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December 24, 1857



Whereas by an act of Congress approved March 3, 1855, entitled "An act to improve the laws of the District of Columbia and to codify the same," the President of the United States was directed to appoint a time and place for taking the sense of the citizens of the District of Columbia for or against the adoption of the code prepared in pursuance of said act, and, further, to provide and proclaim the mode and rules of conducting such election:

Now, therefore, be it known that I do hereby appoint Monday, the 15th day of February, 1858, as the day for taking the sense of the citizens of the District of Columbia as aforesaid.

The polls will be opened at 9 o'clock a. m. and closed at 5 o'clock p.m. Every free white male citizen of the United States above the age of 21 years who shall have resided in the District of Columbia for one year next preceding the said 15th day of February, 1858, shall be allowed to vote at said election.

The voting shall be by ballot. Those in favor of the adoption of the revised code will vote a ballot with the words "for the revised code" written or printed upon the same, and those opposed to the adoption of the said code will vote a ballot with the words "against the revised code" written or printed upon the same.

The places where the said election shall be held and the judges who shall conduct and preside over the same will be as follows:

For the First Ward, in the city of Washington, at Samuel Drury's office, on Pennsylvania avenue. Judges: Southey S. Parker, Terence Drury, and Alexander H. Mechlin.

For the Second Ward, on Twelfth street, one door above Pennsylvania avenue. Judges: Charles L. Coltman, Charles J. Canfield, and Edward C. Dyer.

For the Third Ward, near the corner of Ninth street, between F and G, west of the Patent Office. Judges: Valentine Harbaugh, Joseph Bryan, and Harvey Cruttenden.

For the Fourth Ward, at the west end of City Hall. Judges: William A. Kennedy, John T. Clements, and Francis Mohun.

For the Fifth Ward, at the Columbia engine house. Judges: Henry C. Purdy, Thomas Hutchinson, and James A. Brown.

For the Sixth Ward, at the Anacostia engine house. Judges: John D. Brandt, George A. Bohrer, and George R. Ruff.

For the Seventh Ward, at Island Hall. Judges: Samuel Pumphrey, James Espey, and John L. Smith.

For Georgetown, at the mayor's office. Judges: Edward Chapman, John L. Kidwell, and William H. Edes.

For that portion of the county of Washington which lies west of Rock Creek, at Conrad's Tavern, in Tenallytown. Judges: Joshua Peirce, Charles R. Belt, and William D. C. Murdock.

For that portion of said county which lies between Rock Creek and the Eastern Branch of the Potomac, at Seventh street tollgate. Judges: Thomas Blagden, Dr. Henry Haw, and Abner Shoemaker.

And for that portion of said county which lies east of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac, at Goodhope Tavern. Judges: Selby B. Scaggs, Fenwick Young, and Dr. Wellford Manning.

The judges presiding at the respective places of holding the elections shall be sworn to perform their duties faithfully; and immediately after the close of the polls they shall count up the votes and certify what number were given "for the revised code" and what number "against the revised code," which certificates shall be transmitted within twenty- four hours to the Attorney-General of the United States, who will report the same to me.

Given under my hand this 24th day of December, A. D. 1857, and of Independence the eighty-second.


James Buchanan, Proclamation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/202469

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