"An Exacting Housekeeper"

This Thomas Nast cartoon from "Harper's Weekly," March 20, 1886, refers to a scandal involving President Grover Cleveland's attorney general, Augustus H. Garland. In the cartoon, Cleveland sweeps the floor of the White House while Columbia angrily points to a garland under the "Cabinet." The garland has a label which reads "Stock Tele[-]," which refers to Garland's stock in the Pan-Electric Telephone Company. The company owned a telephone patent similar to that of Alexander Graham Bell, but Pan-Electric's design could not be successful unless Bell's was proved unworkable. In 1884, soon after being appointed U.S. attorney general, Garland was encouraged by his fellow stockholders at Pan-Electric to annul the Bell patents by bringing suit on behalf of the United States government. In the wake of the scandal, "Harper's" called for the resignation of Garland, and criticized President Cleveland for ignoring the situation, especially after promising to bring a new level of honesty to the government.

March 20, 1886
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