This cartoon — illustrating the cover of this biography — appeared in the post-dated November 11 Harper’s Weekly, available six days before the 1871 election that brought down Boss Tweed.
Nast prepared this double-page cartoon well in advance of its publication. Now he flung What are you going to do about it? directly at Harper’s 275,000 circulation and million-plus readers. Reprising the Colosseum from his 1867 Amphitheatrum Johnsonianum, he pictured the action from the floor with the Ring members looking on apprehensively as the massive tiger — 11 inches from tail to paw — mauled Lady Liberty. Her “Republic” crown and sword of power lay in pieces; the “law” torn; the “ballot” bowl shattered; and Justice dead, scales and sword broken by her side.
Looking at Nast’s career in its entirety, The Tammany Tiger Loose was probably the second-most impactful cartoon he ever drew, and among the tops in American political history. (The most influential was Compromise with the South. See Civil War Cartoons.)