Nast's first use of the elephant to represent the GOP came in the November 7, 1874 edition of Harper's. Nast had strong republican foundations, but he became frustrated with the party during the 1870's, which is evident in "Third Term Panic". The cartoon depicts a donkey in lion's skin scaring off other animals, among them the elephant, and this was meant to represent the democratic scare tactics of the time. The cartoonist continued to use the elephant to represent the Grand Ol' Party. Today, it is not exactly known why these political animals continue to be so popular, maybe because of Nast himself.
|Thomas Nast, "Third Term Panic". 1874|