Union Patriotic Envelope No. 2 Cotton Is King!

Made:
1861-1861
maker:
Stimpson & Company

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

One envelope, published by Stimpson & Co in New York in 1861, at the start of the American Civil War. Both the northern Union and southern Confederate states published illustrated envelopes from the 1850s, as political propaganda to sway support in their favour. In the Union states, slavery was a common theme as they sought to abolish it, whereas the Confederates wanted it preserved. Over 4,100 different envelope designs were produced, with versions published in most of the major cities, New York and Boston being the most prolific.

The envelope includes a verse, entitled 'Cotton is King!', and uses patriotic images to reinforce the poem. John Bull, the stereotypical Briton, is showing respect to a cotton bale whilst kneeling on a slave, a clear indication of his alleged priorities. John Bull also carries a paper with the word Manchester printed on it in his pocket.

American cotton grown by enslaved Africans was vital to Lancashire's cotton industry and the national economy, but many workers supported the abolition movement. During the Civil War, Union forces blockaded southern ports, preventing the export of raw slave-grown cotton. This action led to the "Lancashire cotton famine" of 1862-1863. Despite the effect on the local economy, many people in Manchester continued to support Abraham Lincoln and the Union states in the fight against slavery.

Details

Extent:
78
141
Identifier:
YA2001.353
Subject:
Textile Industry, Propaganda, Anti Slavery Movements
Access:
Access is given in accordance with the Science and Industry Museum's access policy. Material from this collection is available to researchers through the museum's Research Centre.
System of Arrangement: