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Abraham Lincoln Civil War Caricature

May 24, 1862

From Lincoln in Caricature by Rufus Rockwell Wilson

 The cartoon, The New Orleans Plum, which appeared in London Punch on May 25, 1861, was suggested by the capture the preceding month of New Orleans by Union naval and land forces under Farragut. The artist borrowing from an old nursery tale, shows Lincoln seated in a corner and plucking a plum from the generous pudding in his lap. Possibly for fear that his caricature might not be perfectly clear to the British mind he appended to it these informing words: “Big Lincoln, up in a corner, thinking of humble pie, found under his thumb a New Orleans plum and said ‘What a cute Yankee am I.’

 The capture of New Orleans, a city of 168,000 and the largest seaport of the South, was the first great naval victory of the war, and made Farragut, a native of the South who had remained loyal to the Union cause, a master and directing spirit in all major operations at sea during the remainder of the conflict. Mr. Lincoln at once advanced him to the rank of rear admiral, and thereafter gave him his confidence in full and unstinted measure. And the President made no mistake in honoring and trusting Farragut, for the latter’s capture of New Orleans was an event of present and future import in a troubled period. A little more than a year later after a long and stubborn siege a Union army under Grant and Sherman, aided by Farragut and his fleet, compelled the surrender of Vicksburg, sundering the Confederacy in twain, and in another month a President, confident of the future, could write old friends in Springfield: “The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea.”

Price: $55

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