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North Salem Elections Past: A Look Back 119 Years

The following is a recount of a story published in The New York Times on Nov. 7, 1892.

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Nov. 7, 1892 : “A score or more of men, nearly all negroes,” who registered to vote in North Salem, appeared before Justice J. O. Dykman at a specially convened session of the State Supreme Court, according to The New York Times .

The accused men were represented by ex-Judge William H. Robertson, chairman of the Republican County Committee.

According to the article, the court found that three of the men were underage, four others had not been residents long enough to vote, and three other names had been copied from the previous year’s registry and were invalid.

Democratic counsel, Martin J. Keogh contended that the 10 remaining men should also be struck from the register since they had no proof that they were entitled to vote, the article said. Republican counsel Robertson responded that he would stand on his rights and demand a jury trial.

Since the election was scheduled for the following day, a jury trial could not be convened in time, the NYT article said, and Judge Dykman refused to order the names of the 10 men struck from the registry.

The NYT concluded, “They will have the privilege of swearing in their votes to-morrow, if they dare risk it.”

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