It will be hard to surpass the campaign of 1876, when Republican Rutherford Hayes accused his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, of having picked up syphilis from a prostitute; in turn, Democrats accused Hayes of shooting his mother after a night of boozing. (In the end, Hayes stole the election by rigging votes in three southern states.)-- from Ken Silverstein on the crowd-sourcing of Obama smears
The first African-American nominated for the office of vice president was Frederick Douglass in 1872 with Victoria Woodhull as the candidate for president on the Equal Rights Party ticket.
image: The Election (1) by William Hogarth, 1754.