The Old Print Shop

Dead Failure. A,

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. June 13, 1874.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1874.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 13 1/4 x 9 1/8" (33.6 x 23.2 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Additional text reads, "'A gathering of the dead....a kind of love-feast among some ancient skeletons from the grave-yard of the ancient Bourbon Party.... The assembled skeletons shook one another's bony hands, smiled as skeletons are wont to do, and rattled their old bones in forced gleefulness over the drawn battles in New Hampshire and Connecticut, which it pleased them to call Democratic victories!' Chicago Times (Democratic)." <br><br> This cartoon likely reference the 1874 election for the House of Representatives. Democrats took over 2 of the 3 seats in Connecticut and 1 of 2 seats in New Hampshire, giving them more power in those states. For Republican supporter Thomas Nast, the artist, this was terrible news. The Long Depression was on and the Democrats largely supported the increase of greenbacks (paper money), which were causing inflation. The party, at this point in history, was also filled with white supremacists. It was the party of groups like the KKK. Even in the North, where racism wasn't as strong, Democrats felt the Reconstruction era was done and no longer wanted to fund it. They wanted to remove federal troops from the South and let southerners deal with things themselves. This would ultimately happen in 1877 and prove disastrous for the black community. So in this cartoon Thomas Nast's depicts the dead, soulless creatures of the Democratic Party celebrating their victory.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.