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1848 Democratic National Convention

The 1848 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention that met from May 22 to May 25 in Baltimore, Maryland. It was held to nominate the Democratic Party's candidates for president and vice president in the 1848 election. The convention selected Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan for president and former Congressman William O. Butler of Kentucky for vice president.

1848 Democratic National Convention
1848 presidential election
Lewis Cass crop.jpg WilliamOButler.jpg
Nominees
Cass and Butler
Convention
Date(s)May 22–25, 1848
CityBaltimore, Maryland[1]
VenueUniversalist Church[1]
Candidates
Presidential nomineeLewis Cass[1] of Michigan
Vice Presidential nomineeWilliam O. Butler[1] of Kentucky
‹ 1844  ·  1852 ›

As incumbent Democratic President James K. Polk declined to seek re-election, the Democratic Party nominated a new presidential candidate for the 1848 election. The major competitors for the presidential nomination were Cass, Secretary of State James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, and Supreme Court Justice Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire. Cass led on the first presidential ballot, and he continued to gain delegates until he clinched the nomination on the fourth ballot. Butler won the vice presidential nomination on the second ballot, defeating former Governor John A. Quitman of Mississippi and several other candidates. The Democratic ticket was defeated in the 1848 election by the Whig ticket of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore.

ProceedingsEdit

Former Speaker of the House Andrew Stevenson of Virginia was made the president (chair) of the convention. After readopting the two-thirds rule for selecting the nominee, the assembly turned to the thorny problem of competing delegations representing different factions of the New York party.[1] The convention adopted a compromise (by a vote of 133 to 118) of splitting the thirty-six votes between the pro-Van Buren faction and the Hunkers that opposed them. Unsatisfied, the pro-Van Burenite Barnburners withdrew and the remaining New Yorkers refused to vote.

The Democratic National Committee was established at this convention.[2]

Presidential nominationEdit

Presidential candidatesEdit

The major competitors for the nomination were Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan, Secretary of State James Buchanan from Pennsylvania, and Supreme Court Justice Levi Woodbury from New Hampshire. On the first ballot Cass received a big lead with 125 of the 290 delegate votes with Buchanan and Woodbury trailing with 55 and 53 votes, respectively.[1] On the next two ballots Cass's total went up while the other candidates began to fall. With 179 votes out of 255 actually voting on the fourth ballot, the chair declared Cass the presidential nominee, having surpassed the two-thirds majority of 170 votes.

Presidential vote
Ballots 1 2 3 4
Lewis Cass 125 133 156 179
Levi Woodbury 53 56 53 38
James Buchanan 55 54 40 33
John C. Calhoun 9 0 0 0
William Jenkins Worth 6 5 5 1
George M. Dallas 3 3 0 0
William Orlando Butler 0 0 0 3
Abstaining 39 39 36 36


Vice Presidential nominationEdit

Vice Presidential candidatesEdit

DeclinedEdit

 
Cass/Butler campaign poster

Turning to the choice of a vice presidential running mate, the convention picked General William O. Butler of Kentucky[1] over General John A. Quitman of Mississippi, former Senator and Minister to France William R. King of Alabama, Secretary of the Navy John Y. Mason of Virginia, and Congressman James Iver McKay of North Carolina. Before it adjourned on May 25, this convention also appointed the first Democratic National Committee.[1]

Vice Presidential vote
1st 2nd
Before shifts
2nd
After shifts
William Orlando Butler 114 179 254
John A. Quitman 74 62 0
William R. King 26 8 0
John Y. Mason 24 5 0
James Iver McKay 13 0 0
Jefferson Davis 1 0 0
Abstaining 38 36 36


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Klunder, William (1996). Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. pp. 184–186. Retrieved 9 April 2015 – via Questia.
  2. ^ Smith, Melissa M.; Williams, Glenda C.; Powell, Larry; Copeland, Gary A. (2010). Campaign Finance Reform: The Political Shell Game. Lexington Books. p. 13. ISBN 9780739145678.
  3. ^ Levin Hudson Coe, Tennessee Encyclopedia, August 7, 2018

External linksEdit


Preceded by
1844
Baltimore, Maryland
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
1852
Baltimore, Maryland