This is a very scarce original, early multi-color-imprinted Civil War Handbill, contemporary with the momentous fall of Richmond, Virginia on April 3, 1865, heralding the end of the Civil War. Documented in the Library of Congress this novel imprint features an Elephant holding a banner in it's trunk and tail announcing. The Elephant is draped with a second banner announcing. We Celebrate TH[E] FALL OF RICHMOND April 3d, 1865.
This 4 1/2 by 7 1/4 inch handbill was handcut, and is a rare, iconic image celebrating the final days of the Civil War. The Elephant Image featured in this Handbill provides a glimpse into the evolution of American poltical history. This is among the earliest documented uses of the Elephant symbol in Americana, which use is accepted as arising during the Civil War (well after the 1854 founding of the Republican party). Elephant was first featured as a Republican symbol in at least one political cartoon and a newspaper illustration during the Civil War--when seeing the elephant was an expression used by soldiers to mean experiencing combat. The elephant later took hold as a familiar GOP symbol when Thomas Nast (father of the modern political cartoon) used it in an 1874 Harpers Weekly cartoon (Titled The Third-Term Panic).
Nast employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880 other cartoonists were using the Elephant to symbolize the Republican party. The condition of this rare ephemera is overall excellent, with minor damage in the upper right hand corner easily mended, but otherwise near perfect, never mounted or repaired/modified. The item "RARE CIVIL WAR HANDBILL CELEBRATING THE FALL OF RICHMOND-EARLY ELEPHANT SYMBOL" is in sale since Sunday, July 1, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Documents". The seller is "papertreasures747" and is located in Maple Valley, Washington.
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