Thomas Nast Portfolio


“Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner,” Harper’s Weekly,
November 20, 1869, p.745. Wood engraving.

     “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” marks the highpoint
of Nast’s Reconstruction-era idealism. By November 1869
the Fourteenth Amendment, which secures equal rights and
citizenship to all Americans, was ratified. Congress had sent
the Fifteenth Amendment, which forbade racial
discrimination in voting rights, to thestates and its ratification
appeared certain. Although the Republican Party had
absorbed a strong nativist element in the 1850s, its
commitment to equality seemed to overshadow lingering
nativism, a policy of protecting the interests of indigenous
residents against immigrants. Two national symbols, Uncle
Sam and Columbia, host all the peoples of the world who
have been attracted to the United States by its promise of
self-government and democracy. Germans, African
Americans, Chinese, Native Americans, Germans, French,
Spaniards: “Come one, come all,” Nast cheers at the lower
left corner


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