Livingston York (Yourtee) HOPKINS (1846-1927)

HARROWER FAMILY 



130th OHIO VOLUNTEER REGIMENT, UNION ARMY (American Civil War)

Livingston York (Yourtee) HOPKINS.


Born: 7th July 1846. Bellefontaine, Ohio. United States of America.

Married: 9 June 1875. Toledo Ohio. United States of America.

Wife: Harriet Augusta Hopkins. nee: Commager. (Father) Brigadere General: Henry Steel COMMAGER. (American Civil War)

Died: 21st August 1927. Mosman, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:13817/1927.


Father: Daniel Hopkins. (1800-1849) Surveyor.

Mother: Sarah Hopkins. nee: Carter.


INFORMATION

Livingston attended school in Bellefontaine, where he caricatured the teacher, and in Kalida and Toledo, Ohio. At 17 he left a clerkship to join the 130th Ohio Volunteer Regiment, which was reviewed in Washington by President Lincoln before it saw service near Petersburg, Virginia, in the summer of 1864. Hopkins, however, spent most of his time picketing the lines and relieving his boredom by drawing. Mustered out in September 1864, he took a job as a railroad messenger, worked on newspapers in Ohio and Illinois and in 1870 moved to New York. By then a freelance 'Designer on Wood', he contributed to newspapers and comic magazines, and illustrated books. Hopkins worked for the Daily Graphic, New York's first illustrated newspaper. For this newspaper, he made 'Professor Tigwissel's Burglar Alarm' on 11 September 1875. With 17 successive pictures that filled a full page, this was the first newspaper cartoon strip. In 1880 A Comic History of the United States, which he wrote and copiously illustrated, was published but a patriotic reading public was not amused. Hopkins additionally worked for Puck Magazine before joining James Wales at The Judge in 1881.

In 1882 Hopkins met W. H. Traill who so inspired him that They arrived in Sydney on February 9, 1883, with his wife and three children and a two-year contract with the Bulletin. Soon he was joined by 'Phil' May, lured by Traill from England, and together they contributed much to the Bulletin's popularity and prosperity. Their skill, enhanced by improved methods of reproduction, attracted other artists to the magazine. Best known of 'Hop's' cartoons were the Sudan war and Federation series, and those that caricatured Parkes, Dibbs, Reid, Lyne, Wise and other public figures. In 1904 he published a selection of his work, On the Hop, but his output steadily declined until his virtual retirement in 1913, by which time he was a director of the Bulletin.

'Hop's' draftsmanship was inferior to May's and though his political satire was racy and irreverent, it lacked toughness; as the Bulletin put it, 'he used his gift for gaiety and mirth, searing or scathing none'. Yet Hopkins remained the most popular of the Bulletin cartoonists and, for its proprietors, perhaps the most useful. He diligently kept notebooks of ideas and captions, and constantly referred to the scrapbooks of his past work. His 19,000 drawings included social satire, jokes, Bulletin calendars and postcards, and illustrations for such publications as F.J. Donahue's The History of Botany Bay (1888). His interpretation of the politicians and the regular appearance of his symbolic figures and menagerie of allegorical animals did much to explain the gospel of economic and racial isolationism, Republican nationalism and cultural chauvinism that the Bulletin preached before Federation.

My Mother in Law

This is a complete comic novel My Mother-in-Law by Bricktop (originally published in 1876, reprinted in 1887), illustrated by Livingston Hopkins. Octavo. VG, with chips to wrapper margins. Profusely illustrated by Hop.Written when Bricktop was editor of Wild Oats. (Harrower Collection)

Tall, angular, urbane, a keen player of bowls and maker of violins, Hopkins was not always the puckish imp of his cartoons. Although he moved easily in the Athenaeum Club and Bohemian circles and ran an artists' camp with Julian Ashton at Balmoral, he was observant of propriety and in private sometimes authoritarian and moody; publicly he could be awesome, though not all agree with Norman Lindsay that he was an 'inflexible autocrat' and 'quite humourless'. Hopkins died at Mosman on 21 August 1927 and was cremated at Rookwood. Predeceased by his wife, he was survived by a son and four daughters. His estate was valued at over £44,000.

Portraits of 'Hop' by William Macleod, Ashton and W. T. Smedley are in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He was an etcher and a painter as well as a cartoonist, and samples of his work are in the Mitchell Library, Australian National Library, and art galleries at Geelong and Castlemaine and in most States.

Select Bibliography

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, vol 8 (Cincinatti, 1888); D. J. Hopkins, Hop of the Bulletin (Syd, 1929); O. F. Bond (ed), Under the Flag of the Nation (Columbus, 1961); N. Lindsay, Bohemians of the Bulletin (Syd, 1965); Bulletin, 1883-1913, 28 Aug, 4 Sept 1927, 29 Jan 1930; ‘“Hop”: His Confessions’, Lone Hand, Dec 1913–June 1914; Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 10 July 1927; Sydney Morning Herald, 22, 23 Aug 1927; M. Mahood, The Political Cartoon in N.S.W. and Victoria, 1855-1901 (M.A. thesis, University of Melbourne, 1965); L. Hopkins scrapbooks, 1874-1925 (State Library of New South Wales); manuscript catalogue under Hopkins (State Library of New South Wales); private information. More on the resources

Author: B. G. Andrews

Print Publication Details: B. G. Andrews, 'Hopkins, Livingston York (Yourtee) (1846 - 1927)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 421-422.

OHIO ARTIST IN AUSTRALIA: LIVINGSTON HOPKINS by FREDERICK D. KERSHNER, JR.*

In times present and past Americans have complained bitterly about the lack of knowledge of the United States revealed by foreigners. Commonly they have attributed this ignorance to nation- alistic myopia, upper-class snobbery, intellectual narcissism, or a combination of the three. One hundred percent Yankees like to supplement their critiques with gratuitous prophecies of impending retribution, not the least feature of which is to be the withdrawal of American attentions, economic and otherwise. It is to be pre-sumed that a comfortable feeling of self-righteousness results from the contrast of American virtue with the sins of the stranger. To such an average citizen the idea that he himself may be guilty of identical myopia, snobbery, and narcissism toward the brash young-nations-with-a-future of our own day must come with a sense of real shock.

This shall serve as an introduction to the story of Livingston Hopkins, the Ohioan who became Australia's favorite cartoonist. At the turn of the century his sketches were a byword in the Southwest Pacific, equally admired in the woolshearer's outback hut, the city laborer's cottage, and the wealthy squatter's clubroom. "There are few people throughout the length and breadth of Australasia who are not familiar with the name of 'Hop,' of the Sydney Bulletin," declared an Australian journalist of the nineties. "Many of Mr. Hopkins' sketches have become immortal . . . [and]. . . occasionally convulse the whole Continent with laughter. As time passed the belief in Hopkins' greatness as a cartoonist deepened. By 1913 he was pronounced Australia's best cartoonist, and a few years later, "one of the greatest cartoonists whom Sydney has ever seen. Today those judgments still endure.

