1856 Connecticut gubernatorial election

The 1856 Connecticut gubernatorial election was held on April 7, 1856.[1][2][3] Incumbent governor and American Party nominee William T. Minor defeated former congressman and Democratic nominee Samuel Ingham and former Comptroller of Connecticut and Republican nominee Gideon Welles with 38.99% of the vote.

1856 Connecticut gubernatorial election

← 1855 April 7, 1856 1857 →
  William T. Minor.jpg No image.svg
Nominee William T. Minor Samuel Ingham
Party Know Nothing Democratic
Electoral vote 135 116
Popular vote 26,008 32,704
Percentage 38.99% 49.02%

  Gideon Welles cph.3b20114.jpg
Nominee Gideon Welles
Party Republican
Popular vote 6,740
Percentage 10.10%

Governor before election

William T. Minor
Know Nothing

Elected Governor

William T. Minor
Know Nothing

In accordance with the national transition from the Second Party System to the Third Party System, this was the first such election in which the Republicans fielded a candidate, the last in which the Know-Nothings would run (and win), and the last in which the Whig Party participated.

Although Ingham won a strong plurality of the vote, he fell just short of a majority. As a result, the Connecticut General Assembly elected the governor, per the state constitution. Minor won the vote over Ingham, 135 to 116, in the General Assembly, and became the governor. This was the second election in which Ingham would receive a plurality of more than 10% and still lose, the first being 1854.

General electionEdit


Major party candidates

  • William T. Minor, American or Know Nothing
  • Samuel Ingham, Democratic
  • Gideon Welles, Republican
  • John A. Rockwell, Whig


1856 Connecticut gubernatorial election[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Samuel Ingham 32,704 49.02%
Know Nothing William T. Minor (incumbent) 26,008 38.99%
Republican Gideon Welles 6,740 10.10%
Whig John A. Rockwell 1,258 1.89%
Plurality 6,696
1856 Connecticut gubernatorial election, contingent General Assembly election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Know Nothing William T. Minor (incumbent) 135 53.78%
Democratic Samuel Ingham 116 46.22%
Majority 19
Know Nothing hold Swing


  1. ^ "Political Miscellany". Burlington free press. Burlington, Vt. April 5, 1856. p. 2. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Connecticut Election". The New York herald. New York, N.Y. April 7, 1856. p. 1. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  3. ^ "There is a Complete Union". Evening star. Washington, D.C. April 7, 1856. p. 2. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  4. ^ Dubin, Michael J. (2003). United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1776-1860: The Official Results by State and County. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. p. 25. ISBN 9780786414390.