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Copy of Ben Franklin‘s newspaper with ‘Join or Die‘ political cartoon up for auction

A copy of Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette containing the original version of the well-known “Join or Die” political cartoon will be auctioned this week in Los Angeles.

Bidding for the May 9, 1754, issue of the Gazette will begin at $40,000, Nate D. Sanders Auctions said in a statement.

The cartoon, attributed to Franklin, appears on the last page of the four-page newspaper, published in Philadelphia.

The auction house says the copy up for auction Thursday is the only one known to exist outside of one held by the Library of Congress.

While the cartoon would later become associated with the Revolutionary War, its original intent was to rally the British colonies to join together against the French and their American Indian allies during the Seven Years’ War between Britain and France.

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