1872 United States presidential election

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1872 United States presidential election

← 1868 November 5, 1872 1876 →

352 members (+14 invalidated)[lower-alpha 1] of the Electoral College
177 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout71.3%[1] Decrease 6.8 pp
  UlyssesGrant.jpg Horace Greeley restored (cropped).jpg
Nominee Ulysses S. Grant Horace Greeley
Party Republican Liberal Republican Party (United States)
Alliance Democratic Party (United States)
Home state Ohio New York
Running mate Henry Wilson Benjamin Gratz Brown
Electoral vote 286 (+14 invalidated)[lower-alpha 1] 0 (+3 rejected)[lower-alpha 2]
States carried 29 (+2 invalidated)[lower-alpha 1] 6
Popular vote 3,598,235 2,834,761
Percentage 55.6% 43.8%

Template:United States presidential election, 1872 imagemap
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Grant/Wilson, blue denotes those won by Greeley, yellow denotes those won by Hendricks, and the various shades of green denote those won by Brown, Jenkins and Davis; this reflects the posthumous scattering of Greeley's electoral votes. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Ulysses S. Grant

Elected President

Ulysses S. Grant

The 1872 United States presidential election was the 22nd quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 5, 1872. Despite a split in the Republican Party, incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant defeated Liberal Republican nominee Horace Greeley. The election is notable for being the only presidential election in which a major party nominee died during the election process.

Grant was unanimously re-nominated at the 1872 Republican National Convention, but his intra-party opponents organized the Liberal Republican Party and held their own convention. The 1872 Liberal Republican convention nominated Greeley, a New York newspaper publisher, and wrote a platform calling for civil service reform and an end to Reconstruction. Democratic Party leaders believed that their only hope of defeating Grant was to unite around Greeley, and the 1872 Democratic National Convention nominated the Liberal Republican ticket.

Despite the union between the Liberal Republicans and Democrats, Greeley proved to be an ineffective campaigner and Grant remained widely popular. Grant decisively won re-election, carrying 31 of the 37 states, including several Southern states that would not again vote Republican until the 20th century. Grant would be the last incumbent to win a second term until William McKinley's victory in the 1900 presidential election, and his popular vote margin of 11.8% was the largest margin between 1852 and 1904.

On November 29, 1872, after the popular vote was counted, but before the Electoral College cast its votes, Greeley died. As a result, electors previously committed to Greeley voted for four different candidates for president and eight different candidates for vice president. It was the last instance until the 2016 presidential election in which more than one presidential elector voted for a candidate to whom they were not pledged.

Nominations[edit source | edit]

Republican Party nomination[edit source | edit]

Republican Party (United States)
Republican Party Ticket, 1872
Ulysses S. Grant Henry Wilson
for President for Vice President
President of the United States
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts

At the 1872 Republican National Convention the Republicans nominated President Ulysses S. Grant for re-election, but nominated Senator Henry Wilson from Massachusetts for vice-president instead of the incumbent Schuyler Colfax, who was implicated in the Credit Mobilier scandal. Others, who had grown weary of the corruption of the Grant administration, bolted to form the Liberal Republican Party.

The opposition fusion nominations[edit source | edit]

In the hope of defeating Grant, the Democratic party endorsed the nominees of the Liberal Republican Party.

Liberal Republican Party nomination[edit source | edit]

An influential group of dissident Republicans split from the party to form the Liberal Republican Party in 1870. At the party's only national convention, held in Cincinnati in 1872, New York Tribune editor and former representative Horace Greeley was nominated for president on the sixth ballot, defeating Charles Francis Adams. Missouri Governor Benjamin Gratz Brown was nominated for vice-president on the second ballot.

