Election of 1880


Election of 1880


It’s debate night, so let’s spin the Wheel of Presidential Elections. And it lands on . . . 1880! Thread.

James A. Garfield ran against Winfield Hancock. Not ringing a bell, huh? Union war hero, underminer of Reconstruction, and the Democrats’ best hope to retake the White House.

The popular vote was very close, with 4.4 million men voting for each of them. But the popular vote doesn’t matter, as you may be aware. Garfield swept the Electoral College.

Before the election, the National Woman Suffrage Association tried to get both candidates on the record about votes for women. Lillie Devereux Blake took a small delegation to visit General Hancock at home. They found him pleasantly well-versed in the issue and at least tepidly supportive. He told them that if Congress passed a suffrage bill for the District of Columbia, he wouldn’t veto it. (This was a big improvement over Horace Greely, the prior Democratic candidate, who was vehemently anti-suffrage.)

Susan B Anthony called on Garfield at his home in Ohio.👇 He was cordial. She followed up in writing. “What we wish to ascertain is whether you, as president, would use your _official influence_ to secure to the women of the several States a _national guarantee_ of their right to a voice in the government on the same terms with men.”

He responded by saying that she surely understood the Republicans were the party of liberty, but why must she be so pushy. She responded with a pretty fabulous letter rebuking the sad decline of the party of Lincoln.

“...Since 1870, its congressional enactments, majority reports, Supreme Court decisions, and now its presidential platform, show a retrograde movement--not only for women, but for colored men--limiting the power of the national government in the protection of United States citizens against the injustice of the States, until what we gained by the sword is lost by political surrenders.”

#suffrage100 #19thAmendment 


Daily Suffragist


Sept 29, 2020


1880 election thread.png


Daily Suffragist, “Election of 1880,” Daily Suffragist, accessed June 14, 2024, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/521.

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