Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Scope and Content
The Rutherford B. Hayes
Presidential Center acquired the Thomas Nast Collection in 1959. Additional
information on Nast may be found in the Center’s Biographical File. A microfilm of the Nast scrapbook of clipping
was produced by the
Thomas Nast was born Sept. 26,
1840 in Landau, Bavaria the son of Thomas and Apellonia
Nast. The family immigrated to the
Nast joined the staff of Harper’s Weekly in 1862. But rather than drawing battle scenes, Nast proved more adept at showing the experiences of the common soldier and illustrating the political issues of the day. His drawing of Santa Claus in a Union camp wearing stars and stripes was a notable example. During Reconstruction, Nast advocated just treatment for blacks and former slaves and the necessity of Northern intervention to stop white tyranny in the South. His ability to draw poignant caricatures evolved through his work at Harper’s at this time and is evident in some of his cartoons supporting U.S. Grant’s candidacy in 1868 and 1872.
Nast is probably most remembered
for his campaign against corruption and abuse of power by the Tweed Ring in
With the end of Reconstruction and the Grant presidency, Nast=s influence began to wane. The economic and social issues of the 1870s and 1880s lacked the emotion Nast had so effectively used in previous years. As disputes with management increased Nast left Harper’s Weekly in 1886 and tried to start his own weekly journal. When that effort failed he turned to oil painting.
In 1902, Thomas Nast was
appointed to a consulship in
Among Nast=s most memorable contributions to popular culture was the evolution of Santa Claus from the thin, spiritual character of European tales to the rotund image of today. He also was the first to use the donkey and elephant as symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively.
Scope and Content
The collection, dating from 1860 to 1902, relates to Thomas Nast’s career as an artist. There are many of Nast=s published works from various magazines as well as a number of original sketches These original sketches cover a wide variety of topics, locations, and prominent people of his time.
Another major portion of this
collection includes letters to and from Nast dated 1860 to 1901. Included in
this correspondence are transcriptions of letters from Thomas to Sally from the
originals in the possession of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. There is also additional correspondence, some
with sketches, from Nast=s
time in the consular service in
Other items of interest are a
family photo album, photos of Nast, and a volume of autographed letters and
newspaper coverage relating to a testimonial given Nast in April 1869. There
are also several manuscripts and articles by Nast regarding his trip to
One linear ft. (approx. 600 items)
Julia Nast to ("Papa") Th. Nast n.p., n.d. 2pp w/envelope a.l.s.
Th. Nast to "Friend Sheer" [?] n.p., n.d., lp a.l.s.
Albert Bigelow Paine to Th. Nast dtd "The Players, 16 Cramercy Park Friday" 2pp a.l.s.
Envelope addressed to Charles
Thomas Nast, Jr. to
("Papa") Th. Nast dtd March 14,
Childs to Th. Nast dtd March 18, n.y.
Th. Nast to Sallie (Mrs. Nast)
and Julia dtd Willard's Hotel,
Copies of parts of letters of Th. Nast & Sallie n.p., n.d. 2pp
(Sarah Edwards) dtd
Th. & Sallie Nast to Mr./Mrs. Edwards (her parents) dtd
lp copy, incomplete
"my dearest darIing wife" dtd
To "My dearest darling, loving Sallie" dtd "Boat to Fortress Monroe" 14 December 
4pp copy a.l.s.
To Mr. Halcott dtd Catskill Mountain House 14 September 1866 lp written and signed by
To Mr. Webb dtd
To Mr. E. M. Bacon dtd
William] Mr. Curtis dtd
To New England News Co. dtd
Brothers - Nast"
Roscoe Conkling to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 21 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p24
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p20
George H. Boker to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 21 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p32
Marshall Jewell to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 22 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p28
Charles Patrick Daly to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 22 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p30
Samuel P. Avery to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 23 April 
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p38
Wm. T. Sherman to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 23 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast pl2
George S. Boutwell to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 23 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast pl4
N. P. Chipman to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 24 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p26
J. Holt to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 26 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast pl8
Schuyler Colfax to Th. Nast dtd 27 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast pl0
John A. Griswold to Th. Nast dtd 27 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p40
J. F. Kensett to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 27 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p36
George Wilkes to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 27 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p22
Salem H. Wales to Rush C. Hawkins dtd 28 April 1869
SEE: Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Th. Nast p34
To J. R. Osgood, Esq. dtd
To "Dear Sir" dtd n.p. 15 May 1871 lp a.n.s.
To James D. Reid, Esq. dtd
To Sallie dtd Washington [D.C.] 29 June 1872 4pp a.l.s.
To "Mr dear General" [C. C. Sniffen]
To [James] Redpath
To Messrs. Goodsell
William] Mr. Curtis dtd
To "Friend [James] Redpath" dtd
William] Mr. Curtis dtd
To Mr. Gade
Union League Club of New York to Th. Nast dtd 23 October 1880 lp invitation to reception
for General Grant w/envelope and admittance card made out to Mr. Thomas Nast
To Mr. Allan Bourne dtd
Lyceum Bureau dtd
To Mr. George
H. Hathaway dtd
To Mr. E. C. Bacon dtd n.p., 20 Aug. 1888 2pp [card written by Sallie Nast, signed by Th.
