The Old Print Shop

Functus Officio.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. March 17, 1877.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1877.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 20 1/4 x 13 1/2" (51.4 x 34.2 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: This editorial cartoon commemorates the end of Ulysses S. Grant's presidential career. His second term had just come to a close and according to the artist, Thomas Nast, he had been a magnificent president. Carved into the pedestal Grant is about to leave is a wailing lion. A stake has been stabbed into his heart, likely a reference to the loss America suffered because of his departure. Grant holds down a scroll with a segment of his farewell speech. <br><br> The saying "Functus Officio" used in the title means "an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created."


  • CONDITION: Good condition, save for foxing and a small repaired tear in the lower margin.