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  • Thomas Nast was a German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist who was the "Father of the American Cartoon". He was the scourge of Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall political machine. Among his notable works were the creation of the modern version of Santa Claus and the political symbol of the elephant for the Republican Party. Contrary to popular belief, Nast did not create Uncle Sam, Columbia, or the Democratic donkey, though he did popularize these symbols through his art. Nast was associated with the magazine Harper's Weekly from 1859 to 1860 and from 1862 until 1886. Albert Boime argues that: As a political cartoonist, Thomas Nast wielded more influence than any other artist of the 19th century. He not only enthralled a vast audience with boldness and wit, but swayed it time and again to his personal position on the strength of his visual imagination. Both Lincoln and Grant acknowledged his effectiveness in their behalf, and as a crusading civil reformer he helped destroy the corrupt Tweed Ring that swindled New York City of millions of dollars. Wikipedia

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