Election Returns for the New Salem Precinct in Sangamon County, Illinois, 5 May 18341
At an election held at the house of William F. Berry the New Salem precinct in the county of Sangamon and State of Illinois on the fifth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirtyfour the following named persons received the number of votes annexed to their respective names for the following described office to Wit4
Garrett Elkin had eighty four votes for Sheriff
David Dickinson had Seventy seven votes for Sheriff
Zechariah Peter had four votes for Sheriff
Certified by us
|Hugh Armstrong||Judges of the election|
|A. Lincoln||}||Clerks of the election|
I certify that Hugh Armstrong David Whray Mentor Graham and A Lincoln were qualified by me according to law as Judges and Clerks of the electionBowling Green J. P.[Justice of the Peace]
I certify that Bowling Green was qualified by me according to law as Judge of the electionMentor Graham
1Acting as Clerk of the election, Abraham Lincoln wrote the entirety of this document, including the endorsements of Bowling Green and Mentor Graham. Green and Graham signed their own names.
Illinois’ 1818 constitution provided for state elections to be conducted viva voce, in which a voter would present himself in person to the election judges and declare his votes publicly. An election official would record the votes in a poll book. In 1819, the First General Assembly reversed this provision in favor of voting by ballot. The legislature mandated a return to viva voce in 1821, ballots in 1823, viva voce again in 1829, and finally settled on ballots in 1849.
Ill. Const. (1818), art. 2, §28; Sec. 13 of “An Act Regulating Elections,” 1 March 1819, Laws Passed by the First General Assembly, of the State of Illinois (1819), 93; Sec. 5 of “An Act Regulating Elections,” 3 February 1821, Laws Passed by the Second General Assembly of the State of Illinois (1821), 75-76; Sec. 14 of “An Act Regulating Elections,” 3 January 1823, Laws Passed by the Third General Assembly of the State of Illinois (1823), 57; Sec. 10 of “An Act Regulating Elections,” 10 January 1829, Revised Code of Laws, of Illinois (1829), 57; Sec. 13 of “An Act to Provide for the Mode of Voting by Ballot, and for the Manner of Returning, Canvassing and Certifying Votes,” 12 February 1849, Laws of the State of Illinois (1849), 73.
2There were two men named William Jones living in this area at this time. This could person could have been either of them.
4Sangamon County held this special election to fill the vacancy brought by the death of James D. Henry.
Harry E. Pratt, Lincoln 1809-1839: Being the Day-by-Day Activities of Abraham Lincoln from February 12, 1809 to December 31, 1839 (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1941), 28.
Handwritten Document Signed, 8 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL)