Harper’s Weekly – September 2, 1871

Irish Stereotype

In multiple cartoons, Nast denigrated the Irish with dozens of simian-featured stereotypes, as well as the Catholic Church. He had valid reasons for doing so — Irish riots, violence, drunkenness and electoral fraud, as well as the perpetual battles between Protestants and the Catholic Church over public funding and religious curricula for their respective schools.

By today’s standards, reasonable critics would be justified in calling Nast a bigot, but should recognize that much of the Protestant majority, including the management of Harper’s Weekly, were in accord with those views.