Harper’s Weekly – March 30, 1872

Nast detested Carl Schurz even more than Horace Greeley, and attacked him about 60 times during Grant’s presidency. At their first meeting in Washington in early 1869 when Schurz was a brand new Senator, they conversed in German. Schurz compared the American government unfavorably with Germany’s, ending with “All the Americans are fools!” Nast’s response: “Yes, they’ve sent you to the Senate!” set the stage for their stormy future relationship.

As not only the leader of the anti-Grant Liberal Republican faction, but also as a personally irritating, detestable liar (as he viewed him), Nast serially attacked Schurz over eleven consecutive weeks, well before and then after the Cincinnati Convention that ultimately nominated Greeley. In particular, he believed that the embittered, unlikable Senator blew up the problematic French Arms issue as a veiled attempt to turn the German vote against Grant. Accordingly, he cast Schurz as Iago, the evil villain from Shakespeare’s Othello.