<See a full text list of this group of Prints>

<Navigate Print  thumbnails one-by-one>

JEFF DAVIS ON THE RIGHT PLATFORM, or the last "act of secession".
Complete Explanation:
A caricature of Jefferson Davis, probably issued not long after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, but certainly postdating his February 1861 election as president of the Confederacy. Davis is shown standing on a gallows, draped in the Confederate flag and wearing on his head a misshapen Phrygian cap. Under him is a "Secession Trap" door. He anticipates his drop saying, "O dear! O dear! I don't really want to secede this way--I want to be let alone.'" To the gallows crossbar is nailed a "Letter of Marque." (See "The Southern Confederacy a Fact!!!," no. 1861-22.)

Below stand several observers, including many prominent secessionists who await their own execution with nooses around their necks. They are (left to right) Secretary of State Robert Toombs, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, Vice President Alexander Stephens, and South Carolina governor Francis W. Pickens. Each of them speaks.

Toombs: "I begin to feel weak in the knees!"

Beauregard: "Oh Jeff! Jeff! is that the elevated position that you promised me?"

Stephens: "Alas! Alas! I prophesied in November that secession would be the death of us."

Pickens is still defiant, saying: "Can it be possible that they will dare to hang a {grave}gentleman from South Carolina?'"

Another state of the print, with skull and crossbones drawn on Davis's chest, was also issued (evidently by Currier & Ives) under the title, "Jeff Davis, on His Own Platform" (no. 1861-24).

Website design © 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com