Skip to main content

The First Great Western Empire

Jonathan Clark
George Washington, 22 Feb 1732 - 14 Dec 1799
John Adams, 30 Oct 1735 - 4 Jul 1826
Thomas Jefferson, 13 Apr 1743 - 4 Jul 1826
James Madison, 16 Mar 1751 - 28 Jun 1836
Wood-engraving with letterpress and color woodcut on paper
Sheet: 52.5 x 41.9 cm (20 11/16 x 16 1/2")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired through the generosity of Sidney Hart and David C. Ward
Object number
Exhibition Label
This broadside, published in January 1812 after the special session of Congress called by President Madison to consider war against Great Britain, warns other nations not to interfere in American commerce and affirms the power of "the First Great Western Empire: or, the United States of America." The upper left contains the preamble of the Declaration of Independence; an excerpt of George Washington’s Farewell Address extolling "the Unity of government [and] . . . people" is on the upper right. Timothy Dwight’s popular poem "Columbia," celebrating the "glories of America," is on the bottom left. Writing in the upper left circle reads: "We wish for the friendship of all—We will submit to the insults of NONE"; in the upper right circle: "The ocean is the highway of nations—Heaven alone has a right to command it."
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\New York\Albany\Albany