Oregon Politics and Government in the 1840s

Two Irish men in New York debate the controversy over Oregon in 1846. (Image no. cph 3g05745 courtesy Library of Congress)

Two Irish men in New York debate the controversy over Oregon in 1846. (Image no. cph 3g05745 courtesy Library of Congress)

[A] cartoon relating to the dispute between the United States and Great Britain over the northern boundary of American territory in Oregon. Opinion was sharply divided between support for a compromise claim of territory as far north as the forty-ninth parallel, and those who went for the more expansive 54.40 boundary. Palmer has two Irish immigrants disputing the issue. Wearing overalls, suspenders, boots, and stovepipe hats, the characters stand outside the Bowery Theater. (The Bowery section of New York City was known for its concentration of working-class Irish.) The man on the left says, "Ike! say the 49th & let's settle it amercably." The other responds, "No Sir-ree I goes for the hull of Oregon or none--I do & don't do nor-thin else." In the background, a woman sells apples and what look like nuts at a table. Behind her the theater's billboard advertises "Great Attraction. Adelgis. J.R. Scott. Cony & Blanchard."

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