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1891 Chicago mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1891 Chicago mayoral election
← 1889 April 7, 1891[1] 1893 →
Hempstead Washburne (1).jpg
DeWitt Cregier (1).jpg
Nominee Hempstead Washburne DeWitt Clinton Cregier
Party Reform Democratic
Popular vote 46,957 46,558
Percentage 28.83% 28.59

CarterHarrison1890 (a).JPG
Elmer Washburn (1).jpg
Nominee Carter Harrison Sr. Elmer Washburn
Party Independent Democratic Citizens
Popular vote 42,931 24,027
Percentage 26.36 14.75

Mayor before election

DeWitt Clinton Cregier

Elected Mayor

Hempstead Washburne

The Chicago mayoral election of 1891 saw "Reform" candidate Hempstead Washburne narrowly win a four-way race against incumbent Democrat DeWitt Clinton Cregier, former mayor Carter Harrison Sr., and Citizens Party candidate Elmer Washburn. Also running was Socialist Labor candidate Thomas J. Morgan. Due to the four-way split in popular support, Washburne won with merely a 28.83% vote share and less than a quarter-of-a-percent margin of victory over second-place finisher Creiger.

Democratic nomination

Incumbent Dewitt Clinton Cregier was challenged by former mayor Carter Harrison Sr. Like Cregier, Harrison was a populist Democrat. Having previously retired, Harrison wished to stage a comeback.[2]

Cregier managed to fend-off Harrison's challenge for the Democratic nomination.[2] As a result, Harrison opted to run as an independent.[2]

The divide between the two candidates' supporters would endure into the fall, when they held separate caucuses and sat separately at the Democratic Party convention. However, they ultimately united behind the party at this convention, supporting the Democratic ticket for the fall elections.[3]

General election

In their platform Democrats, who nominated Crieger, supported an eight hour work day, affirmed that the streets were the property of the citizens, supported legislation for the masses, demanded that the city undertake its own construction work rather than relying on contractors, urged the enforcement of factory and tenement laws, urged a fixed salary to be paid to the city treasurer, and for the interest on deposits to belong to the city treasury.[3]

The Democratic electorate was split between Cregier and Harrison.[4]

Reform candidate Hempstead Washburne and Citizens candidate Elmer Washburn (former Director of the United States Secret Service and former Chicago Police Chief) were both members of the Washburn family. Elmer Washburn was cousins with Hempstead Washburne's father Elihu B. Washburne.[5]

In addition to being nominated by the Citizens committee, Elmer Washburn was also backed/nominated by the Prohibition Party.[3] Elmer Washburn was criticized by some as "puritanical".[6] Advancing a Sabbatarian agenda, the Citizens ticket he headed supported the closing of saloons, parks, and streetcar service on the Sabbath.[3]


1893 Chicago mayoral election[7][8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Reform Hempstead Washburne 46,957 28.84
Democratic DeWitt Clinton Cregier (incumbent) 46,558 28.59
Independent Democratic Carter Harrison Sr. 42,931 26.36
Citizens Elmer Washburn 24,027 14.75
Socialist Labor Thomas J. Morgan 2,376 1.46
Turnout 162,849

Creiger received 77.92% of the Polish-American vote, while Harrison received 10.42% and Washburne received 7.83%.[9]


  1. ^ Currey, Josiah Seymour (1912). "Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, a Century of Marvelous Growth".
  2. ^ a b c Kantowicz, Edward. “The Emergence of the Polish-Democratic Vote in Chicago.” Polish American Studies, vol. 29, no. 1/2, 1972, pp. 67–80. JSTOR, JSTOR,
  3. ^ a b c d Goodspeed, Weston Arthur; Healy, Daniel David (1909). "History of Cook County, Illinois--: Being a General Survey of Cook County History, Including a Condensed History of Chicago and Special Account of Districts Outside the City Limits; from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time".
  4. ^ A Heavy Vote Cast and Some Blood Spilled at Chicago. Mayor Cregier Re-elected After a Bitter Fight Daily Alta California, Volume 84, Number 98, 8 April 1891
  5. ^ Biography of Elihu Benjamin Washburne Congressman, Secretary of State, Envoy Extraordinary: Volume Six: Remaining Years in France as American Minister by Mark Washburne Xlibris Corporation, Oct 14, 2016
  6. ^ The Literary Digest April 18, 1891
  7. ^ "RaceID=486008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  8. ^ The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book. Chicago: Chicago Daily News. 1911. p. 538.
  9. ^ Kantowicz, Edward. “The Emergence of the Polish-Democratic Vote in Chicago.” Polish American Studies, vol. 29, no. 1/2, 1972, pp. 67–80. JSTOR, JSTOR,
This page was last edited on 9 September 2019, at 09:47
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