<Go back to the Topics Index results>


RATS QUITTING THE SHIP.
   
Complete Explanation:
Postmaster general Amos Kendall's 1840 resignation prompted the artist's speculation on the desertion of other Van Buren cabinet members. Kendall resigned on May 16, to concentrate on editing the "Extra Globe," a Democratic campaign newspaper. The artist also echoes Whig charges of White House extravagance under Van Buren, and rumors (well-founded) of the lucrative financial benefits of Kendall's new post.

The President sits on a throne on a dais, as Kendall bows before him tendering his resignation. Three other advisors caucus in the background. They are (left to right) Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury, Secretary of State John Forsyth, and editor Francis Preston Blair. Woodbury and Forsyth both hold their resignations.

Kendall: "Your excellency please accept my resignation My health is very feeble. I've made no money in office, and Blair is to give me the profits of the Extra Globe. I must go back to editing Newspapers." Before accepting a cabinet post in the Jackson administration, Kendall had been a highly successful editor.

Van Buren: "This is a very inauspicious time my Friends to dissolve the Cabinet. It really looks as if I am to be abandoned."

Woodbury: "What's to become of me? Am I not to go to Russia France or England? We must provide for the family."

Forsyth: "I wish to resign provided I can do it profitably; a foreign Mission is just the thing."

Blair: "Dont all desert us. The Whigs will make capital out of this be sure of it."

Contrary to the cartoonist's prediction, no cabinet resignations other than Kendall's were forthcoming.


Website design 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com