U.S. Flag

The New Capitol.

The New Capitol.
by Sackett & Wilhelms Litho, Co.
after Bernhard Gillam
Lithograph, colored, 1894-08-11
Image with text measurement
      Height: 11.75 inches  (29.845 cm)
      Width:  18 inches  (45.72 cm)
Cat. no. 38.00317.001

Physically a large man, President Grover Cleveland metaphorically became the United States Capitol building in Bernhard Gillamís cartoon, "The New Capitol." This illustration, which appeared in Judge on August 11, 1894, portrayed Cleveland not simply astride the Capitol, but turned his chest into the dome and his legs into the Senate and House wings. Dressed in Roman togas, senators look on the scene in dismay, with Maryland Senator Arthur P. Gorman, a Democrat, citing Cassiuís lines from Shakespeareís Julius Caesar.

Although Clevelandís Democratic Party had won sweeping majorities in Congress in 1892, it took the blame for the economic depression that struck the nation in 1893. Cleveland blamed the crisis on the inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act and demanded its repeal, rather than consider any other solutions. On June 30, 1894, Cleveland called a special session of Congress to repeal the Sherman Act, an action that triggered Gillamís cartoon.