Sassed Policeman And Gentleman

Item Info

Item No: PIXC00037
Title: Sassed Policeman And Gentleman
Media Type: Cartoons (Commentary)
Source: Print and Picture Collection

In the early 20th century voter intimidation by policemen was a concern for Philadelphians. Laws were created to ban the police from the inside of polling stations in an attempt to protect voters from intimidation and violence. Days before the election of 1919, District Attorney Samuel P. Rotan released a statement reminding citizens of the laws and their rights as voters:

"A police officer, whether in uniform or otherwise, has no right to be in or about any polling place, or within fifty feet thereof, either during the counting and preparation of the return, except to make an arrest or to preserve order. It is a crime for any one to assault or intimidate any voter during the holding of an election, or to attempt to influence or overawe a voter, or to prevent him from voting..."[1]

The cartoonist depicts the perception of the police force as thuggish and not helpful to the process of holding fair and free elections.

[1] McDougall, Walt. "Rotan To Punish Election Frauds." Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA). 1919, November 3: p. 02.  Library of Congress - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Retrieved from:

Creator Name: McDougall, Walt (1858-1938) - Artist