Georgia On My Mind

Election returns. Georgia journal extra. Milledgeville, October 16, 1840.

The Calhoun and Van Buren factions of the Democratic party in Georgia have been quarrelling about their late defeat, each charging the other with being the cause. They may as well have contented themselves with the true cause, namely — the magic name of “H E N R Y  C L A Y,” and the noble and patriotic principles of the Whig party.


In 1840 the Whigs  carried the state of Georgia.  The Democratic Party in Georgia was split: the mountains and upland parts of the state were majority Democratic, while the Whigs had a majority in the “black belt” (the predominately slave-holding region; the eastern part of the black belt was majority non-white in the 1840s–by the 1850s the western part of the  black belt would have more black than white individuals residing in it as well).  Yet the black belt had more Democrats in absolute numbers than the mountains and uplands combined.   The black belt favored Calhoun; the mountains and uplands favored Van Buren.

Alas, despite the noble and patriotic principles of the Whig party and the magic name of Henry Clay, James K. Polk took Georgia and its ten electoral votes in 1844.

Tomorrow: Tit for Tat

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