United States House of Representatives elections in South Carolina, 1878

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The 1878 South Carolina United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 5, 1878 to select five Representatives for two-year terms from the state of South Carolina. Two Democratic incumbents were re-elected, two Republican incumbents were defeated and the open seat was picked up by the Democrats. The composition of the state delegation after the election was solely Democratic.

Voter Fraud[edit]

South Carolina was one state rampant with voter fraud, particularly through the use of tissue ballots, thin ballots hidden in the normal ballot, typically 10 to 20 at a time. The almost statewide exclusion of Republicans as Commissioners of Elections, and the ensuing appointment of nearly all Democratic Managers of Elections, allowed to Democratic Managers to perpetrate this scheme. When the votes were counted and more votes than voters were found, the Managers removed and destroyed the Republican ballots resulting in the complete takeover of the state.[1][2][3]

1st Congressional District[edit]

Incumbent Republican Congressman Joseph Rainey of the 1st congressional district, in office since 1870, was defeated by Democratic challenger John S. Richardson.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina's 1st Congressional District Election Results, 1878
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John S. Richardson 22,707 61.7 +13.9
Republican Joseph Rainey (incumbent) 14,096 38.3 -13.9
Majority 8,611 23.4 +19.0
Turnout 36,803
  Democratic gain from Republican

2nd Congressional District[edit]

Incumbent Republican Congressman Richard H. Cain of the 2nd congressional district, in office since 1877, declined to seek re-election. Democrat Michael P. O'Connor, a contestant in the 1876 election, defeated Republican Edmund William McGregor Mackey in the general election.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina's 2nd Congressional District Election Results, 1878
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Michael P. O'Connor 20,568 60.9 +23.0
Republican Edmund W.M. Mackey 13,182 39.1 -23.0
No party Write-Ins 11 0.0 0.0
Majority 7,386 21.8 -2.4
Turnout 33,761
  Democratic gain from Republican

3rd Congressional District[edit]

Incumbent Democratic Congressman D. Wyatt Aiken of the 3rd congressional district, in office since 1877, defeated Republican challenger J.F. Ensor.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District Election Results, 1878
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic D. Wyatt Aiken (incumbent) 24,533 79.1 +21.1
Republican J.F. Ensor 6,348 20.5 -21.5
No party Write-Ins 138 0.4 +0.4
Majority 18,185 58.6 +42.6
Turnout 31,019
  Democratic hold

4th Congressional District[edit]

Incumbent Democratic Congressman John H. Evins of the 4th congressional district, in office since 1877, defeated Republican challenger Alexander S. Wallace.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina's 4th Congressional District Election Results, 1878
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John H. Evins (incumbent) 22,702 96.8 +39.2
Republican Alexander S. Wallace 741 3.2 -39.2
Majority 21,961 93.6 -78.4
Turnout 23,443
  Democratic hold

5th Congressional District[edit]

Incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Smalls of the 5th congressional district, in office since 1875, was defeated by Democratic challenger George D. Tillman.

General election results[edit]

South Carolina's 5th Congressional District Election Results, 1878
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic George D. Tillman 26,409 71.2 +23.1
Republican Robert Smalls (incumbent) 10,664 28.8 -23.1
No party Write-Ins 3 0.0 0.0
Majority 15,745 42.4 +38.6
Turnout 37,076
  Democratic gain from Republican

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New York Times, November 16, 1878 - NYT Free Archive
  2. ^ The New York Times, February 5, 1879 - NYT Free Archive
  3. ^ The Life of James Abram Garfield, by William Ralston Balch, 1881
  • "Annual Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina at the Regular Session of 1878. Columbia, SC: Calvo and Patton, 1878, pp. 440–444.