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Visual Documents: Martin Van Buren Cartoon

Visual Documents: Martin Van Buren Cartoon

Artist
Published by James Baillie
Date of Work
1848
Medium
lithograph print
Credit
Library of Congress

Visual Documents: Martin Van Buren Cartoon

An election-year satire favoring Free Soil candidate Martin Van Buren in the 1848 presidential contest. A long-legged John Van Buren carries his father piggyback through Salt River, heading toward the White House on the far shore. "Matty" says, "Thanks to your long legs, John, I believe that I shall pass over this Jordan dry shod." The younger Van Buren assures his father, "Hold on Dad & I'll put you through." Meanwhile, abolitionist editor Horace Greeley and candidates Taylor and Clay are having a more difficult time fording the river. Clay is immersed head first, leaving only his legs visible. Taylor is neck-deep in the water. Greeley yells to Kentucky Whig leader Cassius M. Clay, seated on the near bank, "Help, Cassius, or I Sink." Clay replies, "Can't come there, Horace, I risked my life in Mexico, & I don't like to do it again." (Cassius Clay was a hero of the recent Mexican War).

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