Symbols of Peace in Political Drawings
After the Revolution
America holds an olive branch in the above etching, "America Triumphant and Britannia in Distress," published in 1782. Its "Explanation" begins:
"America sitting on that quarter of the globe with the Flag of the United States displayed over her head; holding in one hand the Olive branch; inviting the ships of all nations to partake of her commerce; and in the other hand supporting the Cap of Liberty."
At the top is "Fame proclaiming the joyous news to all the world," and on the left is "Britannia weeping at the loss of the trade of America." Behind her is an "evil genius" (who appears to be blowing a farmer on her).
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,
Pant for true Fame, and scorn inglorious rest:
Science invites; urg'd by the Voice divine,
Exert thy self, 'till every Art be thine."
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.
Visit the "Temple of Liberty Justice and Peace."
Drawings published In England
before the Revolution depict America in a different light.