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Mugwump Cartoonists, the Papacy, and Tammany Hall in America’s Gilded Age

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2018


In the Gilded Age of extreme partisan politics, Puck magazine, the nation's premier journal of graphic humor and political satire, played an important role as a non-partisan crusader for good government and the triumph of American constitutional ideals. Its prime targets, however, were not just corrupt machine politicians. The magazine included as well what it, like the letterpress, condemned as the nefarious political agenda of the Catholic church, especially its new pope, Leo XIII. Indeed, New York's infamous Tammany Hall, committed to spoils and patronage as the means of dominating the body politic, was all the more dangerous to Puck because, beginning in the 1870s, Irish Catholics dominated it. The hall's Irish Catholic base enabled the magazine to rationalize more completely its conviction that the Catholic church, ruled by a foreign potentate dressed in the irrational garb of infallibility, was a menace not only to the nation's body politic but also to its democratic soul. If allowed to proceed unimpeded, the pope and his minions, along with Tammany's bosses and supporters, would convert the nation into their personal fiefdom. Puck was not about to let that happen. In cartoons and editorials spanning two decades, the magazine blasted and often conjoined both Tammany and the papacy with invidious comparisons that left few readers in doubt as to their complicity. Although scholars have noted how the American letterpress also alluded to a connection between Tammany and the Catholic church, Puck's unparalleled comprehensive strategy to perpetuate and strengthen that connection has never been scrutinized. This essay redresses that oversight of an age when the public and its politicians reckoned very seriously the editorial artistry of great political cartoonists, especially those who drew for Puck.

Research Article
Copyright © Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture 2004

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The cartoons cited in this essay were authorized for scholarly use and photographed from the originals, courtesy of the Special Collections of the University of Michigan Libraries, Ann Arbor, the General Research Division, New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundation, and the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library. The inspiration for this essay is an earlier article by Eid, Leroy V., “Puck and the Irish: The One American Idea,” Eire-Ireland: A Journal of Irish Studies 11 (Summer 1976): esp. 2225 and 28–29Google Scholar.

1. Mitchell, J. A., “Contemporary American Caricature,” Scribner's Magazine 6 (1889): 728 Google Scholar. A more recent and still excellent analysis of the value of political cartoons as primary sources rather than just as illustrations is Kemnitz, Thomas Milton, “The Cartoon as a Historical Source,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 4 (Summer 1973): 8193 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. A shorter piece is Edwards, Rebecca, “Politics as Social History: Political Cartoons in the Gilded Age,” OAH Magazine of History 13 (Summer 1999): 1115 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. The best volume on the historical value of political cartoons is Press, Charles, The Political Cartoon (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 1981)Google Scholar. There is a good sketch of Puck and its rival, Judge, on 254–69. A good introduction to the subject and a wide-ranging analysis is Fischer, Roger, Them Damned Pictures: Explorations in American Political Cartoon Art (North Haven, Conn.: Archon Books, 1996)Google Scholar. For an earlier appraisal of Puck's influence, see Mott, Frank Luther, History of American Magazines, vol. 3 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), 528, 532Google Scholar.

2. Joseph Keppler and his cofounder, Adolf Schwarzmann, published both German and English language versions of Puck. The former, begun in 1876, preceded the English edition by several months and lasted twenty-one years. It contained the same cartoons, but its articles were written for New York's large German-American community. The more famous, enduring, and, by 1880, more profitable version was the English language Puck published in New York City from March 1877 to September 1918. West, Richard Samuel, Satire on Stone: The Political Cartoons of Joseph Keppler (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 106–16Google Scholar; Marschall, Richard, “A History of Puck, Judge, and Life,” in The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, ed. Horn, Maurice (Detroit: 1980), 703–10Google Scholar.

