German-born political cartoonist Thomas Nast gave America some of its most enduring symbols: the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, and Uncle Sam. Publishing regularly in Harper's Weekly, the celebrated Nast drew thousands of cartoons during the second half of the nineteenth century.
Like many Northerners, Nast supported President Lincoln, and he made his reputation by championing the Union's cause and the dignity of black people. But Nast's racial attitudes — like those of many other Americans — were not without contradictions. And as Reconstruction-era corruption and violence spun out of control, he drew cartoons that criticized black legislators as strongly as earlier cartoons had championed black suffrage and lamented white supremacist violence.
Faced with the growing threat of African American political, economic and social power, white Southerners put aside their differences to unite. With rough politics and terror they seek to restore their supremacy.