We drink to our constituents.
May they live long, so we may prosper.
The Father of the American Cartoon.
The Tammany Hall Corruption Cartoons of Thomas Nast
Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was one of the most talented cartoonists of the Nineteenth Century. Starting in 1869, he began a series of cartoons in Harper’s Weekly magazine attacking the Tammany Hall political machine which then ran New York City.
Nast’s drawings helped create an alliance of local reform groups who worked for three years to expose the corrupt practices of the Tammany Hall machine. In 1871 outraged New York City voters ousted almost all of the politicians associated with Tammany Hall, and Nast continued to produce cartoons on national and international politics for nearly 20 years. Nast was later named US Consul in Guayaquil, Mexico, and died there in 1902.
Nast’s cartoon campaign against Tammany Hall is well worth viewing. Not only are the cartoons exceptional works of art and conceptual ingenuity, but the corrupt methods depicted in the cartoons are still being used more than 130 years later…