Election Chronology of 1800

Date Events and Contents Documents


April 29

Legislative election in New York City decides New York's electoral vote for Jefferson and Burr, ensuring national Republican victory as well.

Letters to Thomas Jefferson
May 3

Federalist Alexander Hamilton writes Governor Jay urging him to call an extra session of the lame duck Federalist legislature to change themode of choosing presidential electors and reverse the outcome of the New York election. His letter is intercepted by Republican VicePresident candidate Aaron Burr and published in Republican newspapers the following day.

May 8

Anti-Federalist ticket prevails in New York.

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary
May 10

Land Act of 1800 (sponsored by William Henry Harrison) makes public lands affordable for small farmers gaining support for Republicans in the West and East.


Hamilton tours New England and secretly schemes to manipulate Federalist Electoral votes in favor of pro-military VP candidate C.C. Pinckney, relegating Adams to Vice Presidency.

Recollection of John Adams (Parton)
June 4

President John Adams and his family move into newly completed White House.

Letter of Abigail Adams

Meeting between Jefferson and Adams; Adams acknowledges Jefferson's likely victory and expresses faith in the electoral process.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson
August 13

To CT Republican Gideon Granger, re: Federalism, XYZ Affair, prospects for the New England vote.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson
August 30

Gabriel's Rebellion (Virginia Federalists blame Jacobins and Republicans).


Legislative elections in MD, NJ.

September 21

A short address to the voters of Delaware (Federalist).

September 25

About his personal efforts against Jefferson.

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary

Legislative elections in PA, SC. Burr makes political swing through New England; Hamilton's attack on Adams picked up by Republican papers.

October 6

Mr. Jefferson an enemy of the Constitution; dangers of Republican infidels to a Christian nation.

Connecticut Courant
November 8

War Department fire

November 23

Appears election depends on Pennsylvania Senate.

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary
November 29

Pennsylvania's split vote leaves Adams and Jefferson tied with 65 electoral votes apiece, South Carolina legislative outcome (and 8 electoral votes) still outstanding.

December 2

South Carolina compromise ticket fails; all 8 electoral votes will go to Jefferson and Burr.

Early December

Philadelphia Republicans organize Republican Blues - a citizen militia.

December 3

Deadline for counting Electoral votes in the states.

December 8

Aurora correctly predicts Adams 65 votes to Jefferson 73.

December 15

Address of the Republican committee of the County of Gloucester, NJ.

December 16

Aaron Burr writes Samuel Smith denying he will seek the Presidency over Jefferson.

Connecticut Courant
December 17

First threat to assassinate Jefferson.

December 19

Maryland, General Assembly, House of Delegates proposes U.S. Constitution amendment on choice of electors.

Connecticut Courant Broadside
December 21

S. Carolina has voted for Jefferson; probable he will be President.

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary
Late December

Official count arrives from KY and TN, showing Republicans did not throw away a vote for Burr; therefore Burr and Jefferson both will have same number of electoral votes. According to Constitution, either man may be President, though both ran on the Republican ticket. Hamilton writes Federalist friends in Congress, supporting Jefferson over Burr.

December 31

Adams predicts Civil War.

Letters of Thomas Jefferson


Early January

Southern and New England supporters urge Burr to reconsider campaigning for President.


New Judiciary Act opens up 23 judgeships for Adams to fill.

January 12

Despite all the political and sectional strife swirling around him, Jefferson found time to write to his friend William Dunbar of Natchez, a merchant, naturalist, astronomer and explorer, about a wide range meteorological, scientific and linguistic curiosities.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson (Parton)
January 15

Electors have given equal votes to Jefferson and Burr; Prospect of a Jefferson-Burr ticket.

Connecticut Courant
January 19

"Virginia Planter" fears Burr's election, examines prospects for preventing it.

New York Gazette
January 20

Treasury Department Fire.


House appoints committee to investigate suspicious fires.

February 1 Letters of Thomas Jefferson
February 11

Opening of Federalist controlled (lame duck) Congress; electoral ballot count. Vice Pres. Thomas Jefferson opens certificates and proclaims tie. Ballotting continues until 3:00 a.m. without breaking deadlock.

Connecticut Courant
February 12

Congress reconvenes at noon. Thousands pour into Washington, D.C. and throng around the still unfinished Capitol where voting is taking place. Only one ballot is taken; still a tie.

New York Gazette
February 13

Two ballots. Behind the scenes dealings in progress.

February 14

Jefferson calls on Adams in hope of dissuading him from a rumored plan to elect a (Federalist) President Pro Tem in Senate to assume power on March 5. Jefferson refuses to submit to Adams's requirements re: Federalist officials, Navy and the debt; perhaps threatens a new Constitutional Convention if Federalists move on their rumored plan. Three more inconclusive ballots. Evening: James Bayard of Delaware and Samuel Smith discuss possible compromise plans.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson (Parton)
February 15

To James Monroe: If Federalists had passed a law to prevent election, Republicans announced the middle states would arm and demand a Constitutional Convention.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson
February 16

Bayard makes case for compromise to Federalist caucus, to vehement opposition; still no word from Burr that he would accept the Presidency if offered it. Angry mob is cleared from the lobby of the House.

February 17

After further caucuses, Maryland and Vermont Federalists agree not to vote, allowing their states to go Republican; Delaware and South Carolina abstain. Jefferson is elected on the 36th ballot. A total of 10 states vote for Jefferson; 4 for Burr.

February 23

Informed Mr. Jefferson chosen President..."a great frown of Providence."

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary
March 4

Inauguration of Jefferson as President, and Burr as Vice President.

"I Do Solemnly Swear..." Presidential Inaugurations
March 4

Political Song composed for Inauguration Day.

March 6

To John Dickinson: mutual goals secured in victory.

Letter of Thomas Jefferson
March 16

Democrats of Connecticut have great fete at Wallingford.

Rev. Thomas Robbins' Diary
March 23

Federalist protest that Election of TJ was owing to "horrible threats of his partizans".

New York Gazette
April 2

To the electors of the Middle District, Dutchess County, NY.

April 7

To the electors of the Southern District of the State of New York.

April 13

To the electors of Ontario County, NY.