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Where's my thunder?

@ Library Company of Philadelphia


Cartoon comparing the Senate chamber with a courtroom to satirize the Senate's response to Henry Clay's controversial and long-debated Compromise of 1850. Depicts Webster stealing the "Fugitive Slave Act" out of the pocket of Clay who snoozes at his desk in the Senate (an allusion to the Senate's predominately positive reception of anti-slavery senator Webster's controversial support of the Act). In the background, senators scowl, nap, and look on in anguish, including Lewis Cass of Michigan and Henry S. Foote of Mississippi. Cass, proponent of popular sovereignty and the extension of slavery, exclaims "Ain't tha man done yet." Foote, who proposed a special committee to revise Clay's omnibus bill, brandishes a club (probably an allusion to his violent confrontation with rival Thomas Hart Benton over his proposal). Contains several lines of text describing the larceny trial of "Defendent" Webster and "Complainant" Clay, including "loud applause" during Webster's departure of the "Court-room" compared to Clay's scarcely noticed exit. Also contains note: "(See Police Report in the Daily Screamer)."

Record Contributed By

Library Company of Philadelphia

Record Harvested From

PA Digital