Rebecca Onion in Slate looks at the changing voting processes in the nineteenth century.
And she notes that the "first congratulatory telegram" between candidates was in 1896.
"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." --H. L. Mencken, 1920