Cartoon of note: Berryman on TR and fair play

Clifford Berryman cartoon, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi, 1902"

Clifford Berryman cartoon, “Drawing the Line in Mississippi, 1902”

Berryman’s Bear: “Drawing the line in Mississippi.”

In 1902 Teddy Roosevelt hunted bear near Smedes, Mississippi. He didn’t get a bear, as he had hoped. Trip guides tracked a bear with dogs, clubbed it, and tied it up. The bear was offered to TR to shoot.

Teddy refused to shoot it, of course. It was tied up. It was not sporting, not fair, not a match — not the vigorous hunting Roosevelt wanted.

Clifford K. Berryman, a cartoonist for the Washington Post newspaper (he moved to the Washington Star in 1907), captured the moment in a drawing published November 16, 1902. This 1902 cartoon is among the most famous political cartoons ever done.

The good sportsmanship Roosevelt demonstrated echoed long and hard among Americans. His reputation for fair dealing and good sportsmanship increased his popularity immensely.

Candy store owners in New York City, Morris and Rose Michtom, made a stuffed bear, a “Teddy bear,” to commemorate the event. We still call them Teddy bears, today.

Berryman continued to use the bear cub in cartoons for the rest of his career.

Teddy Roosevelt cartoon sources:

7 Responses to Cartoon of note: Berryman on TR and fair play

  1. […] political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, read one of these articles and drew a satirical cartoon on the President’s refusal to shoot the captive […]


  2. Pam says: from NPR Was the Huge Hog a Wild Lie? Behind a Boy’s Story

    The truth is even sadder. From family farm to supposed stud farm to game farm “hunt”.


  3. Pam says:

    from NPR Was the Huge Hog a Wild Lie? Behind a Boy’s Story The truth is even sadder. From family farm to supposed stud farm to game farm “hunt”.


  4. Jude says:

    Teddy Roosevelt stayed in Garfield and Rio Blanco Counties several times, and wrote about it in one of his books. My grandfather was named Teddy and his best friend was named Theodore–both named in honor of the president because they were born the year of one of his visits. A newspaper article from Grand Junction, Colorado’s “Daily Sentinel” talks about a couple of young men who decided they wanted to meet TR. They walked the 80 miles to his campsite from Grand Junction, arriving in time for breakfast. He fed them, talked to them, and sent them on their way. They walked back the 80 miles. It was unusual enough to be front page news in that issue of the newspaper, but not unusual to be able to walk into the president’s campsite without being stopped. I include that story on my cemetery tour for Rifle, Colorado’s third graders.


  5. mpb says:

    I suppose you have now seen the monster hog story, but earlier noted at snopes. com,

    16 shots from a .50 caliber handgun, fist size holes, and he ran a mile and yet the paid guides on the commercial hunt couldn’t take standard photos and measurements. I hope they add lots of spices to get the sausage meat palatable.

    Somehow the ethics of handguns and small caliber rifles on large game and running game with motorized vehicles (the latter two are Alaska techniques) escapes me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And those silly Englishmen apply a back-folk-etymology to make the bear Edward.

    A bear, however hard he tries,
    Grows tubby without exercise…

    “Are you,” he said, “by any chance
    His Majesty the King of France?”
    The other answered, “I am that,”
    Bowed stiffly, and removed his hat;
    Then said, “Excuse me,” with an air,
    But is it Mr. Edward Bear?”

    [Note: In a poem for little kiddies, a semicolon, now banned from corporate communications among adults.]

    As to Cheney, he had lots of precedent, in particular among TR’s contemporaries. Kaiser Wilhelm got his kicks shooting birds and varmints released from cages for his benefit. Not Teddy’s kind of guy at all.


  7. ruidh says:

    Contrast that with Cheney’s “hunting trip” where captured quail in cages were released for the hunters to shoot at.


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