“The Funeral of Old Tammany”. BROADSIDE, Henry. R. Robinson.

the funeral of old tammany

“The Funeral of Old Tammany”.

New York: H. R. Robinson, [ca. 1836].

Printed broadside showing a funeral procession with the hearse in the lead being driven by the editor of the Courier and Enquirer. Image area is approx. 19 1/4" l x 11 1/4", in 27 1/4" x 15 3/4" frame. the funeral of old tammany. Some minor chipping, trimmed with minor loss to text, inked stamp in upper right corner above Tammany Hall ("From the United States Bazaar. No. 324 North Market St. Albany N.Y."), otherwise a very nice piece. See A History of American Graphic Humor, pp. 171-2. Item #234396

Among the mourners are also the editors for The Times and The Truth Teller. From various of the mourners are inscriptions inside balloons. To the right in the background is a view of Tammany Hall with a flag at half mast. Printed under the title is "This mournful ceremony took place in the City of New York on the 10th day of November 1836. The lamented individual had been long subject to a vast complication of disorders, whic[h] though combatted with great skill and perseverance by, Doctors, Humbug, Monopoly & Office, at last carried him off. The symptoms became extremely alarming on the 7th and th[e] danger continued to encrease 'till the evening of the 10th, when OLD TAMMANY gave up the ghost. A vast concourse of people followed the corpse to the grave, composed of all the office holders in the State, all the [p]ossessors of exclusive priveliges, and the members of the New York Regency. A funeral oration was delivered by the District Attorney, and a funeral dirge sung by Signor Garry Gilbertini."
The comments of the mourners include a fireman in the background asking "Who killed Old Tammany?" Another fireman beside him answers "James Gulick." This is a reference to the excitement of the election of Tammany opponent James Gulick, deposed Chief of the Fire Department, to the office of Register.
Relatively little is known about Henry R. Robinson. He was located at 48 and 52 Courtlandt Street in New York in 1836-7, where he worked largely as a caricaturist. His primary output was graphic humor and political cartoons, and he drew on stone most of the unsigned prints he published. His cartoons "are important, and spirited, have long speeches in 'balloons,' often appear colored, but are sometimes difficult to understand without delving into detailed history of the politics of the times." (Peters, American on Stone, pp. 337-8.) The only known historical reference to Robinson is in Frederick Hudson's History of Journalism in America (1873), which notes that Robinson "lined the curbstones and covered the old fences of New York with his peculiarly characteristic caricatures during Jackson's and Van Buren's administrations ... ."

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