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PARODY. 605,000 Sour Grapes.
   
Complete Explanation:
An illustrated broadside pertaining to the controversy surrounding settlement of the State of New York's War of 1812 financial claims against former governor Daniel D. Tompkins. It was established that the ex-governor was indebted to the state to the sum of {dollar}120,000, but a disupte arose between Tompkins and State Comptroller Archibald McIntyre over the valid amount of Tompkins's own claims against the state. The broadside probably dates from 1820, when Tompkins's nomination by the "Bucktail" faction of New York Democrats as candidate for governor gave the issue new importance.

The author of the broadside uses the nursery rhyme "The House That Jackt Built" in his attack on Tompkins and his supporters. A sequence of six small woodcuts illustrates the verses, showing the House (the New York State Treasury), the malt (the {dollar}120,000 debt), the rat (Tompkins), the cat (McIntyre), the dog (the Bucktails), and "the men that'll beat the dog" (the farmers--possibly the Clintonians who opposed Tompkins with their own gubernatorial candidate, incumbent DeWitt Clinton).

A seventh vignette shows a fox eyeing grapes on a tree, from Aesop's fable, perhaps suggesting the failure of Tompkins's counterclaim, although the figure 605,000 in the title far exceeds the {dollar}130,000 sought by the former governor.


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