JCH News: Play Ball!

I just got some fun news from Jonathan Clark House executive director Dana Hansen:

While the weather doesn’t feel like it at the moment, our fundraiser game with the Chinooks is coming up very soon! Make sure to purchase your packages asap for the game on June 3rd as they will be opening up general ticket sales May 2nd, and expect to sell out. See the poster below for more information, and hope to see you out at the ball game!

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Click to open larger image in a new window.

Batter up! for history.

So if you’d like to support the Clark House—and enjoy an fun evening at the ballpark—call and reserve your game package for Friday, June 3rd, 2022, and don’t forget promo code JCH.

And even though the Chinooks and the Rafters will play by modern rules, I’m sure Old Abe would approve…

Baseball as a metaphor

Currier & Ives, and Louis Maurer. The national game. Three “outs” and one “run”. , ca. 1860. [New York: Currier & Ives]. Library of Congress, public domain, lightly color-adjusted. Click to open larger image in new window.

Yep, it’s another one of those wacky 19th-century political images. Lots of text (and sub-text) attached to a busy drawing of caricature bodies topped by semi-realistic heads. But this 1860 lithograph reminds us that baseball, “the national pastime,” has been an ingrained part of the American experience for a very long time. So much so, that America’s leading print makers of the day, Currier & Ives, thought a political cartoon loaded with baseball metaphors would appeal—and sell—to a wide readership.

For 21st-century readers, the characters and issues in this drawing may be pretty obscure (and I don’t think the artist had ever seen a real skunk). Fortunately, the folks at the Library of Congress can help:

A pro-Lincoln satire, deposited for copyright weeks before the 1860 presidential election. The contest is portrayed as a baseball game in which Lincoln has defeated (left to right) John Bell, Stephen A. Douglas, and John C. Breckinridge.

Lincoln (right) stands with his foot on “Home Base,” advising the others, “Gentlemen, if any of you should ever take a hand in another match at this game, remember that you must have a good bat’ and strike a fair ball’ to make a clean score’ & a home run.'” His “good bat” is actually a wooden rail labeled “Equal Rights and Free Territory.” Lincoln wears a belt inscribed “Wide Awake Club.” […]

A skunk stands near the other candidates, signifying that they have been “skunk’d.” Breckinridge (center), a Southern Democrat, holds his nose, saying, “I guess I’d better leave for Kentucky, for I smell something strong around here, and begin to think, that we are completely skunk’d.'” His bat is labeled “Slavery Extension” and his belt “Disunion Club.”

At far left John Bell of the Constitutional Union party observes, “It appears to me very singular that we three should strike foul’ and be put out’ while old Abe made such a good lick.’ Bell’s belt says “Union Club,” and his bat “Fusion.” Regular Democratic nominee Douglas replies, “That’s because he had that confounded rail, to strike with, I thought our fusion would be a short stop’ to his career.” He grasps a bat labeled “Non Intervention.”

Library of Congress, with paragraph breaks added.

In case you were wondering, in the 1860 presidential election Ozaukee County voted overwhelmingly for regular (i.e., non-Southern) democratic candidate Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas received 1,823 votes to Lincoln’s 627. For more on early Washington/Ozaukee county presidential preferences, see our post Presidential Elections — the early years…

On deck…

Next up, we return to our A. T. Bonniwell document project, and Alfred becomes a land owner in Mequon.

See you soon.

3 thoughts on “JCH News: Play Ball!

  1. Pingback: Clark House News: Summer Hours & more! | Clark House Historian

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