3. “Mugwump,” derived from the native-American term meaning “chief,” originated in 1884 as a derogatory description of those liberal Republicans who bolted their party to support the Democratic presidential nominee, Grover Cleveland. Since that time, the term has taken on a broader meaning to describe those who supported political independence or nonpartisanship and specifically those elitist, middle-class, urban reformers, both before and after 1884, who wanted to restore honesty to the electoral process at all levels and worked for civil service reform as a way to eliminate patronage and the spoils system from the political process. Mugwumps also opposed monopoly, favored free trade, battled labor radicalism, opposed the clericalism of organized religion, and expressed contempt for immigrants, especially the Irish, who exchanged their votes for favors from machine bosses. There are a large number of studies that describe mugwump ideology in detail. Among the best are: Tucker, David M., Mugwumps: Public Moralists of the Gilded Age (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1998)Google Scholar; McFarland, Gerald W., Mugwumps, Morals, and Politics, 1884–1920 (Boston: University of Mas sachusetts Press, 1975)Google Scholar; Sproat, John, The Best Men: Liberal Reformers of the Gilded Age (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968)Google Scholar; and a still valuable, though somewhat dated historiographical essay by Blodgett, Geoffrey, “The Mugwump Reputation, 1870–present,” Journal of American History 66 (March 1980): 867–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Competing interpretations continue over whether mugwumps advocated reform to regain their class's lost political status in post-Civil War urban America (Sproat) or were driven by a strong moralistic sense of righteousness and principle (Tucker), although the latter view has gained considerable support. For an analysis of mugwump cartoonists and their battle to bring down Tammany Hall, see Thomas, Samuel J., “Holding the Tiger: Mugwump Cartoonists and Tammany Hall in Gilded Age New York,” New York History 82 (Spring 2001): 5582 Google Scholar.

4. West, Satire on Stone, 117–18, 125–28; Marschall, “A History of Puck, Judge, and Life,” 703–10. Puck's circulation exceeded that of both the New York Times and New York Post. Its value as an object of historical study lay, in part, in the consensus building that preceded every issue's cartoons. Although lead cartoonist and cofounder Joseph Keppler had the last word, he did so only after conferencing with his staff, whose input he valued. Moreover, in contrast to its chief rival, the avowedly Republican Judge, Puck proclaimed and strove for nonpartisanship or independence, hence its mugwump orientation.

5. There is no historiography as such on the Catholic image in Gilded Age graphic art. Among the handful of essays that deal with the subject, the earliest and most direct treatment is in Eid, “Puck and the Irish,” 18–35. Less focused on the church but nonetheless helpful is Leroy V. Eid, “Puck, the Irish, and Irish Americans, 1877–1890,” Irish American Review (Fall 1979): 71–79. See, too, Thomas, Samuel J., “Portraits of a Rebel Priest: Edward Mc-Glynn in Caricature, 1886–1893,” Journal of American Culture 7 (Winter 1984): 1934 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Cartoonists for other magazines, notably the Republican Judge and Harper's Weekly, occasionally implied or charged connections between the church, the Irish, and Tammany. See, for example, “Exultant Tammanyite,” Harper's Weekly, October 30, 1880, 695. For more general examples of Puck's mockery of organized religion, see “From ‘Revivals’ to Lunatic Asylums Is But a Step,” August 4, 1880; “Puck's Suggestion to the Congress of Religions,” September 13, 1893; and “Our Foreign Missions: An Embarrassment of Riches for the Heathen,” May 23, 1900.

6. Mott, American Magazines, 525–28; Thomas, “Holding the Tiger,” 158. West, Satire on Stone, 285, notes that Puck's paid circulation actually topped 125,000 during the presidential campaign of 1884.

7. Mugwump moralism is the topic of a recently acclaimed study by David M. Tucker, Mugwumps: Public Moralists of the Gilded Age. For a discussion of Puck's nonpartisanship, see the author's “Holding the Tiger.” “Honest” John Kelly, proudly known as a devout Catholic, succeeded the Scotch-Presbyterian Tweed in the late 1870s. Under his influence, William Grace became New York City's first Irish-Catholic mayor in 1880. For an insightful discussion of the resurgent anti-Catholicism and its heavily anticlerical component at the beginning of the Gilded Age, see John McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003), chap. 4. For a discussion that sets anti-Catholicism in its broader nativist context, see too Higham, John's classic, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1865–1920, 2d ed. (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1988), chap. 2, especially 2634 Google Scholar. Puck's identification of the pope as another boss was more prescient than it realized. In Jay Dolan's prize-winning study of The Immigrant Church: New York's Irish and German Catholics, 1815–1865 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), 167–68, the historian referred to the increasing centralization of power by the pope and bishops as “the emergence of boss rule in the church.”

