The first newspaper cartoon in America was political in nature (above) and was
drawn and originally published by Benjamin Franklin in The Pennsylvania Gazette. It
appeared as part of an editorial by Franklin commenting on ‘the present disunited
state of the British Colonies. The woodcut drawing entitled ‘Join or Die’ pictures a
divided snake in eight pieces representing as many colonial governments.The
drawing was based on the popular superstition that a snake that had been cut in
two would come to life if the pieces were joined before sunset. The drawing was
soon reproduced in other newspapers.