Liberal Republican Party Ticket, 1872
Horace Greeley Benjamin G. Brown
for President for Vice President
Former U.S. Representative
for New York's 6th
Governor of Missouri
colspan="9" style="text-align:center; width:700px; font-size:120%; color:white; background:Template:Liberal Republican Party (United States)/meta/color;"|Candidates in this section are sorted by their highest vote count on the nominating ballots
Charles Francis Adams Sr. Lyman Trumbull Benjamin Gratz Brown David Davis Andrew Gregg Curtin Salmon P. Chase
Fmr. Envoy to the United Kingdom from Massachusetts
U.S. Senator
from Illinois
Governor of Missouri
Associate Justice
from Illinois
Governor of Pennsylvania
Chief Justice
from Ohio
324 votes 156 votes 95 votes 93 votes 62 votes 32 votes

Democratic Party nomination[edit source | edit]

Democratic Party Ticket, 1872
Horace Greeley Benjamin G. Brown
for President for Vice President
Former U.S. Representative
for New York's 6th
Governor of Missouri

The 1872 Democratic National Convention met in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 9–10. Because of its strong desire to defeat Ulysses S. Grant, the Democratic Party also nominated the Liberal Republicans' Greeley/Brown ticket[2] and adopted their platform.[3] Greeley received 686 of the 732 delegate votes cast, while Brown received 713. Accepting the Liberal platform meant the Democrats had accepted the New Departure strategy, which rejected the anti-Reconstruction platform of 1868. They realized that to win the election they had to look forward, not try to re-fight the Civil War.[4] Also, they realized they would only split the anti-Grant vote if they nominated a candidate other than Greeley. However, Greeley's long reputation as the most aggressive antagonist of the Democratic party, its principles, its leadership, and its activists cooled Democrats' enthusiasm for the nominee.

Some Democrats were worried that backing Greeley would effectively bring the party to extinction, much like the moribund Whig Party had been doomed by endorsing the Know Nothing candidacy of Millard Fillmore in 1856, though others felt that the Democrats were in a much stronger position on a regional level than the Whigs had been at the time of their demise, and predicted (correctly, as it turned out) that the Liberal Republicans would not be viable in the long-term due to their lack of distinctive positions compared to the main Republican Party. A sizable minority led by James A. Bayard sought to act independently of the Liberal Republican ticket, but the bulk of the party agreed to endorse Greeley's candidacy. The convention, which lasted only six hours stretched over two days, is the shortest major political party convention in history.

The Liberal Republican Party fused with the Democratic Party in all states except for Louisiana and Texas. In states where Republicans were stronger, the Liberal Republicans fielded a majority of the joint slate of candidates for lower offices; while in states where Democrats were stronger, the Democrats fielded the most candidates. In many states, such as Ohio, each party nominated half of a joint slate of candidates. Even initially reluctant Democratic leaders like Thomas F. Bayard came to support Greeley.[5]

Other nominations[edit source | edit]

Labor Reform Party[edit source | edit]

Presidential Candidates:

Charles O'Conor David Davis
Lawyer from New York
(Declined Nomination)
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from Illinois
(Nominee – Withdrew on June 24, 1872)

The Labor Reform Party had only been organized in 1870, with its first National Convention meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 22, 1872. Initially, there was a fair amount of discussion as to whether the party should actually nominate anyone for the presidency at that time, or if they should wait at least for the Liberal Republicans to nominate their own ticket first. Every motion to that effect lost, and a number of ballots were taken that resulted in the nomination of David Davis, who was the frontrunner for the Liberal Republican nomination at that time. Joel Parker, the Governor of New Jersey, was nominated for vice-president.

While Davis did not decline the nomination of the Labor Reform party, he decided to hinge his campaign in large part on the success of attaining the Liberal Republican nomination, so that he might at least have their resources behind him. After their convention, in which he failed to attain the nomination, Davis telegraphed the Labor Reform party and informed them of his intention to withdraw from the presidential contest entirely. Joel Parker soon followed suit.

A second convention was called on August 22 in Philadelphia, where it was decided, rather than making the same mistake again, that the party would cooperate with the new Straight-Out Democratic Party that had recently formed. After the election, the various state affiliates grew less and less active, and by the following year, the party ceased to exist.[6] Labor Reform party activity continued to 1878, when the Greenback and Labor Reform parties, with other organizations, formed a National Party.[7]

Straight-Out Democratic Party[edit source | edit]

Unwilling to support the Democratic party nominee Greeley, a group of mostly Southern Democrats held what they called a Straight-Out Democratic Party convention in Louisville, Kentucky on August 11, 1872. They nominated as presidential candidate Charles O'Conor, who declined their nomination by telegram; as vice president they nominated John Quincy Adams II. Without time to choose a substitute, the party ran the two candidates anyway. They received 0.36% of the popular votes, and no Electoral College votes.

