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Famous "Unite Or Die" engraving in the masthead...

Item # 677502

December 07, 1774


* Benjamin Franklin's "Unite Or Die" cartoon

If there was one graphic which represented the spirit of the Revolutionary War it would have to be the ubiquitous segmented snake with the famous "Unite Or Die" caption. 
The engraving, a prominent device in the masthead of this newspaper, shows a snake cut into various pieces, each with a label of a colony with the implied message that only by each of the separate colonies uniting under a single cause could the country--the snake--hope to strike back & be successful in defeating the British.
Ben Franklin is credited with creating this device, considered the very first political cartoon when he used it in his Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754 to rally the colonies to unite during the advent of the French & Indian War. It would become a symbol of colonial freedom during the Revolutionary War. This engraving is found in most history books, but very rarely is such an edition of the Pennsylvania Journal found & offered to the collector market.
The ftpg. has a note from London: "...that the Court have offered the command of the troops in America to Sir William Draper in consequence of his connections in New York; but it is not yet determined whether he will be invested with the command or not: but all are now discontented with the conduct of General Gage."
Another ftpg. bit includes: "The state or importance of the American colonies is so little understood or regarded by the cunning people at the West end of the town that I am told they have universally agreed that if all our settlements there were at the bottom of the sea, it would be much better for England...It behooves every Englishman to endeavour to promote the welfare of the Americans, since on that our own have such a great dependence." Also another interesting item: "By his time the Americans know their fate: That General Gage had...orders to prevent the congress at any rate, and to take those deputed into custody. If these orders were executed, it must either set all America in a flame, or damp the small fire of liberty that existed."
Page 2 has a nice items concerning the Coercive Acts with American content on page 3 as well including one bit: "...as they convey the sense of the worthy FREEMEN of America against those oppressive measures adopted by a tyrannic ministry: success attend your worthy Countrymen--and may the assassins who attempt to invade the smallest part of the American constitution experience the punishment allotted to traitors...May the brave Americans rise superior to all their unmerited oppressions & may they triumph over all their enemies!..." with more.
Four pages, a few editor's marks near the margins of pages 1 and 2, nice condition. An exceedingly rare opportunity for a most desirable, displayable, and rare newspaper.

Category: Revolutionary War