Election Results


 “Our Artist’s Occupation Gone”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 23, 1872, p. 920

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Here, Nast offers up a self-caricature in a lament to the end of the campaign. The disgruntled cartoonist wonders "What am I to do now?" Nast stands isolated in the foreground, while behind him a crowd rejoices in front of the New York Times building where placards proclaim Grant's "Grand Victory," the destruction of "The Senatorial Cabal," "Sham Reform Exposed," and in tiny characters, "H.G. Gone West," an allusion to Greeley's famous advice to enterprising young Americans: "Go west, young man, go west." At the upper-left, a discreet announcement on the Tribune office building reads "The Greeley Triumph Postponed." After two years of intense professional exertion during the anti-Tweed and anti-Greeley campaigns, it is hardly surprising to find that Nast was exhausted. He would take a six-month leave-of-absence from Harper's in 1873.

Horace Greeley died on November 29, 1872, and his funeral on December 4 was attended by a large gathering of national, state, and local leaders, including President Ulysses S. Grant and Chief Justice Salmon Chase. One of the eulogies was delivered by Nast's editor, George William Curtis. Nast, however, found himself the object of another round of editorial abuse for having allegedly added to Mr. Greeley's woes and accelerated his demise. Not all the final reviews, however, were negative. Among his papers, Nast preserved an unidentified, undated clipping from a Boston newspaper, circa mid-November 1872. It called him the equal of the great 18th-century British illustrator William Hogarth, singling out the American cartoonist's "amazing fertility" combined with "his brilliant execution." At the modest age of 32, Thomas Nast had reached the pinnacle of his career.













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