"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of the opportunity provided to serve self-interest when Al Gore created the internet; and we should also thank Mark Zuckerburg and Jack Dorsey for creating Facebook and Twitter out of the kindness of their big hearts and not the thinness of their small wallets."
-Ben Franklin, Autobiography (1742)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The War of 1805 - Day 4: John Trumbull

It is in this article that we discover some of the initial lead into the War of 1805. While we're still not sure what lead to Z Day happening, we are sure that there were some instigators. Much like Martin Luther and the posting of his 95 Theses we have found another man who was trying to make a statement.

This, of course, was famous revolutionary artist John Trumbull. A very respected artist in his day Trumbull had 4 of his paintings purchased by Congress to be hung in the rotunda of the United States Capitol. These four paintings were:

Declaration of Independence - also the back of the $2 bill
Surrender of Lord Cornwallis
Surrender of General Burgoyne
Washington Resigning his Commission

While many people would be ecstatic to have so many pieces put in the nation's capitol, Trumbull felt snubbed as they had passed on his other paintings of the revolution:

Death of General Warren at Bunker Hill
Death of General Montgomery at Quebec
Capture of Hessians at the Battle of Trenton
Death of General Mercer at Battle of Princeton

Congress said that they only 'had' enough money for 4 paintings, but Trumbull wasn't buying it. Trumbull knew the truth. Congress was afraid of death. They were afraid of anything that could have a hint of morbidity. They hadn't purchased his paintings because of the topic that was involved. Enraged by his snubbing and the perception that Congress believed his topics to be ghastly, ghoulish and grim Trumbull went on to dedicate his time to other tasks.

"The greatest motive I had or have for engaging in my pursuit of painting Zombies has been my wish to commemorate those who believe my paintings to be ghastly, ghoulish or grim. If they think the great events of our country's Revolution already happened, then they are sorely mistaken as these morbid paintings will inspire new life that will bring far greater destruction."
-John Trumbull in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1803

This letter is actually quite terrifying. It goes past the point of prediction, it goes to the point of saying that Trumbull is attempting to inspire a Zombie Revolution. That being said, its no surprise that the following portraits, created by Trumbull, served as a type of rogue grassroots campaigning for the Zombie War. These portraits were often found nailed to tavern doors, more often than not they were covered with fresh blood to serve as a warning of the incoming Zombie tide. It was quite common that the entire town was packed and prepared to leave by the time that the painfully slow moving zombies even made it to town. Perhaps Trumbull's greatest artistic triumph served as his historical downfall. It was these posters that served as a warning system and helped the nation overcome perhaps our biggest threat to liberty in our young history. Below we have included the only portraits that have been recovered:

'Give 'em the axe' became a term popularized in the War of 1805. Zombie supporters were urging for GW's to be given the axe necessary to cut down the sapling cherry tree of the new nation.

This portrait has probably been the discussion of the most historical debate. While many scholars argue that it is Thomas Jefferson as seen through the dashing features and receding hairline we are unsure if it is actually TJ, Alexander Hamilton or James Madison. I suppose only the dead would know.

This 'I Want You' Benjamin Franklin poster was not only Zombie propaganda, but also served as inspiration to the Uncle Sam 'I Want You' advertisements that we have seen much later in our history

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