John G. (John Gaylord) Wells.

Wells' illustrated national campaign hand-book for 1860 online

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with thirteen diagonal stripes, alternate red and white. Supporters, a
warrior, holding a sword, on one side, and on the other the figure of
Peace, bearing an olive branch. The crest, a radiant constellation of
thirteen stars. Motto : Bcllo vel Pace — " For War or Peace," and the
legend, " Seal of the United States," On the reverse, the figure of
Liberty, seated in a chair, holding the staff and cap. Motto : Semper — ■
" Forever " — and underneath, MDGCLXXVI. This report was re-com-
mitted, and again submitted with some slight modifications substituting
the figure of an Indian with bow and arrows in his right hand for that
of a warrior) just a year afterward ; but it was not accepted, and the
matter rested until April, 1782, when Henry Middleton, Elias Boudinot,


and Edwai'd Rutledge were appointed a third committee to prepare a
seal. Tlicy reported on the 9th of May following, substantially the
8-ame as the committee of 1779 and 1780 ; but, this not being satisfac-
tory to Congress, on the 13th of June the whole matter was referred to
Charles Tliomson, its secretary.

He in turn procured several devices, among which was one by Wil-
liam Barton, of Philadelphia, consisting of an escutcheon, with a blue
border, spangled with thirteen stars, and divided in the centre, perpen-
dicularly, by a gold bar. On each side of this division, within tlie
bine border, thirteen bars or stripes, alternate red and white, like the
American flag adopted on the I4th of June, 1777. Over the gold bar
an eye surrounded with a glory, and in the gold bar a Doric column
resting on the base of the escutcheon, having a displayed eagle on its
summit. The crest, a helmet of burnished gold, damasked, grated with
six bars, and surmounted by a red cap of dignity, such as dukes wear,
with a black lining, and a cock ai'med with gaffs. Supporters, on one
side the Genius of America, with loose Auburn tresses, having on her
head a radiant crown of gold, encircled with a sky-blue fillet, spangled
with silver stars, and clothed in a long, loose, white garment, bordered
with g7'eep. From the right shoulder to the left side, a blue scarf with
stars, the cmctures being the same as in the border. Around her waist
a purple girdle, fringed with gold, and the word Virtue embroidered
in white. Her interior hand rested on the escutcheon, and the other held
the American standard, on the top of which a white dove was perched.
The supporter on the other side was a man in complete armor ; his
Bword-belt blue, fringed with gold ; his helmet encircled with a wreath
of laui'el, and crested with one white and two bine plumes ; his left
hand supporting the escutcheon, and his right holding a lance with a
bloody point. Upon an unfurled green banner was a golden harp with
silver strings, a brilliant star, and two lily-fiowers, with two crossed
swords below. The two figures stood upon a scroll, on which was the
motto Deo Favenle — " With God's Favor " — in allusion to the eye of
Providence in the arms. On the crest, in a scroll, was the motto Virtus
sola Invicta — " Vii'tue alone is Invincible."

After vainly striving to perfect a seal which should meet the approval
of Congi-ess, Thomson finally received from John Adams, then in Lon-
don, an exceedingly simple and appropriate device, suggested by Sir
John Prestwich, a baronet of the West of England, who was a warm
friend of America, and an accomplished antiquarian. It consisted of
an escutcheon bearing thirteen perpendicular stripes, white and red,
with the chief blue, and spangled with thirteen stars ; and, to give it
greater consequence, he proposed to place it on the breast of an Ameri-
can eagle, dlsjplayed, without supporters, as emblematic of self-reliance.
It met with general approbation, in and out of Congress, and was
adopted in June, 1782 : so it is manifest, although the fact is not exten-
sively known, that we are indebted for our national arms to a titled
aristocrat of the country with which we were tlien at war. Eschewing all
heraldic technicalities, it may be thus described in plain English : Thirteen
])erpendicular pieces, white and red ; a blue field ; the escutcheon on
the breast of the American eagle displayed, proper, holding in his right
talon an olive-branch, and in his left a bundle of thirteen arrows, alj



proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with the motto E Pluribus
Unum. For the crest, over the head of the eagle, which appears above
the escutcheon, a golden glory breaking through a cloud, proper, and
surrounding thirteen stars, forming a constellation of white stars on a
blue field.

