Untitled political cartoon: Civil unrest in Pennsylvania, 1764
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Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania

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The etching follows an accepted format for English political and social caricature: recognizable figures in action in an elaborate landscape, the use of objects or animals in place of men whose names would make them identifiable (like Black, or Fox, or Wood), and a caption beneath in the form of rhyming verses, or texts rising in ribbons from the mouths of characters.

Franklin as the "help at hand," who is being accused of helping himself, stands along the left margin, with a fox hiding between his legs (Joseph Fox, representing the Quaker association that had dealt peaceably with the Indians and thus, according to frontier settlers, encouraged atrocities). Israel Pemberton, a wealthy Quaker merchant accused of gaining from the labors of Indians, Germans and Scots-Irish, rides the Hibernian and leads the others.

Beneath the image is the caption in couplets:

The German bleeds & bears ye Furs/Of Quaker Lords & savage Curs/Th'Hibernian frets with new Disaster/And kicks to fling his broad brim'd Master/But help at hand [Franklin] Resolves to hold down/Th'Hibernian's Head or tumble all down."

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