Senator Ben Tillman's "Cow Cartoons" | History of SC Slide Collection

Senator Ben Tillman's "cow cartoons." Elected to the United States Senate in 1894, Tillman went to Washington determined to give the business end of a pitchfork to what he considered federal waste of citizen resources--especially those of the farmer. In this cartoon, designed by Tillman, the cow is the symbol of national resources. She feeds on the produce of the farmers of the West and the South, while her golden milk is all drawn by the "Sharpers, gamblers, and speculators on Wall Street." In the second cartoon, Tillman shows the result of the farmers' attempt to turn the big cow around, to feed on income tax in the East while they milk her in the South and West. But Tillman's cow is not reversible. As soon as she tried to feed on income tax, the Supreme Court seized her by the throat as a reminder that she must do her eating exclusively in the agricultural regions. This cartoon appeared in the "Congressional Record," October 3, 1896.

Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.