James Akin

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For the state politician from Tennessee, see James H. Akin.

James Akin
Born ca.1773
South Carolina, U.S.
Died 1846
Occupation Cartoonist

James Akin (ca.1773-1846) was an American political cartoonist and engraver from South Carolina. He worked in Philadelphia and Newburyport, Massachusetts. Associates included former President William Henry Harrison and Jacob Perkins.[1] Examples of Akin's work are in the American Antiquarian Society, Library of Congress, U.S. National Portrait Gallery, and Winterthur Museum.[2]

Skillet incident[edit]

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 deragotory print of Blunt entitled 'Infuriated Despondency' and a verse he called 'A Skillet Song.'"[3] The caricature was later featured in the Newburyport Herald in 1805 and in pottery throughout London and Liverpool in 2006, heaping scorn upon Blunt and his descendants. A few examples still exist.[4]


Examples of Akin's work:


  1. ^ F.B. Sanborn (1898). "Thomas Leavitt and his Artist Friend James Akin". The Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine. Concord, N.H. 25. 
  2. ^ Maureen O'Brien Quimby. The Political Art of James Akin. Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 7 (1972), pp. 59-112 JSTOR 1180534
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ http://www.common-place.org/vol-10/no-02/lessons/
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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

Further reading[edit]

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