Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One of Thomas Nast's nastiest cartoons....... Making such fun of Horace Greeley at a terrible time in his life.

This very rare cartoon by Nast from November of 1872 shows a strickened Greeley being carried to the end of the race....Greeley's wife had died and he himself was loosing his mind at the time this came out.
This is a close up of the header of the cartoon. Making fun not only of Greeley, but also of the great paper he had developed.

Horace Greeley ran for President under the Democratic ticket in 1872. He ran on honor, trust, and respect. He was running against one of the most corrupt administrations in the history of the United States. That was the Grant Administration.....
Greeley was for trying to stop the awful occupation of the south. He was for intellectual healing of the country. He was running in a race where many in his own party did not like him.
Thomas Nast was a most famous illustrator.....He is quite famous for drawing the donkey and elephant for the democratic and republican parties. He is even more famous for drawing what still is the model for Santa Claus. He had a great talent, but was horrendously partisan. It was a horrid election...It was a terrible time for Greeley.
Here is some info from wikipedia.................................................
As a candidate, Greeley argued that Reconstruction was a success, the war was over, the Confederacy destroyed, and slavery was dead. It was time to pull federal troops out of the South and let the people there run their own affairs. A weak campaigner, he was mercilessly ridiculed as a fool, an extremist, a turncoat, and a crazy man who could not be trusted by the Republicans. The most vicious attacks came in cartoons by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly. Greeley ultimately ran far behind the Democratic ticket and he won only 43% of the vote.
This crushing defeat was not Greeley's only misfortune in 1872. Greeley was among several high-profile investors who were defrauded by Philip Arnold in a famous diamond and gemstone hoax. Meanwhile, as Greeley had been pursuing his political career, Whitelaw Reid, owner of the New York Herald, had gained control of the Tribune.
Not long after the election Greeley's wife died. He descended into madness and died before the electoral votes could be cast. In his final illness, spotting Reid, he cried out "You son of a bitch, you stole my newspaper," and died at 6:50 p.m. on Friday, November 29, 1872, in Pleasantville, New York at Dr. George C. S. Choate’s private hospital. Even though Greeley received no electoral votes, three of Georgia's electoral votes were left blank in honor of him.
This cartoon from November 1872 was done after Greeley's wife had died, and he himself started to loose him mind. The picture of a strickened Greeley was just too much. Thomas Nast had gone too far!
Greeley died 3 weeks after the election. He was a great man, sadly he took on politics and politics ate him up alive.
I find this to be one of the most tasteless, cruel, and heartless of any political cartoon ever made before or since.