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Presidential Election of 1812: A Resource Guide

James Madison, President of the United State
James Madison, President of the United States.
Edwin, David, 1776-1841, engraver.
Philadelphia: W.H. Morgan,
[between 1809 and 1817]
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1812, including manuscripts, broadsides, campaign literature, and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1812 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1812 election and a selected bibliography.

1812 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote
James Madison
Elbridge Gerry
DeWitt Clinton
Jared Ingersoll

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection consists of published congressional records of the United States of America from 1774 to 1875.

  • On February 10, 1813, the Electoral College votes for the presidential election of 1812 were counted by a joint session of Congress and reported in the Annals of Congress, as well as in the House Journal and Senate Journal.

James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859

The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital images.

References to the presidential election of 1812 include:

  • Samuel Harrison to James Madison, May 11, 1812, "But you may lay aside all expectations of a new election to the Presidency, if you do declare War; on this single criterion, depends your support, or neglect, at the ensuing Election. I am better acquainted with the feelings of the People than many of those sycophantic, declamatory Wart Hawks, who, like Homer’s Therisites, are full, of empty boasts, and impotent threats; yet in time of danger will be noticed, only to be laughed at. These would persuade you to declare war, while your real friends will dissuade you from so destructive a measure." [Transcription] External Link
  • James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, October 14, 1812, "The current Elections bring the popularity of the War or of the administration, or both, to the Experimentum Crucis." (crucial experiment) [Transcription]
  • Thomas Lehre to James Madison, November 10, 1812, "On the 20th. Inst. I shall leave this City, for Columbia, to meet our Legislature there, where I expect your enemies will bring into operation, every thing they can, to defeat your Election, however, I think they will not be able to obtain their ends." [Transcription] External Link
  • Elbridge Gerry to James Madison, December 12, 1812, "I am happy, extremely so, in the prospect of your re-election; for the reverse of this would, in my mind, have given to G Britain, a complete triumph over our most meritorious administration, & Legislature, & Would have been considered by her, & probably by all Europe, as a sure pledge of the Revocation of our Independence." [Transcription] External Link

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets.

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents.

References to the presidential election of 1812 include:

  • Thomas Lehre to Thomas Jefferson, July 14, 1812, "From all the information I have collected from the various parts of this State, I am fully persuaded that Mr Madison, will at the ensuing election, receive every vote of this State, as President, because your friends, the Republican party, are satisfied that he has pursued that system of Government you laid down, under which they enjoyed so much happiness." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lehre, August 8, 1812, "I can assure you the hearts of their fellow citizens in this state beat in perfect unison with them and with their government. of this their concurrence in the election of mr Madison & mr Gerry." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to Thomas C. Flournoy, October 1, 1812, "...but what man can do will be done by mr Madison. I hope therefore there will be no difference among republicans as to his re-election: and we shall know his value when we have to give him up, and to look at large for his successor." [Transcription]
  • Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, November 3, 1812, "Our election of electors took place yesterday. a general assurance that there would be no opposition ticket prevented half the voters from coming. 300. votes were given for the republican ticket, & 68. for Federal persons." [Transcription]

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1812 External Link

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1812 presidential election.

A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns, 1787-1825

A searchable collection of election returns from 1787 to 1825. The data were compiled by Philip Lampi. The American Antiquarian Society and Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives have mounted it online with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources: Campaign Literature

Address of the General Committee of Correspondence. n. p., 1812. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Jefferson Against Madison's War. n.p., 1812? [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Touchstone to the People of the United States, on the Choice of a President. New York: Pelsue & Gould, 1812. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Washington to the People of the United States on the Choice of a President. Boston: Printed for the author, 1812. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Bailey, Henry. A Federal Call to the People of the United States, to Come Forward at the Ensuing Election, and Save Their Country. Philadelphia: Printed for the author, 1812. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Secondary Sources

Siry, Steven Edwin. "The Sectional Politics of "Practical Republicanism": De Witt Clinton's Presidential Bid, 1810-1812." Journal Of The Early Republic 5, no. 4 (Winter 1985): 441-62. [Catalog Record]

Risjord, Norman K. "Election of 1812," in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, eds. Gil Troy, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Fred L. Israel. 3 vols. I, 123-44. New York: Facts On File, 2012. [Catalog Record]


1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 212.

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