Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist (Friends Fund Publication)

Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist (Friends Fund Publication)

Language: English

Pages: 176

ISBN: 0820346187

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


If it is true that the pen is mightier than the sword and that one picture is worth a thousand words, Thomas Nast must certainly rank as one of the most influential personalities in nineteenth-century American history. His pen, dipped in satire, aroused an apathetic, disinterested, and uninformed public to indignation and action more than once. The most notable Nast campaign, and probably the one best recorded today, was directed against New York City’s Tammany Hall and its boss, William Marcy Tweed. Boss Tweed and his ring so feared the power of Nast and his drawings that they once offered him a bribe of $500,000.

Six presidents of the United States received and gratefully accepted Nast’s support during their candidacies and administrations. Two of these, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant, credited Nast with more than mere support. During the Civil War, Lincoln called Nast his “best recruiting sergeant,” and after the war Grant, then a general, wrote that Nast had done as “much as any one man to preserve the Union and bring the war to an end.” Throughout his career the cartoonist remained an ardent champion of Grant who, after his election in 1868, attributed his victory to “the sword of Sheridan and the pencil of Thomas Nast.”

Nast’s work is still familiar today. It was Nast who popularized the modern concepts of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam and who created such symbols as the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, and the Tammany tiger.

With more than 150 examples of Nast’s work, Thomas Nast: Political Cartoonist recreates the life and pattern of artistic development of the man who made the political cartoon a respected and powerful journalistic form.

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(February 21, (October 24, Office 148. 1884) 1884) (Dec. 1900. 1885) 1885) Unpublished (Ibid.) (Ibid.) (Ibid.) Cyril Nast to Around the World author) New Year's Card author's possession) (Jan., 1885. In PREFACE To recreate for the modern reader Nast's life and the pattern of his artistic development, I have selected and arranged chronologically draw­ ings from each period of his work. I have sought to give enough of the artist's life and the political problems of his time to put

Treasury from Wall Street manipulators in the drawings "Keeping the Money Where It W i l l Do the Most Good" (No. 86), and "Every Question With an Eye only to the Public Good" (No. 87). In the latter drawing Justice questions the right of "The Saints of the Press," who themselves have not infrequently betrayed the public, to cast the first stone at Congressmen ac­ cused of the Credit Mobilier scandal. In this dis­ tinguished group of journalists Nast included his old Tweed Ring adversary, Oakey

Big Six Volunteer fire company. By coincidence its chief at the time was Big B i l l Tweed, later the villain i n Nast's greatest drama. Tom began drawing while a child. From the start his art was a comment on current events. His first exhibited work was a drawing of Louis Kos­ suth, the celebrated Hungarian revolutionary, who in 1851 received the greatest ovation in New York since Lafayette's triumphal tour of a generation earlier. The picture was praised by Nast's teacher, framed and hung i n a

20) ; 11 (No. 94) ; 12 (No. 3 2 ) ; 13 (No. 34) ; 27 (Nos. 65, 86, 89, 94, 9 7 ) ; photo (No. 86) Grant, scandals while in office, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 34 Grant, third term (Caesarism), 27-28, 33 Grant, Ulysses Simpson, Jr., 35 Grant and Ward Company, 36 Greeley, Horace, description of, 24; and Nast, 25; 10, 18, 22, 25, 26, 31, 36, 37, 40; 10 (No. 20) ; 12 (No. 32) ; 24 (No. 66) ; 25 (Nos. 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 7 8 ) ; (Nos. 46, 62, 63, 65) ; photo (No. 66) Greeley, Mrs., 25

Kentuckian exclaimed, ' T h i n k goodness that I have been permitted to see you!" The long-lost artist calmly rejoined, ' I t is quite a wonderful e v e n t . ' " — f o v v i M v / w Louisville Coitrkr-Journal. #0 SI NOTICE.—NO "SHOO, F L Y I' The OUR ARTIST'S " I t ' s nil v e r y f u n n y OCCUPATION to y o t i : but w h a t GONE. a m I to do THE ae*v?" News from Washington THIS WEEK. w a s too m u c h for o u r A r t i s t . 83 8Z 'I'll: .VAST. CARTOON 8f W H I R L I G I

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