The country boy : the story of his own early life / by Homer Davenport ... embellished with sixty-two illustrations made from his original drawings. (1910)
Homer Calvin Davenport (March 8, 1867 – May 2, 1912) was a political cartoonist and writer from the United States. He is known for drawings that satirized figures of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, most notably Ohio Senator Mark Hanna. Although Davenport had no formal art training, he became one of the highest paid political cartoonists in the world. Davenport also was one of the first major American breeders of Arabian horses and one of the founders of the Arabian Horse Club of America.A native Oregonian, Davenport developed interests in both art and horses as a young boy. He tried a variety of jobs before gaining employment as a cartoonist, initially working at several newspapers on the West Coast, including The San Francisco Examiner, purchased by William Randolph Hearst. His talent for drawing and interest in Arabian horses dovetailed in 1893 at the Chicago Daily Herald when he studied and drew the Arabian horses exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition. When Hearst obtained the New York Morning Journal in 1895, money was no object in his attempt to establish the Journal as a leading New York newspaper, and Hearst moved Davenport east in 1885 to be part of what is regarded as one of the greatest newspaper staffs ever assembled. Working with columnist Alfred Henry Lewis, Davenport created many cartoons in opposition to the 1896 Republican presidential candidate, former Ohio governor William McKinley, and Hanna, his campaign manager. McKinley was elected and Hanna elevated to the Senate; Davenport continued to draw his sharp cartoons during the 1900 presidential race, though McKinley was again victorious.In 1904, Davenport was hired away from Hearst by the New York Evening Mail, a Republican paper, and there drew a favorable cartoon of President Theodore Roosevelt that boosted Roosevelt's election campaign that year. The President in turn proved helpful to Davenport in 1906 when the cartoonist required diplomatic permission to travel abroad in his quest to purchase pure desertbred Arabian horses. In partnership with millionaire Peter Bradley, Davenport traveled extensively amongst the Anazeh people of Syria and went through a brotherhood ceremony with the Bedouin leader who guided his travels. The 27 horses Davenport purchased and brought to America had a profound and lasting impact on Arabian horse breeding. Davenport's later years were marked by fewer influential cartoons and a troubled personal life; he dedicated much of his time to his animal breeding pursuits, traveled widely, and gave lectures. He was a lifelong lover of animals and of country living; he not only raised horses, but also exotic poultry and other animals. He died in 1912 of pneumonia, which he contracted after going to the docks of New York City to watch and chronicle the arrival of survivors of the Titanic.