To Graphic Co. dtd
To The Graphic Co. dtd n.p., 10 September 1888 2pp l.s.
To Mr. M. M.
Charles Marseilles to Th.
Nast, Jr. dtd
To Rev. E. C. Arnold dtd
To [George Edward
?] Pond dtd
Garret A. Hobart to Th.
To Frank E. Partington dtd
To Frank E. Partington
to Th. Nast dtd
folder of Th. Nast Original sketches-misc
To [Rev. I.M. Hubbert?] dtd n.p., 29 November 1898 2pp incomplete; no signature
Alex. S. Twombly to Th. Nast dtd 17 January 1901 3pp a.l.s. w/enclosure letter from
A. S. Twombly to Th. Nast n.d. 3pp
Correspondence/Mss.: May - Dec 1902
For Consular period - approx. 120 pcs. (in one folder)
Th. Nast Diaries:
Dtd January 1 - June 1, 1860
Dtd November 27, 1860 - January 20, 1861
Th. Nast Manuscripts:
"My journey to
"Caricature" by Th. Nast l9pp [2pp] 2pp [1p] 3pp
"My life 'per day" l0pp
"A better class of people" 6pp
Th. Nast - Misc: (1 folder)
Th. Nast - Miscellaneous: Photographs (1 folder)
Mrs. Th. Nast: (1 folder)
to Mr. A. M. Moore dtd
Articles in hand of Sallie Nast. probably dictated by Th. Nast:
"The Critic" 12 February 1887 2pp
"Living readers of to-day may not be as familiar with the history of Boss Tweed and his theft
as I am. ..." 5pp
"The rise and fall of the people's government. A government of the people, by the people and for
the people did perish from the earth. ..." 15pp
Phrenological analysis of Nast age 19:
January 1860 llpp [Copy of phrenological
chart by Fowler & Wells,
Th. Nast Letters - from the
Nast Collection at the
[Transcriptions of letters to Sallie Nast]
Dtd London March 9, 1860
Dtd London March 18, 1860
Dtd London April 20, 1860
Genoa? [still in
Dtd Palermo 22 June 1860
Dtd Palermo 20 July 1860
Dtd Naples 28 September 1860
Dtd Naples 8 October 1860
Dtd Naples 12 November 1860
Dtd n.p. 13 November 1860
Dtd n.p. 1863 pencil? "On board the cars few minutes after 10 am"
Dtd Philadelphia 1 July 1863
Dtd Harrisburg 4 July 1863
Dtd Harrisburg 5 July 1863
Dtd Shippensburg 7 July 1863
Dtd "On the road to
Dtd [Washington] House of Representatives n.d.
Dtd "The Front" n.d.
"Tommy on Top" by Draper Hill:
17pp copy courtesy of author, 1976
Thomas Nast Original Sketches:
(Folders listed below by subject)
James G. Blaine
Mrs. Gray/Bakers Union
Nast, of himself
"Sketches by Th: Nast" xii pp
Copies of Th. Nast sketches: (one folder)
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: Undated (one folder)
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1872
"Well roared, Lion," and "Well shone, moon!"
"What I know about Horace Greeley"
"What the Senatorial cabal can not 'blow over"
"The Guardian angel of the poor people's money"
"The 'liberal' conspirators (who, you all know, are honorable men)"
"New fields of operation"
"The clown in the judicial ring"
"The sudden appearance of the demon Garvey"
"When this cruel war is over"
"The Presidential fever on the Supreme bench"
"The Republic is not ungrateful"
"As usual, he put his foot in it"
"We are on the home stretch"
"Rise and explain"
"Who are the haters?"
"H.G. - 'Let us clasp hands over the bloody chasm."
"None but the brave deserves the fair"
"Save me from my tobacco partner!"
"Out, damned spot! Out, I say"--Shakespeare
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1875
"Policy" A kick in the right direction
"Calling in frauds"
"Tammany down again--the 'Reform' trap smashed"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1876
"Let no whisky escape"
"In for it"
"A creature of circumstances"
"A threat in store for European despots"
"An experiment worth trying"
"The political situation"
"The corruption period--the latest foreign contribution laid at the door of the White House"
"The investigating grave-diggers"
"The foremost champion of this spirit of reform"--H. Seymour
"The Democratic tiger gone mad"
"Continue that I broached in jest"--Shakespeare
"Tweed-le-dee and Tilden-dum"
"Awake from 'A midsummer night's dream"
"Why we laugh"
"Reform is necessary' in prison suits"
"Box and Cox"
"A box stew; or, an enviable position"
"The ring breaker"
"Reform is necessary' in voting the 'reform ticket"
"Any thing for a change"
"The barrel campaign is a failure"
"An 'aggressive' 'still hunt"
"Between two fires"
"Willie, we have missed you"
"The elephant walks around" and "The 'still hunt' is nearly over"
"The lion" and "The lamb"
"The prospect in
"Go South, young man"
"Uncle Sam put in his 'bier"
"A national game that is played out"
"Virtue has its own--"
"No rest for the wicked--sentenced to more hard labor"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1877
"Cronin 'organized himself"
"The Honorable David Dudley Field"
"The statute of limitation"
"The best of friends must part"
"The way the thing looks now" (xerox copy)
"A jewel among swine"
"Another such victory, and I am undone"--Pyrrhus
"Civil service reform"
"H' all that's left"
"Extra session of Congress soon"
"Our Army and Navy--as it will be"
"Ergo" and "Hon. B.F. Butler has the floor"
"Les deux Presidents--Elysees" U.S. Grant to M. Mahon...
