Thomas Nast Portfolio


“The Tammany Tiger Loose,” Harper’s Weekly,
November 11, 1871, p.1056-1057. Wood engraving.

     In 1871 the Republican New York Times ran a scathing
series of exposés of corruption in the Tammany Hall-controlled
Democratic administration of New York City, and
Harper’s Weekly and Thomas Nast quickly joined the
campaign. A bloodthirsty Tammany mascot has mauled the
Republic, symbolized by Columbia,having broken her shield,
the ballot, through corruption. The rotund emperor, Tammany
Boss William Magear Tweed, enjoys the spectacle, sitting
among otherwell-known Democratic politicians. The allusion
to the historic slaughter of innocent Christians in Roman
arenas—Rome now being the center of Catholicism—was
particularly powerful, as was the way Nast drew the
rampaging tiger looking directly at the reader, clearly its
next victim.


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