The artist portrays congressional efforts to pass the Crittenden Compromise as an antidote to Republican intransigence on the slavery issue. (For an earlier anti-North satire relating to the compromise, see "Congressional Surgery. Legislative Quackery," no. 1860-44.).
Three well-dressed men (probably members of Congress) attend a sick man, who wears a dressing gown and holds a document inscribed "Republican Platform No Compromise." Together they pull the invalid from his chair and struggle to force an oversized pill "Crittenden Compromise" down his throat, pushing it with a "Petition of 63,000." A box of "Constitutional Remedies" (containing more giant pills) is on the floor nearby. The door to the room stands open at right.