The Grave of the Union, or Major Jack Downing’s Dream


Title: The Grave of the Union, or Major Jack Downing’s Dream

Year: 1864

Creator: “Drawn by Zeke,” Lithograph, New York

Description: “The Grave of the Union or Major Jack Downing’s Dream drawn by Zeke”
This cartoon depicts Abraham Lincoln with some of his supporters and cabinet members as undertakers at the burial of caskets labeled “Constitution,” “Union,” “Free Speech & Free Pres,” as well as “Habeas Corpus.” Journalist Horace Greeley and Senator Charles Sumner bury the Constitution.
Greeley says, “I guess we’ll bury it so deep that it will never get up again.”
Lincoln watches with folded arms, asking, “Chase will it stay down?”
Beside him, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase responds, “. . . It must stay down. Or we shall all go up!”
A bonneted and bearded Gideon Wells exclaims, “O Dear. I wish it were all over!”
Abolitionist clergyman Henry Ward Beecher presides over the ceremony with a black child in his arms, praying, “Not thy will oh Lord! But mine be done.”
Above them Secretary of State William Seward, who has the legs and tail of a demon and holds a dagger, flies off crying, “If it were done, when ’tis done.”
Secretary of State Edward Stanton is shown driving a hearse “War Democracy” drawn by four horses with the heads of War Democrats (left to right): John Cochrane, Benjamin F. Butler, Thomas Francis Meagher, and Daniel S. Dickinson. Stanton says, “My jackasses had a load, but they pull’d it through bravely.”