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DISTURBING A MARTINS NEST.
   
Complete Explanation:
A satire on the Van Buren administration's involvement in New York State politics. Although the precise context of the cartoon is unclear, specific reference is made to Van Buren's alliance with postmaster general and political strategist Amos Kendall against Senator Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, leader of the conservative faction of New York Democrats.

In an interior, Kendall (left) and Van Buren are at a table strewn with "discharge" papers. Kendall, seated below a painting of Andrew Jackson titled "Glory," reads the "Globe" newspaper. Van Buren sits below a portrait of "Globe" editor and administration apologist Francis Preston Blair.

Van Buren: "So they've nailed that infernal Tallmadge to the counter-Whole hog fellows these eighteen-we must show our gratitude-any room in your concern Amos?"

Kendall: "You're right sir we must back up the Albany Boys. Ill send every d--md whig in my department to "Jones" locker. Theres that old superanuated hero Van Ranselaer [i.e., probably, Canal Commissioner Stephen Van Rensselaer] we'll bury him decently and put a "Flagg" [State Comptroller Azariah C. Flagg] over him."

Tallmadge watches from behind a curtain, saying "Those fellows can only conceive of mens souls as marketable commodities." Weitenkampf dates the print tentatively 1836, but the artist's rendering of Kendall is clearly based on Charles Fenderich's life portrait, etched by William W. Bannerman and published in the "United States Magazine and Democratic Review" in March 1838. The likeness of Tallmadge also appears to be from a Fenderich portrait copyrighted in 1839.


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