Cartoon, Portland Watch or Cracking Notes, ca. 1840

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Joseph Titcomb Harris' cartoon "Portland Watch or Cracking Notes" is dedicated to his friends Jott and Seth Paine, A.H. Jenks, H. P. Harris and Frederick Mellen. The Paines were musicians and Mellen a noted painter.

The three-part cartoon depicts a battle between sailors and late night musical carousers near St. Paul's Church in the Old Port.

In the 1830s, "Night Bands," made up of young men, serenaded citizens from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. They apparently were paid to go away.

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About This Item

  • Title: Cartoon, Portland Watch or Cracking Notes, ca. 1840
  • Creator: Harris, Joseph Titcomb
  • Creation Date: circa 1840
  • Subject Date: circa 1840
  • Town: Portland
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: MS77-39
  • Object Type: Image

For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x219

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