<Go back to the People Index results>


THE HUNTER OF KENTUCKY.
   
Complete Explanation:
Henry Clay is the hunter, and various Democrats his quarry. Clay wears a fringed buckskin outfit and coonskin cap reminiscent of Davy Crockett and the Western characters of the contemporary stage, such as Nimrod Wild-Fire or Jibbenainosay. (In Bucholzer's earlier cartoon "Treeing Coons," no. 1844-20, James Polk wears a similar costume.) He grasps a rattlesnake with the head of incumbent President John Tyler. In his belt are two trophies, the Van Buren fox and Polk goose. He stands on the trunk of a felled "Hickory" tree (an allusion to Democratic patriarch Andrew Jackson), while an eagle hovers over him displaying a ribbon with the Whig campaign slogan, "Honor To Whom Honor Is Due." Clay says, "Thus perish the enemies of my Country, and of the People, who have honored me with their suffrages!"

To the left stands Clay's running-mate Theodore Frelinghuysen, holding John C. Calhoun and Thomas Hart Benton by the seats of their trousers. He addresses Clay, "Here, noble Hunter! I have found two non-descript Animals! One of them is continually bawling about mint drops! and the other is yelling about disunion and nullification!" "Mint drops," slang for gold coin, were popular symbols of Benton's hard-money philosophy. Calhoun's leadership in the South's movement for nullification of the federal tariff of 1828 marked him as an advocate of disunion.


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