EPITAPH ON THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. HERE LIE THE MUTILATED AND DISJOINTED REMAINS OF THE NOBLEST FORM OF GOVERNMENT....

Charleston: Evans & Cogswell, [late 1860 or early 1861]. Printed broadside with black mourning border, 19 x 12 inches. Old folds, some rubbing, minor soiling and staining. Small portion clipped from the upper left edge, not affecting any text. Short tape repair to verso. Overall very good. Item #WRCAM54903

A remarkable broadside - both satirical and mournful - published by Evans & Cogswell, the Charleston printers who had printed the South Carolina secession ordinance in December 1860. The top line of the broadside reads, "Printed for distribution amongst their friends by Evans & Cogswell, No. 3 Broad and 103 East Bay Ste., Charleston, S. C." Evans & Cogswell printed the South Carolina secession ordinance on either December 18 or 19, 1860, and by the next day, the CHARLESTON MERCURY printed the famous newspaper extra that screamed, "The Union is Dissolved!" The present broadside was produced in the wake of secession and printed in either late December or in the early weeks of 1861, though the exact timing of the printing of the broadside is ultimately unclear. The lack of specific language that other southern states have seceded, and the fact that the text twice quotes the election date of Abraham Lincoln as a specific bone of contention supports the notion that this broadside was produced contemporaneously with South Carolina's secession. Despite the exact date of its publication, the text of the broadside clearly and boldly supports secession. Here, in a remarkable string of prose highlighted periodically with rousing statements in bold, Evans & Cogswell eulogize the former glory of the Union and her heroes, such as Washington, Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Clay, and Daniel Webster. Lincoln's election "finally Dissolved the Bands of the Confederacy, And left the honored remains upon the bank and shoal of Time, the sport of the whirlwind and the storm." Secession is couched as the necessary result of the "Long, Dark Catalogue of Wrongs On the part of the Northern, or non-slaveholding States, against their gallant, high-spirited, but unoffending brethren of the South who so largely helped to found the Republic, and so largely contributed to its renown...." The text accuses the North of trying "first to abolish, with piratical and fratricidal hand, the domestic Institutions of the south, and then to ELEVATE THE NEGRO RACE TO AN EQUALITY with the Free White Inhabitants of the Country." The present broadside takes particular aim at a "Government of Black Men," being the chief ill of the social ties between two races "never designed by Providence to live together." Every argument for secession is here laid plain, and the call to strike up the "Requiem of the Republic" is issued. Another edition of this broadside was produced by Harper & Calvo in Charleston around the same time. Subsequent editions of this broadside were printed in St. Louis and by Thayer & Co. in Boston. "A copy of a different printing of this item (St. Louis, 1861) at the Confederate Museum, Richmond, bears a manuscript note attributing its authorship to J.W. Tucker. It is probable that Tucker was responsible for the publication of it in St. Louis but was not its author" - Parrish & Willingham. A striking display piece, one of the earliest of all Confederate imprints, and produced by the first printers of the Confederacy. PARRISH & WILLINGHAM 5372 (6 copies). HUMMEL 2445. TURNBULL III:302. SABIN 87822.

Price: $5,750.00

Epitaph for the Union from the First Printers of the Confederacy