Item #39023 A SIGNED AND WITNESSED WAGER BETWEEN ROBERT H. WATKINS AND JACOB K. SWOOPE ON THE OUTCOME OF THE 1840 PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST BETWEEN INCUMBENT PRESIDENT MARTIN VAN BUREN AND WHIG CHALLENGER WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. Election of 1840.

A SIGNED AND WITNESSED WAGER BETWEEN ROBERT H. WATKINS AND JACOB K. SWOOPE ON THE OUTCOME OF THE 1840 PRESIDENTIAL CONTEST BETWEEN INCUMBENT PRESIDENT MARTIN VAN BUREN AND WHIG CHALLENGER WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON.

[Courtland, Lawrence Cty., Alabama: 1840]. Single page, 7-3/4" x 12-3/4." Entirely in ink manuscript. Dated June 20, 1840, and signed at the end by Watkins and Swoope, with Jno. J. McMahon as witness. Inner edge is irregular. Closed tear [no loss] repaired expertly at blank bottom margin. Very Good.

This documents records the terms of a wager on the outcome of the 1840 presidential election. "Watkins betts Swoope Ten Bales Cotton of Best quality weighing Five Hundred Pounds Each, on each State in the union (26 in number) that Van Buren will receive a majority of the Electoral votes in the contest now pending between Van Buren and Wm. H. Harrison for the Presidency."
In case that's not entirely clear, "The true intent and meaning of the parties is that Watkins risks Ten Bales Cotton in each State in the Union in favour of Van Buren and every state that Van Buren receives a majority of the Electoral votes." The bet is made on the electoral vote of each State. Watkins risking in favor of Van Buren & Swoope in favor of Harrison. . . The cotton to be delivered in Courtland to the winning party in five parcels annually for five years commencing on the 1st day of January 1841..."
A calculation of States and bales can be seen at the bottom left corner in pencil.
Robert H[erndon] Watkins [1782-1855] was a farmer in Courtland. Jacob K[uhn] Swoope [1800-1841] partnered with his two brothers in the successful Courtland mercantile firm of J & J Swoope in Courtland. John T. McMahon [c.1805-1857] was a Courtland commission merchant in the firm of Bierne & McMahon for many years. [Saunders, Col. James E.: EARLY SETTLERS OF ALABAMA WITH NOTES AND GENEALOGIES, New Orleans:1899, accessed online.]. Item #39023

Price: $750.00

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