Politics has been a passion for many in our family - though it does not receive feature billing here - and the evidence of our archives suggests it has long been of interest. My ancestor Margaret Currie Walker, a recent graduate of the Quaker Kimberton Boarding School, once wrote a long newsy letter to her younger sister who was also studying there. Dated November 6th, 1840, it includes a few references to the Presidential election that had just taken place, and for which the returns were still being tallied.
"Old Tip has Pennsylvania by 560 majority, and I think it very doubtful if Marty gets a single state in the Union."
Wearing her Whiggish sentiments firmly on her sleeve, she also scrawled a bit of political verse on the outside of the letter, shown at left. And therein lies the mystery, for though I can make out nearly all of it, the last word in the third line completely eludes me and it is driving me to distraction.
I believe the rest of the text reads; "Go it Tip / Come it Tyler / Tip to _____ / Van Buren Biler" and is attributed to "Rustic Bard". Tip is William Henry Harrison and the Tyler his running mate John Tyler. Martin Van Buren was the incumbent, and highly unpopular with the Walker household, it seems. This was also the case with the electors, for while the popular vote was a narrow victory for the Whigs, the electoral votes went heavily for Harrison - though "Marty" did somewhat better than predicted by Miss Walker.
So on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries, won't you help me transcribe this "immortal verse" from the 1840 elections? Do lend me your sharp squinting eyues and help solve this mystery. What is that word?