Rare political document from 1860 discovered and preserved in Boone County

11/01/2015 08:44 AM

BURLINGTON – A 155-year-old voter tally sheet from the 1860 presidential election has been discovered and preserved in Boone County.

The document was recently discovered among tens of thousands of records being stored in the basement of the Boone County clerk’s office by a historian that Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown is working with to organize the vast collection.

In that 1860 election, Tennessean John Bell, representing the Constitutional Union Party, carried the county with 881 votes, Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge, representing the Southern Democratic Party, had 739 votes, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas collected 228 votes, while Republican Abraham Lincoln, who went on to win two terms as president, got just one vote in the county.

One of the unique things about the document is the fact that, under each of the candidates’ names, is the names of the electors.

“Kentucky had 12 electoral votes at that time, they had 10 congressional districts, and 2 senators that made up the 12 votes,” Brown said.

Until recently, the document could be handled by anyone going to the courthouse to do research. Brown felt that such a rare record of the counties past should be protected and preserved so that future generations can see it. So, he spent $200 on his own money to have it professionally framed and protected.

“It’s UV protected so any light’s not going to damage it,” Brown said. “It’s also acid free, so there will be no deterioration over time and we can display it.”

Brown’s goal is preserve a number of other rare and unique documents as they are discovered.


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