Wednesday, December 8, 2010

R.C. Bowman on Minnesota Politics

To celebrate Mark Dayton's election as Governor of Minnesota, I present this week some of the cartoons of R.C. Bowman (b. in Michigan in 1870; d. in Minneapolis, May 30, 1903) about Minnesota politics in 1900.

Some Minneapolis boys who will work their way into the big show."

I wish I could fill in the background about these cartoons better. Beyond the obvious fact that Tom Shevlin and S.E. Olson were active in Republican politics, I have only been able to find that Devlin was in the lumber business and had a son who made a name for himself in college football (Yale, College Football Hall of Fame), and that Olson started a chain of dry goods stores in 1881 which has been bought out and renamed many times over the last 139 years. (Some Twin City residents may remember it as Powers/Donaldsons.)

Whoa, boy!

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, I have absolutely no knowledge of P.B. Winston, Rosing, C.D. Baldwin, or T.D. O'Brien. Kansas City was the site of the 1900 Democratic National Convention, at appropriately named Convention Hall.

Bowman wrote no text for his books beyond that which was originally included in the cartoon -- there is no foreword or postscript -- so the topics of the cartoons were presumably common knowledge to anyone at the time.

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