For Emma’s three brothers, John William, Stephen Alexander, and James Edwin (Jim), May 26, 1859 was Election Day: the day when they would stand among other men, mostly older than they were, and declare out loud their choice of candidates standing for the US Congress and four state offices: member of the Virginia House of Delegates, governor and lieutenant governor and attorney general. The Green brothers unanimously chose the candidates of the Opposition Party, office after office, right down the line. As it turned out, this was the last state election before the secession crisis engulfed Virginia and Alexandria.
Stephen and John W. Green were regular political participants. Both voted in the March 1859 local election, just two months earlier. John W. was a delegate to the Opposition Virginia state convention in 1860.
Excerpts from the poll books for the March 1859 election, showing John and Stephen Green's vote for Chief Captain of the Fire Department. Poll books record which candidates individuals orally voted for. Above we can see that Stephen Green voted for a different candidate to the voter (Mr Franks) who followed him.