An election-year cartoon, predicting the victory of former New York governor Horatio Seymour in the presidential race. Here, Seymour's head hovers, glowing, above the White House, complacently watching a group of struggling Republicans.
Republican candidate Grant and his running mate Colfax draw a wagon, the "Chicago Platform," loaded with supporters up a steep hill toward the White House. Charles Wilkes, seated in front of the wagon, wagers, ". . . 5, 10, 15 or 20 dollars on little joker Grant,--" Ohio ex-senator Benjamin Wade grumbles, "Just as I told them! there is no strength in this team! why didn't they put me and [Theodore] Tilton on the ticket?"
Massachusetts representative Benjamin F. Butler, holding spoons, says, "I begin to feel a little spooney for with all Grants strength & Colfax to help him we seem to be going backwards." As military governor of New Orleans in 1862, Butler earned a reputation as a corrupt plunderer. Under his administration the city's financial management was so irregular that he was alleged to have stolen the spoons from his own house.
Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner exclaims: "Why! Old Thad has fallen off the platform!"
"New York Tribune" editor Horace Greeley says: "Well we wont stop to pick him up, its a pity he hadn't fell off before."
Thaddeus Stevens (lying on the ground behind) retorts: "I'd rather fall off than ride with an Old scare crow like you,--"
Other, silent passengers are former abolitionist Wendell Phillips, the bearded Edwin M. Stanton, and an unidentified man.
In the front, Colfax, straining at the rope pulling the wagon, cries, "Hold on General!--for if we let go the whole party will go to destruction." Grant replies, "I can't fight it out on this line against the rising Sun!" These words are a play on his famous statement, "We will fight it out on this line," in a dispatch to Washington during the Spotsylvania campaign.