Judge Cartoon


This framed full-color cartoon comes from The Judge, a national political and satire publication popular in the later years of the 19th century. Titled "Dress Parade of the Awkward Squad," it shows Uncle Sam reviewing a group of men called the "National Cranks." They include figures from the scandal-ridden Grant administration, third-party presidential candidates, and controversial social reformers.

It is a measure of Robert Green Ingersoll's prominence in post-Civil War America that he was one of the twelve people chosen to appear in this cartoon. It is a measure of the high regard in which he was held (often, if grudgingly, by people who disapproved of his opposition to religion) that he appears in the background, not among the "National Cranks."

It is also interesting that Ingersoll shares his tent (labeled the Gospel Tent) with Henry Ward Beecher, the most prominent liberal Christian minister of the time- who, unlike Ingersoll, had recently been implicated in a high-profile sex scandal.






Gift of Margaret Downey and George Kelly (Philadelphia, Pa.)