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“My general idea of a cartoon is to hit YELLOW DOG
cleanly and without undue exaggeration OUP
either in the idea or the drawing. If one can make a cartoon that the side ridiculed must laugh at in spite of themselves,
then he has made the best kind of a carRogers, in New York Herald.
toon and the most effective.”. FEEDING THE HEATHEN.
We are not altogether convinced that sort of degradation known as the “house Mr. Rogers' conclusions are sound. We of mirth,” the headquarters for the incline to think that it was some of the distribution of the "yellow-dog soup”; most brutally savage of the cartoons of Albany, where lobbies gather over a Nast that compelled the citizens of New morally dead and corrupt body as vul- York to take cognizance of the wholesale tures and birds of prey gather over the and systematic corruption of the Tweed carcasses on the plains.
Ring. So we believe that when DavenOne idea has ever dominated Mr. port was with the New York Journal and Rogers in his work. He has battled American, making his powerful but brutal resolutely for one great object-common and somber cartoons, he was a greater honesty-something more needed to-day power for moral progress than any other than ever before in our public life. We cartoonist of that day. There are times think it is quite safe to say that no less when the bludgeon is more effective than than eight-tenths of his cartoons have to the rapier. Still, each method has its do with graft, corruption and the betrayal place and serves its purpose in the hands of the people in the interests of privileged of men of high ideals and strong convicwealth. He has been the uncompro- tions. mising, determined and tireless foe of all forms of civic dishonesty. His ideal of statecraft is high, and his realization of the fact that there is a cancer at the vitals of the nation, eating away the fabric of free government, destroying public morality and draining the resources of the millions, is so keen that his pictures speak volumes. In the columns of one of the greatest news-gatherers of the world and one of the most negative editorial papers of the age, Rogers' pictures are the most virile moral note present—the note that more than aught else compels the reader to take cognizance of the grave per- Rogers, in New York Herald. ils that are threatening national integrity. “A FEW UNDIGESTED SECURITIES.”–J. P. MORGAN.
“The idea of drawing came to me as about the first thing I can remember. My mother was a skilful artist and taught me the simple elements of drawing at the same time that I learned my letters,” remarked Mr. Rogers recently when in a reminiscent mood and in reply to a question from us.
“I remember,” he continued, “when I was fourteen years old I drew a number of small cartoons on wood, and an engraver in Dayton, Ohio,
Rogers, in New York Herald. engraved them for a syndicate. So far as I know these were the first cartoons to be syndicated in the daily papers. They Ohio. His father was a prominent lawwere drawn with a pen directly on the
yer at a bar conspicuous for the ability block."
and brilliance of its practitioners. Among In answer to the question, “What artist the men of marked ability who were freor art work exerted the greatest influence quently opposed to or associated with on you during your childhood ?” Mr. the elder Rogers in cases before the Ohio Rogers replied:
circuit courts were Salmon P. Chase, " The first real impetus given to my Thomas Corwin, John Sherman and ambition came at about this time, when Samuel Shellabarger. At the time of his a friend loaned me an excellently engraved death, which occurred when he was only set of Hogarth's works. The sturdy forty-four years of age, he was on the honesty of his characterization appealed
bench. to me at once and has been an inspiration
“I have always felt,” said Mr. Rogers, ever since.”
“that my deep interest in public questions Mr. Rogers was born in Springfield,
was a direct inheritance from him."
From the high-minded father, imbued with the sturdy spirit that marked so many of the strong men of the meridian period of the last century, the artist early learned to honor and respect fidelity to public trust and to abhor dishonesty and venality in every form, and especially when the corruption affected those in public life; for the elder Rogers had ever striven to impress his son with the idea that a public office was a trust doubly sacred in character: it was a position in which the honored individual had been confided by trusting citizens with their own interests, in the faith that they would be administered for the true benefit of those he was chosen to represent, while at the same time fidelity to the trust was
imposed by the high demands of demoRogers, in New York Herald.
cratic government. So long as the people's representatives spurned all forms of
demand that he has found it impossible
Many of Mr. Rogers' most effective cartoons have been directed against the riot of dishonesty that has made Albany almost as notorious a seat of corruption as Harrisburg has been since the publicservice corporations and privileged in
terests of Pennsylvania gained complete Rogers, in New York Herald.
control of the Republican political ma-
between the friends of New York State,
In 1872 Mr. Rogers took up illustrating as a profession, and in 1873 he became a member of the staff of the New York Daily Graphic. Later he entered the employ of Harper's Weekly, where he contributed a number of excellent drawings, and in 1880 he drew a cartoon, during the Hancock campaign. It made an instantaneous hit. Since then, though Rogers, in New York Herald. he has made hundreds of drawings depicting passing events and illustrating
in Albany, called forth some telling car-
The insurance scandals have served in
islature. Several years ago, in the railRogers, in New York Herald.
way investigation, Jay Gould described
A HELPING HAND.
