A New Map of the United States with the Additional Territories on an Improved Plan political cartoon, circa 1829

Anthony Imbert1829

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

This political cartoon is historically significant for being the first American political cartoon produced using the lithographic printing process. In the 1800s, lithography would become a widespread mode of producing and disseminating prints, including political cartoons. This cartoon depicts the United States of America and its territories as a map, with mountains in the distance. On top of the map are two giant animals: an alligator (symbolizing Jacksonian Democracy), facing to the west, and a tortoise (symbolizing John Quincy Adams's Whig party), facing to the east. The alligator and tortoise are tied together at the tail. Andrew Jackson, dressed as a military general, and his supporters (one of whom holds an American flag) ride on the alligator, and two men riding the alligator's tail try to cut or untie the knotted rope connecting it to the tortoise. The tortoise wears a collar labeled "Quincy" and is ridden by John Quincy Adams (wearing a crown) and several of his supporters, one of whom, according to their speech bubbles, is Henry Clay. A person dressed as a circus performer walks the "tightrope" connecting the tortoise and alligator. In the mountains, a group of people, identified in the caption as "a Company of Winebago Indians," comment on American culture. A handwritten note on this cartoon records its date as 1828, but the Library of Congress dates it circa 1829.

Show lessRead more



Translate with Google