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THE AVAILABLE PARTY TRYING TO GET THEIR VILLANY ENDORSED BY THE VERY MAN THEY HAVE ASSASINATED
   
Complete Explanation:
Again partisan bitterness, over the perceived Whig betrayal of Henry Clay's hopes for the presidential nomination and over subsequent efforts to obtain Clay's endorsement of Zachary Taylor's candidacy, is vented in this scene. The "available" label is applied in a pejorative sense, suggesting a party whose choice of a candidate was guided not by principles but by public image or popularity.

Henry Clay is seated at a desk before three men who present him with a document that reads: "MR. CLAY, we have called on you to humbly request that you will state to your Friends, that you approve of the Philadelphia Convention, and that you Endorse General Taylor as a good Whig." William V. Brady, former mayor of New York City, stands closest to Clay and explains, "Mr. Clay while I was Mayor of the City of New York I used all the Influence I had to have you nominated, you have always been my first choice." Seated in a chair at far right is Senator John J. Crittenden, who urges Brady to tell Clay ". . . that he was our first Choice."

Standing next to Brady, holding the endorsement document, is James Watson Webb, publisher of the New York "Courier & Enquirer. " He warns, "hold your tounge [sic] Crittenden you will ruin every thing."

Clay responds to their request, "Gentlemen I cannot endorse a note that the drawer himself has not signed," a cunning reference to Taylor's well-known reluctance to specifically commit himself to Whig principles. Portraits of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson hang on the wall behind Clay.


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