J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

“From a Rare Old Print”

Last year the Boston 1775 reader “A Staunch Whig” alerted me to this cartoon from the New York Public Library’s digital image collection. It was published in the original Life magazine around Patriots’ Day in 1893. Click on the image to get to a larger reproduction. Paul Revere’s ride, April 18, ... Digital ID: 808502. New York Public LibraryI’m not sure what point this cartoon is making, apart from parodying a scene that had become an American icon. But that might be all we need.


Seamus said...

Haha. I love that folks at the turn of the century had the stones to parody such hallowed ground. Is it just me, or is Revere winking at the comely young lady hanging out of the window?

Anonymous said...

I think the guy shooting the two pistols in the air out his front window looks a lot like Ronald Reagan!

J. L. Bell said...

Even Reagan wasn’t that old!

George Lovely said...

The cartoonist, 'Chip', is the late 19th century illustrator Frank P.W. Bellew, who was a frequent contributor to the original Life as well as other publications. Several collections of his 'single panel' work were published including "Chip's Un-natural History" in 1888, which includes the image shown. His work is often confused with that of his cartoonist father, Frank H.T. Bellew (a friend of Thomas Nast), who is generally credited with creating the first illustration of 'Uncle Sam' in 1852.

George Lovely said...

BTW - Here's "Chip's" take on the "Battle of Bunker Hill" from the LOC's collection:


Perhaps some of his irreverence was based on his father being a dis-inheirited British Lord.

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks for the link. Bellew’s heritage may indeed have let him stand back a bit from the sacred bits of American history.

Derek "A Staunch Whig" Beck said...

I certainly found this interesting when I was rummaging through the digital files online, but wasn't sure what to make of it. Thanks for posting it, and thanks to all of the comments on it!
-Derek "A Staunch Whig" Beck, Author of "1775"