The Old Print Shop

An "Aggressive" "Still Hunt."

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. September 30, 1876.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 3/4 x 9 1/16" (27.3 x 23 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Additional text reads "'Governor Tilden has for years, like a hound on the scent, followed the members of the Ring patiently, secretly, and diligently.' - Mr. Hewitt." <br><br> William Tweed, also known as Boss Tweed, had run the corrupt Democratic power house known as Tammany Hall for over a decade before his removal in 1871. His time in power had been marked with threats, murders, bribes and extensive embezzlement. Though placed in jail for his crimes, Tweed escaped in 1875 and fled to Cuba. From there he managed to avoid arrest through fake documents and eventually boarded a ship for Spain. He would never make it, however. Just off the coast of Vigo, Spain, the Spanish authorities boarded the vessel, identified Tweed with the help of Thomas Nast's illustrations, and had him extradited back to America. <br><br> In this cartoon Tweed is depicted as a tiger standing in the mouth of a Spanish cave. A look of concern is in his face. He hadn't quite made it to safety before being discovered by Samuel Tilden (Tweed was arrested by Spanish officials just earlier that month, on September 6th). Tilden had made it his duty to hunt down corrupt companies and individuals in New York State, where he was governor, and Tweed was just one of his "victims." The artist, Thomas Nast, however isn't showing Tilden in the kindest of light. Drawn as a hound, to play on the title, Tilden's collar read "Usufruct." Tied to his tail, which is drawn between his legs, is a kettle reading "$5,000 from W.M. Tweed." Tilden had received donations from Tweed when he had served as the Democratic Party's chairman. With these notations, Nast suggests Tilden's future might be marred by his past. <br><br> The tiger used to depict Tweed stems from his earlier years. In 1864 he and a group of friends formed the volunteer Americus Fire Company No. 6, and used the tiger as their emblem. The symbol would follow him into Tammany Hall, where it remained for many years. The collar around Tweeds neck reflects this part of his history by reading "Americus 6."


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save a water stain in the lower left margin corner.