Rothermel "Compromise of 1850" Print
I'm a history teacher, and a couple of weeks ago, early in the morning, I was at the flea market and a guy had a lot of boxes of junk, and he had some old pictures. And when I saw this, I knew it was Henry Clay. And I'd seen the picture, I think, in some history books, so I got it, and the price was right. I think it's Henry Clay trying to persuade other members of Congress to accept the Compromise of 1850. A lot of the stuff that I buy at flea markets I bring in and kind of share with my students so they can actually sort of touch history and see it and feel it and get a better understanding of it.
Great. So what do they need to know about the Compromise of 1850?
Well, California became a free state, the South got a tougher fugitive slave law, and it delayed the Civil War for ten years.
Right. Now, it's a wonderful print from so many angles. It was published in Philadelphia, and Rothermel was the artist. And then it was engraved on a piece of steel. Probably a few thousand were made. One of the most interesting things about it is, of course, you indicated, here we are, this is the main character, Henry Clay, "the Great Compromiser." But there's other figures in here who are so important, and one of the major people is this man here: Daniel Webster-- one of the great debaters, one of the great minds in American history. And hanging back here, scowling through the crowd with his very determined face is John C. Calhoun, one of the great politicians of South Carolina history. But there's a Texas interest. Anybody know who this is?
You got it. Very good. (laughs) And do you have any thoughts on what this might be worth?
I don't. I paid ten dollars for it.
There's a number of little problems of staining, but as far as the value goes, because it does need certain kinds of conservation work, I would probably say $1,800 to $2,000 as a retail value. But investing a few hundred dollars more in cleaning, there's no reason it wouldn't go up to $3,000.
Yes. Wow. It pays to go shopping early in the morning.
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