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PRESIDENT (C)ASS BEGINNING OPERATIONS, LOSING NO TIME.
   
Complete Explanation:
Once again, Lewis Cass is attacked as a militaristic expansionist. (See "A War President," no. 1848-16.) His support during the 1846 Oregon boundary dispute of the expansionist 54{rcedil} 40' parallel and his War of 1812 military record are invoked as evidence of his hawkish character.

Cass (center) sits on a pile of cannon balls inscribed "54.40" signing a declaration of war with a quill pen dipped in blood. He uses a military drum for a desk top. In his left hand he holds a broken saber, memento of a well-publicized incident during the War of 1812 when Cass defied his superior officer's orders to surrender to the British at Detroit. Rather than surrender his troops he chose instead to break his sword. Here he says, "The first thing I'll do will be to sign this declaration of war--leaving the name of the Country blank to fill up afterward--if the People did not want more bloodshed why the devil did they make "me" Genl. (C)Ass President--holloa Scott are you ready?"

To the right, Gen. Winfield Scott stands next to a cannon, eating a bowl of soup. He says, "All right Mr. President. I have nearly finished the "hasty bowl of soup" only keep Quiet two minutes longer & I'll get my friend Barnum to give you the "other" piece of "that broken sword." " (For the origin of the "hasty bowl of soup" joke, see "Distinguished Military Operations with a Hasty Bowl of Soup," no. 1846-15).

To the left stands Whig nominee Zachary Taylor, as a military drummer boy, accompanied by two bloodhounds. The dogs allude to Taylor's controversial use of bloodhounds against Indians in the Second Seminole War in Florida. (For an extremely defamatory treatment of this theme see James Baillie's "Hunting Indians in Florida with Blood-Hounds," no. 1848-20) He exclaims, "Too bad by Jessy!! here I am at the old trade again, instead of being President dammme if they have not made me drummer."

In the background stand a row of soldiers, one holding a flag marked "54.40."


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