These two images are illustrations that were used to advertise the FeJee Mermaid when it was exhibited in New York and later in Charleston, South Carolina. The first, of a grotesque fish-monkey composite, was published in the New York Sunday Herald in 1842. It contrasts sharply with the second, of an alluring sea-siren out of a sailor's dream, that appeared in the Charleston Courier on January 21, 1843. The discrepancy between the images was likely due to the constraints of geography and printing technology. A local sketch artist in New York City could render an accurate likeness of the “mermaid,” while a faraway newspaper had to rely on stock printers’ engravings to advertise the attraction that was coming to their city.
Source: Library of Congress