Road to the White House, 1908 Edition

HUMANITIES, September/October 2008, Volume 29, Number 5

One hundred years ago, the presidential election pitted the economic populist William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic party against William Howard Taft of the Republican party. Two minor clippings reflect, in the first case, the typical candidate-votes-for-self story and, in the second case, a not-so-typical odd-voter story.

From New-York Daily Tribune, Wednesday, November 4, 1908

Vice-Presidential Candidate and Sons Go to Booth Together.

Utica, Nov. 3.—JAMES S. SHERMAN, THE REPUBLICAN candidate for Vice-President, accompanied by his three sons, went to the election booth in the 3d District in the 7th Ward about 10:30 this morning. There was no unusual crowd around the polls and no special incident occurred. Mr. Sherman voted ballot No. 328. He was behind the curtain of the voting machine about six seconds, and was immediately followed by his sons, Sherrill, Richard and “Tom.” The boys voted in about the same time as their father, and Mr. Sherman suggested that at least four straight Republican votes had been cast. He laid a handful of cigars on the table occupied by the officials, nodded pleasantly to some of the workers about the polls and stepped out to re-enter his automobile. A local photographer held him up to take several pictures, and then Mr. Sherman rode back to his home. There were less than a dozen persons present besides the regular officials and the poll watchers.

Odd and Amusing Happenings at the Ballot Box


[By Telegraph to The Tribune.]
Cleveland. Nov. 3.—BECAUSE OF HIS INSANE ENTHUSIASM for Bryan shown by all-night cheering and by a frantic outburst after he had cast his ballot this morning, Richard Hibberce. of No. 2646 East 69th street, to-day was arrested. Later Probate Judge Hadden adjudged him insane, and he is cheering wildly in a cell in the Newburg State Hospital. Hibberce led the cheering in the big Bryan demonstration here last Friday night, interrupting the nominee’s speech.