<Go back to the People Index results>


BURSTING THE BALLOON.
   
Complete Explanation:
Democratic frustrations in the race for the "Presidential Chair" are again parodied in the sequel or companion to "Balloon Ascension to the Presidential Chair" (no. 1844-32). Here the ascent of the Democrats is foiled as their balloon explodes, dumping Polk (far right) and his vice-presidential running-mate George M. Dallas into Salt River. Henry Clay seems to have punctured the balloon with a flag staff. Already in the water are former Democratic warhorses Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson. "Salt River" was a colloquialism for political misfortune or failure.

Polk, falling, says: "This is the worst "bust" that I ever went upon!" Van Buren, spouting water: "This salt water makes me spout like a whale."

Jackson, waving his cane: "By the eternal! I told them there was too much gas in their balloon."

On the left Whig candidates Clay and Frelinghuysen rise triumphantly toward the Presidential Chair in a balloon adorned with an American eagle. Clay says, "Good-bye Polk, you'll find it much easier travelling in that direction!" Frelinghuysen waves to supporters who cheer him from below, "Hurrah! hurrah for the people's choice! They mount upward like eagles!"


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