“From the Rockies” (December 30, 1893) 12/30
Harper’s Weekly, vol 37, December 30, p 1624.
by Edward Winsor (EW) Kemble (1861-1933)
6 x 9 in., ink on Board
126 years ago, today…!
EW Kemble had a quite noteworthy career as an illustrator. An early contributor to the new Life magazine (1881), Kemble’s work got the attention of Mark Twain, who invited Kemble to illustrate the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn(1884). He subsequently illustrated several other famous books, including Twain’s Puddin’ Head Wilson (1894), Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1891 edition), Washington Irving’s Knickerbocker History of New York(1893 edition), and many of Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus stories, starting in the late 1880s.
Thanks to the fame he garnered from Huck Finn, Kemble became the go-to artist for representing African American people and culture, which is how he ended up illustrating both Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Uncle Remus. The negative stereotypes in his widespread imagery influenced the way cartoonists depicted these subjects for generations.
Included here is a “suggestion for illustration” by John Kendrick (JK) Bangs. Bangs was an American author, humorist, editor and satirist.
In 1888, Bangs left “Life Magazine” to work at “Harper’s Magazine,” “Harper’s Bazaar” and “Harper’s Young People,” though he continued to contribute to Life. From 1889 to 1900 he held the title of Editor of the Departments of Humor for all three Harper’s magazines and from 1899 to 1901 served as active editor of “Harper’s Weekly.” Bangs also served for a short time (January–June 1889) as the first editor of “Munsey’s Magazine.”
Looks like Bangs wanted Kemble to recycle this gag, which is (admittedly) pretty funny. This cartoon appeared on the last page of the volume 37 issues, December 30, 1893.
From the Rockies
Bear (to Tompkins). “Why, hullo brother Jim. How you’ve changed!”
Tompkins. “I ain’t your brother Jim.”
Bear (with a laugh). “Can’t fool me, Jim; I’d know that suit o’ yourn anywhere. Where’ve you been all these days?”