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This object is an original pen and ink political cartoon hand drawn on white paper circa 1906-1907 by Clifford Berryman in Washington, D.C. It depicts Senator Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn of Kentucky (Senator 1885-1897 and 1901-1907) as a farmer surrounded by farm animals, all uttering the name “Washington”; and a farm building. Stiles asks the question "Did anybody call me Cincinnatus?"
There is a penciled inscription along the bottom that reads "News note - Press dispatches state that former Senator J.C.S. Blackburn finds farm life uninteresting and will enter the race for U.S. Senator against Judge Paynter." Berryman’s number “1249” is stamped in blue ink in the lower right corner and crossed out in pencil. Beneath this mark is another Berryman number, 7250, also stamped in blue ink. The drawing is signed “Berryman” in the lower right area of the illustration.
A Democratic Party presidential hopeful in 1896, Blackburn lost the nomination to William Jennings Bryan. In years before and after that time he served as Senator from Kentucky until he lost a re-election bid in 1906 to Thomas Hanson Paynter.
Berryman’s humorous rather than literal references to Cincinnatus and George Washington, with their similar life stories noted by historians, were intended to make the reader question whether Blackburn’s decision would lead to the same fate as these two celebrated and respected ancients: both were senior leaders who were enjoying retired life as farmers, but then willingly left that behind to return to public service when called. Once their skillful leadership brought improved conditions to the people, they willingly left absolute power behind to resume retired life.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
1906 - 1907
1906 - 1907
Berryman, Clifford
place made
United States: District of Columbia
associated place
United States: Kentucky, Kentucky
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
pencil (overall material)
hand drawn (overall production method/technique)
ink stamp (overall material)
overall: 19 1/4 in x 15 in; 48.895 cm x 38.1 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Political Campaigns
Roman history
Political Campaigns
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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