Naturally enough the insurance revelations afforded an admirable opportunity for Mr. Rogers' pen.
In a lighter vein are other cartoons, such as the one representing Uncle Sam pointing to the Monroe doctrine and addressing England and Germany, warning them that it is a live wire.
Another humorous cartoon that was very widely copied at the time was called forth by President Roosevelt assuming the entire management of the Republican nominating convention, when he indicated his choice for temporary chairman and permanent chairman and the general management of the convention, and
when it was stated that he carefully nation and election of representatives scrutinized Mr. Black's fulsome eulogy that would be favorable to the Erie Road. of the president in his nominating speech, He contributed liberally to the fund for before it was delivered. Mr. Rogers the election of any persons who would hit off this matter in a cartoon representwear the Erie collar. In Republican ing Mr. Roosevelt as the whole convendistricts, he declared, he was a Republi- tion from start to finish. can; in Democratic districts he was a
Several of his best cartoons have been Democrat; in doubtful districts he was directed against America's great gambdoubtful; but, he added, “I am an Erie ling world and trust spawning-ground, man all the time.” And in that brutally Wall street. A typical drawing of this frank confession the voters of America class was entitled “Undigested Securihad given to them one of the master-keys ties” and was called forth by the famous to the amazing phenomenon of the sys- remark of J. Pierpont Morgan when tematic betrayal of the people by those defending such notorious water-logged sworn faithfully to represent their inter- corporations as the ill-starred ship-trust. ests.
In 1902, when President Roosevelt Mr. Platt recently confessed in the in- appeared to be desirous of having the surance investigation how he received contributions from the great insurance companies and admitted that the taking of the money implied a moral obligation to the insurance harpies; not to the policyholders, it should be remembered, as the old safeguards that protected them were removed by the legislature at the instigation of the Wall-street insurance cormorants and gamblers who wanted to use the trust-funds of the policy-holders recklessly and wastefully, and who were ready to contribute vast sums to what is popularly known as the "yellow dog” fund, to debauch the people's servants and render themselves immune from punishment.
PREPARED FOR THE WORST.
Rogers, in New York Herald.
Rogers, in New York Herald.
and alarmingly affected by the height of
Such are some typical examples of Mr.
make my points with a certain reserve; tariff revised and was also vigorously not to exaggerate the bad points of the pressing other measures for the relief of enemy so much that on looking at the the people from the tyranny and oppres- picture one instinctively says: “No, he sion of the great trusts and monopolies, could n't possibly be as bad as that." he encountered the fierce opposition of
There is doubtless much to be said in Depew, Hanna, Platt, Frye and other favor of this position. Still, in times master-spirits of the Republican party. when moral turpitude is rife; times when This suggested Mr. Rogers' famous car
free institutions are in peril from a rapidly toon representing Mr. Roosevelt on the growing plutocracy; times when the elephant, following Uncle Sam out of multitude are being exploited for the the monopoly wilderness, but the ele
enormous enrichment of the few, whose phant is retarded by the trust friends in power to plunder has been gained by the Senate and House who are represented corrupt practices, the strongest and boldas holding onto his tail and trying to pre- est pictures are called for in order to vent his advance. Under the picture is
arouse the public as a tocsin or alarm-bell the query, “Will the tail wag the ele- in olden times aroused the sleeping popuphant?” In passing we may say that it lace in hours when a great and deadly certainly will so long as the Republican danger appeared. party depends on the trusts and the public-service corporations for enormous campaign funds.
Another notable cartoon of a national character was called forth when it appeared that President Roosevelt was going to push the postal fraud investigation to the very top of the department with sufficient vigor and alacrity to prevent the statute of limitation expiring before certain guilty ones could escape. In the cartoon the elephant and the postmaster-general, as they ascend the moun
Rogers, in New York Herald. tain of postal frauds, become seriously Uncle Sam="THAT'S A LIVE WIRE, GENTLEMEN !"