A recent work refers to him, with Phil May and David Low, as one of the "three world-famed cartoonists" conferred upon the nation by other countries. But while May and Low spent two and one-half and eight years respectively in the land of the kangaroo--relatively small portions of their careers-- thirty of the most productive years of "Hop's" life were passed in his adoptive country. Though "world-famous" to some, Hopkins is scarcely known in the United States, least of all in his native Ohio. William Murrell, A History of American Graphic Humor (1865-1938), includes a few pages on his American record. There are even briefer references in Frank Mott, A History of American Magazines, and Sadakichi Hartmann, A History of American Art. Ohio histories do not so much as mention his name, not even Edna Marie Clark's Ohio Art and Artists. It would appear that Australians and Americans are in virtually complete disagreement as to the man's importance.

What then are the facts in the case? Livingston Hopkins was born near Bellefontaine, Logan County, Ohio, on July 7, 1846, one of fourteen children, of whom nine survived to adulthood. The family had migrated from New England to the Ohio frontier a number of years earlier; Hopkins was always to take great pride in his pioneering Puritan forebears. The death of his father when the boy was only three increased the already considerable poverty of the Hopkins menage. Nevertheless, he was sent to the "deestrict" school as a matter of course; education was a necessity! It was an ordinary one-story country schoolhouse, lime-washed inside and out, with backless seats, and a cast-iron stove in the center of the room. Yet young Livingston was fortunate in his introduction to learning, for "Daddy Gudgeon," the school-master, was an unusually broadminded and kindly man. When his seven year old pupil began to produce picture-caricatures of "teacher," Gudgeon not only received them with tolerant amuse-ment but passed them around to the other pupils and encouraged the boy to preserve them in a scrapbook.

Gudgeon even supplied the embryonic artist with plenty of paper and ink for his schoolroom drawing, and never once did the teacher subject him to any form of corporal punishment. The decidedly favorable impression of formal education which Hopkins received so early was maintained even after his departure that same year for Toledo and an elder brother's care. Here he attended a much larger "mixed" (or coeducational) district school. Reminiscing to Australian friends a half century later, he recalled of Ohio in the 1850's that coeducation was general, and the public school system so efficient that private schools were unknown. How-ever exaggerated this may have been, the opinion shows that Hopkins found his American educational experience highly satis-factory, in marked contrast to certain contemporaries like Thomas Edison, Henry Flagler, and E. H. Harriman. Perhaps the curriculum of the day was better suited to the artistic than to the scientific or business mind.

At any rate, Hopkins and the schools parted company for good in 1861. He was fourteen years old and had already received rather more than the average education for one of his station in life. Undoubtedly he considered himself mature and well prepared to earn a living. Moreover he was fascinated by the Civil War and read everything that he could about it. His brother had already volunteered for the Union army, and Livingston realized that it was up to him to become a breadwinner. Temporarily art fell into abeyance; instead he worked at the numerous odd jobs so plentiful during the Civil War. For these he was customarily paid in shin-plasters or postage stamps, and one of his favorite anecdotes was a description of how his first wages had to be removed from his hands with soap and water! Late in 1864 he too was drafted.

Apart from a brief period of active service during the final moments of the campaign against Lee's disintegrating Army of Virginia, his career as a private was unexciting. From it he derived chiefly a lasting admiration for "Honest Abe" and a keen pride that he had earned a place in the fellowship of Civil War veterans. After the war there was nothing to do but to return to Toledo and its odd jobs. Here his caricatures soon attracted the attention of Dr. H. P. Miller, co-proprietor of the Toledo Blade with David R. Locke, who is better known as "Petroleum V. Nasby." The latter was then at the height of his fame as one of America's great humorists. A popular saying attributed to a member of Lincoln's cabinet was that three things had stopped the Con-federacy--the army, the navy, and Nasby. By joining the Blade and publishing his dialect letters in it, Nasby had caused that journal's circulation to soar. Hence when the twenty-four year old Hopkins,on the strength of his sketches, was offered the opportunity to illustrate some of Nasby's "literatoor," he accepted with alacrity.

He would be sharing this task with no less a celebrity than Thomas Nast! The gates of fortune seemed to be opening before him. Yet at precisely this moment an apparently ironic fate decreed that he should leave Toledo for good. Shortly before the Nasby proposal was made, an offer of a position as artist for the Champaign (Illinois) Union had arrived. The prospect of an opening on the Blade seemed remote; here was a chance to enter his chosen life work, and Hopkins jumped at it. Actually, circum-stances permitted him to eat his cake and have it too. His job on the Union--a "bright little country newspaper"--gave him his start as a professional comic artist, and he was able to illustrate the Nasby books after hours. Later he paid a tribute to these Champaign beginnings: "So long as I am able to remember anything, I shall never forget the happy days spent in the genial atmosphere of that little newspaper office, nor the valuable experience I gained there.

Before the year was out, his work had come to the attention of J. G. Holland, then planning to open Scribner's Monthly as a com-petitor of Harper's Monthly. When a letter arrived in October 1870 offering Hopkins an unidentified job on the embryo journal, he accepted immediately. He departed for the fleshpots of New York City with the congratulations of his Champaign friends ringing in his ears and dazzling dreams of himself as editor of Scribner's humorous department clouding his eyes. The deflation of his balloon came quickly and brutally when he entered the busy Scribner's office. Holland was out of town; his partner, Roswell Smith, was polite enough but obviously had never heard of Hopkins before. However, it was Alexander Drake, in charge of the art department, who provided the coup de grace. Visibly weary of the whims of wealthy owners and especially of their callow young acquaintances, Drake fixed a cold and fishy eye on his victim and said, "Yes, your drawings show much natural talent and considerable humour.

I have no doubt that with two or three years study under good in-struction you will produce work that will be up to the required standard. A few minutes later Hopkins was employed as a clerk in the business department, and arrangements had been made for him to study two nights a week under a drawing teacher at his own expense! It took some time to regain his self-confidence. Augustus Will, the solid, thorough German who instructed him according to the "Dupuis Method," soon gave him the principles of perspective, vanishing point, horizons, and points of sight, which previously he had only sensed. But after five months of clerking at twelve dollars a week, Hopkins grew tired of less pay and less prestige than he had enjoyed in Illinois. Close examination of current cartoons in the "illustrateds" convinced him that he was already capable of work as good as or better than what was being accepted com-mercially. Quickly he put this theory to the test with a batch of his best cartoons; nearly all were accepted at good prices by Harper's, Leslie's, and other illustrated journals.

