Original Copy of Benjamin Franklin's Historic 1754 Cartoon Listed in Auction

The Nate D. Sanders Auction in Los Angeles has an original Benjamin Franklin cartoon listed at $40,000 minimum bid, The piece was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754 and is believed to be one of two remaining copies.

What to Know

  • The JOIN or DIE cartoon was designed by Benjamin Franklin and published in his newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.
  • The cartoon has resurfaced at a Los Angeles area auction. It is being listed at $40,000 minimum bid and will begin Thursday at 5 p.m.
  • According to the Nate D. Sanders Auction, it is the "very first printing" and one of two remaining copy's in the entire country.

The original copy of one of the most influential political cartoons in American history has surfaced in a Los Angeles area auction.

The 264-year-old "JOIN or DIE" cartoon, believed to be created by Benjamin Franklin, is listed at the Nate D. Sanders Auction to begin taking bids Thursday at 5 p.m. The starting price is listed at $40,000.

According to the auction's website, the piece listed is "the very first printing" of the cartoon which appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette.

The Library of Congress in Washington D.C is believed to possess the only other remaining copy of this historic document.

On May 9, 1754, Benjamin Franklin created and published the cartoon of a rattlesnake cut into 8 pieces to symbolize the newly formed colonies.

"JOIN or DIE" was a message to the colonies to come together and fight against the French or die during the Seven Years War.

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