Uncle Sam and Copperheads


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Uncle Sam and Copperheads

Uncle Sam and Copperheads

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This is a very early cartoon featuring Uncle Sam and a Copperhead.  The cartoon has the caption:


UNCLE SAMUEL. "What! shutting up shop, eh!"

MANAGING MAN OF THE COPPERHEAD HOUSE. "Yes! 'taint no use. Since the news from Ohio and Pennsylvania, we haint seen a customer, and the boss says to shut up quickly before New York ruins us outright."

This cartoon features an image of Uncle Sam and a Copperhead.  The copperheads were a group of "Peace Democrats" in the Civil War, and they argued strongly to negotiate with the South and end the war. During 1863, the war was not going well for the North, and the Copperheads became vicious in their attacks on Mr. Lincoln. This satirical image shows the Copperheads trying to sell "Peace Soup", "Humble Pie", "Cooked Goose", and "Evil Spirits". 

The cartoon shows, however, that the Copperhead is having to close his shop . . . apparently, no one is willing to buy his wares anymore. 

This cartoon came out shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Fall of Vicksburg, both enormous victories for the Union Armies. With these victories, public opinion turned decidedly against the Copperheads, and in support of the continued prosecution of the War.  The public decided that victory was the only acceptable outcome of the war.  The following year, President Abraham Lincoln was re-elected, and the Copperhead candidate George McClellan was defeated.

In this cartoon, Uncle Sam is referred to as "Uncle Samuel", which was not unusual during the Civil War.


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