Thomas Nast


Thomas Nast Famous memorial

Landau, Stadtkreis Landau in der Pfalz, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Death 7 Dec 1902 (aged 62)
Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Birch Hill Plot, Section 77/78
Memorial ID 6522488 View Source

Editorial Cartoonist. He is considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon" having created satirical art during the 19th century that critiqued slavery and crime. He was associated with the magazine "Harper's Weekly" from 1859 to 1860 and from 1862 until 1886. In 1860 he went to England for the "New York Illustrated News" and in the same year went to Italy to cover Giuseppe Garibaldi's revolt for "The Illustrated London News and American publications". He was best know for his attacks on the corrupted Democratic political machine of William M. Tweed in New York City in the 1870s; at one point he was offered thousands of dollars by Tweed just to leave town and stop drawing. Some of his master pieces include a jolly Santa Claus wearing a red suit and living at the North Pole, which was done from a version of his German St. Nicholas, and the political icon of the elephant for the Republican Party, yet not the donkey for the Democrat Party, which he did used often. In error, the public have given him credit for "Uncle Sam" and and the female icon for liberty, "Columbia". One of his cartoons was said to have re-elected President Abraham Lincoln in 1864; Lincoln himself commented that Nast was his best recruiting sergeant. President Ulysses Grant attributed his election as President in 1868 "to the sword of Sheridan and the pencil of Nast." He, his parents and a sister came to New York City when he was about six years old. Although he did poorly in the classroom studies, his talent for drawing was noted at an early age; he studied with American artists Alfred Fredericks and Theodore Kaufmann before entering the National Academy of Design. In 1886 after several disagreements with the new editor, he left "Harper's Weekly" and fell on hard times; Fletcher Harper, the magazine's founder and publisher, had died several years earlier leaving the magazine to new management. His illustration work began to dry up and his investments failed, ultimately leaving him, his wife Sarah and their five children nearly destitute. He found that his livelihood was now something of the past. In 1902, he was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to general counsel to Ecuador. Living in Ecuador for less than six months, he contracted yellow fever and died at the age of 62. He did produce some paintings in oils and book illustrations, but his fame rests on his political cartoons and caricatures.

Bio by: Linda Davis


He who practices his teaching is crucified.

(This inscription is the title of an etching by Thomas Nast. A gelatin silver reproduction of the etching, dated 1894, is at Princeton University.

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 18 Jun 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6522488
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Nast (27 Sep 1840–7 Dec 1902), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6522488, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .