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Echoes of Oregon History Learning Guide


Certificate for Boarding a Lunatic, 1845

Document No. 2201 - Enlarge image

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

 

Precinct Name

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 November 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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