8. One of a number of influential publications that helped establish the psychological framework for many of the accusations later made by Puck against the papacy is Beecher, Edward, The Papal Conspiracy Exposed, and Protestantism Defended, in the Light of Reason, History, and Scripture (New York: M. W. Dodd, 1855; repr., New York: Arno Press, 1977)Google Scholar. See also, Cornell president Andrew Dickson White's reference to “priestly influence in Tammany Hall,” quoted in McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, 105.

9. McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom, mentions “Grant, Garfield, and Hayes, George William Curtis… at Harper's… E. L. Godkin of the Nation, Joseph Medill of the Chicago Tribune, and the editors of the New York Times” (93). Fischer, Damned Pictures, 23, credits Thomas Nast as the “intuitive genius whose tantrums against Tammany and Rome essentially defined the profession of political cartooning for [Puck’s] Keppler” and other important cartoonists that followed him.

10. To reiterate, the best general work on the nature and significance of the political cartoon is Press, The Political Cartoon. First quote is from Fischer, Damn Pictures, 23; second quote is from Leonard, Thomas C., The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 131 Google Scholar; third and fourth quotes are from Mott, American Magazines, 528, 532. For a contemporary assessment of the political cartoon in which Puck plays a featured role, see Mitchell, “Contemporary American Caricature,” 728–44. He observes that the “American public have a weakness for intellectual art. They like an idea in their pictures, and if they can have it well told, graphic, technically good, and with a touch of human nature, they like it all the better” (735). Puck's cartoons were among the best examples of such art (730, 734).

11. The term “anticlericalism,” as used in this essay, was simply the most salient component of Puck's anti-Catholicism rather than distinct from it. Richard P. McBrien, ed., The Harper-Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism (San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco, 1995), 324, gives the most contextualized definition of the word clericalism: “a term coined ca. 1865 in Italy to describe a supposed system employed by clergy to oppose Italian unity. It also refers to attitudes and behaviors of clergy designed to underscore the privileged status of priests and bishops. The term enjoyed some currency in both France and Italy in the nineteenth century because it provided a convenient label by which those who mistrusted religion in general, and the Catholic church in particular, could advance an antireligious agenda. The supposed aim of the clericalist system was the subjugation of civil government to the control of the pope through the influence of local bishops and priests. The term later expanded to include any perceived incursion of religion into public affairs, particularly those involving attempts to gain power over the state.” For a broader definition that is still consistent with McBrien’s, see Sanchez, Jose, Anticlericalism: A Brief History (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1972), 111 Google Scholar.

12. Other early Puck cartoons that played on one or more of the themes explained here include: “Go for It,” February 20, 1878; “The Papal Fish. Italy Again Comes in for the Pickings,” February 27, 1878; “Who Decides the European Questions? To Which Power Must All Things Yield?” March 13, 1878; and “Monarchical Devotion—A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” January 7, 1880.

13. Kate Holladay Claghorn, “The Foreign Immigrant in New York City,” in Reports of the Industrial Commission, vol. 5 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1901), 465–92, cited on German Americans numbered about 430,000, but the Irish were much more homogeneous religiously and politically than were the more divided Germans and were the mainstay of Democratic strength in the city. See, too, Blodgett, Geoffrey, “Ethno-Cultural Realities in Presidential Patronage: Grover Cleveland's Choices,” New York History 81 (April 2000): 198201 Google Scholar, and Shannon, William, The American Irish (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967)Google Scholar, and “Beyond Resuscitation,” Puck, December 12, 1894, for another example of the identification of Tammany with the church.

14. Connable, Alfred and Silberfarb, Edward, Tigers of Tammany: Nine Men Who Ruled New York (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967), 178, 181–83Google Scholar, argue persuasively that Boss Kelly, thoroughly imbued with Roman Catholic ritual and organization, was influenced “by the Church's sense of hierarchy and authority in drawing up his plans for Tammany and in maintaining institutional discipline.” He also kept up the Tammany custom of giving large cash donations to the church, another basis for allegations of collusion. See, too, Allen, Oliver E., The Tiger: The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1993), 148–54Google Scholar; and Burrows, Edwin G. and Wallace, Mike, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 1103–4Google Scholar.

