Item: American Gold political cartoon, 1882

If you would like to purchase this image, please contact RNR@hsp.org

Bookmark and Share
Record Number: 12150
Box/Case: 5
Folder: 2
Artist: Opper, Frederick Burr, 1857-1937
Lithographer: Meyer, Merkel, & Ottman
Publisher: Keppler & Schwarzmann
Repository: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Date of Original: May 24 1882
Original Format: Prints › Lithographs › Chromolithographs, Political cartoons, Clippings
Dimensions: Dimensions of image, 33 by 25.5 cm
Image description: The political cartoon is divided into two parts. The left side of the image is labeled "United States-Working for it" and depicts several Irishman working at a construction site. A woman in the upper left corner of the image is using a wash basin to do her laundry. Meanwhile, on the right side of the image, labeled "Ireland-Waiting for it," a poor family sits on a hillside overlooking the sea. There is a bottle of alcohol on the ground, a dilapidated shack in the background, and pigs. A mother holds a baby on her lap while her other children lie down lazily on the grass. The father looks out into the distance at the "Relief ship." On the upper right corner of the image, two men use their spyglasses to view the ship, and next to them is a box labeled "agitation and disturbance fund."

The political cartoon criticizes Irish-Americans for sending money back to Ireland to aid victims of famine and to support the Irish National Land League. The Land League sought to help Irish tenant farmers who were being evicted from their lands by Anglo-Protestant Land owners. The editors of Puck, however, looked critically upon the relief fund and the Land League, and claimed that the money was funding extremist activities. In fact, the editorial which accompanies the political cartoon expresses anger at naturalized Irish-Americans who "pretend to be American" and send their money to the "turbulent island."