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1842 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1842 Chicago mayoral election
← 1841
1843 →
Nominee Benjamin W. Raymond Augustus Garrett Henry Smith
Party Whig Democratic Free Soil
Popular vote 490 432 53
Percentage 50.26% 44.31% 5.43%

1842 Chicago mayoral election by ward (map only).png
Results by ward

Mayor before election

Buckner Stith Morris

Elected Mayor

Benjamin W. Raymond

In the Chicago mayoral election of 1842 Whig candidate Benjamin Wright Raymond defeated Democratic candidate Augustus Garrett and Free Soil candidate Henry Smith by a 6 point margin.

Raymond had previously served a term as mayor after winning the 1839 Chicago mayoral election, and had also previously unsuccessfully sought a second term in the 1840 Chicago mayoral election. By winning the 1842 election, Raymond became the first individual to win more than one term as mayor of Chicago.

This was the first Chicago mayoral election in which voters were not required to be freeholders.[1]

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>> Now despite all this, there were those in the revolutionary era, Jefferson himself maybe, who kind of thought slavery might die out. Slavery in Virginia was getting a little decrepit, it had been around for over a century. Tobacco exhausts the soil, and maybe it will die out. But of course, it doesn't. In the 19th century, slavery takes on a new lease on life, because of the industrial revolution in England, and the tremendous spread of cotton cultivation. They hadn't grown cotton at all hardly before the American Revolution. But cotton is the key, you know, commodity. The key raw material of the Industrial Revolution. The mechanization of spinning and weaving and textile production creates an enormous demand for cotton, and the American south is sitting on virtually a monopoly of cotton. And a northerner, Eli Whitney, invents this machine. Here's a picture of ginning cotton. It's hard to see, but the cotton gin is down here, it's just a little machine which turns around and there are spikes that go through the cotton. The problem with cotton is that the seeds stick to the bowl of cotton, and it's tremendously laborious to pick them out by hand. But he invented this system, it's very simple, brushes and spikes, which the cotton goes through and it takes all those things out, and it makes the mass production and marketing of cotton very, very easy. And so cotton, with cotton, slavery doesn't die out. It enters a new lease on life, it expands rapidly. The story of slavery in the first half of the 19th Century in the U.S. is expansion and growth. Without a slave trade. An internal slave trade takes the place of the slave trade from Africa. The older states like Virginia are selling now, thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of slaves to the newer states of the deep south. This is what we all the cotton kingdom. This is a map of main crops of slavery, and you see green here. This is the cotton kingdom, stretching from South Carolina westward all the way through Alabama, Mississippi and into eastern Texas. Virginia is still growing tobacco, and so is Kentucky and everything. Rice along the South Carolina/Georgia coast, and sugar in this south eastern corner of Louisiana. But this is the real heartland of slavery by the middle of the 19th Century. The cotton kingdom of the lower south, the gulf states, whatever you want to call them. And as southerners say with great glee, cotton is king. Cotton is the oil of the 19th Century. The key commodity in world trade. And the south is sitting on a monopoly. In 1850, three-quarters of the world's cotton supply comes from the southern United States. You can't lose, man, if you've got all that cotton, and there's such tremendous demand for it, both in England and in the northern United States, growing, and in other places, France, even Russia. Cotton is the next great international commodity of slaves, produced by slave labor. Cotton is not just a southern thing, though. The entire nation is thriving on the profits of cotton. Cotton is by far the biggest export of the United States. By far, it represents way over half of the value of exports of the United States. It provides the nation with the bulk of foreign capital. Foreign money comes in from buying cotton, which helps to build up railroads and other developments, industrial development. By, in 1820, the U.S. is exporting a quarter of a million bales, big, big containers of cotton. By 1860, they're exporting five and a half million bales. In other words, the output has increased 20, 30, 50 times. Whatever. New York City is centrally involved in the cotton business, the cotton trade. Long after New York abolished slavery. New York merchants controlled the shipping of cotton to Europe. The south did not ship directly to Europe, except in the 1850s from New Orleans. The cotton was picked up and brought to New York, and then shipped over to Great Britain. New York merchants ship the cotton. New York