Santa in Camp

One of my Christmas traditions is to read The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum – a fine book by a great historian.  But this season, I have been enjoying Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler.  A cultural historian at the University of Manitoba, Bowler is a great writer with a critical eye.

While enjoying Bowler’s work, I was reminded of this great image from Harper’s Weekly of Santa in Camp.  Published in January 1863, the drawing by the talented Thomas Nast, depicts the old elf in an outfit of stars and stripes and appears to be dangling Confederate President Jefferson Davis – a jumping-jack toy.

Happy holidays to all and may the New Year bring happier tidings!

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