Engraved Portrait of Jesse Read, Esq. P. G. S. of the Order of United Americans. Order of United Americans.
American Nativism Mingled with a Bit of American Religion

Engraved Portrait of Jesse Read, Esq. P. G. S. of the Order of United Americans

(New York): ca. 1845. Item #694

Folio.  300 x 215 mm., [12 x 8 ½ inches]; image size 140 x 108 mm., [5 ½ x 4 ¼ inches]. Wood engraving by Lossing & Barritt after a design by Samuel Wallin. Paper stock foxed, image clean and well executed.


 Jesse Read was a Brooklyn Alderman and a founder of the Order of United Americans, a nativist group that organized mechanics and laborers against Catholics and immigrants in general.  The Order was established in 1844 and by the 1850’s many of its organizing tactics were used by the Know Nothings which became a national political party before the Civil War.


 The portrait of Read was drawn by Samuel Wallin who was the principle artist working with Benjamin Lossing and his company Lossing & Barritt.  Wallin did thousands of portraits and sketches for Lossing and other New York publishers engaged in producing illustrated histories and biographies of American interest.  He signed his work with a very decorative “S W”.


 Accompanying the portrait of Reed is printed certificate for life-time membership in the New York Bible Society.  It reads in part, “This is to Certify That [in ms., Jesse Read] by virtue of [a contribution of Fifteen Dollars] made by [himself] is a Life Member of the New York Bible Society. New York [Nov. 5th, 1841]. [Signed: Alfred Edwards] Pres. [Saml B. Schieffelin] Treas. Attest [Jno. ?]. Text in full, surmounted by a 4" X 6" oval cut depicting a biblical scene. With integral blank leaf. Some spotty foxing. [New York: 1841].


 Hamilton, Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, I. pp. 169-171, 215; II pp. 110, 143. 

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Price: $250.00

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