"Hard work and poor pay" may have been the key to success for a Horatio Alger hero, but it is doubtful if many Alger heroes actually lived, even in the psychologically confused seventies and eighties. Certainly the formula had no appeal for Hopkins. He promptly abandoned his scissors and paste-pot at Scribner's, severed the connection with Herr Professor Will, and opened his own office --he termed it a "laugh factory"--as a free-lance artist. While he cared no more for abstract principles of art than for the Alger rules of success, yet he took considerable pride in his technical competence with pencil, pen, and knife. But even economic realists may have their business troubles. Those first years of independence were pinched ones, and harsh necessity frequently caused the "laugh factory" to be retooled for the production of school-journal illustrations and designs for the labels of canned goods. Pay was often poor and erratic. Yet the Hopkins fortunes improved steadily.

In 1875 he felt able to revisit Toledo and take up some unfinished business of an especially compelling sort, a Buckeye lass named Harriet Commager; presently Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins returned to New York together. Both ventures eventually yielded handsome dividends. By 1882 his income had soared to a yearly total of $5,000--almost opulent for that day--and three children graced his household. By this time Hopkins had become a fully matured artist. His characteristic signature, "Hop," was developed soon after his arrival in New York City. Between 1870 and 1882 he had passed through the wood block, photolithography, and photoengraving periods, ab-sorbing a thorough knowledge of the techniques of each. The wood block era of the post-Civil War days required much patience and a high degree of skill. For reproduction it was necessary to draw the entire sketch in sections upon blocks of imported Turkish box-wood with the picture reversed, mirror-fashion, after which the background was cut out with a wood-carving knife, and the wooden blocks glued together.

Amazing speed was achieved in this kind of endeavor; once an entire illustrated issue on the Chicago Fire was gotten out in twenty-four hours! Nevertheless it is easy to under-stand the relief of most cartoonists when better engraving processes permitted them to lay their cutting tools aside. In 1873 photo lithography, an improvement which reduced the time between draw-ing and press to a bare twenty minutes, was being introduced by its Canadian inventor. Consequently Hopkins shifted to pen and ink drawing and also acquired the art of etching. Even though "Hop's" personal reputation was quite obscured by such giants of the day as Thomas Nast, Frank Bellew, Joseph Keppler, and Frank Beard, his art work was known widely. The journals for which he sketched were the nation's best--Harper's Weekly, Judge, Puck, Daily Graphic, Wild Oats, St. Nicholas, and of course others. Among his many close friends were Mary Mapes Dodge of St. Nicholas, Josh Billings, Artemus Ward, and the New York publisher George Carleton. His product as an illustrator was extensive, including Josh Billings' Old Probability, nine numbers of his Farmer's Allminax, Robert Burdette's Hawkeye Papers, and many works for Artemus Ward, Bill Nye, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and Nasby.

In 1876 he published his own Comic History of the United States to take full advantage of the Philadelphia centennial celebration. To his amazement "the press turned and rent the book with tooth and claw," pronouncing it too flippant for so serious a patriotic occasion. It flopped badly. Later some of the sting was removed when a British firm reissued the Comic History success-fully, and some of the very papers which had damned him roundly in 1876 now praised the new (but unaltered) edition without reservation. His last effort before leaving the United States was the sketchwork for the "original" edition of Eugene Field's Model Primer.

In more serious vein were the illustrations for Don Quixote, Gulliver's Travels, Baron Munchausen, and the Knicker-bocker History of New York, all done for the house of Harper. Then in the dying days of 1882 this typically nineteenth-century American success story was interrupted with dramatic suddenness. Into the "laugh factory" strode William Henry Traill, editor of an unknown newspaper in an almost legendary land, with a fantastic proposal that Hopkins abandon his country and his hard-won career in favor of a new life in faraway New South Wales, Australia, as cartoonist for the Sydney Bulletin. The man and his mission are best described in Hopkins' own words:

Traill had a heavy beard; heaviness, indeed, appeared to be [his) per-vading characteristic----. Rather above the medium height, he was stockily built, and was inclined to corpulency. His slightly stooped shoulders gave emphasis to the shortness of his neck, and his overhanging eyebrows had a trick of alternately twitching up and down as he talked. To this mannerism was added another--a sort of vibration of the nostrils, which one may ob-serve in certain individuals of the order rodentia, when excited. Owing to his climb up three flights of stairs to my den, he seemed somewhat blown; but soon recovered his breath sufficiently to unfold the Australian proposition. After announcing the object of his visit . . . [with, "Well, Mr. Hopkins, I've come to take you to Australia!"], he made a sort of ear-trumpet of his left hand, which he raised to his ear (from which action I inferred that he was slightly deaf), while he watched the effect of his forthright announcement upon his intended prey.

I will not deny that I was "struck all of a heap." I cast about me for some means of defending myself against what might turn out to be a dangerous lunatic. If I had been a typical American of the moving-picture type, my right hand would have flown to my hip pocket and felt for the inevitable revolver. I had a sure-enough hip-pocket, but there was nothing in it but a limp, dog's-eared note-book. No, I was defenseless, and--Ha! my trusty scissors, a long pair, lay on the table near my elbow. I picked them up and toyed with them in an absent sort of way as the talk proceeded. Should my bearded "pard" make a sudden spring, I would sell my life as dearly as possible. But I was soon reassured by the composed manner of my visitor, and became interested in the account he gave me of Australia. He had an admirable command of words, and was never at a loss for the right one. His conversation was like a well-considered leader for his paper. I was interested as he gave me a brief account of The Bulletin (which was then in its infancy); how its precarious life had been saved by a libel action following upon an article written by himself, and how the Sydney public attested its approval of the action of the paper by a subscription to pay the law expenses of the young proprietors, who had been sent to gaol for contempt of court.

They had been cast in a farthing damages, and this involved the costs of the action which they, the proprietors (Haynes and Archibald), were unable to pay: hence gaol. One feature of his scheme which he unfolded to me, made me grip the scissors a little tighter, and keep my eyes skinned, generally speaking; and that feature was the giving away of prizes to new subscribers to The Bulletin. The prizes were to take the form of imitation gold jewellery and cheap revolvers. He had already purchased a large stock of both of these "induce-ments to subscribers," and they were now well on their way to Australia. He had one of these revolvers in his pocket. He drew it forth, and if he really had been a dangerous lunatic, he certainly had me in his power now.

