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Loco Foco hunters treeing a candidate

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Loco Foco hunters treeing a candidate

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A satire on the Democrats' or "Loco Focos'" 1852 pursuit of Franklin Pierce for the presidential nomination. At the foot of the White Mountains in the "Dismal Swamp," an immense, swampy region of North Carolina and Virginia, Pierce is pursued by Loco Foco hunters in military uniforms. Pierce has been chased up a dead tree by either a fox (an allusion to party warhorse Martin Van Buren, perhaps) or a dog. Several hunters make their way through the water and tall grass toward him. Pierce cries, "Gentlemen don't fire! if you please I cant stand the smell of Powder! it makes me feel faint even to think of it!!" (On Pierce's reputation for fainting in combat see "The Game-Cock & the Goose," no. 1852-18.) A hunter standing on a log at left comments, "What a place to come to, find a Candidate." Another (standing at right) replies, "Well it aint such a bad spot, when the party are hard up, here's where we started that famous Poke [i.e., James K. Polk] in 44." A third hunter asks, "Ain't we got first rate men enough outside of this? I never heard of that fellow before." At far right, a man holding up a hat answers, "Thats just what we want, a Candidate, that nobody ever heard of; the people know our big men too well ever to elect any of them." A crane flies off to the right.
For sale by Nathaniel Currier at No. 2 Spruce St. N.Y.
Signed with initials: H.O.
Title appears as it is written on the item.
Weitenkampf, p. 111.
Forms part of: American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)
Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1852-35.

Polk was born in North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee. Polk was the dark horse candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to annex the Republic of Texas. Under President Polk vast areas were added to the United States. During his 1845–49 presidency, Polk led the nation to a victory in the Mexican–American War, seizing nearly the whole of what is now the American Southwest. He threatened war with the United Kingdom over the issue of Oregon Country ownership, eventually reaching a settlement in which the British were made to sell the portion that became the Oregon Territory. He built a treasury system that lasted until 1913, oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and of the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first United States postage stamp. True to his campaign pledge to serve only one term as President, Polk left office and returned to Tennessee in March 1849. He died of cholera three months later. "One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights."

Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th President of the United States (1853–57). Pierce was a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation. By pursuing the recommendations of southern advisers, Pierce hoped to ease the divisions that led eventually to Civil War. His actions to signing the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act failed to stem intersectional conflict, setting the stage for Southern secession. "Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion."

Glimpses of U.S. political campaigns in magazine covers and satire.

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01/01/1852
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Currier, Nathaniel, 1813-1888.
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Library of Congress
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