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Charles Matchett: Wikis


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Charles Horatio Matchett (May 15, 1843 - October 23, 1919) was a Socialist Labor Party of America candidate for numerous political offices in the United States during the 1890s. Originally from Massachusetts, Matchett ran for Vice President of the United States in 1892 (on the first Socialist ticket for president in the United States)[1] and President of the United States in 1896.




Early years

Machett was originally from the Brighton-Allston area in Massachusetts. During the time when he became politically active, however, he worked as a carpenter in Brooklyn. Matchett served as a charter member of the Brooklyn Nationalist Club. In 1890, he succeeded in bringing much of the Nationalists in New York, into the Socialist Labor Party ranks.[2]

Presidential election of 1892

In the Election of 1892, Machett ran alongside Simon Wing for the Socialist Labor Party. It was the first time that the party ran a ticket for president. Wing and Machett received over 21,000 votes[3] Machett demonstrated his pull in New York when the state sent in 18,147 of the 21,157 SLP votes. In New York City alone, the ticket earned 6,100 votes.[4] The platform of the party in 1892 committed to abolishing the offices of the vice president and president as soon as they came to power. In the five states where the socialists ran, they trailed both the Populist and Prohibition parties significantly. Most of the support it received in the East came not from labor, but from the "Bellamyites", or middle-class intellectuals and reformers.[5]

In 1894, he ran for Governor of New York on the Socialist Labor ticket.

Presidential election of 1896

In 1896, Matchett headed the Socialist Labor Party ticket. About one half of the 36,359 votes received by Matchett and his running mate Matthew Maguire of New Jersey, came from New York.[6] Matchett and Maguire were often pictured beside the socialist's emblem, which was a mechanics's arm and an uplifted hammer.[7] When Matchett ran in 1896 he was the foreman for the telephone company in New York making $18 per week.[8] The socialist platform in 1896 called for government assumption of all means of production and distribution.[9]

In 1903, he ran for the New York Court of Appeals on the Social Democratic ticket, and received 33,339 votes.


  1. ^ Nash, Howard Pervear (1959). Third Parties in American Politics. Public Affairs Press. pp. 265. 
  2. ^ KNOLES, GEORGE HARMON. THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION OF 1892. Stanford University Press. pp. 119. 
  3. ^ Rayback, Joseph G. (1966). A History of American Labor. Simon and Schuster. pp. 229. 
  4. ^ Commons, et al., John Rogers (1921). History of Labour in the United States. Macmillan. pp. 518. 
  5. ^ Knoles, George Harmon (Sep., 1943). Populism and Socialism, with Special Reference to the Election of 1892. 12. pp. 301–302. 
  6. ^ Dunning, William A (Jun., 1897). "Record of Political Events". Political Science Quarterly (The Academy of Political Science) 12 (2): 362. 
  7. ^ "Socialist Labor Party's Ticket". The San Francisco Call. September 30, 1896. pp. 8. 
  8. ^ "Another Candidate for President". The Daily Herald (Brownsville, Tex). July 17, 1896. pp. 2. 
  9. ^ "Bolting From Bryan". The San Francisco Call. 6 September 1896. pp. 10. 


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