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1870 Alabama gubernatorial election

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1870 Alabama gubernatorial election
← 1868 November 8, 1870 1872 →
Nominee Robert B. Lindsay William Hugh Smith
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 77,723 76,282
Percentage 50.47% 49.53%

County results
Lindsay:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%      >90%
Smith:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

William Hugh Smith

Elected Governor

Robert B. Lindsay

The 1870 Alabama gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 1870, in order to elect the governor of Alabama. Incumbent Republican William Hugh Smith was narrowly defeated by Democrat Robert B. Lindsay.

The run-up to the election was marred by political and racist terrorism by the Ku Klux Klan, in support of Lindsay. This violence included the lynching of four blacks and a white in Calhoun County, the murder of two blacks (one a Republican politician) in Greene County, and the October Eutaw massacre.[1] In Greene County, for instance, the violence in Eutaw is credited with swaying the vote in that county toward Lindsay: in the 1868 presidential election, Greene County had voted for Ulysses S. Grant by a margin of 2,000 votes; in the 1870 gubernatorial election it voted for Robert B. Lindsay by a margin of 43.[2]


1870 Alabama gubernatorial election[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Robert B. Lindsay 77,723 50.47
Republican William Hugh Smith (incumbent) 76,282 49.53
Total votes 154,005 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ Waldrep, Christopher (2011). Jury Discrimination: The Supreme Court, Public Opinion, and a Grassroots Fight for Racial Equality in Mississippi. U of Georgia P. pp. 137–38. ISBN 9780820341941.
  2. ^ Shapiro, Herbert (1988). White Violence and Black Response: From Reconstruction to Montgomery. U of Massachusetts P. p. 12. ISBN 9780870235788.
  3. ^ "AL Governor 1870". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 23, 2016.