15. Editorial, Puck, March 20, 1878. For other examples of alleged collusion between the church and Tammany as it pertained to the public school system, see “A Picture without Words,” January 16, 1884, and a similarly titled and drawn “Picture without Words,” January 3, 1894. The Catholic bishops’ attempts to secure public funding for Catholic schools (on grounds that the so-called public school was seriously antagonistic toward Catholic students and a direct threat to their religious beliefs) began in earnest in 1840 under New York's Bishop John Hughes. Subsequent efforts by other bishops also failed, although in a number of dioceses (most notably in Poughkeepsie, New York) city officials and pastors were able to work out compromises that allowed for some public funding on condition that the teachers would provide religious instruction after regular school hours. In 1894, a New York State constitutional convention outlawed arrangements that provided public funds to private schools. The “school controversy” is long and complex, and while the cartoonists’ treatment of it has yet to be critically examined, several scholars have analyzed the issue. Shelley, Thomas J., “Poughkeepsie School Plan,” in The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, ed. Glazier, Michael and Shelly, Thomas J. (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1997), 1159–60Google Scholar; McCluskey, Neil G., S.J., ed., Catholic Education in America: A Documentary History (New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1964)Google Scholar; Lannie, Vincent P., Public Money and Parochial Education: Bishop Hughes, Governor Seward, and the New York School Controversy (Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1968)Google Scholar; Buetow, Harold A., Of Singular Benefit: The Story of Catholic Education in the United States (London: Macmillan, 1970)Google Scholar; and Reilly, Daniel F., The School Controversy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943; repr., New York: Arno Press, 1969)Google Scholar.

16. Editorial, Puck, October 27, 1880, and Editorial, Puck, November 12, 1880. See, too, Allen, The Tiger, 164–65. The extent of Puck's hostility toward the church, however intense its expression, did not go as far as the more extreme anti-Catholic American Protective Association (APA), whose heyday lasted from 1887 to about 1894. In the cartoon “Darn Ye Both” and the accompanying Editorial, “Bigot against Zealot,” November 7, 1894, Puck condemned the APA as even more insidious than the church against which it railed. It found the organization's general lack of civility, extreme language, secrecy and “hunger for office”… “more inimical [than any church] to all that is vital and honorable to our political system.” Here was a classic instance of moralistic mugwumps disagreeing more with the means employed than the ends served. See Tucker, Mugwumps, and Thomas, “Holding the Tiger,” for more in-depth analysis of the mugwumps as moralists. For a thorough treatment of the APA, see Kinzer, Donald L., An Episode in Anti-Catholicism: The American Protective Association (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964)Google Scholar.

17. Both Republican Whitelaw Reid and Democrat Charles A. Dana were frequent targets of Puck's cartoonists. Both men, for example, received ridicule in the cartoon “Mugwump!” June 23, 1886. For criticism of Dana's friendliness to the church, see Editorial, “The Hunted Man,” Puck, August 2, 1899. Cyrus Adler, “Isaacs, Myer Samuel,” Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 7 (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1916), 634.

18. The magazine concurred with the popular suspicion that Catholics were out to undermine public schools, but its immediate concern may have stemmed from the days of Boss Tweed who, between 1869 and 1871, had been instrumental in securing $1.5 million of public funds (from both the state and the city) for Catholic schools and charities. Burrows and Mike Wallace, Gotham, 1005. McCloskey's successor, Michael Corrigan, during the tenure of Kelly's successor, Richard Croker, secured the support of the Tammany Democracy in his program to build numerous parochial schools in Manhattan. Burrows and Wallace, Gotham, 1094; quote from 1104. Puck used the connection to further its argument of collusion between the church and the hall. See “Beyond Resuscitation,” Puck, December 12, 1894. Puck's cartoons on the school question were heirs to those of Harper's Thomas Nast and often echoed the mean-spiritedness of his infamous “The American River Ganges,” Harper's Weekly, September 30, 1871, showing bishops as crocodiles crawling ashore to devour American school children.

