A satire on the competition between Daniel Webster and Winfield Scott for the 1852 Whig nomination for the presidency. In the drawing, the candidates stand on opposite sides of a door, Scott on the left and Webster on the right, both futilely trying to force the door open.
Webster: "Profoundly as it is to be regretted, it is my deliberate opinion some one has got hold of this door knob!"
Scott: "How d----d vexatious! I shall force my way through by "Maine" strength! D------L is that you? show your god like magnanimity, and let a "starved man" through to get his "hasty plate of soup."
A man with long hair stands with his back toward the viewer next to Scott, an ax marked "MAINE" over his shoulder. On the ground at his feet is a broken bottle. His presence may allude to the Maine Liquor Law (an influential 1851 temperance measure) or to the unpopularity of Webster in Maine, earned by his 1842 Webster-Ashburton treaty. Significantly, Maine was also the first state to vote in presidential elections. (For the "hasty plate of soup" reference, see "Distinguished Military Operations," no. 1846-15.)
Two unidentified men stand in the background. Other unidentifiable objects lie at Scott's feet.