Moses and Aaron

Moses and Aaron

Usage conditions apply
This object is an original pen and ink political cartoon hand drawn on white paper by Clifford Berryman circa 1904 in Washington, D.C. It depicts William Jennings Bryan in a classical robe, saying "You know what I think of our Moses. Well, he's better than Roosevelt anyhow!" and sitting backwards on the back of a donkey. Bryan is holding a scroll in his left hand that reads "'I am willing to be the Aaron of the party. 'W.J.B."
Alton B. Parker stands in the background. He is wearing a large turban and classical robe, and is holding the donkey by the reins. The drawing is signed "Berryman" in the lower right area of the illustration.
Though Bryan had sought the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1904, he lost it to Parker (who lost the presidential election in a landslide to Theodore Roosevelt). Berryman is using the biblical brothers Aaron and Moses to draw an analogy to Bryan and Parker. He depicts Bryan as the Aaron, the elder and a prophet, the wiser, silent candidate but not the wishful nominee; and Parker as the Moses, the younger, more visible, and actual winner of the nomination who was “better than Roosevelt anyhow.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1904
Bryan, William Jennings
Roosevelt, Theodore
Parker, Alton Brooks
associated institution
Democratic National Party
Berryman, Clifford
place made
United States: District of Columbia
Physical Description
hand drawn (overall production method/technique)
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 13 1/4 in x 15 in; 33.655 cm x 38.1 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Political Caricatures
Political Campaigns
Political Campaigns
Political Conventions
Presidential Campaign of 1904
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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