19. Editorial, “To Leo XIII,” Puck, June 25, 1887. The magazine persisted in its antipapal/anticlerical mode despite papal actions that evoked a more positive response from important papers and journals, especially between 1888 and 1894, when Leo's sympathies seemed to favor what scholars have labeled the liberal or Americanist element in the Catholic hierarchy. See Thomas, Samuel J., “The American Press and the Encyclical Longinqua Oceani,” Journal of Church and State 22 (Autumn 1980): 477–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Keppler and Bunner never changed their negative perception. For an example of how Puck viewed Irish political clout, see “They All Do It—Cringing Before the Irish Vote and Support,” April 3, 1889.

20. See, too, “The Papal Farm, A Craze for Religious Colonization,” Puck, July 16, 1879. The accompanying editorial mockingly asks: “And if the Catholics fill up our Western waste places, what are our Judges, Lawyers, Sheriffs, etc., to do for a living, when an ‘indulgence’ for crime may be purchased cheap for cash?”

21. As early as 1878, Puck editorials, February 20 and February 27, pushed the theme of papal greed. As historian Roger Fischer noted in his Damned Pictures, “The popular humor of the day was raucously, unapologetically elitist in its ethnicity,” especially with regard to blacks, Irish, and Jews (70). Puck unabashedly took part in their ridicule, although, strange as it may seem, it also defended Jews and blacks on occasion and, at times, even endowed its favorite target, the Irishman, with victim status. See, too, West, Satire on Stone, 344. Puck's favoritism toward German-speaking immigrants is obvious in “A Family Party,” October 3, 1883. See Appel, John J., “Jews in American Caricature, 1820–1914,” American Jewish History 71 (September 1981): 103–33Google Scholar, and Fischer, Damned Pictures, 71, 90–100, for a good analysis of the uses of stereotype in Gilded Age cartoons.

22. Puck used animal forms to personify Tammany bosses and other unsavory types as well. See, for example, “Puck's Political Hunting Ground,” January 14, 1885; and “The Temptation,” September 19, 1883.

23. Accompanying “The Infallible,” November 21, 1877, a cartoon on the imminent death of Pope Pius IX, the editorial explains the magazine's attitude toward the church and papacy: “the head of an iniquitous politicalreligious system, based on deplorable ignorance and revolting superstition … there will at least be one bigot less in the world.” Some Catholic readers protested Puck's treatment of Pius. In response, the magazine's editor declared that the magazine had never attacked the church but rather “certain social and political abuses… . Seeing the whole organization of this religion prostituted by unworthy officials; used as a mere money-getting machine.” Then the editor went to the heart of his magazine's stand: “It has always been the misuse of the temporal power vested in the administration of church government which we sought to expose.” The cartoons “Going for It,” February 20, 1878, “The Papal Fish,” February 27, 1878, and “Cardinal McCloskey's Disappointment,” March 6, 1878, provide additional explanations of the antipapal stance that Puck would pursue for the next two decades. For a study of “The American press response to the death of Pope Pius IX and the election of Pope Leo XIII,” see the author's article in the Records of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia 86 (March–December 1975): 43–52. See, too, Thomas, Samuel J., “The American Press and the Church-State Pronouncements of Pope Leo XIII,” U.S. Catholic Historian 1 (Fall 1980): 1736 Google Scholar, for a discussion of the full range of the press's response to the pope's encyclicals on the subject.

24. For examples of Puck's attitude toward the doctrine of papal infallibility, see “The Infallible,” November 21, 1877, and “April Fools Day,” March 27, 1878. Editorial, Puck, March 6, 1878, defends Keppler against charges of anti-Catholic bigotry: “Mr. Keppler seizes this opportunity to mention the fact that he too is a Roman Catholic born, living, and hoping to die in the faith, and go to heaven of the late lamented pontiff [Pius IX].” L. Draper Hill, Jr., “What Fools These Mortals Be! A Study of the Work of Joseph Keppler— Founder of Puck” (Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College, 1957), 54, argues, “Keppler had severed his formal ties with [the Catholic church] upon his arrival in this country.” West, Satire on Stone, 118, concurs. Roger Fischer, Damned Pictures, 30, disagrees but does not cite any evidence.

