"Political Game of Brag. Shew of Hands"
Contenders for the presidential campaign of 1848 play a game of brag, an early form of poker. From left to right, they are John Calhoun, Lewis Cass, Henry Clay, Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan, and President James K. Polk. In the center of the table is a card labeled "Presidential Ante." Whig candidate Zachary Taylor holds three aces and says "Three bullets, Clay! Still at my old trade! whenever bullets are to be met I am sure to have a hand with them!" Clay, who holds his cards behind his back, replies "I tried my old bluffing game with a contented hand & nothing to brag with but a hand full of hearts! I'm not sorry however that old Zach has won!" Seated on the left Cass laments, "Three braggers, Calhoun, wouldn't (sic) carry me through!" Calhoun, looking over Cass's shoulder agrees, "No, Cass, the Ante is too high for you! You'll have to play for smaller Stakes!" At the far right end of the table, Polk exclaims, "My knave hand, Buchanan, has lost me the game! I may as well slope!" Buchanan replies, "By Jove! Polk, Old Zack's got the documents! three natties!" The cartoon was presumably made before Martin Van Buren emerged as a third party candidate.
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