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Volck, Adalbert John (1828-1912) Worship of the North

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00493.01 Author/Creator: Volck, Adalbert John (1828-1912) Place Written: s.l. Type: Print Date: circa 1880-1890 Pagination: 1 etching : b&w ; 26.2 x 34 cm.

Depicts Lincoln in front of an altar with a black idol sitting on a platform with the words "Chicago Platform" on it. A sheet hanging from the platform says "The end justifies the means." Shows a white person being sacrificed in front of it. Henry Ward Beecher is shown having just used the sacrificial knife, Charles Sumner bearing a torch, Horace Greeley swinging a censer that emits snakes, and General Benjamin Butler (Volck had a special enmity for Butler after he occupied Baltimore, Volck's hometown, in early 1861) kneeling in worship with a knapsack full of stolen money. Also shows General Henry Halleck, General Winfield Scott, General David Hunter, Governor John Andrews of Massachusetts, and Harriet Beecher Stowe looking on. Also has an idol statue of John Brown with a pike in the background. The altar has the words puritanism, atheism, rationalism, witch burning, socialism, spirit trapping, free love, and negro worship etched into its bricks. The words "Ego" are etched at the top of the image inside two shining suns, in a reference to Lincoln's inflated feeling of pride in his superiority over the South. Size in extent is for the mount. The actual size of the etching is 20.5 x 26.5 cm.

Adalbert John Volck was a dentist, political cartoonist, and a caricaturist who sympathized with the Southern cause. During the Civil War, Volck supported the Confederacy through his satirical political cartoons. He also smuggled drugs and medical supplies for the Confederate army, and served as a personal courier to President Jefferson Davis.

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