Oil on panel. 121.6 x 98.11 cm • 47 7/8 x 38 5/8 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
General Henry Knox, c. 1805
Mocking idleness and turning labor [in the North] into a badge of honor made the South, with its leisured aristocracy supported by slavery, seem even more anomalous than it had been at the time of the Revolution, thus aggravating the growing sectional split in the country. Many Southern aristocrats began emphasizing their cavalier status in contrast to the money-grubbing northern Yankees. They were fond of saying that they were real gentlemen, a rare thing in America.