★ 1876 Colorado gubernatorial election
The 1876 Colorado gubernatorial election was held on October 3, 1876, to elect the 1st Governor of Colorado after the state was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876. Republican John long Rutt, the last Governor of the Colorado territory, was elected in a close race against Democratic candidate Bela M. Hughes.
1.1. Background. Political unrest in the territory of Colorado from 1874 to 1875. (Политические волнения на территории Колорадо с 1874 по 1875 год)
In January 1874, Edward M. Mccook, who had already been Governor of the territory from 1869 to 1873, was appointed to another term by President Ulysses S. Grant after the incumbent Governor, Samuel Elbert, was removed due to misconduct in the Pueblo Land office. Elbert had supporters who argued that he should not have been dismissed from office because he was not involved in any misconduct. Mccook, whose first administration was considered tainted by corruption, was also fiercely opposed by Jerome B. Chaffee, an Elbert supporter who was then the territorys delegate to the House of representatives. Many in the district took Mccooks appointment as an insult. The fight for his confirmation in the Senate turned into a feud between Chaffee and President Grant. Chaffee even threatened to resign if Mccook was confirmed in the Senate. After five months of testimony and numerous charges against Mccook, the Senate confirmed His appointment by a single vote on June 19, 1874.
Returning to Colorado, Governor Mccook asked President Grant to relieve all political appointees of their duties, which was recommended by delegate Chaffee. President Grant obeyed and appointed deputies, all of whom lived outside the territory. Mccook and other Federal officers were considered baggers by the locals. There was a growing sense in the territory that the Federal government was used to accommodating unsuccessful and no longer needed politicians from the Eastern United States. Growing dissatisfaction with the Republican President, his local appointees, and infighting in the Republican party led to an unexpected victory for Democrat Thomas M. Patterson in the election of a delegate to the House of representatives on November 3, 1874.
The second term of Edward M. Mccooks as Governor was not crowned with success and lasted only eight months. His administration was plagued by internal struggles in the Republican party and Mccooks personal problems. Mccook was distraught over the death of his wife, Mary, and suffered from alcoholism. His lack of moral behavior cost him a lot of support, and in February 1875, he resigned at the request of President Grant.
1.2. Background. John long Roots the term of office of the last territorial Governor. (Джон Лонг корнями уходит в срок полномочий последнего территориального губернатора)
On March 29, 1875, Republican John long Rutt was appointed by President grant to replace the unpopular Edward Mccook as Governor of Colorado. President Grant and John Routt had been close friends since serving together in the Union during the Civil war.
Roots first task was to unify the local Republican party after years of infighting. It also had to address the growing gap between residents of Denver and residents of the more rural areas of the territory. Many rural Coloradions believed that the stalemate and infighting in previous years had been caused by the heavy concentration of power of Denver politicians. At first, routt faced skepticism because he, too, had been appointed to the position, even though He had never lived in Colorado before. He assured the public, saying that he plans to move to this territory, even if he is not appointed Governor. His tenure as territorial Governor was associated with the drafting of the first Colorado state Constitution by the constitutional Convention of 1875. Rutt also managed to unite the factions of the local Republican party.
1.3. Background. Colorados the last push for statehood. (Колорадос последний толчок к государственности)
In the 1860s, the territory of Colorado, created in 1861, was already relatively close to statehood. In 1864, the Republican-dominated Congress passed a bill signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The first proposed state Constitution was rejected by territorial voters on October 11, 1864. The second proposal for a state Constitution was then ratified by the voters on August 12, 1865. President Andrew Johnson, who took office after Lincolns assassination, opposed statehood for the territory of Colorado, fearing the strengthening of the Republican majority. During his term, President Johnson successfully blocked all further attempts by Congress to impose statehood on the territory. After Johnson left office in 1869, Congress failed to pass a statehood bill three times between 1869 and 1873.
The Saga of the appointment of Governor Mccook showed the people of the territory the need for self-government and contributed to a determined effort to create statehood. An act of Congress was again necessary for statehood. After the United States elections of 1874, control of the 44th Congress was divided: Republicans still firmly controlled the Senate, but Democrats with a newly gained majority in the House of representatives. The national Democrats have long opposed statehood for the territory of Colorado, fearing that statehood would add a solid Republican state to the Union. Newly elected delegate Thomas M. Patterson, who was a strong proponent of statehood, worked to convince Democrats in Congress that Colorado would elect democratic members to Congress. Patterson pointed to his own election as proof. On the Republican side, former delegate Jerome B. Chaffee, also a supporter of statehood, made sure that the Republican member of Congress would remain convinced that Colorado would vote for Republicans and that they would support the party line. Republicans pushed statehood through the 43rd Congress in the final days of its term, as the Democrats were to take control of the House of representatives after the 44th Congress was sworn in on March 4, 1875.
