Thomas Nast`s Crusade

Thomas Nast’s Crusade
By: Alex Dennee and Katie
Thomas Nast’s purpose in drawing his political
cartoons in the late 1860’s was to arouse
public outrage against the Tammany Hall’s
graft and the corrupt “Boss Tweed.”
“Boss Tweed”
• His real name was William M. Tweed.
• Became head of Tammany Hall in 1868, which was New
York City’s powerful Democratic political machine.
• Between 1869 and 1871 he led the Tweed Ring which was
a group of corrupt politicians that wanted to defraud the
• For example, the project cost of the New York County
Courthouse was $3 million but he tricked the taxpayers
into paying $13 million. He put the excess money into
his pocket.
• An estimated $75 to $200 million were swindled from
the city between 1865 and 1871.
Thomas Nast
• Nast was born in Landau, Germany in 1840 and
died on December 7, 1920 from yellow fever.
• Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist and started
illustrating in 1862.
• Nast had a long-lasting influence on America and
created symbols like the Democratic donkey, the
Republican elephant, and Santa Claus.
• His most influential cartoons during this time were
“The Tammany Tiger,” “Let Us Prey,” and “Boss
“The Tammany Tiger Loose”
What are you going to do about it?
•Published in November 1871
just before election day.
•Nast created the Tammany
Tiger to symbolize the Tweed
Ring but also the Democratic
•It showed how controlling
and unjust the government
•The Tammany Tiger mauled
the Republican Party.
•The way he drew the tiger
indicated that the reader
would be the next victim.
“Let Us Prey”
•Nast is showing Tweed and
his cohorts as vultures.
•This cartoon also represents
Tweed and his cronies
sitting high above New York
•They are waiting for the
“storm to blow over.”
•It also shows bones picked
clean labeled the city
treasury, law, justice, liberty
and rent.
The “Brains”
•Nast created a negative
image of Tweed to show his
corruption and greed.
•Tweed tried to bribe Nast to
take extended European
vacations and offered him up
to $500,000 so he could stop
the pictures.
•"Stop them pictures. I don't
care what the papers write
about me. My constituents
can't read. But they can see
the pictures.“- Tweed
“Who Stole the People’s Money?”
•Shows members of the
government denying
the blame and pointing
their fingers to the next
•According to Nast it
shows the four main
leaders in front: Tweed,
Sweeny, Connolly, and
“Wholesale and Retail”
•Nast shows Tweed
robbing a bank and
being welcomed and
saluted by the
•The bottom picture
shows a man
stealing from a
bakery and getting
beaten by the police.
• Due to Thomas Nast’s cartoons, Boss Tweed
was arrested on 120 accounts of fraud and
sentenced to 12 years in jail.
• The Tweed Ring was finally broken in 1871.
• Danzer, Gerald A., et al. The Americans.
Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2005. Print.