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Presidential Election of 1840: A Resource Guide

William Henry Harrison defeated Martin Van Buren in the presidential election of 1840. This guide provides access to digital materials at the Library of Congress, links to external websites, and a print bibliography related to the election.


Whig candidate William Henry Harrison defeated the incumbent Democratic President Martin Van Buren in the election of 1840. Often referred to as the first modern presidential election, the 1840 campaign featured songs, slogans, and rallies. Harrison died in office on April 4, 1841, only 32 days after his inauguration.

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1840, including broadsides, prints, political cartoons, sheet music, campaign literature, and newspaper articles. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1840 that are available throughout the Library of Congress website. In addition, it provides links to external websites focusing on the 1840 election and a selected bibliography.

1840 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party Presidential Nominee VP Nominee Electoral College Popular Vote
Whig William Henry Harrison John Tyler 234 1,275,390
Democratic Martin Van Buren Richard M. Johnson 60 1,128,854


1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 129, 219.