In this contemporary political cartoon,
"true Whigs" (left) enjoy their hard cider,
while "ruffled shirt Matty" (center) loses
himself in the "feminine pleasures" of opium.
Meanwhile, the undecided voter (right)
 is taking a leak for some reason
Historians say the 1840
campaign is the first 'modern
day' election.  It was the  first
election for buttons, pins, fireworks,
name calling and political caricatures.

Brownlow's Whig
Jonesboro, Tennessee

Oct., 7, 1840

NEGRO SPEAKING! (Click Here for original scan)

We have just learned, upon undoubtedle authority, that Gen. Combs, in his attempt to address the citizens of Sullivan County, on yesterday, was insulted, contradicted repeatedly, limited to one hour and a half, and most shamefully treated, and withall an effort was made, to get an impudent Malungeon from Washington City, a scoundrel who is half Negro and half Indian, and who has actually been speaking in Sullivan, in reply to Combs!  Gen. Combs, however, declined the honor of contending with Negroes and Indians - said he had fought against the latter, but never met them in debate!

This is the party, reader, who are opposed to the gag-law, and to abolition! Bigotry and democracy in Sullivan county, well knowing that their days on earth are numbered, are rolling together their clouds of blackness and darkness, in the person of a free negroe, with the forlorn hope of obscuring the light that is beaming in glory, and a gladness, upon this country, through the able and eloquent speeches of Whig orators. David Shaver replied to Gen. Combs, we are informed. This is the same Davy, Mr. Netherland gave an account of, some time since, and who, Col. James gave us the history of, in an address, at our late convention. When Davy had finished, the big Democratic Negro came forward, and entertained the brethren. These two last speakers were an entertaining pair!

Brownlow's Whig
October 21, 1840

Well when the hour arrived, Hall  and the Indian Negro rode up together, and behind them, a short distance, was McClellan and ''Show Miller" Shaver -- the Locos did not say which of these four worthies were to speak.  Senter spoke, and handled the 'Negro,' who it seemed, had been eating, sleeping, and riding with these, his brethern, "his kinsman according to politics!"

Brownlow's Whig
October 28
Reprinted from the Tennessee Mirror

With astonishment we have understood that a half Negro, and half Indian has been speaking to the citizens of Sullivan on the subject of politics! This surely is  a great insult, and ought not to be tolerated, by any honest man in the Union.  Surely this is exaggeration, and cannot be!  What!  A NEGRO lecture on enlightened community!  It cannot be!

Brownlow's Whig

We can assure the editor of the "Mirror," that an infamous Negro has been speaking in Sullivan County -- no mistake, for we have seen and conversed with several gentlemen who seen and heard the vile scamp.  And he was put up by the DEMOCRATIC party, and by that party sustained, and now apologized for, on the ground of his having some Indian blood in him, and having been raised by JACKSON!

"Finally, on November 4, and as the election neared, Brownlow printed his last attack, "Keep It Before The People," drawn from this incident.  In the two paragraph column, the malicious slanders directed toward the poor fellow, and thereby the Democrtatic Party, are unrelenting and included "an impudent FREE NEGRO," "this infamous and dissipated MULATTO," this vile NEGRO  -- this KINKY HEADED villian," "an infamous, insulting, and strange free Negro, or runaway slave?"  as well as others.  Adding a touch of ridicule with reprimand, Brownlow concluded by noting that Democratic gentlemen in the southern parts of Virginia had driven this mixed-breed from the region."

Brownlow's Whig
November 4, 1840

In Sullivan, however, he met with a hearty welcome!  There, they ate, rode, and slept with him; and one of the leaders of that party, furnished him with ARMS to defend himself against the insults of WHITE MEN who might chance to prove so refractory, as not to hear him speak!  Shame on the leaders of this party in old Sullivan.

Melanie Sovine

Remnant of an Indian Race  -- John B. Brownlow   1911

Political Cartoon

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