Nineteenth-century cartoonists felt sure that audiences would easily grasp references to Jonathan Swifts popular satire, Gullivers Travels, published a century earlier. In this cartoon, which appeared in both the German and English-language versions of Puck in 1889, Charles J. Taylor plays on Gullivers experiences with the Brobdingnagians, giants who treated him like a toy. Taylors Gulliver is Levi Parsons Morton, one of Americas leading bankers, who had just been elected vice president on the Republican ticket headed by Benjamin Harrison.
As vice president, Morton had the responsibility of presiding over the Senate, but the senatorial giants considered him a political novice and looked down on his clumsy attempts to wield the gavel on their debates. As the cartoonist anticipated, neither President Harrison nor the Republican senators thought much of Mortons abilities, and they unceremoniously dumped him from the partys ticket in the next election.