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Presidential Election of 1840: A Resource Guide

Harrisonian rally.
Harrisonian rally. (Vignette of the log cabin , the barrel of hard cider, and of Willaim H. Harrison behind the plow). Broadside, 1840.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1840, including political cartoons, broadsides, newspaper articles, and sheet music. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1840 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1840 election and a selected bibliography.

1840 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Martin Van Buren
Richard M. Johnson

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

Digital Collections

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

Alfred Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library of Congress in 1953. This online release presents more than 1,300 items with more than 4,000 images and a date range of 1824-1931.

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 10, 1841, the Electoral College votes for the presidential election of 1840 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.

Map Collections

The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases selected from the collections of the Geography and Map Division.

Martin Van Buren Papers, 1787 to 1910

The Martin Van Buren Papers contains more than 6,000. The bulk of the material dates from the 1820s, when Van Buren (1782-1862) was a U.S. senator from New York, through his service as secretary of state and vice president in the Andrew Jackson administrations (1829-1837), to his own presidency (1837-1841) and through the decade thereafter when he made unsuccessful bids to return to the presidency with the Democratic and Free Soil parties.

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 1840 presidential election, including over thirty pieces about William Henry Harrison's campaign.

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.

William Henry Harrison Papers

The William Henry Harrison Papers contain approximately 1,000 items dating from 1734 to 1939, with the bulk dated from 1812 to 1841.

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 1840.

A selection of articles on the 1840 presidential election includes:

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 1840 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 1840.

Today in History

December 5

Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States and a founder of the Democratic Party, was born on December 5, 1782, in New York. Van Buren's inability to alleviate the depression, along with his opposition to the annexation of Texas on grounds it would divide the nation over the expansion of slavery, led to his drubbing by Whig candidate William Henry Harrison in 1840.

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1840 External Link

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1840 presidential election. This site also contains the Democratic Party Platform External Link of 1840.

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.

The Campaign of 1840: William Henry Harrison and Tyler, Too

The EDSITEment Web site, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, contains three lesson plans on the presidential election of 1840.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources

Address of J.C. Alford. Washington, D.C.: 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Address of the Whig Convention for the Nomination of Electors. Richmond, Va., 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

A Brief Account of the Life and Political Opinions of Martin Van Buren. n. p., 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Facts for the People. The Various Charges against General W. H. Harrison Briefly Stated and Refuted, and Some of the Objections to the Present Administration Enumerated. Jonesborough, Tenn.: Brownlow and Garland, 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

The Presidential Question. n. p., 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Proceedings of the Democratic Whig National Convention, which Assembled at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on the Fourth of December, 1839, for the Purpose of Nominating Candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States. Harrisburg: Printed by R. S. Elliott & Co., 1839. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Proceedings of the National Democratic Convention, held in ... Baltimore, on the 5th of May, 1840. Embracing Resolutions, Expressive of the Sentiments of the Democratic Party of the Union: and an Address, in Support of the Principles and Measures of the Present National Administration. Baltimore: Printed at the Office of Blair & Rives, 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Dana, Edmund P. A Voice from Bunker-Hill, and the Fathers of the Revolutionary War, in Favor of the Hero of North-Bend, Being a Few Candid Remarks and Observations on the Approaching Presidential Election, and Subjects Connected therewith. Agreeably to the Request of Whig and Democratic Friends. Bunker-Hill, 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Greene, Charles Gordon, and Benjamin Franklin Hallett. The Identity of the Old Hartford Convention Federalists with the Modern Whig, Harrison Party. Boston, 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text]

Rives, William C. Letter from the Hon. William C. Rives, of Virginia. Washington, D.C.: s.n., 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Wilmot, Robert. A New Work, in Favor of the Whig Cause, and the Election of General Harrison to the Presidential Chair. Cincinnati: J. B. & R. P. Donogh, 1840. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Secondary Sources

Collins, Gail. William Henry Harrison. New York: Times Books, 2012. [Catalog Record]

Gunderson, Robert Gray. The Log-Cabin Campaign. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1957. [Catalog Record]


1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 129, 219.

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  October 23, 2018
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