25. There was heavy press coverage of the Roman Question during Leo's pontificate. See, for example, the mugwump Nation, October 24, 1878, 251–52; August 11, 1881, 112; October 11, 1883, 303; November 17, 1887, 390–91; January 12, 1888, 23; September 20, 1888, 223; and July 2, 1896, 7. See, too, John Courtney Murray, S.J., “Leo XIII on Church and State: The General Structure of the Controversy,” Theological Studies 14 (1953): 1, and Thomas, “Church-State Pronouncements.”

26. Leo's stand on the Roman Question is familiar to church historians. He dutifully continued Pius's protest of the loss of temporal power but often in terms that seemed no more than pro forma. Indeed, scholars have long known that he never expected full restoration, just sovereignty over Vatican City. See, for example, the essay by S. William Halperin, “Leo XIII and the Roman Question,” in Leo XIII and the Modern World, ed. Edward Gargan (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1961), 101–24. Among the pope's encyclicals that emphasized the importance of restoring his temporal power were: Inscrutabili Dei Consilio (1878); Etsi Nos (1882); Superiori Anno (1884); Dall’alto dell Apostolico Seggio (1890); Inimica Vis (1892). There is a brief synopsis of each in Mary, Sister Carlen, Claudia, Dictionary of Papal Pronouncements: Leo XIII to Pius XII (New York: P. J. Kennedy, 1958)Google Scholar. In its Editorial, April 12, 1882, and on the basis of its reading of the actions taken at the Catholic bishops’ Fourth Provincial Council of Cincinnati, Puck, for the first time, declared what it had long believed, that “a good Roman Catholic cannot be a good American citizen.” See the accompanying cartoon, “The Declaration of Dependence,” April 12, 1882.

27. XIIILeo, Pope, Immortali Dei, in The Church Speaks to the Modern World: The Social Teachings of Leo XIII, ed. Gilson, Etienne (New York: Signet, 1954), 161–84Google Scholar. The anti-Catholic legislation began in 1870 under German Chancellor Otto von Bismark and culminated in “May Laws” of 1873. The result was popularly and somewhat euphemistically referred to as the Kulturkampf or conflict of cultures (that is, between the German Empire and the Catholic church).

28. Although directed primarily to its middle-class readership, the cartoons of Puck enabled the magazine also to spread mugwumpism to the masses. Indeed, Keppler condescendingly believed that the education of “unreasoning though honest” workingmen, so many of whom were dependent on the patronage of the machine, was prerequisite to the transformation of political life. The first to document Puck's role as a popularizer of mugwump ideology was Virginia graduate student Daniel Backer, whose Master's thesis, “Uniting Mugwumps and the Masses: Puck's Role in Gilded Age Politics” (1996), may be accessed on-line at∼MA96/PUCK/clphn.html.

29. Editorial, “The Pope's Letter,” New York Times, November 26, 1885, 4; G. S. Baker, “The Aggressions of the Pope,” reprinted from the Churchman in Public Opinion, February 19, 1886, 411. In Editorial, Puck, November 18, 1885, Bunner makes one of his frequent dismissive remarks that most Americans do not “really fear that the Government … will ever fall into the hands of the … Church,” but the magazine's cavalier editorial attitude almost always understates the fear and anxiety about just such a possibility that its cartoons imply.

30. Editorial, “To Leo XIII,” Harpers Weekly, June 25, 1887, 458; Editorial, “The Pope and Politics,” New York Times, February 11, 1890, 4; “The Outlook,” Christian Union, April 3, 1890, 475. The influential Christian Union went further when it inferred that the papal letter would encourage priests and bishops to tell Catholics how to vote. Thomas, “Church-State Pronouncements,” 26–28.

31. See, for example, Editorial, Puck, May 9, 1883; and Editorial, Puck, December 12, 1894. To emphasize the parallels between the church and the hall, Puck published several cartoons depicting machine politicians dressed as Catholic clerics or mockingly pictured as saints in its attempts to link, at least structurally, the church with corrupt politics. For an example of the former, see “The American Sixtus the Fifth,” May 18, 1881; for the latter, see “The Westminster Abbey of New York—A Suitable Burying Place for Gotham's Heroes,” March 21, 1883.

