<Go back to the People Index results>

Complete Explanation:
Satire on the presidential election of 1852, showing Winfield Scott, Daniel Webster, and Franklin Pierce competing in a footrace before a crowd of onlookers for a {dollar}100,000 prize (the four-year salary for a president) and "pickings." In the lead is Webster, who exclaims, "I can beat you both, and "walk in" at that although you had a hundred yards the start of me!!" Denied the Whig nomination in June, Webster was later persuaded to run as an independent candidate.

Directly behind Webster appears Whig nominee Winfield Scott, in military uniform. Scott says, "Confound Webster! what does he want to get right in my way for? if he dont give out, or Pierce dont faint I shall be beaten."

Democratic candidate Franklin Pierce trails both of them, yelling, "No! No! old Fuss and Feathers [Scott's nickname], you dont catch this child fainting now. I'm going in to make good time! whether I win or not, Legs! do your duty." Onlookers standing behind a fence in the background cheer the contestants on. Their comments include:

"Go it Dan! put in the "big licks." [In an exaggerated Irish brogue], "Arrah be Jabers! an is it ould Dannil, thats to . . . he'll come out fore nint the whole o'thim."

"I'm fraid the Ex pounder is too old for such a severe race."

"Old! my dear fellow don't you know that it is the Blood that tells, age dont matter I'd back old Dan against Lady Suffolk herself." (Lady Suffolk was a premiere race horse of the day).

"Scott ought to pass, he's got a long Stride." "Yes, but Dan . . . gathers well." The cartoon must have originated between June 5, when Franklin Pierce won the Democratic nomination, and September, when Webster effectively retired an invalid to his estate at Marshfield.

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