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SOLD FOR WANT OF USE.

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Bucholzer again uses animal characterizations to poke fun at the respective faults of prominent Democrats in the 1844 presidential race. In an interior, Whig nominee Henry Clay conducts a livestock auction, offering (left to right) an ass with the head of incumbent John Tyler, a goose with James K. Polk's head, and fox Martin Van Buren. The animals are guarded by Clay running-mate Theodore Frelinghuysen, who is armed with a whip. At left is a gallery of spectators.

Clay stands at a podium raising a gavel in his right hand, saying: "Going--How much gentlemen for these animals? So much for the Lot--A fine fox, can play a variety of tricks--An animal of the goose species that never was heard of before--and a Texian Ass celebrated for the length of his ears. Stir them up Theodore, and let the gentlemen see. Going! Going!! Going!!!"

In characterizing Polk an obscure species Clay alludes to the latter's emergence as (to use another animal metaphor) a dark horse nominee.

Van Buren: "Might makes right."

Polk: "Oh! goosey, goosey gander, where shall I wander?"

Tyler: "Veto! Veto!! Veto!!!" (a reference to his repeated vetoes of Whig-sponsored bills to create a national bank).

Frelinghuysen: "Stop your noise and stand still, or I'll give you a little more of this Tariff!" The Whig platform included support for a protectionist tariff, very popular in the northern states.

A spectator, pointing at Tyler: "I dont like that Ass, he kicks." The idea of an ass kicking its master is probably a figurative reference to Tyler's betrayal of Whig interests during his administration.

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Current Print >> 36 of 60:  1844

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