South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1882

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The 1882 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 1882 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Hugh Smith Thompson was nominated by the Democrats and ran against J. Hendrix McLane, a Greenback-Labor candidate. Thompson easily won the general election and became the 81st governor of South Carolina.

Democratic Convention[edit]

Democratic nomination for Governor
Candidate 1st Ballot 2nd Ballot
Hugh Smith Thompson 112 147
John Doby Kennedy 107 90
John Bratton 95 75

Governor Johnson Hagood chose not to seek reelection in 1882 and two former generals in the Confederate Army emerged as the frontrunners, Lieutenant Governor John Kennedy and Comptroller General John Bratton. Both men were loyal followers of Wade Hampton, neither had supported Martin Witherspoon Gary, and both were dedicated Democrats. However, many in the state wanted a new direction and the candidacy of George D. Tillman quickly gained pace. Others feared that an intra-party fight over the nomination would bring back Radical Republican rule and only the return of Senator Hampton could save the party. Even so, both Tillman and Hampton declined and chose to continue their representation in the Congress.

Hugh Smith Thompson, the state Superintendent of Education since 1876, had declined to be a candidate for governor and instead lobbied for the presidency of South Carolina College. However, with the opening of the state Democratic convention in August, Thompson was nominated for governor alongside Kennedy and Bratton. After the second ballot with momentum in Thompson's favor, both Kennedy and Bratton withdrew their names thus allowing Thompson to be the Democrats nominee for the general election.

Greenback-Labor Convention[edit]

Following their disastrous defeat in the gubernatorial election of 1880, the Greenback-Labor party members met with state Republican leaders to fuse and offer a joint ticket for the general election. In a January interview with the News and Courier, McLane stated that the Greenbacks would get 150,000 votes in the general election and sweep the statewide offices.

A convention for the Greenbacks was held in Columbia with over one hundred delegates from 22 counties, even including a Democratic state senator. McLane was nominated for the governorship and candidates were field for six of the seven congressional districts, the seventh district being a heavily black district held by the Republicans.

The platform outlined by the Greenbacks for the election was:

General election[edit]

The general election was held on November 7, 1882 and Hugh Smith Thompson was elected as governor of South Carolina with nominal opposition. Turnout was less than the previous gubernatorial election because of the increasingly uncompetitive nature of the election in South Carolina.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1882
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Hugh Smith Thompson 67,158 79.0 -17.4
Greenback-Labor J. Hendrix McLane 17,719 20.8 +17.3
No party Write-Ins 134 0.2 +0.1
Majority 49,439 58.2 -34.7
Turnout 85,011
  Democratic hold
1882 South Carolina gubernatorial election map, by percentile by county.
  65+% won by Thompson
  60%-64% won by Thompson
  55%-59% won by Thompson
  65+% won by McLane

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Cooper, William (2005). The Conservative Regime: South Carolina, 1877-1890. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-597-0. 
  • "Election results". The News and Courier. 23 November 1882. p. 1. 
  • "Election Returns." Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Columbia, SC: Charles A. Calvo, Jr., 1883, p. 1719.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
1880
South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by
1884