Leaders of the Democratic Party: a Rioter, a Butcher, a Pirate, and a Hangman

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Bernard Reilly, in his catalogue American Political Prints, 1766-1876, describes this Thomas Nast broadside as “a searing, election-year indictment of four prominent figures in the democratic party.” He continues:

“Former New York governor and democratic presidential nominee Horatio Seymour is portrayed as a ‘rioter.’ Standing in a burning city, he waves his hat in the air while he steps on the back of a crawling figure. In the background a corpse hangs from a lamppost. Between 1862 and 1964 Seymour had opposed Lincoln’s was policies, and he was branded as instigator of the 1863 New York draft riots.”

“Tennessee general Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, and infamous for his role in the massacre of surrendered Union troops at Fort Pillow, is called ‘The Butcher Forrest.’ He waves a flag labeled ‘No Quarter’ and fires a pistol.”

“Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes is portrayed as a pirate, wielding a knife in one hand and holding a flaming torch in the other … . Semmes was the scourge of Union shipping during the Civil War. Under his command the Alabama, a British-built ship, captured sixty-two merchant vessels, most of which were burned. An excerpt from Semmes’s July 1868 speech at Mobile, Alabama, appears below this image.”

“Confederate cavalry officer Wade Hampton appears as a hangman. He holds his plumed hat at his side and wears inscribed ‘C.S.A.’ (Confederate States of America). In the distance three Yankee soldiers hang from a gallows.”

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), Leaders of the Democratic Party, 1868. 38 x 24 inches (96 x 61 cm). Wood engraved broadside. Graphic arts GA2010- in process.

Bernard Reilly, American Political Prints, 1766-1876 (Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1991). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize E183.3 .R45 1991q.

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Dear Julie,

for our new Online-Project EGO (European History Online), we would like to use the illustraton of Abdul Hamit II. Therefor we have to aks the owner of the rights. Do you know who has the righst of the illustration or in which museum or collection it is now? I could not find any reference.

Thanks and best wishes