General election[edit source | edit]

Campaign[edit source | edit]

Grant's administration and his Radical Republican supporters had been widely accused of corruption, and the Liberal Republicans demanded civil service reform and an end to the Reconstruction process, including withdrawal of federal troops from the South. Both Liberal Republicans and Democrats were disappointed in their candidate Greeley. As wits asked, "Why turn out a knave just to replace him with a fool?"[8] A poor campaigner with little political experience, Greeley's career as a newspaper editor gave his opponents a long history of eccentric public positions to attack. With memories of his victories in the Civil War to run on, Grant was unassailable. Grant also had a large campaign budget to work with. One historian was quoted saying, "Never before was a candidate placed under such great obligation to men of wealth as was Grant." A large portion of Grant's campaign funds came from entrepreneurs, including Jay Cooke, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Alexander Turney Stewart, Henry Hilton, and John Astor.[9]

Women's suffrage[edit source | edit]

This was the first election after the formation of the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. As a result, protests for women's suffrage became more prevalent. The National Woman's Suffrage Association held its annual convention in New York City on May 9, 1872. Some of the delegates supported Victoria Woodhull, who had spent the year since the previous NWSA annual meeting touring the New York City environs and giving speeches on why women should be allowed to vote. The delegates selected Victoria Woodhull to run for president, and named Frederick Douglass for vice- president. He did not attend the convention and never acknowledged the nomination, though he would serve as a presidential elector in the United States Electoral College for the State of New York. Woodhull gave a series of speeches around New York City during the campaign. Her finances were very thin, and when she borrowed money from supporters, she often was unable to repay them. On the day before the election, Woodhull was arrested for "publishing an obscene newspaper" and so was unable to cast a vote for herself. Woodhull was ineligible to be president on Inauguration Day, not because she was a woman (the Constitution and the law were silent on the issue), but because she would not reach the constitutionally prescribed minimum age of 35 until September 23, 1873; historians have debated whether to consider her activities a true election campaign. Woodhull and Douglass are not listed in "Election results" below, as the ticket received a negligible percentage of the popular vote and no electoral votes.[10] In addition, several suffragists would attempt to vote in the election. Susan B. Anthony was arrested when she tried to vote and was fined $100 in a widely publicized trial.

Results[edit source | edit]

Error creating thumbnail:
Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of red are for Grant (Republican) and shades of blue are for Greeley (Liberal Republican/Democratic).

Grant won an easy re-election over Greeley, with a popular vote margin of 11.8% and 763,000 votes.

Grant also won the electoral college with 286 electoral votes; while Greeley won 66 electoral votes, he died on November 29, 1872, twenty-four days after the election and before any of his pledged electors (from Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Maryland) could cast their votes. Subsequently, 63 of Greeley's electors cast their votes for other Democrats: 18 of them cast their presidential votes for Greeley's running mate, Benjamin Gratz Brown, and 45 cast their presidential votes for three non-candidates.

Of the 2,171 counties making returns, Grant won in 1,335 while Greeley carried 833. Three counties were split evenly between Grant and Greeley.

Disputed votes[edit source | edit]

During the joint session of Congress for the counting of the electoral vote on February 12, 1873, various objections were raised to some of the results. However, unlike the objections which would be made in 1877, these had no impact on the outcome of the election. [11]

State Voters Winning candidate Outcome Reason Electors counted
Arkansas 6 Grant Votes rejected Various irregularities, including allegations of electoral fraud No
Louisiana 8
Georgia 3 (of 11) Greeley Votes rejected Ballots cast for Horace Greeley as President, but were cast after Greeley had died and he was thus ineligible for the office of President Yes (votes for B. Gratz Brown as vice-president)
Mississippi 8 Grant Accepted Objections raised due to irregularities and regarding the eligibility of elector James J. Spelman Yes
Texas 8 Greeley Accepted Objections raised due to irregularities Yes


This election was the last in which Arkansas voted for a Republican until 1972, and the last in which it voted against the Democrats until 1968. Alabama and Mississippi would not be carried by a Republican again until 1964, and they wouldn't vote against the Democrats until 1948. North Carolina and Virginia wouldn't vote Republican again until 1928. West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey wouldn't vote Republican again until 1896.

