picryl logo
Library Of Congress
Library Of CongressPublic Domain ArchivePart of PICRYL.com. Not developed or endorsed by the Library of Congress
Symptoms of a duel

Symptoms of a duel



The second of two particularly well-drawn caricatures by the same artist, on the subject of the 1839 congressional probe of Van Buren's Treasury Department. (See above, nos. 1839-6 through -9.) The inquiry was prompted by the Swartwout embezzlement scandal. "Symptoms of a Duel" must have appeared early in 1839, since the committee's final reports were tabled by the House on February 27. Here Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury (left) aims a pistol at investigative committee chairman James Harlan, a bespectacled man who scrutinizes him through a small telescope labeled "Committee of Investigation." Harlan carries several telescopes and optical instruments with his own name and those of Whig members of the committee Edward Curtis and David Douglas Wagener. His largest telescope bears the name of the committee's most vocal member, "Henry A. Wise maker Washington. Night and Day." Harlan addresses Wise (not visible but offstage to the right), "Heavens! Wise. How he looks thro' this glass!" Wise: "Black, or Blue!" Harlan: "Both!" Woodbury's pistol bears the names of Francis Thomas and Samuel Cushman, Democratic members of the committee. Woodbury says "I "challenge" Scrutiny!" The unidentified artist's drawing style, his handling of the figures, and his relatively spare compositions strongly suggest common authorship with "Called to Account" and "Abolition Frowned Down" (nos. 1839-11 and -12). Weitenkampf erroneously identifies Woodbury here as Van Buren.
"Printed & publd. by H.R. Robinson, 52 Cortlandt & 11-1/2 Wall St. N.Y."
Drawn by HD?
Entd. . . . 1839 by H.R. Robinson.
Title appears as it is written on the item.
Weitenkampf, p. 57.
Forms part of: American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)
Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1839-10.





Dacre, Henry, approximately 1820-
Robinson, Henry R., -1850.


Library of Congress

Copyright info

Library Of Congress

The objects in this archive are from Library of Congress - the nation’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with millions of items including books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library provides Congress, the federal government and the American people with a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage them and support their intellectual and creative endeavors.

Disclaimer: A work of the Library of Congress is "a work prepared by an officer or employee" of the federal government "as part of that person's official duties." In general, under section 105 of the Copyright Act, such works are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law and are therefore in the public domain. This website is developed as a part of the world's largest public domain archive, PICRYL.com, and not developed or endorsed by the Library of Congress,  https://www.picryl.com

Developed by GetArchive, 2015-2021