THERE can be no truer index of the political principles of our county, than the votes it has given at different times, for governor of the commonwealth. The office of Governor, in this state, was substituted for that of President of the Council, on the 2d of September, 1790, at which time the present Constitution of Pennsylvania was adopted. Before proceeding to state the result of the different elections in this county, for governor, we will give a list of the provincial governors, (i.e., those who exercised the supreme executive power in Pennsylvania prior to the adoption of the Constitution of 29th September 1779) and a list of the Presidents of the Council, an office created by the constitution of 1779.

I. Provincial Executives.

1. William Penn, from October 24, 1682, to August 12, 1684.
2. Council and President, Thomas Lloyd, from August 12, 1684, to December, 1688.
3. John Blackwell, Deputy Governor, from December, 1688, to February, 1689.
4. Council and President, Thomas Lloyd, from February, 1689, to April, 1693.
5. Benjamin Fletcher, Governor, from April, 1693, to June, 1693.
6. William Markham, Deputy Governor, from June, 1693, to December, 1699.
7. William Penn, again Governor, from December, 1699, to November, 1701.
8. Andrew Hamilton, Deputy Governor, from November, 1701, to February, 1702.
9. President and Council, from February 1702, to February 1703.
10, John Evans, Deputy Governor, from February 1703, to February 1709.
11. Charles Gookin, Deputy Governor, from March 1709, to May, 1717.
12. William Keith, Deputy Governor, from May 1717, to June 1726.
13. Patrick Gordon, Deputy Governor, from June, 1726, to 1736.
14. Council and President, James Logan, from 1736 to 1738.
15. George Thomas, Deputy Governor, from 1738 to 1747.
16. Council and President, Anthony Palmer, from 1747, to November 1748.
17. James Hamilton, Deputy Governor, from November 1748, to October 1754.
18. Robert Hunter Morris, Deputy Governor, from October 1754, to 1756.
19. William Denny, Deputy Governor, from 1756 to 1759.
20. James Hamilton, again Deputy Governor, from 1759 to 1764.
21. John Penn, son of Richard, Deputy Governor from 1764, to 1771.
22. Council and President, James Hamilton, 1771.
23. Richard Penn, Governor, from 1771, to 1773.
24. John Penn, brother of Richard, Governor, from 1773, to 1776.

II. Presidents of the Councils, under the Constitution of 1779.

There were five different persons who presided, at different periods, over the executive council of Pennsylvania. They were elected and presided in the following order:

  1. Thomas Wharton.
  2. Joseph Read.
  3. John Dickinson.*
  4. Benjamin Franklin.**
  5. Thomas Mifflin.***

The first election for Governor was held on the 12th of October, 1790, at which election the votes stood in York county as follows:

Thomas Mifflin, (votes) 1699

Arthur St. Clair, 29

Thomas Mifflin was elected.

SECOND ELECTION. - October 8, 1793.

F. A. Muhlenberg, .126 5

Thomas Mifflin, 712

Thomas Mifflin was elected,

THIRD ELECTION. - October 11, 1796.

Thomas Mifflin, 1124

Peter Dinkel, 12

Henry Miller, 11

F. A. Muhlenberg, 1

Thomas Mifflin was elected.

FOURTH ELECTION. - October 8, 1799.

James Ross, of Pittsburg, 2705

Thomas McKean, 2026

Scattering, 4

Thomas McKean was elected.

FIFTH ELECTION. - October 12, 1802,

Thomas McKean, 1691

James Ross, of Pittsburgh 72

Thomas McKean was elected.

SIXTH ELECTION. - October 8, 1805.

Thomas MeKean, 1883

Simon Snyder, 747

James Ross, of Pittsburg, 9

Thomas McKean was elected.

SEVENTH ELECTION. - October 11, 1808.

Simon Snyder, 2867

James Ross, of Pittsburg, 1654

John Spayd, 18

Simon Snyder was elected.

EIGHTH ELECTION. - October 14, 1811.

Simon Snyder, 1834

Scattering, 19

Simon Snyder was elected.

NINTH ELECTION. - Octobcr 11, 1814.

Simon Snyder, 1599

Isaac Wayne, 1027

Simon Snyder was elected.

TENTH ELECTION. - October 14, 1817.

William Findlay, 2918

Joseph Hiester, 1644

William Findlay was elected.

ELEVENTH ELECTION. - Octobcr 10, 1820.

William Findlay, 2621

Joseph Hiester, 2131

Joseph Hiester was elected.

TWELFTH ELECTION. - October 14, 1823.

John Andrew Shultze, ~. .. 3912

Andrew Gregg, 2166

John Andrew Shultze was elected.

THIRTEENTH ELECTION. - October 10, 1826.

John Andrew Shultze 2494

Scattering, 107

John Andrew Shultze was elected.

FOURTEENTH ELECTION. - October 13, 1829.

George Wolf, 1894

Joseph Ritner, 769

George Wolf was elected,

FIFTEENTH ELECTION. - October 9, 1832.

George Wolf, 2367

Joseph Ritner, 2357

George Wolf was elected.

The above statement exhibits the fluctuations of political opinion in this county, and affords several remarkable instances of entire revolution in public opinion in a single gubernatorial term of three years. At the first election Mifflin had 1699 votes, at the second 712, at the third 1124. At the second election F. A. Muhlenberg had a majority over Mifflin of more than 500 votes, and three years after that Mifflin beat Muhlenberg 1123 votes, the latter receiving but a single vote, These changes arc observable throughout the history of gubernatorial elections in this county. The latest two elections, resulted, as will have been perceived, as follows: - In 1829, George Wolf had a majority over Joseph Ritner, of 1125 votes. In 1832, Ritner had a majority of ten over Wolf. [?]

* John Dickinson was the man after whom Dickinson College, at Carlisle, is named. Ho was born in Delaware - was a member of the assembly of Pennsylvania in 1764 - and a member of the first Congress in 1774. He died in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1808.

** It is needless to tell an American WHO Benjamin Franklin was.

***Thomas Mifflin was a Quaker. Born in 1744. Member of the first Congress in 1774. Expelled from the Society of Friends In 1775 for accepting the office of Quarter Master General. Member of the convention which framed the constitution of the United States in 1787. First Governor of Pennsylvania under the constitution of 1700, in which office he continued for 9 years. Died in Lancaster In January 1800.

Source:   Page(s) 87- 92, History of York County From its Erection to the Present Time; [1729-1834]; New Edition; With Additions, Edited by A. Monroe Aujrand, Jr.