Caricature of John or Jonathan Pluck, an illiterate hostler elected Colonel of the 84th Pennsylvania militia in a controversial 1824 election. He is shown here marching toward the left, raising a sword inscribed "Ducit amor patria." According to Nancy Halli of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, several articles appeared in the "Democratic Press" and "United States Gazette" following his outrageous militia parade in May 1825, and could have inspired the print.
In the background is a crowd of militia troops armed with tree branches and brooms. One man holds aloft a flag emblazoned with a man milking a cow; another flag shows two men sawing a log. A black youth rides by on a pig, saying "Hurra for de Pennsylwamy light infamy." He is followed by a barefoot militiaman riding a cow.
Below the title are the verses:
"I could not stir,
But like a comet, I was wonder'd at;
Others would tell their children "This is he"
Others would say - Where? which is the "Colonel?"
And then I stole all courtesy from heaven,
And dress'd myself in such humility,
That I did PLUCK allegience from mens hearts.
The lines come from Shakespeare's "Henry IV," part one.