An unusual and mildly anti-Semitic cartographic cartoon from 1912 taking aim at the power of the Guggenheim Family and their purported corrupt dealings in Alaska.
The cartoon depicts the United States in outline, towered over by eight of its industrial titans. East of the Mississippi are Morgan, Rockefeller and Carnegie, glaring across the river at five of the Guggenheim brothers, heirs to their father Meyer’s mining empire. At the fore is Senator Simon Guggenheim at the fore and just behind him is brother Benjamin, who would die in the Titanic disaster just a few weeks later.
As often happens when cataloging persuasive maps, I take the liberty of quoting at length from PJ Mode:
“This satirical political cartoon had its origin in the Ballinger-Pinchot affair of 1909, which involved a noisy public scandal over the allegedly illegal distribution of 33 federal coal land claims in Alaska to the Guggenheim mining interests. A Congressional investigation followed in 1910, with further massive publicity. By 1912, partly as a result of the affair, Theodore Roosevelt had broken from President Taft, his former ally, and determined to challenge him for the Republican nomination. In February 1912, as a further consequence of the affair, Taft proposed legislation that would make Alaska a formal Territory of the U.S. but maintain tight government control over land and other natural resources….
“This cartoon appeared in the run up to the Republican convention and while the Alaska legislation was pending in the Congress. Among other things, it highlights the split between the old money of America and the new. West of the Mississippi, under a sign reading “Alaskaheim,” are the five Guggenheim brothers (caricatured as stereotypical Jews). In the East are Morgan (hat in hand), Rockefeller and Carnegie. Under the title is the dialog: “One G-Heim: Say old chap, we’ll match you for the whole.”
Persuasive Cartography: PJ Mode Collection, #1170.
Gently toned and a centerfold as issued, else excellent.