The Old Print Shop

Minute-Man - Fixed by the Spirit of '76. The,

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. April 1, 1876.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 5/8 x 9 1/8" (27 x 23.1 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: In March of 1876 the people of New Hampshire voted to fill seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. It was a stinging defeat for the Democrats, who had ruled the positions for the better part of a decade. Nearly every seat had been given to a Republican. The people had made their voice known - they were tired of the Confederate-styled views held by the Democratic party. <br><br> In this cartoon Uncle Sam stands firm and ready to serve his country, refreshed by the victory at the polls. In his hand is a rifle, a play on his likeness to a minuteman. Behind him are two plaques, one reads "1776," the other "1876," further playing on the title. The minutemen were made famous in the Revolutionary War for their readiness and talent with strategy and weaponry. In this way the artist, Thomas Nast, is likening the Republican victory in New Hampshire to the growing strength of America. Instead of defeating the British, however, these victories are being made against the Democratic Party, which was laden with white supremacists and corruption (Tammany Hall, for example). On the ground, beneath Uncle Sam's foot, is a shattered board reading "The New Democratic Slate," which favors the traitorous Jefferson Davis. To the right is a jubilant lamb wearing the scarf of "New Hampshire Victory." Nast frequently used the lamb to represent the Republican party before the elephant became the standard symbol. Further to the right is the shadow of a donkey and the very tip of its tail, representing the oust of the Democrats. <br><br> The feathers in Uncle Sam's top hat read "Honest Press," "Civil Service," "Free Public Schools," "The People," "The Union as it is," and "Honest Money." All were platforms of the Republican party.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save some smudging in the left margin.