8 This woodcut, cartoon, created by Benjamin Franklin, was published in his newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, on May 9, 1754. It accompanied Franklin’s editorial about the “disunited state” of the colonies on the eve of the French and Indian War, and helped make his point about the need for unity. It plays on the superstition that a snake that had been cut into nine pieces would come back to life if the pieces were put back together before sunset. The cartoon was reprinted widely, and used again, more that twenty years later, during the Revolutionary War. Source: The Library Company of Philadelphia.
20 A protest against the Stamp Act from newspaper editor William Bradford, publisher of The Pennsylvania Journal and Weekly Advertiser. Bradford decorated his masthead with skull and crossbones, reproduced a satiric version of “the fatal Stamp,” also with skull and crossbones, and included the note, “The TIMES are Dreadful, Dismal, Doleful, Dolorous, and Dollar-less.” The text is an open letter from Bradford to his readers.
41 Ignoring the Olive Branch Petition from the Continental Congress, on August 23, 1775, King George III issued this Proclamation, declaring the colonies stood in open rebellion to his authority and were subject to severe penalty, as was any British subject who failed to report the knowledge of rebellion or conspiracy. This document literally transformed loyal subjects into traitorous rebels.
44 British soldiers fire upon Massachusetts militia at Lexington, the first of four hand-colored engravings included in Amos Doolittle’s View of the Battle of Lexington and Concord (1775). It is the only contemporary pictorial record of the events of April 19, 1775, from an American point of view. Doolittle, a Connecticut silversmith, traveled to the site of the conflict in the weeks afterward, and his engravings are based on first-hand observation. Important buildings, individuals, or groups of people are keyed to a legend that explains what is happening. Doolittle intended his prints to be informative in the same sense as a photograph in a modern newspaper.