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    1840 Anti-Martin Van Buren Political Broadside. 22" x 16". Unusual printed broadside, two pages, opens to 44" x 32" overall, dated to 1840, calling out to "DEMOCRATS!!! Mechanics, Farmers, and Working Men" to "Read Attentively the annexed Bill, for the raising of a Standing Army of 200,000 men...proposed by J.R. Poinsett, the present Secretary of War, and recommended to Congress by Martin Van Buren, President of the United States...when you read, ask yourself if this is a truly 'Democratic' measure...This is not Democracy; it is Federalism of the deepest dye..." It goes on to quote the Bill, (which is attached opposite the broadside) which calls for all white males between 20 and 45 to enroll in the National militia, arming themselves at their own expense; of whom 100,000 will be drafted into active duty. The broadside further proclaims, "...should he [Van Buren] be elected, it will undoubtedly become a law of the land. The state of Virginia...has been...strenuously opposed to a large Standing Army, and it was this bill that lost the Van Buren party the election of their April. Mr. Van Buren declared that he had not seen the Bill...and that he 'entertained some doubts about the Constitutionality of the desired measure'..."

    Prominent among the Broadside's complaints is that those fined for insubordination are subject to imprisonment if they cannot pay up, so that the rich are less severely punished than the poor (it sarcastically refers to this as "Beautiful Democracy"). A significant and rare broadside which foreshadows the theme of the 1840 election, when William Henry Harrison was cast as the "candidate of the people", normally ground held by the Jacksonian Democrats, while the Democrat Van Buren was assailed as a symbol of wealth and privilege. Van Buren's career had been made in service to Jefferson's Virginia Democrats, and if anything, his loyalty to AndrewJackson underscored his commitment to Republicanism. He avoided war with England over the Canadian border and with Mexico over independent Texas, so there can be no doubt that he envisioned the military as purely defensive. Made the victim of a sharp recession and increasing polarization over slavery, on which he was a moderate, Van Buren was trounced in the 1840 election by Harrison of the upstart Whig Party. Very good condition; slight age toning and dampstaining; some splitting at the folds.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 512

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