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1821 United States House of Representatives elections in New York

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 1821

← 1818 April 28-30, 1821 1822 →

All 27 New York seats to the United States House of Representatives
  Majority party Minority party
Party Democratic-Republican Federalist
Last election 21 6
Seats won 19 8
Seat change Decrease 2 Increase 2

The 1821 United States House of Representatives elections in New York were held from April 24 to 26, 1821, to elect 27 U.S. Representatives to represent the State of New York in the United States House of Representatives of the 17th United States Congress.


27 U.S. Representatives had been elected in April 1818 to a term in the 16th United States Congress beginning on March 4, 1819, and ending on March 3, 1821. The previous congressional elections were held usually in even-numbered years, about ten months before the term would start on March 4 of the next year, and about a year and a half before Congress actually met in the following December. This time the congressional elections were moved a year forward, and were held together with the State elections in late April 1821, after the congressional term already had begun, but about half a year before Congress actually met on December 3, 1821.

Congressional districts

Except for the split of the 21st District, the geographical area of the congressional districts remained the same as at the previous elections in 1818. Five new counties had been created. Hamilton Co. was split from Montgomery Co. inside the 14th District. Oswego Co. was created from parts of Oneida and Onondaga counties, but the parts remained in their previous congressional districts. On March 9, 1821, the New York State Legislature divided the 21st District in two districts: Ontario Co. and the newly created Monroe Co. remained as the 21st District; the remainder became the new 22nd District, including the new counties of Erie and Livingston.

Note: There are now 62 counties in the State of New York. The counties which are not mentioned in this list had not yet been established, or sufficiently organized, the area being included in one or more of the abovementioned counties.


15 Bucktails and 12 Clintonian/Federalists were declared elected. Cadwallader D. Colden (Fed.) successfully contested the election of Peter Sharpe (Buckt.), so that New York was represented by 19 Democratic-Republicans and 8 Federalists in the 17th Congress. The incumbents Wood, Van Rensselaer, Dickinson, Taylor, Pitcher and Tracy were re-elected; the incumbents Gross, Monell, Hall, Richmond and Allen (all Clintonians) were defeated.

1821 United States House election result
District Democratic-Republican/Bucktails Clintonian/Federalist also ran
1st Joshua Smith 3,326 Silas Wood 3,960 "Cadwallader Colden" 395
Peter Sharpe 3,369 Cadwallader D. Colden 3,339 "Cadwallader D. Colder" 220
2nd John J. Morgan 6,645 Henry Eckford 2,813
Churchill C. Cambreleng 3,975
3rd Jeremiah H. Pierson 1,863 John T. Smith 1,330 Peter S. Van Orden[1] (Buckt.)[2] 331
4th William W. Van Wyck 2,795 William Taber[3] 2,125
5th Philip J. Schuyler 2,523 Walter Patterson 3,467
6th Selah Tuthill 2,156 James W. Wilkin 1,340
7th William G. Gillespie[4] 2,139 Charles H. Ruggles 2,577
8th Jacob Haight 1,812 Richard McCarty 2,592
9th Harmanus Bleecker 1,793 Solomon Van Rensselaer 2,393
10th James L. Hogeboom 2,181 John D. Dickinson 2,852 Simon Newcomb 102
11th Guert Van Schoonhoven[5] 2,044 John W. Taylor 2,346
12th Reuben H. Walworth 5,300 John Crary 4,451
Nathaniel Pitcher 4,951 Ezra C. Gross 4,264
13th William Mann[6] 2,229 John Gebhard 2,321
14th John Herkimer 2,426 Alfred Conkling 2,672
15th James Hawkes 5,363 Robert Monell 4,188
Samuel Campbell 5,222 Alvan Stewart[7] 4,036
16th Nathan Williams 2,774 Joseph Kirkland 3,608
17th Thomas H. Hubbard 3,235 David Woods 3,103
18th Perley Keyes 3,228 Micah Sterling 3,568
19th Elisha Litchfield 3,208 George Hall 3,032
20th William B. Rochester 7,562 Jonathan Richmond 6,104
David Woodcock 6,306 Herman Camp[8] 5,579
21st Elijah Spencer 4,798 Nathaniel Allen 4,692 Daniel W. Lewis (Clintonian/Republican) 160
22nd Benjamin Ellicott 6,789 Albert H. Tracy 7,020

Note: It is difficult to ascertain the party affiliation of some of the fusion candidates: At this time the Democratic-Republican Party was already split into two opposing factions: on one side, the supporters of DeWitt Clinton and his Erie Canal project; on the other side, the Bucktails (including the Tammany Hall organization in New York City), led by Martin Van Buren. At the same time, the Federalist Party had already begun to disintegrate, and many of its former members joined either the Bucktails or the Clintonians. However, in Congress both Bucktails and Clintonians aligned with the Democratic-Republicans from the other States. Wood, Colden, Patterson, Ruggles, Van Rensselaer, Dickinson, Kirkland and Sterling were Federalists; Wilkin, McCarty, Taylor, Gross, Gebhard, Monell, Hall, Richmond, Camp, Allen and Tracy were Clintonians.

