"Distinguished military operations with a hasty bowl of soup"

This cartoon is a satire of President James Polk's reinstatement of General Winfield Scott over Zachary Taylor as commander of U.S. forces in the Mexican War in November 1846 as an attempt to squash the extreme personal popularity won by Taylor through early victories at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey. Scott is shown emptying a large bowl of soup onto Taylor, saying "Take that! you're my subordinate!" (Scott's opening comment in a May 25, 1846, letter to Secretary of War William L. Marcy protesting his removal as commander stated, "Your letter of this date, received at about 6 p.m., as I sat down to take a hasty plate of soup . . .") Scott is encouraged by Polk, who says, "That's right Scott, we must Smother him!" A troop of soldiers at attention looks on as Taylor responds to the indignity, saying, "Please your Excellency and Commander in Chief I was at the Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, & Monterey [sic]." One of the soldiers states, "Aye Aye, the People will put him right, although he's a Taylor he "leads" to danger and dont "follow" suit."

Date:
1846
Original Format:
Cartoon
Item#:
12.094
Height:
2216px
Width:
2620px
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