New York state election, 1863

The 1863 New York state election was held on November 3, 1863, to elect the Secretary of State, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, the State Treasurer, the State Engineer, a Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a Canal Commissioner and an Inspector of State Prisons, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.


The Union state convention - Republicans and War Democrats which supported the Union and Abraham Lincoln's policy during the American Civil War - met on September 2 at Syracuse, New York. Ward Hunt was Temporary Chairman until the choice of Abraham Wakeman as President. Peter A. Porter was nominated for Secretary of State on the first ballot (vote: Porter 213, Chauncey Depew 140, Theophilus C. Callicot[1] 15). Thomas W. Olcott[2] for Comptroller, John Cochrane for Attorney General, George W. Schuyler for Treasurer, and Henry R. Selden [incumbent] for Judge of the Court of Appeals, were nominated by acclamation. Benjamin F. Bruce was nominated for Canal Commissioner on the first ballot (vote: Bruce 220, Stephen T. Hayt 131). The incumbent William B. Taylor was re-nominated for State Engineer on the first ballot (vote: Taylor 234, J. Platt Goodsell 67, F. A. Utter 26, Charles W. Wentz 10). The incumbent James K. Bates was re-nominated for Prison Inspector by acclamation.[3] When informed of his nomination, Colonel Porter, who was commanding his troops at Baltimore, declined to run because he "wanted to serve his country in the field."[4] Olcott also declined to run, and the State Committee substituted Depew and the incumbent Lucius Robinson on the Union ticket.

The Constitutional Union state convention met on September 9 but did not nominate a ticket.

The Democratic state convention met on September 10 at Albany, New York.


The whole Union ticket was elected.

The incumbents Robinson, Taylor, Selden and Bates were re-elected. The incumbents Lewis and Wright were defeated.

21 Unionists and 11 Democrats were elected to a two-year term (1864-65) in the New York State Senate.

82 Unionists and 46 Democrats were elected for the session of 1864 to the New York State Assembly.

1863 state election results
Office Union ticket Democratic ticket
Secretary of State Chauncey Depew 314,347 Daniel B. St. John 284,942
Comptroller Lucius Robinson 314,236 Sanford E. Church 284,849
Attorney General John Cochrane 313,865 Marshall B. Champlain 284,762
Treasurer George W. Schuyler 314,303 William B. Lewis 284,618
State Engineer William B. Taylor 314,362 Van Rensselaer Richmond 284,738
Judge of the Court of Appeals Henry R. Selden 313,327 William F. Allen 283,532
Canal Commissioner Benjamin F. Bruce 313,840 William W. Wright 284,984
Inspector of State Prisons James K. Bates 314,093 David B. McNeil 284,980



  1. Callicot was the controversial Democratic Speaker of the Assembly of this year.
  2. Thomas Worth Olcott, father of Frederic P. Olcott who was State Comptroller from 1877 to 1879.
  3. THE UNION STATE CONVENTION in NYT on September 3, 1863
  4. Obituary: COL. PETER A. PORTER in NYT on June 5, 1864

See also

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