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46 results, ordered by Publication Date

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William Charles (artist and engraver) / [Samuel Kennedy (publisher)], The Hartford Convention or LEAP NO LEAP. [Philadelphia, Dec. 10, 1814.]

War of 1812 political cartoon skewering the Hartford Convention

A scarce and striking political cartoon satirizing the 1814 Hartford Convention, at which delegates from New England states contemplated secession from the Union. Background: The War of 1812 Following the ratification of the Constitution and against the hopes of the Founders, American politics rapidly organized into a two-party system that approximately mirrored sectional differences: Roughly […]

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War of 1812 political caricature skewering New England secessionists

A scarce and striking political cartoon skewering the 1814 Hartford Convention, at which delegates from New England states contemplated secession from the Union. Background: The War of 1812 Following the ratification of the Constitution and against the hopes of the Founders, American politics rapidly organized into a two-party system that approximately mirrored sectional differences: Roughly […]

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[Untitled sketch book bearing 30 pages of clever and occasionally quite vivid sketches of Temperance allegories and cartoons.]

Unique Temperance sketch book, likely by a WCTU member

A unique and delightful book of sketches on Temperance themes, likely executed by a WCTU member in the mid-late 1880s. Based on internal evidence, the 30 pages of sketches were executed in Boston or elsewhere in eastern Massachusetts between 1886 and 1889, probably by a woman and member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Founded […]

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Henry Dawkins Liberty Triumphant 1774

Liberty Triumphant, a rare American cartoon celebrating the Boston Tea Party

Liberty Triumphant is a rare and vivid print, remarkable for its graphic complexity and use of cartographic elements, and as one of very few large-format political cartoons to appear in the Colonies before the Revolution. Background This cartoon lampoons the Tea Act, enacted by Lord North’s ministry in Spring of 1773. The Act retained an existing tax […]

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1778 Matthew Darley political cartoon satirizing British peace commission

Matthew Darly satirizes the 1778 British peace commission to the Colonies

A scathing Matthew Darly cartoon mocking the peace commission sent by Great Britain in the Spring of 1778 to patch things up with the American Colonies. Owned in partnership with James E. Arsenault & Company. Shocked by the loss of Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga in October 1777 and by the conclusion of a Franco-American alliance […]

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[ Jefferson Davis ] [Jeff Rampant] JEFF. DAVIS [:] PEACE. [:] WAR. Hartford / New York: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg / Geo. Witing [i.e., Whiting], N.d. [but 1861-62].

Civil War-era metamorphic caricature of Jefferson Davis

An extremely rare and perhaps unique variant of a celebrated “topsy-turvy” metamorphic caricature of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Following secession Jefferson Davis was elected President of the Confederacy, though he had been a staunch Unionist and until recently a United States Senator from Mississippi. Thenceforth until the end of the Civil War he was fair […]

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[Zion Besieged and Attacked, 1787]. [Philadelphia: William Poyntell, Jan. 1787.]

Zion Besieged and Attacked… “perhaps the most complex and labyrinthine political cartoon ever made”

A large, fantastically-intricate and impossibly rare 1787 political cartoon featuring among others Benjamin Franklin and a talking owl, all reflecting ongoing controversy about the meaning of the American Revolution. On September 28, 1776 Pennsylvania ratified the most democractic of the early state Constitutions, providing for a unicameral legislature, elected annually; an elected, term-limited Executive Council; […]

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[ Election of 1872 ] Thomas A. Davies / Smart Sc[ulpsit?], WAR! WAR! WAR! TO THE KNIFE ON POLITICAL CORRUPTION. [:] POLITICAL SMASH-UP. Washington, 1872.

Wildly-inventive cartoon attacking corruption during the Election of 1872

A rare and astonishingly complex cartoon attacking American political corruption during the Election of 1872. No names are named, but the villainous “Big Politician” is surely a stand in for Boss Tweed, the Grant Administration, or more likely both.    This is one of three or four cartoons produced in 1872 by Thomas Albert Davies, a […]

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Image of the so-called Scotch Butchery perpetrated on Boston in 1775

The so-called Scotch Butchery perpetrated on Boston, 1775

A rare political cartoon accusing a cabal of perpetrating a ” Scotch Butchery ” against Boston at the outset of the American Revolution. The print features the Scottish lords Lords Bute and Mansfield directing the bombardment of Boston by an “English Fleet with Scotch Commanders” and urging a dangerous-looking force of Highlanders onward toward the […]

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