On March 3, 1875, the United States Congress passed an enabling act defining the requirements for the territory of Colorado to become a state. On August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting the state of Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and giving it the nickname "centennial state". The borders of the new state coincided with the borders established for the territory of Colorado.
1.4. Background. Constitution Of The State Of Colorado. (Конституция Штата Колорадо)
The empowering act defined the process of attempting to create the first Colorado state Constitution. The territorial Governor was authorized to call elections for 39 delegates within 90 days of September 1, 1875, who were to meet in Congress within 60 days of such elections. The document was to be ratified by referendum in July 1876. The law on granting powers included a section stating that only those who have the right to vote in territorial elections can vote in referendums and in previous elections of delegates to the constitutional Convention. This meant that because of the 1868 territorial statue, only white men over the age of 21 were eligible to vote. The law also included restrictions for the future state Constitution. He clarified that the Constitution cannot make any "civil or political distinction based on race or color" and that it must tolerate all religious feelings."
Governor John Routt ordered the election of representatives to the constitutional Convention, which was held on October 25, 1875. Republicans won 24 seats, while Democrats won only 15 seats. The Convention met in Denver on December 20, 1875. The most heated debates were the regulation of railroads, mines, and other companies, womens suffrage, the funding of denominational schools, and whether God should be mentioned in the preamble.
The state Constitution gave black men over the age of 21 the right to vote in the state, while womens suffrage was also proposed, but was defeated on a vote of 28-4. Delegates feared that the territorys male electorate was opposed to womens suffrage and that the inclusion of this right in a referendum would doom the Constitution and therefore statehood. Fear of corruption due to the strong influence of private mining and railway companies in the state has determined many options for the Convention. The term of office of governors was set at just two years, to give voters the opportunity to reject the unpopular administration as soon as possible. Article V, section 25, prohibits the adoption of any laws that benefit only one company, and sections 27 and 28 provide ethical standards for legislators. The Constitution is also very long due to the detailed instructions and legislative limitations of the Colorado General Assembly. The goal here was to limit the ability of business leaders to pass laws through their influence on legislators.
The Constitution adopted the Convention on March 14, 1876, by a unanimous vote of 30-0, with nine delegates absent. Due to the provisions of the enabling act, a referendum on ratification could not be held until July 1876. The new Constitution was finally approved by popular vote on July 1, 1876. The majority of votes was 15.443-4.039 79%-21% in favor of the Constitution. Only four counties-El Paso, Huerfano, Las Animas, and Pueblo-voted against the Constitution. At that time, the residents of these counties were mostly of Mexican descent, and the results showed their dissatisfaction with the Constitution and distrust of the majority of the Anglo-American population.
2.1. The Republican Primaries. Appointed. (Назначенный)
- John long Routt, Governor of the territory of Colorado.
2.2. The Republican Primaries. State Convention. (Государственное соглашение)
The Republican Convention was held on August 23, 1876, in the Pueblo. Jerome B. Chaffee, who was considered the leader of the local Republican party, presided over the Convention. When the Convention met on the morning of 23 August, it was unclear who the state party would choose as its first candidate for Governor.
Former Governor Samuel HITT Elbert still enjoyed considerable support among delegates and party leaders. Albert was considered the favorite in this category. His removal from office in 1874 caused widespread solidarity, and his candidacy was supported by Chaffee. Incumbent Governor John long Rutt still had to contend with his image as an outsider and a "bagger." However, Ruth won the respect among Republicans for his successful unification of the factions within the party. Lafayette head was a candidate who had strong support among delegates from the southern new states Hispanic majority, but limited appeal outside of his base. George M. Chilcott was another candidate who was positively received by the party establishment.
After four rounds of voting ended without a candidate receiving a majority of delegates, John Routt made a deal with Lafayette Head and Samuel Elbert. Head joined Rutt on the Republican ticket as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, while Elbert accepted a nomination for election to the Colorado Supreme court.
3.1. Democratic pre-elections. Appointed. (Назначенный)
- Bela M. Hughes, a member of the territorial Council of Colorado.
