October 25, 1860: Lincoln’s chances in Rhode Island

William Sprague IV
William Sprague IV of Rhode Island

From the October 25, 1860 New York Times, a discussion of Lincoln’s chances in Rhode Island.

“Peroe” writes to the Boston Journal, from Providence, as follows:
“Some Democratic journals are trying very hard to make themselves and everybody else believe that Rhode Island will cast her vote, on the 6th of November, for the Northern Democratic candidate for the Presidency. This statement has been made and oft repeated in the New-York Democratic papers. It has traveled to the furthest point South, (if it did not originate there,) and now comes home, freshly laden with assurance, by way of Charleston. It needs no display of figures to show that this statement is ridiculously in want of any foundation. We have nearly 23,000 voters in this State, according to the returns of last Spring. Over 12,000 then voted for Gov. SPRAGUE over 10,000 voted the straight Republican ticket for Mr. PADELFORD. Of the 12,000 Sprague votes, 8,000 were Democratic, which is the entire strength of the Douglas Democracy in Rhode Island. The ‘Conservatives’ have openly and nearly unanimously espoused the cause of LINCOLN and HAMLIN. They have a Wide-Awake Club representing the sentiment of that faction, so that the Republican strength, were it to-day called out, would not fall far short of 14,000 votes, opposed by 8,000 Democratic votes.

The contest will be directly between DOUGLAS and LINCOLN. There is no Bell or Breckinridge electoral ticket. There is a strong Old-Whig feeling in New-port, for BELL and EVERETT; but the Republicans, it is said, will carry Newport for Mr. LINCOLN. If, however, Newport is lost to LINCOLN, there will be sufficient majorities in other towns to give him a total majority of nearly four thousand.”

“Peroe” overestimated the turnout in Rhode Island, as it turns out. The total vote was more like 20,000, rather than the 22,000 predicted. However, he slightly underestimated Lincoln’s victory. The final tally would be 12,244 for Lincoln and 7,707 for the Fusion ticket, for a margin of over 4500.

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