The New International Encyclopædia/Mugwump

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The New International Encyclopædia
Mugwump
Edition of 1905. See also Mugwump on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MUGWUMP (Algonquin mugquomp, chief, great man). In American politics, a term originally applied to a voter nominally identified with a particular party, but claiming the right to vote with another party. It early passed into the local phraseology of some of the New England villages, being applied in its original (Indian) signification to any local magnate. Its first appearance in print seems to have been in the Indianapolis Sentinel in 1872. Its popular use began with an article in the New York Sun for March 23, 1884. In September of the same year it was first given to a political party, the Independent Republicans, who refused to ratify the nomination of James G. Blaine for the Presidency. The name was applied to them in a spirit of derision, but was accepted by them, and now regularly denotes any body of voters who profess to be independent of strict party obligations. The name Dudes and Pharisees was also applied in 1884 to those Republicans who opposed the election of James G. Blaine.