The Old Print Shop

"Victory Sits on Our Helm!"

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. December 6, 1873.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1873.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 5/8 x 9 1/4" (27 x 23.5 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: The title is a quote from a Democratic Newspaper, with the artist's response in the secondary line being, "And They Can Creep Along in the 'Off Year' Of Politics." <br><br> 1873 was a crushing year for the Republican party and the nation. The Panic of 1873 had kicked off the Long Depression and the people, desperate for change, had replaced many Republicans with Democrats at the polls. The artist, Thomas Nast, makes a tongue-in-cheek comment about the Democratic party's celebration in this cartoon. They may have won many seats in the House of Representatives, but the nation was struggling and politics was proving to be of little use in remedying it. The Long Depression would last until 1879. <br><br> In the cartoon, Columbia, the personification of America, rides atop a helm decorated with the laurels of victory. She cannot travel quickly, however, for her chair is carried by a overburdened citizen, forced to crawl on his hands and knees beneath her weight. Already his clothing shows wear - the fabric at the elbows is frayed - symbolizing that he may yet fall victim to the nations troubles.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save for minor discoloration.