“Join or Die” Original Printing to Auction – update

“Join, or Die” is widely heralded as America’s first newspaper political cartoon.

It was published in the May 9, 1754 edition of Benjamin Franklin‘s Pennsylvania Gazette.

An original of that publication will be auctioned off July 26.

The original May 9, 1754 “Pennsylvania Gazette” newspaper featuring Benjamin Franklin’s famous “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on July 26, 2018.

”JOIN, or DIE” featuring a severed rattlesnake is widely considered the most influential political cartoon in American history.

This edition of the “Pennsylvania Gazette” being auctioned is the first printing of the “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon. It is the only known copy besides the one held in the Library of Congress’ permanent collection. (emphasis added)

Bidding on the newspaper begins at $40,000.

More details at Fine Books Magazine.


Mike Rhode thinks this is the Steve Geppi copy.

Stephen A. Geppi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Comic Distributors and founder of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, has acquired the May 9, 1754 edition of Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, from noted collector and historian Eric C. Caren for $175,000.

This was apparently sometime before July 2006.

The piece will reside in Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards, in Baltimore, Maryland, which is scheduled to open July 4, 2006, on the nation’s 230th birthday.

$40,000 seems a low starting point for a treasure that went for $175,000 maybe a dozen years ago.
The Geppi Entertainment Museum closed earlier this year.


also: More “history” about “Join, or Die” and cartoonist Benjamin Franklin from Richard Thompson: