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A cartoon in the October 17, 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly manifested the negative image that Union supporters had of the French and British governments for their flirtation with the Confederacy.  It also suggested the impact that the Russian visit was expected to have on those two nations.  In the cartoon, Emperor Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon) of France and John Bull, the personification of Britain, are pirates (corsairs, in French) who are alarmed by the sight of the Russian fleet in New York Harbor.

A cartoon in the November 28 issue portrayed President Abraham Lincoln as a physician who sends his errand boy, Secretary of State William Seward, to cure the “Confederate Rash” of his Southern patient with “Russia Salve”—a reference to the visiting Russian fleet and perhaps to a possible Russian-American alliance.  Redding’s Russia Salve was a popular ointment for skin-related maladies advertised in the pages of Harper’s Weekly and elsewhere.  There was also a popular song of the period entitled “The Russia Salve Agent, or, Snook’s Scolding Wife” (c. 1857).

Harper's Weekly References

1)  October 17, 1863, p. 672, c. 1-2
cartoon, “The Perplexed Pirates”

2)  November 28, 1863, p. 768, c. 1-3
cartoon, “Drawing Things to a Head”

3)  May 28, 1864, p. 351, c. 3
advertisement, Redding’s Russia Salve

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