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Davenport, Homer



Homer Davenport Born in Silverton, Oregon, in 1867, he was a child prodigy who learned to draw at a very early age. His mother, Florinda encouraged her son, to become a cartoonist. As a child, he became a fan of the political cartoons drawn by Thomas Nast in the Harper's Weekly. He obtained a job when reaching adulthood with the Portland Oregonian, however he did not stay with that job long. He found newspaper jobs in both Chicago and San Francisco but those jobs quickly disappeared. While in San Francisco Davenport met Daisey Moore whom he married two weeks after meeting her.

Davenport began working for William Randolph Hearst in 1892 as a political cartoonist on Hearst’s newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner. The cartoons Davenport drew attacked political bossism and quickly gained him statewide notoriety. After taking over the Journal, Hearst transferred Davenport to New York Journal in 1895. Davenport did not have technical training however he made up for it with his cartoons, which were strongly satirical and dynamic. In 1896 presidential candidate McKinley and his manager Mark Hanna were depicted as slave-driving murderers by Davenport. William Jennings Bryan was depicted as an insane anarchist. Another target of Davenport's taunts was political boss Tom Platt, who tried unsuccessfully to convince the New York legislature to pass an anti-cartoon bill.

Davenport then moved to Harper’s Weekly and changed his support to Republican from Democrat. He died in 1912.

Jay Norwood Darling a.k.a. Ding Darling was born in Norwood, MI, from which his middle name is derived, in 1876. He was raised from age 10 in Sioux City, IA. He first used the signature D'ing, a contraction of his last name as a way to "conceal his identity", as yearbook art director at Beloit College. In 1900 he began a newspaper career that spanned 50 years, when he was hired by the Sioux City Journal as a cub reporter and where the first of his some 15,000 newspaper cartoons appeared as a substitute for a photograph he failed to get when both he and his camera were assaulted. Except for a short stint with the New York Globe, Darling spent the rest of his career with the Des Moines Register and for a time was also syndicated with the New York Herald Tribune.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Bryan Political Cartoon Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0093
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the political cartoons done by Homer Davenport, Jay Norwood Darling a.k.a. Ding, and John Tinney McCutcheon, pertaining to William Jennings Bryan Democrat from Nebraska who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1890 and served two terms. Though defeated in an 1894 Senate race and never again elected to public office, Bryan remained a highly influential national figure who had three unsuccessful runs for the Presidency, in 1896, 1900, 1908

Dates: 1895-1949