The Undecided Political Prize

The Undecided Political Prize


Title: The Undecided Political Prize

Year: 1860

Creator: Rickey, Mallory & Company, Cincinnati

Description: A pro-Breckinridge satire on the 1860 presidential contest. Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln (right) and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas (left) appear as boxers squaring off in a ring before a small crowd of onlookers. Douglas is seconded by an Irishman (left), presumably representing Douglas’s Democratic constituency. Lincoln is coached by a black man, who kneels at right, armed with a basket of liquor bottles, and signifies Lincoln’s antislavery leanings. In the background a third candidate, John C. Breckinridge, thumbs his nose and points toward the White House. He is encouraged on his way by a number of men who cheer and doff their hats to him. Weitenkampf cites a version of the print signed by F. Welcker of Cincinnati. Whatever his identity, the artist of “The Undecided Political Prize Fight” was probably also responsible for “The Political Quadrille” and “Dividing the National Map” (nos. 1860-23 and 1860-24), judging from the strikingly similar handling of the candidate portraits in all three prints.

Buchanan: “Hold on tight Johnny! and trust ‘an old public funtionary’ to carry you safely over.”
Bell: “It’s no use gentlemen, you’ll all go overboard, because you were not satisfied to stand upon this bridge but must needs try some other way to get across.”
Everett: Built by Washington, Jefferson and the Patriots of 76, this bridge is the only structure that connects these two shores in an indissoluble bond of union, and woe be to the man who attempts to undermine it.”
Greeley: “Hello! here I go as usual into Salt river. I’ve been dipped in it so often that I don’t mind the duckingm if the fall don’t kill me, for a bag of wool wont sink.”