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Cartoon of successful businessmen whose ancestors were immigrants refusing entry to an immigrant

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.499

Cartoon from the magazine “Puck,” depicting an immigrant being stopped from disembarking on an American dock by nativist businessmen, whose shadows show their ancestors’ own immigrant roots. One of the businessman’s shadows is a stereotypical image of a Jewish peddler. The Jewish peddler is an antisemitic canard that originated from the economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews. They were barred from owning land, farming, and military service. These restrictions limited Jews to the occupations of retail peddling, hawking, and moneylending. Even as these restrictions eased over time, the canard persisted through various mediums. Puck was an American humor magazine, founded by Joseph Keppler and published from 1876-1918. The magazine was named after the character Puck from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and began as a German-language publication before transitioning to English. The magazine mocked and satirized politicians and religious figures, along with political and social issues of the day. Between 1880 and 1920, the United States received over 20 million immigrants. Beginning in the 1890s, the majority of arrivals were from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe. The new wave of immigration sparked anti-alien protests by Americans who viewed the new immigrants as too Jewish or too Catholic, and feared they would never assimilate into U.S. culture. This cartoon is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
Looking Backward
publication:  1893 January 11
publication: Puck Building (N.Y.); New York (N.Y.)
Political cartoons.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:56:00
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