Massachusetts 1788 U.S. House of Representatives, District 7

U.S. House of Representatives (Federal)
U.S. Congressman
Massachusetts 1788 U.S. House of Representatives, District 7
First Ballot
U.S. House of Representatives/U.S. Congressman
George Leonard, Phaneul Bishop, David Cobb, William Rolch, Paul Sanford
Candidates: George Leonard[1]Phaneul BishopDavid CobbWilliam RolchPaul Sanford
Final Result: [2][3][4][5]710342241221
District of Seven710342241221
Bristol County566342203-1
Town of Attleborough9112--1
Town of Berkley30----
Town of Dartmouth681--
Town of Dighton51----
Town of Easton15112--
Town of Freetown37----
Town of Mansfield20-34--
Town of New Bedford17-28--
Town of Norton89----
Town of Raynham3-41--
Town of Rehoboth111169---
Town of Swansea11102---
Town of Taunton474097--
Town of Westport38----
Dukes County--3822-
Town of Chilmark---22-
Town of Edgartown--38--
Town of Tisbury[6]-----
Nantucket County144----
Town of Sherburne144----


[2]"The elections in the country have, in general, been very thinly attended - owing in some measure to the late fall of snow, making the passing bad." The Massachusetts Centinel (Boston, MA). December 20, 1788.
[3]Massachusetts law required a majority to elect for the U.S. House of Representatives. The whole number of votes cast was 1316, therefore a candidate needed 659 votes in order to be elected.
[4]"On 12 February Governor Hancock asked his Council for advice about Partridge and about George Leonard, judge of probate in Bristol County, who had been elected to Congress from the Bristol-Dukes-Nantucket District. The Council replied in writing the same day that it was 'inexpedient' for a man to hold the office of judge of probate and a seat in Congress, but that it did not find anything in the state constitution which prevented a sheriff from also being a member of Congress. The Council advised, however, that it would be inexpedient to introduce the practice of sheriffs being absent for long periods although Partridge 'may at present be indulged' and take a seat in Congress 'consistently with the safety of that county' (Council Proceedings, Thursday 12 February, M-Ar). The next day Governor Hancock sent the Council's written reply to the legislature and asked for its advice (13 February, Miscellaneous Legislative Documents, House Files, M-Ar). The two houses appointed a joint committee which wrote a report that was approved and sent to the Governor on Monday, 16 February. The legislature declared that if George Leonard continued to hold the office of judge of probate and also took a seat on Congress, any future legislature would address the Governor authorizing him and the Council to appoint another person judge of probate in Bristol County. But the legislature refused to give advice about George Partridge. It pointed out that sheriffs served during the pleasure of the governor, and (with the advice of his Council) were removable by him at any time. Sheriffs were not removable in any other way except through impeachment by the House and a trial before and conviction by the Senate. Therefore the House and Senate declared that intervention by the legislature was 'neither necessary or proper; and from the conduct and advice of your Council, they see no reason to doubt the wisdom of that constitutional provision' (House and Senate Proceedings, 13, 14, 16 February)." The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections: 1788-1790, Vol. I. p 575-76.
[5]"Our friend D Cobb might have been chosen for the district in which he lives by a large majority, but declined and they turned their attention to a Mr. Leonard the Feds, and the Antis to Mr. Bisho But the district will be divided between the three above mentioned and no one will be chosen in the first instance. I have paid a visit to Taunton. David desires to be particular remembered to you. In the second trial if he should be elected he will not hesitate in going." Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston 21 December. RC, Knox Papers, MHi. As reprinted in The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections: 1788-1790, Vol. I. p 585.
[6]There were no votes recorded in Tisbury.


Original Election Returns. Massachusetts State Archives, Boston.
The Massachusetts Centinel (Boston, MA). December 20, 1788.
The Massachusetts Centinel (Boston, MA). December 24, 1788.
The Essex Journal and New-Hampshire Packet (Newburyport, MA). December 24, 1788.
Thomas's Massachusetts Spy: Or, The Worcester Gazette (Worcester, MA). December 25, 1788.
The Hampshire Chronicle (Springfield, MA). December 31, 1788.
The Hampshire Chronicle (Springfield, MA). January 14, 1789.
The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia, PA). January 20, 1789.
Jensen, Merrill and Robert A. Becker, ed. The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections: 1788-1790. Vol. I. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976. 575-576, 583-585.

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