Harper’s Weekly – January 3, 1863

By the following Christmas, Nast had been working for Harper’s Weekly for five months.

The post-dated Christmas cover featured Santa Claus in Camp. Although Santa’s image had not yet evolved into the fat, jolly portrayal that Nast later made famous, it had a strong emotional impact on Harper’s readers.

In a not-so-subtle inference to his year-earlier “hanging Christmas Tree” cartoon for the Illustrated News, Santa tightened a cord around a toy Jeff Davis’s neck. A drummer boy with a jack-in-a-box, soldiers chasing a greased pig while another climbed a greased pole, and copies of Harper’s Weekly all around showed a rare, somewhat playful Nast.