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Complete Explanation:
The first in a series of four satires published by Thomas W. Strong, criticizing the secession movement in the South during the closing months of the Buchanan administration. (This impression was deposited for copyright on February 22, 1861.) A large hen, called "Union," watches anxiously as a hawk "Anarchy" swoops low over seven small ducks who swim on a nearby river. (The river is "Salt River," a symbol of political calamity.) The ducks represent Southern states, the one in the lead carrying South Carolina's flag. The hen comments, "Those Secession Ducks give me a great deal of trouble. They emptied the dish before they went, and there's no telling what will happen to 'em now they've left my wing. If that hungry hawk pounces on them, they will have no one but themselves to blame!" Several chicks gather around and under her wing. An empty "U.S. Treasury" plate is nearby, reflecting northern charges of embezzlement and diversion of federal funds to the South by federal officials who turned secessionist.

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