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The great American steeple chase for 1844

@ Library Company of Philadelphia


Cartoon depicting the presidential election of 1844 as a steeple chase race to the White House. Henry Clay, guided by the American eagle as he laments about the death of Harrison, leads the chase atop his half-horse/half-alligator mount. He is followed by: Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster, uneager to leave his cooking cauldron of "Chowder"; South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, astride his "nullification Coota Turtle," which is stuck in a "Clay Bank"; former President Van Buren, on a fox, taking a "crooked and dirty" shortcut to avoid Calhoun; an "Old Solider," possibly James K. Polk attempting to "turn" his donkey to the "right way"; Richard M. Johnson, who has fallen off of his "old amalgamation nag," an allusion to his controversial mulatto wife; and a fallen man, possibly anti-slavery Supreme Court Justice John McLean, wishing that he had a drop of "Democratic blood to let out." In the background, General Winfield Scott, astride a horse, and Commodore Charles Stewart, who sails a boat, discuss their lack of desire to be president. Inside the White House, Richard Tyler, a scroll inscribed "Irish Repeal" in his pocket, shakes and warns his sleeping father of the approaching "Philistines." Tyler responds smugly that he will be re-elected or "veto the whole concern," an allusion to his excessive use of the veto to stop the establishment of another national bank.; E.; Artist's initial lower left corner.; Publication information supplied by Reilly.

Record Contributed By

Library Company of Philadelphia

Record Harvested From

PA Digital