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The Coming of Independence
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Images in support of the colonists circulated on both sides of the Atlantic. Indeed, the market for these broadsides and engravings was probably greater in London than elsewhere, in part because some of the leading artists lived in Great Britain, including Wilson and Philip Dawe (The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man and The Bostonians in Distress), and in part because the tradition of political caricature was well-established in England. Selling for as little as six-pence, these prints were sold in the streets and print-shops and exhibited in taverns and coffee-houses. Benjamin Franklin so enjoyed Wilson’s satire that he sent a copy to his wife in Philadelphia where, shortly thereafter, pirated versions of the engraving appeared. The popularity of these political prints in England attests to support for the colonists by those who sympathized with their grievances and also sought reforms of the Parliamentary system.


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