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"Gopher Train" illustration by Robert O. Sweeny
Engraving on paper by Robert O. Sweeny, 1857. It is a political cartoon made in opposition to a proposed amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution allowing the state to issue $5,000,000 worth of bonds to assist the construction of railroads. The cartoon shows ten men under the tracks with $10,000 bags of gold weighting down their necks, each of which represent legislators bribed into passing the act. On the tracks is a train of cars drawn by nine gophers with human heads, each representing various advocates of the act. This widely spread cartoon is credited with giving Minnesota the nickname of "The Gopher State". Before this, the popular choice was to call Minnesota the Beaver State.
Content Category: prints
Physical Support: paper
Colorization: black and white
14 3/4 inches height
19 inches width
Artist: Sweeny, Robert Ormsby
Creation: Exactly 1857
AV1991.66 (Accession Number)
AV1992.37.20 (Accession Number)