“Old Hickory and Mother Bank”
Probably dealing with Andrew Jackson’s opposition to the Second Bank of the United States, this political cartoon takes on a very different tone when captioned by two couplets Sarah pasted underneath:
“If you will not consent to be my honour’d wife,
I shall remain a bachelor, and that for life.
If I should venture in a married state,
Will you consent to be my constant mate?”
Political conundrums, 1836
The undated piece below seems to predate the 1836 elections in the United States (Martin Van Buren was elected president), especially in relation to Illinois. Though much of its humor is lost on most twenty-first-century readers, it certainly reminds us that the twenty-first century didn’t invent vitriolic politics. (The “incendiary” tracts sent into the South by the abolitionists included The Slave’s Friend, burned in South Carolina with other abolitionist pamphlets and scattered into the Delaware River at Philadelphia in 1835. “Joby itself Jo” is a reference to the word “abisselfa”)
From the St. Clair Gazette.
CONUNDRUMS.—Why are Clay and Co. like silk worms?
Because they thought they could eat their way through sumptuous diners [sic] prepared at their bidding into the governmental power of the nation— and by endeavoring to pay off their feeders in long speeches of sarcasm and slang against the patriots of the country—the very webs of their own spinning in which they wound themselves up—became enclosed in a cocoon of contempt. But they have now cut out and are now like butterflies, flopping about and sucking at every federal mudhole, to gain support and keep from perishing.
Why has Davy Crockett been beaten?
Because the people have found out that in congress, he was out of his element, and could be more useful at home in grinning and gnashing his teeth at the ’coons, ’possums and wild cats, which so much annoy the poultry houses and pig-pens in that region.
Why will the people of Illinois vote for the National Convention Nomination—Gov. Duncan’s proclamation to the contrary notwithstanding?
Because they adhere to the Jackson principles which Duncan professed when they first elected him to Congress; and without which his name would have retained its original standing that of—Jo-bissel-fo, or Joby itself Jo.
Why is Judge White called a stool-pigeon?
Because he has been tied down by bargain, intrigue and management, to the stool of deception, for the purpose of gathering into the Whig net all the floating, fluttering, unsettled, hungry, political pigeons of the day.
Why is a pawn broker like the devil?
Because he gets all that is not redeemed.
Why are the Whigs like a pawn-broker?
Because they get all the trash pawned in market, which is not worth redeeming.
Why has the small boat “Gen. Harrison" been launched among the candidates for President?
Because he is intended as a “scudle" for Clay.
Why has Judge McLean, in a letter uncalled for, publically declined being candidate for President?
Because he is like the man who, on finding he is not about to be invited, said, thank ’ee sir, I would’nt [sic] choose to dine.
Why are Cockett, Chilton, and Governor Duncan like the Siamese twins?
Because they act, think, and speak alike and were all toted, (old Virginia style,) into congress on Jackson’s back,—and then all jumped off, slashed the good old horse with the reins of the bridle, and told him to go feed and shift for himself: and are now vain enough to think they were elected by their own popularity—an article which they never were in possession of—and have now worked themselves into the belief that they can sound a tocsin by beating on a Tennessee Bell, which has lost its former clapper, and rally the people to war against their own best interests, & elect a man for President who, like themselves, has taken the sop, and kicked up his heels against old Hickory. What big bed-bugs.
Why has not Church and State been brought together?
Because long faced hypocrites have shown their cloven feet so plainly that every true democrat in the nation is beginning to scout their principles from the citadel of his republican breast.
Why have not the leaders of the Abolition Society, who send their incendiary tracts and pamphlets into the South to encourage the slaves to rise and massacre their masters and families, been swung up as they ought to have been?
Because their necks are fast stretching towards justice—insomuch that a short rope will suit best and save much hemp expense.
Why is Duff Green like a cat?
Because he is now with his abolition paws playing with his nullification tail.
Why have the money beggars of the day become merchants, both at wholesale and retail?
Because according to the old saying, what they beg in the forenoon they sell in the afternoon.
Why has Harrison Gray Otis turned anti-abolitionist?
Because self preservation is the first law of nature. He therefore adhered to it in a case of emergency.
“What is the condition of a bob-tailed horse in fly time?"
The same condition in which the whigs will be on the first Monday in November 1836.
Why are so many hogs and cattle imprinted on the Bills of the State Bank of Illinois?
Because they have given forewarning to the farmers that they intend driving them into market.
Why are those hogs lob-eared?
Because the members of the Legislature who voted for the charter were rooting for mast, and not on the look out.
Why is there a horse without saddle[,] bridle or owner on those bills?
Because the time will come when all politicians will disclaim and disown the Bank.
Why has not the Bank been made a place of deposite for the public monies?
Read the charter—but keep dark.
What course ought the farmers of Illinois to pursue to make the Bank most useful to them[?]
To take the bills for their property and then draw the specie. “That’s the how."
Why has the editor of the Louisville Advertiser called the county of Sangamon the old federal county?
Because he is mistaken in the character of the people. They will, as heretofore, speak a language on the presidential election not to be misunderstood, in favor of the National Nomination.
Why has the Shawneetown paper changed hands and principles?
Because the voice of the people called for such a measure.
Why ought the new editors to baptise the types of that press by immersion in the Ohio river?
Because they could then tell the people that the whole establishment was born again and its former sins washed away.
What has become of Maj. Jack Downing and Crockett?
They are no more. They killed themselves laughing at their own satire, and some of their friends are now lingering in a hopeless condition under the same painful disease.
JO-KING ON FACTS.