Collection of primarily racist social caricatures lampooning the etiquette and conventions of early 19th-century, middle-class New Yorkers, particularly the growing community of free African American persons. Eliciting the heightened racism in the antebellum North, the African American men, women, and children characters are depicted with exaggerated features, wearing boldly-patterned and colored clothes, and speaking in a vernacular to be portrayed and denigrated as illegitimate elite society. Caricatures also address “rules” of courtship, fashion, classism, and a dance lesson. Some caricatures also represent the sexism and ethnic divisions of the era.
Influenced by the "Life in Philadelphia" series of 1828-1830, the series consists of at least eight prints published around 1830 by eminent New York lithographer Anthony Imbert. Although often attributed to Edward W. Clay, the different styles of the caricatures imply that the prints were executed by various artists employed by Imbert. The African American caricature, "A Five Points Exclusive," a lithograph published in the early 1830s by John Pendleton, an associate of Imbert, has been included as a part of the series., Nancy Reynolds Davison's E.W. Clay: American Political Caricaturist of Jacksonian America (PhD. diss., The University of Michigan, 1980), p. 93-95. (LCP Print Room Yz, A423.O)