GOOD-FOR-NOTHING, IN MISS COLUMBIA'S PUBLIC SCHOOL. THE,

image91436

Thomas Nast

Artist's Biography

Good-For-Nothing, in Miss Columbia's Public School. The,

Engraving, 1871.
Image size 12 9/16 x 9 1/8" (31.9 x 23.2 cm).
Good condition, save a small stain in the left margin.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 91436
Price: $50.00
Publisher : Published by Harper's Weekly. November 4, 1871.
Additional text reads: "Dame Britannia. 'Yes; the very same Boy that has given me so much trouble in my School. Well, Miss Columbia, 'Now you know how it is yourself!'"

This cartoon references the anti-Roman Catholic views many Americans held in the nineteenth century. The country wanted to make public education available to every child, but religious views often got in the way. The boy that Columbia, the personification of America, and Britannia, the personification of England, are talking about is likely Irish. Britain had a long standing prejudiced against the Irish people, part of which stemmed from their Roman Catholic views and unwillingness to convert. This stubbornness led to conflicts, which America began to see as immigrants flowed into the country. Like Britain, many Americans felt Roman Catholics were a threat. This bitterness was only fueled by the fact that most parochial schools in the country were Catholic and, at the time, funded with tax dollars.

In this cartoon Nast is likely portraying a typical public school. The Catholic child has been pulled aside. In the background, on the right, other students watch with amusement as Britannia and Columbia prepare to lecture him. It wasn't uncommon for bible studies to be integrated into general education during the ninetieth century, which would have been problematic for Catholic students since America taught with the Protestant Bible. So Nast depicts the Catholic as a disruption, not only for the classroom, but for the country.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Caricatures and Satirical

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