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Rare and strikingly colorful, hand-colored lithograph of Tammany Hall, New York City, shown decorated for the 1868 National Convention of the Democratic Party. Printed by W.C. Rogers Co. for Joseph Shannon's Manual [of the Corporation of the City of New York] in 1868, the illustration shows the interior of the building masterfully festooned with flags, buntings, and banners of all kinds. Flag collectors Boleslaw & Marie-Louise D-O'trange Mastai owned a copy of this print, which is pictured in their landmark book "The Stars & The Stripes" (1973, Knopf, New York, p. 210). The Mastai book was the first major book on flag collecting. Although my former business partner wrote the catalogue for the Mastai sale, which took place at Sotheby's in 2002, I never had the opportunity to view the Mastai example. This is, in fact, the only copy of the print that I have ever held in my hands.

Established in 1789, Tammany Hall would grow to become the hub of the Democratic Party's political strength in New York City. It began as one of the chapter halls of something called the Tammany Society, a fraternal group with names and customs of Native American origin, first founded in Philadelphia in 1792. Tammany Hall was more politically driven than other chapters in the Tammany Society, however, and over time it emerged into its own entity. After 1829, it became the Manhattan affiliate of the Democratic Party, controlling most of the New York City elections until the 2nd quarter of the 20th century. Gaining the respect and support of immigrant workers, primarily among the Irish, Tammany Hall garnered heavy political capital.

The 1868 Democratic campaign for president was an unusual one. Horatio Seymour became the party nominee, but he was chosen under very unusual circumstances. He had been President Abraham Lincoln's most prominent Democratic Party opponent during the closing years of the Civil War. At the time when he was serving his second, non-consecutive term as governor of New York, the most populous state in the Union. Due to the unpopularity of the Democrats in post-Civil War America, however, it became next-to-impossible for the Democrats to secure the sort of political foothold necessary to win the White House. In 1868, several men sought the party's nomination, but none was a clearly agreed upon choice. So a compromise was made to select Seymour, who, at the time, was actually serving as Chairman of the National Convention at Tammany Hall.

Chosen basically by default, late in the process, it is hardly of great surprise why Seymour went on to lose the subsequent election to General Ulysses S. Grant, in a landslide. Beyond simply having been the highly respected Commander-in-Chief of the Army in the North, hero of Gettysburg and victor of the war, Grant also did well in the South where black men, who had obtained freedom, could now vote.

Active during the mid-late 19th century, William C. Rogers was a New York based lithographer. Joseph Shannon's served as the Clerk of the City of New York. It was the responsibility of the clerk to publish an annual almanac and fact book, entitled the "Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. Shannon's manual was one such version, less common than another issued by David Thomas Valentine, who served as clerk at other times during the same era.

Mounting: The gilded, lemon gold frame has silhouetted decoration and dates to the same period as the print. The parchment was hinged on 100% cotton rag mat, laid over archival foam core. A second piece of 100% cotton rag mat board was cut to size, then covered in 100% cotton, black in color, that was washed and treated to reduce and set the dye. This was used to sandwich the image and keep the parchment away from the glass, which is U.V. protective.

Condition: There is moderate toning, accompanied by minor edge tears, but this is a very rare print and it presents beautifully.
Primary Color: red, white, blue, gold
Earliest Date: 1868
Latest Date: 1868
For Sale Status: Sold
Price Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
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