Harper’s Weekly – June 6, 1874

Earlier in 1874, as two conflicting factions competed for state control of Reconstruction in Arkansas, Grant stepped in by backing the elected Republican — a former slaveholder and Union Army veteran — who re-enfranchised ex-Confederates among other actions. Many of his backers then switched to a carpetbagger supported by Democrats and anti-Grant Republicans. Making the best of a Hobson’s choice, Grant recognized the Republican Governor and ordered his opposition to back down.

Nast dramatized his hero as a victorious knight stamping out corruption and fraud. Grant knew his Shakespeare well, so Nast used a quotation from the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet to praise him, substituting “President” for “Prince” at the end.