It was a sweltering summer afternoon in 1842 in Indiana. Henry Shoemaker was laboring as a hired hand on a family farm. Suddenly he remembered it was Election Day and he had personally promised his vote to one of the candidates running for state representative… Madison Marsh.
Nobody probably would have pointed fingers at him if he had ducked his civic duty. After all he worked hard from sunrise to sunset. But instead, he saddled his horse, rode to the polling place, and cast his ballot.
But it just wasn’t any ballot…. in fact it would be contested by the polling place inspector. The problem started because Shoemaker just barely made the cut-off time to vote. There wasn’t a ticket available listing all the candidates Shoemaker wanted to vote for, so he took out his knife and cut out names from four different tickets in order to cast his ballot.
Because Shoemaker’s improvised ticket was thrown out… the state representative contest ended in a tie. After numerous hearings and lengthy testimony, the vote ( by Shoemaker) was allowed and the tie was broken-Madison Marsh became Indiana’s state representative… by just one vote.
At that time… state legislators elected U.S. senators. In January of 1843, newly elected Marsh, along with fellow Indiana lawmakers, convened for just such an election. After much maneuvering, Marsh changed his vote on the sixth ballot, electing Edward Hannegan to the United States Senate…by just one vote.
Fast-forward to 1846. A sharply divided U. S. Senate ( sound familiar?) was debating whether or not to declare war with Mexico. A caucus vote was deadlocked until the absent Senator Hannegan from Indiana, was called. He cast his ballot in favor of war. One of the results of the Mexican War was that California ” changed hands from Mexico to the United States. “
So until tomorrow… a viable democracy must have citizens who stay informed and exercise their right to vote to protect Everyone’s individual liberties. Who knows how far your vote can go to affect the liberties of those we love…who follow us-entrusting us to keep freedom and integrity alive.
Today is my favorite day/Winnie the Pooh
As you can imagine Saturday night was a tough one for devoted Clemson fans… a hard game to watch… ” Stop the bleeding!” but it also gave all of us ( once again) the opportunity to see integrity and character played out in real life following the disappointing game.
It is so easy to be gracious while winning but when you see Coach Dabo sincerely congratulating the opposing coach-who he admires tremendously.. you see why we love him so… what an example he sets for all those young eyes looking to him for direction-yesterday during Inside Clemson… he was certainly sad but accepting full responsibility for the loss and then reminding the players how many more opportunities they had to show the world just the ” right kind of stuff” they were made of! I have never been so proud of a football program as I am of Clemson!
You offered another fine example of how important every vote can be! You also helped my heart ache after the Clemson loss.
Awwww! It was a tough pill to swallow but I couldn’t help think that politicians today could learn from Dabo about gracious loss…he didn’t blame the referees or opposing players for cheating and causing the loss …pointing fingers at everybody but him for losing- instead he accepted full responsibility and left regrets behind- replaced by lessons learned! Dabo for President!!!!!
Happy Birthday Mike!!!
Well, speaking of votes and losing…I lost by 16 votes. 🥲
Gonna try even harder next year!
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SOOOO sorry! So close….another good example of the power of the vote!!! Will start early next year and bring that overdue award/recognition home!!!! So glad your girls have improved so much and smiles have returned!!!!!!