Sarah A. Hansen '17, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
This lithograph is a Northern depiction of the capture of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Titled "The Last Ditch of the Chivalry, or a President in Petticoats", and picturing Davis in a woman’s dress and bonnet, the Northern press painted Davis as a coward. Rather than being a man and standing up to the Union troops, Davis disguised himself as a woman and attempted to cowardly escape. Although in actuality Davis was wearing a rain jacket and shawl rather than a full dress and bonnet, the Northern press mocked him. This piece demonstrates the prominence of male Southern honor, and how the ideals of being a man contradicted with the expectations for women. Davis’ flee also symbolizes the fall of the Confederacy.
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Hansen, Sarah A., "Visual Culture Analysis of "The Last Ditch of the Chivalry, or a President in Petticoats"" (2017). Student Publications. 536.