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A Peep into the Antifederal Club political cartoon, 1793

Artist Unknown1793-08-16

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

In this chaotic scene, prominent Anti-Federalists are mocked and caricatured as naive fools, as children playing with toys, as drunkards, as traitors, and as radicals. At the center of the scene a man that historians assume is Thomas Jefferson quotes Shakespeare; to his left is a drunken man with his shirt open and a gun in his waistband, cursing the government, and a fat man drinking wine who toasts "damnation to the federal government." The latter may be Dr. James Hutchinson, a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat. To Jefferson's right is a man wearing a naval hat and dark glasses, quoting "ca ira," a French revolutionary song, and, to his right, a well-dressed man who presents a "plan of an entire subversion of the government." They may be Commodore James Nicholson, a Revolutionary War naval hero, and Edmond-Charles Genet (Citizen Genet), French ambassador to the United States during the French Revolution. To his right, a white man asks a black man, whom he calls "Citizen Mungo," what he thinks. Citizen Mungo replies "our turn next." Below Jefferson, a man some assume to be either George or DeWitt Clinton, sits on the ground singing a song and holding a tiny man (or perhaps a doll) in the palm of his hand. This tiny man may be Robert R. Livingston. At the left of the scene, a Philadelphia astronomer and Anti-Federalist looks through a telescope and wishes "for such a government as they have in Saturn," while the devil sits on the ground next to a box labeled "sacred records," expressing satisfaction. At the top left corner of the scene, a banner proclaims the "Creed of the Democratic Club."

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