insurance companies insured slave-- they insured the lives of slaves. Except one little difference from today. Today if someone dies, their family gets the money. When a slave died, the owner got the money, not the family of the slave, of course. New York shipbuilders built the ships. New York's prosperity was tied to cotton. On our reading list, we have an article from DeBow's Review, the major-- I mean, in JENAP [assumed spelling], the major southern publication of this, of the mid-19th Century. It was printed in New York. And then sent to the south. New York hotels were filled with southerners visiting, and made special-- they had special ads in southern newspapers. Up until 1840, I was a little wrong what I said before. New York allowed what we call nine months of slave transit. In other words, if you're a southerner, and you want to come up to New York, you can bring a slave with you. There were slaves on the streets of New York City up to 1840, even though slavery had been abolished here. Because you were allowed to bring a slave with you for nine months. After nine months, became free, 1840 New York abolished slave transit. So after that, if you brought a slave into the state, they automatically became free, as in the Somerset Principle. Mayor Fernando Wood, in 1860, Mayor Fernando Wood, who you may remember from the Spielberg Lincoln movie, one of those congressmen, proposed that New York secede, New York City secede, not to join the Confederacy, but to become a free port, so it could trade, continue to trade with both south and north. So the profits of slavery, in other words, the north is complicitous in the institution of slavery and benefiting from it. That is why, the by way, and we will see this, Abraham Lincoln in his great second Inaugural Address referred to American slavery, not southern slavery. Lincoln always said "We are guilty," just like the south. We, northerners, we are not innocent in this thing. We are benefiting from slavery too. And the current view among historians of these southern planters sees them not as kind of backward retrograde, but as modern businessmen bent on accumulating profits, monitoring their investments, pioneering modern bookkeeping methods, and very much plugged into the 19th Century economic order. One more statistic I'll give you, to show the centrality of slavery. In the 1860 Census, gives you a rundown of all the different property-- forms of property in the United States. The slaves were property, right? They're people, but they're property. As property, in 1860, the slaves, the four million slaves, were worth $3 billion dollars. That's 1860 billion dollars, not today. Today a billion here doesn't mean anything [laughter]. That's a lot of money in 1860, believe me, three billion dollars. The combined value of the railroads, factories and banks, in the United States, was two and a half billion dollars. In other words, the slaves, as property, were worth more than all the banks, railroads and factories put together. That's not something people are going to give up very easily. And of course a coherent ideology defending slavery has, by this time, emerged. We have a couple of examples in JENAP. We've got on here, just very quickly, a pro-slavery cartoon. It's kind of hard to read. You can see it on the coursework, where they're pointing, the slaves look pretty happy. They're dancing back here, and there's an old chap who's sitting very pleasantly with his cane, and the owner says "These poor creatures are a sacred legacy from my ancestors," and basically as long as there's a dollar left to me, nothing will prevent me from taking care of them. Slaves are taken care of, is the point. Unlike those of the north, which are just thrown at-- George Fitzhugh, the southern propaganda says, you know, slaves are better off than free workers, they're never unemployed. In old age, they're taken care of. It's better to be the slave of an individual master than the slave of the impersonal capitalist marketplace, says Fitzhugh. As Senator Hammond of South Carolina says in the Senate, "Now power on earth dares to make war on cotton. Cotton is king." That's the reason, cotton is king. No power on earth dares to make war on cotton. That kind of confidence will lead to, you know, the decision to some degree, for secession. So let's just quickly, for the last five minutes, look at a couple other elements of the slave system. Okay? Slavery-- which are relevant to us as we go along-- first of all, slavery is irregularly distributed in the south. It is concentrated in that cotton belt, and the other places, the-- in the plantation belt. There are vast areas of the south which are mountainous, western North Carolina, up-country Tennessee, northern Georgia, western Virginia. With very little slavery. Mostly poorer white farmers, often subsistence farmers, not really participating in the market all that much. So the slaves are distributed, they're concentrated in some areas, and moreover, there's a significant difference between the upper