Granny Harrison Delivering the Country of the Executive Federalist

Description (Brief):

This undated print most likely is in reference to the Election of 1840 between incumbent Democratic president, Martin Van Buren and his Whig opponent, William Henry Harrison. Van Buren is depicted seated, clutching the arm of a chair labeled “US,” while wearing an ermine cape and crown as an allusion to his predecessor, Andrew Jackson. To Van Buren’s left, Harrison dressed as a woman, is pulling at Van Buren’s head with a pair of obstetrical forceps saying, “you must come my baby, if you stay here much longer you will kill your Mammy.” Portraying Harrison as a midwife plays to the metaphor of him removing or “delivering” the country of what the Whigs saw as an “executive Federalist.” Van Buren is struggling against Harrison, and “can’t hold on much longer.” Four men, South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, “Globe” editor, Francis P. Blair, Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton, and favored Democratic advisor, Amos Kendall, cling to Van Buren, holding his leg and cape in order to keep him on the throne. The men beg “Granny” Harrison to keep Van Buren in the throne until “his incubation be more complete,” but Democrats were unsuccessful, and Harrison easily won the election.

Description (Brief)

The publisher of this print is Henry R. Robinson (1827-1877). Robinson worked in New York, and had a store to sell his prints. In 1842, he was arrested for selling obscene pictures and books leading to the September 28, 1842 court case, People vs H. R. Robinson found in the District Attorney Indictment Papers, Municipal Archives. He was politically affiliated with the anti-Jackson Whig party which was made obvious by the wig silhouette used in 1838 as an advertising logo for his shop.

Date Made: n.d.

Depicted: Van Buren, MartinCalhoun, John CaldwellBlair, Francis PrestonPossibly Depicted: Kendall, AmosDepicted: Benton, Thomas HartArtist Attribution: Ames, Daniel FletcherMaker: Robinson, Henry R.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York City

Subject: FurnishingsPolitical PartiesCostumePolitical CaricaturesU.S. National Government, executive branch


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, Clothing & Accessories, Peters Political Prints, Art, Domestic Furnishings


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.3371Catalog Number: 60.3371

Object Name: LithographObject Type: Lithograph

Measurements: image: 9 1/2 in x 14 1/8 in; 24.13 cm x 35.8775 cm


Record Id: nmah_325588

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