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Inscription

upper center in plate: THE HOUSE THAT JEFF BUILT; lower center in plate: Entered according to the act of Congress in the year 1863 by D.C. Johnston in the Clerk's office of the Distric of Massachusetts.

text in plate:
This is the House that Jeff Built. / This is the cotton, by rebels call'd king, / (Tho' call'd by loyalists no such thing) / That lay in the house that Jeff built. / These are field-chattels that made cotton kin, / (Tho' call'd by loyalists no such thing,) / That lay in the house that Jeff built. / These are the chattels, babes, mothers, and men, / To be sold by the head in the slave pen:_ / As part of the house that Jeff built. / This is the thing by some call'd a man, / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can, / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built. / These are the shackles, for slave who suppose / Their limbs are their own, from fingers to toes; / And are prone to believe, say all that you can, / That they shouldn't be sold by that thing call'd a man; / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / These buy the slaves, both male and female, / And sell their own souls to a boss with a tail: / Who owns the small soul of that thing call'd a man; / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / Here the slave breeder parts with his own flesh / To a trader down south, in the heart of the secesh. / Thus trader and breeder secure without fail / The lasting attachment of him with a tail, / Who owns the small soul of that thing call'd a man; / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / This is the scurge, by some call'd the cat; / Stout in the handle, and nine tails to that: / Tis joyous to think that the time's drawing near / When the cat will no longer cause chattels to fear, / Nor the going, going, gone of that thing call'd a man, / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / Here the slave driver in transport applies, / Nine tails to his victim, nor heeds her shrill cries. / Alas. that a driver with nine tails his own; / Should be slave to a driver who owns only one: Albeit he owns that thing call'd a man, / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / Here's the arch rebel Jeff. whose infamouse course / Has bro't rest to the pillow, and made active the hearse; / And invoked on his head every patriots curse, / Spread ruin, and famine, to stock the slave pen, / And furnish employment to that thing among men / Whose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span: / In and out of the house that Jeff built / But Jeff's infamous hosue, is doom'd to come down. / _So says uncle Sam, and so siad John Brown._ / With slave pen, and auction, shackles, driver, and cat, / Together with seller, and buyer, and breeder, and that / Most loathsome of bipeds by some call'd a man, / hose trade is to sell all the chattels he can / From yearlings to adults of life's longest span, / In and out of the house that Jeff built

Provenance

(Edward Morill & Sons, Inc., Boston, MA); Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1981; acquired 2015 by the National Gallery of Art