Clay, Frelinghuysen & Markle
1844 U.S. Presidential Campaign Flag of Henry Clay.
Blue canton with a printed portrait of Clay surrounded by a laurel wreath and a circle of 22 stars, with an additional star at each corner (26 total for each state in the Union). Canton is on a field of 13 red and white stripes with the text: "Clay / Frelinghuysen / Markle /and / Protective Tariff" printed on the first four white stripes. 51” x 29.75” (57” x 36.5” framed). Clay, Frelinghuysen & Markle. Framed. Provenance: Thomas F. Bayard Item #264762
A grand vestige of the Whig party advocating the presidential candidacy of Senator Henry Clay and his vice presidential running mate Theodore Frelinghuysen. Included on the flag is the Whig gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania, Joseph Markle, and the party’s promotion of the Tariff of 1842, a protectionist act that raised tariff rates on foreign goods to almost 40%. The election of 1844 was the first in which an incumbent president, Democrat, John Tyler, sought the nomination but lost to dark horse candidate James K. Polk, who ultimately defeated Clay in the presidential election. Markle also lost his bid for the governorship to Democrat Francis R. Shunk.
Henry Clay was born in Virginia on April 12, 1777. He studied law at Richmond and later moved to Kentucky, becoming a U.S. Senator in 1806, beginning a nearly uninterrupted 46-year term in the House and Senate, where he served as both Speaker and Chairman, respectively. Clay also served as Secretary of State for John Quincy Adams. He ran unsuccessfully for the presidency three times, first as a Democratic Republican in 1824, then as a National Republican in 1832, and finally as a Whig in 1844. After the campaign of 1844, he returned to the Senate, where he served until his death in 1852.
Theodore Frelinghuysen was born in Franklin, NJ in 1787, to a political family dynasty. (There has been a Frelinghuysen in Congress almost continuously since 1779.) Before running for vice president, he was an attorney, a U.S. Senator serving New Jersey, Mayor of Newark, and Chancellor of New York University. In 1850 he became President of Rutgers College, and remained in that position until his death in 1862. His grandson was Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Henry Markle was a veteran of the war of 1812, serving as a captain of the Light Dragoons under General William Henry Harrison. A successful businessman and staunch Whig supporter, he campaigned for his former General during Harrison’s presidential bid in 1836, and his victorious campaign in 1840.
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