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Mocking Jeff Davis

 

Carte de visite by Ad. Loewenthal of Williamsburgh, N.Y. Copyright 2015 by Gary Bart, all rights reserved.
Carte de visite by Ad. Loewenthal of Williamsburgh, N.Y. Copyright 2015 by Gary Bart, all rights reserved.

Northern artists mocked Jefferson Davis after he was captured on May 10, 1865, wearing his wife’s overcoat. The Confederate president had thrown the garment over his shoulders in haste as he attempted to evade Union cavalrymen who had surrounded his camp at Irwinville, Ga. Almost overnight, wildly exaggerated depictions of Davis fleeing in woman’s clothes circuited across the Union in newspapers, prints and photographs. An unidentified New Yorker posed for this provocative portrait during this time. A tax stamp on the back of the mount dates it to June 11, 1865—a month after the capture of Davis.

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