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Presidential Election of 1804: A Resource Guide

Thomas Jefferson, head-and-shoulders portrait, right profile Thomas Jefferson, head-and-shoulders portrait, right profile.
Washington, D.C.: 1804.
1 print: engraving.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-DIG-ppmsca-19161

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1804, including manuscripts, broadsides, campaign literature, and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1804 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1804 election and a selected bibliography.

1804 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote
Democratic-Republican
Thomas Jefferson
George Clinton
162
-
Federalist
Charles Pinckney
Rufus King
14
-

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection consists of published congressional records of the United States of America from 1774 to 1875.

  • On February 13, 1805, the Electoral College votes for the presidential election of 1804 were counted by a joint session of Congress and reported in the Annals of Congress, as well as in the House Journal and Senate Journal.
  • On February 14, 1805 the Senate passed a resolution that the president be requested to inform George Clinton of his election as vice president.
  • The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution appears in the United States Statutes at Large, volume 2, page 306 (2 Stat. 306). Ratified in 1804, the Twelfth Amendment provides that electors "name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President."

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets.

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents.

References to the presidential election of 1804 include:

  • Thomas Jefferson to Thomas McKean, January 17, 1804, "The abominable slanders of my political enemies have obliged me to call for that verdict from my country in the only way it can be obtained, and if obtained it will be my sufficient voucher to the rest of the world & to posterity, and leave me free to seek, at a definite time, the repose I sincerely wished to have retired to now. I suffer myself to make no inquiries as to the persons who are to be placed on the rolls of competition for the public favor. Respect for myself as well as for the public requires that I should be the silent & passive subject of their consideration." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, March 3, 1804, "I sincerely regret that the unbounded calumnies of the federal party have obliged me to throw myself on the verdict of my country for trial, my great desire having been to retire, at the end of the present term, to a life of tranquillity; and it was my decided purpose when I entered into office. They force my continuance." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to Philip Mazzei, July 18, 1804, "I should have retired at the end of the first 4. years but that the immense load of tory calumnies which have been manufactured respecting me & filled the European market have obliged me to appeal once more to my country for a justification. I have no fear but that I shall receive honorable testimony by their verdict on those calumnies. at the end of the next 4. years I shall certainly retire. age, inclination and principle all dictate this." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, January 6, 1805, "My opinion originally was that the President of the U. S. should have been elected for 7. years, & forever ineligible afterwards. I have since become sensible that 7. years is too long to be irremovable, and that there should be a peaceable way of withdrawing a man in midway who is doing wrong. The service for 8. years with a power to remove at the end of the first four, comes nearly to my principle as corrected by experience. And it is in adherence to that that I determined to withdraw at the end of my second term." [Transcription]

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1804 External Link

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1804 presidential election.

A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns, 1787-1825

A searchable collection of election returns from 1787 to 1825. The data were compiled by Philip Lampi. The American Antiquarian Society and Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives have mounted it online with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia: Election of 1804 External Link

The Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia on the Monticello Web site contains an article on the presidential election of 1804.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources: Campaign Literature

An Address to the Citizens of New-Hampshire. n. p., 1804. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

An Address to the People of Massachusetts, on the Choice of Electors of President and Vice-President. n. p., 1804. [Catalog Record] (full-text available in Early American Imprints, Series 2, no. 5655)

The First Book of the Dying State of Federalism: To Which is Added, the Federal Obituary. Boston: s.n., 1804. (full-text available in Early American Imprints, Series 2, no. 6301)

Oration, in Honor of the Election of President Jefferson, and the Peaceable Acquisition of Louisiana. New Haven. Printed for the general committee of Republicans. From Sidney's press, 1804. [Catalog Record] (full-text available in Early American Imprints, Series 2, no. 5881)

The Pudding Proved by Eating of it, or, Fact the Decider of Controversy, &c. a Poem Being a Serious Appeal to All Our American Citizens on this Point, to Wit, Whether Thomas Jefferson's Administration doth not Announce that He is the Man that Should be Re-Elected to the Presidential Chair, and Continued at the Helm of Government ... ; Monroe County, Virginia: s.n., 1804. [Catalog Record] (full-text available in Early American Imprints, Series 2, no. 7142)

Republican Address to the Electors of New-Hampshire, on the Choice of Electors of President and Vice-President...Walpole, N.H.: s.n., 1804. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

To the Freemen of the Counties of Rowan, Randolph and Cabarrus; in the State of North-Carolina. Fellow-Citizens, In the Second Week of November Next, You will be Required to Give Your Suffrages for an Elector to Vote for a President and Vice President of the United States. In Offering Myself Once More, for that Appointment ... Salisbury, N.C.?: s.n., 1804. (full-text available in Early American Imprints, Series 2, no. 7312)

Secondary Sources

Dauer, Julian. "Election of 1804," in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, eds. Gil Troy, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Fred L. Israel. 3 vols. I, 79-91. New York: Facts On File, 2012. [Catalog Record]

Notes

1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 210.

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