The Old Print Shop

The Crowning Insult to Him Who Occupies the Presidential Chair.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. May 13, 1876.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 20 1/4 x 13 1/2" (51.4 x 34.3 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: President Ulysses S. Grant is depicted as a lion seated in the presidential chair. The Democratic donkey grips the chair leg to prevent Grant from moving away, thus allowing his fox friend to place the "Scapegoat" crown upon his head. The horns of the 'crown' read "The Endless Blunders of Congress. Newspaper scares, hard times, frauds, broken party promises, bad systems" and "Not carrying out the party platform." These were all issues that the artist, Thomas Nast, felt were wrongfully blamed on the president. The Democrats were quick to point fingers and blame Grant because he was Republican, but they neglected to remember that the United States government worked on a three-branch system and the political parties was cooperating with one another. The Democrats and Republicans were at odds about how to deal with matters like the Long Depression - greenbacks vs. hard money - and the Reconstruction Era. The news also sensationalized rumors and minor details in a derogatory manner, such as Grant's thoughts of running for a third term (something that was entirely legal at the time). <br><br> Additional members of the democratic party are illustrated on the right, behind the fox and donkey. Among them are mindless rats scurrying around in search of sustenance. The Democratic donkey ignores so be can assist his crown-bearing friend. The fox has a paper in his pocket reading "Party Catechism." On the right are the various animals representing the press and further in the distance is the Capitol building. Grant wears a pin on his coat which reads "Patria," a reference to his love and dedication for the country.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save a stain in the upper right margin.