Charles's satire attacks the Hartford Convention, a series of secret meetings of New England Federalists held in December 1814. The artist caricatures radical secessionist leader Timothy Pickering and lampoons the inclinations toward secession by convention members Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, alleging encouragement from English King George III.
In the center, on a shore kneels Timothy Pickering, with hands clasped praying, "I, Strongly and most fervently pray for the success of this great leap which will change my vulgar name into that of my Lord of Essex. God save the King."
On a precipice above him, a man, representing Massachusetts, pulls two others (Rhode Island and Connecticut) toward the edge. Rhode Island: "Poor little I, what will become of me? this leap is of a frightful size -- I sink into despondency."
Connecticut: "I cannot Brother Mass; let me pray and fast some time longer -- little Rhode will jump the first."
Massachusetts: "What a dangerous leap!!! but we must jump Brother Conn."
Across the water, on the right, sits George III with arms stretched out toward the men on the cliff. He calls, "O'tis my Yankey boys! jump in my fine fellows; plenty molasses and Codfish; plenty of goods to Smuggle; Honours, titles and Nobility into the bargain."
On the left, below the cliff, is a medallion inscribed with the names of Perry, McDonough, Hull, and other heroes of the War of 1812 and decorated with a ribbon which reads, "This is the produce of the land they wish to abandon."