From my inbox, thought I’d pass this along.  Greg Kinney, the great curator at the wonderful U-M Bentley Historical Library forward this cartoon last week and I love it.  It was stored in one of the athletic department scrapbooks:


The gent on the left is disgraced Michigan football player James Joy Miller, who was dismissed after the 1909 season for failing to properly register and attend classes.  The scandal made it all the way over to the New York Times and Michigan ended up apologizing to each of the teams they faced that year.

Cook is explorer Frederick Cook, who reached or (claimed to reach) the North Pole in 1908, months ahead of the guy credited with it – Robert Peary.  At one point he promised to the King of Denmark that he would submit all the detail of his reports and findings to the University of Copenhagen.  He submitted a report, but not all of the detail the school was expecting and this happened:

In late November, drawing on his diary, he completed his promised report to the University of Copenhagen. (He chose not to send his diary to Denmark for fear of losing it.) In December, the university—whose experts had been expecting original records—announced that Cook’s claim was “not proven.” Many U.S. newspapers and readers took that finding to mean “disproved.”

So, thus the cartoon (assume in the Daily or Free Press?) that Cook and Miller failed to register.

For the record, Miller technically was registered but not until after the season on December 8, 1909.  His actual registration card is on file at the Bentley:



  1. Just so you know, the Ivy League during this era was full of these kinds of shenanigans. During that era, and up through the middle of the twentieth century, the Ivy League was the seat of football national powers (explains the term "Champions of the West" in Elbel's "Victors.") And the Ivy coaches, during the 1900-1920 era in particular. were not above pulling top notch athletes in from all quarters – whatever their academic or class-attendance shortcomings.

  2. I googled Langley Ave in Detroit and got nothing. I understand that streets can come and go in cities (particularly those from 1909), but I thought you might find this interesting and that it might be a *gasp* fictitious address.

    • Greg from MVictors

      If I recall correctly, FWIW, it think it was actually his father that came in and registered him and paid. The signature looks like a J.G. Miller

  3. My brother is a professional cartoonist and avid fan of early 1900's cartoons. I shared this with him and he pointed me to this wiki page. It appears the cartoonist was Clare Briggs.

    [Here’s a link to Clare Briggs’ Wikipedia page]

    -Other Craig