Solution to Visual Puzzle – 2015-04-06

From <American Chess Magazine – v2, Aug 1989 N2 p57> comes this announcement of a new “accession”, and our answer – Charles Raymond McAuley (or Macauley):

AMC v2 Aug 1898 No 2 p57Since some of the text is obscured, here is the transcription:


We have the pleasure to announce to our readers that we have secured as a regular art contributor, the talented cartoonist, Mr. C. R. McAuley, who although yet a made a most flattering reputation in the art world. He has been a regular contributor to “Puck”, “Judge” and “Truth” for the past five years. He is a remarkable delineator of character. His drawings are marked by their truthfulness to nature. He has been exceedingly happy in his expression of humor. His first position was as a cartoonist on the staff of the Cleveland “World.” He remained in Cleveland one year and then came to New York. He has produced some very striking and successful political cartoons and has turned out a great number of comic illustrations. He has already earned his place annong the best illustrators of thc day. Mr. McAuley is a devotee to Caissa.

Personally, I very much enjoy his art-work, and his wonderful sense of humor. So I cooked up the Visual Puzzle at first just as an excuse to write more about McAuley. It turns out that spending a little time researching his work was itself quite rewarding.

First, let’s deal with my initial “hints”, such as they were:

Two answers will be accepted as correct. When we knew him, circa the photograph above, he was a little shorter.

Another hint: He is indeed connected with chess, but is better known for his “stick” work.

This artist changed his name to the better known Macauley later in his career. Thus the “he was «a» little shorter” , literally meant he was the letter “a” little shorter.

Here is some more biographical information about him, from the 2014 book <Puck: What Fools These Mortals Be!>, a book that tells “The Story of Puck – America’s First and Most Influential Magazine of Color Political Cartoons>:

Puck - What Fools These Mortals Be! (cover) Puck - What Fools These Mortals Be! (p322)

Later in his career he became very well known, under the name Macauley, as the first political cartoon to show Theodore Roosevelt with a “big stick”. This is the so-called “deed” that everybody knows about, though most don’t know  the name of the artist. Or didn’t, till now!

For instance, Stanley Harrison writes, in “The Editorial Art of Edmund Duffy (1998)“, “… Charles Macauley, whose chief contribution to fame is the ‘Big Stick’ he placed in President Theodore Roosevelt’s hand, …”. We also have Gerald White Johnson writing in 1958, in the book “The Lines are Drawn”, that “Macauley’s chief claim to fame is his invention of the Big Stick …”. Of course, these authors are probably unaware of McAuley’s contributions to the chess world via his art!

The first example of the “Big Stick” cartoon appeared in a 1904 issue of the “World“, and is described by Stefan Lorant in his 1959 book “The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt” as “A cartoon by Charles R. Macauley in the Democratic New York World. With his right hand Roosevelt balances the globe, while his left is holding the big stick.”

Big Stick - TDR World 1904Not being able to find the exact picture described, I substitute the above, which I’m not entirely sure was done by Macauley. However, I’m fairly should about the magazine and year, and I do think this the most likely candidate.  Which is wrong – since I’ve since found the original “Big Stick” cartoon, as described by Lorant and clearly signed by Macauley:

Big Stick - TR World 1904 - Macauley

This is certainly the correct original. It features Macauley’s signature combination of the “Big Stick” with a spear. I have other cartoons by him using this motif, which I might include as an addendum in a future update. TR (note – not TDR), was one of the most caricatured Presidents of all time. Small wonder that. It is interesting to note that the “Big Stick” theme evolved within a few years into the standard we know today – that of a club. Even Macauley adopted that motif (see just below). I should mention in passing that the above cartoon, i.e. the original “Big Stick”, is very, very hard to find on the net. The reason why is very unclear to me, in fact, nobody who discusses Macauley’s invention of the idea show the cartoon (till now, of course). I really don’t know why, it’s a wonderful cartoon – clearly capturing the essence of the man and the idea.

The last hint I gave showed another version of Teddy with a big stick, chasing Macauley’s editor. This cartoon was definitely done by Macauley, circa ~1910 and comes from here:

(Click on drawing below to enlarge)

Politics > Panama Canal Libel Case

Charles R. Macauley

Pen and ink drawing

William Mc Murtrie Speer Papers, Box 7

World editor William McMurtrie Speer, whom Pulitzer had detailed to work for William Jennings Bryan during the Democratic presidential campaign of 1904, was the first person to catch wind of the rumors that led to publication of the Panama Canal corruption story in the World in October 1908. He saved this presumably private drawing by World cartoonist Charles Raymond Macauley in his own papers, showing his boss, coat-tails flying, running from a demonic little Theodore Roosevelt carrying a big stick. Macauley is credited as being the first cartoonist to depict TR with his big stick. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his Brooklyn Daily Eagle cartoon “Paying for a Dead Horse” in 1930.

