Thomas Nast Portfolio
What Are You Laughing At? To the Victor Belong the Spoils,
Harpers Weekly, November 25, 1871, cover. Wood engraving.
The anti-Tammany campaign waged
by the New York Times
and Harpers 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 spoilsin this case the treasury of New
York Citystill goes to the victor, no matter how battered. Nasts
cartoon is both a crow of victory and a warning that the battle is
not finally won.