The Old Print Shop

The Duty of the Hour. : The (U. S.) Republic. "I am CUT, but NOT DEAD."

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly April 1, 1876.

  • MEDIUM: Engraving,

    DATE: 1876.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 13 x 8 15/16" (33 x 22.8 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Columbia, the embodiment of America, crushes the gorgon of the persistent Confederacy beneath her foot. Her left arm is bandaged, but it is of little consequence to her. In her right hand is the sword of justice, labeled "Law and Order." She stares down the "C.S.A" bayonet pointed at her, unafraid to take on its bearer in close combat. In her hair are feathers reading "Free public schools," "Honest money, got honestly," "Civil service," "Honest Press," and "Duty." Behind her is an army bearing the flag of "the people," and rising above them is Old Glory with "Union. Pro Patria et Gloria" written upon its stars and stripes (the phrase mean 'For Country and Glory' in Latin). In front of her are the white supremacists of the South. They raise their flag of "Death to the Republic" as they march to battle. The gorgon clutches its serpents, which read ''Corruption," "Fraud," "Repudiation," "Shame," "Rings," "Lies," "Inflation," "Sensation," and "Treason." <br><br> This cartoon is a harsh comment towards the hatred, corruption and lawlessness taking over the South after the Civil War. 1876 was an election year and it would prove to be one of the most contested elections in American history. Slavery was abolished and blacks had the right to vote. Naturally, the freed people sided with the Republicans, which angered the conservative, pro-slavery Democrats of the South. They did all they could to keep blacks from the polls. Acts of violence and murder became increasing common and sparked an uproar among those who stood for liberty.


  • CONDITION: Overall good condition. Some foxing and staining. Horizontal crease through the center, which is not unusual.