Symbols of Peace in Political Drawings
America holds an olive branch in the above etching, "America Triumphant and Britannia in Distress," published in 1782. Its "Explanation" begins:
The below drawing was the frontispiece of The Columbian Magazine, or Monthly Miscellany published in America in 1789, seven years after the Great Seal was created.
America, a young woman, is enjoying the benefits of education. By her side is her shield with the Great Seal on it. Her staff and liberty cap lean against a tree behind her. She sits in the shade of a palm tree with books, a globe, a cornucopia, and bow and arrows.
A god holding a lyre points to the statue of Fame atop a temple and says:
"America! with Peace and Freedom blest,
Below is C. W. Peale's illustration (detail) for the title page for the January 1790 The Universal Asylum and Columbian Magazine. With her shield bearing the Great Seal at her side, America is surrounded by symbols the prosperity of peace, culture and trade.
Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
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Author and webwright: John D. MacArthur