Results[edit source | edit]

Template:Start U.S. presidential ticket box Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential election box other Template:End U.S. presidential election box Source (popular vote): Template:Leip PV source

Source (electoral vote): Template:National Archives EV source

(a) These candidates received votes from Electors who were pledged to Horace Greeley, who died before the electoral votes were cast.
(b) Brown's vice-presidential votes were counted, but the presidential votes for Horace Greeley were rejected since he was ineligible for the office of President due to his death.
(c) See Breakdown by ticket below.
(d) The 14 electoral votes from Arkansas and Louisiana were rejected. Had they not been rejected, Grant would have received 300 electoral votes out of a total of 366, well in excess of the 184 required to win.

Popular vote
Electoral vote

Geography of results[edit source | edit]

Cartographic gallery[edit source | edit]

Results by state[edit source | edit]

Source: Data from Walter Dean Burnham, Presidential ballots, 1836–1892 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1955) pp 247–57.[13]

States won by Grant/Wilson
States won by Greeley/Brown
Ulysses S. Grant
Horace Greeley
Democratic/Liberal Republican
Charles O'Conor
Straight-Out Democrat
Margin State Total
State electoral
# % electoral
# % electoral
# % electoral
# % #
Alabama 10 90,272 53.19 10 79,444 46.81 - - - - 10,828 6.38 169,716 AL
Arkansas 6 41,373 52.17 0 37,927 47.83 - - - - 3,446 4.35 79,300 AR
California 6 54,007 56.38 6 40,717 42.51 - 1,061 1.11 - 13,290 13.87 95,785 CA
Connecticut 6 50,314 52.41 6 45,695 47.59 - - - - 4,619 4.81 96,009 CT
Delaware 3 11,129 51.00 3 10,205 46.76 - 488 2.24 - 924 4.23 21,822 DE
Florida 4 17,763 53.52 4 15,427 46.48 - - - - 2,336 7.04 33,190 FL
Georgia 11 62,550 45.03 - 76,356 54.97 11 - - - -13,806 -9.94 138,906 GA
Illinois 21 241,936 56.27 21 184,884 43.00 - 3,151 0.73 - 57,052 13.27 429,971 IL
Indiana 15 186,147 53.00 15 163,632 46.59 - 1,417 0.40 - 22,515 6.41 351,196 IN
Iowa 11 131,566 60.81 11 81,636 37.73 - 2,221 1.03 - 49,930 23.08 216,365 IA
Kansas 5 66,805 66.46 5 32,970 32.80 - 156 0.16 - 33,835 33.66 100,512 KS
Kentucky 12 88,766 46.44 - 99,995 52.32 12 2,374 1.24 - -11,229 -5.87 191,135 KY
Louisiana 8 71,663 55.69 0 57,029 44.31 - - - - 14,634 11.37 128,692 LA
Maine 7 61,426 67.86 7 29,097 32.14 - - - - 32,329 35.71 90,523 ME
Maryland 8 66,760 49.66 - 67,687 50.34 8 - - - -927 -0.69 134,447 MD
Massachusetts 13 133,455 69.20 13 59,195 30.69 - - - - 74,260 38.50 192,864 MA
Michigan 11 138,758 62.66 11 78,551 35.47 - 2,875 1.30 - 60,207 27.19 221,455 MI
Minnesota 5 55,708 61.27 5 35,211 38.73 - - - - 20,497 22.54 90,919 MN
Mississippi 8 82,175 63.48 8 47,282 36.52 - - - - 34,893 26.95 129,457 MS
Missouri 15 119,196 43.65 - 151,434 55.46 15 2,429 0.89 - -32,238 -11.81 273,059 MO
Nebraska 3 18,329 70.68 3 7,603 29.32 - - - - 10,726 41.36 25,932 NE
Nevada 3 8,413 57.43 3 6,236 42.57 - - - - 2,177 14.86 14,649 NV
New Hampshire 5 37,168 53.94 5 31,425 45.61 - - - - 5,743 8.33 68,906 NH
New Jersey 9 91,656 54.52 9 76,456 45.48 - - - - 15,200 9.04 168,112 NJ
New York 35 440,738 53.23 35 387,282 46.77 - - - - 53,456 6.46 828,020 NY
North Carolina 10 94,772 57.38 10 70,130 42.46 - 261 0.16 - 24,642 14.92 165,163 NC
Ohio 22 281,852 53.24 22 244,321 46.15 - 1,163 0.22 - 37,531 7.09 529,436 OH
Oregon 3 11,818 58.66 3 7,742 38.43 - 587 2.91 - 4,076 20.23 20,147 OR
Pennsylvania 29 349,589 62.07 29 212,041 37.65 - - - - 137,548 24.42 563,262 PA
Rhode Island 4 13,665 71.94 4 5,329 28.06 - - - - 8,336 43.89 18,994 RI
South Carolina 7 72,290 75.73 7 22,699 23.78 - 204 0.21 - 49,591 51.95 95,452 SC
Tennessee 12 85,655 47.84 - 93,391 52.16 12 - - - -7,736 -4.32 179,046 TN
Texas 8 47,468 40.71 - 66,546 57.07 8 2,580 2.21 - -19,078 -16.36 116,594 TX
Vermont 5 41,480 78.29 5 10,926 20.62 - 553 1.04 - 30,554 57.67 52,980 VT
Virginia 11 93,463 50.47 11 91,647 49.49 - 85 0.05 - 1,816 0.98 185,195 VA
West Virginia 5 32,320 51.74 5 29,532 47.28 - 615 0.98 - 2,788 4.46 62,467 WV
Wisconsin 10 104,994 54.60 10 86,477 44.97 - 834 0.43 - 18,517 9.16 192,305 WI
TOTALS: 366 3,597,439 55.58 286 2,833,710 43.78 66 23,054 0.36 - 763,729 11.80 6,471,983 US