Reverse. — A pyramid
unfinished. In the zenith,
an eye in a triangle, sur-
rounded with aglory, pro-
per. Over the eye. the
words Annuit Caplis —
" God has favored the un-
dertaking." On the base
of the pyramid, are the
numeral Roman letters
MDCCLXXVI. ; and un-
death the motto, Noeu.s
Ordo Seclorum — "'A new
Series of Ages " — denot-
ing that a new order of
things had commenced in
the Western hemisphere.
Thus, after many fruitless
eff'orts, for nearly six
years, a very simple seal
was adopted, and yet remains the arms of the United States.




On a white or silver field the Goddess of
Virtue, the genius of the commonwealth,
id reprc8caf,(;d, dressed like an Amazon,
resting on a spear with one hand, and
holding a sword in the other. She is in
the act of ti'ampiing on Tyranny, repre-
sented by a man prostrate, a crown fallen
from his litad, a broken chain in his left
liaiid, and a scourge in his right. On a
label above the figure is the word " Vir-
ginia ;" and beneath them is the motto,
^ic semper /yranww- -" Thus we serve


NEW- YORK A shield, or escutcheon, on which is re-

presented the rising sun, with a range of
hills and water in the fonground. Above
the shield, for the crest, is a wreath sur-
mounted by a half globe, on which rests
a startled eagle, with wings outstretched.
For the supporters of the shield, on the
right is represented the figure of Justice,
with the sword in one hand and the scales
in the other ; and on the left the Goddess
of Liberty, with the wand and cap in her
left hand, and the olive branch of peace
in her right. Below the shield is the
motto. Excelsior — " More elevated " — de-
noting that the course of the State is on-
ward and hisrhcr. Around the border of the seal, between two plain
lines, is the inscription, in Boaian capitals, " The Great Seal of the State
of New-York."

On the blue ground of an irregularly-
formed shield an Indian is represented,
dressed with belted hunting-shirt and moc-
cassins. In his right hand is a golden
bow, and in his left an arrow with the
point downward. A silver star on the
right denotes one of the United States of
America. A wreath forms the crest of
the escutcheon, from which extends a
right arm, clothed and ruffed, the hand
grasping a broad-sword, the pommel and
hilt of which are of gold. Around the
escutcheon, on a waving band or label,
are the words. Ease petit placidam sub
libcrtate quietcm — " Bj the sword she seeks
peace under liberty." ( 93 )





A circular field, surrounded by a laurel new-hampshirk.

wreath, eneompnssed by the words, in . — ^^

Roman capitals, " Sigillum Rcipuhlica
Neo HavConiensis :"' "The Seal of the
btate of New-Hampshire," with the date,
1784. indicating the time of the adoption
of the State Constitution. Land and
watL-r are represented in the foreground,
with the trunk of a tree on which the
hardy woodman is yet engaged, embracing
a 3cene of busy life, significant of the in-
du.slrious habits of the people ; and a shin
on the stocks, just ready for launching,
with the American banner displayed, is
tignrative uf readiness to embark on the
Sea of political existence. The sun, just eme?'ging above the horizon,
symbolizes the ri.«ing destiny of the State.

A white shield, or rscutcheon, bearing .new-jeusey.

three ploughs, indicating that the chief
reliance of the j^eople is upon agriculture.
The crest is a liorst-'s heail. supported by
a full-face, six-barred helmet, resting on a
vase — the latter resting on the top of the
escutcheon. The supporters are the God-
dess of Liberty on tlie right, with her
wand and cap, her left arm resting on the
escutcheon ; and Ceres on the left, her
right hand resting on the escutcheon and
hf-r left supporting a cornucopia, filled
with fruits and flowers. Around the bor-
der of the sea are the words, in Koman
capitals, '-The Gruat Seal of the State of
New Jersey."' and at the base the date of its adoption, in numeral let"
ters, MDCCLXXVI., (1776.)

An azure shield, or escutcheon, divided Delaware.

into two equal parts by a white band or
girdle. A cow is represented in the lower
part of the shield, and in the upper part
are two symbols, designed probably to
represent the agricultural productions of
thi^ St.ate — grain and tobacco. The crest
(a wreath) .-upports a ship under full sail,
dis]dayin!ir the American baimer. On a
white lifM around the escutcheon were
formerly wreaths of (lowers, branches of
the olive, and other symbols, but these
iiave been displaced for two figures, repre-
."enting a mariner and ahunt.jr. At the
bottom of th<' seal, in numi-ral letters, is
the dati' of its adoption. MDO JXCIII.

