1898 New York gubernatorial election

← 1896 November 8, 1898 1900 →
Nominee Theodore Roosevelt Augustus Van Wyck
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 661,707 643,921
Percentage 49.02% 47.70%

County results

Roosevelt:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%

Van Wyck:      40-50%      50-60%

Governor before election

Frank S. Black

Elected Governor

Theodore Roosevelt

The 1898 New York state election was held on November 8, 1898, to elect the governor, the lieutenant governor, the Secretary of State, the state comptroller, the attorney general, the state treasurer and the state engineer, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. This election is the most recent election to feature a candidate for governor of New York who eventually became both Vice President of the United States and President of the United States after serving as Governor of New York.


The Prohibition state convention met on June 30 at Syracuse, New York, and nominated Prof John Kline, of Penn Yan, for governor, Rev. John A. Sayles, of East Aurora, for lieutenant governor; Henry Wilbur, editor of True Reform, of New York City, for secretary of state; Charles Mills, of Sodus, for comptroller; De Witt Hooker, of Syracuse, for treasurer; Francis Stephen M. Wing, of Canastota, for attorney general; and Albert W. Pierson, of Niagara Falls, for state engineer.[1]

The Socialist Labor state convention met on August 27 at Rochester, New York, and nominated Benjamin Hanford for governor; Leander A. Armstrong, of Buffalo, for lieutenant governor; Philip Jackson, of Rochester, for secretary of state; Charles H. Corregan, for attorney general; Max Forker, of New York City, for comptroller; Joseph Smith, of Yonkers, for treasurer; and John H. Morris of Yonkers, for state engineer.[2]

The Republican bosses Thomas C. Platt and Benjamin B. Odell Jr., were still busy to compose a ticket on September 25, but had already agreed upon Theodore Roosevelt to head it, against the wish of Governor Frank S. Black to be re-nominated.[3] The state convention met on September 27 at Saratoga Springs, New York. Sereno E. Payne was Temporary Chairman until the choice of Horace White as Permanent Chairman. Theodore Roosevelt was nominated for governor on the first ballot (vote: Roosevelt 753, Black 218).[4] The other candidates were nominated by acclamation with exception of John C. Davies for Attorney General who was nominated on the first ballot (vote: Davies 741, John M. Kellogg 229).[5]

The Democratic state convention met on September 28 and 29 at Syracuse, New York. Frederick C. Schraub, the 1896 Lt. Gov. nominee, was Permanent Chairman. Augustus Van Wyck, the brother of the incumbent first Mayor of the consolidated City of New York, was nominated for governor on the first ballot (vote: Van Wyck 351, John B. Stanchfield 41, Robert C. Titus 39, James K. McGuire 19). The other candidates were nominated by acclamation.[6] The ticket was a compromise between the three biggest Democratic bosses: David B. Hill from upstate, Richard Croker of Tammany, and Hugh McLaughlin of Brooklyn.[7]

The National Democratic State Committee met on September 30 at 52, William Street, in New York City. Chairman Robert A. Weidenmann - the only man to speak out loud against Judge Isaac H. Maynard's nomination in 1893 - presided. They decided not to call a convention, and not to endorse any candidates.[8]

Returning from Cuba as a war hero, Theodore Roosevelt used the Citizens Union in an astute scheme to get the Republican nomination, in spite of not being a machine Republican and having in mind to uproot the Republican "spoilsmen". He approached the Citizens Union and suggested the nomination of a state ticket what was endorsed by the Citizens' Union Executive Committee with only three dissenting votes.[9] An "Independent Citizens Committee" was formed, and 6,000 signatures[10] for a petition to file a ticket were gathered, the signers believing that Roosevelt headed the ticket and that the Citizens Union backed it.

To avoid being ousted from power in an uncertain three-cornered election, the Republican bosses offered Roosevelt the nomination, and suddenly on September 24, he declined to allow his name to be used on the independent ticket. On September 30, a majority of the Citizens Union Executive Committee, led by Chairman R. Fulton Cutting, rejected the idea of a state ticket as "not only inconsistent with, but actually opposed to the fundamental principles and objects of the Citizens' Union,"[11] The Independent Citizens Committee answered next day and declared that nominations will be made.[12]

The petition to file the independent ticket was taken to the Secretary of State's office on October 12 purporting to represent nominations by the Citizens Union. The Secretary of State reserved his decision if the ticket would be filed or not. On this ticket were Theodore Roosevelt - already nominated by the Republicans state convention in September - for governor; Thomas M. Osborne for lieutenant governor; Oren E. Wilson, Mayor of Albany 1894-1895, for secretary of state; Thomas E. Kinney, Mayor of Utica, for comptroller; Edmund H. Titchener, of Binghamton, for treasurer; Frederick W. Hinrichs, the Gold Democrats nominee for lieutenant governor in 1896, for attorney general; and George E. Waring Jr., of New York City, for state engineer. Roosevelt immediately sent a letter of declination to the Secretary of State. Besides, Republican party officials protested against the petition.[13] The Independent Citizens' Committee on Vacancies substituted Theodore Bacon, a lawyer of Rochester, on the ticket,[14] and Citizens Union Chairman R. Fulton Cutting, despite his earlier rejection of the state ticket idea per se, campaigned for the ticket.[15]


The whole Republican ticket was elected in a tight race.

