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From a previously unpublished cartoon by Thomas Nast, an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly in the late nineteenth century. The sketch, completed in 1870, depicts Nast drawing on a woodblock while being scolded by Harper’s editor George William Curtis. Nast was frequently criticized by Curtis for being too harsh on politicians with whom the editor was friendly. In the sketch Curtis says, “Don’t make it too sharp, Tommy, or you’ll spoil the POINT.” Nast replies, “I must be cruel, only to be kind,” paraphrasing a line from Hamlet. The illustration is included in America’s Most Influential Journalist: The Life, Times and Legacy of Thomas Nast, a biography by John Adler, which the author self-published in June.

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November 1868

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