Monday, November 7, 2016

Your right to vote

George Washington Esq., President of the United States of AmericaPresident George Washington, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Tomorrow is the big day. This particular election is one of the most controversial in history and it got to me thinking. I wonder who my ancestors voted for. I looked at one ancestor in particular, my #1 brick wall, James Simmons, Sr. I wanted to see which elections he would have voted in and which candidates he would have had to choose from. James was old enough that he would have voted in the very first presidential election. How exciting that must have been for him!  He would have understood just how important his vote was having lived through the American Revolution. Voting was his right, his privilege, and his responsibility. James was 25 years old in 1789 and he would have voted in 14 presidential elections prior to his death in 1843. I assume he did vote. He was of age and a land owner. He also signed a couple legislative petitions making him politically active. Back in those days the only way to learn about the candidates was from the newspaper and from local forums. I have visions of local gatherings discussing/arguing the issues. I wonder if James got up and voiced his opinion. I will probably never know the answer. What I could do is research what each candidate’s platform was and then guess who James voted for based on what I know about him. I think it would be a fun exercise. Here are the presidential elections that James would have voted in.

1789
George Washington (no party affiliation)
John Adams (no party affiliation)

1792
George Washington (Federalist)
John Adams (Federalist)
George Clinton (Anti-Federalist)
Thomas Jefferson (Anti-Federalist)
Aaron Burr (Anti-Federalist)

1796
John Adams (Federalist)
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
Thomas Pinckney (Federalist)
Aaron Burr (Democratic-Republican)

1800
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)

Aaron Burr (Democratic-Republican)
John Adams (Federalist)
Charles C. Pinckney (Federalist)
John Jay (Federalist)

1804
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
Charles C. Pinckney (Federalist)

1808
James Madison (Democratic-Republican)
Charles C. Pinckney (Federalist)
George Clinton (Democratic-Republican)

1812
James Madison (Democratic-Republican)
DeWitt Clinton (Federalist)

1816
James Monroe (Democratic-Republican)
Rufus King (Federalist)

1820
James Monroe (Democratic-Republican)

John Quincy Adams (no party affiliation)

1824
John Quincy Adams (no party affiliation)

Andrew Jackson (no party affiliation)
William H. Crawford (no party affiliation)
Henry Clay (no party affiliation)

1828
Andrew Jackson (Democratic)
John Quincy Adams (National Republican)

1832
Andrew Jackson (Democratic)
Henry Clay (National Republican)
John Floyd (no party affiliation)
William Wirt (Antimasonic)

1836
Martin Van Buren (Democratic)
William H. Harrison (Whig)
Hugh L. White (Whig)
Daniel Webster (Whig)
W. P. Mangum (no party affiliation)

1840
William H. Harrison (Whig)
Martin Van Buren (Democratic)

 

Please exercise your right as a citizen of the United States of America and vote in the 57th presidential election.

 

Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis

3 comments:

  1. What an interesting post! We think the divisive issues we face today are the only things that matter. In reality, they are more ephemeral than we realize. Wonder what our descendants will think when they look back on our times and explore whom we may have voted for!

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  2. Very thought provoking post. I find it interesting that there were Clintons way back then - wonder if they were related?

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