An heir to the throne, or the next Republication candidate

An heir to the throne, or the next Republication candidate


Title: An heir to the throne, or the next Republication candidate

Year: 1860

Creator: Louis Maurer, Lithograph, Currier & Ives, October 1860

Description: The Republicans’ reported support of Negro rights is taken to an extreme here. Editor Horace Greeley (left) and candidate Abraham Lincoln (resting his elbow on a rail at right) stand on either side of a short black man holding a spear. The latter is the deformed African man recently featured at P.T. Barnum’s Museum on Broadway as the “What-is-it.” (A poster for this attraction appears on the wall behind.) Greeley says, “Gentlemen allow me to introduce to you, this illustrious individual in whom you will find combined, all the graces, and virtues of Black Republicanism, and whom we propose to run as our next Candidate for the Presidency.” Lincoln muses, “How fortunate! that this intellectual and noble creature should have been discovered just at this time, to prove to the world the superiority of the Colored over the Anglo Saxon race, he will be a worthy successor to carry out the policy which I shall inaugurate.” The black man wonders, “What, can dey be?” Shaw: Barnum’s Museum in New York was established in 1857, but it had been closed for some time and was reopening with great hullabaloo in 1860. Among its attractions was a strange creature whom the Great Showman had named ‘What Is It?’ The cartoon disparages Lincoln’s candidacy by suggesting that Barnum’s freak would be nominated by the Republicans four years later. Horace Greeley introduces the ‘illustrious individual’ as combining all the graces and virtues of Black Republicanism. Lincoln accepts the ‘intellectual and noble creature’ as his own worthy successor, who will provet o the world the ‘superiority of the Colored over the Anglo-Saxon race.”