32. Leo XIII, Libertas, in Church Speaks, ed. Gilson., 57–82, esp. par. 21.

33. See, for example, Editorial, “The Latest Encyclical,” Independent, August 2, 1888, 12. In Leo XIII, Libertas, paragraphs 26, 29, 32, 39, 41, and 44 may easily be and probably were taken out of context and interpreted to mean, as one writer put it, that “the state must accept its truths from Rome and must root out anti-Catholic activity.” J. Burton, “The Present Purposes of Papal Quebec,” Our Day 3 (June 1889): 541.

34. Fischer, Damned Pictures, 74–75, points to the influence of the English humor periodical Punch as the source of Keppler's (and Nast’s) monkey imagery of the Irishman. Both were reacting to the Irishman's alleged threat to “hallowed Anglo-American verities and social institutions.” For an analogous cartoon of the Irish/Tammany as a political threat to the country, see “They All Do It—Cringing Before the Irish Vote and Support,” Puck, April 3, 1889.

35. Editorial, July 24, 1889. It is curious that Bunner blasted Harrison and used his broken campaign promise as a way of warning its readers never to trust similar promises by a future Roman Catholic candidate. Besides Puck's disappointment over Cleveland's unsuccessful bid for a second term, it is possible that the editor knew of Archbishop John Ireland's friendship with the new president. See O’Connell, Marvin R., John Ireland and the American Catholic Church (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1988), 395–96Google Scholar. Ireland was also close friends with subsequent presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

36. Editorial, “The Pope and Politics,” New York Times, February 11, 1890, 4.

37. Notable papal interventions, besides those treated in this essay, included Leo's toleration of Catholic membership in the American Knights of Labor in 1886; his excommunication of Father Edward McGlynn for insubordination in 1887; his rejection of a formal proposal in 1891 to form more parishes based on nationality; his approval of a Catholic university in Washington, D.C.; and his directives to build parochial schools for each parish. See Thomas, Samuel J., “The American Periodical Press and the Apostolic Letter, Testem Benevolentiae,” Catholic Historical Review 62 (July 1976): 408 Google Scholar. Among the few papal actions that received qualified support in the secular and Protestant press was Leo's approval of the excommunication (from 1887 to 1892) of the social activist priest the Reverend Edward McGlynn. The press interpreted the excommunication for insubordination as a censure against the priest's support of single-tax advocate Henry George, widely condemned at the time as in league with socialists. The best treatment of the McGlynn episode is in Curran, Robert Emmett, Michael Augustine Corrigan and the Shaping of Conservative Catholicism in America, 1878–1902 (New York: Arno Press, 1978)Google Scholar. For Puck's treatment of the McGlynn controversy, see Thomas, “Portraits of a Rebel Priest.”

38. Reilly, School Controversy, is a solid analysis of this episode and has appendices that include both Ireland's address and the pope's letter.

39. The terms “liberal” or “Americanist” and “conservative” are problematic in most contexts, not least of all as a means of distinguishing the attitudes and outlooks of Catholic bishops in the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century. It will suffice here to define the liberals as suggested by historian Christopher Kauffman: Bishops such as James Gibbons of Baltimore, John Ireland of St. Paul, and John Keane of the Catholic University were “transformationalists, since they believed that, as a result of the encounter between Catholicism and American culture, both experienced a positive change,” while conservative bishops such as Michael Corrigan of New York, Frederick Katzer of Milwaukee, and Bernard McQuaid of Rochester were “preservationists reluctant to risk the integrity of the [Catholic] faith in a democratic, pluralist society.” Quoted in Turning toward the New Century: The Catholic Church's Encounter with American Culture at the Turn of the Century, “America's Bishops,” It is worth noting that liberals believed that they were not compromising the essential doctrinal and disciplinary components of their Catholicism by fully supporting the separation of church and state and the constitutional right to freedom of religion. Conservatives were not comfortable with that position and were far less ecumenically inclined than the liberals. One of the earliest and still best attempts to define both sides is Cross, Robert D., The Emergence of Liberal Catholicism in America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957)Google Scholar.

