Photo Details

Another of HD's portrayals of the New York tradesman's "sober second thoughts" about his support of Democratic hard-money fiscal policies. (See also "Specie Claws," no. 1838-14.) Both prints touch upon the the depressed state of the economy, precipitated by the Panic of 1837, and its effect upon the working class. The catchphrase "sober second thoughts" recurs frequently in Whig rhetoric and cartoons of the 1840 presidential campaign. Here seven representatives of various occupations express their dissaffection with Van Buren's "Sub Treasury" and anti-currency programs. From left to right: Seaman: "Trade & Commerce are broken down, wages reduced from 16 to 12 doll[ar]s & I cannot get a Ship." Carpenter: "We are all out of employment, we cannot vote for a "Sub Treasury" Bank, or union of the Purse & Sword." Mason: "Despots always first impoverish a people, before they destroy their Rights & Liberties." Laborer: "We are in favor of Bank Bills under Five Dollars, but want no Shinplasters." Artisan (metalsmith?): "I have for many years been steadily employed at $2 per day, until recently, and now am told by my Employer that he has nothing to do & I am discharged; and how I am to get bread for my family I do not know. Carman or driver: "Commerce supports us, and we will support commerce. We drive but will not be driven, to the support of wrong measures. 'Beware of any increase of "Executive patronage." Jefferson" Smith: "Gold & Silver have their value, Industry & Integrity should have their value also."

Part of the U.S. Library of Congress's American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress).

  • Lithographs--1830-1840.
  • Political cartoons--1830-1840.
  • 1 print : lithograph with watercolor on wove paper ; 29.0 x 37.2 cm. (image)
Dacre, Henry, b. ca. 1820.
  • 1838 or 1839.
  • Comparison of figure drawing and general lithographic technique with HD's "Specie Claws" supports attribution to the same artist.
  • Drawn by HD (Henry Dacre?).
  • Lith: & publish'd by H.R. Robinson No. 52 Cortlandt St. & No. 2 Wall St. N.Y.
  • Title appears as it is written on the item.
  • Weitenkampf, p. 58.
  • Forms part of: American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)
  • Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1838-15.


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