Death of George Shifler

Death of George Shifler

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Description (Brief)
Colored print depicting the Death of George Shiffler, the Nativish martyre of the Kensington Bible Riots, May-July 1844. This print depicts three of Schiffler's comrades holding him while he dies of a chest wound while clutching an American flag. He was killed by shots fired from the Hibernia Hose Company firehouse supposedly while defending or resuing an American flag. The scene takes place on a cobblestone street while mobs are rioting in the background. During three days of anti Catholic riots, homes, schools, and churches of Irish Catholic immigrants were burned or damaged. Shifler (or Shifler) was an 18 year old Protestant apprentice tanner (born Jan. 24, 1825) and Nativist supporter against immigrant (mostly Irish) Catholics. Shiffler's death made him a martyr for the Nativist cause with resulting in a large funeral with poems, songs, and prints created in his honor and Nativists parading the flag around the city with a placard exclaiming that the flag "was trampled on by Irish papists." The "Native Americans" mentioned in the caption refer to the Native American Party of Nativists. The names listed on the right and last sides of the Title and subtile are the last names of other Nativist casualties of the May. The caption claims their deaths occured May 6-8 but if the Cox listed is William L. Cox of the Germantown Blues, then his death wasn't until July when more riots occured. Officially 14 were killed and 39 wounded though others may casualties may have been undocumented.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
date made
Shifler, George
Magee, John L.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 11 in x 8 1/2 in; 27.94 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Patriotism and Patriotic Symbols
Political Parties
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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