<Go back to the Topics Index results>

Grand match between the Kinderhook poney and the Ohio ploughman
Complete Explanation:
A satire on the presidential contest of 1836, using the metaphor of a billiards game between Whig candidate William Henry Harrison (left) and Democrat Martin Van Buren. The artist is clearly on the side of Harrison, whom he places beneath a portrait of George Washington, in opposition to Van Buren's perceived mentor and champion Andrew Jackson who stands at the far end of the table, below a painting of Napoleon. Behind the table stand Whig Senators Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, arm-in-arm near Harrison. Next to Van Buren (holding a cue) stands a sixth man, either Secretary of the Treasury Levi Woodbury or (as Weitenkampf suggests) Van Buren ally Senator Thomas Hart Benton.

Harrison: "Now for a six stroke."

Webster: "Now's your chance Harrison. There is a tide in the affairs of men as Shakespear says."

Clay: "I'll go a cool Hundred Harrison wins the game.

Sixth man: "I'll bet a cookie he don't make the hazzard."

Jackson (holding what appears to be a bridge): "By the Eternal! Martin if Harrison holes you and gets a spot ball on the deep red it is all day with you."

Van Buren: "He's more likely to hole himself General!"

Website design © 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com