M994X.5.273.108 | The Chief Mourners

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The Chief Mourners
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cartoon (19139) , politics (general) (2228) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

An ingenious romancer on the staff of the "Mail", had, some months before this, concocted a "scandal" at the expense of Hon. Archibald McKellar, a member of the Ontario Cabinet. The story- which was regarded from the first as a joke- was to the effect that Mr. McKellar had purchased for his official apartment a portrait of an unknown lady. This imputation of gallantry to the bucolic Minister- a man in all respects the reverse of the ideal knight- was what constituted the "point." The alleged picture soon took its place in the armory of the Opposition and was constantly referred to as that of "Little Mrs. Blank." In the Public Accounts Committee about the date of our cartoon, explanations were made by Messrs. Ewing & Co., from whom certain pictures had been purchased, which completely killed this pleasant fiction, and "Little Mrs. Blank" was no more. The leading Members of the Opposition- Messrs. M. C. Cameron, A. Boultbee, C. J. Rykert and A. W. Lauder- were supposed by the artist to have been much cast-down at the sudden demise of such a valuable auxiliary. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grip, September 12th, 1874