"A Peep at the Future"

This cartoon is a strange depiction of a Whig fantasy of the outcome of the 1844 election. Here Henry Clay and Theodore Frelinghuysen occupy the White House. They watch from a window as John Tyler plays a hand organ and leads a group of minstrels outside, asking "A few Pennies Gentlemen for the poor Virginny minstrels!" On the top of the organ are three tiny rats, perhaps a reference to the resignation of Tyler's cabinet or a comment on the president's betrayal of Whig interests during his tenure. On Tyler's leash is a monkey with the head of James K. Polk. He is perched on the back of a fox with Van Buren's head. Polk says, "Well this is better than having to "carry" the Fox!" Van Buren complains, "I dont know what they want to (Polk) this Monkey on my back for." Following Tyler is John Calhoun, in a woman's dress, playing a tambourine and singing in mock-Negro minstrel style, "Ole Virginny neber tire." He has the webbed feet of a goose. Clay comments, "These Minstrels seem to be in want, we'd better call them in and give them something to eat." Frelinghuysen responds, "Yes Henry I'll call the Butler!" Watching from the right are former president Andrew Jackson, dressed as an old woman, Thomas Hart Benton, and an unidentified man. Jackson exclaims, "Oh! dear. by the Eternal! I remember that little Fox used to play his tricks about this same old white House some years ago, caught at last eh! Well I am sorry for You!"

Date:
1844
Original Format:
Cartoon
Item#:
10.049
Height:
2027px
Width:
2741px
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