|"If" by Billy Ireland in Columbus Dispatch July, 1921|
I get to start this week's history tour off with a cartoon about Ireland by Ireland — Billy Ireland, that is.
"The Twelfth" celebrations in Northern Ireland in the early part of July feature twelve days of parades and bonfires in celebration of the anniversary of Protestant King William of Orange's victory over Catholic King James II on July 12, 1691 (Julian calendar). For centuries, these festivities deliberately provoked Irish Catholics, marching through their neighborhoods and burning Irish flags.
|"Too Hot" by Rollin Kirby in New York Evening World, July 22, 1921|
So it may have been a happy coincidence that British forces and the Irish Republican Army declared a truce in the two-year-old Irish War of Independence on July 11, 1921.
|"The Next Stop" by Roy H. James in St. Louis Star, July, 1921|
|Untitled, by Bill Satterfield for Newspaper Enterprise Assn., by July 11, 1921|
American cartoonists certainly received the news with enthusiasm...
|Untitled, by Wm. C. Morris for George Matthew Adams Service, July, 1921|
... even if they didn't quite agree upon who was inviting whom to the peace table.
|"They'll Both Enjoy a Refreshing Plunge..." by Leo Bushnell for Newspaper Enterprise Assn., by July 13, 1921|
Declaring a truce was one thing. Agreeing to a peace settlement was another thing entirely. The proposal from British Prime Minister David Lloyd George offered only limited autonomy to Ireland within the British Empire, analogous to England's dominion over Canada at the time. Irish Republic President Eamonn de Valera demanded complete independence for a united Ireland. Ulster Premier Sir James Craig insisted Northern Ireland would not be governed by Dublin.
|"Getting Together to Drive the Snakes Out" by Wm. Morris for George Matthew Adams Service, July, 1921|
|"Bearding the Lion in His Den" by Leo Bushnell for Newspaper Enterprise Assn., by July 20, 1921|
Bushnell's second cartoon here hangs on a relatively obscure story from the Old Testament; cartoonists could get away with a greater store of biblical references a century ago than we can today.
|"Getting Together..." by J.N. "Ding" Darling in New York Tribune, July 25, 1921|