Counting ‘Em Before They Hatch

Henry Clay
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By J. A. Allderdice, of Wilmington, Del,

Air — Old Dan Tucker.

It has been known that here of late,
That Delaware’s called the banner state,
To Baltimore her “chickens” went.
For at home they could not be content.

Get out of the way, you’re all too late,
For the chickens of the banner state

From Brandywine’s blue rocks and hills
To Sussex’s plains and gentle rills,
We raised a shout for Harry Clay,
In Baltimore the second of May,
Get out of the way, &c.

The big ball sent by Allegany,
Will be roll’d through here and Pennsylvany,
And wherever it goes the people will be risin’,
For Henry Clay and Frelinghuysen.
Get out of the way, &e.

Firm to her post old Kent will stand,
The capitol she will command,
In New Castle we’ll walk o’er the course,
Just as easy as a full blood horse.
Get out of the way, &c.

The Blue Hen’s Chickens are Whig to the core,
And they’ll soon run all the Lokies ashore.
Our banner now waves above the horizon,
For Stockton, Clay, and Frelinghuysen.
Get out of the way, &c.


“The Blue Hen’s Chickens” was, in fact, a nickname for citizens of Delaware.  It referred to a breed of fighting cock.

Brandywine is an unincorporated township in New Castle county.  Sussex is a Delaware county, as are Kent, and New Castle.  Kent county contains Dover,  the state’s capitol.

Allegany is in western New York.  The “Big Ball” would a victory ball, about ten feet in diameter, stuffed with straw, covered with leather, inscribed with slogans, and rolled by teams of people from town to town, from rally to rally, to gather support and gather supporters.  To get to Baltimore the ball would have had to roll through Pennsylvania.  It wasn’t uncommon for folks to “keep the ball rolling” for hundreds of miles.

The Whig convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 2nd 1844.  National nominating conventions, and party platforms, had both been invented by the Anti-Masonic Party, which had been subsumed into the Whigs.

Stockton was Thomas Stockton, running for governor of Delaware on the Whig ticket.  He won, but died in office a year later.

Tomorrow: Whig Thunder

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