Rare satirical cartoon print, published shortly after the Boston Tea Party, by Henry Dawkins.
Dawkins print celebrates the New England colonists response to the British Tea Tax, superimposed over a map of the Northern and Middle British Colonies, from the Massachusetts Coastline to Delaware Bay, with New York and Boston plainly depicted.
The printed is believed to have been published in either Philadelphia or New York. R.T. Haines' exhibition "Impolitical prints" at the New York Public Library, posited that the printed was clearly American, attributing the work to Henry Dawkins. Dawkins trained as a silversmith before emigrating from England to New York in 1754. In New York, he engraved maps, music and book- plates, working in both New York and Philadelphia.
The print is very rare, with only a few known surviving examples.
The following description and transcription of the contents of the print appeared in "THAT worst of plagues, the detested TEA" COLONISTS RESPOND TO THE TEA ACT & THE "BOSTON TEA PARTY," 1773-74. A Selection from Newspaper Reports, Letters & Debates; Poetry & Song, A Cartoon, A Diary, & A History, (p. 12-13; published by the National Humatices Center)
This anonymous cartoon (published as a large engraving, not in a newspaper) is one of the few American political cartoons of the Revolutionary period. The eighteen numbered persons, objects, and allegorical figures illustrate the mounting British-American discord in early 1774 after the virulent protests?including the Boston Tea Party against the Tea Act of 1773. (The viewer's perspective is from the north southward: Britain at left and America at right).
British officials and others in Great Britain (left of image, from right to left):
1. Lord N--th. Lord North [Prime Minister], holding out a sword and a chain toward America, says, "We must manage this business with a great deal of Art [skill/finesse]; Or I see we shall not succeed."
2. Lord B--te. Bute [former Prime Minister, from Scotland], wearing a waistcoat of plaid, says "God's curse, Mon, ye mon act wie meikle Spirit upon this occasion, or ane's lost I assure ye."
3. An East India [Company] Director says "I wish we may be able to establish our Monopoly in America."
4. The infamous K?y says "Gov T?n [William Tryon, governor of new York] will cram the Tea down the Throat of the New Yorkers." Dr. John Kearsley, Jr., of Philadelphia, was an outspoken Loyalist. . . . In August 1775 Kearsley was mobbed after firing his pistol from his window at a mob hauling Isaac hunt in a cart through the streets of the city. The associators, angered by Hunt, a lawyer, for defying the authority of the Committee of Safety, determined to make an example of him; but on Kearsley's intervention, Hunt was set free and Kearsley put in his place.
5. Belzebub, the Prince of Devils, whispering to K--y," Speak in favor of ye [the] Scheme Now's the time to push your fortune."
6. The writer of the Papers (signed Poplicola) in favor of the Tea who is dressed in clerical gown and bands, gestures toward No. 7, saying "I have prostituted my reason and my Conscience to serve You, and am therefore entitled to some reward." Poplicola was the name signed to three articles appearing in Rivington's New York Gazetteer, November 18, December 2 and 23, and republished as pamphlets, attempting to defend the government and the East India Company. . . . [see excerpts, pp. 6-7 of this compilation]
7. The Chairman of the India Company replies "If we had succeeded, you should have been provided for." Standing behind the Director are:
8. A Group of India Directors, who say to one another, "We have just now received the disagreeable intelligence [news] that the Bostonians have destroyed the Tea"; "and that the Philadelphians have compel'd the Ship for their Port to return with the Tea"; "and likewise that the People of New York, are determined to act in the same spirited manner." . . .
9. The Patriotic Duke of Richmond [sympathetic to Americans' grievances] standing in the background, observes "Had my advice been follow'd, you would not have met with this loss and disappointment." At the feet of this group are several boxes of tea. One, labeled "Tea for America" has resting on it a paper inscribed, "Plan for an India Warehouse in America." Nearby are three boxes labeled "Tea from America." Above this group on the banks of the Thames [River in London], are two allegorical figures.
10. The Genius of Britain" asks "Britannia why so much distress'd"; to which
11. Britannia replies, "The conduct of those my degenerate Sons will break my Heart." In contrast to the grief-stricken Britannia, and the ship From Philadelphia just entering the Thames, is the scene on the other side of the ocean [America].
12. America represented by a Woman is an Indian queen, with drawn bow about to loose an arrow at Lord North.
Behind her are six Indian warriors. They are:
13. The Sons of Liberty, represented by the Natives of America, in their savage garb. They emerge from the forest, armed with bows and spears, saying "We will secure our freedom, or die in the Attempt": " Lead us to Liberty or Death"; "Lead on, Lead on." Above them the shores of America stretch out from Boston to the Delaware. Seated in comfort on these shores, holding a liberty cap on her staff, a tabby cat curled somewhat incongruously at her feet, is:
14. The Goddess of Liberty, addressing herself to Fame and pointing To her Sons, saying proudly "Behold the Ardor of my Sons and let not their brave Actions be buried in Oblivion."
15. Fame, resting on a cloud and holding a trumpet and laurel wreath, replies "I will trumpet their Noble Deeds, from Pole to Pole."
16. A View of the Tea Ships in the Harbour of Boston
17. Capt. Loring's Vessel with the Tea, Shipwrecked on Cape Cod [Massachusetts]. The Boston letter of Dec. 27 to the Pennsylvania Gazette reported the wreck, adding "We have not yet heard what has become of the detested Tea." Two weeks later, it was reported that the tea had been brought to the Castle [Castle William, a British fort on an island in Boston harbor] by order of the Customs officials. The letter added, "It is reported that the Tea
Consignees had better have had a Millstone tied round their necks, than suffered [allowed] the Tea, saved out of the Wreck of Capt. Loring, to be landed at the Castle."
18. A Group of Disappointed Americans, who were for landing the Tea; in hopes of sharing in the Plunder of their Country. These eight figures in the foreground wear mourning crepes on their hats.
- The first, at the left laments, "The People have discovered our design to divide them, & we shall never be able to regain their confidence."
- Next to him stands a two-faced man, saying, "I am ready to die with grief and vexation, at our Disappointment, As it will blast my hopes of preferment."
- The third man exclaims, "Damn the Bostonians, they have been a great means of frustrating our design." Finally there are a group of four.
- The first says, "We must now make a Virtue of necessity & join against landing the Tea."
- His companion answers, "I approve of your Scheme as it will save appearances with the people who are easily deceived."
- "Agreed." "Agreed" say the last two.