Sub treasurers meeting in England
A satire on corruption among Tammany officeholders in New York, showing absconded former Collector of the Port Samuel Swartwout and federal District Attorney William M. Price in London. The massive fraud and embezzlement by the two officials was exposed in late November 1838 and was used in the Whig press as an indictment of Van Buren's "Sub-Treasury" or independent treasury program. (See also "Price Current," no. 1838-21). Swartwout fled to Europe and was soon followed by Price. In the print the two men embrace, Swartwout (on the left) concealing a purse marked $1,500,000 and Price concealing one marked $1,200,000. (Various inflated estimates of the two men's take were cited early in the investigation.) On a wall at left is a poster for the Theatre Royal, featuring "First appearance From U. S. America. New Way to Pay Old Debts. Raising the Wind. Catch him who can." These names echo Elizabethan and Jacobean drawma titles. Swartout says: Welcome thou pearl of wondrous "Price."/ Thou oracle of Tammany Hall./ I hope you've got a handsome slice./ Since I've in motion put the ball. Price answers: Of Ex Collectors you're the man/ I wear within my heart of hearts;/ From pure regard, all that I can/ I've done and come to foreign parts:/ And though defaulter I may be/ & cause my party great regret./ Fees (when in Office) due to me,/ Will fairly balance all my debt.
Entd . . . 1838 by H.R. Robinson.
Printed & publd. by H.R. Robinson, 52 Cortlandt & 11-1/2 Wall St. N.Y.
The print was registered for copyright on December 14, 1838.
Title appears as it is written on the item.
Weitenkampf, p. 54.
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 1838-20.