Influential Richmond publisher Thomas Ritchie is attacked for his support of Lewis Cass's nomination at the Democratic national convention in Baltimore. The convention, held in late May 1848, selected Cass, an advocate of popular sovereignty on the key issue of the extension of slavery into territories acquired by the United States in the Mexican War.
Ritchie is shown here in an apron, putting Cass's head into the "PRESIDENTIAL OVEN." On the front of the oven hangs a long knife. Inscribed on the wall behind Ritchie is a swipe at the convention:
"THOMAS RITCHIE & CO.
BAKERS AND CONFECTIONERS TO HIS DEMOCRATIC
MAJESTY. All manner of Messes cooked to order; hot or cold, with or without sauce and trimmings, Public Dinners gotten up at the shortest notice, Political Hashes every evening Flummery DOUGH FACES done brown, Sugar plums."
"His Democratic Majesty" no doubt refers to incumbent Democratic President James K. Polk, whom Ritchie served as editor of the administration organ, the "Washington Union." "Dough-face" was a derogatory name for Northerners sympathetic to Southern views on slavery.