The cartoonists of the country were at their best last month when the
coal strike, in its various phases, was the one topic that absorbed public
attention. No possible selection of a dozen or a score of these drawings
can convey much idea of the variety and the cleverness displayed in the
work of twenty-five or thirty caricaturists each one of whom drew enough
coal-strike cartoons to fill up our entire department. While the cartoonists
almost invariably favored arbitration of the dispute, and represented in
the main the rights of the public rather than those of either of the contesting
parties, their sympathies were overwhelmingly with the strikers as against
the operators. Yet, on the other hand, the greater part of their work showed
good temper. Their admonitions to the coal-road presidents were not meant
to be offensive or to leave any permanent sting. Mr. Bush, in the cartoon
on this page, expresses the general sentiment respecting the desirability
of arbitration from all points of view. This picture, we hope, symbolizes
future harmony in the coal regions.
President Roosevelt was fortunate enough to receive the approval, so
far as we are aware, of every one of the newspaper cartoonists in the country
regardless of party affiliations. His intervention in the coal strike came
in the midst of a season of political campaigning, and it would have been
easy for an ungenerous opposition to ascribe political motives to the President.
But Republican, Democratic, and independent newspapers alike have praised
his course as manly, sincere, and wholly to the public interest, while
miners and operators throughout were expressing themselves to that same
effect, when agreed upon nothing else.