Tuesday, November 8, 2016

#30DayFHWChallenge-Day 8: James H. Murphy

Today is Election Day and the writing challenge for today was to imagine the first time your ancestor got to vote.  My great-great-great grandfather James H. Murphy came to the United States in 1849 and was naturalized in 1858, so his first time voting in an United States election was in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln ran against John C. Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas. 

Lincoln was the only Republican running and, based on the Murphy family's long history of voting Republican, I would imagine that James H. Murphy also did.  The election was on the 6th of November in 1860. James lived in Kickapoo, Peoria County, Illinois then, so it is likely that he would have needed to come into Peoria to vote. This vote was incredibly important as it was the impetus for the outbreak of the Civil War.

As difficult as this vote may have been, I imagine that James was very proud to vote for the first time in his new country.  It is interesting to compare and consider how difficult and important our vote is today one hundred and fifty-six years later.

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