(HHo). an'l around tlu! border, in Roman capitals, are the words " Great
Seal of the State of Delaware."' ( 14 )



LICS, 1635.


On a white or fiUt-r licid the figure oi
Justice, is set'ii protuiiieut in the centre
of thi3 foreground, grasping an olive
bmiich, anil i\, ewovii in luT right hand,
while hur left is t-K^vatiiig her wcU-lial-
lanced scales above her liead. At her feet
is a laurel wreath, the fascis and a cornu-
copia, with an uninncribed white label
waving loosely from their midst. In the
distance, on the right, i.s a view of the
ocean, witli a ship under full fail in the
perspective, bounded by a clear horizon.
On the left, are some hogslieads of tobacco,
symbolical of the principal products, and
a ship with its sails partly unfurled, indi-
cative of commercial enterprise.

The original seal is of an oval form,
without any ornamental devices, and on
the iield are delineated three grape-vines,
each winding around and sustained by an
upright support, the whole representing
the three settlements (Hartford, Windsor,
and Wethersfield) which formed the early
colony. On a label -waving around the
lower vine is the motto Qui Transtvlit
Siistinct — "He who planteth still sus-
tains." Around the margin of the field
are the words, •' Sifrillum Rcipublicce. Con-
nccticutcnsis ;" " The Seal of the State of
Connecticut." [The Colonial seal ha<l
fifteen grape-vines, with a hand profruding

from the clouds on the right above them, grasping the label and motto.

which was waving in the air ; but that seal has been broken, and the

present seal used in its stead.]

RHODE ISLAND. A white or silver shield, on which is an

anchor with two flukes, and a cable at-
tached. Above the shield, in Roman
capitals, is the word HOPE, and from
each upper corner of the shield is sus-
pended an unlettered label. The device
symbolizes those principles of civil and
religious liberty which led to the found-
ing of this colony, and in which the faith
of the citizens of the State is still deeply
anrhnrcd. The motto, HOPE, above the
shield, directs the mind to the uncertain
future, anticipating the growing prosperity
of the State, and the perpetuity of its free
institutions ; while the unlettered label
progressing in the march of Time, and

await the completion of History, before the destiny of the State shall ba

recorded thereon. ( 95 )



denotes that events are still

In the original seal, which differs some- nohtii Carolina.

what from the margin, on a white or silver
field are re^jrescnted the' Goddess of Lib-
erty on the right, and Ceres, the Goddess
of corn and of harvests, on the left. In
the right band of the former is a scroll,
representing the Declaration of Independ-
ence, and the left supports her wand, sur-
mounted by the cap of liV)ertj'. Ceres
has in her right hand three heads or ears
of wheat, and in her left the cornucopia
or horn of plenty, filled with the products
of the earth. In the background is a
ma.'-iae view, indicative of the commercial
resources of the State. Around the outer
circle, starting from a star on the top, are the words, in llotuan capitals.
" Great Seal of the State of North Carolina."


In the centre of the white or silver field
is the device of a palmetto-tree (a species
of the date), with its topmost branches de-
noting a vigorous growth, emblematical
of the pro.speroiis juogress of the State.
Near the base of the tree are two cross-
pieces ; composed of bundles of spears,
at the crossing of which is attached a
scroll or label, with the motto, Animis
opibusqm parati — " Ready [to defend it]
with our lives and property," which mot-
to, by the way, is more generally put
around the lower half of tlie outer circle,
with the words " South Carolina" occupy-
ing the upper half, preceded by a single




On a white field is an escutcheon parted tennstlvama.

by a yellow or golden band or girdle, on
which is repri^sented a plough in its natu-
ral color. In the Uj.per part of the shield,
a ship under full sail is gliding smoothly
over the waves of the sea, which are sur-
mo'inted by an azure sky. At the lower
part, on a green ground, are tliree golden
sheaves of whcitt, denoting that agricul-
ture as woU as commerce, is one of the
primarv rcliancs of the State. On the
right of the shitld is a stalk of maize, and
on the left an olive Ijranch. For the
crt'st, on a wrt>ath of olive flowers, is
])erched a hald eagle, with wings extended,

holding in it.? beak a label, with the motto, ''Virtue, Liberty, and Inde-
pendence." .\ round the margin of the seal are the words.
State of I'enns^ivania " (90)


