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Current Print >> 19 of 21:  1865

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THE LAST OFFER OF RECONCILIATION IN REMEMBRANCE OF PREST. A. LINCOLNS. "THE DOOR IS OPEN FOR ALL."

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A sentimentalized allegory "Dedicated to the Memory of our most lamented late President Abraham Lincoln" of the reconciliation of the North and South after the Civil War. Kimmel and Forster also produced two similar exercises in mythologizing recent history: "The Outbreak of the Rebellion" and "The End of the Rebellion" (nos. 1865-19 and 1866-1).

Here the recently assassinated President extends his hand in peace toward Jefferson Davis, while pointing toward a small temple where Liberty sits enthroned. Davis also extends his hand, but palm downward, seeming to spurn Lincoln's grasp.

Liberty takes the form of a maiden holding a shield and staff with Phrygian cap and wears a crown toward which she gestures proudly. Her temple is set upon a raised platform. On five of its six columns appear the names of the American states. Union general William T. Sherman, assisted by Ulysses S. Grant (on horseback, at left), nails a ribbon with the names of the seceded states onto the sixth column.

Attending Lincoln are (from left to right) two bearded Union soldiers, secretary of war Gideon Welles, and secretary of state William H. Seward. In the left distance a fortress flying an American flag overlooks a bucolic scene--with a small cottage, a farmer ploughing his field, and sailboats on the water.

On the right, with Jefferson Davis, are (left to right) a mustachioed gentleman (possibly John Wilkes Booth), Confederate general Robert E. Lee, a slave in chains, and a young man holding his hat in his hands. Behind them are crowds of civilians and, in the distance, violent scenes: an army in battle and a house in flaming ruins.

The picture is framed with an ornamental border that reinforces the contrast between the right and left portions of the scene. On the left (Lincoln's side) branches of fruit grow in the picture's borders, but on the right are only thorns. In the upper border are olive branches and on the bottom sprigs of oak.

Small vignettes also appear in the borders. At top a slave is flogged in an interior; at right a soldier attacks a fallen enemy; at bottom farmers harvest grain; and at left a man sits on a riverbank fishing.

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1700's | 1800-1809 | 1810-1819 | 1820-1829 | 1830-1835 | 1836-1839 | 1840-1843 | 1844-1845 | 1846-1849 | 1850-1855
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Current Print >> 19 of 21:  1865

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