United States presidential election, 1824

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United States presidential election, 1824

← 1820 October 26 – December 2, 1824 1828 →

All 261 electoral votes of the Electoral College
131 electoral votes needed to win
  JohnQAdams.png Andrew Jackson.jpg
Nominee John Q. Adams Andrew Jackson
Party Democratic-Republican Democratic-Republican
Home state Massachusetts Tennessee
Running mate John C. Calhoun John C. Calhoun
Electoral vote 84 99
States carried 7 12
Popular vote 113,122[1] 151,271[1]
Percentage 30.9% 41.4%

  WilliamHCrawford.png Henry Clay.JPG
Nominee William H. Crawford Henry Clay
Party Democratic-Republican Democratic-Republican
Home state Georgia Kentucky
Running mate Nathaniel Macon
(replacing Albert Gallatin)
Nathan Sanford
Electoral vote 41 37
States carried 2 3
Popular vote 40,856[1] 47,531[1]
Percentage 11.2% 13.0%

Presidential election results map. Blue denotes states won by Jackson, Orange denotes those won by Adams, Green denotes those won by Crawford, Light Yellow denotes those won by Clay. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

James Monroe

Elected President

John Quincy Adams

The United States presidential election of 1824 was the 10th quadrennial presidential election, held from Tuesday, October 26, to Thursday, December 2, 1824. John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825. The election was decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote. It was the first presidential election in which the candidate who received the most electoral votes (Andrew Jackson) did not become President, a source of great bitterness for Jackson and his supporters, who proclaimed the election of Adams a corrupt bargain.

Prior to the election, the Democratic-Republican Party had been the sole national political organization in the United States, winning the last six consecutive presidential elections, a period of one-party government known as the Era of Good Feelings. In 1824 the Democratic-Republican Party failed to agree on a choice of candidate for president, with the result that the party effectively ceased to exist and split four ways behind four separate candidates. Later, the faction led by Andrew Jackson would evolve into the modern Democratic Party, while the factions led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay would become the National Republican Party (no relation to the current Republican Party) and then the Whig Party.

General election


The previous competition between the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party collapsed after the War of 1812 due to the disintegration of the Federalists' popular appeal, and U.S. President James Monroe of the Democratic-Republican Party was able to run without opposition in the election of 1820. Like the previous presidents, James Monroe declined to seek re-nomination for a third term.[2]

Monroe's vice president, Daniel D. Tompkins, was considered unelectable due to his overwhelming unpopularity and major health problems (which would ultimately claim his life in June 1825, a little over three months after he left office), thus the presidential nomination was left wide open within the Democratic-Republican Party, the only major national political entity remaining in the United States at the time.


Candidates who withdrew before election

Declined to run for office

Nomination process

Congressional Caucus Balloting
Presidential Ballot Vice Presidential Ballot
William H. Crawford 64 Albert Gallatin 57
Henry Clay 2
John Quincy Adams 2 Erastus Root 2
Andrew Jackson 1 John Quincy Adams 1
William Eustis 1
William Rufus King 1
William Lowndes 1
Richard Rush 1
Samuel Smith 1
John Tod 1

The traditional Congressional caucus nominated Crawford for president and Albert Gallatin for vice-president, but it was sparsely attended and was widely attacked as undemocratic. Gallatin later withdrew from the contest for the vice presidency, after quickly becoming disillusioned by repeated attacks on his credibility made by the other candidates. He was replaced by North Carolina senator Nathaniel Macon. A serious impediment to Crawford's candidacy was created by the effects of a stroke he suffered in 1823. Among other candidates, John Quincy Adams had more support than Henry Clay because of his huge popularity among the old Federalist voters in New England. By this time, even the traditionally Federalist Adams family had come to terms with the Democratic-Republican Party.

The election was as much a contest of favorite sons as it was a conflict over policy, although positions on tariffs and internal improvements did create some significant disagreements. In general, the candidates were favored by different sections of the country: Adams was strong in the Northeast; Jackson in the South, West and mid-Atlantic; Clay in parts of the West; and Crawford in parts of the East.

Secretary of War John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who was initially a fifth candidate in the early stages of consideration, declined to run for president, but did decide to seek the vice presidency. For president, he backed Jackson, whose political beliefs he considered more compatible with those of most voters in the southern states. Both Adams and Jackson supporters backed Calhoun's candidacy as vice president, thus he easily secured the majority of electoral votes he needed to secure that office. In reality, Calhoun was vehemently opposed to nearly all of Adams's policies, but he did nothing to dissuade Adams supporters from voting for him for vice president.

