Congressional Pugilists

This political cartoon depicts the first recorded physical brawl on the floor of the House of Representatives. Vermont congressman Matthew Lyon, a radical Democratic Republican, spit in Roger Griswold's face because of an alleged insult, and Griswold, a Federalist from Connecticut, attacked Lyon with a hickory cane at the chamber's next meeting. After Lyon picked up a pair of fire tongs to strike back, other congressmen, with difficulty, pulled the combatants apart without injury. Neither representative was expelled.

Date:
1798
Original Format:
Cartoon
Item#:
1790.0016
Height:
2253px
Width:
2844px
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