A crude nonpartisan satire, parodying all four candidates in the 1860 presidential election. A map of the United States hung on a wall is being torn apart by three of the candidates. Lincoln (far left) and Douglas tear at the western part of the country, as Breckinridge (center) attacks the South. The fourth, John Bell (right), stands on a stool trying to repair the northeastern section with a jar of "Spaldings," a widely marketed glue of the period. Several boxes of this adhesive appear, prominently labeled, at right.
"Dividing the National Map" appears to be part of a series of satires by the same artist as "The Undecided Political Prize Fight" and "The Political Quadrille" (nos. 1860-22 and 1860-23).