Harper’s Weekly and Harper’s Bazar – December 30, 1871

Early on, Nast featured bad behavior in a few family Christmas cartoons. Six-year old Tommy must have been really “naughty,” as Papa and Mamma complained to Santa in Harper’s Bazar. The similarly-dated Weekly showed Santa receiving about six times more letters from “naughty children’s parents” while pictures of good and naughty children hung prominently on the wall behind him.

Nast, of course, was still finishing up his attacks on the Tweed Ring members in the lead-up to his 1871 Christmas cartoons. Producing 50 cartoons — many of them complex — over 12 weeks was extremely stressful, so patience with his young son may have been in short supply.

Fletcher Harper took full advantage of his 31-year old artist’s celebrity for ousting Tweed by putting Nast on the cover of both his publications.