By John Chalmers Vinson
Original booklet 1967
If it really is precise that the pen is mightier than the sword and that one photograph is worthy 1000 phrases, Thomas Nast needs to definitely rank as the most influential personalities in nineteenth-century American background. His pen, dipped in satire, aroused an apathetic, disinterested, and uninformed public to indignation and motion greater than as soon as. the main impressive Nast crusade, and possibly the single top recorded this day, was once directed opposed to ny City’s Tammany corridor and its boss, William Marcy Tweed. Boss Tweed and his ring so feared the facility of Nast and his drawings that they as soon as provided him a bribe of $500,000.
Six presidents of the U.S. acquired and gratefully authorized Nast’s help in the course of their candidacies and administrations. of those, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses supply, credited Nast with greater than mere help. throughout the Civil battle, Lincoln known as Nast his “best recruiting sergeant,” and after the battle supply, then a common, wrote that Nast had performed as “much as anyone guy to maintain the Union and convey the warfare to an end.” all through his occupation the cartoonist remained an ardent champion of furnish who, after his election in 1868, attributed his victory to “the sword of Sheridan and the pencil of Thomas Nast.”
Nast’s paintings remains to be normal this day. It was once Nast who popularized the trendy strategies of Santa Claus and Uncle Sam and who created such symbols because the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, and the Tammany tiger.
With greater than one hundred fifty examples of Nast’s paintings, Thomas Nast: Political Cartoonist recreates the lifestyles and development of inventive improvement of the fellow who made the political sketch a revered and strong journalistic shape.
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Additional info for Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist
Nast sought unsuccessfully to meet these changes. Apparently he survived break ing with his party in 1884 by making one of his most brilliant series of drawings against Blaine. This triumph was a final flare with Nast rapidly fading out of the public view. He could not make clever comments on everyday manners and morals; oratory rather than small talk was his forte. When the public tired of his martial airs, he was unable to take up chamber music. His art depended on a public incensed over issues; losing that, he fell into comparative obscurity.
The times passed him by. There were to be some great moments left to this man who had known many triumphs. "But the noontide of his glory had slipped by—the sun was already drop ping down in the West" as A. B. Paine expressed 32 THOMAS it in the rounded phrases of the turn of the century rhetoric. Although the sun of his career was sinking, Nast, feeling he was better equipped than ever for his work, was not aware of it. Harper's, despite editorial disagreements, still clamored for his serv ices as did many rival papers.
Irish, Catholic, and Democrat were evils individually and collectively in Nast's eyes. Since Democrats courted votes by failing to enforce restrictions on saloons, the car toonist often showed rum along with romanism and rebellion as Democratic traits long before the Rev erend Samuel Burchard coined that phrase in 1884. Tweed was Nast's symbol of corruption. He transformed the respectable and dignified Sachem of Tammany, the great and generous man of wealth whose gifts were lavished on charity, into a fat, pompous, vulgar, and grasping thief who was at once ridiculous but menacing.
Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist by John Chalmers Vinson