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Complete Explanation:
The cartoonist mocks the opportunism evident in Winfield Scott's endorsement of both the abolitionist cause and the Missouri Compromise.

Scott, in military uniform, is seated at a table with a plate of soup before him. He lifts his spoon from the plate and finds in it a kneeling black man, with arms outstretched saying, "Dis poor nigger am like Jonah, when de men would'nt let him stay in de Ship; and de whale would'nt let him stay in de water."

Scott observes, "Here's a predicament! first I shall have to swallow this nigger to please the north & then take a compromise emetic and deliver him up to please the south. Faugh! what a dose of Ginger, but I am anxious to serve the country at {dollar}25,000 pr Annum so down he goes."

Appearing from out of the steam is a Southern planter who remarks, "I should think from the flavor of the Generals last plate of Soup that my darkey had tumbled into it. I've heard of 'Green Turtle' and 'Mock Turtle' but that would be a pretty Strong dish of 'Black Turtle."

For the origin of the perennial joke about Scott's "hasty plate of soup," see "Distinguished Military Operations" (no. 1846-15). The style of "A Dish of Black Turtle" is similar to that of John L. Magee's "A Magnificent Offer to a Magnificent Officer" (no. 1852-27), and is probably by the same artist.

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