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W.E. Hill: Topics in Chronicling America

W.E. Hill was a cartoonist who created satirical illustrations based on everyday citizens. This guide provides access to materials related to the "W.E. Hill" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

"Among us Mortals. Drawn by W. E. Hill. The suburban stations." November 5, 1916. New-York Tribune (New York, NY), Image 55. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Although cartoonist W.E. Hill has now been largely forgotten, he was hailed as the artistic genius of his time--a man who dealt in “making the world safe from hypocrisy.” Every Sunday for years, Americans eagerly awaited “Among Us Mortals,” a full page of satirical illustrations devoted to the everyday citizen. The drawings were so believable that readers swore every sketch was modeled after someone they personally knew. Capturing every banality from Sunday mornings to the barber shop, Hill’s simple drawings give us “the most human conception of our national life ever traced by pen or crayon.” Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

1916 Hill begins publishing his “Among Us Mortals” series in the New York Tribune.
July 27, 1917 Due to Hill’s wild popularity, the Washington Times starts publishing his sketches, but Hill receives backlash for offending the Burlesque community.
1917 - 1922 "Among Us Mortals” enjoys widespread notoriety and Hill becomes a nationally recognized cartoonist.
May 14, 1922 The illustration series is inexplicably dropped by the New York Tribune. Cartoonist Richard Culter attempts to carry on “Among Us Mortals,” but without much success.