Observing, perhaps, some uneasiness in my face, he said "Oh, it's all right; they're quite harmless"; and he began to snap the hammer of the weapon to convince me of its harmlessness. I related this incident afterwards to certain members of The Bulletin staff, and thenceforth The Bulletin "gun" was known as the "Traill Harmless Revolver. "Like many another man in a quandary, Hopkins sought refuge in the necessity for consulting his wife, who happened at the moment to be visiting relatives in Toledo. At Traill's urging, he agreed to put the proposition to her by mail. He writes, "I had asked my wife to decide for me, almost hoping that her reply would be unfavorable to the emigration scheme. This will illustrate the state of indecision which had harrassed my mind from the beginning of the negotiations, and which had been a sore trial to the said William Henry Traill, who pulled at his beard and stigmatized it as my 'vexatious vacillation.'" In three days the reply from Ohio arrived, a telegram with only two words--"Accept Australia.

"The die was cast, and by a female hand! Within a few weeks the family was on its way to San Francisco, thence by Pacific Mail steamer to Australia via Honolulu, Samoa, and Auckland, New Zealand. They arrived in Sydney on February 9, 1883, and at that point the second volume in Hopkins' life was opened. However bizarre it may have appeared to Broadway or Main Street, the manner in which "Traill discovered Livingston" in darkest America was in no sense accidental. Traill, a Highland Scot and a journalist of real ability, previously had been Reuters representative in New South Wales and editor of the Sydney Mail. Then in 1881 he became editor of the Bulletin. Despite a circulation of 20,000 and rising receipts from advertising, he quickly came to the conclusion that his new journal needed a shot in the arm. After a conference with the owners it was decided that Traill would go to America, make a study of the strikingly successful methods of Yankee journalism, and obtain a first-class cartoonist and, if possible, various other men who were skilled in the new techniques.

Traill made a careful study of the leading American journals, which already enjoyed a considerable circulation in Australia, and familiar-ized himself with the art work which appeared in them. His selection of Hopkins as the first target for his blandishments was based, presumably, upon the artist's repute, which was neither too great nor too small, his youth and prospects for further improve-ment, and the ease with which his style could be adapted to fit the Australian scene. But why should Traill have selected the United States for his foray rather than England, the mother country? First of all it should be said that he was planning to raid England, and two years later actually did so. Nevertheless it was toward America that he headed first. Part of the explanation may be found in England itself. For three-fourths of a century after the common artistic tradition had been rent by the fateful events of 1776, Cousin Jonathan was able to produce no one who compared remotely with such giants of the Pencil as Gillray, Rowlandson, and Cruikshank. Our best cartoons were borrowed from the London weeklies.

Then came the American Civil War, the rise of such journals as Harper's Weekly, Leslie's Weekly, and Vanity Fair, and the emergence of our first great cartoonist, Thomas Nast. By the 1870's American caricature had developed a style of its own--racy, riotous, mirthful, concerned with making fun of its own political and social foibles rather than shedding light upon how the great problems of mankind might best be solved. American weeklies began to gain a world-wide audience, as much for their pictorial as for their printed content. Accordingly, it was during this decade that John Bull first "dis-covered" the existence of worthwhile graphic art in America, and his cries of amazement could be heard to the uttermost ends of the empire. Not untypical was the slightly acrid comment of Charles Dickens' magazine, All the Year Round, in 1878, which began by saying: Everybody knows that the newspaper fun of the world is now mainly of transatlantic origin. The Americans regard drollery as an essential part of journalism-something absolutely indispensable, and to be indulged in at whatever cost; often at the sacrifice of good taste, not to mention graver considerations. The most assimilative of nations, they have absorbed the peculiarities of so many others, that their society must present very much that is odd, grotesque, bizarre, and incongruous; all of which, finding the freest expression in a prosperous democracy, produces that exuberant flow of "American humour" we are so familiar with.

Over five thousand journals keep us pretty well supplied with mirth, even as the Gulf Stream is said to warm our climate. They have, indeed, somewhat superseded the native article. These facts are patent to everybody, but for obvious reasons we know but little of American proficiency in the kindred art of Caricature. Pictorial fun is necessarily in great part local, and less easily transferable. The article then went on to describe the great number of illus-trated comic magazines in America, with detailed attention for such artists as Nast, Frank Bellew, and Sol Eytinge. British interest in American cartoon art deepened during the eighties, and in 1890 W. T. Stead's Review of Reviews observed: "The coloured cartoons of Puck and Judge of New York are among the most effective of their kind. There is nothing approaching to them for their execu-tion and vigour. "But if it is apparent that Traill could have obtained his ideas purely as a British citizen who knew his England thoroughly, it is no less true that there was much in the Australian scene to make his course of action seem logical. The youthful country was ex-panding rapidly in population and wealth. There was a rising nationalistic ferment in the land, as the pastoral age faded and the industrial era began.

On the political scene conservatives were alarmed by the progress of the "Republican" movement which sought "Freedom and Independence for the Golden Lands of Australia" on a frankly American model. Underlying and supporting republicanism there was a broad substratum of nativist resentment at British colonial policy which expressed itself chiefly in a warm admiration for American goods, gadgets, literature, and politico-economic nostrums. Insofar as this movement had a vocal leader it was undoubtedly the Sydney Bulletin. Such were the factors which brought Livingston Hopkins to begin his second and greater career in Australia. He impressed one of his new associates as a tall, spare, though muscular man, with a melancholy air that reminds one inevitably of Don Quixote. Like all humourists he is essentially simple-minded; it is the child's perception of quaint analogies that flashes in his work. Like a child he is shy, and in shyness seems stern; but his good nature in friendly company is un-alloyed. He always seems to me a Puritan born out of date, who has broadened in sympathy with his modern environment, yet has never quite succeeded in throwing out of his blood the ice of repressed forefathers.

Other Bulletin staff-mates were charmed by his passion for music and the cello which he had constructed for himself. His insistence upon a house with a tree and a yard touched their hearts, and his vident anxiety to become one of them removed any lingering doubts on the score of Yankee airs. On the other hand, Hopkins was somewhat taken aback by his first sight of the Bulletin edifice, "a long, narrow, two storied building shaped like the blade of a mortising chisel," unpainted inside and out, with ramshackle equipment, cracks in the floor, and rooms partitioned off from one another by rough planks. The scene hardly squared with Traill's eloquent description of a magnificent structure which would be the best newspaper plant in the southern hemisphere--until Hopkins recalled his captor's scrupulous use of the future tense. In fact, the two year old Bulletin's whole fame and fortune lay in the future, and Hopkins was to be one of the tools by which they would be attained. In 1883 the Bulletin was far from achieving the immense influence which it would soon be wielding.

