Whether or not Ulysses S. Grant would capture the Republican Party's presidential nomination and run for an unprecedented third term became a hot topic in the press throughout the campaign season of 1880. He still had a great deal of support from the people, and would be one of the principal contenders at the GOP convention in June. Liberal gentlemen, however, were horrified at the thought of Grant's successful return to the White House. As a voice in the popular media, Joseph Keppler initiated a relentless attack on "Unconditional Surrender" and his legion of Stalwarts in order to prevent this potential disaster.

The cartoons presented here reflect significant aspects of Grant's political existence: to the people he was a potent figurehead who "blended the hero with the common man", symbolizing the ethos of the Civil War and the triumph of Republican values [1]. The spoilsmen who advised him had a different view; to them he was a brute force that would crush their rivals and open up a fountain of patronage. Puck exposed these roles by invoking them in the contexts of popular diversions and quasi-historical parables, which attempted to reduce Grant's stature in the public opinion and eliminate his chances of winning the nomination.

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February 4
"Puck Wants a Strong Man. . ."
March 31
"The Political 'Army of Salvation'"
April 21
"The Worship of the Golden Calf"
May 19
"The Modern Wandering Jew"
May 24
"To the Chicago Convention"
June 16
"The Appomattox of the Third Termers"