James Akin (ca.1773-1846) was an American political cartoonist from South Carolina. He worked in Philadelphia and Newburyport, Massachusetts. Associates included William Harrison and Jacob Perkins. Examples of Akin's work are in the American Antiquarian Society, Library of Congress, U.S. National Portrait Gallery, and Winterthur Museum.
In the early 1800s, Akin worked as an engraver for Edmund March Blunt in Newburyport. "In late October 1804 the two men argued publicly, and in the course of the disagreement Blunt threw an iron skillet at Akin, hitting an unfortunate passerby. Akin, uninjured, retaliated with a print of Blunt entitled 'Infuriated Despondency' and a verse he called 'A Skillet Song.'" The caricature was later featured in the Newburyport Herald in 1805 and in pottery throughout London and Liverpool in 2006. A few examples still exist.
Examples of Akin's work:
Illustration by Akin published in John Drayton's A View of South Carolina, 1802 (Winterthur Museum)
- F.B. Sanborn (1898). "Thomas Leavitt and his Artist Friend James Akin". The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine (Concord, N.H.) 25.
- Maureen O'Brien Quimby. The Political Art of James Akin. Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 7 (1972), pp. 59-112 JSTOR 1180534
- Christina H. Nelson. Transfer-Printed Creamware and Pearlware for the American Market. Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Summer, 1980), pp. 93-115 JSTOR 1180534
- Akin (1824). "Caucus curs in full yell, or a war whoop, to saddle on the people, a pappoose president / J[ames] Akin, Aquafortis". Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
- Richard R. John. Taking Sabbatarianism Seriously: The Postal System, the Sabbath, and the Transformation of American Political Culture. Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Winter, 1990) JSTOR 3123626
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James Akin.|
- Nina Fletcher Little. "The Cartoons of James Akin upon Liverpool Ware." Old-Time New England, (January 1938)
- Lewis C. Rubenstein. "James Akin in Newburyport." Essex Institute Historical Collections (1966)
- Allison Stagg (January 2010). "Object Lessons: "All in my eye!" James Akin and his Newburyport social caricatures". Common-Place.
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