The Old Print Shop

It Struck (In Blowing Over). - Picking Even the Poor Soldier's Bones to Feather Their Nest.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. March 25, 1876.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 20 1/16 x 13 1/2" (50.7 x 34.1 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: William Balknap was the United States War Secretary and he was about to face an impeachment trial. Back in 1870 he began using his position for personal gain. Under a $20,000 annual bribe, he appointed an associate of Caleb Marsh to run Fort Sill, a lucrative military fortification in Oklahoma. Not only that, he was recorded as having sold supplies to the Indians, whom the military was actively fighting out west. <br><br> In this cartoon a vulture marked "Belknap" is struck down by a bolt of lightening. Roosted above him is another vulture, sitting on the eggs of "Bribery and corruption" and "Crime and dishonor." Thomas Nast, the artist, was a supporter of the U.S. military and decries Belknap's actions in this cartoon. Interestingly, though, Nast isn't overly specific on the matter. Usually he plays deeply into detail but this cartoon is almost vague compared to his usual works. This might be because he was a firm supporter of President Grant, whose administration was under scrutiny because of corrupt officials like Belknap. So he might have sought to belittle Belknap without causing Grant any further harm.


  • CONDITION: Good condition, backed on linen.