Aftermath, special elections and contested election

Selah Tuthill, elected in the 6th District, died on September 7, 1821, before Congress met. A special election to fill the vacancy was held from November 6 to 8, and was won by Charles Borland, Jr.

1821 United States House special election result
District Democratic-Republican Democratic-Republican
6th Charles Borland, Jr. 1,277 John Duer 1,097

The House of Representatives of the 17th United States Congress met for the first time at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 1821, and 24 of the representatives took their seats. Ruggles and Sterling took their seats later, and Peter Sharpe did not appear.[9]

On December 6, 1821, a petition on behalf of Cadwallader D. Colden was presented to contest the election of Peter Sharpe in the 1st District. On December 11, the Committee on Elections submitted its report. They found that in the town of Brookhaven 220 votes had been returned for Cadwallader D. Colden, but the final letter of the name "n" had been misread as an "r" when the election certificate was viewed in the office of the Secretary of State of New York. They also found that in the town of Hempstead 395 votes were returned for "Cadwallader Colden" by mistake, the Queens County Clerk having omitted the middle initial although all these votes had in fact been given for "Cadwallader D. Colden". The Secretary of State of New York, receiving the abovementioned result, issued credentials for Sharpe who never took or claimed the seat. On December 12, the House declared Colden entitled to the seat, and he took it.[10]

On January 14, 1822, Solomon Van Rensselaer resigned his seat to accept an appointment as Postmaster of Albany to replace Solomon Southwick whose financial affairs were in such a messy state that he had defaulted the post-office monies. To fill the vacancy, a special election was held from February 25 to 27, and was won by Stephen Van Rensselaer defeating Ex-Postmaster Southwick. Stephen Van Renssealaer took his seat on March 12, 1822.

1822 United States House special election result
District Clintonian/Federalist Democratic-Republican[11]
9th Stephen Van Rensselaer 2,266 Solomon Southwick[12] 499


  1. ^ Brig. Gen. Peter S. Van Orden (b. ca. 1762), of Rockland Co., assemblyman 1810, 1811, 1812, 1812-13, 1814 and 1814-15; presidential elector for Monroe/Tompkins in 1816
  2. ^ De Witt Clinton and the Rise of the People's Men by Craig & Mary L. Hanyan (page 258)
  3. ^ William Taber, of Dover, assemblyman 1798-99, 1800 and 1804; state senator 1812-1815
  4. ^ William G. Gillespie, assemblyman 1820-21; First Judge of the Sullivan County Court 1835-1844
  5. ^ Guert Van Schoonhoven, ran also as a Federalist in 1802
  6. ^ William Mann, Surrogate of Schoharie Co. 1822-1832; presidential elector in 1824; canal appraiser 1836-1839
  7. ^ Alvan Stewart (1790-1849), ran for Gov. of New York on the Liberty ticket in 1842 and 1844
  8. ^ Herman Camp, Sheriff of Seneca Co. Jan-Aug 1817; Sheriff of Tompkins Co. April–June 1817; assemblyman from Tompkins Co. 1820
  9. ^ Abridgment of the Debates in Congress (Vol. VII; page 215)
  10. ^ Cases of Contested Elections in Congress 1789 to 1834 compiled by Matthew St. Clair Clarke and David A. Hall (Washington, D.C., 1834; Case XLVII, pages 369ff)
  11. ^ Southwick had been a Clintonian, but when pressed to pay over the post-office monies, changed sides and joined the Bucktails; soon after he left the Democratic-Republican Party and became an Independent and later an Anti-Mason
  12. ^ Solomon Southwick, Clerk of the State Assembly 1803, 1804, 1804-05, 1806, part of 1807 and part of 1808; ran for Gov. of New York as an Independent in 1822, and on the Anti-Masonic ticket in 1828


This page was last edited on 21 June 2022, at 23:01
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