Abstract of Votes 1857

Transcript of Original Document

Abstract of votes polled at the special Election

November 9th, 1857, In Polk county O. T.

Whole number of votes cast 726-

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[*Transcriber's note: see table below]
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Territory of Oregon
County of Polk SS

I Luclen Heath Auditor within and for said County, do hereby certify the above is a true copy of the abstract of the votes polled at said Election in said county as remains on file in my office.
Given my hand and official seal at Dallas O. T. this 19th day of November 1857.

Luclen Heath, Auditor

Name of Precinct Const.
Yes
Const.
No
Slavery
Yes
Slavery
No
Free Negroes Yes Free Negroes No
Dallas 139 51 73 119 14 153
Bridgeport 28 7 14 20 3 22
Luckimut 56 12 38 29 2 57
Lane 26 8 7 27 2 30
Monmouth 84 12 25 70 7 79
Eola 52 7 7 52 3 51
Bethel 50 31 27 53 7 67
Salt Lake 19 3 8 13 0 20
Jackson 38 20 7 53 13 42
Douglas 34 37 25 48 2 63

528 188 231 484 53 584
 

Background

On Nov. 9, 1857, Oregonians voted on a draft constitution. The related issues of slavery and the presence of free blacks were especially difficult for members of the constitutional convention to resolve. Consequently, both issues were referred directly to the voters. The results of the ballot were to be incorporated into the constitution. This abstract of votes from Polk County shows that the provision to exclude free blacks passed by a greater margin than either the draft constitution or the provision to ban slavery. These Polk County totals are typical of Oregon Territory. Most Oregonians equated the presence of blacks with the institution of slavery, and wanted no part of either.

For Further Discussion

  1. Which issue on the ballot passed by the greatest margin?
  2. What do these election results tell you about the attitudes of Polk County voters?
  3. Why would the citizens of Polk County vote against slavery but also vote to keep free blacks out of Oregon?
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