1875 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

The 1875 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election occurred on November 2, 1875. Incumbent governor John F. Hartranft, a Republican, was a candidate for re-election. Hartranft defeated Democratic candidate Cyrus L. Pershing to win another term.

1875 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election

← 1872 November 2, 1875 (1875-11-02) 1878 →
Nominee John F. Hartranft Cyrus L. Pershing
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 304,175 292,145
Percentage 49.9% 47.9%

County results

Hartranft:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%

Pershing:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

John F. Hartranft

Elected Governor

John F. Hartranft



Hartranft had already become an important figure in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States prior to his election as governor during the 1872 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election. A colonel in the Union Army who was awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor for the valor he displayed on July 21, 1861, in the First Battle of Bull Run during the American Civil War, he was repeatedly promoted up through the officer ranks to become a major general, and ultimately became the United States Army officer who read the death warrant to Mary Surratt, George Atzerodt, David Herold, and Lewis Powell before they were executed on July 7, 1865, for conspiring to assassinate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.[1] Post-war, he was elected twice as Pennsylvania's auditor general before choosing to run for the governor's office.[2][3]

Inaugurated as Pennsylvania's 17th governor on January 21, 1873, after winning his first election in 1872,[4] Hartranft was then inaugurated a second time, on January 18, 1876, after winning the 1875 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election.[5]


Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 1875[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John F. Hartranft (incumbent) 304,175 49.90
Democratic Cyrus L. Pershing 292,145 47.93
Prohibition R. Audley Brown 13,244 2.17
Total votes 609,564 100.00


  1. ^ Eicher, John H. and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford University Press, 2001, pp. 57–58, 89 and 284.
  2. ^ "Our Standard Bearer: Nomination of Gen. John F. Hartranft." Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Daily Telegraph, April 11, 1872, p. 2 (subscription required).
  3. ^ "An Address: To the Voters of Pennsylvania: Chas. R. Buckalew and John F. Hartranft." Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Daily Telegraph, August 30, 1872, p. 1 (subscription required).
  4. ^ "Inauguration Day." Lancaster, Pennsylvania: The Daily Evening Express, January 21, 1873, p. 3 (subscription required).
  5. ^ "General News: The Centennial Governor: Inauguration of John F. Hartranft Yesterday." Scranton, Pennsylvania: The Morning Republican, January 19, 1876, p. 1 (subscription required).
  6. ^ "PA Governor General Election". OurCampaigns. Retrieved May 2, 2013.