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of blue are for Jackson (Democratic-Republican), shades of red are for Adams (Democratic-Republican), shades of yellow are for Clay (Democratic-Republican), and shades of green are for Crawford (Democratic-Republican).

The campaigning for presidential election of 1824 took many forms. Contrafacta, or well known songs and tunes whose lyrics have been altered, were used to promote political agendas and presidential candidates. Below can be found a sound clip featuring "Hunters of Kentucky," a tune written by Samuel Woodsworth in 1815 under the title "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey." Contrafacta such as this one, which promoted Andrew Jackson as a national hero, have been a long-standing tradition in presidential elections. Another form of campaigning during this election was through newsprint. Political cartoons and partisan writings were best circulated among the voting public through newspapers. Presidential candidate John C. Calhoun was one of the candidates most directly involved through his participation in the publishing of the newspaper The Patriot as a member of the editorial staff. This was a sure way to promote his own political agendas and campaign. In contrast, most candidates involved in early 19th century elections did not run their own political campaigns. Instead it was left to volunteer citizens and partisans to speak on their behalf.[3][4][5][6]


Considering the large numbers of candidates and strong regional preferences, it is not surprising that the results of the election of 1824 were inconclusive. The electoral map confirmed the candidates' sectional support, with Adams winning outright in the New England states, Jackson gleaning success in states throughout the nation, Clay attracting votes from the West, and Crawford attracting votes from the eastern South. Andrew Jackson received more electoral and popular votes than any other candidate, but not the majority of 131 electoral votes needed to win the election. Since no candidate received the required majority of electoral votes, the presidential election was decided by the House of Representatives (see "Contingent election" below). Meanwhile, John C. Calhoun easily defeated his rivals in the race for the vice presidency, as the support of both the Adams and Jackson camps quickly gave him an unassailable lead over the other candidates.

Presidential Candidate Party Home State Popular Vote(a) Electoral Vote
Count Percentage
Andrew Jackson(b) Democratic-Republican Tennessee 151,271 41.4 99
John Quincy Adams(e) Democratic-Republican Massachusetts 113,122 30.9 84
William Harris Crawford(c) Democratic-Republican Georgia 40,856 11.2 41
Henry Clay(d) Democratic-Republican Kentucky 47,531 13.0 37
(Massachusetts unpledged electors) None Massachusetts 6,616 1.8 0
Other 6,437 1.8 0
Total 365,833 100.0% 261
Needed to win 131

(a) The popular vote figures exclude Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont. In all of these states, the Electors were chosen by the state legislatures rather than by popular vote.[7]

(b) Jackson was nominated by the Tennessee state legislature and by the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania.

(c) Crawford was nominated by a caucus of 66 congressmen that called itself the "Democratic members of Congress".

(d) Clay was nominated by the Kentucky state legislature.

(e) Adams was nominated by the Massachusetts state legislature.

Vice Presidential Candidate Party State Electoral Vote[8]
John C. Calhoun Democratic-Republican South Carolina 182
Nathan Sanford Democratic-Republican New York 30
Nathaniel Macon Democratic-Republican North Carolina 24
Andrew Jackson Democratic-Republican Tennessee 13
Martin Van Buren Democratic-Republican New York 9
Henry Clay Democratic-Republican Kentucky 2
Total 260
Needed to win 131

