Cover image for Election day : a documentary history
Election day : a documentary history
Dinkin, Robert J.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 221 pages ; 24 cm
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JK1965 .E426 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From the beginning of the Republic to the controversial outcome in 2000, election day has been a time of great importance-the climax of a multifaceted drama that has escalated and intensified for several months. Yet studies of the election process rarely devote space to the day itself. This book tells the story of how election day has evolved over the centuries, using contemporary documents to provide a sense of its past and present flavor. The words of participants-voters, candidates, election officials-foreign travelers, reporters, and historians illuminate the elaborate celebrations of the early republic, the virtues and abuses of the system, the exclusion and eventual inclusion of African Americans, women, and Native Americans, and recent innovations in methods and technology.

Arranged in chronological sections, this book opens with an introductory survey of election day's evolution. Each section begins with a brief introduction to the period and places each document into historical context with a short discussion of the subject's significance. With special consideration of the controversial presidential contest of 2000, this book also raises questions about how election day is likely to evolve in the future.

Author Notes

ROBERT J. DINKIN is Professor of History at California State University, Fresno. His earlier books include Before Equal Suffrage (Greenwood, 1995) and Campaigning in America (Greenwood, 1989).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Section I. The Colonial and Revolutionary Periodsp. 27
1. John Adams's First Election to Office--Braintree, Massachusetts, 1766 from L. H. Butterfield, ed., The Adams Papers: Diary and Autobiography of John Adamsp. 28
2. An Election of Gentlemen in Colonial Virginia, c. 1770 from Robert Munford, The Candidatesp. 30
3. Pageantry and Partisanship--Westchester County, New York, 1733 from the New York Weekly Journalp. 33
4. Benjamin Franklin's Side Defeated by Proprietary Faction--Philadelphia, 1764 from William B. Reed, Life and Correspondence of Joseph Reedp. 37
5. Ritual Elections of Negro "Governors" in New England, c. 1750-1830 from Lorenzo Greene, The Negro in Colonial New Englandp. 39
6. Partisan Division in Postrevolutionary Pennsylvania--Philadelphia, 1785 from the Pennsylvania Evening Heraldp. 40
7. Violence and Bloodshed in Postrevolutionary Delaware--Sussex County, 1787 from Timoleon, pseud., The Biographical History of Dionysiusp. 43
Section II. The Early National Period, 1789-1828p. 47
8. John Marshall's Election to Congress--Richmond, Virginia, 1799 from Albert J. Beveridge, The Life of John Marshallp. 48
9. Aaron Burr Leads Republicans to Victory--New York, 1800 from Matthew L. Davis, ed., Memoirs of Aaron Burrp. 50
10. Women Vote in Tainted Election--Essex County, New Jersey, 1807 from William H. Shaw, History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jerseyp. 52
11. Federalists Seek to Survive against Republican Rivals--New England, 1801-1815 from James M. Banner, Jr., To the Hartford Conventionp. 55
12. Factional Conflict in Era of Good Feelings--Philadelphia, 1817 from Henry B. Fearon, Sketches of Americap. 57
Section III. The Jacksonian Era, 1828-1849p. 61
13. The Rituals of a Jacksonian Victory Parade Observed--New York, 1832 from Michael Chevalier, Society, Manners, and Politics in the United Statesp. 62
14. Violent Party Battle in the "City of Brotherly Love"--Philadelphia, 1832 from Carl D. Arfwedson, The United States and Canada in 1832, 1833, and 1834p. 64
15. Prominent Merchant Serves as Election Judge--Philadelphia, 1840 from N.B. Wainwright, ed., A Philadelphia Perspectivep. 66
16. Young Man Observes Riotous Election in the West--St. Louis, 1838 from "The Journal of Henry B. Miller"p. 68
