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Civil War era editorial cartooning

There is an interesting article in the L.A. Times regarding editorial cartooning during the Civil War era in U.S. history. A new book is coming out entitled “Lines of Contention” by J.G. Lewin and P.J. Huff.

One of the most difficult preconceived beliefs to abandon is of Abraham Lincoln as a revered, even sacrosanct figure. Modern readers may be shocked by the hostile treatment the president received in the press during his lifetime. In 1864, Thomas W. Strong depicted Democratic presidential candidate George B. McClellan as Hamlet and Lincoln as Yorick’s skull; a Currier & Ives cartoon, “Abraham’s Dream,” shows the goddess Columbia chasing him from the White House the same year. In Punch, Sir John Tenniel drew Lincoln as a polecat treed by Britain (over the illegal seizure of Confederate envoys aboard the British ship the Trent in 1861) and as the attorney for the dissatisfied “Mrs. North” during the 1864 reelection campaign. The pro-Confederacy cartoonist V. Blada (the pseudonym used by Baltimore-based Aldabert J. Volck) showed Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation surrounded by instruments of the devil, and as a harem dancer with African features — a reference to the false rumor that Lincoln “had black blood in his veins.”

Hat Tip: Journalista!

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