Daring in format, slangy in style, cynically and humorously disrespectful of authority, it consistently supported the underdog against the squatter aris-tocracy. Its red cover was a rallying flag for those workingmen who within the decade were to form the Australian Labour party. Its "uncompromising radicalism and its violently anti-British tone, "even its masthead motto, "Australia for the Australians," stung conservatives into denouncing it as blasphemous, immoral, and dangerous to colonial society. But J. F. Archibald, co-owner of the Bulletin, met bitterness with a still greater bitterness in his classic denunciation of Tory, upper-crust Sydney society in 1880: It was a cant-ridden community. Cant--the offensive, horrible cant of the badly- reformed sinner--reigned everywhere.

There was no health in the public spirit socially and politically; all was a mean subservience to a spirit of snobbery and dependency. What was most Australian in spirit had been lost by the secessions, first of Victoria, and then of Queensland. Sydney socially limped in apish imitation after London ideas, habits, and manners. Politically and industrially it was the same. And over all brooded in law courts, press and Parliament the desolating cruelty inherited from "The [Convict] System." Sydney invited revolt from existing conditions, and the Bulletin was the organ of that revolt. It was to stand for more humanity in the laws, more freedom in the Parliament, more healthy independence in the Press.

The cartoons of Hopkins were intended to spearhead the Bulletin's campaign, for there had been a complete absence of any first-class graphic talent in Australia up to this time. But Traill took no chances; in 1884 he set out on a second pilgrimage, this time for England. Once again his salesmanship and his singular gift for sensing potential genius brought results. He returned to Sydney with a contract for the services of the twenty-one year old Cockney, Phil May, later to be known as one of England's greatest caricaturists. May's bright sparkling wit was expressed in economy of line; "Hop" preferred humor of situation, and line was secondary to him, as indeed it was with the whole American school of graphic art. Together they advanced the Bulletin's fortunes rapidly and at the same time ushered in the golden age of Australian caricature. Meanwhile a rather warm argument ensued among the public over who was the better artist. In 1887, however, May became homesick and returned to London for good, leaving un-disputed possession of the Australian field to his friendly American rival.

Although deprived of May, "Hop" and the Bulletin continued to prosper, and their influence expanded throughout the continent. In 1885 one of Hopkins' most famous cartoons had created an Australian symbol roughly analogous to "Brother Jonathan"--the "Little Boy of Manly."

This was the occasion when the intense excitement felt in England over the death of "Chinese" Gordon at the hands of the fanatical Mahdi in Khartoum was being re-flected throughout the colonies in miniature form. Imperialists in New South Wales were proposing that a military contingent be sent to the Sudan as evidence of loyalty and willingness to sacrifice in the common interest. This suggestion--which was ultimately carried out--raised a storm of bitter criticism from Australian nationalists, led by the Bulletin. Hopkins, already predisposed by his American isolationist background, heartily agreed with the Bulletin editorial staff that troubles in Africa were none of Australia's business. Looking about for a medium to express his views graphically, he chanced to read a brief note in a Sydney daily to the effect that a little boy from the upper-middle-class beach resort suburb of Manly had given his entire fortune of one penny to help the cause. In the Bulletin's next issue there appeared, in typical Hopkins style, the picture of a little boy in sailor suit and ribboned hat standing on the Australian beach extending a penny in outstretched fist to England.

Thus was neatly summarized the colony's infancy, its naive ignorance of non-domestic affairs, and the ridiculous insignificance of the proposed contribution. For decades the "Little Boy of Manly" reappeared again and again on the Bulletin's pages in various guises as a symbol of Young Australia and the foolishness of well-intended impetuosity beyond its resources. Long before his death Hopkins was rapidly becoming an Australian legend. Of all the artists of the nineties, one Australian critic found "Hopkins-who was already a revered senior--the most exclusive". Yet the stiffness and false dignity which were the least fortunate legacy of his Puritan heritage were easily pene-trated by his friends. One of them said of him: He sees a world that is on the whole a reasonably good place for men and women to live and love in. He looks on men and women, coolly ap-praising their values. He never had any great admiration for politicians, or for the orthodox clergy. But he loves simple-minded folk. He is in sympathy with the idealists and dreamers, and with all people who see in life something more than a game of buying and selling and slipping in sideways to trip up the other fellow.

Thus Hopkins had nothing of the brutal directness of a Nast or a Gillray. He preferred to make people smile with, not laugh at his subjects. Yet he had a social conscience, too. He waged a ceaseless war of satire on the clubman, on the opponents of women's suffrage, and on exploitation of all kinds. It is obvious that he enjoyed the experience of hobnobbing with the great. In America he had merely caricatured the nation's political and cultural leaders, but in the smaller Australian pool he could actually live with them. At the Athenaeum Club he met daily as good friends the country's greatest statesmen--Toby Barton, who was first prime minister of the commonwealth, premiers of New South Wales like G. R. Dibbs, George Reid, or even Henry Parkes, as well as a host of luminaries of lesser wattage. Frequent visitors to his Balmoral home were the great artists of Australia's romantic awakening--Julian Ashton, A. H. Fullwood, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, and B. H. Minns. A favorite Hopkins anecdote reflects his not unnatural relish of this situation: One day Hopkins was accosted by George Dibbs, the ex-premier of New South Wales. Dibbs complained that the Bulletin had been "awfully dull lately." When "Hop" asked what the matter was, Dibbs replied rather vaguely, "Oh, it used to be funny; you could get a laugh out of it sometimes; but I don't see anything in it now."

"Hop" went away pondering these things in his heart, and the idea struck him that, owing to Dibbs' loss of political office, the complainant had not been caricatured for some time. So the next week he introduced a picture of Dibbs in a ridiculous attitude, with the familiar rakish hat, big cigar, and all the rest--and lay in wait. In a few days Dibbs approached him beaming: "Well, I see you've taken my advice! Brightening up your old rag a bit, eh?" And it ended with a whiskey and soda.

Hopkins continued to play an influential pictorial role in the issues of the day. Federation, which "Hop" and the Bulletin supported, was cartooned as a balloon floating between a lion labeled "British Imperialism" and the happy land of Canaan in-scribed "Independence." When the Boer War for a second time raised the question of Australian military aid for the mother country, the Bulletin was violently opposed. In one of its most unattractive campaigns the "Jew's War," with its recruitment of "Cohentingenters" bound for South Africa and "Jewhannesburg," was pilloried furiously, and once more the "Little Boy of Manly" appeared, "reeling upon the Sydney wharf,-- brandishing his fare-well to the departing troopship with an empty bottle labelled 'Military Spirit.' " One of the last of Hopkins great cartoons, "The Statesman's Reward," depicted ex-Prime Minister George Reid in tattered hobo garb, and did much to rehabilitate that fallen administrator's reputation with the public.

