Politics in Graphic Detail

Exploring History through Political Cartoons

Mutual Admiration

January 29, 1903
Transcript and Annotations: 
Depicted as a parrot, Samuel Pennypacker is perched on a large boot. Representative Frederick Taylor Pusey, who tried to pass an anti-cartoon law in Pennsylvania, is depicted as a large cat. He is wearing a large bow and name tag. A scroll with the words "anti-cartoon bill" written on it lays next to the boot. Below the image there is a brief satirical article about the cartoon censorship.
During the gubernatorial election of 1902, Charles Nelan drew a series of unflattering cartoons about candidate Samuel Pennypacker, illustrating him as party boss Matthew Quay's trained parrot. When Pennypacker won the election, he and Pusey tried to pass an anti-cartoon law which would prohibit cartoonists from depicting politicians in any non-human form. Pusey's bill did not pass, but in May 1903 Pennypacker signed a similar bill into legislation. Cartoonists across the nation criticized the law. Because of public outrage, the law was never enforced and was later repealed in 1907.

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[Title]
MUTUAL ADMIRATION

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Ch.Nelan.

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PUSEY1

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Charles Nelan has drawn Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker as a parrot perched on a large boot. Prior to Mutual Admiration, Nelan had drawn several other cartoons featuring Pennypacker as the trained parrot of Matthew Quay. Quay was the party boss who helped get Pennypacker elected to the governorship.

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[Boot]
PENNYPACKER'S ANCESTRAL BOOT.2

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"WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PUSSEY YOU ARE, YOU ARE!"

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[ANTI-CARTOON BILL.]
ANTI-CARTOON BILL3

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UNHUMAN "MEOWS" GREET HON. PUSEY
Legislators Make Merry at Expense of the Young Cartoon Censor.
HE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY.
Committee Places Bill in Author's Hands to Report to House.
By Frank Bell
Special Dispatch to The North American.
HARRISBURG, January 28.-The Honorable Frederick Taylor Pusey, author of the bill to protect birds, fishes and other "unhuman animals" from the pen of the conscienceless cartoonist, got an ovation in the House this morning.
Cries of "Meow! Meow!" came from various parts of the House, when, amid general laughter, the subject of Charles Nelan's "Pus(s)ey" caricature arose to announce that the judiciary general committee had authorized him to return with an affirmative recommendation his own pet cartoon bill.