Drawn and Quartered: Political Cartoons from the Collection

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is celebrating our nation’s lively political discourse with a special document display, Drawn & Quartered, featuring a selection of our most interesting and entertaining political cartoons – many produced by masters of American political cartooning. The display highlights cartoons spanning the late 1700s to 1923 – from our nation’s founding through the Progressive Era. These cartoons cover a range of topics and political themes, including the struggles of the colonial United States, the Civil War, and local Philadelphia politics. Many of the cartoons portray well-known public figures while others will depict abstract forces or generic characters, such as a “drunkard” or ethnic stereotypes. Reflecting the evolution of the political cartoon genre, the selected cartoons encompass a variety of visual styles, ranging from intricate scenes with a great deal of text to stark images with few or no words.