Diogenes His Lantern Needs no More, An Honest Man Is Found! -- The Search Is O'er.: (GREELEY, ...

Diogenes His Lantern Needs no More, An Honest Man Is Found! -- The Search Is O'er.


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New York: N.P. Beers, 1865. Broadside. Folio (15" X 20"). Engraved by H.B. Hall. Very good to near fine. Exceptionally clean and attractive, with sharp, untrimmed edges and just the faintest bit of age toning. This handsome broadside is actually a Lincoln assassination piece that appears to have been altered into a Horace Greeley election broadside for the 1872 presidential election -- a fascinating oddity. In this superb stipple-point engraving, the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope (ca. 412bc - 323bc) is seated front and center, holding up a lantern and leaning against a large, laurel-draped oval portrait of Lincoln. (Diogenes is supposed to have carried a lantern during the day, searching in vain for an honest man.) Immediately behind Diogenes is the base of an enormous column, while in the background at upper left is the U.S. Capital building. The two-line caption "Diogenes His Lantern Needs No More, / An Honest Man Is Found! -- The Search Is O'er" runs across the blank lower margin. The oval portrait that Diogenes leans over is a fine head-and-shoulders portrait of the bewhiskered and bespectacled Greeley as he appeared in later years -- but when a strong light source is placed directly underneath this portrait the ghostly image of Lincoln shows through from beneath. Holzer, Boritt and Neely write about this broadside in their 1984 study "The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print." They note, "Lincoln's fabled honesty was at the core of a public image that endures to this day. Lincoln owed his election to the presidency in 1860 in no small part to this image, summed up in the political sobriquet invented for the campaign: 'Honest Abe, the Railsplitter of the West.' It connoted integrity and, implicitly, the American dream of the right to rise. By 1865, the year of his assassination, the Lincoln image had grown richer. Now he was also the Great Emancipator, the savior of the Union and the martyr of liberty. This post-assassination rendition of the search of the ancient Greek philosopher for an honest man indicates that Lincoln's integrity continued at the heart of what Americans saw in him." What we have here, then, is an assassination broadside turned campaign broadside. Whether this jerry-rigged Greeley campaign item is simply a "one up" crafted by a devout supporter, or was produced in any kind of quantity, is not known -- although further research might well determine this. The size of the Greeley portrait is so ideal, its cut and placement into the existing oval so precise, that the deception is not easily noticed. Possibly a quantity of unsold Beers Lincoln prints were discovered and an instant and exceptionally attractive Greeley campaign poster engineered in this fashion. This broadside obviously does not specifically state "Greeley for President," but its message -- that here is an honest man to trust -- is clearly intended to espouse Greeley as a worthy presidential candidate. It's also possible that this Lincoln mourning broadside was intended as a Greeley mourning broadside -- but Greeley's campaign and his death were so close together that this too might be impossible to verify. In 1872 Greeley participated in his one and only and absolutely disastrous presidential campaign, accepting the Liberal Republican nomination. Greeley's character was thoroughly raked over the coals, his defeat was enormous (he won only six states), his wife died shortly afterward and he lost control of the editorship of his beloved "New York Tribune." Greeley promptly went insane and, just as promptly, died. N° de ref. de la librería

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Título: Diogenes His Lantern Needs no More, An ...

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