James E. Roderick and the Official Plum Tree by Hoopman, 1/11/1914
This cartoon depicts James E. Roderick shaking the “Official Plum Tree” and sending plums to his male relatives below. A classic image of corruption, the shaking of plum trees referred to unethically sharing the spoils of political office. Roderick, the Chief of the Department of Mines in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in 1916, is accused in the illustration of engaging in an act of nepotism. He shakes the “Official Plum Tree” to send fruit to his nephews, cousins, and other relatives.