1869 Virginia gubernatorial election

Virginia's elections of 1869 occurred during the post-American Civil War Reconstruction Era and included African-American candidates and so-called "carpetbaggers", politicians from the North, often former Union Army officers, who ran in elections in southern states then under the authority of the Federal government and U.S. Army. The election included the 1869 Virginia gubernatorial election held on July 6, 1869 to elect the governor of Virginia. Gilbert Carlton Walker was elected as a "True Republican" defeating H. H. Wells, who was running as a "Radical Republican." Walker switched his party affiliation to Democratic in 1870.

1869 Virginia gubernatorial election

← 1863 July 6, 1869 1873 →
  Gilbert C. Walker (Virginia Governor).jpg Henry Wells.jpg
Nominee Gilbert Carlton Walker Henry H. Wells
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 119,535 101,204
Percentage 54.15% 45.85%

Governor before election

Henry H. Wells

Elected Governor

Gilbert C. Walker

Elections results brought 21 African Americans to office in the Virginia House of Delegates and six to the Virginia State Senate.[1] Thomas Bayne was a party leader among the African-American group, although he lost the election when a White Republican ran against him in the same election, splitting the vote and allowing a Democrat to win.[1]

Gubernatorial election resultsEdit

Virginia gubernatorial election, 1869[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gilbert Carlton Walker 119,535 54.15%
Republican Henry H. Wells (incumbent) 101,204 45.85%
Write-ins 14 <0.01%
Total votes 220,753 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ a b Federal Writers' Project (31 October 2013). The WPA Guide to Virginia: The Old Dominion State. Trinity University Press. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-1-59534-244-7.
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns – VA Governor Race – Jul 06, 1869". Retrieved May 2, 2016.