Gift of Mrs. Ann Satterthwaite

(Emphasis added)

I did find another cartoon attributed to C. R. Macauley in “Current Opinion v46 (1909) p580” which also comes from the World – I’m not sure about its publication date:

Swatted - Current Opinion Vol 46 - p580A brief word may be in order about the origin of the “Big Stick” metaphor in the first place. It comes squarely from TDR himself, who coined, or rather popularized, the phrase “Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far”. From wikipedia:

Vice President Roosevelt first used the phrase in a conversation at the Minnesota State Fair on September 2, 1901,[3] four days before the assassination of President William McKinley who died an additional eight days later, which subsequently thrust Roosevelt into the presidency. Roosevelt had referred to the phrase earlier (January 26, 1900) in a letter to Henry W. Sprague of the Union League Club of New York, mentioning his liking of the phrase in a bout of happiness after forcing New York‘s Republican committee to pull support away from a corrupt financial adviser.[4]

Returning to the previous post, there is one last hint to review.

The next hint is also visual, the following contains the answer, one way or the other. That is, if you can spot it:

Pillsbury - Janowski - ACM v2 Nov 1898 No 5 p208a

“If you can spot” is referring to McAuley’s signature at the lower right hand corner of the illustration. For the sake of comparison I’ll show a blowup of this signature, atop his later signature (i.e. after changing his name) from the Panama Libel cartoon above:

Signature - C. R. McAuleySignature - C. R. MacauleyBy the way, the two figures on the horses, wearing laurels, are Pillsbury and Janowski, marking their rather triumphant return from the Vienna (1898) tournament. Perhaps less well  know are the two managers walking on foot, leading the horses. Theirs is the “Unhappy Lot” of chess manager.

The one on the left is Cassel, as in Hartwig Cassel, a noted organizer and chess journalist of the time. He is perhaps best known for establishing and publishing, along with Hermann Helms, the American Chess Bulletin, which essentially began its life as the tournament report for the famous Cambridge Springs (1904) tournament. He also established the much lesser-known Staats-Zeitung magazine, and somewhat obscurely, is credited with being the inventor of the chess cable code in his role as organizer of the 1895 Manhatten CC – British CC cable match.

Pillsbury’s manager is Borsodi, as in William Borsodi, who was the publisher of the American Chess Monthly, from which much of my recent binge of posts have been gleaned. Blame him then. A little self-promotion never hurt anyone:

Borsodi and ACM - via Philidelphia Times ACM v2 Sept 1898 No 3  p108From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Sunday, Nov. 6, 1898 comes this

If negotiations now pending go through without a hitch Harry N. Pillsbury, America’s chess champion, who has been making Philadelphia his home for two months past, will shortly start on a professional tour of the United States, giving simultaneous and blindfold chess and checker exhibitions. The proposed tour is to be under the personal direction of William Borsodi of the American Chess Magazine, who will accompany the champion. A contract has already been drawn up and only awaits tho signatures of Pillsbury and Mr. Borsodi.

I can’t add too much more biographical information on Borsodi at the moment.

Macauley, as he was known later in life, continued to have a strong affinity for chess, long after his tenure as illustrator for <American Chess Magazine> ended, and fame began. When exploring a record-breaking 1931 simultaneous that Capablanca gave in NYC, I can across this photograph (from Associated Press by way of E. Winter):

cn5390_capablanca4 The caption mentions the presence of Charles R. Macauley! It doesn’t mention that he actually played during the simul (as did Dohme), on Table 24 for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle team.

For more on the simul, see:

In fact, this is a good place to stop. I have more to post about Macauley, including a Pulitzer award, and a Supreme Court case involving a Pulitzer, but it will have to wait till later. I’ll append it from here.



2 thoughts on “Solution to Visual Puzzle – 2015-04-06

  1. Pingback: Capablanca NYC Simultaneous – Feb 12, 1931 | Zan Chess

  2. Pingback: Capablanca NYC Simultaneous – Feb 12, 1931 – (Slight Return) | Zan Chess

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