“1894 Election Results”

Carroll County Times article for 13 November 1994

by Jay A. Graybeal

In last week’s column I discussed the issues of the Election of 1894. The incumbent Democrats, who controlled the White House and the Congress, supported the concept of Free Trade while Republicans favored Protectionism. Prior to the election there was some speculation that the voters might reject the Free Trade platform and the the Republicans might take control of the Congress. The editor of the Westminster Democratic Advocate described the results.

The result of the election is as surprising to the Republicans as to the Democrats. The county has gone Republican, and by the comfortable majority of 252. And this was accomplished on the lightest vote that has been cast for some years. The vote in 1891 was 7529, in 1892 7267, in 1893 6619, and this year only 6446. The average Democratic vote for the past three years was 3676, and the average Republican vote 3229. This year the Democratic vote is only 2907 and the Republican 3159 — a falling off of 769 in the Democratic and only 70 in the Republican vote. In only three districts this year is the result about as usual — Taneytown, Middleburg and Mt. Airy. The Republicans stayed at home about as well as the Democrats.The Prohibitionists profited considerably by Democratic indifference, as a number of Democrats who voted placed their mark opposite the Prohibition emblem. This accounts for their unprecedented vote of 348.

In Middleburg district several ballots were marked on the blank tickets, and this was probably done by Democrats who wanted to be recorded as voting and would not support Mr. Talbott. In Westminster district the increase in the Prohibition vote is due to Democrats.

Westminster’s Republican paper, the American Sentinel, provided additional election details.
The most sanguine estimates of the Republicans, previous to Tuesday’s election, failed to measure the full extent of the great victory achieved for the cause of Protection. The country has witnessed some surprising changes in times past, but nothing equaling in magnitude the great uprising of the people in 1894, by which they have emphasized their condemnation of free trade, into which they were entrapped by specious, but sophistical arguments and false representations, in 1892.Details of the great victory cannot be given, of course, but a summary will give to our readers a fair conception of its magnitude. Beginning at home, Carroll county has her share in the result, having reversed a plurality of 378 for Talbott, in 1892 and placed a plurality of 252 to the credit of the Republican column in the Second Congressional District of Maryland. This splendid result, which was met by corresponding success in the other portions of the district, returns Hon. Wm. B. Baker to Congress as the successor of Hon. J. Fred. C. Talbott, by a plurality of 105.

Outside of Maryland even more stupendous victories have been gained. We refer to the accompanying table, giving changes in the congressional delegations of the several States, subject to slight corrections upon the official returns, by which it will be seen that the Republican majority in the House of Representative will approximate 160, while in the present Congress they are in a minority of 91.

The paper also carried a large woodcut of an elephant holding a banner, inscribed “CARROLL COUNTY 252 FOR BAKER,” in its trunk. An even larger woodcut showed a rooster crowing victory over a considerably smaller rooster with a bowed head which signified the Democrats. Such was politics a century ago in Carroll County.
Photo Caption: The Westminster American Sentinel carried this large woodcut showing a victorious Republican elephant carrying a banner showing the margin of victory of William B. Baker in Carroll County. Historical Society of Carroll County Collection.