Records of compensation of the deliverers of these votes, from the papers of Alexander Hamilton, indicate that Stephenson's votes arrived first, 4 days before those of New York.
In 1789 George Washington was elected the first president of the United States, and Adams became the first vice president. One of the duties of the vice president is to preside as president of the U.S. Senate, and to cast tie-breaking votes. Adams did so on a variety of issues, supporting U.S....
In 1789 George Washington was elected the first president of the United States, and Adams became the first vice president. One of the duties of the vice president is to preside as president of the U.S. Senate, and to cast tie-breaking votes. Adams did so on a variety of issues, supporting U.S. neutrality in the new war between France and Britain and the controversial financial measures proposed by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. Washington, who had originally wanted to retire after his first presidential term, decided to run again at the last minute in order to try to halt the rise of political partisanship and parties. The Democratic-Republican opposition was aware of Washington’s obvious and undiminished popularity, and being at the time outnumbered by the Federalists, didn’t oppose his reelection. Adams, on the other hand, had alienated many of the Jeffersonians and there was a concerted behind-the-scenes campaign to replace him with George Clinton of New York. At the election in November 1792, presidential electors were chosen from the fifteen states; some were appointed by their state legislatures, others elected by popular vote. On December 5, the electors cast their ballots for both president and vice president, as required by law. These were formally transmitted to Vice President Adams in his capacity as President of the U.S. Senate, for counting. This is the original, official acknowledgement that Adams had received the ballots of the State of Pennsylvania, which was a new state and voting in its first presidential election.
The election of 1792 was the second presidential election in the United States, and the first in which each of the original 13 states appointed electors (in addition to newly added states Kentucky and Vermont). It is also the only presidential election that was not held four years after the previous election.
Stephen Stephenson was responsible for bringing in the electoral votes for the state of Pennsylvania. According to the records of compensation of the deliverers of these votes, Stephenson’s votes arrived 4 days before those of New York.
Autograph Document Signed, Philadelphia, December 8, 1792, to Stephenson. “Received of Stephen Stephenson, Gentleman, a packet containing a list of the votes for President and Vice President of the United States sealed up and certified by the electors of the state of Pennsylvania. John Adams.” Trimmed under the final line.
In February, 1793, the electoral vote was tabulated by Congress. Once again George Washington received a vote on every elector’s ballot, giving him 132 votes and his second unanimous presidential election. Adams received 77 votes, including most of Pennsylvania’s ballots, while his opponent Clinton got 50.
An important and rare document from Washington’s election.
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