Meanwhile the Bulletin was approaching the zenith of its im-mense influence in the southern hemisphere. It dominated the Australian journalistic field to a degree quite without a parallel in American history. And wherever the Bulletin went, the name and caricatures of "Hop" went also. By 1905 it had become nothing less than an imperial institution. . . . To the remotest limits of settlement, in every Australian State, ragged back numbers of the Bulletin form the literature of the shearer's hut and the miner's camp. The pink cover is no less familiar in New Zealand, and catches the traveller's eye upon the bookstalls of Manila and Hongkong, Singapore and Colombo. Even farther afield it seems to find a demand which testifies to its unique position amongst colonial journals. It is sent regularly to agencies not only in London, but in San Francisco and Vancouver, and in the principal towns of South Africa. . . . Whatever the explanation, students of the Empire cannot afford to ignore a unique journalistic influence which has expanded over the two southern continents, and along the margins of the Pacific.

With economic security assured, Hopkins began to think about retirement. He was receiving what was considered the huge salary of £1,000, and there was talk of a share in the ownership of the Bulletin. Around him had gathered a group of young Australian cartoonists, led by Will Dyson and Norman Lindsay, who looked up to him and his "regal austerity" with something akin to awe. In 1913 he reluctantly ended his thirty-year connection with the Bulletin, to be succeeded by the most versatile artist in Australian history, Norman Lindsay. But World War I brought with it a surge of anti-American feeling in Australia which left not even the popular "Hop" unscathed. In spite of his natural conservatism, exemplified in his distrust of labor union growth, Hopkins had enjoyed a broad circle of correspondents which included Carruthers Gould of the Westminister Gazette and John Burns, the English labor leader.

Postcard by Hop, to J O'shea. 12 Bridge Street Sydney 11/08/1908 (Harrower Collection).

Now his enemies seized the opportunity to brand the Bulletin as "a rag run by a Yankee Socialist. He was accused of disloyalty and pro-German sympathies, partly because the United States stubbornly remained neutral, partly because he kept a dachshund! When the open anti-Americanism of war days was succeeded by the covert hostility of "Empire Preference," Hopkins withdrew more and more into the seclusion of his home until death claimed him in 1927. While there seems little point in underlining Australian recog-nition of the "grateful debt of pleasure" owed to Hopkins, it may be well to summarize his contributions to Australian cultural de-velopment. First, he facilitated the flow of technological information in graphic art from the United States to Australia. In addition to his own knowledge he was constantly bedeviling Traill to import from New York skilled assistants who were familiar with the latest developments in photoengraving, zincography, process photog-raphy, and the like, requests to which Traill acceded as often as he was able.

Second, Hopkins was the pioneer of etching in the Australian subcontinent. Not long after his arrival he renewed this activity of his American days as a hobby for his leisure moments. In his studio he gave demonstrations of the entire etching process to curious artists like Ashton, Streeton, and Roberts which infected them with such enthusiasm that (with one slight hiatus) Australian etching has had a continuous record of development since that time.

Hopkins literally founded the school of Australian caricature which grew up with the Bulletin, and it was his touch which gave to that paper, "more than any other artist, the distinctive character for which it became famous. He created many an Australian symbol--the "Little Boy of Manly," the "Yes-Noism" of George Reid--and he brought much native folklore into his cartoons of the Kiama ghost, the "dry dog," and the "social gimlet expert. His principles, which he inculcated by lecture as well as by example, exercised an abiding influence upon the development of the talented juniors growing up around him. While on the Bulletin he produced over 19,000 creations, of which 2,000 originals are in that news-paper's files.

Finally there is Hopkins' great contribution to the development of Australian nationalism. The proportionate weight of his cartoons as an influence is no more precisely calculable than is the role of visual education in the learning process. It has been said that between them "Hop" and the Bulletin changed the whole Australian emphasis from top dog to bottom dog. His strong predilection for native elements in all cultural productivity was not lost upon the great Australian poet Henry Lawson, who worked with him in the Bulletin office. He gave powerful support to Australia's sensi-tiveness on its convict origins, to its race-conscious insistence upon a White Australia, to its critical attitude toward immigrant "New Chums," to national federation, and to anti-squatter bias. Bumptious or not, most of these attitudes had been as characteristic of the United States as they were of Australia.

Was Hopkins an American or an Australian? Here we have the problem of the voluntary expatriate and his nationality all over again, a problem which has never been settled satisfactorily. Conclusive to many will be the fact that to the day of his death he resolutely refused to give up his American citizenship, although quite willing for his children to grow up as one hundred percent Australians. At the same time he loved his adoptive country and was sincerely anxious to fall into Australian ways. "After all, there were no great points of difference between the American of that day and the Australian with whom he came to fraternize. Both had the same frontier traditions of hardship, novelty, and triumphant achievement. He never regretted leaving the United States.

While proud of his English ancestry, Hopkins' Australianism made him appear anti-British. He was caustic when snobbery and affectations were justified as loyalty to the British way of life. He cartooned against titles, against the craze for "foreign" experts from England, against the "Pommies"--stuffed shirt migrants from Great Britain who seemed able only to criticise--against the conceit of the British Association of Sydney and the prudish controversy over "decent" beach costume. Much of this too was a reflection of his American point of view. He knew his American history well, and thought he "could see an analogy between the growth of the United States and that of Australia"--a vision which he was neither the first nor the last to share. But Hopkins pro-American bias always stood out clearly. He delighted in American allusions. He called his den the "Wigwam"; his close friend Fullwood was known familiarly as "Uncle Remus," and he in turn as "an old Puritan"; he signed one of his occasional poems as "Shortfellow. Neither he nor his wife ever lost their American accents or their Yankee joke-sense, both of which oc-casionally caused them embarrassment.

Hopkins maintained his American correspondence and kept the autographed likenesses of Artemus Ward and Josh Billings hanging on his office walls. He followed American events closely and often with misgivings, as when Upton Sinclair's The Jungle got a cartoon from him inscribed "Anarchy's new weapon, if anarchy knew it." The melting pot controversy concerned him deeply. His daughter tells us: There were times when he regretted the cosmopolitan fusion taking place in the U.S.A. and the proportionately smaller leaven of Teutonic blood, but there was no diminution of his pride of nationality or his appreciation of the great development and achievements of his native land. He always saluted the Stars and Stripes, and not casually or perfunctorily but with ceremonious dignity and intent. Even to his friends Hopkins always seemed American rather than Australian. A. G. Stephens said in 1905 that "he still remains essentially the 'comic artist' of his American beginnings," and in 1913 another critic found his spirit essentially American.

