Thomas Nast Portfolio
   

 

 

“What Are You Laughing At? To the Victor Belong the Spoils,”
Harper’s Weekly, November 25, 1871, cover. Wood engraving.

     The anti-Tammany campaign waged by the New York Times and Harper’s Weekly damaged the Democratic machine, leaving a chastened William Magear Tweed in charge of a collapsing organization, symbolized by the ruined pillars and porticoes of his fortress. Boss Tweed, the beleaguered gladiator, pretends bravado, insisting that the spoils—in this case the treasury of New York City—still goes to the victor, no matter how battered. Nast’s cartoon is both a crow of victory and a warning that the battle is not finally won.

What Are You Laughing At?
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