Statistics for October 3rd, 1876 elections
Sect. of State
Supt. Public Instruction
Congress: October election for congress included short term (Dec. 4, 1876 to March 4, 1877) for 44th congress and full two year term March 1877-79, for 45th congress.
James Belford (R) (he had been a territorial supreme court justice, from 1870-75)
Thomas Patterson (D)
Short term: Belford 13,302, Patterson, 12,865
Long term: Belford, 13,532 Patterson, 12,544
Holding both congressional elections at the same times was based on Section 6 of the enabling act passed by congress allowing Colorado to form a constitution and become a state.
The Republican managers construed that section to mean the election for representative for both congresses, should, or might be, chosen on Oct. 3rd.
Smiley writes "But Patterson is on record as having repeatedly said in public that the enabling act did not warrant the election of a representative for the full term. It had to be on Nov. 7th, the regular election day in the nation."
After the election in which Belford won both spots, Democrats, "now believing Patterson's views to be correct and that there had been no election for the 45th Congress, decided to hold an election on Nov.7th for congress. Meanwhile the October returns had been canvassed and a certificate of election to the 45th had been issued to Belford."
"The Republicans refused to consider an invalidity in the previous election and to have anything to do with another. The Republican party held aloof, almost to the last man." (The Republicans boycotted the election.)
Long term election was held again Nov. 7th, 1876
Patterson, 3580 of 3,829 votes
Belford 172 and another 77 votes were "scattered"
The issue of who was the congressman went to the 45th Congress. The House was Democratic. After a prolonged contest over the tangle, decided that Patterson was lawfully elected representative.
Belford won the next election for congress in 1878 for the 46th congress.
Presidential electors appointed by the legislature who voted for Hayes on Nov.7th:
Herman Beckurts, William Hadley, Otto Mears
By 1875, Colorado's population was nearly 100,000
History of Colorado by Smiley, 1913 edition pp. 488,489 Vol. l
Copyright 2015 Jerry Kopel & David Kopel