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1874 Massachusetts gubernatorial election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1874 Massachusetts gubernatorial election

← 1873 November 3, 1874 1875 →
WilliamGaston Massachusetts (1).png
Nominee William Gaston Thomas Talbot
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 96,376 89,344
Percentage 51.82% 48.04%

Governor before election

Thomas Talbot (acting)

Elected Governor

William Gaston

The 1874 Massachusetts gubernatorial election was held on November 3, 1874. Republican acting Governor Thomas Talbot, who took office after the resignation of William B. Washburn, was defeated by Democrat William Gaston, a former Mayor of Boston.

Gaston was the first Democrat elected Governor since George S. Boutwell in 1852 and received the largest share of the vote for any Democrat in the state since the party's founding in 1828.

Republican nomination



Talbot, who had only become acting Governor in April, was by no means guaranteed re-nomination by the Republicans. No candidate, including Talbot, actively sought office, but a number of alternatives were mentioned. Among those suggested were Alexander H. Rice, Henry L. Dawes, George Frisbie Hoar, and Henry L. Pierce.[1] Talbot was thought of as the weakest Republican candidate possible on the basis of his vetoes of liquor regulation; even the prohibitionist governors William Claflin and William Washburn had accepted a tacit agreement that they would not override the legislature's will on liquor.[1]

A proposal was made for Talbot to run for Congress in the vacant seat of Ebenezer R. Hoar, with Rice running for Governor, and Henry L. Dawes for U.S. Senate. Talbot rejected this plan, as did opponents of Rice and Dawes.[1]

Representative Benjamin Butler, a kingmaker in Massachusetts politics, largely stayed out of the race.[1]


At the Republican convention in Worcester on October 7, Talbot was nominated on the first ballot[2] with the support of Dawes and Hoar.[3] Some suggested that their support was exchanged for Talbot's endorsement of Dawes for U.S. Senate in the coming 1875 election.[3]

1874 Massachusetts Republican convention[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Thomas Talbot (incumbent) 755 72.46%
Republican George B. Loring 198 19.00%
Republican Charles Devens 51 4.89%
Republican John E. Sanford 20 1.92%
Republican Benjamin F. Butler 16 1.54%
Republican Henry L. Dawes 1 0.10%
Republican George Frisbie Hoar 1 0.10%
Total votes 1,042 100.00%

General election


1874 Massachusetts gubernatorial election[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic William Gaston 96,376 51.82% Increase6.96
Republican Thomas Talbot (incumbent) 89,344 48.04% Decrease6.51
Write-in All others 270 0.15% Increase0.07
Total votes 185,990 100.00%


  1. ^ a b c d "BAY STATE POLITICS". New York Tribune. 25 July 1874. p. 3.
  2. ^ a b "Massachusetts: Gov. Talbot Renominated by the Republican State Convention". Louisville Courier-Journal. 8 Oct 1874. p. 1.
  3. ^ a b "BAY STATE POLITICS". New York Tribune. 24 Oct 1874. p. 3.
  4. ^ "MA Governor, 1874". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  5. ^ "1874 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Massachusetts". US Election Atlas. Retrieved 28 February 2021.

See also

This page was last edited on 21 April 2021, at 15:49
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