I.M. Enzing-Miller. “Historical Monument of our Country.”
United States: Copyright 1893, by Myers, Byrn & Crawford. 21 ¾ x 29 ¾ (image). Engraved by I. M. Enzing-Miller. Two tears in upper margin; one tear into image right hand side; two tears in bottom margin. All tears expertly repaired. Scuffing in bottom margin with lighter scuffing in top and side margins. Print has been professionally conserved. Otherwise, image is clean and bright.
A wonderful allegory chock-a-block full of images “From the History of our Country.” This print was initially issued in the midst of the Civil War and its purpose was clearly to present the glorious past of the United States as a graphic justification for the fight to preserve the country. There were at least three editions of this print and this example was published in 1893. This particular print depicts fifteen presidents where earlier examples show fourteen.
The base of U.S. history is rendered as the discoveries of Columbus–dated 1492 and with the explorer receiving the submission of Native Americans wearing the headdresses of the Plains Indians–and the Vikings–dated 1000 and depicted being shown the grapes from which they named Vinland. Just above is a line of early settlers, from the Pilgrims to a frontier family living in a hide hut. Above and to the right are scenes from the American Revolution, including a rather graphic image of the American Eagle ravaging the British Lion and Unicorn. In the upper left is a scene showing the growth and prosperity of the nation, with vast lands stretching off into the distance, a city on a river crowded with ships, and locomotives steaming by, while above this flies and American flag.
The entire image is crowned by a pyramid mirroring the Acropolis, faced with the shields of the states of the union, and upon which stands a line of fifteen Presidents, at the head of which Washington holds a hand on the Constitution, while covering his heart with his other hand. Seated nearby is a figure holding the Declaration of Independence, and flying above are goddesses of Liberty and Justice. In the distance, behind the Presidents, is shown the Capitol surmounted by another large American flag.