The Would-Be Mayor Preparing to Quell a Riot

Henry R. Robinson (active 1833-1851), The Would-Be Mayor Preparing to Quell a Riot, [1837]. Lithograph. Graphic Arts GA 2010. -in process

New York City mayoral candidate John Jordan Morgan (1770-1849) is seen on the right with members of his Tammany Democratic party shortly before the municipal election April 1837. He is approached from the left by two members of the Loco Foco (the Equal Rights party), a subdivision of the Democrats. A riot occurs in the left background between Irishmen and Germans.

The dialogue reads, “Is that our candidate Bob? introduce me; the party are strangers to him.” Others say, “Well, poor Tammany is done over when such a skeleton is to represent the great democracy!” and “Do’nt whistle in the face of the new Mayor, he may catch the grippe!” and “Vel vot of it, who cares for Mr. Morgan, a good puff will blow him away …”

Morgan, a member of the 23rd Congress under Andrew Jackson, lost the New York election prompting a second print from Robinson. Entitled The Death of Old Tammany and His Wife Loco Foco, the second print satirized the heavy losses suffered by both the Loco Foco and Tammany party. An American Indian represents Tammany, his breast pierced by an arrow, and his wife, the Loco Foco, is shown as a crude Irish woman. Both are crushed under the ballot box.