<Go back to the People Index results>

The celeste-al cabinet
Complete Explanation:
A mild satire on Jackson and his Cabinet, portraying in imaginative terms a White House reception of popular French dancer and actress Madame Celeste. Seated in chairs in a White House parlor are six cabinet members. In the center Jackson sits behind a table, as "Door Keeper" Jimmy O'Neal (standing) presents Madame Celeste. The cabinet members are (left to right): Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson, Attorney General Benjamin F. Butler, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Postmaster General Amos Kendall, Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury, and Vice-President Martin Van Buren. Each figure's remarks are an amusing reflection of his own character or reputation.

Dickerson: I never felt the inconvenience of being a bachelor untill now. what I have lost!! she as gracefull as a Seventy-four under full sail.

Cass: This is a very strange introduction to the Cabinet when weighty matters are under discussion; but it does not become me to complain.

Jimmy O'Neal: O' she'll bother them all by the powers faith, except my friend Kendal he has no soule for a pretty woman...

Celeste: Mon General, if it is "glory enough" to serve under you "ma foi" vat is my grand satisfaction to see you wis de Grand Cabinet of dis Grand Nation here assamble.

Jackson: Charming Creature. I've not lost all my penchant for pretty women.... Kendall: I wonder how the General could ever prefer the heels to the head. He never learnt that from me. But the least said the soonest mended.

Woodbury: She has grace enough to dance all the surplus Revenue out of the Treasury Hasn't she, Mr. Attorney general?

Butler: She is well enough, but I have conscientious scruples on these matters. Van Buren: Pooh pooh Butler, this is not the age for scruples of any kind. I like her rapid movements, her quick changes, her gracefull transitions. She is of my school..."

Weitenkampf's association of the cartoon with the Peggy Eaton affair of 1831, where several cabinet members resigned, is mistaken since the cabinet shown here consists of later appointees. The print appears from the style and monogram to be the work of lithographic draftsman Albert Hoffay.

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