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Charlie Daniel Editorial Cartoon Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3526

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of over 20,000 original cartoons drawn by Charlie Daniel during his career as the editorial cartoonist at the Knoxville Journal (from 1958) and the Knoxville News-Sentinel (from 1992). In these cartoons, Daniel has offered comments upon life in general and politics in particular, through a cast of characters that includes – in addition to real people – Rosie the diner cook, Elmo Smidlap the everyman, and someone who looks remarkably like the artist himself. The cartoons look at topics from holidays and local charity events to national scandals and international conflicts.

Series I: Causes includes cartoons that cover situations such as the weather and holidays, voter apathy, drug use, family life, television, education in general, the postal service, driving, the space program, and crime. There are also cartoons of Daniel's tributes to celebrities upon their deaths and drawing poking fun at himself.

Series II: Sports includes cartoons on football, basketball, baseball, and other sports. They cover topics like the Olympics, steroid scandals, and local teams. This includes Daniel's cartoons about University of Tennessee sports, coaches, and rivalries.

Series III: University of Tennessee contains cartoons primarily about academic life, financial issues, and personnel of the university. It includes some cartoons about UT Sports, although most of those can be found in Series II.

Series IV: Knoxville and Knox County presents a wide swath of local history through the lens of Daniel's humor and quirky insights. There are cartoons about political corruption, bootlegging and liquor raids, mayors and other local politicians, and the long history of annexation and government consolidation. There are many cartoons about the 1982 World's Fair. These cartoons touch on the area's problems such as air quality and road construction alongside celebrations of its attractions like charitable giving, farmers markets and festivals, and public services.

Series V: Tennessee begins with cartoons about past governors, congress members, and other state politicians before moving to legislative issues such as gambling, medical insurance, redistricting, and taxes. It also includes state-wide education issues and Smoky Mountains-related topics like tourism and pollution.

Series VI: TVA has cartoons about energy, nuclear power, flood control, personnel, financial situations, and political negotiations related to the corporation.

Series VII: Labor and Unions includes cartoons that look at strikes, struggles, laws, and personnel for various types of industries and businesses.

Series VIII: Taxes and Economy includes cartoons on financial issues that are not specifically tied to a particular president, the state of Tennessee, or Knoxville or Knox County. Topics include tax returns and Tax Day, the federal budget, consumer issues, inflation, and more.

Series IX: National Politics begins with cartoons looking at the U.S. government in general, with commentary on political parties, campaigning, Congress, and various departments and agencies. It then turns to specific presidents and the topics that dominated their terms of office. Cartoons about particular campaigns are interspersed between presidential terms. Lastly, there are a few politicians whose perennial careers defied chronological placement, and finally a section about various states and regions of the country outside of Tennessee. This series is the largest in the collection.

Series X: International begins with cartoons on the United Nations, Henry Kissinger, and peace efforts. Next, the cartoons are arranged by continental region.

Series XI: Chronological begins with cartoons created in 2008 and moves forward. These have been digitized by the Knoxville News-Sentinel and so are organized by publication date instead of by topic.

Series XII: An addition of editorial cartoons, dating from the late 1950s to 2003. These cartoons are organized by publication date within each year and cover various topics.

Series XIII: Correspondence and Personal Papers also includes a book of editorial cartoons, church papers, and documents from a White House Press Secretary meeting and information from the Savings Bond Division.

Series XIV: Cartoon Photographs, Negatives, and Plates include a few photographs of Daniel at work, negatives of his various cartoons, and original cartoon plates dating from 1969 to 1972.

Series XV: Framed Cartoons includes 12 original framed cartoons, organized in alphabetical order based on title.

Series XVI: Cartoon Books features copies of Daniel's "It Was Self-Defense...He Drew On Me" book of cartoons, published in 1994.

Series XVII: Oversize includes additional personal papers, cartoon negatives, photographs, and original sketches. Also included are colored and black and white prints of Daniel's work and a collection of prints and sketches of work from other artists.

Series XVIII: Addendum contains cartoons donated after the collection's original processing. These works date from 2014-2018 and as they have also been digitized by the Knoxville News-Sentinel they are organized by publication date instead of by topic, similar to Series XI.

Dates

  • 1951-2018

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See www.special.lib.utk.edu for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on www.special.lib.utk.edu for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Extent

90 Linear Feet (96 boxes)

Abstract

This collection consists of over 20,000 original cartoons drawn by Charlie Daniel during his career as the editorial cartoonist at the Knoxville Journal (from 1958) and the Knoxville News-Sentinel (from 1992). In these cartoons, Daniel has offered comments upon life in general and politics in particular, through a cast of characters that includes – in addition to real people – Rosie the diner cook, Elmo Smidlap the everyman, and someone who looks remarkably like the artist himself. The cartoons look at topics from holidays and local charity events to national scandals and international conflicts.

Additionally, this collection includes Daniel's correspondence, personal papers, church papers, and White House and Savings Bond Division documents, as well as photographs, negatives, and original sketches of his cartoons. Also included is a set of framed editorial cartoons and compilation books of his cartoons. This collection features sets of oversize photographs, cartoon negatives, original sketches, and prints and includes examples of others' works in editorial cartoons.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Rufus Daniel was born on December 14, 1929 to Charles Rufus and Mary Franklin (Barbour) Daniel in Richmond, Virginia. He grew up in Weldon, North Carolina, and started doodling and sketching at a young age. He graduated from Fort Union Military Academy and attended one year at the University of North Carolina on a football scholarship before being drafted in 1951. Daniel served in the U.S. Marines from 1951 to 1953, then returned to UNC where he worked at The Daily Tarheel, the student newspaper, while also working freelance jobs for the Chapel Hill News Leader and the Durham Sun until he graduated in 1958 with a degree in political science. After graduation, Daniel accepted a position at the Knoxville Journal, where he was the editorial cartoonist until the paper ended daily publication. In 1992, he moved to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, and continued his run of producing entertaining and thoughtful cartoons. A special highlight in his career came in 2008 which marked his golden anniversary at the Sentinel, where he was honored for his 50 years of service. His cartoons have been exhibited in different museums and universities across Tennessee, and his work has been collected by presidents and politicians. Four collections of his cartoons have been published.

Daniel married his long time sweetheart Patsy Ann Stephenson on February 5, 1954 and together they had two children, Charles Rufus III and Sara Jane (Sharp). Daniel is active in many areas of Knoxville life, including Leadership Knoxville, the Dogwood Arts Festival, the Baptist Health System, and the Voluntary Ministry Center.

Arrangement

This collection consists of 95 boxes and is divided into the following series:

  1. Series I: Causes
  2. Series II: Sports
  3. Series III: University of Tennessee
  4. Series IV: Knoxville and Knox County
  5. Series V: Tennessee
  6. Series VI: Tennessee Valley Authority
  7. Series VII: Labor and Unions
  8. Series VIII: Taxes and Economy
  9. Series IX: National Politics
  10. Series X: International Politics
  11. Series XI: Chronological
  12. Series XII: Cartoon Clippings Through the Years
  13. Series XIII: Correspondence and Personal Papers
  14. Series XIV: Cartoon Photographs, Negatives, and Plates
  15. Series XV: Framed Cartoons
  16. Series XVI: Cartoon Books
  17. Series XVII: Oversize Material

Acquisition Note

These cartoons were donated to Special Collections by Charlie Daniel in 2011.

Digitized Materials

A selection of drawings have been digitized by UT Libraries and are available online as a digital collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480