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Complete Explanation:
A fond yet sardonic tribute to the aging Massachusetts statesman Daniel Webster, whose final bid for the Whig presidential nomination was defeated by Winfield Scott in 1852. The artist is wryly critical of the apparent Whig predilection for military candidates. The print seems to have appeared in the fall of 1852 (the Library's copyright deposit impression was registered on September 18), at around the time Webster, running as an independent candidate, withdrew, mortally ill, to his estate at Marshfield. He died on October 24, 1852.

Webster is shown as a schoolboy, standing before the U. S. Capitol building, holding the hand of Columbia, a young girl with an American flag as a sash. In her free hand, she holds a pole topped with a Phrygian cap. Nodding coyly, Columbia says, "Though my Guardians at Baltimore won't let me have you--believe me, Daniel, I love and honor you for all your past devotion and services, and can never forget you. If you had neglected your "Books" and "Slate," and attended more to "Fencing" and "Gymnastics," you might have succeeded better."

Webster stoically responds, "Notwithstanding the past, I am still your friend, and when you are in difficulty you may command my services." In the foreground lie his books, slate, and cap. In the background, two unidentified men are engaged in a fencing match.

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