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Complete Explanation:
An inscription on the verso of the Library's impression states: "Probably printed at Hanover, N.H. about 1840 by E. A. Allen editor and friends of the "Iris and Literary Record (1841)." J. W. Moore..." This dating suggests that the cartoon refers not to Jackson's "experiment" but to Van Buren's later, independent treasury plan. His proposed system, whereby federal funds would be held and administered by the revenue-collecting agencies themselves or by local "sub-treasuries," was passed by Congress in July 1840 and yet was widely criticized as conducive to graft. However, given the appearance of Jackson here, and the absence of any reference to Van Buren in "The Tory Mill," a mid-1830s date is more likely.

(Swann Fund Purchase)

A crude and unusually large woodcut, employing the metaphor of a mill to portray the spoils system under the Democrats (or "Tories" as they were labeled by the Whig press). The print may attack Andrew Jackson's program of distributing federal funds among various state banks, rather than retaining them in a central bank as was the practice until 1833. This program was referred to derisively in the opposition press as Jackson's "experiment." (See "The Experiment in Full Operation," no. 1833-8). The plan was viewed by many as a source of federal patronage and corruption.

A uniformed Andrew Jackson turns the crank of a large grain or cider mill. On the left, urged on by a devil, four young men ascend the steps to the mill; the first is in the act of diving in. Coins pour into the mill from a chute labeled "U.S. Treasury" above it. On the right, four office-holders emerge carrying objects representing patronage spoils. The first has a bundle under his arm labeled "Custom House {dollar}6000"; the second carries a scroll inscribed "Post Office {dollar}6000"; the third has a box of twine labeled "Blanks and twine 3,000." A fourth man, just emerging from the mill, has a paper with "U States District Attorney {dollar}5000."

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