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Binghamton's Lost History: The Mayoral Election of 1872

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Binghamton has it's first African American city council woman: Lea Webb but could the city have had an African American mayor?

In the mayoral election of 1872 -- a wealthy banker and businessman -- Sherman Phelps held the democrat and republican ballot lines for Binghamton mayor - running unopposed but according to historical officials residents wrote another name on the ballot.

Thomas Crocker -- a free black man, born a slave actually rang in a significant amount of votes:170.

But oral history claims that number has been tampered with.

Broome County Historian Gerry Smith said, "The election result book for that year which was lost in a fire but it was microfilmed. the two pages were ripped out of the 1872 election results. The dog catcher was there the warden and constable were there but the mayor results had been ripped out of the book."