“COMPARE THE LENGTH OF THE RED AND BLUE LINES IN EACH COLUMN”: SCARCE 1861 BROADSIDE COMPARISON OF FREE AND SLAVE STATES
BATCHELDER, John M. Comparison of Products, Population, and Resources of the Free and Slave States. Cambridge: Welch, Bigelow, 1861. Large broadside (14 by 22 inches), printed in black, red and blue; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 22 by 31 inches. $2200.
Original large broadside red and blue bar-graph comparing the resources of North and South at the outset of the Civil War, with a small wood-engraved vignette of Peter Hart restoring the flag at Fort Sumter.
Graphic representation of the growing sectionalism that was dividing the nation during the late antebellum years began with William Reynolds’ Political Map of the United States (1856). Designed to portray and compare the areas of free and slave states, it included tables of statistics for each of the states from the 1850 census. Shortly after April 13, 1861 (the date of the Battle of Fort Sumter), John M. Batchelder, a telegraph engineer and inventor from Cambridge, Massachusetts, used the bar-graphs here to make a similar comparison, also based on the 1850 census. This striking broadside contrasts the statistical differences between the free and slave states, now at war, on a scale of 100, including illiterate white adults (free, 50; slave, 100), enrolled militia (free, 100; slave, 58), miles of railroads (free, 100; slave, 38) and miles of canals (free, 100; slave, 29). A wood-engraved vignette in the heading depicts Sergeant Peter Hart’s heroic act during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, when the fort’s flag-staff was “shot off near the peak, and, with the flag, fell among the gleaming cinders. Lieutenant Hall rescued the precious bunting before it took fire. Peter Hart carried it, with the piece of the staff, and fastened it, where the soiled banner was kept flying defiantly” (Harper & Brother, United States History). Library Company, Afro-Americana, 1533-1906, 959.
Three faint horizontal fold lines, expert repairs to two chips in left margin, not affecting text. Near-fine, bright and fresh. A splendid Civil War broadside. Scarce.