Political cartoon: MAGNA Britannia : her Colonies REDUC'D, ca. 1766
Library Company of...
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Library Company of Philadelphia

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The engraving depicts Britannia as a young woman, lying on a desolate shore, propped against a globe. A shield and spear lie on the ground beside her. Her arms and legs, each labeled as a major colonial center (New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia) have been hacked off and are strewn around. A tree stump stands on the shore, and three vessels are anchored in the distance.

The card is mounted on a sheet of paper. Inscribed on the paper, surrounding the card on all four sides, is a double line of red ink, as a frame. Written on the paper in red ink above the mounted card is the following: "NORTH AMERICA / November the First MDCCXV." Written below the card is the description: "The Original Print done in England on the back of a Message Card. The / Invention and for the use of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ESQ: LLD. Agent for / the Province of Pennsylvania in London."

The moral he wished to convey is "that the Colonies may be ruined, but that Britain would thereby be maimed."

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