John Wilson Bengough, political cartoonist (b at Toronto 7 Apr 1851; d there 2 Oct 1923). One of the first substantial figures in editorial cartooning, he started off on George BROWN's Globe
in 1871 but left to found the satirical weekly Grip
(1873-94), which established itself by ridiculing Prime Minister John A. MACDONALD
during the PACIFIC SCANDAL
. Indeed, our mental picture of Macdonald, with his sly posture, witty mouth and whisky nose, owes much to Bengough's treatment.
Bengough is also of secondary interest as a 19th-century social radical, to whom communalism, vegetarianism, feminism, antivivisectionism and prohibition combined in one vast utopian ideal. In later life he returned to journalism, and was a much-loved but little listened to public scold, frequently honoured in Canada and abroad for his lectures, called "chalk talks," and books. Selections from A Caricature History of Canadian Politics (1886) were reprinted in 1974.
J.W. Bengough, politician
J.W. Bengough puts words into the mouth of John A. Macdonald at the time of the Pacific Scandal. Left is Alexander Mackenzie, Liberal leader who replaced Macdonald as PM (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-78604).
Links to Other Sites
Decoding Political Cartoons
Find out what goes on between the lines in Canadian political cartoons. From Library and Archives Canada.