Oppression!! Suppressing the Press

Oppression!! Suppressing the press


Title: Oppression!! Suppressing the press

Description: An extremely crude and somewhat obscure satire on Union general Ambrose E. Burnside’s controversial suspension of the Chicago “Times” because of “disloyal and incendiary statements.” The anti-Lincoln paper was temporarily closed by order of Burnside, the military commander of the Department of the Ohio, in June 1863. This order was quickly rescinded by President Lincoln. Nichols’s satire is crowded and confusing. Burnside stands in the center in a tattered uniform stamped repeatedly “Chicago Times.” A gavel or mallet rests on his head. A ragged black officer “Chief of Staff” stands beside him asking, “Wah! Brudder what dat on your head an back an what you doing here?” Burnside replies, “Well “Alias” I’ve been prowling about here and stole the Cock of the walk, then I went into the Times Ofice to get some pie (pi) and their devil [i.e., printer’s devil or apprentice?] scratched and tore me and left his mark all over my back. Then Drummond put this injuntion on my head and told me to stand here and look at this goddess a spell [i.e., the figure of Civil Justice who appears at left] and it rather skeers me.” At left is the goddess of Civil Justice holding a sword marked “Civil Liberty First” and scales. She stands on a large book inscribed “Drummond’s State Platform.” Behind her is a telegraph line which flashes the words “Back out Ambrose–A. Lincoln.” Several onlookers are also present. One (far right) shouts, “Hurah,” as a newsboy carrying the Chicago “Times” rushes up announcing, “Eres the Times Morning Edition. dugham-stealers got Injunctioned.” The print must have appeared in the midst of the “Times” controversy, as the Library’s impression was deposited for copyright on June 30, 1863.

URL: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b35985