The Capture of an Unprotected Female, or the Close of the Rebellion, Currier & Ives

D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

Black and white image of 4men surrounding a man at center dressed as a woman with a woman looking from the left.

After General Lee’s surrender to Union troops on April 9, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled Richmond. Union forces pursued Davis largely because he was thought to be behind the assassination of President Lincoln. A $100,000 reward was promised to anyone who could bring in Davis and his aides. Early on the morning of May 10, Federal cavalry in Irwin County, Georgia, captured him. According to reports, Davis attempted to flee and had hurriedly thrown on his wife’s overcoat. This led to the persistent rumor that Davis disguised himself as a woman in order to avoid arrest. A popular song of the era was “Jeff in Petticoats.” Major tabloids and printmakers, such as Currier & Ives, featured renderings of the fallen leader dressed in everything from a bonnet to a hoop skirt.

Object Creator
Currier & Ives (American, 1834-1907)
Object Creation Date
Hand-colored lithograph
15 7/8 x 11 3/4 inches
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert supplemented with Museum Acquistions Funds
Accession Number
On View?
Image Request
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