Patriotic broadsheet of American presidents, produced at the dawn of the Civil War by an icon in the NYC printing industry.

The Presidents of our Great Republic.


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Cartographer(s): Charles Magnus
Date: 1861
Place: New York
Dimensions: 21.5 x 12.5 cm (8 x 5 in)
Condition Rating: VG+


A lovely lithographed broadside celebrating the sixteen presidents of the United States up until that point. Each president is represented by a well-executed engraved portrait in a small oval that also includes the president’s name and the years of his presidency.

The portraits surround a central depiction of the White House and the phrase The Presidents of our Great Republic. Immediately above and below the gorgeous vignette of the White House, we find the presidential “book-ends” in the form of General Washington (above) and Abraham Lincoln (below). The latter had only just been elected when this sheet was designed and published.

Issued in New York City in 1861, this broadsheet was one in a series of romantic and patriotic sheets produced throughout the 1850s and 1860s. Neatline’s example is nevertheless particularly interesting as a gauge of national sentiment because it dates to the same year that the Civil War kicked off and Abraham Lincoln was elected president.



A range of presidential sheets and broadsides were produced by different lithographic companies in the 1850s and 1860s. The OCLC nevertheless only records a single example of this particular sheet in the Library of Congress (no. 51142068).


Charles Magnus

Charles Magnus (16 March 1826 – 3 May 1900) was a crucial figure in the New York printing industry during the 19th century. A pioneering entrepreneur, Magnus gained recognition for producing vibrant lithographs showcasing everything from urban landscapes and song sheets to maps, bird’s eye views, and other patriotic artwork. Much of his output was used in everyday items like stationery, but he generally produced many forms of printed matter.

In addition to his role as printer and publisher, Magnus was a keen and competent colonist. As a New Yorker, Magnus was patriotic, and the impact of his output was especially notable during the four years of the American Civil War.

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