Let the Banner Fly!

Clay/Frelinghuysen/Markle/Stewart banner
Let the banner fly!


Tune—Lucy Neal
Come, friends of Markle, gather round.
And join us in our song,
To rout the sly old “Lumbermen
It will not take us long.

With Mississinewa,
With Mississinewa,
Protection for our artizans.
And Mississinewa.

We want no Parson at the helm,
Nor Injins at the mast,
But a clever Western Farmer,
Shall guide us through the blast,

Old Mississinewa,
Old Mississinewa,
Protection for our artizans,
And Mississinewa.

The Keystone waking up at last,
She’s right for forty four,
The silent votes will tell the tale.
For Clay and Theodore.

Clay and Theodore,
Clay and Theodore,
General Markle too we sing,
With Clay and Theodore.

Mechanics too, and labouring men.
Will bid the Lokies walk;
And not a berry will be left,
Upon the lone-Polk stalk!

Clay and Theodore,
Clay and Theodore,
General Markle too we sing,
With Clay and Theodore.

Our Principles, the country’s weal, —
We ask but these — no more;
List! this our watchword in the fight —
Is “Clay and Theodore!” (Repeat.)

Let the Keystone’s loud huzza ring out,
Our brother Whigs to tell,
That here the poison will not take,
Huzza! huzza! “all’s well!”

Huzza! huzza! huzza!
Huzza! huzza! huzza!
Once more we’ll make the welkin ring,
Huzza! huzza! all’s well!


We’re talking about Joseph Markle, here, the (unsuccessful) Whig candidate for governor of Pennsylvania.   Who the “Lumbermen” might be is obscure to me, other than that it was some faction in Pennsylvania state politics.  I shall continue to research this one.

Mississinewa was the battle of Mississinewa (December 17/18, 1812) in Indiana, during the War of 1812.  Markle had raised a company of mounted soldiers, became their captain, and went to the western frontier.  Mississinewa was a winter attack on three, perhaps four, Native American villages.  Markle was a very junior officer there and would have had little authority.   In the event, of the 600 US troops who participated, 300 were casualties from combat or frostbite, and one regiment had to be disbanded.  Both sides claimed victory.

“Protection of our artizans” refers to the Whigs’ protective tariffs,  as opposed to the Democratic free trade with England.  (Rumors of millions in gold being spread around by British merchants to ensure free trade agreements were probably just rumors.)

The “parson” would be Henry Augustus Philip Muhlenberg, the Democratic candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, an ordained minister.  Who, or what faction, the “Injins” were is also obscure to me; at the time  Tammany Hall in New York was figuratively represented by Native Americans, but unless they’re trying to say that Tammany Hall was influencing Pennsylvanian politics I don’t know what’s up with this. Something else to research.

“Helm” and “mast” refer to the ship of state.

“The Keystone” is Pennsylvania.  The silent votes are the same as our current silent majority.

Clay is Henry Clay,  Theodore is Theodore Frelinghuysen, the Whig candidates for president and vice president in 1844.  (Trivia: 1844 was the last time that election day was on different days in different states.)

The “Lokies” are the Locofocos, that is, the Democrats.

The “berry” is the poisonous poke-berry, and refers to Democratic candidate James Polk. “Lone-Polk” may refer to the Lone Star Republic; Polk favored the annexation of Texas.

Tomorrow: The Hurrah Song!

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