Striking timeline of American political history

W. C. King, OUR POLITICAL HISTORY The Original 13 COLONIES Adopted the Constitution of the united states On the dates indicated where the State begins. [Springfield, Mass.: W. C. King Company, 1906.]
Two lithographs printed in blue, red and black each 16”h x 34 ½”w at neat line plus margins. Extensive text printed in black on verso of each sheet. Paper friable, with some chipping to margins including partial loss of imprint on second sheet.

A visually striking timeline of American political history, cleverly designed, vividly illustrated and deeply patriotic.

The two sheets may be laid side-by-side to form a timeline from Independence to the second Presidential administration of Theodore Roosevelt. The upper sections list, year-by-year, the Presidents, their cabinet members, and the governors of each state, color coded—counterintuitively to modern eyes–blue for Republicans and red for Democrats. Below this a diagram charts the evolution and interrelationships of the major and minor political parties, which are depicted them as streams flowing in to and out of one another. For example the Federalist “stream” is shown merging with the Democratic-Republicans around 1820, though by the Election of 1828 the Republicans are shown diverging into Democratic and National Republican streams.

The chart was originally issued in King’s Illustrated Portfolio of Our Country (1906), a little-known volume consiting of 11 vivid, jam-packed, double-page charts and diagrams depicting different aspects of United States culture, economics, history, and politics, each accompanied by a page or two of explanatory text. In the Introduction thereto, author William C. King made his intention clear:

“What we read from the printed page, soon fades from the memory. Information seen with the eye, becomes permanently fixed in the mind…. Illustrated Information makes an indelible impression upon the memory. That which we read from the printed page is soon forgotten, but events, facts and men, seen in their proper relationship, become fixed in the mind without the task of memorizing.” (pp. 3-4)

William C. King (1853-????) was a Springfield, Massachusetts author and publisher, many of whose publications had an didactic or educational slant. The earliest publication attributed to him by OCLC is The Royal Path of Life; or, Aims and Aids to Success and Happiness (1880); the latest Our Wonderful Country Illustrated (1907).