17. Prominent Whig Assesses Harrison-Van Buren Contest--New York, 1840 from Bayard Tuckerman, ed., The Diary of Philip Hone, 1828-1851p. 71
18. Peaceful County Elections--Springfield, Ohio, 1831, and Upstate New York, c. 1840 from Sandor B. Farkas, Journey in North America, 1831, and Joseph J. Gurney, A Journey in North Americap. 73
19. John Q. Adams Reacts to Reelection to Congress--Quincy, Massachusetts, 1844 from Charles Francis Adams, ed., Memoirs of John Quincy Adamsp. 75
20. President Polk Reacts to the Election of His Successor--Washington, D.C., 1848 from The Diary of James K. Polkp. 77
21. The Strange Death of Edgar Allan Poe--Baltimore, 1849 from James A. Harrison, Life and Letters of Edgar Allan Poep. 78
Section IV. The Golden Age of Parties, 1856-1896p. 81
22. Ardent Republican Goes to the Polls in New York, 1856 and 1860 from Allan Nevins and Milton H. Thomas, eds., The Diary of George Templeton Strongp. 82
23. Calm Day in the Windy City for Lincoln's Election--Chicago, 1860 from "The Election Yesterday," Chicago Tribunep. 84
24. How Lincoln Experienced His Election as President--Springfield, Illinois, 1860 from Reinhard H. Luthin, The First Lincoln Campaign, and Charles M. Segal, ed., Conversations with Lincolnp. 86
25. How Lincoln Experienced His Reelection as President--Washington, D.C., 1864 from Tyler Dennett, ed., Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hayp. 88
26. Election Fraud in the Post-Civil War North--New York, 1868 from John I. Davenport, The Election Frauds of New York City and Their Preventionp. 91
27. Blacks Intimidated by Ku Klux Klan--New Iberia, Louisiana, 1869 from Walter L. Fleming, ed., Documentary History of Reconstructionp. 94
28. Blacks Cheated by Democratic Opponents--Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1875 from Mississippi in 1875, Senate Report 527p. 95
29. Women First Vote in Western Territorial Election--Laramie, Wyoming, 1870 from Elizabeth Cady Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffragep. 96
30. Women Take Part in Municipal Election--Topeka, Kansas, 1889 from "Women with the Ballot," New York Timesp. 99
31. Henry George in Defeat Speaks to His Supporters--New York, 1886 from Louis F. Post and Fred Leubuscher, Henry George's 1886 Campaignp. 101
32. Partisan Struggle in Small New Jersey Town--Cranford, New Jersey, 1888 from "Over the Hills to the Polls," New York Timesp. 103
33. A Black Female Precinct Worker Tells Her Story--New York, 1895 from "She Is a Politician," New York Timesp. 107
34. The Atmosphere of Election Day in a Major Metropolis--New York, 1896 from G.W. Steevens, The Land of the Dollarp. 109
35. How William McKinley Spent the Day of His Election--Canton, Ohio, 1896 from "President-Elect M'Kinley at Home," San Francisco Chroniclep. 115
36. How William Jennings Bryan Reacted to His Defeat--Lincoln, Nebraska, 1896 from William Jennings Bryan, The First Battlep. 118
Section V. Moving into the Modern Age, 1900-1948p. 121
37. How the Ballots Are Counted and Reported--New York, 1913 from Gerald Mygatt, "Counting the City's Vote," The Outlookp. 122
38. Voting amidst the Influenza Epidemic--San Francisco and Fresno, California, 1918 from "Stephens Sweeps California," San Francisco Chronicle, and "Congressional Race in Seventh Close," Fresno Republicanp. 128
39. Women Vote for First Time on National Basis--New York, 1920 from "Woman Comes of Age," Woman Citizenp. 131
40. Black Women Barred from the Vote--Atlanta, Georgia, 1920 from "Votes of Negro Women Are Void," Atlanta Constitutionp. 134
41. Resistance to Blacks Voting--Orange and Duval Counties, Florida, 1920 from Walter White, "Election by Terror in Florida," The New Republicp. 136
42. The Experience of a Progressive Poll Watcher--Philadelphia, 1922 from Imogen B. Oakley, "Experiences of a Pinchot Watcher at the Polls," The Outlookp. 140
43. Radio Becomes an Important Provider of Returns--New York, 1928 from "Election Returns on Radio Tonight," New York Timesp. 142
44. Small New England Town First to Vote--New Ashford, Massachusetts, 1936 from "Early Voters," Literary Digestp. 144
45. How the Associated Press Tabulates the National Vote--New York, 1940 from J.D. Ratcliff, "They Work While You Vote," Collier'sp. 146