Close states[edit source | edit]

Red font color denotes states won by Republican Ulysses S. Grant; blue denotes those won by Democrat/Liberal Republican Horace Greeley.

States where the margin of victory was under 5% (51 electoral votes)

  1. Maryland 0.69%
  2. Virginia 0.98%
  3. Delaware 4.23%
  4. Tennessee 4.32%
  5. Arkansas 4.35%
  6. West Virginia 4.46%
  7. Connecticut 4.81%

Margin of victory between 5% and 10% (133 electoral votes):

  1. Kentucky 5.87%
  2. Alabama 6.38%
  3. Indiana 6.41%
  4. New York 6.46%
  5. Florida 7.04%
  6. Ohio 7.09% (tipping point state if electors of Arkansas and Louisiana were rejected)
  7. New Hampshire 8.33% (tipping point state if electors of Arkansas and Louisiana were not rejected)
  8. New Jersey 9.04%
  9. Wisconsin 9.16%
  10. Georgia 9.94%

Template:Start U.S. vice presidential election box Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:U.S. vice presidential election box row Template:End U.S. vice presidential election box Source: Template:National Archives EV source

Breakdown by ticket[edit source | edit]

Template:Start U.S. electoral vote box Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:U.S. electoral vote box row Template:End U.S. electoral vote box (a) The used sources had insufficient data to determine the pairings of 4 electoral votes in Missouri; therefore, the possible tickets are listed with the minimum and maximum possible number of electoral votes each.
(b) Brown's vice-presidential votes were counted, but the presidential votes for Horace Greeley were rejected since he was ineligible for the office of President due to his death.

Demise of the Liberal Republicans[edit source | edit]

Though the national party organization disappeared after 1872, several Liberal Republican members continued to serve in Congress after the 1872 elections. Most Liberal Republican Congressmen eventually joined the Democratic Party. Outside of the South, some Liberal Republicans sought the creation of a new party opposed to Republicans, but Democrats were unwilling to abandon their old party affiliation and even relatively successful efforts like Wisconsin's Reform Party collapsed. Even the strong Missouri Liberal Republican Party collapsed as the Democrats re-established themselves as the major opposition party to the Republicans. In the following years, former Liberal Republicans became members in good standing of both major parties.[14]

See also[edit source | edit]

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Elections were held in Arkansas and Louisiana; however, due to various irregularities including allegations of electoral fraud, all electoral votes from those states (6 and 8, respectively) were invalidated.
  2. Greeley died after the election, but prior to the Electoral College meeting, and was thus ineligible for the office of President. Greeley had won 66 pledged electors, of which 63 cast their votes for other Democrats. 3 Georgian electors voted for Greeley; however, their votes were rejected.

