Columbia Confronts the President

Columbia Confronts the President

Title: Columbia Confronts the President

Year: 1863

Creator: Harpers Weekly

Description: Political cartoons attacking his efficacy as president were a prevalent theme in the North during the Civil War. One cartoon, entitled “Columbia Confronts the President,” captures this sentiment perfectly. In the cartoon, Lincoln is shown standing in front of the United States War Department looking mournful. Columbia, the precursor to Uncle Sam in many political cartoons during this period, is scolding the president.
In the caption, Lincoln exclaims, “This reminds me of a little joke.” Columbia retorts “Go tell your joke at Springfield.” This cartoon reflects Lincoln’s infamous habit to relate present-day troubles to childhood anecdotes from Kentucky. Printed in January 1863, soon after the bloodiest battle of the war at Antietam, it reflects the sense of frustration that many Northerners felt with the costs of the war in human lives.