Political Ephemera (Lawrence, MA)

political2This collection is comprised of a variety of political ephemera collected by the library over many years.  Handbills used by candidates political1and political parties to encourage a particular vote are the most common type.  They vary from party line tickets to individual candidates or referenda.  The 2nd type of material is composed of advertisements in the form of handbills, broadsides, small newspapers, and mailings.   There are a number of specimens of official ballots.  Finally a few miscellaneous items include: Women registered to vote for school committee men, contribution notice for Republican Party, and letter requesting contributions to the Republic Party.

The charter for the organization of the Town of Lawrence was signed by the Massachusetts governor April 17, 1847.  Dan Weed, Justice of the Peace, issued the warrant to Charles S. Storrow.  Dan Weed called the first town meeting to order and Henry Flanders was chosen moderator, E.W. Morse Town Clerk, Daniel Saunders town treasurer, William Swan, Charles Abbott Nathan Wells, James Stevens, and L.D. Brown selectmen.  Ten constables were elected.  Five more town administrations were elected until the town became a city in 1853 and divided into 6 wards.  The City Charter was passed by the Massachusetts legislature March 21, 1853.  The election was scheduled for May 18 and Charles S. Storrow was elected the first mayor from the Whig Party.  The 2nd mayor was Enoch Bartlett elected by the Democratic Party.  Albert Warren ran as a Know-nothing candidate and won for both 1855 and 1856.  John R. Rollins ran as an independent and won in 1857.  1859 saw the Whig party supplanted by the Republican Party and Henry K. Oliver ran and won.

There was a smattering of other parties some of which actually registered significant votes in the latter part of the 19th century.  These included the Greenback Party, the Prohibition Party, Citizens’ Party, Peoples Party, Constitutional Union Party, Workingmen’s Party, and Independents.  The city would ultimately divide Republican/Democratic like the rest of the country with a proclivity to the Democratic Party.

In addition there are notebooks relating to the Lawrence Republican Party in the William Stuart collection.

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