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New York state election, 1855: Wikis


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The 1855 New York state election was held on November 6, 1855, to elect the Secretary of State, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Engineer, two judges of the New York Court of Appeals, a Canal Commissioner and an Inspector of State Prisons, as well as members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.



Both the Whig state convention and the Anti-Nebraska state convention met on September 26 at Syracuse, New York. John Alsop King presided at the Whig convention, Reuben E. Fenton at the Anti-Nebraska convention. After organizing the Whigs, the delegates decided to join the Anti-Nebraskans, and marched to their assembling place. There the two parties merged and adopted the name Republican Party, and continued as the Republican state convention with King and Fenton as co-chairmen.


Due to the chaotic political situation with the major parties split over the slavery question, a new party being founded by the fusion of factions of all previous parties, and four tickets competing, the American Party had the most surprising election victory in the history of the State of New York, winning eight of the nine state offices. Only the jointly nominated Democrat Henry L. Selden could defeat his American and Republican opponents. The incumbents Cook, Follett and Darius Clark were defeated.

16 Republicans, 11 Americans, four Democrats and one Temperance man were elected to a two-year term (1856-57) in the New York State Senate.

50 Democrats, 44 Americans, 33 Republicans and one Whig were elected for the session of 1856 to the New York State Assembly.

1855 state election results
Office American[1] ticket Republican ticket Dem./Soft ticket Dem./Hard ticket
Secretary of State Joel T. Headley 148,557 Preston King 136,698 Israel T. Hatch 91,336 Aaron Ward 59,353
Comptroller Lorenzo Burrows 148,267 James M. Cook 138,748 Lemuel Stetson 101,863 Thomas B. Mitchell 47,411
Attorney General Stephen B. Cushing 148,695 Abijah Mann, Jr. 136,337 Samuel J. Tilden 101,369 Josiah Sutherland 44,357
Treasurer Stephen Clark 148,778 Alexander B. Williams 136,696 Ariel S. Thurston 91,871 Joseph M. Lyon 57,910
State Engineer Silas Seymour 137,608 George Geddes 131,716 John B. Jervis 88,290 John D. Fay 56,293
Judge of the Court of Appeals (full term) William W. Campbell 141,514 Bradford R. Wood 134,353 Samuel L. Selden 151,632[2] Samuel L. Selden
Judge of the Court of Appeals (short term)[3] George F. Comstock 140,299 Joseph Mullin 132,019 Nicholas Hill, Jr. 106,511 John Willard 40,772
Canal Commissioner Samuel S. Whallon 147,461 Daniel H. Bissell 135,918 Curtis Hawley 90,005 Frederick Follett 60,974
Inspector of State Prisons William A. Russell 148,875 Wesley Bailey 136,993 Patrick H. Agan 100,702 Darius Clark 48,332


  • Result in The Official State Canvass in NYT on December 17, 1855 ("not fully completed", but released for publication, without the scattering votes)
  • [1] American Party ticket, in NYT on October 18, 1855
  • [2] The Republican ticket, in NYT on November 5, 1855


  1. ^ In the press usually referred to as the Know Nothings
  2. ^ Total votes on Soft and Hard tickets
  3. ^ To fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Charles H. Ruggles, a judge was elected for the remaining six years of the term.

See also



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