Harper’s Weekly – April 13, 1867

Confederate Stereotype

Nast used symbols to stereotype specific ethnic or other distinctive groups. Indians had feathers and Chinese had pigtails. Although he caricatured Blacks on occasion, it was usually done in a positive manner and with no specific stereotype. Ex-Confederates or “Lost Cause” Southerners were stereotyped into the 1880s.

On March 2, 1867, Congress took decisive action against President Andrew Johnson when it passed the first Military Reconstruction Act. The act stripped the President of his power over the Reconstruction process and gave it to the Army, subject to Congressional oversight. Three weeks after passing the first Military Reconstruction Act, Congress passed a second one, clarifying registration and election procedures. Nast celebrated with a smaller cartoon in which both a caricatured happy newly-enfranchised freedman and an unhappy “disfranchised” (sic) ex-Confederate accepted the situation.