Lot 147: ANTIQUE 1872 Thomas Nast Full Page Harper's Weekly Cartoon

The Book Barn

December 1, 2016
Edgewater, FL, US

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Description: Antique 1872 Thomas Nast Woodblock Art. It is suitable for framing. Signed in image. Thomas Nast Full Page Woodblock Political Cartoon From May 18, 1872 Issue of Harper's Weekly. It is the front page of the, of that Harper's Weekly issue. Image Titled: "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?" Image measures approximately 11 1/2 inches high wide X 9 inches wide plus borders & Harper’s Weekly Masthead. Edges show light general handling wear from age & removal from the Harper’s volume, all of which will be covered by the mat when framed. Paper is age toned but not brittle. Signed in image: "TH. NAST." Overall the piece is Good Plus Condition. Nast in this cartoon is satirizing & savaging J. T. Hoffman who rightly or wrongly was associated with the notorious William Marcy "Boss" Tweed boss of NYC’s Democratic machine (Tammy Hall) & a Hoffman supporter for NY Governor. J. T. Hoffman was elected governor in 1868, the last NYC Mayor to accomplish this feat and the last NYC Mayor to be elected to higher office. Hoffman's election was aided by Tammy Hall under the leadership of its boss William Tweed. Later on the fact that Hoffman had aid from Tweed, and his voter majority was so large for that time, would be recalled as proof that the Governor was a member of the notorious Boss Tweed Ring. In actuality, while Tweed did frequently see Hoffman in Albany on various votes and projects, it was no more than any other major Democrat in NY State. Tweed aided Hoffman in getting re-elected in 1870. Shortly afterwards a new City Charter was enacted which granted more local autonomy to NYC. Such reform had been discussed for decades, but Tweed with Hoffman’s aid brought it to fruition. Just at this point Tweed's corruption began being revealed in The New York Times and Harper’s Weekly, in no small part due to Nast’s efforts like the one here. The new Charter was discredited as being planned for more municipal corruption. At this time Hoffman was also considering seriously to run for the Presidency in 1872, and Tweed was to be his manager. Tweed, in actuality, had little interest in national affairs, and while he might have considered the possible National corruption pickings greater than NYC’s, he also was aware of the bad publicity such scandals had brought on the Grant Administration. As it turned out, the Tweed scandals wrecked Hoffman's chances. Hoffman, his reputation ruined by the connections with Tweed, did not seek further political office. Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon". He was the scourge of Democratic Representative "Boss" Tweed and the Tammany Hall Democratic party political machine & of the Democratic Party in general whom he considered pro-South traitors. He was also strongly anti-Irish & anti-Catholic Church, since in the 19th century the Irish strongly supported the Democratic Party & were predominately Catholic. Nast considered the Catholic Church as a threat to American values. According to his biographer, Fiona Deans Halloran, Nast was "intensely opposed to the encroachment of Catholic ideas into public education". Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus----based on the traditional German figures of Sankt Nikolaus and Weihnachtsmann----and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party. Contrary to popular belief, Nast did not create Uncle Sam----the male personification of the American people----or Columbia----the female personification of American values----or the Democratic donkey, though he did popularize these symbols through his artwork. Nast was associated with the magazine Harper's Weekly from 1859 to 1860 and from 1862 until 1886. It has been argued by eminent historians that as a political cartoonist, Thomas Nast wielded more influence than any other artist of the 19th century. He not only enthralled a vast audience with boldness and wit, but swayed it time and again to his personal position on the strength of his visual imagination. President Lincoln called Nast "our best recruiting sergeant" for one of his most celebrated cartoons "Compromise with the South", which was directed against those in the North who opposed the prosecution of the American Civil War, as well as, for drawing battlefields in border and southern states. President Grant attributed his victory in 1868 to "the sword of Sheridan and the pencil of Thomas Nast." In the 1872 presidential campaign, Nast's ridicule of Horace Greeley's candidacy was especially merciless. After Grant's victory in 1872, Mark Twain wrote the artist a letter saying: "Nast, you more than any other man have won a prodigious victory for Grant----I mean, rather, for Civilization and Progress." As a crusading civil reformer he helped destroy the corrupt "Boss" Tweed Ring that swindled NYC of millions of dollars. His impact on American public life was formidable enough to profoundly affect the outcome of every presidential election during the period 1864 to 1884. ALL ITEMS ARE GUARANTEED TO BE ACCURATELY DESCRIBED, NOT DEFECTIVE, & GENUINE. PLEASE NOTE: Shipping will be billed to winning bidder by Last Chance Auctions in their billing for item(s). Media Mail postage is shown for shipping in the United States. Foreign winning bidders will pay postage based on their countries small/medium/large Flat Rate box postage rates & weight of the package. Other types of postage are avaible at added expense at the bidders request. A Tracking Number will be provided to buyer. 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Condition Report: Good Plus Condition
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