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"Whig Harmony," 1848

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This 1848 political cartoon predicted the downfall of the Whig party by showing its leaders trying to take the party in opposite directions.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Baillie, James S. and H. Bucholzer, "Whig Harmony," 1848


This political cartoon was published in 1848 and showed the deep divisions among the leaders of the Whig Party. Horace Greeley, a prominent newspaper editor and abolitionist, tries to steer the Whigs towards Salt River, or political doom. An Uncle Sam figure tries to steer the party and the hero of the Mexican War, General Zachary Taylor, toward the White House. The cart contains the most contentious economic issues that were debated during the 1840s.

Transcript of "Whig Harmony" Political Cartoon

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Describe this image using at least five adjectives. What do you think the artist is trying to get you to see?
  • Salt River was a popular phrase in the 1840s that meant "political doom." With that knowledge, how would you interpret the artist's opinion of the future of the Whig Party if it follows Horace Greeley? If it follows Henry Clay?
  • There are three economic issues in the Whig cart: the tariff, the Bank of the United States and internal improvements. Compare these issues with Alexis de Tocqueville's view on early American democracy. Why might these issues still exist more than 10 years after de Tocqueville's book was published?

Citation Information

Baillie, James S. and H. Bucholzer, "Whig Harmony," 1848. Courtesy of Library of Congress