Scene in Washington. Sunday Feby. 25. 1838
A caricature of James Watson Webb, prominent Whig editor of the "Morning Courier and New York Enquirer." Webb is shown parading, armed to the teeth, along Pennsylvania Avenue. He carries a sword cane, a musket, a knife, and several pistols. The print followed the widely publicized killing of Maine Congressman Jonathan Cilley by Kentucky Representative William J. Graves in a duel on February 24, 1838. The duel was initially provoked by Webb, who became the object of the considerable public outrage aroused by the murder. Subsequently two of Cilley's allies, Representatives Jesse A. Bynum of North Carolina and Alexander Duncan of Ohio, threatened Webb with physical harm. They are mentioned cryptically in the newspaper account, ascribed to "Courier and Enquirer" correspondent Matthew L. Davis ("Spy in Washington"), quoted in the print: "In consequence of various threats and intimations thrown out by D***** B**** and others, that Col [Webb] would receive personal chastisement; he found it necessary to show himself to his chivalric friends which he did by twice walking the length of the Pennsylvania Avenue." The artist has Webb saying, "I'm a small Army in Myself: I am afraid there is not much danger here after all." He is followed by a turkey in full plumage, a symbol of his pompous, arrogant nature.