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On November 29, 1854, Territorial Kansas Governor Andrew H. Reeder called the first election in Kansas Territory, which sent pro-slavery delegate John W. Whitfield to the U.S. Congress. Whitfield received 2,258 votes, and free-state candidates John A. Wakefield and Robert P. Flenneken received 248 and 305 votes respectively. In this petition, voters of the 1st District (Lawrence) ask Governor Reeder to set aside the current vote or the entire election because of the large number of Missourians who crossed the border to vote illegally. The last line of the petition requesting that "a new election be held at the earliest practical period" has been crossed out. Seventy-seven signatures were recorded. Of the 2833 votes later counted by a Congressional committee, over half (1729) were illegal. No illegal votes were counted in the first district, however, and even after the recount, Whitfield won the election.

Date: November 29, 1854

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Petition alleging voter fraud - 1

Item Number: 225980
Call Number: Kansas Territory, Executive Department, Election Returns 1854-1860
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 225980

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