Congressional Scales, a true balance. Lithograph, 1850. The cartoon satirized
President Zachary Taylor's attempts to balance Southern and Northern interests
on the question of slavery in 1850. According to the Library of Congress
Taylor stands atop a pair of scales, with a weight in each hand;
the weight on the left reads "Wilmot Proviso" and the one on the right "Southern
Rights." Below, the scales are evenly balanced, with several members of
Congress, including Henry Clay in the tray on the left, and others, among them
Lewis Cass and John Calhoun, on the right. Taylor says, "Who said I would not
make a "NO PARTY" President? I defy you to show any party action here." One
legislator on the left sings, "How much do you weigh? Eight dollars a day. Whack
fol de rol!" Another states, "My patience is as inexhaustible as the public
treasury." A congressman on the right says, "We can wait as long as they can."
On the ground, at right, John Bull observes, "That's like what we calls in old
Hingland, a glass of 'alf and 'alf."
Published by N. Currier. Library of Congress.