the Poison Pens Collection

The city treasury
This is a vertically split panel that compares two situations. On the left, workmen are looking into a safe that contains only “debts” labeled, “N. Y. Treasury.’ On the right, William Tweed and his cronies are feasting at a lavish dinner. The…

The elective system, or, master and slave
William Magear Tweed stands in jail while another inmate is held with his feet in stocks. On Tweed’s prison uniform are the words, “Ring Master.” Behind the prisoners is a sign saying “Our Court.” Under the sign is the question, “What…

Frenzied finance
Cartoon drawing of Thomas Lawson pictured on a horse called “Publicity: Frenzied Finance.” He is on Wall Street, shooting two revolvers in the air, while “Amalgamated Copper” has fallen under the horse, “Steel,” who is shielding itself,…

Running the gauntlet
Cartoon drawing of five suffragettes battling grippe, pneumonia, “anti-suffs,” and colds while walking in the winter. A winged ballot box eludes the quintet. The women hold a sign that says, “Gen. Jones’ Army of Suffragets.” A sign points…

John Barleycorn and whisky
This cartoon, based on the 1915 sculpture “End of the Trail” by James Earle Fraser, depicts “John Barleycorn” holding a spear and slumped over while riding a horse called “Whisky” in a strong tailwind.

How-it-happened club
Cartoon drawing depicting political runners-up reminiscing about their glory days. William Jennings Bryan is speaking. Appearing clockwise around the table are Alton B. Parker, Charles E. Hughes and William Howard Taft. Walking into the room is…

Freeneasy Film Co. presents — Realistic legal reel, showing that a judge has a grand job
A split-panel cartoon, presented as a newsreel, depicting a judge scolding potential jurors for shirking their duties. He says, “Don’t you know that it is the duty of every citizen to give his time and energies to the urgent affairs of the…

Ever ready to rescue a stray sheep
Cartoon drawing of Josef Stalin, depicted as a Soviet herder, preparing to capture a lamb, labeled “Iran,” standing on a barrel. Oil derricks are in the foreground and the Kremlin is in the background.

Religion incognito
President Dwight D. [Ike] Eisenhower, clad in a dark trench coat, peers warily around the side of a church as a fierce bulldog [Senator Matthew Neely of West Virginia] stands guard at the entrance.

May ah cut in?
Richard Nixon performs a clumsy dance with a woman, labeled “Civil Rights.” Lyndon Johnson taps Nixon on the shoulder and asks, “May ah cut in?”

Figure of weeping Lincoln monument
This silent cartoon depicts a weeping Lincoln Memorial.

We have met the enemy and he is us
Pogo Possum is in a swamp picking up trash. The text reads, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” ...Pogo.

All I know is what I read in the newspaper
A caricature of Will Rogers compares a newspaper labeled “Free Press” to a blank newspaper labeled “Controlled Press.”

Line item veto
Florida governor Lawton Chiles poses with an axe, labeled “line item veto,” while legislators carry turkeys to a chopping block. In an embedded panel, Emmet the Mouse says, “Imagine what the president could do with that.”

GOP budget tailor
Speaker of the House of Representatives and Georgia representative Newt Gingrich, dressed as a tailor, presents Florida Governor Lawton Chiles with a too-small jacket, labeled “Block Grant.” Gingrich says, “There you go…a perfect fit!”…

The abyss of bipartisanship
A large crater divides the Capitol Building. An elephant, representing the Republicans, stands on the left. A donkey, representing the Democrats, stands on the right, holding a noose. The elephant says, “In the name of bipartisanship, throw me a…

Medicine as business
A doctor tries to reach his patient with a stethoscope, but a man with a clipboard, labeled “Medicine as Business,” stands between the doctor and his patient.

¡¡Es mi casa!!
Two turtle heads, one labeled “Judios” (Jews) and the other labeled “Palestinos” (Palestinians) emerge from a single turtle shell. Each points to itself and says, “Es MI Casa!! (It’s MY house!!)

I still want more war!!!
President George W. Bush, with crossed arms and wearing an outfit reminiscent of Little Lord Fauntleroy, stomps his right foot and declares, “I still want more war!!!”

Yer bloated, over-extended, and out of touch!
A pot sits on a stove and tells three kettles, representing General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, “Yer bloated, over-extended, and out of touch!”

Healthcare reform
This cartoon depicts an elaborate caduceus with a Democratic donkey on the left, “John Q. Public” in the center, and a Republican elephant on the right. There are at least five snakes coiled malevolently among the characters. Below the caduceus…

Don't tread on me
An elephant, labeled “Congressional G.O.P.,” looks at its trunk which is coiled like a snake and labeled, “Tea Party.” The caption reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.”

The healthcare debate
Cartoon animation of two groups of people during health care debates. Two flood lights illuminate a crowd of protestors, labelled "what we're talking about." Protestors' signs read: "No health insurance mandate," "Hands off my Medicare," "Nobama,"…

States require ultrasound
Cartoon animation of a woman, wearing an American flag t-shirt, whose body is slowly covered with hand prints of states that require ultrasounds before abortions.