Thomas Nast: The Father of Political Cartoons Often considered the father of Political cartoons, Thomas Nast developed a style of reporting the news that captured the attention of his audience in a way that reporters never knew existed. His style of political reporting comically mocked Government officials and worked to end political corruption in the years after the Civil War. His ability to sway people’s political opinions with his style of art makes him a very influential political artist even in this day and age.
Nast was born in Landau in deer Pflaz, Germany in 1840. At the age of six, Nast and his family moved to America where he was placed in a New York public school system. During the six years that Nast attended public school, he appeared to show interest in no other studies but drawing and so was transferred from public school to a private art school wherehe demonstrated incredible talent for a child his age. Much to Nast’s dismay he was forced to quit his training in the arts in order to support his family.
He was lucky enough though to obtain a job as an illustrator for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated. In 1860, Nast was sent to England by the New York Illustrator as an artist to cover the Heenan-Sayers world championship fight. Meeting up with Giuseppe Garibaldi after the assignment led Nast to becoming a war correspondent. His work as a war correspondent led Nast into joining the staff of Harper’s Weekly Magazine as a much needed civil-war correspondent.
The sketches that Nast sent back were those of the battlefield and helped to raise patriotism in the north. His drawings chronicled the American scene from all aspects, covering all major elections, any government scandal, all national issues, and the political process. These series of drawings launched Nast to a level of national fame, bringing also the responsibility of being a leader of influential movements. It is Nast’s work after th…