31 January 2007
Congressional election statistics have been posted covering the period 1788 to 1916. Additional postings will follow shortly.
Unexpected problems in the latter half of 2006 delayed progress on the U. S. House elections. The resolution of these problems and the cooperation of Michael J. Dubin, author/compiler of United States Congressional Elections, 1788-1997 has allowed resumption of the project.
The project was originally started in 1996 in order to provide a readily accessible source of county level election returns for major political offices. At that time there was no single source where this aspect of Pennsylvania's political history could be examined in detail. Various studies were published over the years but these did not cover the period before 1824, and did not provide county level coverage of elections in the nineteenth century. There have been a number of databases developed, primarily by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan. Unfortunately, access to these studies are restricted to institutions of higher education who are members of the Consortium, although individual reports can be purchased from the ICPSR for restricted use.
The information included in this report has been compiled from public sources, all of which are cited for each individual election. There are no restrictions on their use, nor is there any charge. While this information is being placed in the public domain, it is requested that any use of this information in published materials be acknowledged as originating with "The Wilkes University Election Statistics Project, Dr. Harold E. Cox, Director," together with a citation of the web address: http://staffweb.wilkes.edu/harold.cox/index.html
Currently, the website includes the following tabulations:
Other tabulations under construction are:
Comments on the materials presented, as well as suggestions for improvements or inclusions are welcomed. Since earlier election returns are subject to considerable debate due to errors in reporting and the disappearance of most of the early official records, individuals who can fill in gaps in the tabulations are invited to contribute information with cited source. The information included in this website has been derived from varied sources, many of which conflict with one another. The returns reported here are based upon an analysis of the conflicting reports and a judgement on which figure is the most logical, given the evidence. We invite anyone disputing these statistics to provide citations and arguments in favor of their view so that we can recover as accurate and complete a record as possible.
Much of the information included in these tables and maps could not have been found without the assistance of three individuals who, at various times have retrieved important data from old newspapers and legislative records hidden in dark corners of research libraries and government archives. My thanks go to Philip J. Lampi of the American Antiquarian Society and Jacqueline Jumper of the House Archives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for their untiring assistance, and Michael J. Dubin, who has graciously allowed the use of statistics appearing in United States Congressional Elections, 1778-1997.