Description: Antique 1871 Thomas Nast Woodblock Art. It is suitable for framing. Signed in image. Thomas Nast Full Page Woodblock Political Cartoon From March 11, 1871 Issue of Harper's Weekly. Interior Page woodblock cartoon, of that Harper's Weekly issue. Image Titled: "THE JOINT HIGH COMMISSION". Image measures approximately 14 inches high wide X 9 inches wide plus borders. Edges show chipping with loss/several short closed tears that extend into the print edge, 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 Condition. In early 1871, the British government sent Sir John Rose to the U.S. to ascertain whether negotiations to settle the Northwestern boundary dispute would be acceptable to President Grant. The U.S. government through the adroit and diplomatic abilities of Grant's Secretary of State, cordially received his advances and, on January 26, the British Minister at Washington formally proposed the appointment of a joint high commission to meet in Washington to resolve the dispute. The U. S. readily consented, provided that the differences growing out of the Civil war be among the subjects to be considered. The Civil War claims were primarily those of the Confederate commerce raiders that Britain allowed to be built & outfitted in violation of their own neutrality laws. The claims were collectively named, "The Alabama Claims" after the Confederate raider Alabama commanded by Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes, the most famous of all the British built Confederate raiders. The British government promptly accepted the American proviso and the president appointed commissioners as did the British Government. Nastâs cartoon reflects the hope that the Anglo-American differences can be settled by the commission along the lines of peace & justice. 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. 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Condition Report: Good Condition
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