Election Expenses - 1904

A defeated political candidate listed his expenditures of time, money and effort in the Elko Weekly Independent, August 26, 1904: 

"Lost four months and 23 days canvassing; lost 1,349 hours of sleep thinking about the election; gave 13 acres of corn, a whole sweet potato crop, four calves, five shoats (young weaned pig), and one beef to barbecues; lost two front teeth and a considerable quantity of hair to personal skirmishes. 

"Gave away 97 plugs of Battle Ax tobacco; 33,389 drinks of whiskey; two pair of suspenders, four calico dresses; seven dolls; and 13 baby rattles. 

Political cartoon.
"Told 2,889 lies; shook hands 23,474 times; talked enough to have filled 1,600 large volumes the size of patent office reports; kissed 126 babies, kindled 14 kitchen fires, cut three cords of wood; dug 14 bushels of Irish potatoes; toted 24 buckets of water; put up seven stoves; and was dog-bitten three times. 

My watch was broken by a baby which cost three dollars to have repaired; I loaned out three sacks of flour, 20 bushels of corn, 150 pounds of bacon, one Bible dictionary, one overcoat, one box of paper collars, none of which have been returned. 

"Called my opponent a perambulating liar - doctor bill of $10. Had three arguments with my wife; results: one flower vase smashed, a broom handle broken, a dish of hash knocked off the table, two handsful of whiskers pulled out, ten cents worth of sticking plaster bought. 

"I spent $362 in hard cash." 

Author: That's almost four thousand dollars in today's money. 

11 August 1998

1998 by Howard Hickson. If any portion or all of this article is used or quoted proper credit must be given to the authors.

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