The Eagle's nest The Union! it must and shall be preserved by E.B. and E.C. Kellogg, 1861

This 1861 hand-colored political print by E.B. and E.C. Kellogg is one of a series of nine Civil War cartoons published by the Kellogg family that feature animals. It is filled with recognizable anti-secession symbolism and would have been posted at places of work or distributed in taverns. The print‘s subtitle, “The Union, it must and shall be preserved,” comes from an April 13, 1830 dinner toast by Andrew Jackson, in which he responded to tensions within his administration concerning states’ rights and the nullification movement.
In the illustration, an eagle sits on a nest made from a twisted American flag and holds a banner in its beak calling for “Annihilation to Traitors.” Each egg in the nest symbolizes one of the 34 states. While the Northern eggs are unblemished and clean, various predatory animals emerge from the cracked, rotten eggs representing the Southern states. Each is labeled with the names of outspoken state representatives. These include:
•An alligator from the Alabama egg labeled “Yancy” refers to Representative and radical “Fire-Eater” secessionist William Lowndes Yancy (1814-1863).
•A cow from the Arkansas egg labeled “Sebastian” refers to Senator and Confederate supporter William King Sebastian (1812-1865).
•A dog from the Florida egg is labeled “Mallory” and refers to Senator and Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory (1812-1873).
•A donkey or ass from the Georgia egg, labeled “Toombs,” refers to Senator and early Confederate Treasurer Robert Augustus Toombs (1810-1885).
•The Louisiana egg, labeled “Beauregard,” refers to General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893).
•A donkey or ass for North Carolina labeled “Branch” refers to Representative and later Confederate Lawrence O’Bryan Branch (1820-1862).
•A rattlesnake, labeled “Pickens,” is held in the left talon of the eagle after slithering from the South Carolina egg. This refers to secessionist Governor Francis William Pickens (1805-1869).
•The Mississippi egg features a bear labeled “Jeff Davis.” He is grasped in the right talon of the eagle and is waving a flag containing three stripes and a circle of stars on a blue field. Beside him are papers labeled "Reputed/Bonds."
•A rat represents Texas and is labeled “Houston” for Sam Houston.
•A bear in the Virginia egg guards a group of African Americans. The animal is labeled “Lecher,” referring to Governor John Letcher (1813-1884).
Ironically, both John Letcher (Virginia) and Sam Houston (Texas) did not support their states’ secessions, although Letcher eventually cooperated with Confederates after the state's General Assembly voted to secede. Sam Houston, however, refused to take the oath of loyalty to the Confederacy and chose instead to resign from office. There are also three eggs representing the Border States – slave states that chose not to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Although these eggs have not yet hatched, they are beginning to crack. These are Kentucky, which is labeled "Addled,” Tennessee which is labeled "Rotten," and Maryland which is labeled "Bad Egg."
This piece was designed by the Hartford, Connecticut lithographic firm of E.B. & E.C. Kellogg. Edmund Burke Kellogg and Elijah Chapman Kellogg were younger brothers of the founder of the Kellogg lithography firm, Daniel Wright Kellogg. After Daniel Wright Kellogg moved west, his two brothers took over the family lithography firm in 1840 and changed the name to E.B. & E.C. Kellogg. They were responsible for the continued success of the family firm and involved in partnerships with Horace Thayer in 1845/1846, John Chenevard Comstock in 1848 and William Henry Bulkeley in 1867.
The print was published by George Whiting, who worked as the agent and distributor of the Kellogg brothers’ prints in New York from 1848 to 1860. In 1860, the Kelloggs closed their New York office and Whiting took over the firm, selling prints until his death two years later.
Currently not on view
copyright date
Whiting, George
Houston, Samuel
Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant
E.B. and E.C. Kellogg
place made
United States: Connecticut, Hartford
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 11 in x 14 in; 27.94 cm x 35.56 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Chronology: 1860-1869
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
U.S. National Government, judiciary
Political Caricatures
Civil War
State Government
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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