Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 21

Price Realized: $ 2,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Senate Chamber U.S.A. Conclusion of Clay's Speech in Defence of Slavery. Lithograph, 12 x 10 1/4 inches; repaired 1-inch puncture in image area, moderate soiling and wrinkling, mount remnants on verso. Np, circa 1839

Additional Details

In the debate over slavery, one of the country's most popular politicians, Henry Clay, was infamous for attempting to play both sides. This cartoon skewers one of his 1839 speeches as he angled for another presidential nomination: "I consider Slavery as a Curse, a curse to the Master and a grievous wrong to the Slave," insisting he was "no friend to slavery." The cartoon imagines these words existing above the Mason-Dixon Line for northern audiences only, while below the line he admits that he owns 60 slaves and hopes to stall emancipation as long as possible. John Calhoun, the country's most prominent slavery advocate, shakes his hand and promises his support. Both men are carelessly stepping upon a prone enslaved man, who promises "Rejoice not against me O mine enemy when I fall; I shall arise." One other example traced at auction.