40. The divide between minority Americanist bishops and the conservative bishops had begun in the early 1880s and reemerged not long after the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884. See Dolan, Jay P., The American Catholic Experience: A History From Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Doubleday, 1985), 312–13Google Scholar.

41. Americanist bishops tended also to be nationalists and hoped that their immigrant flocks would quickly assimilate. Thomas, “Testem Benevolentiae,” 408–9. David O’Brien, “Americanism,” in Glazier and Shelley, Catholic History, 97–98, and O’Brien, David, The Renewal of American Catholicism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), 80108 Google Scholar, argues cogently that Leo's own return, in 1895, to the defensive, conservative, traditionalist stance of Pius IX may have been motivated in large part by his conviction that it was the only way to prevent the disintegration in Protestantism from infecting the Catholic church. For a good general discussion of the liberal-conservative controversy and its attendant issues, see Dolan, American Catholic Experience, chap. 12, “Religion and Society,” and Dolan, Jay P., In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), chap. 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar, “In Search of an American Catholicism.” The United States did not establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican until 1983.

42. Editorial, “On an Old Subject,” Puck, January 3, 1894.

43. Editorial, “Concerning the American Pope,” Puck, September 5, 1894. For a reiteration of Puck's strongly negative view of Satolli in the very same editorial in which its editor condemned the APA, see Editorial, “Bigot against Zealot,” Puck, November 7, 1894. Editorial, “An Unholy Alliance,” Puck, December 12, 1894, includes another reference to “an American Deputy Pope.”

44. Anti-Catholic papers and their spokesmen, in particular, had a field day with what they interpreted as the encyclical's openness to an established church. See, for example, Traynor, William, “The Menace of Romanism,” North American Review 161 (August 1895): 129–34Google Scholar; and “Leo XIII to the Church in the United States,” Christian Advocate 14 (February 1895): 99–100. More mainstream papers, however, were also critical. See Editorial Note, Nation, January 1895, 83; Editorial, “The Pope and the Bishops,” New York Times, January 29, 1895, 5; and Editorial, “The Recent Encyclical of Leo XIII,” Harper's Weekly, March 9, 1895, 218. For a detailed study of the press response to this encyclical, see the author's “The American Press and the Encyclical Longinqua Oceani,” 475–86.

45. Editorial, “An Opening for a Deserving Young Republic,” Puck, February 13, 1895.

46. The full text of the letter is reprinted in Ellis, John Tracy, ed., Documents of American Catholic History, vol. 2, 1866–1966 (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1987), 537–47Google Scholar.

47. Thomas, “Testem Benevolentiae,” 408–9. To their critics, the Americanists, by placing more value on the guidance of the Spirit on the individual, implicitly put less value on the external guidance provided by the magisterium or direct teaching authority of the church, especially as expressed in papal pronouncements.

48. Thomas, “Testem Benevolentiae,” 412–15. There is a substantial body of work on the complex of events leading to the letter and on its subsequent meaning for American Catholicism. Among the best are: Robert Emmett Curran, Conservative Catholicism; Fogarty, Gerald P., S.J., The Vatican and the American Hierarchy from 1870 to 1965 (Stuttgart: Hiersmann, 1982), 143–94Google Scholar; Fogarty, Gerald P., S.J., The Vatican and the Americanist Crisis: Denis J. O’Connell, American Agent in Rome, 1885–1903 (Roma: Universita Gregorian, 1974)Google Scholar; McAvoy, Thomas T., The Great Crisis in American Catholic History, 1895–1900 (Chicago: H. Regnery and Co., 1957)Google Scholar; and the entirety of the U.S. Catholic Historian 11 (Summer 1993).

49. “The Old ‘Americanism’ Good Enough,” March 29, 1899. This cartoon is the only one from the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library.

50. Thomas, “Testem Benevolentiae,” 412–14; Editorial, “Catholic Americanism,” Puck, March 29, 1899.

51. Editorial, “A Mid-Summer Sermon,” Puck, July 19, 1899.

52. Editorial, Nation, January 19, 1882, 47.