Saturday, October 30, 2010

Columbia, Napoleon Bonaparte and John Bull

PD Image: ‘Columbia teaching John Bull his new lesson’ (Philadelphia, 1813) cartoon by artists Samuel Kennedy and William Charles, print on wove paper: etching with watercolor, published in American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly, Boston: G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1813-3, Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

The caricature ‘Columbia Teaching John Bull his New Lesson’ (1813) on the American view of the War of 1812 depicts Columbia (the personification of the United States, holding a pole with a liberty cap on it, and with a Stars-and-Stripes shield behind her), Napoleon and John Bull (personification of Britain), and the words spoken by them are as follows:

Columbia (on the left): "I tell you Johnny, you must learn to read Respect -- Free Trade -- Seaman's Rights &c. -- As for you, Mounseer Beau Napperty, when John gets his lesson by heart, I'll teach you Respect, Retribution, &c &c."

Napoleon Bonaparte (in the middle): "Ha Ha -- Begar, me be glad to see Madam Columbia angry with dat dere John Bull -- But me no learn respect -- me no learn retribution -- Me be de grand Emperor."

John Bull (on the right, a national personification of Great Britain in general and England in particular, holding a book with the words "Power Constitutes Right"): "I don't like that lesson, I'll read this pretty lesson".

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