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THE FOLLY OF SECESSION
   
Complete Explanation:
South Carolina struggles against the outgoing Buchanan administration in an attempt to "smash the Union up!" The artist uses the age-old pictorial conceit of two parties pulling on the different ends of a cow, while a man in the middle (in this case identified as "Georgia") happily milks the beast. The cow is emblazoned with the statement, "The Union. I have a good Constitution, and can stand a pretty strong pull!"

The cartoon no doubt refers to South Carolina governor Francis Pickens's attempts early in 1861 to attract other Southern states to the secessionist cause. The artist clearly sympathizes with James Buchanan's efforts to preserve the Union. As Pickens expresses his intent Buchanan vows, "Not if I can prevent it governor!" The cow also speaks, "Governor, if you pull too hard on my tail, I'll kick you into the Atlantic Ocean."

Toombs chimes in, "Pull away boys!! Georgia will get the cream of this joke!!" as he draws milk into a pail labeled "City of Savannah." The artist may be referring to Georgia's exploitation of the conflict to seize federal Fort Pulaski at Savannah on January 3. (Georgia's perfidy is cited again in "The Southern Confederacy A Fact!!!," no. 1861-22.)

Although the print has no imprint it is, as Weitenkampf asserts, clearly the work of Currier & Ives.


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