Norman Ethre Jennett, 1877-1970
Norman Jennett (1877-1970) was a political cartoonist who worked for the Raleigh News and Observer during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His cartoons reflected and supported the white supremacist agenda of the Democratic Party, and played an important role in the elections of 1896, 1898, and 1900. Often in conjunction with Josephus Daniels’s biting editorials, Jennett repeatedly skewered prominent Republic and Populist political leaders and promoted vicious racial stereotypes in an effort to help the Democrats regain control of the state government and, once that was accomplished, roll back many the gains made by African Americans during Reconstruction. Jennett began working at the News and Observer in 1895 but left in 1897 in order to study art in New York. Daniels so highly valued Jennett’s skills that he convinced the young man to return to North Carolina to help in the 1898 campaign, which ended in sweeping Democratic victories. Although it is difficult to say how influential Jennett’s cartoons really were, the Democratic Party did acknowledge the role Jennett and his work played in their victory and granted him not only their thanks but also a financial reward of $63. Jennett returned to New York after the election but two years later his cartoons again graced the pages of the News and Observer to promote the Democratic Party and their proposed Suffrage Amendment, which would ultimately disfranchise many black and white voters throughout the state. Jennett served as a cartoonist for the New York Herald from 1901-1917 and then retired to California, where he focused his efforts on paintings rather than political cartoons. (UNC-CH Libraries; OSU Libraries)
Ohio State University Libraries. "Norman E. Jennett." Selected Newspaper Cartoonists, 1898-1909. http://cartoons.osu.edu/newspaper_artists/jennett/jennett.html (Accessed April 11, 2012).
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