Would You Marry Your Daughter To A Nigger?

July 1, 1868, page 444

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Rev. Dr. Chase (to the bride).  "Do you promise to love, honor, and obey--?"
The Bride.  "Don't I?"


One of the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1868 was U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, a former anti-slavery activist and treasury secretary in the Lincoln administration. Beside those incongruities with the Democratic party, Chase was a supporter of civil rights for black Americans during the Reconstruction era. He eventually lost the Democratic nomination to Horatio Seymour, the former governor of New York who had vigorously opposed the Civil War draft.

Cartoonist Thomas Nast saw the irony of the Chase candidacy and turned the tables on the Democrats. In this cartoon he asks the same question about the Democratic party that Democratic politicians and newspapers employed to frighten their constituencies away from the Republican party: "Would you marry your daughter to a Nigger?" In the center of the picture, Chase presides as the officiating minister between a black man and an Irish-American woman representing the Democratic party.

The other figures in the cartoon are leading Democratic politicians. On the left side (l-r): John Hoffman, New York gubernatorial candidate; John Morrissey, Tammany Hall associate and former prize-fighter; Fernando Wood (background), former New York City mayor; Manton Marble, New York World editor; Senator Thomas Hendricks of Indiana, a presidential candidate; and, James Gordon Bennett Sr., former New York Herald editor.

On the right side (l-r): Horatio Seymour, former New York governor and eventual 1868 presidential nominee; Representative James Brooks of New York; Clement Vallandingham, former leader of the Peace Democrats; Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin (background), a presidential candidate; George Pendleton, 1864 vice presidential nominee and the leading 1868 presidential candidate; Raphael Semmes (background), famed Confederate admiral; and Nathan Bedford Forrest, former Confederate general of Fort Pillow infamy.


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