The Old Print Shop

Fair in the Central Park. The, : The First Time General Grant Could Not Face the Enemy.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. March 19, 1881.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1881.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 13/16 x 9 7/16" (27.4 x 23.9 cm)

  • DESCRIPTION: Ulysses S. Grant attempted to have the 1883 World's Fair held in New York City's Central Park, but the people were greatly opposed. The park was New York's largest green space and having the fair there would shutter it to the residents during construction and the fair's opening. In this cartoon a group of children stand up to Grant, wielding 'weapons' like a rowing paddle, tennis racket, toy swords and guns and three 'dastardly' pugs - all elements of recreation for which the park was used. One child holds a sign saying "Death First" and on the ground a line separating them from Grant. The words "Dead Line" have been cut into the grass on the side of the children. In the distance, on a watch post, waves a flag reading "War." Grant tries to hide the World's Fair plans behind his back and uses his hat as a shield. <br><br> Plans for the fair would eventually be moved to Inwood, New York, but even there Grant would face financial difficulty and a general lack of support from the public. In the end, Grant resigned from the committee and the plan fell through.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save a few repaired tears in the margins.