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Political "Blondins" Crossing Salt River

Political "Blondins" Crossing Salt River
Artist
Currier & Ives Lithography Company, active 1857 - 1907
Sitter
Abraham Lincoln, 12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865
Stephen Arnold Douglas, 23 Apr 1813 - 3 Jun 1861
James Buchanan, 21 Apr 1791 - 1 Jun 1868
John Cabell Breckinridge, 15 Jan 1821 - 17 May 1875
John Bell, 18 Feb 1796 - 10 Sep 1869
Edward Everett, 11 Apr 1794 - 15 Jan 1865
Horace Greeley, 3 Feb 1811 - 29 Nov 1872
Date
1860
Type
Print
Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 27 x 42.2 cm (10 5/8 x 16 5/8")
Sheet: 34.3 x 46 cm (13 1/2 x 18 1/8")
Mat: 55.9 × 71.1 cm (22 × 28")
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Equipment\Rope
Nature & Environment\Rock
Architecture\Bridge
John Bell: Male
John Bell: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
John Bell: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate
John Bell: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of War
John Bell: Politics and Government\US Senator\Tennessee
John Bell: Politics and Government\State Senator\Tennessee
Horace Greeley: Male
Horace Greeley: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate
Horace Greeley: Communications\Publisher\Magazine
Horace Greeley: Communications\Publisher\Newspaper
Horace Greeley: Communications\Journalist\Reporter\Newspaper
Horace Greeley: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Male
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Politics and Government\US Senator\Illinois
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Illinois
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Illinois
Stephen Arnold Douglas: Law and Law Enforcement\Judge\Justice\State Supreme Court Justice\Illinois
James Buchanan: Male
James Buchanan: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Pennsylvania
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\President of US
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of State
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister
James Buchanan: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Pennsylvania
John Cabell Breckinridge: Male
John Cabell Breckinridge: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
John Cabell Breckinridge: Politics and Government\Presidential Candidate
John Cabell Breckinridge: Politics and Government\Vice-President of US
John Cabell Breckinridge: Military\Army\Officer\Civil War
John Cabell Breckinridge: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Executive\Railroad
John Cabell Breckinridge: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of War\Confederate Secretary of War
John Cabell Breckinridge: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Kentucky
John Cabell Breckinridge: Politics and Government\US Senator\Kentucky
Edward Everett: Male
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\Statesman
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Massachusetts
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\Governor\Massachusetts
Edward Everett: Education\Educator\Lecturer
Edward Everett: Education\Administrator\University\President
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\Cabinet Member\Secretary of State
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister
Edward Everett: Religion and Spirituality\Clergy\Minister
Edward Everett: Politics and Government\US Senator\Massachusetts
Abraham Lincoln: Male
Abraham Lincoln: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Abraham Lincoln: Military\Soldier
Abraham Lincoln: Politics and Government\President of US
Abraham Lincoln: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Environmentalist
Abraham Lincoln: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Merchant
Abraham Lincoln: Politics and Government\US Congressman\Illinois
Abraham Lincoln: Politics and Government\Government Official\Surveyor
Abraham Lincoln: Politics and Government\State Senator\Illinois
Abraham Lincoln: Politics and Government\Government Official\Postmaster
Abraham Lincoln: Crafts and Trades\Boat builder
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.85.149
Exhibition Label
The polarizing issue of slavery and its extension into the West is the crux of this political cartoon depicting the presidential candidates in 1860. In their attempts to cross “Salt River,” Abraham Lincoln teeters on a rail balanced by the abolitionist Horace Greeley. Stephen Douglas, the champion of popular sovereignty, a doctrine that lets voters decide their region’s political and economic destiny, is falling off of the “Non Intervention” rope, while President James Buchanan carries John C. Breckenridge across the rope labeled “Slavery Extension.” John Bell and his running mate, Edward Everett, stand on the “Constitutional Bridge,” proclaiming that it is “the only structure that connects these two shores [North and South] in an indissoluble bond of union.”
The name “Blondins” in the title refers to the Frenchman Charles Blondin, who created a sensation in the summer of 1859 when he crossed the Niagara River repeatedly on a tightrope.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery