1868 Democratic National Convention

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1868 Democratic National Convention
1868 Presidential Election
Horatio Seymour - Brady-Handysmall.png FrancisPBlair,Jr.png
Nominees
Seymour and Blair
City New York, New York
Venue Tammany Hall
Candidates
Presidential nominee Horatio Seymour (NY)
Vice Presidential nominee Francis P. Blair, Jr. (MO)
Results (President) Seymour (NY): 317 (100%)
Results (Vice President) Blair (MO): 317 (100%)
1864  ·  1872

The 1868 Democratic National Convention was held at Tammany Hall in New York City. The convention was notable for the return of Democratic Party politicians from the southern states.

The Convention[edit]

In 1868, the States of Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana were readmitted to the Union. Nebraska had been admitted to the Union on March 1, 1867. Texas, Mississippi and Virginia had not yet been readmitted to the Union.

Presidential Candidates[edit]

Declined[edit]

The Democratic National Convention was held in New York City between July 4, and July 9, 1868. The front-runner in the early balloting was George H. Pendleton, who led on the first 15 ballots, followed in varying order by incumbent president Andrew Johnson, Winfield Scott Hancock, Sanford Church, Asa Packer, Joel Parker, James E. English, James Rood Doolittle, and Thomas A. Hendricks. The unpopular Johnson, having narrowly survived impeachment, won 65 votes on the first ballot, less than one-third of the total necessary for nomination, and thus lost his bid for election as president in his own right.

Meanwhile, the convention chairman Horatio Seymour, former governor of New York, received 9 votes on the fourth ballot from the state of North Carolina. This unexpected move caused "loud and enthusiastic cheering," but Seymour refused, saying,

"I must not be nominated by this Convention, as I could not accept the nomination if tendered. My own inclination prompted me to decline at the outset; my honor compels me to do so now. It is impossible, consistently with my position, to allow my name to be mentioned in this Convention against my protest. The clerk will proceed with the call."[1]

After numerous indecisive ballots, the names of John T. Hoffman, Francis P. Blair, and Stephen Johnson Field were placed in nomination. None of these candidates, however, gained substantial support.

For twenty-one ballots, the opposing candidates battled it out: the East battling the West for control, the conservatives battling the radicals. The two leading candidates were determined that the other should not receive the nomination; because of the two-thirds rule of the convention, a compromise candidate was needed. Seymour still hoped it would be Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, but on the twenty-second ballot, the chairman of the Ohio delegation announced, "at the unanimous request and demand of the delegation I place Horatio Seymour in nomination with twenty-one votes-against his inclination, but no longer against his honor."

Seymour had to wait for the rousing cheers to die down before he could address the delegates and decline.

"I have no terms in which to tell of my regret that my name has been brought before this convention. God knows that my life and all that I value most in life I would give for the good of my country, which I believe to be identified with that of the Democratic party..."

"Take the nomination, then!" cried someone from the floor.

"..but when I said that I could not be a candidate, I mean it! I could not receive the nomination without placing not only myself but the Democratic party in a false position. God bless you for your kindness to me, but your candidate I cannot be."[2][3]

Seymour left to platform to cool off and rest. No sooner had he left the hall than the Ohio chairman cried that his delegation would not accept Seymour's declination; Utah's chairman rose to say that Seymour was the man they had to have. While Seymour was waiting in the vestibule, the convention nominated him unanimously.

Presidential Ballot
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
Horatio Seymour 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
George H. Pendleton 105 104 119.5 118.5 122 122.5 137.5 156.5 144 147.5 144.5 145.5
Thomas A. Hendricks 2.5 2 9.5 11.5 19.5 30 39.5 75 80.5 82.5 88 89
Winfield Scott Hancock 33.5 40.5 45.5 43.5 46 47 42.5 28 34.5 34 32.5 30
Andrew Johnson 65 52 34.5 32 24 21 12.5 6 5.5 6 5.5 4.5
Sanford E. Church 34 33 33 33 33 33 33 0 0 0 0 0
Asa Packer 26 26 26 26 27 27 26 26 26.5 27.5 26 26
James E. English 16 12.5 7.5 7.5 7 6 6 6 6 0 0 0
Joel Parker 13 15.5 13 13 13 13 7 7 7 7 7 7
James R. Doolittle 13 12.5 12 12 15 12 12 12 12 12 12.5 12.5
Stephen J. Field 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Francis Preston Blair 0.5 10.5 4.5 2 9.5 5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Reverdy Johnson 8.5 8 11 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Salmon P. Chase 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.5
Thomas H. Seymour 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
John T. Hoffman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thomas Ewing 0 0.5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
John Q. Adams 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
George B. McClellan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Franklin Pierce 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Blank 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 0.5 0 0.5 0 0.5 0.5
Presidential Ballot
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd Before Shifts 22nd After Shifts
Horatio Seymour 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 317
George H. Pendleton 134.5 130 129.5 107.5 70.5 56.5 0 0 0 0 0
Thomas A. Hendricks 81 84.5 82.5 70.5 80 87 107.5 121 132 145.5 0
Winfield Scott Hancock 48.5 56 79.5 113.5 137.5 144.5 135.5 142.5 135.5 103.5 0
Andrew Johnson 4.5 0 5.5 5.5 6 10 0 0 5 4 0
Sanford E. Church 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Asa Packer 26 26 0 0 0 0 22 0 0 0 0
James E. English 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 16 19 7 0
Joel Parker 7 7 7 7 7 3.5 0 0 0 0 0
James R. Doolittle 13 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 4 0
Stephen J. Field 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 9 8 0 0
Francis Preston Blair 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 13.5 13 0 0 0
Reverdy Johnson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Salmon P. Chase 0.5 0 0 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 4 0 0
Thomas H. Seymour 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 0
John T. Hoffman 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 0.5 0 0
Thomas Ewing 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
John Q. Adams 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
George B. McClellan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.5 0 0
Franklin Pierce 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Blank 0.5 0.5 1 1 0.5 0 1 1.5 0.5 31 0

Vice Presidential Candidate[edit]

Declined[edit]
Seymour/Blair campaign poster

Exhausted, the delegates unanimously nominated General Francis Preston Blair, Jr. for vice-president on the first ballot after John A. McClernand, Augustus C. Dodge, and Thomas Ewing, Jr. withdrew their names from consideration. Blair's nomination reflected a desire to balance the ticket east and west as well as north and south.[4]

Blair had worked hard to acquire the Democratic nomination and accepted second place on the ticket, finding himself in controversy.[5] Blair had gained attention by an inflammatory letter addressed to Colonel James O. Broadhead, dated a few days before the convention met. In his letter, Blair wrote that the "real and only issue in this contest was the overthrow of Reconstruction, as the radical Republicans had forced it in the South."[6]

Vice Presidential Ballot
1st
Francis Preston Blair 317

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ They Also Ran, Irving Stone, pg. 280
  2. ^ They Also Ran, Irving Stone, pg. 280
  3. ^ Official proceedings of the National Democratic convention, held at New York, July 4-9, 1868 (Pg. 153)
  4. ^ Frank Blair: Lincoln's Conservative, William E. Parrish, pg. 254
  5. ^ Frank Blair: Lincoln's Conservative, William E. Parrish, pg. 260
  6. ^ Stewart Mitchell, Horatio Seymour of New York, Harvard University Press, 1938, p. 448

References[edit]


Preceded by
1864
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
1872