Join Or Die Collection
In 1754, Benjamin Franklin published one of the most famous cartoons in history: the Join or Die woodcut. Franklin’s art carried significant importance at the time and is considered an early masterpiece of political messaging since it helped highlight the importance of colonial unity.
The image displayed a snake cut up into eight pieces. The snake’s detached head was labeled "N.E." for “New England,” while the trailing seven sections were tagged with letters representing the colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The exhortation "JOIN, or DIE" appeared underneath the image.