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THE ALMIGHTY LEVER.
   
Complete Explanation:
E. W. Clay's apocalyptic allegory has public opinion as a giant lever, tilting decisively in favor of the Whigs late in the presidential campaign of 1840. In a symbolic landscape masses of people climb onto the lever, which then nudges the great ball of "Loco Focoism" over a precipice. In the sky appears an eagle with a shield, arrows, and olive branches, holding a banner with the commentary:

"With a log cabin and barrel of hard Cider for a fulcrum, public opinion for a "lever," with old Tip on the tip end the ball of Locofocoism will be rolled into oblivion and a gallant soldier raised to the white house. March 4th 1841."

In the distance is a recently cleared field, the White House, and the Capitol. Van Buren and several others topple from the giant ball, on which also appears a strong box inscribed "Sub Treasury." A crowd of erstwhile supporters flee from the edge of the chasm, leaving behind "Treasury Notes."

The print probably appeared in September 1840, since the Library's impression was deposited for copyright on September 24. Nancy Davison and Frank Weitenkampf both attribute the print to Edward W. Clay. This is supported by stylistic comparison with his other 1840 cartoons. The "W.C." signature appears to be a truncated form of his "EWC" monogram.


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