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New York state election, 1853

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1853 New York state election was held on November 8, 1853, to elect the Secretary of State, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Engineer, two Judges of the New York Court of Appeals, a Canal Commissioner, an Inspector of State Prisons and the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.

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I'm Mr. Beat I'm in Kansas City standing in front of the Uptown Theater. In 2005, I saw the British band Keane perform a show at this very venue. fter they finished playing a song, the lead singer, Tom Chaplin, said it was the band’s first time in Kansas. Many members of the crowd immediately booed him for saying that. Why? The Uptown Theater, and Kansas City are in Missouri. But at least Chaplin had a good excuse, as most people who are not American don’t know that. They may not even know that Kansas and Missouri exist, although a lot of people seem to know Kansas due to The Wizard of Oz. Before you get all mad and stuff, I know there's more than Kansas City Missouri. Across the street there's Kansas City Kansas, too! Most of my wife’s family is from that Kansas City, the one in, you know, Kansas. But Kansas City, Kansas, or KCK is often overshadowed by Kansas City, Missouri, or KCMO due to the fact that it’s more than three times larger and has the majority of attractions that “Kansas City” is known for. Sure, KCK has the Kansas Speedway and Sporting KC but KCMO has the Power and Light District, the Sprint Center, the World War 1 Museum, Westport, the Country Club Plaza, the Royals and the Chiefs, and Bryan Busby. So there are two Kansas Cities, but why is the Kansas City most people think of the one that’s in Missouri? Well strangely, Kansas City, Missouri existed first. First known as The City of Kansas, it was incorporated on February 22, 1853. Its residents named it after the Kansa, a Native American tribe that the residents of Kansas also named their state after later on. Keep in mind that Kansas didn’t exist yet in 1853. The next year, it became a territory and it didn’t become a state until 1861. It wasn’t until October 1872 that a few smaller towns all together to officially form Kansas City, Kansas. Of course, this was after Kansas City, Missouri’s population had skyrocketed. Before the Civil War, KCMO had less than 5,000 people. A decade later, it was approaching 35,000. The folks in KCK wanted to piggyback on the success of KCMO and essentially confuse visitors into thinking THEY were the real Kansas City. I should mention that before this, Kansas politicians made several attempts to annex KCMO and the surrounding area into Kansas. The Kansas City Times editorial board wrote, “Kansas City, Mo, is the legitimate outgrowth of the state of Kansas. In everything but a line on the map she is essentially a city of Kansas.” Unfortunately for Kansas, Missourians didn’t want to lose KCMO because you know, KCMO is awesome, so they fought back. Since then, the two cities and their suburbs have thrived in their own ways, but KCMO often dominates the headlines. Freaking KCMO. Anyway, how about this street behind me? It divides not just KCK and KCMO, but Kansas and Missouri further to the south. It's called State Line Road, and it's one of the most unique borders in the world. A street that divides two states presents unique challenges. For example, it used to be you'd find a lot of 18-year olds crossing the street to over there at night and then later that night stumbling back this way Because the drinking age was 18 over there but it was 21 over here on the Missouri side Another example of this is the fact that if you drive down State Line Road you see that most of the businesses are on the Missouri side, where the taxes are lower. But how and why did State Line Road come to be? The earliest mention of State Line Road comes from an 1872 directory. Back then, it was just a few blocks long. Just like today, people went back and forth across the border like it was nothing. Back then, this was where the cows were. In fact, cows could often be in both states at the same time. The stockyards straddled the border so that people could more easily conduct business on both sides of the state line, sometimes within the same building. Soon though, it became apparent that a road separating the stockyards made it easier to move about to conduct such business. As the cities and their suburbs grew to the south, so did State Line Road. Today, it stretches nearly 14 miles. If you visit Kansas City today, you'd likely not be able to tell the difference crossing back and forth across the border. Both sides are awesome. Ironically, though, it's Kansas City Missouri that's still growing at a much quicker rate than Kansas City Kansas. Thanks for watching. I'll be back with Supreme Court Briefs next week.



After the split of the Democratic Party in 1848 over the slavery question, a large part of the Barnburner faction, who had joined the Free Soil Party, returned to the Democratic Party and re-united with the Hunkers. During the following years, the Hunkers split over the question of reconciliation with the Barnburners. The Hards were against it, denying the Barnburners to gain influence in the Party. The Softs favored reconciliation with the intention of maintaining enough strength to win the elections. Both Hards and Softs favored a compromise on the slavery question: to maintain the status quo and to leave the decision to the local population in new Territories or States if they want slavery or not, as expressed in the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Barnburners were against the permission of slavery in new Territories or States, but were now the minority in the party.


