Political cartoon: Political Electricity, or An Historical & Prophetical Print in the Year 1770, (1770)
Photo courtesy of the...
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Photo courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society

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The copperplate engraving, entitled "Political Electricity, or An Historical and Prophetical Print in the Year 1770," bears a collage of over two dozen humorous images of varied sizes, all referring to current political events and public figures. They are linked by a current of "electrical fire," and include an image of Franklin flying the kite that had already become an icon. The cartoon is opposed to the current governmental administration, especially to its Prime Minister, Lord Bute; it warns of the ominous results of continued activity of the government, and shows itself in general support of the Noth American colonies. Below the images are explanations of them.
The author, Sir Richard Whitworth, who signed himself "Veridicus" ("speaker of truth"), was an ardent supporter of political and economic change in Britain.
Consult the excellent explication of the cartoon by James Delbourgo on the website www.commonplace.org, vol. 5, no. 1, October, 2004.
Connection to Franklin
Images are linked by references to Franklin's kite
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