Harper’s Weekly

The Harper publishing company in New York followed the successful example of the Illustrated London News starting a lavishly illustrated weekly newspaper in 1857. Harper’s Weekly provided American readers not only with an understanding of domestic and foreign events, but was also a vehicle for fiction and satire. By 1860 circulation reached 200,000 and it was the most widely read American journal during the Civil War – fully supporting Lincoln and the Union cause. Single and double page wood engravings provided fine dramatic images of battles and troop movements.

Among Harper’s most renowned illustrators were Winslow Homer and Thomas Nast, “the father of political cartooning”. Frank Leslies’ Illustrated Newspaper, also founded in the 1850s, was a serious competitor especially during the Civil War.