A portfolio of cartoons from the exhibition, “Sketching Their Characters: 150 Years of Political Cartoons,” which runs through Jan. 4, 2009, at the Leonard L. Milberg Gallery in Firestone Library.

A sampler of political cartoons

A portfolio of cartoons from the exhibition, “Sketching Their Characters: 150 Years of Political Cartoons,” which runs through Jan. 4, 2009, at the Leonard L. Milberg Gallery in Firestone Library.

James Akin (1773-1846). “The pedlar and his pack, or the desperate effort, an over balance.” This print depicts the editor of the Philadelphia Democratic Press, John Binns, who had published handbills accusing candidate Andrew Jackson of arbitrary executions and other violent acts. These were countered by pro-Jackson handbills and some of the earliest presidential campaign caricatures. Here, Binns supports a load of coffins on his back, along with the figures of Henry Clay and incumbent President Adams.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Thomas Nast, ca. 1888. “$10,000 compliments of Pious John to help carry Indiana.” Nash suggest that department-store magnate “Pious John” Wanamaker gave away some of his fortune to support the campaign of candidate Benjamin Harrison, who is wearing the too-large hat of his grandfather, President William Henry Harrison.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Bernard Gillam, 1883. “A warning to Grover Cleveland in 1883 that the Tammany organization support had proved fatal to three Democratic candidates already.” This illustration for Puck magazine shows Democratic hopeful Grover Cleveland as worse for wear after a struggle with Thomas Nast’s Tammany tiger.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

William H. Walker, 1908. Untitled. William Howard Taft had served as Teddy Roosevelt’s secretary of war and ran for the presidency with Roosevelt’s strong support. Critics viewed him as Roosevelt’s pawn.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Charles Lewis Bartholomew, ca. 1912. Untitled. This election marked the only time that graduates of Harvard (Teddy Roosevelt, top), Princeton (Woodrow Wilson 1879), and Yale (President William Howard Taft) competed in a presidential election campaign. Wilson, of course, won.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Carey Cartoon Service, 1916. “The Rival Shows.” This cartoon depicts American politics as a carnival, showing the challengers Woodow Wilson 1879 faced in his bid for re-election: Republican opponent Charles Evans Hughes, a possible second run of “Bull Schmoosin” Teddy Roosevelt, and a potential challenge from former political patron William Jennings Bryan.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

William H. Walker, 1920. “Woman’s Vote.” In the first presidential election in which they could vote, women were wooed by both major parties.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Tulley (first name unknown), ca. 1932. “Hoover Prosperity.” The cartoon mocks Herbert Hoover’s contention that prosperity was just around the corner.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Greaves (first name unknown), 1940. “The king can do no wrong.” Critics of F.D.R.’s pursuit of a third term portrayed him as a king who considered himself above the law.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

William H. Summers, 1948. “Keeping us on the bologna diet.” Summers portrayed President Harry Truman’s attacks on Congress as baloney.
Courtesy Princeton University Archives

Unknown artist, 1959. “He wasn’t there again today – How, how we wish he’d go away.” Though Adlai Stevenson 1922 lost the presidential race two times, his unseen presence overshadowed the Democratic nominating process in 1960. Here, contenders Stuart Symington, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, and John F. Kennedy lament Stevenson’s unfilled shoes (note the famous hole). The cartoon references a nursery rhyme and 1930s song, “The Little Man Who Wasn’t There”: “As I was going up the stair / I saw a man who wasn’t there / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish, he’d stay away.”
Courtesy Princeton University Archives