Uncle Sam Whittling
Medium: Ink on illustration board
Dimensions: sheet: 8 × 7 in. (20.3 × 17.8 cm)
Illustration Citation: Date and place of publication not identified
Credit Line: Gift of Helen Farr Sloan, 1978
About: Considered America's first syndicated editorial cartoonist, Charles Nelan depicts an apparently do-nothing government in the person of a whittling Uncle Sam. Nelan's cartoons of Pennsylvania governor Samuel Pennypacker so infuriated him that the governor forced through a law that made it illegal to draw people (by which he meant politicians) as "beast, bird, fish, inset, or other inhuman animal." The law was not enforced, and was repealed in 1907, in response to press and public outrage.
Permalink to this object: