Thomas Nast Manuscript Collection
Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Thomas Nast was a nineteenth-century caricaturist and editorial cartoonist and is considered to be the father of American political cartooning. Born in Germany, he came to New York in 1846. He began work for Harper's Weekly, and in 1860 went to England for the New York Illustrated News to depict the prize fight between Heenan and Sayers, the famous boxers. He then joined Garibaldi in Italy as artist for the Illustrated London News. Also In the early 1860s, he married Sarah Edwards. He was well known in his time for his political cartoons supporting American Indians and Chinese Americans, and for advocating the abolition of slavery. Nast became a close friend of President Grant, and the two families shared regular dinners until Grant's death. He lived for many years in Morristown, New Jersey, and in 1902 Theodore Roosevelt appointed him as United States Consul General to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in South America, where he died of yellow fever.
The collection consists of selected letters (often illustrated) and a manuscript description of Naples, Italy, by American artist Thomas Nast. Included are a letter to Mr. Lexow of the New York Illustrated News (March 19, 1860) about the Sayers and Heenan fight; seven letters sent (1860) from Palermo, Naples, and Milazzo to W. L. Thomas, an engraver with the Illustrated London News; three letters (1869-1872) to Col. and Mrs. Chipman, heavily illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings of his wife and children, one showing a child looking at a medal of Ulysses S. Grant; and four letters to his wife, Sarah, including a letter from Fortress Monroe after the start of the Civil War when Nast was trying to get to the front. In addition, the collection contains a letter (1896) and two greeting cards (1886, 1895) with pen-and-ink sketches that Nast sent to the journalist Joseph Howard.
Arranged by accession number.
The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.
Letter to W. B. Hawkins was a gift of William A. Morris, Princeton Class of 1932, on May 29, 1987.
Letter and cards to Joseph Howard were a gift of E. H. White, Jr., Princeton Class of 1910, on Novemeber 3, 1960.
This collection was processed by Dina Britain on July 31, 2006. Finding aid written by Tenley Eakin on August 2, 2006. Folder inventory added by James Clark '14 in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Cartoonists--United States--19th century--Correspondence
- Cartoonists--United States--19th century--Drawings
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.