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Presidential Election of 1844: A Resource Guide

Compiled by Kenneth Drexler, Digital Reference Specialist
Grand National Democratic banner
Grand National Democratic banner. Press onward.
[New York]: Lith & pub. by N[athaniel] Currier, 2 Spruce St. N.Y., c1844.
1 print on wove paper: lithograph with watercolor.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-DIG-ppmsca-07682

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1844, including manuscripts, broadsides and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1844 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1844 election and a selected bibliography.

1844 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote
Democratic
James K. Polk
George M. Dallas
170
1,339,494
Whig
Henry Clay
Theodore Frelinghuysen
105
1,300,004

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

American Memory Historical Collections

An American Time Capsule: 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.

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 12, 1845, the Electoral College votes for the presidential election of 1844 were counted by a joint session of Congress and reported in the Congressional Globe, as well as in the Senate Journal and the House Journal.

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, 1820-1860

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1820-1860 consists of over 15,000 pieces of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1820 to 1860. Included in this collection are sheet music related to the 1844 presidential election, including twenty-five pieces about Henry Clay and four pieces about James Polk.

The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals

This collection presents twenty-three popular periodicals digitized by Cornell University Library and the Preservation Reformatting Division of the Library of Congress.

Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff selected approximately 90 representative documents spanning from the fifteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the presidential election of 1844.

A selection of articles on the 1844 presidential election includes:

Exhibitions

Voices, Votes, Victory: Presidential Campaign Songs

This exhibition presents a sampling of the rich collection of campaign songs housed in the Music Division of the Library of Congress, including Democrat and Whig Songsters from the 1844 presidential election.

Prints & Photographs Division

Pictorial Americana: Selected Images from the Collections of the Library of Congress

Pictorial Americana, a Library of Congress publication, contains a chapter listing selected images related to the 1844 presidential election.

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the following subject headings to find additional prints, political cartoons, and other digital images related to the presidential election of 1844:

Today in History

November 5, 1844

On November 5, 1844, Democratic candidate James K. Polk defeated Whig Party candidate Henry Clay to become the eleventh president of the United States.

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1844 External Link

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1844 presidential election. This site also contains the Whig Party Platform of 1844. External Link

Getting the Message Out! National Political Campaign Materials, 1840-1860 External Link

The Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project Web site provides histories of the presidential campaigns from 1840-1860, as well as primary source material, such as campaign biographies and campaign songbooks. Recordings of some of the songs are also available.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources: Campaign Literature

The Ashland Text Book. Boston: Redding & Co., 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Can I Conscientiously Vote for Henry Clay? New Haven, Conn.: 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

A Letter on the Subject of the Vice Presidency, in Favor of the Claims of Jas. K. Polk, of Tennessee, to the Nomination of the Democratic National Convention. By a Tenesseean. Washington, D.C.: Printed at the Globe Office, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

The National Clay Almanack, for the Year of Our Lord 1845 ... Philadelphia: Desilver & Muir, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

The South in Danger: Read Before you Vote: Address of the Democratic Association of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.: Gales & Seaton, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Bidlack, Benjamin Alden. Speech of Mr. Bidlack, of Pennsylvania: In Reply to the Political Attacks that had been made upon the Nominees of the Democratic Convention, and in Defence of the Young Hickory: Jas. K. Polk ... Delivered in the House of Representatives, June 4, 1844. Washington, D.C.: Printed at the Globe Office, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Brownlow, William G. A Political Register, Setting Forth the Principles of the Whig and Locofoco Parties in the United States, with the Life and Public Services of Henry Clay. Also an Appendix Personal to the Author; and a General Index. Jonesborough, Tenn.: Office of the Jonesborough Whig, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Colton, Calvin. Life of Henry Clay / by Junius. New York: Greeley & McElrath, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Littell, John S. The Clay Minstrel; or, National Songster, to which is Prefixed a Sketch of the Life, Public Services, and Character of Henry Clay. New York: Greeley & McElrath, 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Yeadon, Richard. Speech of Richard Yeadon ... Chairman of the Delegation, from the Clay Club of Charleston, Before the Ladies, at the Court-House, in Madison, Georgia, by Appointment of the Madison Convention ... July 31, 1844 ... Charleston, S.C.: 1844. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Secondary Sources

Chauncey, Worthington. "THE CAMPAIGN OF 1844." Proceedings Of The American Antiquarian Society 20, no. 1 (October 1909): 106-126. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Notes

1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 130, 220.

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