Seal of the


In the centre of a circular white or sil-
ver field are three pillars, supporting aa
arch, around which are emblazoned tlie
word " Constitution." The pillars are
symbolical of the three departments of
the State government — the Legislative,
tliL' Judici;ii'y, ami the Executive ; and on
the one nt the right., representing' the Leg-
islative, is the word "Wisdom;" on the
second, ropi-esenting the Judiciary, is the
word ••Justice ;" ami on the third, repre-
senting the Executive, is the word " Mode-
ration/' Near the right pillar is the
figure of an officer with a drawn sword,
denoting that the aid of the military is
always ready to enforce respect and olied.ence to law. Around the
margin of the circle are the words, •' State of Georgia. 1799."

VERMONT. A circniav field, in the middle of which

is a tall evergreen with fourteen branches
— thirteen representing the original States,
and the fnurteenth or topmost the State
of Vermont, 8upi)orted by the others.
Beneath a cloudless firmament, the Green
Mountains are seen towering in the dis-
tance, and in the foreground are sheaves
of wheat and a cow, indicative of an agri-
cultural and grazing country, affording
the true sources of thrift and independ-
ence for an industrioeis population. The
Green Mountains have ever been con-
sidered characteristic of the hardy race
which inhabits that region. Around the

margin of the field, in Roman capitals, the word " Vermont" occupies

the upper half circle, and the words " Freedom and Unity" occupy the

lower half.

Although the seal of this State is ap-
parently and really among the most sim-
ple in its design, yt t it embodies a sig-
nificance which should commend itself to
the serious consideration of all who are
disposed to place a slight value upon tlie
union of the States. In the centre of a
cii'cular white or silver field, two friends
are seen grasping one hand of each other
in a firm and cordial embrace, while the
other is extended to each other's back,
significant of i neourageraent and support.
Below them is the" ex; ressive motto,
'■ United we stand ; divided we fall." An
ornamented double circle encompasses the

whole, with tlie words "Seal of Kentucky" between the lines of the

upper half circle. ( 07 )





A white or silver circular field, the up- Tennessee.

per half of which is occupied on the right
by a ploush, in the centre by a sheaf of
wheat, and on the left by a stalk of cotton.
Undtrnr-ath these emtdems, extending
acr.iss the entire middle of the field, is the
word " AtjvienlUire," denoting that the
first reliance of the State should be upon
tlie productions of the Soil. The lower
half is occupied by a loaded barge, with
the wprd " Commerce" below the water,
indicating that the prosperity of all may
be promoted through this means. Over
the sheaf of wheat are the numeral letters
XVI., denoting that this was the sixeeenth
State admitted into the Union. Around the border are the words, " The
Great iSeal of the State of Tennesee," with the date, 1796.

In a circular field are several devices, Ohio.

significant of the general surface, busi-
ness, and prospects of the State. The
central portion represents a cultivated
country, with the emblem of agriculture
(a wheat-sheaf) on the right, and on the
left a bundle of seventeen arrows, indica-
ting the number of States then constitu-
ting the Union. In the distance is a range
of mountains, the base skirted by a tract
of woodland. The rising sun, which is
just becoming visible above the moun-
tains, betokens the rising glory of the
State. The foreground is an expanse of
Avater, with a keel-boat on its surface, in-
dicative of inland trade. Around the border are the words,
Great Seal of the State of Ohio," with the date, 1802.

On a white or silver circular field is Louisiana.

represented a pelican, standing by her nest
filled with young ones, in the attitude of
" protection and defence," and in the act
of feeding them — all sharing alike her
maternal assiduity. The mother-bird
symbolizes the general government of the
Union ; while the birds in the nest repre-
sent the several States. Above are the
scales of Justice, which, taken in con-
nection with the emblems beneath, sig-
nify that " equal and exact justice" must
be extended to all the members of the
confederacy. The semi-circle of eighteen
stars indicates the number of States at
the tinie of admission. In the upper portion of the external circle are
the word.s, '• Stnte of Louisiana." and in the lower, llie words, " Union
and Confidenco." (98)



ADMlTlfD l'<10 lllC LMON, 1812


In the lower portion of a circular fit- Id
is reprefiented a scene of prairie and wood-
land, with the surface geiitl}' undulating
— descriptive of the predonjiiiimt features
of the State In the foregruund is a buf-
falo, an animal once abounding in great
numbers in this region, apparently siar-
tlcd by the axe of the woodman or pio-
neer, who is seen on the left, felling the
trees of the forest, denoting the march of
civilization westward. In the distance,
on the right, is seen the sun, just appear-
ing above the verge of the horizon, in a
half-eirele, spanning the expressive scene
beneath, are the worils " Indiana iState

Seal." Around the outer margin of the whole is a plain green border,

surrounded by a simple black line.

