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Complete Explanation:
Northern Democratic presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas was widely criticized for his campaign tours of the country--an unusual practice for a presidential nominee. In an attempt to evade such opprobrium Douglas disguised a July 1860 tour of New England and upstate New York as a personal visit to his elderly mother and family. When it took him over a month to go from Washington to New York, Republicans taunted him as "a little boy" (a reference to his shortness of stature) "lost in search of his mother." One of the many handbills and cartoons published on this theme, "Stephen Finding His Mother" also criticizes Douglas's earlier support of legislative measures friendly to Southern interests, including the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

Here "Mother" Columbia, seated in a chair adorned with an eagle and shield, holds Douglas over her knee and spanks him with a switch labeled "Maine Law." (The "Maine Law" here may refer to one of the laws enacted in various northeastern states to counteract the Fugitive Slave Law, which was supported by Douglas.) Columbia scolds hims, "You have been a bad boy Steve, ever since you had anything to do with that Nebraska Bill and have made a great deal of trouble in the family and now I'll pay you for it." Douglas cries, "Oh! Marm let me off this time and I'll never do so any more." To the left stands an elderly man in knee breeches, Uncle Sam, who encourages Columbia to ". . . give him the Stripes till he sees Stars."

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