In the decade of the 1890s, just before the dawn of a new American century, the Republicans regained control of the White House in what many pundits have identified as the first modern political campaign. This was also a time of great economic debate, concern about special interests influencing the government, jobs, and of course the immigration issue. On the global scene, the United States was beginning to flex its military muscles, a conflict with Spain was starting to simmer, and a border dispute in Venezuela threatened war with Great Britain.
Through it all, Oregon cartoonist Homer Davenport was there, wielding his pen to spray a steady stream of caustic caricatures onto the notables and notorious of the global political scene. In 1898, Homer Davenport published Cartoons By Davenport, a collection of over 80 cartoons which originally appeared in William Randolph Hearst’s New York Evening Journal. It was a large format work, with hardbound cover and an introduction by Senator John J. Ingalls, (R-Kansas).
In 2006, Davenport historian Gus Frederick researched, compiled and reprinted a fully annotated edition of this historic work. The faces and the issues behind Davenport’s witty, satiric caricatures were teased out in a cartoon-by-cartoon commentary. However, due to the costs associated with the production, this edition was limited to just 100 strip-bound copies.
A revised, expanded edition, numbering just under 200 pages, was created in 2012, the centennial year of Davenport’s passing. The Annotated Cartoons by Davenport is the first publication of The Liberal University Press, based out of Silverton, Oregon.
The Annotated Cartoons by Davenport is available from Liberal University Press for $20 (+S&H); by direct purchase in Silverton, at the Silverton Country Museum and Books in Time; in Salem at the Willamette Heritage Center; and in Portland at Floating World Comics.