Uncle Sam Playing Chess


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Uncle Sam Playing Chess

Uncle Sam Playing Chess

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This is a fascinating, early image of Uncle Sam. It is from the June 3, 1865 edition of Harper's Weekly, and came out soon after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The illustration pictures Uncle Sam playing chess with Rebel President Jefferson Davis.  The article accompanying the illustration indicates that the image represents "Jefferson Davis, the Spirit of Treason, playing with UNCLE SAM for his Life." This no doubt reflects that at this time there was some discussion of whether or not Jefferson Davis should be hung for his role in the recent rebellion. Clearly, this image reflects that Uncle Sam is holding all the cards.

It is interesting to note that Uncle Sam has not always been portrayed as a man in a top had with a star-spangled jacket.  Here, Uncle Sam appears as a statesman in a business suit of the day.


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