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Government of the City of Boston, ,









The asterisk denotes the deceased.

The Junior of Theodore Lyman omitted in 1839. See Mayors.


The election of Mayor for 1845 was more warmly contested than on any former year. There were not less than eight several ballotings by the citizens. At the eighth trial, on the 21st of February, Thomas A. Davis was elected.

In the meantime, from January to February 27, 1845, William Parker, one of the Aldermen, having been elected Chairman of the Board of Aldermen, performed the duties of Mayor.

On the 6th of October, Thomas A. Davis, being in declining health, resigned the office of Mayor, which resignation, however, was not accepted by the City Council; and on the 22d of November he died, being the first Mayor who has died in office since the organization of the City Government in 1822.

On the 11th of December, Josiah Quincy, Jr., was elected Mayor by the City Council, for the unexpired term of 1845.

Benson Leavitt, one of the Board of Aldermen, acted as Chairman of the Board in the interval between the death of Mr. Davis and the election of Mr. Quincy.

In 1851, Benjamin Seaver, having already been elected an Alderman of the City for 1852, was afterwards chosen Mayor for said year.

At the commencement of the ensuing municipal year, 1852, he resigned as an alderman and accepted the office of Mayor.

The election of Mayor for 1854 was continued through three ballotings, from December 12, 1853, to January 9, 1854. In the meantime the duties of Mayor were performed by Benjamin L. Allen, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.


Nathaniel P. Russell, Daniel Baxter, Joseph H. Dorr, reelected; and Thomas B. Wales and Redford Webster, elected 1825, declined.

George Blake, re-elected for 1826, declined.

John Stevens, elected for 1832, died prior to the organization.

James Savage, elected for 1834, declined.
William Parker, elected for 1845, resigned.

George E. Head, elected for 1848, resigned — having been chosen one of the principal Assessors.

In 1853, Lyman Perry, Esq., who had been duly elected an Alderman, died before his qualification.

In 1856, Levi B. Meriam, Esq., died while in office.

At the Municipal Election in 1852, nine Aldermen had a majority of ballots; but in accordance with the statute, the eight who had the highest number of votes were declared elected.

The Municipal Government for 1855, was the first one that was organized under the new or revised City Charter, which provided for the annual election of twelve Aldermen.


William Bowes Bradford, Ward 3, elected 1822, did not qualify himself, declining to be sworn, there being then no provision for affirmation, except for Quakers.

Lucius Manlius Sargent, Ward 6, elected for 1827, declined.

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Henry D. Gray and Isaac Harris, Ward 1; Eleazer Howard, Ward 2, and Joseph H. Thayer, Ward 9, elected for 1828; also, Holmes Hinckley, Ward 11, for 1845, declined prior to the organization.

Samuel Thaxter, Ward 6, elected for 1830, declined.
William Foster, Ward 6, elected for 1831, declined.
John Bowles, Ward 3, re-elected for 1838, declined.
The Junior of George Morey, omitted 1829.

Asa Adams, Ward 3, took the intermediate name of Perry, 1830.

The Junior of Joshua Seaver, Ward 6, omitted 1833.
The Junior of Henry Fowle, Ward 2, omitted 1837.
The Junior of Francis Brinley, Ward 10, omitted 1838.
The Junior of Ezra Lincoln, omitted 1851.
Washington P. Gragg, Ward 4, spelt Gregg since 1836.

Ezra Forristall, Ward 6, resigned in May, 1853, and was elected Superintendent of Health.

Daniel J. Coburn, Ward 5, resigned April, 1856, and was thereafter appointed Chief of Police.

There have been seven successfully contested Elections.

The first, February 22, 1830, vacated the seat of a member from Ward 6, on the ground that “closing the poll before the hour at which the voters were notified it would be closed, was a violation of the rights of the voters.”

The second, May 7, 1835, vacated the seats of the members of Ward 3, who were returned as having been elected at an adjourned meeting, December 11, 1834, on the ground of irregular proceeding, to render the whole number of votes certain by taking the highest number of votes for candidates on each opposing ticket; adjournment of the meeting by the sole authority of the Warden, and other irregularities at the annual election, December 8.

The third case, March 7, 1839, vacated the seats of three members of Ward 12, on the ground that a number of illegal voters, sufficient to effect the choice, voted at the polls.

The fourth, February 9, 1843, vacated the seats of three


members from Ward 1, returned as elected at the adjourned meeting, December 14, on the ground that four votes for nonresident candidates, (after having been irst thrown out by the Ward officers,) were counted at the annual election, December 12, thereby preventing the choice of two other candidates, who, by excluding the said four votes, were by the decision of the Council declared elected, leaving one vacancy.

The fifth, February 27, 1851, vacated the seats of two members from Ward 3, on the ground that they were chosen at an adjourned meeting which was illegally held. At the subsequent trial the same members were again returned to the Common Council.

The sixth, January 20, 1853, vacated the seats of three members from Ward 3, on the ground that they were chosen at an adjourned meeting which was illegally held.

The seventh, in accordance with the Report of the Committee on Elections, vacated the seats of three members from Ward 11, on the ground that the Mayor and Aldermen had no right to issue warrants for election of members of the Common Council, after the annual Election, and before the organization of the Government elect. But inasmuch as the elections in question were conducted bona fide, and no other informality was apparent, and as this custom of supplementary elections had been in vogue for twenty years, the members thus elected were by the votes of the Common Council declared entitled to their seats. The passage

The passage of the Plurality Law, of 1854, will remedy most of these cases for the future.

* This fact was admitted, though not stated in the report of the Committee.

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