Thomas Nast, political cartoonist

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  • Thomas Nast, political cartoonist

  • Andrew Johnson cartoons

  • HarpWeek Commentary: On April 14, 1866, Thomas Nast drew a cartoon of "The Grand Masquerade Ball" featuring large sketches of many of the celebrities of the day. Andrew Johnson is pictured kicking out the Freedmens Bureau with his veto, with scattered black people coming out of it.

  • HarpWeek Commentary: This cartoon in the issue of November 3, 1866, appeared about two weeks before Election Day. It shows Johnson as King with Secretary of State William H. Seward as his grand vizier pointing to the line for the chopping block. At the left is Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles as Neptune; "290" on his chest is the original number for the Alabama, the British-built warship that the Confederates under Raphael Semmes used to sink Union merchant ships during the war. At the right, Miss Liberty sits in chains. Seward is shown below because he made a speech in St. Louis after Johnson spoke in which he referred to a king-minister relationship as an analogy for Johnson and himself. The man with his head on the chopping block is Thaddeus Stevens, Johnsons principal adversary in the House. Behind Stevens are abolitionist Wendell Phillips, publisher John W. Forney, Senator Charles Sumner (Johnsons principal adversary in the Senate), Congressman (and General) Benjamin Butler, orator Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, publisher Horace Greeley, Congressman John Logan and, at the very rear, Thomas Nast himself with a sketchbook under his arm.

  • The upside down duck on Johnsons medallion is significant. John Forney, whose Philadelphia and Washington newspapers irritated Johnson, had called Forney a "Dead Duck." Nast used the "Order of Dead Ducks" to lampoon Johnson on several occasions.

  • HarpWeek Commentary: This small Thomas Nast cartoon, which appeared about two weeks before Ulysses Grant was elected President, shows a subdued "King Andy" Johnson serving out his term relatively uneventfully.

  • HarpWeek Commentary: Amphitheatrum Johnsonian Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans July 30, 1866 This is one of the most important cartoons that Thomas Nast ever drew. Andrew Johnson is shown as a Roman emperor impassively observing Mayor John Monroe (on the horse) leading the charge of his police against the black freedmen. Secretary of State William H. Seward leans over him, while Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles leans over the rail. The man in the Roman helmet and armor is General George Armstrong Custer, who accompanied Johnson on his "Swing Round the Circle" and at least once hurled invectives at hecklers. * General Ulysses Grant is at the lower left, staying the sword of General Phil Sheridan, Military Commander of New Orleans. Sheridan was away from the city on the day of the riot. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton is over Grant.Nast probably drew this picture in 1866, but saved it for an appropriate time; that turned out to be the March release of the report from the Congressional Investigating Committee. Within a week of its appearance on March 20, 1867, General Sheridan removed Mayor Monroe, Louisiana Attorney General Andrew J. Herron and Judge Edwin Abell from office.* Thanks to Professor Gregory Urwin of the University of Central Arkansas for Custers identification.

  • Other government figures include Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch (over Sheridan); Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House and Grants Vice President from 1868-72 (over McCulloch); Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin, a strong Johnson supporter (to the right of McCulloch); and Postmaster General Alexander Randall (right of Doolittle). Governor James Orr of South Carolina and General Darius Crouch of Massachusetts (in Orrs lap) are below Johnson; their arm-in-arm entry into the Johnson-supported National Union Convention in Philadelphia in August 1866 represented North-South reconciliation and "filled the hall with tears of joy."

  • HarpWeek Commentary: Thomas Nast incorporated Shakespearean references into over 100 cartoons. Here, in 1870, Jeff Davis as Iago is skulking outside the Senate, where his pre-war Mississippi seat is now occupied by Hiram Revels, the first black Senator, (the Moor). The four Republican Senators (left to right) are Henry Wilson (MA), Oliver Morton (IN), Carl Shurz (MO), and Charles Sumner (MA).