• Author: T. H. Matteson, Engraved by H. S. Sadd
  • Date: 1852
  • Medium: Steel Engraving
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Inches: 27 x 21 1/2
  • Centimeters: 69.23 x 55.13
  • Price: $3,500.00

Union, illustrated by Tomkins Harrison Matteson and engraved by Henry S. Sadd in 1852, celebrated and eulogized recent legislative efforts, most notably the Compromise of 1850, to preserve the Union. Also, the work is in some respects a memorial to the triumvirate of senior American legislators: Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, who all appear in the center of the group. Interestingly, though it serves as a commemoration of Compromise of 1850, its chosen imagery is arguably faulty; John Calhoun, the central standing figure, opposed the compromise and died before its passage, whereas key figures in the legislative battle for its acceptance, such as Senator James M. Mason of Virginia, are not shown here at all. This may have been decided in the interest of wider appeal.

The figures pictured here are (front row, left to right): Winfield Scott, Lewis Cass, Henry Clay, John Calhoun, Daniel Webster, and (holding a shield) Millard Fillmore. Calhoun and Webster stand with their hands resting on the Constitution. In the left background are (left to right): Speaker of the House Howell Cobb of Georgia, Virginia representative James McDowell, Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri, and former secretary of state John M. Clayton of Delaware. In the second row at right: Ohio senator Thomas Corwin, James Buchanan, Stephen A. Douglas, attorney general John J. Crittenden, and senators Sam Houston of Texas and Henry Foote of Mississippi. Behind, beneath a genius carrying a laurel branch and liberty staff, are senators Willie P. Mangum of North Carolina and W. R. King of Alabama. At far right, below an eagle, are Daniel S. Dickinson of New York, Supreme Court justice John McLean of Ohio, and senators John Bell of Tennessee and John C. Fremont of California. In the background curtains are drawn to reveal a gleaming temple with a colonnade surmounted by a large ball, a figure holding a liberty cap, and a phoenix.

Information courtesy of the Librabry of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004665352/).
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