New York: John Childs (misspelled "Cheilds"), 1840. Folio (18¼" X 13"). Very good. Bit of quite small paper loss at both right side corners (touching upon border rule but not image) and abrasion at upper left corner (likewise affecting border rule but not image). Lithograph signed "EWC" at lower left corner for lithographer Edward Williams Clay (1799-1857). A typically complex and text-heavy mid-19th century political cartoon. In the center foreground of this funeral procession appears a casket (labeled "LOCO FOCO / DIED / MARCH 4th / 1841") borne on the shoulders of six horned, naked, spike-tailed devils. At left, in front of the casket, in black clerical garb, holding out top hat and Bible, pro-Loco Foco "Washington Globe" editor Francis Preston Blair (1791-1876) leads the procession. Following behind the casket are a group of downward-gazing mourners arm in arm, mourning ribbons on left sleeves, all leading locofocos. Left to right: Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Thomas Hart Benton, Amos Kendall, John C. Calhoun and Levi Woodbury. Above them a black-bordered banner is visible, held aloft on a pole, reading "The / SPARTAN / BAND." At the far left, set back, one sees the whole toward which Blair leads the processional, and behind it are the two grave-diggers: Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Both hold shovels, and between them is a large keg of some celebratory cider; Webster lifts a large mug to his lips. Six dialogue balloons fill the upper half of this print. Left to right: Gravedigger Webster versifies, "In youth I did delve, did delve, / I thought it was very sweet, / And so we'll put old farmer Tip / Into the highest seat." ("Tip" being new President William Henry Harrison, whose election together with John Tyler tolled the death knell for locofocoism.) Gravedigger Clay addresses Blair, who is advancing toward him: "Think yourself fortunate, parson Blair, that a thing which hath foredone its own life should be thus allowed Christian burial." Blair replies: "Hath that fellow no feeling of his occupation that he sings at grave making." Meanwhile, among the mourners, lead mourner Andrew Jackson says to defeated presidential candidate Van Buren: "I say Matty, I should not wonder if our deceased friend should walk after death for you know that his taking off was very sudden and unexpected to all his friends." Van Buren responds: "Place your heart at rest on that Score, dear General. He will never walk after death, for, to my certain knowledge, he could hardly walk in his life time." Lastly, postmaster general Kendall laments: "Alas Alas! he was the stuff of my age, and the sole dependence on which I relied for my daily bread!" The date on the casket -- March 4, 1841 -- was the date on which Harrison and Tyler were inaugurated. A delightful piece of pro-Whig, pro-Harrison, anti-Locofoco humor -- and an exceptionally scarce Childs print. Despite minor damage at three corners, it is overall clean, boldly struck and most handsome -- a fine example of the lithographer's art. The Loco focos were a controversial radical branch of the Democratic Party that arose in the mid-1830s, and their sound defeat in the 1840 presidential election did indeed signal the beginning of their end. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Funeral of Loco Focoism.
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