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New York state election, 1861


New York state election, 1861

The 1861 New York state election was held on November 5, 1861, to elect the Secretary of State, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Engineer, a Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, two Canal Commissioners and an Inspector of State Prisons, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.


The "Independent People's" state convention met on September 10 at Syracuse, New York with the intention to nominate a ticket which would be endorsed by the Republican state convention which was due to meet at the same city on the following day. The convention was dominated by the old Hunkers/Hard faction of the Democratic Party (which had supported John C. Breckinridge for the Presidency the year before, and had been reduced to a small minority at the 1860 New York state election) and the Greeley Republicans.[1]

The Republican state convention met on September 11 at Syracuse, New York and endorsed the Independent People's ticket with the exception of Frederick A. Tallmadge. The Republicans preferred the incumbent Canal Commissioner Benjamin F. Bruce to be re-nominated.


The whole jointly nominated part of the "Union" ticket was elected, only the Democratic candidate for short-term Canal Commissioner William W. Wright was elected due to the split of the "Union" ticket.

The incumbents Floyd-Jones, Richmond, Comstock and Bruce were defeated.

22 Republicans and 10 Democrats were elected[2] to a two-year term (1862-63) in the New York State Senate.

The New York State Assembly of 1862 was almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, most of whom had been elected on the "Union" ticket. There was a small majority of Republicans.

1861 state election results
Office Independent People's ticket[3] Republican ticket[4] Democratic ticket
Secretary of State Horatio Ballard 297,428[5] Horatio Ballard David R. Floyd-Jones 189,716
Comptroller Lucius Robinson 296,855 Lucius Robinson George G. Scott 188,654
Attorney General Daniel S. Dickinson 295,609 Daniel S. Dickinson Marshall B. Champlain 188,361
Treasurer William B. Lewis 296,709 William B. Lewis William Williams 188,774
State Engineer William B. Taylor 294,422 William B. Taylor Van Rensselaer Richmond 188,507
Judge of the Court of Appeals William B. Wright 276,901 William B. Wright George F. Comstock 198,746
Canal Commissioner (full term) Franklin A. Alberger 295,960 Franklin A. Alberger Jarvis Lord 181,283
Canal Commissioner
(short term)[6]
Frederick A. Tallmadge 106,721 Benjamin F. Bruce 179,691 William W. Wright 198,385
Inspector of State Prisons Abraham B. Tappen 297,126 Abraham B. Tappen William C. Rhodes 189,260


  • Result in The Tribune Almanac for the years 1838 to 1868 compiled by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune
  • The Union ticket: [1] in Harper's Weekly, September 28, 1861, pg. 611
  • The tickets: [2] in NYT on November 5, 1861 (giving "Low" instead of Lord)


  2. ^ Many were elected on the "Union" ticket.
  3. ^ later known as the War Democrats
  4. ^ The Independent People's ticket was almost completely endorsed by the Republicans, which then became known as the "Union" ticket, although the tickets had different names for the short-term Canal Commissioner.
  5. ^ total votes on "Union" ticket for Ballard, Robinson, Dickinson, Lewis, Taylor, William B. Wright, Alberger and Tappen
  6. ^ To fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel H. Barnes, a commissioner was elected to a two-year term.

See also

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