Thomas Nast

This collection of 85 original Thomas Nast engravings from the pages of Harper's Weekly has been carefully assembled and preserved over a period of many years by Hickory, NC collector, John Gellman. Nast contributed well over 1,000 cartoons to Harper's Weekly between 1862 and 1886. Obviously, this was never intended to be a complete collection, but rather a compilation of many of Nast's most significant images. Nast's Greatest Hits, so to speak.

All of the images on these web pages are high resolution photographs of the actual engravings. If anything, the photos make coloration from aging stand out more than on the actual pieces. I have cropped a bit to eliminate edges, but nothing has been cloned or enhanced in Photoshop. The full viewable area of each engraving as displayed on these web pages can be matted and displayed.

Each engraving is an original Harper's Weekly page, cover, or centerfold. All are archivally shrink wrapped on top of acid free black paper that is placed over 1/4 inch thick foam core. Unlike full issues or unsecured pages, they can be safely handled, and are ready for display as is. This is critical, due to the fragility of newspaper pages that are around 120 to 145 years old. The Harper's pages have held up well, but they are extremely fragile.

All of the engravings are in excellent condition. Many have been exhibited at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC and at the National Humanities Center, in Research Triangle Park, NC. Two engravings, This Is A White Man’s Government and The Color Line Still Exists are currently on exhibit at the Museum of the New South.

The collection is organized in seven sections:

The Civil War
Reconstruction and Equal Rights
Elections of 1868 and 1872
Boss Tweed
Santa Claus

Some of the engravings could go in more than one of the sections, so they are placed where they suit me. For example, Santa Claus In Camp (January 3, 1863) could go in either The Civil War section or the Santa Claus section.

If you would like information about this collection, please call me at 828-441-0404, or send an e-mail to

I hope you enjoy looking through these pages.

John Gellman

Last updated on July 16, 2008.


The Civil War

Reconstruction and
Equal Rights

Elections of
1868 and 1872

Boss Tweed



Santa Claus

Complete list of engravings in the collection.

Please scroll down
for a description of
the collection.