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Meetings of Presidential Electors in Maryland, 1789-1980 1785-1791
Volume 207, Preface 7   View pdf image (33K)
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PREFACE
Maryland's first electoral college met in Annapolis on February 4,1789, to participate in
the unanimous election of George Washington for President.
Quoting from the minutes of Maryland's first meeting of electors, "... upon examining
the ballots and counting the votes they appeared as follows: George Washington, Esquire, of
the State of Virginia, and late Commander in Chief of the American Army, - Six votes -
for President of the United States, and for Robert Hanson Harrison, Esquire, of the State of
Maryland, and Chief Justice of the same, - six votes - for Vice President of the United
States."
Fifty-two years later in 1841, noting that the minutes of the first meeting and of the
others to follow were not preserved until the year 1832, the Maryland General Assembly
took action by way of resolution ". . .to cause to be procured from the proper office of the
general government full and authentic copies of as much of the proceedings of each and
every college of presidential electors of the State of Maryland, prior to the year 1832, as may
be found, and to have the same recorded in a book with the proceedings of the present year
and those to follow."
This directive having been followed, the minutes of the meetings of the presidential elec-
tors were recorded by hand and preserved in the leather bound volume affectionately and
accurately referred to as the "Old Book." The 1980 entry was the last to be recorded in that
book; because of the deteriorating condition it has been retired to the Maryland Hall of
Records. Future proceedings, beginning with a duplicate copy of the minutes of 1980, will be
continued in a new book, also bound in leather, with removable pages so that entries may be
typed, allowing for easier reading, if not for the glamour provided by the early script.
The Old Book, no longer available to the public, can be viewed on micro-film at the
Hall of Records; nevertheless, it seemed appropriate to those familiar with the contents, to
extract the pertinent data, compile this in readable form for the use of those interested in the
electoral college process in Maryland.
Preparation of this publication involved considerable time and research. Some of the
material contained in the Old Book is sketchy, much of the beautiful script, undecipherable;
names were frequently presented with several spellings, for example, Gwynn, Gwinn,
Gwinne; Humphreys, Humphries, etc. Every effort was made to identify the electors and the
accurate spelling of their names. Dates were carefully checked and verified; clarification of
many references was needed. Resources used:
The Maryland Hall of Records
The National Archives
The Annapolis Public Library
The Nimitz Library at the Naval Academy
The Maryland State Library
The Maryland Historical Society
The Maryland Gazette
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to United States Elections
The historical background of the electoral college and a brief account of the develop-
ment of the two-party system is included. This data adds to the value of the publication, as it
is, perhaps, the one place where such references to presidential elections in Maryland are
contained.
-Vll-

 
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Meetings of Presidential Electors in Maryland, 1789-1980 1785-1791
Volume 207, Preface 7   View pdf image (33K)
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  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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