3.2. Democratic pre-elections. State Convention. (Государственное соглашение)
In February 1876, Bela Metcalf Hughes was already mentioned in an article In the Colorado weekly Chieftain as a likely candidate for the Democratic party in the first gubernatorial election in the state of Colorado. On August 29, 1876, the Democratic Convention met in Manitou springs to nominate candidates for the first state election on October 3, 1876. Bela Hughes was nominated for the 1876 Colorado gubernatorial election by acclamation.
Bela M. Hughes was born in Carlisle, Kentucky, in 1817. He worked as a transportation businessman, real estate developer, and attorney in Missouri and Kansas. In Missouri, Hughes also served in the state House of representatives and was appointed by President John Tyler to the position of administrator of public funds. He moved to Denver in 1862. He was a lawyer in the city and was the first President of the Denver Pacific Railroad and Telegraph company. Shortly before running for Governor, he served one term as a Democrat on the territorial Council, the upper house of the Colorado territorial legislature.
4.1. General elections. Campania. (Кампанья)
A little more than a month of campaigning began immediately after the congresses in late August 1876. Both candidates had very different campaigning styles. The candidate of the Democratic party from Bela M. Hughes spent a lot of performances, presenting their platform. In the first three weeks of September 1876 alone, he traveled to campaign events in 15 different Colorado cities, speaking up to six nights a week. The Republican newspaper "Golden weekly globe" published an extensive report on Hughes speech in Golden. In its report, the newspaper claimed that the Democratic presidential candidate, Samuel J. Johnson, had been killed.Tilden committed perjury and criticized Hughes for his defense and support of Tilden. The editorial also criticized Hughes language, as he used phrases such as" damn lies "and" the government is going to hell despite the fact that there were about twenty women in the audience. On the other hand, the democratic Newspapers enthusiastically supported Hughes candidacy. This was especially true of the Denver mirror, a small newspaper published by Stanley G. McCarthy.
The Republican candidate, territorial Governor John Routt, did not make any public appearances during the campaign. He preferred to meet and greet his constituents face-to-face. At one Republican event, Rutt admitted that he doesnt use rhetorical skills like his opponent. He said, "I cant fly as high as some of my friends on the other side, but Im short and agile, and when it comes to getting to the political pastures, I can get there as fast as they can, crawling through them, maybe I can get ahead of them, because they have to fly high to avoid the fences."The Denver mirror then used the image of Routh crawling over fences to paint him in several cartoons as a carpetbag who was not elected but appointed to the territorial governorship by President Grant after serving in various political roles in Illinois and Washington, DC. The first cartoon was published on September 17, 1876. Fowler was successful with his cartoons, which attracted the attention of the entire state. Routt was amused by these cartoons and began distributing copies of them at his campaign events. In its last cartoon about the 1876 state election on October 1, 1876, the Denver Mirror urged its readers to support Hughes and other Democratic candidates, emphasizing their support for the Silver Dollar and political reform, while at the same time arguing that the Republican state government would be tainted by corruption.
4.2. General elections. Results. (Результаты)
However, Rutt was able to secure another term in office, as Republicans managed to clear all statewide offices and both houses of the Colorado General Assembly. Routt won the gubernatorial election with 14.154 to 13.316 votes, by a margin of 52-48.
4.3. General elections. For the district. (Для района)
Source: the Legislative manual of the state of Colorado in 1877.
5. Effects. (Эффекты)
John Routt was sworn in as the first Governor of Colorado on November 3, 1876. Rutt did not run for reelection in 1878, but served another term as Colorados 7th Governor from 1891 to 1893. In addition, he also served as the 17th mayor of Danvers from 1883 to 1885. John Routt died in Denver on August 13, 1907.
After losing the gubernatorial election, Bela Hughes mostly retired from politics. He was still approached for advice, but he never ran for public office again. In February 1877, the Memphis Appeal offered him the position of Secretary of state, in case the Democratic candidate, Samuel J. McCarthy, should be elected.Tilden would win the presidential election of 1876. Hughes concentrated on his law practice, where he was joined in 1888 by his relative, Charles J. Hughes.Hughes, Jr., who later represented Colorado as a member of the Democratic party in the United States Senate. Bela Hughes retired from the legal profession in 1893. Hughes was recognized for his significant contribution to the development of the state in the Colorado state Hall of fame and is depicted in the Colorado state Capitol. Bela Hughes died in his Denver home in the early morning of October 3, 1902.
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