The Great American Steeple Chase for 1844
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The Great American Steeple Chase for 1844

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Date made: 1843
Maker: Clay, Edward Williams; Robinson, Henry R.
Place: New York, New York
Image size: Image: 11 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.; 29.21 x 46.99 cm
ID number: DL*60.3361
Negative number: 2003-19802


Black and white print of the leading Whig and Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination in 1843 engaged in a steeplechase. They are mounted on symbolic animals, with Henry Clay riding a half alligator- half horse, Martin Van Buren on a fox, James Polk on a donkey, John C. Calhoun on a turtle, Commodore Charles Stewart in the background on a sailboat, and Winfield Scott on horseback. Daniel Webster is in the right background, cooking chowder in a pot over an open fire. Another man, possibly James Gilespie Birney, has fallen off his horse in the lower left, while yet another man in the lower right corner is lying face down. In the upper left is an indoor scene, supposedly in the White House, with President John Tyler being awakened by son Robert Tyler, whose pocket contains an "Irish Repeal " circular. Additional dialog and phrases appear on the print and indicate the frustration on the part of the candidates that the competition is so fierce. Above the scene an eagle flies by with an "E Pluribus Unum" banner.