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USCT recruiting poster

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by major bill, Oct 11, 2017 at 10:30 PM.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I found this USCT recruiting poster interesting.
    usct.jpg


    Note the use of images:
    1. USCT taking the chains off slaves.
    2. Former slaves reading and going to school.
    3. The Union officer standing on a Confederate flag while a enslave rips the flag.
    4. The slogan "Freedom to the Slaves".
    5. The slave cap on the top of the US flag.
    6. The number of stars on the US flag shows the Confederate States ever left.
    7. The Union officer looking towards heaven for guidance or praise.

    This USCT recruiting poster shows what was felt would be effective in getting blacks to join the Union Army. I wonder how effective this poster was in getting black to join the Union Army?
     

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  3. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain Forum Host

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    Depends. Any idea where it was being posted? I've seen some other recruitment posters for the USCT but they were the standard broadsides and newspaper ads.
     
  4. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    It is said to be from 1864 and is held by the Indiana Historical Society. It would seem to be too expensive and too colorful to put into mass printing. I have no information where it was used.

    I have to wonder if the powerful imagery was entirely aimed at blacks or if a wider audience was in mind. The poster clearly links the war with freedom for the slaves. Note the idea that the war was sectioned by God, which is shown by the Union officer looking toward heaven, but note his sword points toward the US on top of the school. Note the freed slaves looking towards God and perhaps thanking God for their deliverance. Note the steeple on the school pointing to heaven as well. One interoperation could be that God has sanctioned the War as a means to end slavery. This could be a powerful image to the religious people in the North.
     
  5. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain Forum Host

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    My thought as well, the color would be prohibitive for widespread use. IF it was used in a colorized format I would think a very large metropolitan area but hard to say for sure.

    Honestly I'm not sure it was an actual recruiting poster. The imagery is indeed the focal point here and very suggestive of the items you mention. But there is no point of contact, no address, nothing about rate of pay or bounties, no commanding officer, etc. Basically nothing that an actual recruiting poster would have. IMHO it was used more for propaganda than recruiting. But very cool nonetheless and not a poster I've seen before.
     
  6. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I copied form this book.
    poster.jpg

    The book is colorful and has many photographs as well but a bit short on deep insight. The book has no end notes and is perhaps not the best source due to this. I am also not knowledgeable about the Tennessee Wars Commission.

    I purchased the book at a National Battlefield and read it in one night at a motel. The book is what it is and I am not sure it attempted to be a definitive study of the subject.
     
  7. AndyHall

    AndyHall Colonel Forum Host

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    That's the Liberty Cap atop the pole. It was a very common symbol in both the American and French revolutions.

    IMG_4142.JPG

     
  8. mofederal

    mofederal Sergeant Major

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    That is a great poster. I like the colors and the message.
     
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  9. Republican Blues

    Republican Blues 2nd Lieutenant

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    Similar, and probably familiar..

    200px-Come_and_Join_Us_Brothers%2C_by_the_Supervisory_Committee_For_Recruiting_Colored_Regiments.jpg
     
  10. GELongstreet

    GELongstreet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    As nice as pictures are I think to remember the the majority of recruitment posters of that time were not that picture-based yet and had either a small one or none at all. After all encouraging text was still the chosen method and there could be quite a lot of information to be conveyed. For example that one, though with much more zeal than information:

    02752_1.jpg

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/histo...cipation/resources/“men-color-arms-arms”-1863
     
  11. István.AT

    István.AT Private

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    8. The serpent on the Confederate flag instead of stars :smile:
     
  12. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Captain

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    I've seen this before, I always thought it was intended for northern audiences, perhaps for recruiting in Pennsylvania.

    - Alan
     
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  13. connecticut yankee

    connecticut yankee Private

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    The poster certainly evokes the concept of slave freedom. It also strongly presents the idea of slave civil rights as symbolized by two buildings---the school and a church in the background. Overall, I hear the poster saying, "If you are willing to fight and if the Union is successful in this war, we will guarantee your freedom and your rights including the right to an education, to peacefully assemble, to worship, etc."
     
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  14. 7thWisconsin

    7thWisconsin Sergeant

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    That's lovely. Such nice color and rich in symbolism. Thanks.
     
  15. Blockaderunner

    Blockaderunner Sergeant

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    Very clever use of wording. We and our. Not you and your. The poster is worded as a plea from slaves and currently serving USCT.
     
  16. ewmail15

    ewmail15 Private

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    I saved the image and expanded to see what the very faint backside block letter words along the top area were. I couldn't make out most of the words. Anyone else able to decipher the backside text? Could also be that another painting was on top of this painting (does look close-up like it was painted), and they were face to face?

    Also, anyone good at deciphering of the bottom hand written text?

    The republican party was still relatively new. Maybe it was used at regional political headquarters to drive fund-raising and party affiliation/membership?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 6:35 PM
  17. John S. Carter

    John S. Carter Sergeant

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    The white man holding the flag is he and officer or an enlisted man? I was wondering since all the commanders of the USCT were white .If this was to recruit former slaves esp. former slaves as it shows just slaves in this poster why show a white man ,was the Caucasians going to lead these men to their freedom ?If he is looking towards heaven then may be he is looking for John Brown as seeking his praises,then from a Rebel view he should be looking down.This poster is aimed for the free black to rescue their breathern Right?. This seem to be a poster from the Freeman's Bureau with the idea of the former slaves being educated in "public schools".Question;Let say that a Confederate soldier were to see this poster,would he have any reason not to continue to fight then what if that poster was presented to the CSA would they not be rather hostile.What would a Caucasian solider who had joined to save the Union but not for slavery think of this poster,what effect would this have on recruitment ?There sill would be the Irish! If you find any Confederate recruiting poster please to post them.One would show the white population under the suppressive rule of the Northern government with former slaves serving as overseers wearing their cockets(free men cap)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 8:33 PM
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  18. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    I agree it looks like the officer is black or at least mixed. I am not sure if the artist was trying to say blacks could be officers.
     
  19. huskerblitz

    huskerblitz Captain Forum Host

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    "All Slaves Were Made Freedmen"
    "By Abraham Lincoln"
    something "United States" and "1863"
    The colorized part of the image obscures the rest of the text.
     
  20. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

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    The tools used to recruit men for the Army are interesting in themselves. I noticed that the speeches to German immigrates in Detroit by German American leaders and the speeches given to Dutch immigrant in the Western Michigan Dutch colonies were fairly similar. It was almost like talking points had been sent out. Both heavily linked the continued personal freedom of the immigrants and their families with putting down the secession of southern states.

    My problem is that no real link was made to show how the leaving of the Southern States effected the personal freedom of immigrants here in Michigan. It was like the immigrants understood and their leaders just had to remind them that allowing the Southern States to leave the Union would cause them to loose their freedom.
     
  21. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    Crazy about these meticulous works, thanks for posting! Know not a thing on the topic ( recruiting posters ). Is it possible this kind of wonderful treasure was produced for specific events or small areas? @Republican Blues poster has an attributing message by a recruiting ' dot org ', but goodness, they would have been extremely expensive.

    Thinking about massive events like the Sanitary Commission Fairs, you know? @ForeverFree , what is the giveaway this could be Pennsylvania, please? Sorry, just very cool to see there are signs you can pick up on indicating which state- now I'm fascinated.
     

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