The Colony & Early Republic

The provocative events resulting in the American Revolution and the establishment of a new republic provided fertile ground for caricaturists on both sides of the Atlantic. This section contains works by three well known artists, Paul Revere, William Humphreys and William Charles, as well as a pair of anonymous works that depict the depth of feeling generated by the Stamp Act, 1765-1766.

The BLOODY MASSACRE Perpetrated in King Street, BOSTON on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th REG

Although Paul Revere (1735-1818), patriot, is best known for his ability as a silversmith, he was also a highly skilled copper engraver. He employed this talent to create a variety of documents including money, calling cards, and illustrations such as The Bloody Massacre. Like many engravers of the period, Revere used the drawings of other artists for his work and in this instance he utilized a drawing by Henry Pelham (1749-1806). Pelham complains to his half brother, John Singleton Copley, in a letter dated March 29, 1770 that Revere copied his plate. Pelham, an engraver and miniature portrait painter, was a Loyalist who returned to England in 1776. Given Revere's anti-British rendering of the illustration it is no wonder that Pelham was displeased. HIGH QUALITY IMAGES OF THIS CARTOON ARE FORTHCOMING!


William Charles (1776-1820) worked as a caricaturist for the publisher Thomas Tegg, a London bookseller specializing in cheap reprints, abridgements and remainders, and S. W. Fores, who leased folios of caricatures to interested parties by the evening. He emigrated to America in 1806 as a consequence of prosecution over his caricatures of British magistrates. The majority of his early and political work, such as PROPERTY PROTECTED a la Francoise is either anonymous or signed Ansell or Argus. HIGH QUALITY IMAGES OF THIS CARTOON ARE FORTHCOMING!

The Tombstone

An anoymously created work about the Stamp Act, entitled The Tombstone.

THE REPEAL. Or the Funeral Procession of MISS AMERIC-STAMP

An anoymously created work about the Stamp Act, entitled, THE REPEAL. Or the Funeral Procession of MISS AMERIC-STAMP. Note that some of the same figures from The Tombstone reappear in The REPEAL.


William Humphrey[s] (1740?-1810?) was an English print maker and engraver who excelled in mezzotint portraits. An elder brother of Hannah Humphrey, a London bookseller who distributed the work of James Gillray (1756-1815), Humphrey[s] produced etchings a nd stipple engravings which frequently are based on the drawings of other artists. A collector of prints and portraits himself, Humphrey became an agent for many of the great private collections being developed at this time. He created THE TEA-TAX Tempest, or OLD TIME with HIS MAGIC LATHERN.

The Colony & Early Republic