"The fallen star"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1878
"About the size of it"
"The blessings we have we do not make use of"
"A game of bluff"
"Always killing the goose that lays the golden egg"
"Better late than never' and 'It is never too late to mend"
"Hurrah for the shoes"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1879
"Hard times for John"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: 1880
"Boom!!! so near, and yet so far"
"The widow's wants"
"He will be Gulliver in the hands of the Brobdingnagians"
"A financial mistake"
"Resumption--of what?--Con- fusion "
"A change is necessary'--'Who should withdraw?"
"A local question"
"What a pity"
"The republican pachyderm alive and kicking"
Prints of Th. Nast sketches: Photographs
"Willie, we have missed you!"
"Of course he wants to vote the democratic ticket!"
"The ignorant vote--honors are easy"
"The national game that is all played out"
Materials which are boxed separately:
Nast family photograph album
Portraits and Designs by Thomas Nast (19pp)
Autograph letters and documents relating to testimonials to Thomas Nast April 1869 (Bound, 62pp)
Oversize Folder 1:
"The Daily Boar" original pencil sketch
"The last spike of our commercial union" June 1, 1886 (copy)
"Truth" original watercolor
"The rioter Seymour" Broadside
"That 'tidal wave' --'we are on the home stretch" (copy)
"Is this a republican form of government?" from Harpers Weekly September 2, 1876 (photograph)
"The off year" Cover of Harpers Weekly, November 17, 1877
"Les deux Presidents--Elysee" November 17, 1877
"After all" Harpers Weekly, October 1, 1881
"A terrible blow north" Harpers Weekly, November 11, 1876
"The army of the
"The halt" Harpers Weekly, October 1, 1864
"Chamberlain--'Will you come down and fight, so that I can call in the troops to suppress
of our age--dead!" [
"The rebel guerrilla raid in a western town" Harpers Weekly, September 27, 1862
"The pirates, under false colors.--Can they capture the ship of state? [Harpers Weekly]
"Don't!" [Harpers Weekly]
"Capitalist and mechanic; or, Bonds and greenbacks" dtd December 21, 1874
"Hold the fort!" Dtd
Oversize Folder 2:
"The white quadruped on Uncle Sam's hands" Time, October 19, 1889
"Trickery in a high position" Time, October 19, 1889
"Fixing things '--a proper steering apparatus found" Harpers Weekly, March 25, 1876
"Antiques" Harpers Weekly, May 19, 1877
"Graphic statue No. 51--Stock" Daily Graphic, October 8, 1875
"No more outbreaks" Harpers Weekly, January 25, 1879
"Christmas morning--the crusty old bachelor who is bound to have something in his stocking."
Harpers Weekly Original ink sketch
Christmas drawings by Thomas Nast The Toledo Blade Sunday Magazine, December 9, 1971
"British interests" Harpers Weekly, July 14, 1877
"Withdrawal of the federal
"Young American roast beef for old
"Fire and water make vapor" Harpers Weekly, February 3, 1877
cents gentleman from
February 8, 1879
"Interest in the
"Our modern Ulysses on his travels" Harpers Weekly, February 1, 1879
"Very social" Harpers Weekly, February 1, 1879
"The ass and the charger" Harpers Weekly, January 25, 1879
"It struck (in blowing over.)--Picking even the poor soldiers' bones to feather their nest.
Harpers Weekly, March 25, 1876
"The color line still exists--in this case" Harpers Weekly, January 8, 1879
"As harmless as lager" Harpers Weekly, January 18, 1879
"In for it" Harpers Weekly, March 25, 1876
"The Secretary of the Interior investigating the Indian Bureau" Harpers Weekly,
January 26, 1878
"The advanced age" Harpers Weekly, May 19, 1877
"Thanksgiving on the other side.--No. 1" Harpers Weekly, December 8, 1877
"Thanksgiving on the other side.--No. 2" Harpers Weekly, December 8, 1877
"Life, liberty, and property must be protected." Harpers Weekly, December 1, 1877
"Exhumed" Harpers Weekly, December 1, 1877
"The newest arrival" Harpers Weekly, January 12, 1878
"The establishment needs constant advertising" Harpers Weekly, January 12, 1878
"Patience on a monument" Supplement to the Cincinnati Gazette
"Functus officio" Harpers Weekly, March 17, 1877
"The political lottery" Harpers Weekly, November 11,1876
"Stand from under!" Harpers Weekly, January 26, 1878