Results by state

Andrew Jackson
John Quincy Adams
Henry Clay
William Crawford
State Total
State electoral
#  % electoral
#  % electoral
#  % electoral
#  % electoral
Alabama 5 000136189,429 69.32 5 000136182,422 17.80 - 0004866996 0.71 - 000486691,656 12.17 - 13,603 AL
Connecticut 8 no ballots 7,494 70.39 8 no ballots 1,965 18.46 - 10,647 CT
Delaware 3 no popular vote no popular vote 1 no popular vote no popular vote 2 - DE
Georgia 9 no popular vote no popular vote no popular vote no popular vote 9 - GA
Illinois 3 1,272 27.23 2 1,516 32.46 1 1,036 22.18 - 847 18.13 - 4,671 IL
Indiana 5 7,343 46.61 5 3,095 19.65 - 5,315 33.74 - no ballots 15,753 IN
Kentucky 14 6,356 27.23 - no ballots 16,982 72.77 14 no ballots 23,338 KY
Louisiana 5 no popular vote 3 no popular vote 2 no popular vote no popular vote - LA
Maine 9 no ballots 10,289 81.50 9 no ballots 2,336 18.50 - 12,625 ME
Maryland 11 14,523 43.73 7 14,632 44.05 3 695 2.09 - 3,364 10.13 1 33,214 MD
Massachusetts 15 no ballots 30,687 72.97 15 no ballots no ballots 42,056 MA
Mississippi 3 3,121 63.77 3 1,654 33.80 - no ballots 119 2.43 - 4,894 MS
Missouri 3 1,166 33.97 - 159 4.63 - 2,042 59.50 3 32 0.93 - 3,432 MO
New Hampshire 8 no ballots 9,389 93.59 8 no ballots 643 6.41 - 10,032 NH
New Jersey 8 10,332 52.08 8 8,309 41.89 - no ballots 1,196 6.03 - 19,837 NJ
New York 36 no popular vote 1 no popular vote 26 no popular vote 4 no popular vote 5 - NY
North Carolina 15 20,231 56.03 15 no ballots no ballots 15,622 43.26 - 36,109 NC
Ohio 16 18,489 36.96 - 12,280 24.55 - 19,255 38.49 16 no ballots 50,024 OH
Pennsylvania 28 35,929 76.04 28 5,436 11.50 - 1,705 3.61 - 4,182 8.85 - 47,252 PA
Rhode Island 4 no ballots 2,145 91.47 4 no ballots 200 8.53 - 2,345 RI
South Carolina 11 no popular vote 11 no popular vote no popular vote no popular vote - SC
Tennessee 11 20,197 97.45 11 216 1.04 - no ballots 312 1.51 - 20,725 TN
Vermont 7 no popular vote no popular vote 7 no popular vote no popular vote 35,031 VT
Virginia 24 2,975 19.35 - 3,419 22.24 - 419 2.73 - 8,558 55.68 24 15,371 VA
TOTALS: 261 151,363 41.36 99 113,142 30.92 84 47,545 12.99 37 41,032 11.21 41 365,928 US
TO WIN: 131

Breakdown by ticket

Total Andrew
John Q.
William H.
Electoral Votes for President: 261 99 84 40 38
For Vice President, John C. Calhoun 182 99 74 2 7
For Vice President, Nathan Sanford 30 2 28
For Vice President, Nathaniel Macon 24 24
For Vice President, Andrew Jackson 13 9 1 3
For Vice President, Martin Van Buren 9 9
For Vice President, Henry Clay 2 2
(No vote for Vice President) 1 1

1825 Contingent election

The voting by state in the House of Representatives. States in pink voted for Adams, states in blue for Crawford, and states in green for Jackson.

Since no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes, the presidential election was thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives. Following the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment, only the top three candidates in the electoral vote were admitted as candidates in the House: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William Harris Crawford. Henry Clay, who happened to be Speaker of the House at the time, was left out. Clay detested Jackson and had said of him, "I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy."[9] Moreover, Clay's American System was far closer to Adams' position on tariffs and internal improvements than Jackson's or Crawford's, so Clay threw his support to Adams. Thus Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825, on the first ballot,[10][11] with 13 states, followed by Jackson with 7, and Crawford with 4.

Adams' victory shocked Jackson, who, as the winner of a plurality of both the popular and electoral votes, expected to be elected president. Interestingly enough, not too long before the results of the House election, an anonymous statement appeared in a Philadelphia paper, called the Columbian Observer. The statement, said to be from a member of Congress, essentially accused Clay of selling Adams his support for the office of Secretary of State. No formal investigation was conducted, so the matter was neither confirmed nor denied. When Clay was indeed offered the position after Adams was victorious, he opted to accept and continue to support the administration he voted for, knowing that declining the position would not have helped to dispel the rumors brought against him.[12] By appointing Clay his Secretary of State, President Adams essentially declared him heir to the Presidency, as Adams and his three predecessors had all served as Secretary of State. Jackson and his followers accused Adams and Clay of striking a "corrupt bargain". The Jacksonians would campaign on this claim for the next four years, ultimately attaining Jackson's victory in the Adams-Jackson rematch in 1828.

