Harper’s Weekly – June 15, 1872

When Nast’s idol, Ulysses Grant, ran for a second term in 1872, his unexpected opponent was Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune. Greeley was the candidate of the anti-Grant (but still Republican) Liberal Party, and ultimately supported by both the Tammany and Southern (ex-Confederate) Democrats.

Nast caricatured Greeley 95 times, more than any other individual. (He depicted Grant 105 times, but rarely as a caricature and only once unfavorably.)

Greeley’s physical appearance was truly unique. Owl-faced with a bemused expression, bald, plump and whiskered, he provided a natural image that was a caricaturist’s dream. To that he added a long, loose white frock coat; he bought the first one many years before off the back of a recent Irish immigrant. Later, he added a broad-brimmed white hat. With papers always sticking out of his pocket, he intentionally, and probably somewhat naively, provided Nast and others with a symbolic appearance that was easy to ridicule.

In this cartoon drawn shortly after Greeley’s nomination, Nast depicted his trademark outfit with a reprise of Oakey Hall’s remark the previous year: Something That Will Blow Over. Mayor Hall was referring to the Tweed Ring’s reaction to The New York Times revelations about the Tweed Ring and his own related cartoons.