Map of the day

Source – Cornell University

A Thing Well Begun Is Half Done

Drawn by Victor Gillam in 1899

Collectors Notes by Sackett & Wilhelms Litho. & Ptg. Co – A satirical political cartoon reflecting America’s imperial ambitions following quick and total victory in the Spanish American War of 1898. In June of 1899, Congress had authorized and President McKinley had appointed the Isthmian Canal Commission, charged with making a “full and complete investigation as to determine the most feasible and practicable route across [the] isthmus for a canal… under the control, management, and ownership of the United States.” (Walker 1901, 11). By the fall of 1899, McKinley’s popularity was high and he seemed likely to be reelected (as he eventually was, with Theodore Roosevelt as Vice-President).
The American flag flies from the Philippines and Hawaii (annexed during the War as a strategic way station) in the Pacific to Cuba and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. President McKinley stands with one foot on U. S. soil and the other on Central America, pick axe in hand, rolling up his sleeves to dig the Nicaraguan canal. Bound from Hawaii and Manila and the West Coast, “American Goods for Foreign Countries” are lined up to pass through the canal to Europe. An eager Uncle Sam is bringing more tools from Washington, saying (in the caption below), “Finish the canal, McKinley, and make our national expansion compete in your first administration.”

Cornell University

 


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