Results by state in House of Representatives

Delegation winner Adams vote Jackson vote Crawford vote
Maine Adams 7 0 0
New Hampshire Adams 6 0 0
Vermont Adams 5 0 0
Massachusetts Adams 12 1 0
Rhode Island Adams 2 0 0
Connecticut Adams 6 0 0
New York Adams 18 2 14
New Jersey Jackson 1 5 0
Pennsylvania Jackson 1 25 0
Delaware Crawford 0 0 1
Maryland Adams 5 3 1
Virginia Crawford 1 1 19
North Carolina Crawford 1 2 10
South Carolina Jackson 0 9 0
Georgia Crawford 0 0 7
Alabama Jackson 0 3 0
Mississippi Jackson 0 1 0
Louisiana Adams 2 1 0
Kentucky Adams 8 4 0
Tennessee Jackson 0 9 0
Missouri Adams 1 0 0
Ohio Adams 10 2 2
Indiana Jackson 0 3 0
Illinois Adams 1 0 0
Total votes[13] Adams 87 (41%) 71 (33%) 54 (25%)
Votes by state Adams 13 (54%) 7 (29%) 4 (17%)

Electoral College selection

Caucus curs in full yell, by James Akin, 1824 (critique of "the press's treatment of Andrew Jackson, and on the practice of nominating candidates by caucus").[14]
Method of choosing Electors State(s)
Each Elector chosen by voters statewide Alabama
New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Carolina
Rhode Island
Each Elector appointed by state legislature Delaware
New York
South Carolina
State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Illinois
  • Two Electors chosen by voters statewide
  • One Elector chosen per Congressional district by the voters of that district

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Popular vote totals are incomplete. See footnote (a) in section "Results"
  2. Donald Ratcliffe, The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824's Five-Horse Race (2015)
  3. Hansen, Liane (Host). (October 5, 2008). Songs Along The Campaign Trail [Radio series episode]. In Election 2008: On The Campaign Trail. National Public Radio.
  4. Hay, Thomas R (October 1934). John C. Calhoun And The Presidential Campaign Of 1824, Some Unpublished Calhoun Letters. The American Historical Review, 40, No. 1, Retrieved October 27, 2008, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1838676
  5. McNamara, R (September 2007). The Election Of 1824 Was Decided In The House Of Representatives. Retrieved October 27, 2008, from About. Com Web site: http://history1800s.about.com/od/leaders/a/electionof1824.htm
  6. Schimler, Stuart (February 12, 2002). Singing To The Oval Office: A Written History Of The Political Campaign Song. Retrieved October 28, 2008, from President Elect Articles Web site: http://www.presidentelect.org/art_schimler_singing.html
  7. Leip, David. "1824 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved July 26, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 30, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Henry Clay to Francis Preston Blair, January 29, 1825.
  10. Adams, John Quincy; Adams, Charles Francis (1874). Memoirs of John Quincy Adams: Comprising Portions of His Diary from 1795 to 1848. J.B. Lippincott & Co. pp. 501–505. ISBN 0-8369-5021-6. Retrieved August 2, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. United States Congress (1825). House Journal. 18th Congress, 2nd Session, February 9. pp. 219–222. Retrieved August 2, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Schlesinger, Arthur Meier; Israel, Fred L. (1971). History of American presidential elections, 1789–1968, Volume I, 1789–1844. New York: Chelsea House. pp. 379–381. ISBN 0070797862. Retrieved November 19, 2008.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. McMaster, J. B. (1900). History of the People of the United States..., V. New York: D. Appleton and Company. p. 81. In Bemis, Samuel Flagg (1965). John Quincy Adams and the Union. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 54.
  14. Akin (1824). "Caucus curs in full yell, or a war whoop, to saddle on the people, a pappoose president / J[ames] Akin, Aquafortis". Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Retrieved April 24, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Brown, Everett S. "The presidential election of 1824-1825." Political Science Quarterly (1925): 384-403. in JSTOR
  • Kolodny, Robin. "The Several Elections of 1824." Congress & the Presidency: A Journal of Capital Studies (1996) 23#2
  • Nagel, Paul C. "The Election of 1824: A Reconsideration Based on Newspaper Opinion." Journal of Southern History (1960): 315-329. in JSTOR
  • Ratcliffe, Donald. The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824's Five-Horse Race (2015)

External links

External links