American Political Cartoons

Jeff Sees the Elephant
AAS holds a comprehensive collection of political cartoons produced in the United States between 1764 and 1876. The collection holds over 600 examples of caricatures, satires, and political subjects (the European cartoons are housed separately). The political cartoons includes everything including very early cartoons relating to the establishment and operation of the federal government, slanderous depictions of local politicians and national leaders, Civil War era images, and negative depictions of social reformers and military leaders.


The Society’s collection can be thoroughly searched in the General Catalog with brief records for each cartoon, which include the artist’s name, the title, the publisher, date, and a short description of the image as well as links to digitized files for each cartoon.

An illustrated box list of the Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads features engraved American and British cartoons. Cartoons by the Boston-area artist David Claypoole Johnston may also be found in the David Claypoole Johnston Family Collection illustrated box list.

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