Sunday, May 04, 2008

Richard Vaux, "An ass of the first water"

You've never heard of Richard Vaux? He was an early victim of the Know Nothings. The Democrats nominated for mayor of Philadelphia in 1854. He had a close association with Catholics and immigrants and won the Democratic primary in large part because a large portion of the Catholic vote was delivered to him. Running against Whig Robert T. Conrad, the Democrats were confident of a resounding victory.

They were wrong. In the general election, held in June 1854, Vaux was swamped; Conrad, it turned out, was also a Know Nothing, and won with a majority of more than 8,000 votes.

Even some Democrats were disgusted with Vaux's heavy reliance on Catholics. William Gienapp relates that "One indignant Democrat, who claimed that Vaux had been nominated by illegal votes, dismissed the Democratic mayoral candidate as 'really an ass of the first water.'"

I'm not sure what that means, but you get the idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails