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Four Candidates Send the 1824 Election to the House of Representatives
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This intermediate tally of electoral votes for the 1824 presidential election shows John Quincy Adams in the lead with 83 electoral votes to Andrew Jackson’s 43, William Crawford’s 40, and Henry Clay’s 23. However, many western and southwestern states had not yet reported, and Jackson’s total surged to 99, still short of the 131 necessary to win, forcing the election into the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Twelfth Amendment.

[1824 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION]. Autograph Document, ca. November 1824. 1 p., 8¼ x 8⅞ in.

Inventory #24286.02       Price: $980

Historical Background

Prior to the 1824 Presidential Election, the Democratic-Republican Party had won six consecutive presidential elections. In 1824, the party could not agree on a candidate and split into four factions that fielded four candidates: John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, the son of former president John Adams; Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812; William H. Crawford of Georgia, former Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury; and Henry Clay of Kentucky, in the first of his five unsuccessful campaigns for the Presidency.

In the popular election, held between October 26 and December 2, 1824, Andrew Jackson received 41 percent of the popular vote and 99 electoral votes, while John Quincy Adams gained 31 percent of the popular vote and 84 electoral votes. Crawford and Clay divided the remaining popular vote and together gained 78 electoral votes. John C. Calhoun was easily elected as Vice President with 182 electoral votes, more than twice the total of all other candidates combined.

Because no presidential candidate won a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives had to decide the outcome, based on the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In the original election, five states had divided their electoral votes, with New York giving some votes to all four candidates. However, in the House of Representatives, each state had only one vote for president, and could consider only the top three candidates—Jackson, Adams, and Crawford. Clay, the fourth candidate and Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time, detested Jackson and threw his support behind Adams, who won on the first ballot with thirteen states, to Jackson’s seven, and Crawford’s four.

Since he had won a plurality of both the popular and electoral votes, Jackson was shocked by the results and accused Adams and Clay, who became Adams’ Secretary of State, of a “corrupt bargain.” Jackson’s supporters coalesced into the Democratic Party, while Adams and Clay founded the National Republican Party and then the Whig Party.

Complete Transcript

 

Presidential Votes

Adams

Jackson

Crawford

Clay

Massachusetts

}

General

15

15

 

 

 

Connecticut

}

 

8

8

 

 

 

New Hampshire

}

Ticket [1]

8

8

 

 

 

Rhode Island

}

 

4

4

 

 

 

Vermont

 

Legislature [2]

7

7

 

 

 

Maine

 

District [3]

82 [4]

9

 

 

 

New York

 

 

36

25

 

4

7

New Jersey

 

 

8

 

8

 

 

Pennsylvania

 

 

28

 

28

 

 

Delaware

 

 

3

1

 

2

 

Maryland

 

[5]

11

3

7

1

 

Virginia

 

 

24

 

 

24

 

North Carolina

}

Ticket

15

 

 

 

 

South Carolina

}

 

11

 

 

 

 

Georgia

 

 

9

 

 

9

 

Ohio

 

 

16

 

 

 

16

Kentucky

 

 

15 [6]

 

 

 

 

Tenisee

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

Indianna

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Louisanna

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Missisippi

 

 

3

3

 

 

 

Illinois

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

Alabama

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

Missouri

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

With the exceptions of Maine and Kentucky, this table accurately records the number of electoral votes each of the twenty-four states had in 1824. With the exceptions of New York and Mississippi, it also accurately records the number of electoral votes each candidate received from fifteen of the states. New York did divide its electoral vote, but gave 26 votes to Adams, 1 to Jackson, 5 to Crawford, and 4 to Clay. Mississippi gave its three electoral votes to Jackson.


[1] In the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia, voters statewide choose each elector.

[2] In the states of Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont, the state legislature appointed all electors.

[3] In Maine, voters statewide chose two electors, and voters in each congressional district chose one elector.

[4] Maine had a total of 9 electoral votes; this number may refer to the 81.5 percent majority Adams won in the popular vote.

[5] In Maryland, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, voters of each district chose one elector.

[6] Kentucky had only 14 electoral votes.


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