Dramatic James Blaine Presidential campaign poster

Avil & Co., Show Printers, 3941.5 Market Street, Phila., Pa., CAMPAIGN OF 1884. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, JOHN BULL AND ALL OTHER FOREIGNERS FOR FREE TRADE. VS. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND UNCLE JONATHAN FOR PROTECTION TO AMERICAN INDUSTRIES. New York, late 1884.
Large broadside, 37 ½”h x 23 ¾”w at sheet edge, with a large central wood engraved illustration (14”h x 22”w) flanked top and bottom by several lines of headline type in a variety of typefaces.
$4,500

A dramatic and very rare poster for the 1884 presidential campaign of Republican James Blaine against Democrat Grover Cleveland.

James Blaine (1830-1893) had a long and distinguished career as a Maine congressman and senator, Secretary of State to three Presidents, and the 1884 Republican presidential nominee. This poster emphasizes his and fellow Republicans’ embrace of populism and protectionism, with a soupçon of nativism, in contrast to the free trade advocated by Democrats, “John Bull and all other foreigners.” To emphasize the message a large central illustration depicts Americans manning the ramparts of “Protection,” ready to fire a cannon labeled “Republican Record,” while across the water in the distance looms “hungry John Bull with his cargo of merchandise waiting for Democratic Free traders to open American ports.”

Handicapped by allegations of corruption and anti-Catholicism, Blaine lost the election to Grover Cleveland.

References
OCLC #20499263 (Detroit Public Library and Peabody Essex Museum only).

Condition

Minor soiling, folds flattened, and a few minor repairs, but very good.