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Current Print >> 52 of 77:  1840

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THE NEW ERA WHIG TRAP SPRUNG.

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Democratic efforts to reelect Martin Van Buren are portrayed as hopeless in the face of broad popular support for Whig candidate William Henry Harrison. Here one of Harrison's campaign emblems, a log cabin, is a trap imprisoning the incumbent. The cabin's timbers are labeled with names of twenty states and its roof with "Maine." Its chimney is a cider barrel (another Harrison campaign symbol) on which sits an eagle. Jackson tries to lift the cabin with a "Hickory" lever braced against a cotton bale "New-Orleans." This refers to the Democratic attempts to exploit the personal popularity of the "hero of New Orleans" in the western United States. To Jackson's frustration the cabin is wedged tightly against an embankment of "Clay"--Henry Clay being the Whig's drawing card for the West.

Van Buren, pointing to the mound of "Clay," says, "Why General it is of no use trying, there is no hope in the "North" and "East" and don't you see the West end is all chinked up with "Clay," except one small corner where Benton sits . . . while Calhoun has nullified himself and me at the South. I have made up my mind to go to Kinderhook as soon as I get specie enough in the Sub Treasury to pay me my salary and would advise you to go to the "Deserts of Arabia . . .""

Jackson admonishes him, "Why Matty my boy! What have you been about to let those d---d British Whigs get you in such a fix . . ."

The print is signed "Boneyshanks," more than likely a pseudonym for Napoleon Sarony. The lithographer employs the distinctive broad crayon work found in signed Sarony work such as "The New Era or the Effects of a Standing Army" (no. 1840-3).

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Current Print >> 52 of 77:  1840

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