Zachary Taylor's stubborn resistance to declaring his views on the major political issues during his candidacy in the 1848 presidential campaign was a favorite theme of the opposition. Here Taylor, in uniform, fields questions from a group of "Office Seekers." The first asks, "What is your opinion of Free-Trade Sir?" A bespectacled man behind him inquires, "What do you think of the Tariff Sir?"
Two other men standing in background debate: "We can't find out anything by him."
"That's because he's got it in him--A still tongue makes a wise head. Didn't he lick Santa Anna at Buena Vista?"
Taylor, sitting with feet propped on a chair back, declares, "Ax my ------! Do you think I sit here to answer your bothering questions? You'll find out what I think when I'm President, & then it will be my part to command & yours to obey."
At left, editor Horace Greeley (in long white coat) confides to an unidentified man, "We must take up with Matty [i.e., Martin Van Buren, Free Soil candidate]."
The other man states, "We must elect Hale." He refers to John P. Hale, Liberty party nominee for president in the fall of 1847. His nomination was superseded in the coalition of Liberty party and Barnburner Democrats forming the Free Soil party in August 1848 to nominate Van Buren.