Print titled, GRAND NATIONAL WHIG BANNER, promoting Henry Clay for president and Theodore Frelinghuysen for vice president, 1844. Hand-colored small folio lithograph, published by N. Currier, New York. Housed in original walnut veneer frame with hand-blown glass. Subtitled, "ONWARD." Against ranks of flags surmounted by displayed eagle, portrait of Clay and the legend, NOMINATED FOR/ PRESIDENT, inside wreath bearing name below, and portrait of Frelinghuysen and legend, NOMINATED FOR/ VICE PRESIDENT, inside wreath with name below. Above, the legend, JUSTICE TO HARRY OF THE WEST, radiating lines and 13 stars. Below, decorative leaves and scrollwork, the legend, THE NATION'S CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT & VICE PRESIDENT, on streamers, below. The whole made to resemble a parade banner. Light, nearly invisible staining and minor foxing. A bright, clean example, superior to most.
The "National Banner" series issued by New York printmaker Nathaniel Currier are considered the prototype of the modern political poster. Displayed in the homes and businesses of the most devoted partisans, they provided the only visual images many voters had of the men running for the nation's highest offices. Now prized by collectors, they remain a visual way of representing early presidential campaigns for which little otherwise survives.
"Harry of the West," having served in the Senate and the under presidents going back to Madison, and having been a contender for the highest office in elections going back to 1832, was thought to be all but unbeatable in 1844. His supporters saw his election as just reward for his long service to the country. Alas, it was not to be.