The Old Print Shop

The "Something" (that) "Should be Done by me to Relieve Myself and the Administration."

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. February 27, 1886.

  • MEDIUM: Engraving,

    DATE: 1886.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 11 1/2 x 9 1/8" (29.1 x 23.2 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Augustus Garland, blinded by his garland headband, speaks with Columbia (the embodiment of America) over the telephone. He says "Nobody will take the stock off my hands." To which Columbia replies, "Can't you get somebody to take you off my hands?" <br><br> Garland holds a broken balance in his right hand, referencing to his questionable legal career. He had been disbarred after the Civil War because of his allegiance to the Confederate government, but because President Johnson had given him pardon, Garland was able to successfully regain his license in what would be a controversial lawsuit. Little did he know at the time that an even greater scandal loomed in his future. Between his legs is a broken sword (liberty) and draped over his left shoulder is a bag labeled 'stock.' Counter to his hunched over form and broken tools, Columbia stands tall and firm, only her head is bowed in frustration. Her balance of justice and sword of liberty are in perfect working order. <br><br> In 1885 Garland found himself in the prestigious position of Attorney General, but it wasn't long before he became entwined with a political scandal. He had been given a significant amount of stock in the Pan-Electric Telephone Company when he was a senator and was largely unaware of the company's intentions for doing so (as depicted through the garland headband over his eyes). Upon gaining his new position, Pan-Electric asked him to overturn the telephone patent granted to the Bell Telephone. It was a great race for recognition. The Bell Company had submitted their patent first, but the Pan-Electric company hoped their influence in the government, acquired by handing out stock, would aid them in thwarting their competition. Garland refused to bring lawsuit against Bell, but the Solicitor General approved it while he was away on vacation. The apparent conflict of interests was discovered and it created a scandal that would carry on for nearly a year. Garland plead his innocence, rid himself of the tainted stock and told the owner of the Pan-Electric Company that the business should be dissolved. In the end, the business caved and Garland retained his job until the end of Cleveland's presidency.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.