The incumbent Woodruff was re-elected.

The Republican, Democratic, Prohibition and Socialist Labor parties maintained automatic ballot status (necessary 10,000).

1898 state election results
Office Republican ticket Democratic ticket Socialist Labor ticket Prohibition ticket Independent Citizens' ticket
Governor Theodore Roosevelt 661,707 Augustus Van Wyck 643,921 Benjamin Hanford 23,860 John Kline 18,383 Theodore Bacon 2,103
Lieutenant Governor Timothy L. Woodruff 653,879 Elliott Danforth 644,218 Leander A. Armstrong[16] 24,601 John A. Sayles 19,879 Thomas M. Osborne 3,800
Secretary of State John T. McDonough 656,000 George W. Batten 640,161 Philip Jackson[17] 20,091 Henry Wilbur 20,538 Oren E. Wilson 2,932
Comptroller William J. Morgan 653,862 Edward S. Atwater[18] 642,898 Max Forker 24,912 Charles Mills 20,189 Thomas E. Kinney 2,900
Attorney General John C. Davies 654,167 Thomas F. Conway 641,691 Charles H. Corregan 25,346 Stephen Mead Wing 20,116 Frederick W. Hinrichs[19] 3,112
Treasurer John P. Jaeckel 652,851 Elliott B. Norris[20] 644,193 Joseph Smith 24,875 De Witt Hooker 20,261 Edmund H. Titchener 2,621
State Engineer Edward A. Bond 653,114 Martin Schenck 643,432 John H. Morris 25,858 Albert W. Pierson 20,227 George E. Waring Jr. 2,231


  1. ^ NEW YORK PROHIBITIONISTS in NYT on July 1, 1898
  2. ^ SOCIALIST LABOR TICKET in NYT on August 28, 1898
  3. ^ REPUBLICANS AT SARATOGA in NYT on September 26, 1898
  4. ^ ROOSEVELT THE STANDARD BEARER in NT on September 28, 1898
  5. ^ CONVENTION'S WORK FINISHED in NYT on September 28, 1898 (with sketches of the Republican nominees)
  6. ^ WORK OF THE CONVENTION in NYT on September 30, 1898
  7. ^ JUSTICE VAN WYCK FOR GOVERNOR in NYT on September 30, 1898
  8. ^ ACTION OF GOLD DEMOCRATS in NYT on October 1, 1898
  9. ^ AN INDEPENDENT'S POSITION in NYT on October 31, 1898
  10. ^ At this time, a vote of 10,000 gave automatic ballot status for the next election, smaller parties or independent runners needed 3,000 voters to sign a petition to file a ticket and get on the ballot.
  11. ^ REBUKE FOR INDEPENDENTS in NYT on September 30, 1898
  12. ^ INDEPENDENTS TO PERSIST in NYT on October 1, 1898
  13. ^ THE INDEPENDENT TICKET.; Petition for Nominations Is Delivered to the Secretary of State; MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FILED in NYT on October 13, 1898
  14. ^ THE CITIZENS' STATE TICKET in NYT on October 15, 1898
  15. ^ MEETING OF INDEPENDENTS in NYT on October 26, 1898
  16. ^ Leander A. Armstrong, of Buffalo, ran also for lieutenant governor in 1900, and for governor in 1908
  17. ^ Philip Jackson, of Rochester, ran also in 1900
  18. ^ Edward Storrs Atwater (b. April 10, 1853 Cincinnati), grandson of Jeremiah Atwater, Yale graduate, lawyer, President of the Farmers' and Manufacturers' Bank of Poughkeepsie
  19. ^ Frederick William Hinrichs (Sept. 12, 1851 Brooklyn - Nov 25, 1935), lawyer, Register of Arrears of Brooklyn 1894-95, ran also in 1896 for Lieutenant Governor
  20. ^ Elliott B. Norris (b. June 25, 1845 Sodus), farmer, Vice President of the Sodus Point and Southern Railroad, assemblyman 1891


See also

New York gubernatorial elections