A swipe at President Van Buren's independent treasury system and his continuation of the monetary policies of predecessor Andrew Jackson. The artist, clearly in sympathy with the Whigs, links corruption in the federal customs and postal systems with the sub-treasury system, whereby federal funds were to be retained by the revenue-collecting agencies and other designated repositories, instead of private banks. The artist forecasts Van Buren's defeat in the 1840 elections.
Van Buren, hypnotized by Jackson, is on a couch with a royal crown and scepter on one side and sword and purse on the other. Jackson, his toes touching Van Buren's, sits in a chair to the left with his white plug hat and cane next to him. On the right Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury (arms crossed), Postmaster General Amos Kendall, and "Globe" editor Francis Preston Blair (far right) observe.
Jackson: "Are you asleep? Do you hear me? Tell me what you see?"
Van Buren: "I am asleep. I hear nobody but you.--I see a great pole, and a crowd of people. They are cheering an elderly man; whom they hail as President of the United States. On their banners are inscribed Whig Principles!!! I see a little man tumbling down a precipice; on his back is a mill stone inscribed Sub-treasury! oh! lord, oh! lord! Why it is myself!"
Woodbury: "Ask him Dr. Jackson, if he sees any thing of "Price" or Swartwout?" (See "Price Current" and "Sub Treasurers Meeting in England," nos. 1838-21 and -20.)
Kendall: "Ask him at what rate the Express Mail for North is going now?"
Blair: "This will make a good paragraph for the Globe!"