United States presidential election, 1789

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The election of 1789 was the first election held under the Constitution of 1798. Ten states chose electors to vote for President; North Carolina and Rhode Island had not ratified the Constitution, and the New York legislature was deadlocked.[1]

The remaining ten states' electors unanimously voted for George Washington. Since this election was held before the Twelfth Amendment, each elector voted for two separate people. The runner-up became Vice-President.

Candidates Electoral Vote
George Washington 69
John Adams 34
John Jay 9
Robert H. Harrison 6
John Rutledge 6
John Hancock 4
George Clinton 3
John Milton 2
Samuel Huntington 2
James Armstrong 1
Edward Telfair 1
Benjamin Lincoln 1
Non-Voters 12

The votes show George Washington emerged as a clear winner. John Adams was by the time's system, the Vice President.[3]


  1. http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=59542
  2. http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/presidential/electoral.html
  3. A Pictoral History of the U.S. Presidents, by Clare Gibson, Gramercy Books, New York, 2001.