The Old Print Shop

Clasping Hands Over the Bloodless (Sar)c(h)asm.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. November 23, 1872.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1872.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 20 1/8 x 13 5/8" (51 x 34.7 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: The 1872 presidential election had come to a close in the United States, ushering in Ulysses S. Grant for a second term. Hung out to dry, Horace Greeley dangles from the ledge of a chasm he and the Democratic party had created. The chasm is filled with figures such as Carl Schurz (lower middle, leaning against a rock with disgruntled expression), founder of the Liberal Republican party that had allied themselves with the Democrats during the election; Whitelaw Reid, a newspaper editor, leans against a box reading "This is not an Organ" and "Notice. We are on the Home Stretch" both of which refer to his paper; William M. Tweed (Boss Tweed), the recently ousted leader of Tammany Hall who had embezzled millions of New York City tax dollars, hides in the shadows on the right; and the K.K.K. (lower left). <br><br> The papers falling from Greeley's pocket read "What I know about oblivion," "What I know about chasms," and "What I know about ruining the president." All of these play into a series of "What I know about..." illustration Nast had created to attack the nominee during his campaign. They stem from a book Greeley had written in 1871 entitled "What I know about Farming." Unfortunately the book was based on childhood memories rather than actual practice, and Nast used this against him to show the public just how little he knew. Greeley was, after all, a newspaper editor, not a politician. <br><br> Above the chasm, basking in daylight and success, is President Grant, who shakes the grateful hand of Uncle Sam. On the left is the Capitol Building, surrounded by cheering citizens, and on the right is the White House, surrounded by lush trees and an elegant fountain.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.