Campaign Textile for Henry Clay (1777-1852) (2001.067.45)

Campaign Textile for Henry Clay (1777-1852), 1844

Unidentified Maker

United States

Gift of Robert A. Frank, 2001.067.45

Photograph by David Bohl 

The Illustrious Henry Clay, the Pride and Hope of the American Republic (77.51.2)

The Illustrious Henry Clay, the Pride and Hope of the American Republic, 1832

J.G. Kellogg, engraver; E. Huntington, publisher

Hartford, CT

Special Acquisitions Fund, 77.51.2

For Whig Party candidate Henry Clay (1777-1852), the 1844 presidential election was his third attempt to gain that office,  Campaigning by the candidates was frowned upon in 1844, so Clay did not actively seek voter support.  However, a collection of his speeches was published.  Clay also played up his experience, when he could, compared to Democratic candidate (and Freemason) James K. Polk (1795-1849).  This campaign textile emphasizes American patriotism by using the colors and patterns of the flag.  Clay's support for a national bank, a protective tariff and federal funding of internal improvement projects is reflected in the slogan printed around his portrait, "National Currency, Revenue and Protection."  On election day, Clay lost to Polk by just over 38,000 votes.  He did not run again for president.

This 1832 engraving of a portrait of Clay was produced in connection with his second campaign for president.