Hopkins returned to the United States twice, in 1903 and 1914. The first trip was to Bellefontaine and Toledo, where he revisited the haunts of his boyhood with his last surviving sister and a sister-in-law. It was rather depressing; his friends were gone and even the old farmhouse of his earliest memories had disappeared. He came back for the last time in 1914, just after his retirement, to tour the battlefields of the Civil War. One might easily think of Livingston Hopkins as the Thomas Nast of Australia, for the parallels are many. Like Nast, he came as an immigrant to a new land. Like Nast he was recognized before his death as his country's greatest living cartoonist. Both men brought confidence and the spirit of originality to their respective artistic milieus. Both created eternal symbols which will be re-membered as long as history is studied in the United States and Australia--the Tammany Tiger, the Full Dinner Pail, the Little Boy of Manly. Both assisted the growth of aggressive nationalism, and if Hopkins lacked the remorseless crusader spirit which characterized Nast, then his editorial associates on the Bulletin more than made up this deficiency. In him and his career we have one of the fine examples of the means by which American culture has been transmitted to the rest of the world--for better or for worse!

The Secret of England's Greatness: 5d per hour

Livingston Hopkins (The Australian Bulletin August 1889)

       

       

       

       

       

Military Records

130th Regiment Infantry

Organized at Sandusky, Ohio, and mustered in May 13, 1864. Guard duty at Johnson's Island, Sandusky Bay, until June 4. Moved to Washington, D. C, June 4; thence to Bermuda Hundred, Va., June 8. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 10th Army Corps, Army of the James. Picket duty at Bermuda Hundred and at Point of Rocks until June 21. March to Deep Bottom June 21, and duty there until August 11. Duty in lines at Bermuda Hundred and at Fort Powhatan August 11 to September 16. Mustered out September 22, 1864.

Regiment lost during service by disease 1 Officer and 22 Enlisted men. Total 23.

American Cilil War Veterans of Australia

Livinston Yort Hopkins

Livingston Yort Hopkins was born Livingston Yourtu Hopkins on July 7, 1846 in Bellefontaine, Ohio, the thirteenth of fourteen children raised in the puritanical Methodist family of Daniel and Sarah Carter (nee) Hopkins, His father died in 1849 when he was three years old and his mother was left with the home and a small estate and nine of the children who had survived.

The 1850 Federal Census for Logan County, Lake township, Ohio lists Sara Hopkins and seven of her children; Jane age 19, Elizabeth age 17, William age 14, Sara age 10, Johnston age 6, Yourtu (presumed to be Yort) age 4 and Frank age 2. After he reached the age of seven, he was placed in the care of an older brother and his wife who were without children. They adopted Livingston and he was sent to a district school, where children of both sexes were educated together. The schoolmaster, "Daddy Gudgeon", took notice of Livingston’s artistic abilities at an early age and supplied him with plenty of paper and ink for his schoolroom drawings. Unfortunately, Livingston and the school parted company for good in 1861. His brother enlisted in the army and that left him to be the breadwinner. From the age of 14 years Livingston worked at various avocations, even becoming a comic artist and taking up playing the fiddle.

When the American Civil War broke out Livingston was too young to serve in the military, though he wanted to run off and join up, as did many young men; believing it would be a grand experience lasting only a short period of time. Instead he worked at various jobs for three years until he was old enough to enlist. His desire materialized when Company C of the 130th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized on Johnston’s Island, Ohio from May 13 through the 31st in 1864. Livingston’s had an aversion to war, but he was a great admirer of President Abraham Lincoln, so when the call came for more volunteers in 1864, and his being of age, Hopkins, according to military records, enlisted as a Private in Company “C” of the 130th Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry at 21 years of age on May 2, 1864; serving one-hundred days, being He was mustered in at Toledo, Ohio. Thinking it would be a short war, the 130th Ohio was initially organized for only a one hundred day period. His unit was once known as “The Hundred Days Unit”.

It was composed of the First Regiment Ohio National Guard, from Lucas County and the Seventy-fifth Battalion Ohio National Guard, from Fulton County. The Regiment left Toledo, Ohio on May 12, 1864 to report to Brigadier-General Hill, at Sandusky; for consolidation and mustering-in. It first moved to Johnson's Island where it was engaged in guarding Rebel prisoners, then on the 4th of June the Regiment boarded boxcars for Washington City. It remained there three days before embarked on the transport “George Weems” and was transported for operations with General Butler, known as “Butler the Beast”, at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia; after which place it was ordered to Point of Rocks. Their time there was occupied in drilling, digging rifle-pits, and serving picket duty on the lines, until the June 21st, when it marched to Deep Bottom. They were at Deep Bottom when the “Battle of Deep Bottom” occurred from July 26th through the 29th 1864, between Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and Maj. Gen. Charles Field of the Confederacy. The resulting Confederate victory left some 1000 casualties on the field after a Confederate counter-attack. On August 11th 1864 they marched back to Bermuda Hundred, and proceeded on transports again to Fort Powhattan; where it was ordered to be mustered out. The 130th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was mustered out at Toledo, Ohio on September 22, 1864, upon the expiration of its term of service. Hopkins mustered out with his Regiment.

The transport ship “George Weems” on which Hopkins and his regiment were transported from Washington City to Bermuda Hundred, was a 148 foot long, 248 ton, wooden hulled, coal fired freighter; which ended her life on the reefs of Frying Pan Shoals off Wilmington on May 20, 1909.

Livingston was more than pleased to be out of the military, which for him only lasted a few months. Livingston later himself expressed his sentiments of the Great War eloquently in an article he authored, entitled “Confessions”, that was published in the Lone Hand magazine in 1913;

“I do not exactly claim to have settled the dispute between North and South, but I am entitled to mention as a curious coincidence that the war ended a few months after my enlistment. I got a taste of active service down in Virginia, in front of Petersburg and Richmond – just enough to convince me that love of bloodshed is an acquired taste, and it takes more than four or five months to acquire a taste for the life of a private soldier. It’s a dog’s life, and I was not sorry when the time came to turn my sword into a ploughshare. It is my very proud boast that I am the only survivor of that great conflict who escaped a pension or a military title. I am not even a corporal, and when my club friends (real colonels, some of them) jocularly address me as Private Hopkins, I cannot say that I am displeased.”

Having an artistic ability in writing and sketching, after the war he went to Toledo, Ohio where some of his sketches were presented to the proprietor of the “Toledo Blade” news. As a result he was hired as an illustrator, which led to an appointment on the staff of “Scribner's Weekly Magazine”. It was during his time there that Hopkins received a few months training in drawing; his only official training. Going from there to New York, Hopkins became an illustrationist for “Puck” Magazine, later the “Judge” Magazine, the “New York Daily Graphic”, and he wrote and illustrated the book “A Comic History of United States”. He had it published in time for the 1876 Centennial Celebrations, thinking it would be a smash, but people in the United States were taking everything very seriously at that time and when the book received an unfavorable review, it became a failure.

