Gibbs, Warren [1830-1897]; Justin S. Morrill [1810-1898]

[Vermont] [Presidential Election] [Republican Party] Political 1876 [title from cover]

[Burlington, Vt.]: various publishers. 1876, 1882, 1884

 

Folio chronicling the efforts of Warren Gibbs, Chairman of the Chittenden County Republican Committee, during the 1876 Presidential election in support of Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler. A copy of the April 1, 1876 issue of the United States Review was used to paste down press clippings, printed circulars, and other items related to Vermont Republican Party activities for the 1876 national election. Laid in is a letter from Vermont Senator Justin S. Morrill and other items leading up to the 1884 election.

 

Materials from 1876 include 16 pages with newspaper clippings describing events of the election season, together with six printed circulars produced by Gibbs on behalf of the Chittenden County Republican Committee Headquarters toward the election of Hayes & Wheeler and other election-related documents.

 

The six Circulars cover a variety of topics:

 

  • On July 27th, notice is given that the State Committee urges the importance of at least one public meeting in each town before the September election. The County Committee has no political funds but offers a list of speakers.
  • On August 29th, recipients are urged to vote the official party tickets. Bolts are discouraged.
  • On September 1st, recipients are urged to beware counterfeit tickets, to avoid split tickets and to vote straight tickets.
  • The September 12th Circular was sent to each of the town committees to acknowledge their "devotion to the interests of the party". There is also discussion of candidates that have been specifically attacked -- organized bolts of only three candidates.
  • The October 24th Circular notes that ballots have been distributed by the State Committee to the County Committee for distribution and warns "do not let the sham reformers, those who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to destroy the country, and whose chief anxiety is now to fatten on the fruits of others patriotism and sacrifices -- to rule and ruin -- make any inroads upon the party in your precinct, but at every trial send them back with defeat more complete than ever before."
  • The last Circular, dated October 31st, seeks a large delegation for attendance Saturday, November 4th on a Republican Excursion to a mass meeting in Plattsburgh, N. Y. via the Steamer Vermont.

 

Also included are:

 

  • A National Republican Ticket for Electors of President and Vice President
  • An Administrative Reform "ticket" (the Democratic Party, Electors for Tilden & Hendricks)
  • A Greenback Ticket (Electors for Cooper and Cary)
  • A ticket for the November 4, 1876 Republican Excursion from Burlington to Plattsburgh and Return aboard the Steamer Vermont, and
  • Printed words to the song "Aligned With the Union" (with annotations by hand) written by Gibbs for the Burlington, Vt. Hayes & Wheeler Glee Club.

 

By 1884, Gibbs had become Chairman of the Vermont Republican State Committee. Laid in are three later items:

 

  • A handwritten letter dated August 31, 1884 from (United States Senator from Vermont)  Justin S. Morrill to Warren Gibbs discussing party strategy.
  • General Orders No. 1 from the Head-Quarters Veteran Soldiers' Re-Union dated April 25, 1882 offering details of the next Veteran Soldiers' Re-Union of Vermont at Queen City Park, Burlington. [Gibbs is Adjutant General].
  • An 1884 printed Circular Letter No. 6 issued by the Vermont Republican State Committee for Blaine and Logan requesting a canvassing of Republican voters for the upcoming election. [Gibbs is listed as Chairman on the letterhead].

 

Minor professional restoration to binding. Some browning/staining to clippings and documents from the glue that was used to paste them in place; notably, the text of the Greenback Ticket is difficult to read as a result. Creases to some corners. Overall condition is Very Good.

 

Warren Gibbs was first sergeant of Co. A, 1st Vermont Cavalry. He was captured and spent many months as a prisoner of the Southern Confederacy on Belle Isle. After the war he was for four years deputy collector of customs at St. Albans, after which he moved to Burlington (in 1869). He was Secretary and later to be President of the Vermont Life Insurance Company (1882).

 

 

"The 1876 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 7, 1876, as part of the 1876 United States presidential election." "Republicans dominated Vermont elections from the party's founding in 1854 until the mid-1970s. From 1856 to 1988, Vermont voted Republican in every presidential election with only one exception in 1964." (Wikipedia) The 1876 election took place at a pivotal time for the United States. What we term the Reconstruction Era was winding down and the differing viewpoints about resolution were still widely debated. "It was one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in American history, and gave rise to the Compromise of 1877 by which the Democrats conceded the election to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South." (Wikipedia, 1876 United States presidential election). Entire books have been written on the topic. See esp.

Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 by Eric Foner.

 

We were unable to locate additional separate copies of the circulars, tickets or song. This unique compilation would almost certainly have been created by Gibbs himself. The collection offers a primary source for the viewpoints and workings of the Republican Party at this critical juncture.

 

References:

Manual of the Legislature of Vermont for 1884-85 at page 41

The Landmark from White River Junction, Vermont, May 14, 1897

The Vermont Sun from Saint Albans, May 8, 1897

Wikipedia

1876 Election -Chittenden County Vermont Republican Party campaigning

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