The Free Democratic, or Independent Democratic, Party was the radical anti-slavery faction of the disbanding Free Soil Party, which advocated the immediate abolition of slavery. Their State convention was held on August 31 in Syracuse.[1]

The Democratic state convention met in September in Syracuse. Two chairmen, one Hard and one Soft, were elected who sat one beside the other and commenced proceedings ignoring each other. After some ensuing confusion, the Hards moved out, convened elsewhere, and nominated a state ticket. The Softs and Barnburners nominated their own ticket. Only the nominees for the two judgeships of the Court of Appeals were nominated jointly by Hards and Softs.[2]

The Whig state convention met on October 5 in Syracuse. Benjamin F. Bruce was Temporary Chairman until the choice of Ex-Governor Washington Hunt to preside over the convention. James M. Cook was nominated for Comptroller on the first ballot (vote: Cook 88, Spaulding 29, Josiah B. Williams 8). Elias W. Leavenworth was nominated for Secretary of State on the first ballot (vote: Leavenworth 82, Samuel J. Wilkin 41, Spaulding 3). Elbridge G. Spaulding was nominated for Treasurer on the first ballot (vote: Spaulding 82, Jeremiah Ellsworth 19, Epenetus Crosby 11, Myron H. Clark 10). Ogden Hoffman was nominated for Attorney General on the third ballot (first ballot: Daniel Ullmann 49, Hoffman 45, Roscoe Conkling 27, J. M. Van Cott 4, Thompson 3; second ballot: Hoffman 56, Ullmann 54, Conkling 16, blank 1; third ballot: Hoffman 74, Ullmann 48, Conkling 5, blank 1). Cornelius Gardinier was nominated for Canal Commissioner on the second ballot (first ballot: Gardinier 30, David S. Wright 28, Ebenezer Blakely 19, Samuel P. Russell 16, Thomas Clowes 13, Ogden N. Chapin 13; second ballot: Gardinier 75, Blakely 19, Wright 18, Russell 5, Clowes 3, Chapin 1, Peabody 1, blank 1). Thomas Kirkpatrick was nominated for Inspector of State Prisons on the third ballot (first ballot: Kirkpatrick 22, Henry Underwood 21, Josiah T. Everest 14, Norwood Bowne 13, Alexander H. Wells 9, A. F. Crocker 9, Henry Bradley 9, Abner Baker 7, Benjamin Squire 7, William Lyons 6, Epenetus Crosby 5, Joseph Garling House 5; second ballot: Kirkpatrick 55, Underwood 45, Bowne 17, Everest 11; third ballot: Kirkpatrick 70, Underwood 60). John T. Clark was nominated for State Engineer by acclamation. Benjamin F. Harwood was nominated for Clerk of the Court of Appeals on the first ballot (vote: Harwood 62, E. P. Cole 22, A. T. McCarty 10, J. T. Lamport 8, P. Smith 5, Robinson 2). George Wood was nominated for a full term as Judge of the Court of Appeals on the second vote (88 ayes, 20 noes) after William Rockwell had been rejected in the first vote. Joseph Mullin was nominated for the short term by acclamation.[3]


Due to the split of the Democratic Party, almost the whole Whig ticket was elected. Only the jointly nominated Democratic judges of the Court of Appeals, Ruggles and Denio, were elected. The incumbent Ruggles was re-elected, the incumbent Mather was defeated.

23 Whigs, 7 Hards and 2 Softs were elected to a two-year term (1854–55) in the New York State Senate.

78 Whigs, 24 Hards, 24 Softs and 2 Free Democrats were elected for the session of 1854 to the New York State Assembly.

1853 state election results
Office Whig ticket Dem./Soft ticket Dem./Hard ticket Free Democratic ticket
Secretary of State Elias W. Leavenworth 160,043 Isaac A. Verplanck 96,137 George W. Clinton 99,835 Charles B. Sedgwick 14,985
Comptroller James M. Cook 164,628 Robert Kelly 97,130 James E. Cooley 92,888 Seth Merrill Gates 16,483
Attorney General Ogden Hoffman 166,165 Martin Grover 97,158 James T. Brady 92,512 John Jay 16,221
Treasurer Elbridge G. Spaulding 166,301 Francis Seger 97,054 Winslow C. Watson 96,931 Nathan Soule 14,957
State Engineer John T. Clark 164,949 Wheeler H. Bristol 97,101 John D. Fay 93,172 Silas Cornell[4] 14,214
Judge of the Court of Appeals (full term) George Wood 163,920 Charles H. Ruggles 182,615[5] Charles H. Ruggles Leonard Gibbs 12,968
Judge of the Court of Appeals (short term)[6] Joseph Mullin 158,964 Hiram Denio 187,137[7] Hiram Denio Edward I. Chase[8] 12,396
Canal Commissioner Cornelius Gardinier 162,030 Andrew J. Yates 96,273 John C. Mather 97,997 Charles G. Case 12,928
Inspector of State Prisons Thomas Kirkpatrick 159,667 William C. Dryer 96,434 Miles W. Bennett 98,489 Horace Boardman 16,339
Clerk of the Court of Appeals Benjamin F. Harwood 158,156 Albert Edgerton 96,267 Samuel S. Bowne 92,412 Thomas G. Frost 14,286



  1. ^ The Freeman's Manual (edition of September 10, 1853; page 118)
  2. ^ "The Democratic State Convention; The Softs and the Hards". New-York Daily Times. September 16, 1853. p. 3.
  3. ^ "The Whig State Convention". New-York Daily Times. October 6, 1853. p. 3.
  4. ^ Silas Cornell, Short bio
  5. ^ Total votes on Soft and Hard tickets
  6. ^ To fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Freeborn G. Jewett, a judge was elected for the remaining four years of the term.
  7. ^ Total votes on Soft and Hard tickets
  8. ^ Edward Ithamar Chase (1810–1862), of Lockport, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of New York 1861–1862, brother of Salmon P. Chase

See also

This page was last edited on 14 June 2018, at 20:54
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