Original Author: Tompkins Harrison Matteson, artist; Henry S. Sadd, engraver
Created: 1852
Medium: Engraving with etching and mezzotint
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division


An 1852 engraving titled Union celebrates recent legislative efforts aimed at preserving the Union, particularly the Compromise of 1850. In the background, parted curtains reveal a colonnaded temple supporting a large globe labeled "America"; a figure sitting on the globe holds a liberty cap (a felt cap given to emancipated slaves in ancient Rome, and worn in the late eighteenth century by French revolutionaries). The political figures pictured were generally in favor of the five bills that composed the Compromise of 1850. The exception is South Carolina senator John C. Calhoun, center, who holds the quill pen in his right hand and touches the U.S. Constitution with his left.

The figures in the front row are, from left to right: General Winfield Scott (in uniform), Michigan senator Lewis Cass, Kentucky senator Henry Clay, Calhoun, Massachusetts senator Daniel Webster, and President Millard Fillmore (holding a shield).

The figures in the background on the left side of the engraving are, from left the right: Speaker of the House of Representatives Howell Cobb, of Georgia; James McDowell, congressman from Virginia; Missouri senator Thomas Hart Benton; and former secretary of state John M. Clayton.

On the right side of the engraving, in the second row, from left to right, are: Ohio senator Thomas Corwin, former secretary of state James Buchanan, Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas, Attorney General John J. Crittenden, Texas senator Sam Houston, and Mississippi senator Henry Foote. Behind them, from left to right, are: North Carolina senator Willie P. Mangum, Alabama senator W. R. King, New York senator Daniel S. Dickinson, Supreme Court Justice John McLean, Tennessee senator John Bell, and California senator John C. Fremont.