Berryman would often use a recognizable figure to convey a common concept. Personification and symbolism are two of the strongest tools available to the political cartoonist.

Teddy Bear

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

Clifford Berryman is credited with introducing this lasting symbol into the American consciousness. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot an old bear during a hunting trip. In his drawings Berryman transformed the old bear into a cute, cuddly “teddy bear”—named for the President. The image not only became a common symbol representing Theodore Roosevelt in Berryman‘s cartoons, but also gave rise to the popular stuffed teddy bear. After Roosevelt left office, Berryman continued to use the teddy bear to represent his own personal point of view.

Democratic Donkey

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

The donkey has become the common symbol of the Democratic Party. It was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson’s 1828 Presidential campaign. The figure was popularized in the 1870s when it was frequently featured in the cartoons of Thomas Nast.

Republican Elephant

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

The elephant is a widely recognized symbol of the Republican Party. Made popular by cartoonist Thomas Nast, the Republican elephant first appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1874. The Republicans have embraced the elephant as their official symbol and still use it in campaigns today.

The Bee

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

The bee was a common character in Berryman‘s cartoons representing political aspirations as the “buzz” in a potential candidate‘s ear Berryman used the bee to symbolize the lure of political office.

Uncle Sam

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

Uncle Sam, who first appeared in political cartoons during the War of 1812, is used by Berryman to personify the United States. He is usually depicted as a lanky man with white hair and a goatee, patriotically dressed in a star-spangled suit and tall top hat. His most famous image is from the “I WANT YOU” World War I Army recruiting poster drawn by James Montgomery Flagg.

John Q. Public

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

John Q. Public is a generic name in the United States to denote a symbolic member of society deemed a “common man.” He has no strong political or social biases and represents the randomly selected “man on the street.”

Miss Democracy

From Berryman’s Recurring Cast of Characters...

Miss Democracy is the personification of the voice or will of the American people. Berryman often used her to symbolize the mood of the United States.

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