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1873 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1873 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts
← 1871 March 11 and 12, 1873 1877 →

Majority vote of the Massachusetts Legislature needed to win
 
George Boutwell, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg
HLDawes.jpg
Nominee George S. Boutwell Henry L. Dawes
Party Republican Republican
Percentage 55.27% 41.82%
Votes 152 115

Senator before election

Henry Wilson
Republican

Elected Senator

George S. Boutwell
Republican

The 1873 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts was held in March 1873 to fill the vacancy left by Senator Henry Wilson, who resigned to become Vice President of the United States. George S. Boutwell won the election.

At the time, Massachusetts elected United States Senators by a majority vote of each separate house of the Massachusetts General Court, the House and the Senate. However, the Senate deadlocked in this race; it was moved that both houses would vote as one, and Boutwell won the combined vote.

Background

At the time, the Massachusetts legislature was dominated the Republican Party. Republicans held all but one of the State Senate seats[1][2] and 211 of 240 state House seats.[1][3]

Incumbent Senator Henry Wilson resigned from office upon his election as Vice President of the United States, creating a vacancy for the term ending in 1877.

Election

March 11

Both houses of the General Court began balloting on March 11. Boutwell achieved a majority of the House on the second ballot, but the Senate deadlocked.

First House ballot[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George S. Boutwell 110 46.41%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 83 35.02%
Republican George B. Loring 16 6.75%
Republican William Whiting 9 3.80%
Republican Nathaniel Prentiss Banks 9 3.80%
Republican Ebenezer R. Hoar 7 2.95%
Unknown William G. Whittier 1 0.42%
Republican William E. Sanford 1 0.42%
Democratic John K. Tarbox 1 0.42%
Total votes 237 100.00%
Second House ballot[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George S. Boutwell 124 52.10%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 92 38.66%
Republican George B. Loring 10 4.20%
Republican William Whiting 6 2.52%
Republican William E. Sanford 2 0.84%
Democratic John K. Tarbox 2 0.84%
Republican Nathaniel Prentiss Banks 1 0.42%
Republican Ebenezer R. Hoar 1 0.42%
Total votes 238 100.00%

Senate President George Loring, who was a candidate for the seat, did not vote. One member was absent.

First Senate ballot[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry L. Dawes 11 28.95%
Republican George S. Boutwell 10 26.32%
Republican George B. Loring 9 23.68%
Republican Ebenezer R. Hoar 4 10.53%
Republican William Whiting 2 5.26%
Republican George Frisbie Hoar 1 2.63%
Democratic Charles Gordon Greene 1 2.63%
Total votes 38 100.00%
Second Senate ballot[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry L. Dawes 12 31.58%
Republican George S. Boutwell 9 23.68%
Republican George B. Loring 9 23.68%
Republican Ebenezer R. Hoar 4 10.53%
Republican William Whiting 2 5.26%
Republican George Frisbie Hoar 1 2.63%
Democratic Charles Gordon Greene 1 2.63%
Total votes 38 100.00%

The third and fourth ballots were identical.[4]

Third and fourth Senate ballot[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Henry L. Dawes 15 39.47%
Republican George S. Boutwell 10 26.32%
Republican George B. Loring 8 21.05%
Republican William Whiting 2 5.26%
Republican Ebenezer R. Hoar 1 2.63%
Republican George Frisbie Hoar 1 2.63%
Democratic Charles Gordon Greene 1 2.63%
Total votes 38 100.00%

March 12

Following Boutwell's victory in the House, it was widely expected the Senate would ratify their choice the next day. Dawes supporters convened a caucus and decided to continue their support.[4] On the next day, it was moved that both Houses would vote as one to ratify the choice.

Joint ballot[5]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George S. Boutwell 152 55.27%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 115 41.82%
Republican George B. Loring 2 0.73%
Democratic John K. Tarbox 2 0.73%
Republican William Whiting 2 0.73%
Democratic Charles Gordon Greene 2 0.73%
Total votes 275 100.00%

References

  1. ^ a b Cornelius Dalton; John Wirkkala; Anne Thomas (1984). "Political Complexion of the General Court 1867-1980". Leading the Way: a History of the Massachusetts General Court, 1629-1980. Boston: Massachusetts Secretary of State. p. 441+. ISBN 0961391502.
  2. ^ "Composition of the Massachusetts State Senate", Resources on Massachusetts Political Figures in the State Library, Mass.gov, archived from the original on June 6, 2020
  3. ^ "Composition of the State of Massachusetts House of Representatives", Resources on Massachusetts Political Figures in the State Library, Mass.gov, archived from the original on June 6, 2020
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Henry Wilson's Successor: Secretary Boutwell's Chances". The New York Times. 12 Mar 1873. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Election of Ex-Secretary Boutwell as United States Senator". The New York Times. 13 Mar 1873. p. 1.
This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 04:11
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