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Congressional pugilists. Book illustration from Library of Congress

Congressional pugilists. Book illustration from Library of Congress



A crude portrayal of a fight on the floor of Congress between Vermont Representative Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold of Connecticut. The row was originally prompted by an insulting reference to Lyon on Griswold's part. The interior of Congress Hall is shown, with the Speaker Jonathan Dayton and Clerk Jonathan W. Condy (both seated), Chaplain Ashbel Green (in profile on the left), and several others looking on, as Griswold, armed with a cane, kicks Lyon, who grasps the former's arm and raises a pair of fireplace tongs to strike him. Below are the verses: "He in a trice struck Lyon thrice / Upon his head, enrag'd sir, / Who seiz'd the tongs to ease his wrongs, / And Griswold thus engag'd, sir."
Title appears as it is written on the item.
The Library has three states of the print. Dayton, Condy, and Green are identified by keyed references in the (plate) margins of the second and third states. In all three "Congress Hall, in Philada. Feb.15.1798" is inscribed in the lower right corner. In the second and third this is followed by "S.E.Cor.6th & Chesnut St." In the third only, the number 17 appears in the upper right. Weitenkampf lists four states, some of which (including two of the Library's impressions) appear to be later restrikes. The call numbers are: PC/US - 1798.A000, no. 1 (A size) (first state); PC/US - 1798.A000, no. 2 (A size) (second state) (dimensions 16.5 x 22.1 cm; PC/US - 1798.A000, no. 3 (A size) (third state) (dimensions 16.6 x 22.4 cm) (inscribed upper right "presented by M. New June 17th 1868."
Carson impression first state annotated by John McAllister.
Inscribed on original mat of Carson collection impression: This copy belonged to John McAllister, the antiquarian, given to his daughter Agnes Young McAllister. The writing is his. McAllister reprinted this plate, along with others by Birch, after Peale, etc., but this is the oldest copy I have found. MS Carson, April 24, 1943.
Fowble, no. 329.
Murrell, p. 43, 45.
Weitenkampf, p. 12.
PC/US - 1798 A000, no. 1a (1st state) (DLC/PP-2001:068)
Forms part of: American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)
Forms part of: Marian S. Carson Collection at the Library of Congress.
Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1798-1.
State 3 Exhibited: "Creating the United States", Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2010.
Carson impression Exhibited: "Creating the United States", Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2010-2011.

The Americana collection of Marian Sadtler Carson (1905-2004) spans the years 1656-1995 with the bulk of the material dating from 1700 to 1876. The collection includes more than 10,000 historical letters and manuscripts, broadsides, photographs, prints and drawings, books and pamphlets, maps, and printed ephemera from the colonial era through the 1876 centennial of the United States. It is believed to be the most extensive existing private collection of early Americana. The collection includes such important and diverse historical treasures as unpublished papers of Revolutionary War figures and the Continental Congress; letters of several American presidents, including Thomas Jefferson; a manuscript account of the departure of the first Pony Express rider from St. Joseph, Mo.; and what may be the earliest photograph of a human face. Many of the rare books and pamphlets in the collection pertain to the early Congresses of the United States, augmenting the Library's unparalleled collection of political pamphlets and imprints. The Carson Collection adds to the Library's holdings the first presidential campaign biography, John Beckley's Address to the people of the United States with an Epitome and vindication of the Public Life and Character of Thomas Jefferson, published in Philadelphia in 1800. The book was written to counter numerous attacks against Jefferson's character, which appeared in newspapers and pamphlets during the bitter election campaign. The Rare Book and Special Collections Division shares custodial responsibility for the collection with the Library's Geography and Map Division, Music Division, Prints and Photographs Division, and the Manuscript Division.





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