south-- Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and the lower south-- the lower south is thriving. The upper south, slavery is, well, in some places it's really disintegrating. In Delaware, small place, has only 1,800 slaves in 1860. Most of the blacks in Delaware have become free. Maryland. Maryland-- half the black population is free in 1860. Slavery is not growing in Virginia. Many of those upper south places are still vaguely hoping they might be able to somehow get rid of slavery and tie their economic fortunes much more with the north, whereas in the deep south, slavery is thriving, the pro-slavery ideology is paramount, and the lower south is often worried about the commitment of the upper south to the perpetuation of slavery. We will see that as we go along. There is a free black population by this time in the south, about 280,000 of them. Most of them are poor, agrarian workers up in the upper south, Virginia, Maryland. Slaves have become freed and still work as wage laborers on farms, and everything. But in the deep south, we'll talk about them in some places like New Orleans, Charleston, there is a fairly well-to-do free black population, propertied, educated, etc. Most southern white families did not own slaves. About one-third did. Of the 1.5 million white families, about 385,000 owned slaves. Whether that's a high or a low number, figure it out. It's not a majority. But it certainly shows that slavery was widely distributed as a major form of property throughout southern white society. Most slave owners were not plantation owners. Most slaves-- the average, most slave owners owned a few slaves. There were far more farmers owning one, two or three slaves, than giant plantation owners. But nonetheless, the plantation set the tone for southern society. Slaves were the basic source of wealth, status, influence. Planters had the best land, the most money, they dominated southern politics. The policies of southern governments were geared to servicing the plantations, the richest people in the United States were the large planters of South Carolina and the Mississippi Valley. And the plantation was a little world unto itself. I mean, we have here this image from, I guess Harper's Weekly, from a big plantation, Oak Lawn, with all sorts of different buildings, slave cabins, a church on it. It's an entire world, these large plantations. And this dominates southern society politically, intellectually, ideologically, if not numerically. So what is-- let's just finish by saying this. Slavery in 1850 is entrenched. It is expanding. It is politically protected. It is not dying out, despite the British having abolished slavery in the West Indies, there are more slaves in the western hemisphere on the eve of the Civil War than ever before in the history of the western hemisphere. The old south is the largest, most powerful, slave society of the modern world. My good friend and colleague, Professor William Harris, I asked him how many slaves were there at the height of the Roman Empire, he said probably about five to six million. That's more. The south had four million slaves. The old Roman Empire five. But the Roman Empire had a population of 70 million. The old south had a total population of about 12 million. So one-third of that was slaves. Well, I'm going to finish by just reading you a few lines from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The Warning, 1842. Longfellow's warning. There is a poor, blind Sampson in this land. Sampson, the biblical figure who's chained to, you know, in the temple. A poor, blind Sampson in this land, shorn of his strength, and bound in bonds of steel, who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand and shake the pillars of this common wheel, until the vast temple of our liberties are shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies. Is Sampson the slave? Slavery? The slavery issue? Whatever, what we're going to do for the next few weeks is figure out how this Sampson turned the nation into a mass of wreck and rubbish.

General election

1842 Chicago mayoral election[1][2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Whig Benjamin Wright Raymond 490 50.26
Democratic Augustus Garrett 432 44.31
Free Soil Henry Smith 53 5.43
Turnout 975

Results by ward[1]

As with other mayoral elections of the era, returns in the city's wards heavily matched the partisan makeup of the votes that that had been cast in the city's aldermanic election.[3]

Ward Raymond Votes Garrett Votes Smith Votes Total Votes
1st 162 96 21 279
2nd 110 168 21 309
3rd 26 18 1 45
4th 13 16 0 29
5th 52 35 0 87
6th 127 99 10 236


  1. ^ a b c Goodspeed, Weston A. (Feb 6, 2017). The History of Cook County, Illinois. Jazzybee Verlag.
  2. ^ "RaceID=486021". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Einhorn, Robin L. (2001). Property Rules: Political Economy in Chicago, 1833-1872. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 34.
This page was last edited on 5 March 2019, at 05:52
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