Confederate Election Ballot for Jefferson Davis as President

The following handwritten document is a very rare Virginia electoral ticket endorsing Jefferson Davis for president and Alexander H. Stevens for vice president. It also lists John R. Edmunds of Halifax and Allen T. Caperton of Monroe “for the state at large,” and various other men “for the districts.” The election took place on Wednesday, 6 November 1861. This election was the only presidential election under the Permanent Constitution of the CSA. Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Stephens had been previously elected President and Vice President only under the Provisional Constitution.

This ballot was signed on the verso by James F. Ross, the voter who cast the Virginia ballot. Most likely the voter was 40 year-old James Franklin Ross (1821-1894), the son of John W. Ross (1788-1876) and Susannah Thomas (1794-1831) of Loudoun county, Virginia. James was married in November 1851 to Mary Jane Gochnour (1832-1929). Sometime after 1870, the Ross family relocated to Geary county, Kansas.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History houses a similar ballot that was cast by William Fern but it was a printed ballot, as were most of the ballots. It was only when the pre-printed paper ballots were depleted that electors submitted hand written ballots.


For President, Jeff Davis
Vice President, Alex H. Stevens [Stephens]


[At large]

Jno R. Edmonds [of Halifax]
A[llen] T. Caperton [of Monroe]


Joseph Christian [of Middlesex]
C[incinnatis] W. Newton [of Norfolk City]
R. T. Daniel [of Richmond City]
W[illiam] F. Thompson [of Dinwiddie]
Wood Bouldin [of Charlotte]
W[illiam] L. Goggin [of Bedford]
B. F. Randolph [of Albemarle]
James W. Walker [of Madison]
Asa Rogers [of Loudoun]
Sam[uel] C. Williams [of Shenandoah]
Sam[uel] M[cDowell] Reid [of Rockbridge]
Henry A. Edmundson [of Roanoke]
J[ames] W. Sheffey [of Smythe]
H[enry] J. Fisher [of Mason]
Joseph Johnson [of Harrison]
E. H. Fitzhugh [of Ohio]

A sample of the Printed Ballot that was widely distributed for elector’s use

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s