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections". The American Presidency Project. UC Santa Barbara.
  2. Official Proceedings of the National Democratic Convention, Held at Baltimore, July 9, 1872. Boston: Rockwell & Churchill, Printers. 1872.
  3. Paul F. Boller, Jr. (2004). Presidential Campaigns: from George Washington to George W. Bush. Oxford University Press. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-19-516716-3.
  4. Dunning 198
  5. Ross (1910)
  6. Bewig, Matthew S. R. (2010). "Third Parties After the Civil War". In Robertson, Andrew (ed.). Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History. 3. Sage. pp. 360–361. ISBN 9780872893207.
  7. Haynes, Frederick Emory (1916). Third Party Movements Since the Civil War, with Special Reference to Iowa. State Historical Society of Iowa. p. 122. Retrieved January 27, 2018. labor reform.
  8. Dunning 197
  9. Guide to U.S. Elections. Volume 1 (Fifth ed.). CQ Press. November 17, 2005. ISBN 1-56802-981-0. |volume= has extra text (help)
  10. "Our Campaigns – Candidate – Victoria C. Woodhull".
  11. United States Congress (1873). Senate Journal. 42nd Congress, 3rd Session, February 12. pp. 334–346. Retrieved March 23, 2006.
  12. David A. McKnight (1878). The Electoral System of the United States: A Critical and Historical Exposition of Its Fundamental Principles in the Constitution and the Acts and Proceedings of Congress Enforcing It. Wm. S. Hein Publishing. p. 313. ISBN 978-0-8377-2446-1.
  13. "1872 Presidential General Election Data – National". Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  14. Ross, pp. 192-239

Further reading[edit source | edit]

  • American Annual Cyclopedia...for 1872 (1873), comprehensive collection of facts online edition
  • Blaine, James G. (1885). Twenty Years of Congress. vol. 2. pp. 520–31. online edition
  • Donald, David Herbert. Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (1970).
  • Downey, Matthew T. "Horace Greeley and the Politicians: The Liberal Republican Convention in 1872," The Journal of American History, Vol. 53, No. 4. (Mar. 1967), pp. 727–750. in JSTOR
  • Dunning, William Archibald (1905). Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865–1877. ch. 12. online edition
  • Lunde, Erik S. "The Ambiguity of the National Idea: the Presidential Campaign of 1872" Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism 1978 5(1): 1-23. ISSN 0317-7904.
  • McPherson, James M. "Grant or Greeley? The Abolitionist Dilemma in the Election of 1872" American Historical Review 1965 71(1): 43–61. in JSTOR
  • Porter, Kirk H.; Johnson, Donald Bruce, eds. (1956). National Party Platforms, 1840–1956.
  • Prymak, Andrew. "The 1868 and 1872 Elections," in Edward O. Frantz, ed. A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865–1881 (Wiley Blackwell Companions to American History) (2014) pp. 235–56 online
  • Republican Campaign Clubs, Horace Greeley Unmasked. New York: Republican Campaign Clubs, 1872. —Campaign pamphlet.
  • Rhodes, James Ford. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the McKinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. Volume: 7 ch 39–40. (1920)
  • Ross, Earle Dudley. The Liberal Republican Movement (1910) full text online
  • Slap, Andrew L. The Doom of Reconstruction: The Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era (2006) online edition
  • Strauss, Dafnah. "Ideological closure in newspaper political language during the US 1872 election campaign." Journal of Historical Pragmatics 15.2 (2014): 255-291. DOI: 10.1075/jhp.15.2.06str online
  • Summers, Mark Wahlgren. The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865–1878 (1994) ch 15
  • Summers, Mark Wahlgren. The Era of Good Stealings (1993), covers corruption 1868–1877
  • Van Deusen, Glyndon G. Horace Greeley, Nineteenth-Century Crusader (1953) online edition

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