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Polk & Co. Going up Salt River

Polk & Co. Going up Salt River

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Summary

The artist foresees a Democratic defeat in the 1844 presidential election. Party figures Martin Van Buren, Thomas Hart Benton, vice-presidential candidate George M. Dallas, Andrew Jackson, and presidential nominee James K. Polk are in a dinghy towed by the "Steamer Ballot Box" up Salt River toward political defeat. The bow of the dinghy is adorned with the head of presidential incumbent John Tyler. On a staff on the steamer's stern is mounted a large cabbage, a symbol which during the 1840 election campaign represented Whig hopes of retiring Van Buren to his home at Kinderhook "to raise cabbages." Here Van Buren has the body of a fox and Polk that of a long-necked bird, perhaps a goose or a crane. Van Buren: "I never sailed so far up this river before. We must be near the head of navigation." Polk, standing on the stern of the boat: "We've got up so far that the water grows shallow. I think I could get out & wade now." Jackson exclaims: "By the eternal! Polk don't give up the "ship.""
Drawn by H. Bucholzer.
Entered . . . 1844 by James Baillie.
Lithography & print coloring on reasonable terms by James Baillie No.33 Spruce St. New York.
Title appears as it is written on the item.
The Library's impression was deposited for copyright on July 10, 1844.
Weitenkampf, p. 80.
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 1844-34.

Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837, seeking to act as the direct representative of the common man. "I have always been afraid of banks."

Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States (1837-1841), after serving as the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, both under President Andrew Jackson. While the country was prosperous when the "Little Magician" was elected, less than three months later the financial panic of 1837 punctured the prosperity. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in a number of senior roles, including eighth Vice President (1833–37) and tenth Secretary of State (1829–31), both under Andrew Jackson. Van Buren's inability as president to deal with the economic chaos of the Panic of 1837 and with the surging Whig Party led to his defeat in the 1840 election. "The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity."

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."

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

date_range

Date

01/01/1844
person

Contributors

Baillie, James S., active 1838-1855.
Bucholzer, H.
place

Location

create

Source

Library of Congress
copyright

Copyright info

No known restrictions on publication.

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