The American rattle snake
Cartoon shows "American" snake, the emblem used by Americans as a device on their flag before the adoption of the stars and stripes, with two of three coils around units of British soldiers, commanded by Burgoyne and Cornwallis at time of their surrender. Gillray is lampooning the British war effort. The verse printed below the image reflects the widespread sympathy in England for the American cause.
Title from item.
Attributed to Gillray.
Trimmed within plate mark in places, but plate mark mostly extant.
Inscribed in ink, in the center and right coils of the snake: "Prisoners of war."
Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 5, no. 5973
Forms part of: British Cartoon Prints Collection (Library of Congress).
Published in: The American Revolution in drawings and prints; a checklist of 1765-1790 graphics in the Library of Congress / Compiled by Donald H. Cresswell, with a foreword by Sinclair H. Hitchings. Washington : [For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.], 1975, no. 812.
Published in: Eyes of the nation : A visual history of the United States / Vincent Virga, Curators of the Library of Congress, Alan Brinkley. New York : Knopf, 1997.
Exhibited: "Creating the United States" at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2009.
Exhibited: "Versailles and the American Revolution" at the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum and National Estate of Versailles, Versailles, France, July - October 2016.