1902: Thomas Nast, one of the most influential people in media, the late 19th Century Cartoonist who invented or defined images including: 'Uncle Sam,' the Democrat Jack-ass (Donkey) the Republican Elephant, and Santa Claus as a fat jolly old elf giving presents to children* or scurrying down chimneys, the great Harper's Weekly Cartoonist died.
Nast's pen, imagination, originality, wit, boldness, skill and directness was feared by politicians and the corrupt.
NYC's Boss Tweed detested Nast's nasty depictions of him. When Tweed was on the lamb in Spain, he was recognized and captuted because of Nast's cartoons.
Some big wigs set up a phony foundation which offered him $100,000 for Nast to study art in Europe. Tweed, ever the wag, bid the bribers up to $500,000 and then he declined the fellowship. Probably a good idea. Bumping him off in Europe would be one way of extending his study abroad.
*Thomas Nast is featured in my Santa Claus the NYC Tour. Book a private tour of Santa Claus' true NYC history.
I have some Nast Santa Claus drawings in the Destinations page and on my Santa the NYC Tour facebook page.