Sunday's Post ran a fascinating article by Tim O'Neill about the history surrounding the election and subsequent lawsuit leading up to the "Great Divorce", where the city of St. Louis separated itself from St. Louis County. At the time, voters in the city wanted out of St. Louis County, and voters in St. Louis County wanted to stay united with the City. But if the issue was of signficant interest, you sure couldn't tell by the vote count.
According to the Post article, in 1870, St. Louis city had a population of 310,864 persons and St. Louis county had 31,000. The vote was nearly split in St. Louis city, 11,878 for the divorce and 11,525 against. In St. Louis County, the vote was 848 for the split, 2,617 against. Overall, the measure lost by a 12,726 for and 14,142 against count.
However, pro-separation forces filed a lawsuit, and a pro-city judge, Thomas Gantt, tossed 5,069 ballots, mostly no votes, leading to eventual approval of the measure by 1,253 votes.
The thing that amazes me is that only 26,868 people voted out of the total 341,864 plus people living in St. Louis City and County at the time. Were only property owners allowed to vote? Thinking back, by this time, women were not yet allowed to vote, so that would have lowered the total.
I wonder if women would have had the vote, if the measure would have passed or failed?