complex racial, labor, political, and financial problems surrounding the Civil War, but softens his message by letting children tell the tale. Each figure in the painting can be associated with hotly debated issues such as immigration and emancipation and with tensions between New York's Republican-majority state legislature and Manhattan's Democratic machine. As a plainly clothed boy makes a speech, another boy seated at his feet gestures upward toward a handbill that reads "Meeting Tomorrow/Young America." Inspired by European youth movements of the 1830s, the Young Americans were founded in the mid-1840s and became a faction of the Democratic Party in the 1850s. They advocated free trade and westward expansion and supported the war for the sake of the Union's preservation, not the liberation of slaves. Le Clear underscores the nation's divisions of many issues in the vignette of the two wrestling boys, one in a blue jacket and the other wearing a white shirt and red vest. Thomas Le Clear (born in Owego, New York, 17 March 1818; died in Rutherford, New Jersey, 26 November 1882) was an American painter.