1861 Election Cycle

Governor Alexander Ramsey, Lieutenant Governor Ignatius Donnelly, Secretary of State James Baker, Attorney General Gordon Cole, and Treasurer Charles Scheffer all won reelection by north of 20 points giving the Republican Party back-to-back sweeps of these constitutional offices.


Date Office Stage Winners Details
11/05/1861 Lieutenant Governor General Ignatius Donnelly (Republican) won with 16,089 votes (60.45%) and a winning margin of +21.00
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Ignatius Donnelly Incumbent Man Republican 16,089 60.45
Thomas Cowan Man Democrat 10,500 39.45
Thomas Corwin Man Write-In 11 0.04
Scattering Write-In 10 0.04
Christopher Columbus (C.C.) Andrews Man Write-In 4 0.02
N.V. Bennett Man Write-In 1 0.00

Lieutenant Governor Donnelly was reelected. Donnelly resigned on March 3, 1863 following his election and being seated as U.S. Representative to the 2nd CD in the 1862 cycle. Republican state Senator Henry Swift filled the seat and served from March 4, 1863 to July 10, 1863. At which point Swift succeeded Republican Governor Alexander Ramsey who resigned after being elected to the U.S. Senate. The state was then without a Lieutenant Governor until the next term began on January 11, 1864.

Cowan was an attorney from Traverse des Sioux and a former state Senator (SD 17, 1857-1861).

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11/05/1861 Governor General Alexander Ramsey (Republican) won with 16,274 votes (60.80%) and a winning margin of +21.77
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Alexander Ramsey Incumbent Man Republican 16,274 60.80
Edward O. (E.O.) Hamlin Man Democrat 10,448 39.03
J.H. Ramsey Man Write-In 28 0.10
Scattering Write-In 8 0.03
W.H. Dike Man Write-In 5 0.02
Christopher Columbus (C.C.) Andrews Man Write-In 1 0.00
J. Goss Man Write-In 1 0.00
C.H. McCoon Man Write-In 1 0.00
Jane Swisshelm Woman Write-In 1 0.00

Governor Ramsey was reelected to a second term but he resigned on July 10, 1863 after getting elected to the U.S. Senate where he served from 1863-1875. Republican Lieutenant Governor Henry Swift took office and served until January 11, 1864.

Hamlin was an attorney, the first Mayor of St. Cloud, former Judge of the Fourth District Court (1858), candidate for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1864 and 1871, and candidate for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1869.

Swisshelm was a journalist and abolitionist and the first documented woman to receive a vote for governor in Minnesota.

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11/05/1861 Treasurer General Charles Scheffer (Republican) won with 16,053 votes (60.15%) and a winning margin of +20.74
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Charles Scheffer Incumbent Man Republican 16,053 60.15
C.P. Fischer Man Democrat 10,518 39.41
Scattering Write-In 41 0.15
C.P. Flischer Man Write-In 38 0.14
Charles Schiffer Man Write-In 26 0.10
E.P. Fischer Man Write-In 5 0.02
F. Willius Man Write-In 2 0.01
Daniel Buck Man Write-In 2 0.01
C.P. Fisk Man Write-In 1 0.00
O.B. Pascoe Man Write-In 1 0.00
James H. Baker Man Write-In 1 0.00

Treasurer Scheffer was reelected to a second term.

Fischer was a resident of Wabasha County.

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11/05/1861 Attorney General General Gordon E. Cole (Republican) won with 16,112 votes (60.45%) and a winning margin of +21.47
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
Gordon E. Cole Incumbent Man Republican 16,112 60.45
Wheeler Peckham Man Democrat 10,389 38.98
William Peckham Man Write-In 144 0.54
Scattering Write-In 4 0.02
S.P. Jones Man Write-In 2 0.01
O. Gallagher Man Write-In 1 0.00

Attorney General Cole was reelected to a second term.

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11/05/1861 Secretary of State General James H. Baker (Republican) won with 16,035 votes (60.12%) and a winning margin of +20.42
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent
James H. Baker Incumbent Man Republican 16,035 60.12
Daniel Buck Man Democrat 10,589 39.70
Scattering Write-In 44 0.16
Eli B. (E.B.) Ames Man Write-In 3 0.01
H.C. Hoffman Man Write-In 1 0.00
C.P. Fischer Man Write-In 1 0.00

Secretary of State Baker was reelected to a second term but resigned on November 17, 1862 to serve in the Union Army as a colonel of the 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. Governor Alexander Ramsey appointed David Blakely of St. Paul to the office. Blakely was a newspaper publisher who served as the Clerk of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1861-1862.

Buck was an attorney from Mankato who would later be elected to the state House (HD 17, 1866-1867), state Senate (SD 14, 1879-1883), and Supreme Court (1893-1899). Buck was also a candidate for the Supreme Court in 1871 and the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 1888. Buck's tally includes 715 votes for "Daniel F. Buck."

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