New York state election, 1854

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The 1854 New York state election was held on November 7, 1854, to elect the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Canal Commissioner and an Inspector of State Prisons, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly.

History[edit]

The National Democratic (in the press referred to as Hards) state convention met in July and informed the nominees by letter on July 12 of their nominations. Their letters of acceptance were published on September 11 in the New York Times.[1]

The Democratic (in the press referred to as Softs) state convention met on September 6 at Wieting Hall in Syracuse, New York. Lorenzo B. Shepard was Temporary Chairman until the choice of William H. Ludlow as President. The convention appointed a Democratic State Central Committee which included John Cochrane and Horatio Ballard, and then adjourned. On September 7, the convention passed a resolution approving the Kansas-Nebraska Act which led to the eventual withdrawal of delegates Preston King, Charles G. Myers, Abijah Mann, Philip Dorsheimer and few more Barnburners all of whom would be the next year among the founders of the Republican Party. Governor Horatio Seymour was re-nominated "by acclamation" with a few contrary votes. William H. Ludlow was nominated for Lietenant Governor on the first ballot (vote: Ludlow 234, Philip H. Crook 28, Oakley 14, Albert Lester 7, Isaiah Rynders 2, Preston King 2). Jason Clark was nominated for Canal Commissioner by acclamation. W. R. Andrews was nominated for Inspector of State Prisons on the first ballot (vote: Andrews 92, Amos Pilsbury 56, Henry Storms [incumbent] 27).[2]

The Free-Soil Democratic state convention met on September 25 in Auburn, New York.[3]

The Anti-Nebraska state convention met on September 26 at Auburn, New York. Myron H. Clark was nominated for Governor by acclamation. Henry J. Raymond was nominated for Lieutenant Governor on the first ballot (Raymond 127, Bradford R. Wood 84). After this vote, a minority of about 20 seceded from the convention and re-assembled at the Court House and nominated their own ticket.[4]

The Temperance state convention met on September 27 at Auburn, New York. Myron H. Clark was nominated for Governor by acclamation. Henry J. Raymond was nominated for Lieutenant Governor on the first ballot (Raymond 163, Bradford R. Wood 112).[5]

The Liberty state convention met on September 28 at the Market Hall in Syracuse, New York.[6]

The Anti-Rent state convention met on October 26 at Beardsley's Hall in Albany, New York.[7]

Results[edit]

Due to the split of the Democratic Party, the whole Whig ticket was elected. The American Party (in the press referred to as the Know Nothings, and ridiculed) showed a surprisingly big strength. Myron H. Clark won this election with the lowest percentage in any New York gubernatorial election. The incumbent Governor Seymour was defeated, the incumbent Fitzhugh was re-elected.

82 Whigs, 26 Softs, 16 Hards and 3 Temperance man were elected for the session of 1855 to the New York State Assembly. "Know Nothings are sprinkled miscellaneously among Whigs, Hards and Softs; and exactly how many there are of these gentry in the Assembly Nobody Knows."[8]

1854 state election results
Ticket / Office Governor Lieutenant Governor Canal Commissioner Inspector of State Prisons
Whig Myron H. Clark
156,804[9]
Henry J. Raymond
157,166
Henry Fitzhugh
161,006
Norwood Bowne
153,947
Dem./Soft Horatio Seymour
156,495
William H. Ludlow
128,833
Jason Clark
125,210
William R. Andrews
124,735
American Party Daniel Ullmann
122,282
Gustavus Adolphus Scroggs
121,037
Josiah B. Williams[10]
58,244
James P. Sanders
120,747
Dem./Hard Greene C. Bronson
33,850
Elijah Ford
52,074
Clark Burnham
113,968
Abram Vernam
41,978
Anti-Nebraska Myron H. Clark Henry J. Raymond Henry Fitzhugh Norwood Bowne
Anti-Nebraska (secession) Myron H. Clark Bradford R. Wood
8,378
Charles A. Wheaton
7,435
Philip H. Macomber
7,567
Free Democratic Myron H. Clark Bradford R. Wood
Anti-Rent Myron H. Clark Bradford R. Wood Henry Fitzhugh Norwood Bowne
Temperance Myron H. Clark Henry J. Raymond
Liberty William Goodell
289
Austin Ward
326
John C. Harrington
261
William Shapcott
242

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ THE HARD STATE TICKET in NYT on September 11, 1854
  2. ^ Soft Shells in Council in NYT on September 8, 1854
  3. ^ Free-Soil Democratic State Convention in NYT on September 26, 1854
  4. ^ The Anti-Nebraska Convention in NYT on September 30, 1854
  5. ^ New-York State Temperance Convention in NYT on September 28, 1854
  6. ^ The Liberty Party State Convention in NYT on September 29, 1854
  7. ^ Anti-Rent State Convention in NYT on October 27, 1854
  8. ^ Result and comment in The Whig Almanac 1855 compiled by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune
  9. ^ The number of votes stated at the candidates' names is the total of all votes received on all tickets on which the candidate was nominated. At the time, the ballots did no mention the party at all, so that it can not be ascertained how many votes each candidate received on which ticket.
  10. ^ Williams declined to be a candidate about two weeks before the election. The party managers then placed Hard-shell Democrat Clark Burnham on the Know Nothing ticket. Due to slow communications, Williams still received a large vote, but a majority of the Know Nothing electorate voted for Burnham.

Sources[edit]

  • Result in OFFICIAL CANVASS 1854 in NYT on December 21, 1854 (The votes of Wood, Goodell, Ward, Harrington, Wheaton, Macomber and Shapcott were stated among the "scattering votes").

See also[edit]