O.K. OLL FOR KLEVELAND "AND AGAINST THE BLOODY HAND." THE CONTRAST.

[Hartford? 1844]. Folio broadside, 12-1/4" x 18." Printed in a variety of fonts and styles, in two columns separated by a rule. Old folds, slight fold crimp, fold splits repaired archivally. Else Very Good.

This rare, evidently unrecorded broadside bitterly attacks Henry Clay, the Whig candidate for President, as "a mass of moral pollution:" "The gambler, the duelist, the murderer of Cilley, the profane man, the Sabbath-breaker, the licentious man, the man who sold himself to Adams to be made Secretary of State ... He stinks and shines like a rotten mackerel by moonlight." Connecticut's Whig candidate for Governor, Roger Baldwin, fares slightly better: "a respectable lawyer but a federalist of the old school" who consistently opposes democratic reforms.
The Democrats, however, are the Party of the People -- they oppose a national bank, would end imprisonment for debt, and favor a tariff for revenue only. They stand four-square with Thomas Jefferson. The Party's Baltimore convention had not yet picked a presidential candidate when this broadside issued, but "whether it be Johnson, Van Buren or Cass" he will be better than Clay [Dark Horse Polk, the eventual nominee, is not mentioned]. Their candidate for Governor, Chauncey F. Cleveland, "is every where known as the poor man's friend." A poem accompanies these recommendations, with the refrain, "Get out of the way, old Harry Clay."
Aside from its rarity, the broadside is one of the earliest uses of the phrase "O.K.," a contemporary American slang, recently invented. Much debate has accompanied the phrase's origin. Some have suggested that it abbreviates "Old Kinderhook," a reference to Martin Van Buren's home. But in 1839, in a Boston magazine, "OK first appeared as an abbreviation for 'Oll Korrect,' printed in a satirical article about grammar." [Nuwer, 'How the Word 'OK' Was Invented 175 Years Ago,' in The Smithsonian Magazine, 6 November 2014.] For a different broadside supporting Cleveland and opposing imprisonment for debt, see OCLC 1018440204 [a single holding at the Yale Law School].
Not located in Sabin, American Imprints, or on OCLC or online sites of Library of Congress, AAS, CT Hist. Soc., Yale, Huntington, Harvard. Item #38315

Price: $3,500.00