Johnston was heavily influenced by political events, and based many of
his caricatures and lithographs on the current affairs of his time. The
burning of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, MA on Aug. 11, 1834, was
fueled by anti-catholic sentiment in New England. While living in Boston,
Johnston converted to Catholicism. After the burning of the convent, he
created this lithograph titled The Convent Committee, Better Known
as the Smelling Committee, which poked fun at the legislators of the
Know-Nothing Political Party. Click on each cartoon to enlarge.