Realizing he had a unique skill he continually improving upon it for some thirteen years, and many of his illustrations began appearing in nationally recognized journals; and he did a lot of work. His illustrations appeared in the Harpers Brothers book company in their editions of “Gulliver’s Travels”, Don Quixote”, Baron Munchausen” and even Irving’s “Knickerbockers History of New York”. Other publications included the Harper publications of the “Weekly”, the “Magazine”, the “Bazaar” and “Young People”. Hopkins was said to be a tall, courteous man with something of a Don Quixote appearance. He was a man of strong principles and with strong puritanical beliefs, but he remained a good host who liked to have friends around him. He never used models for his work, which often had to be done on the run, but did a staggering amount of it, and always with its own peculiar style of humour.

Hopkins and his illustrative work became so well known that towards the end of 1882 that Mr. W. H. Traill of Sydney, Australia called him and offered him a position on the “Bulletin of Sydney” in New South Wales, Australia, which he accepted; as a caricaturist and satirist on their news staff. The offer accepted, he arrived in Sydney on February 9, 1883. Hopkins became an exceptional illustrator and a selection of his drawings was published in 1904 under the title of “On the Hop”. He went on to do illustrations of Mark Twain, himself a veteran of the Civil War, when he made a visit to Australia in 1912. When his illustrations and writing began to drop off, Hopkins remained in the newspaper business as part owner of the “Bulletin”; still in existence today. Hopkins literally founded the school of Australian caricature that grew up with the Bulletin

The Mitchell Library in Sydney, New South Wales holds twenty-seven volumes of Livingston Hopkins work, among them a satire of Union veteran George Washington Bell; as a towering American “Uncle Sam” lecturing to the Australian man on the street. Some 19,000 of Hopkins drawings on social and political satire, jokes, etc, graced the pages of the “Bulletin” over a 30 year period, and sold in great quantities as calendars, postcards and framed etchings. Hopkins also occasionally painted in oil and watercolours. Hopkins was a major advocate of Australia’s becoming an independent republic, achieving full independence from England, and has championed many other social and political causes in Australia as well.

Hopkins in 1876 married Harriett Commager, daughter of Henry Steel Commager, Lieutenant Colonel of the 67th Ohio Infantry, Colonel of the 184th Ohio and Brevet Brigadier General of the U.S. Volunteers; and they had three daughters. Hopkins brother, Owen Johnston Hopkins, was Sergeant of Company E of the 42nd Ohio Infantry Regiment, an also became something of a writer, authoring his memoirs, entitled “Under the Flag of the Nation: Diaries and Letters of Owen Johnston Hopkins, a Yankee Volunteer in the Civil War”; edited by Otto F. Bond. Hopkins daughter, Dorothy June Hopkins Marshall also authored her own work, a biography of her father, “Hop of the Bulletin” which can be found in the “Encyclopedia of Australian Art”; a book from which much of this information came from. In her biography she describes scenes of battle and carnage in the Battle of Petersburg, as told to her by her father of his revisiting the battleground and a museum of its artifacts; finding among them “one bullet in particular” that he himself had fired at the enemy some fifty years earlier.

Livingston and the family took a train trip cross-country to board the S.S. Australia on January 16, 1883 to migrate to Sydney, Australia; arriving on February 9, 1883 at Port Jackson. H.B. Traill, who introduced him to the Sydney Bulletin, got him to take to Australia the first photo-engraving equipment, which allowed drawings to be photographed and transferred onto metal plates for printing; thus making topical daily cartoons a possibility. Upon arriving in Australia, the family found temporary accommodation in Sydney near the top of William Street, was soon provided with a new studio on Bond Street and then decided he decided to purchase a home, the palatial two story residence of “Fernham” in Raglan Street, Mosman, New South Wales. On February 12, 1883 Livingston signed a three-year contract with the Bulletin and shortly after May 1887, became the chief Sydney Bulletin cartoonist which lasted for decades. Initially employed on a two-year contract, he remained with the Bulletin for 30 years and did an estimated 19,000 drawings for the Bulletin. In his retirement Hop continued to make etchings, violins and violoncellos. Three of his children were born in the United States prior to his moving to Australia, and the remaining three were born in New South Wales.

Hopkins family had long lived at Mosman, in Sydney, New South Wales where years later trees were planted to memorialize early residents, including Livingston Hopkins; who’s old home “Fernham” was situated on Raglan Street. Hopkins lived in New South Wales Australia for some forty-seven years and all but five of his children were born there.

In old age, with his eyesight was failing, Livingston made clock cases. On the evening of August 21, 1927, Livingston was entertaining old friends at his home when he almost collapsed and although in extreme pain, and feeling very weak he made his way up the stairs to his bedroom alone, remarking to his daughter, “I shall be dead tomorrow”. Two hours before he died at Fernham, late at night on August 21, 1927, he delivered a little dissertation on etching to his nurse to entertain her, and according to Dorothy Hopkins his last words when his attendant asked him if he was the man who had been the Bulletin artist were, “Where have you lived all these years?” .

Livingston Yort Hopkins died at the age of 81 on August 21, 1927 at Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales. The following day on August 22, 1927, Hopkins was graced with a state funeral at which many leading businessmen, politicians and every day citizens attended to pay their respects at the Wood Coffill’s mortuary chapel on George Street after which his body was cremated and buried at Rookwood Cemetery. He was survived by a son and four daughters. His life is forever memorialized by a brass wall plaque in niche 743L.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4,

Compendium of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer

Death Certificate, Livingston York Hopkins, August, 1927

Dictionary of Australian Artists

Encyclopedia of Australian Art

Historical Register of the United States Army, Francis B. Hetman

Hop of the "Bulletin"; Dorothy J. Hopkins

Jim Houston, Cincinnati, Ohio

Lone Hand magazine, December –June 1913, Sydney, New South Wales; ‘Chapters from the

Autobiography of Livingston Hopkins, Illustrated by Himself,’ ‘Confessions of Hop.’

National Library of Australia

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, vol 8

Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio

Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly

On the Hop, Sydney, 1904

Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, New South Wales

The Scholarly Journal of the Ohio Historical Society, volume 63, ‘Ohio Artist in Australia: Livingston Hopkins’, Frederick D. Kershner, Jr

The Sydney Morning Herald, August 22, 1927.

Under the Flag of the Nation, Otto F. Bond, editor

Wayne Lowery, Jacksonville, Ohio

130th Ohio Regimental Histories

Under Construction; 24/05/2008-06/05/2015.


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