46. American Soldiers Vote on Duty during World War II--Europe, 1944 from "Election Notes," The Stars and Stripes, and Charles Grutzner, "Roosevelt Strong in War Vote Tally," New York Timesp. 151
47. Franklin Roosevelt's Last Election Day--Hyde Park, New York, 1944 from John H. Crider, "Torchlight Parade Honors Roosevelt," New York Times, and Jim Bishop, FDR's Last Yearp. 153
48. Black Veterans Seek to Vote in Postwar South--Mississippi, 1946-1947 from Charles Evers and Andrew Szanton, Have No Fear and Charles Evers, Eversp. 156
49. Harry Truman Reacts to His Upset Victory--Excelsior Springs, Missouri, 1948 from Memoirs of Harry S. Trumanp. 158
50. GOP Headquarters: Scene of Gloom--New York, 1948 from Hal Boyle, "GOP Headquarters Scene of Gloom," Associated Pressp. 159
Section VI. Emergence of the Mass Media Age, 1952-1964p. 161
51. Native Americans Begin to Vote--Arizona and New Mexico, 1952 from Alden Stevens, "Voice of the Native," New York Timesp. 162
52. Declining Crowds in Times Square--New York, 1952 from Meyer Berger, "Old Times Square Tradition Dies," New York Timesp. 164
53. Beginning of Widespread Television Coverage--New York, 1952 from Jack Gould, "C.B.S. Television Coverage of Election Returns Resulted in Landslide Victory for Network," New York Timesp. 166
54. Voting Is a Lonely Business--New York, 1960 from Philip Hamburger, "Lonely Day," The New Yorkerp. 167
55. Nixon Concedes to Kennedy after Long Night--Los Angeles, 1960 from "How Nixon Conceded Election," Associated Pressp. 170
56. Hawaiians Engage in Their First Presidential Election--Honolulu, 1960 from "Record Island Vote," Honolulu Star-Bulletinp. 171
57. Illinois Republicans Demand a Recount--Chicago, 1960 from "Republicans Seek Recounts," Chicago Tribunep. 173
58. The First Presidential Vote in the District of Columbia--Washington, D.C., 1964 from George Lardner, Jr., "With Sense of Pride, D.C. Residents Troop to Polls," Washington Postp. 175
59. What Goes on at the Polling Place--Evanston, Illinois, 1964 from Alfred Balk, "What Happens to Your Ballot on Election Day?," Today's Healthp. 177
Section VII. Disengagement and Declining Interest, 1968-2001p. 183
60. Hippies and Yippies Protest against Both Parties--San Francisco, 1968 from "Yippies Invade Downtown," San Francisco Chroniclep. 184
61. Blacks Begin to Win Office in the South--Pritchard, Alabama, 1972 from John Dean, The Making of a Black Mayorp. 186
62. Youths Vote for First Time in Presidential Election--New Haven, Connecticut, 1972 from Michael T. Kaufman, "First-Time Yale Voters Show Little Exuberance," New York Timesp. 188
63. Westerners Protest against Network Projections--San Francisco, 1980 from Susan Sward, "Voters Irked by Media's Projections," San Francisco Chroniclep. 190
64. Woman Candidate Seeks Votes on Election Day--Maine, 1984 from Barbara Trafton, Women Winningp. 191
65. Voting in Rural America--Highland County, Virginia, 1985 from Donald McCaig, "Democracy," Country Journalp. 193
66. Americans Choose Candidates in Harry's New York Bar--Paris, France, 1988 from "Abroad, A Prescient Bistro Goes for Bush," Boston Globep. 199
67. Controversy over "Street Money"--Atlanta, Georgia, 1994 from Mark Sherman, "Street Money," Atlanta Journal-Constitutionp. 200
68. The Movement toward Early Voting--Texas et al., 1994 from Edwina Rogers, "Election Daze," Campaigns & Electionsp. 202
69. Balloting by Mail--Portland, Oregon, 1996 from Robert Sullivan, "Mail Order," The New Republicp. 204
70. Voting on the Internet--Arizona, 2000 from Michael Doyle and Tom Hamburger, "Polls Haven't Closed on Internet Voting," Fresno Beep. 208
71. The Presidential Election of 2000--Austin, Nashville, and Florida from Mark Z. Barabak, "Bush, Gore Neck and Neck," Los Angeles Times, and Charles Babington and Dan Balz, "Presidential Cliffhanger Awaits Florida Recount," Washington Postp. 211
72. The Future of Voting--Riverside County, California, 2001 from Katharine Q. Seelye, "County in California Touches Future of Voting," New York Timesp. 213
Bibliographic Essayp. 217
Indexp. 219