MISSISSIPPI. In the centre of a white or silver circu-

lar field is the American eagle, with wide-
spread wings, occupying the entire sur-
face ; which may be considered as deno-
ting that all the people of the State, from
whatever clime or country they may have
come, are purely American in feeling,
and are content to repose their trust under
the broad wings of the "bird of liberty."
In the right talon of the eagle is a bundle
of four arrows, significant of power to sus-
tain the principles of government, and to
repel the assaults of an enemy ; while an
olive branch in the left betokens a dispo-
sition to maintain peace. Around the

outer circle, between parallel lines, are the words, in Roman capitals,

" The Great Seal of the State of Mississippi."

ILLINOIS. In the centre of a white or silver es-

cutcheon is a representation of the Ameri-
can eagle, its wings spread so as to touch
the inner margin of the shield. In ita
right talon is the emblem of peace, an
olive branch ; while throe arrows are
grasped in the left, denoting its readiness
to sustain the three great branches of
government. On its breast is an escutch-
eon, the lower half of which is represented
of a red color, and the upper half blue,
the latter bearing three white or silver
stars. From its beak extends a label,
waving in the air above it, with tiie in-
scription "State Soven ignty: National

Union." In the upper part of a circle enclosing the shi(dd are the

words. "Seal of the State of Illinois," and in the lower part the dale,

"Aug't26, 1818." (99)



Nearly the entire of a circular field is
occupied with the representation of a map,
embracing the names and localities of tlie
principal rivers and towns, as they ex-
isted at the time when the territorial gov-
ernment was established, 1817, A por-
tion of East Florida, embracing the line
of surface as far as Pcnsacoln, is included
in the map, as also a small portion of
Tennessee, sufficient to show the bound-
aries on either side. Around the circle,
between two parallel lines, are the words,
in Roman capitals, " Alabama. Execu-
tive office."


A white or silver shield, on which is
represented a pine-tree, with a moose-deer
recumbent at its base — emblematical of
the valuable timber of the State, and of
the security and repose enjoyed by the
animals which range its immense forests.
The " supporters" are a mariner resting
on his anchcJr, and a husbandman with
his scythe — denoting that commerce and
agriculture are each primary resources of
the State. Above the shield is the North
Star, beneath which is the motto, Dirigo
— " I direct ;" and under the shield is the
name of the State, in Roman capitals ;
while sea and land compose the fore-
ground. On the left, the tall masts of a ship are perceptible in the dis-
tance, the sails spread, denoting a readiness for commercial enterprise.


On a circular shield, equally divided by
a perpendicular line, is a red field on the
right side, in which is the white or griz-
zly bear of Missouri. Above, separated
by a wavy or curved line, is a white or
silver crescent, in an azure field. On the
left, on a white field, are the arms of the
United States. A band surrounds the
escutcheon, on which are the words,
" United we stand, divided we fall."
For the crest, over a yellow or golden
helmet, full faced and grated with six
bars, is a silver star ; and above it, a
constellation of twenty-three smaller
stars. The supporters are two grizzly
bears, standing on a scroll inscribed. Sains populi siiprema lex csto — " The
public safety is the supreme law." Underneath are the numerals
MDCCCXX., and around the circle the words, "The Great Seal of the
State of Missouri." (100)



Occupying the lower jiart of a circle is
a shield, near the base of which is a white
star on a blue field, representing the State.
Ill the middle ])ortiou is a bi'c-hive, siijni-
fying industry, and a plough, denoting
agriculture ; while a steamboat, emblem-
atic of commerce, fills the upper part.
For the crest, the goddess of liberty is
represented with her wand and cap in one
hand, and a wrealli of laurel in the other,
surrounded by a constellation of stars,
iadicaling the States. The supporters

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Online LibraryJohn G. (John Gaylord) WellsWells' illustrated national campaign hand-book for 1860 → online text (page 21 of 27)