1852 Democratic National Convention

1852 Democratic National Convention

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1852 Democratic National Convention

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The 1852 Democratic National Convention was held at Maryland Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. This convention is notable for the hostility between groups of the party, divided over the Compromise of 1850. The convention was called to order by Democratic National Committee chairman Benjamin F. Hallett. Romulus M. Saunders served as the temporary convention chairman and John W. Davis served as the permanent convention president.

The Convention

As Democrats convened in Baltimore in June 1852, four major candidates vied for the nomination- Lewis Cass of Michigan, the nominee in 1848, who had the backing of northerners in support of the Compromise of 1850; James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, popular in the South as well as in his home state; Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, candidate of the expansionists and the railroad interests; and William L. Marcy of New York, whose strength was centered in his home state. Throughout the balloting, numerous favorite son candidates received a few votes.

Cass led on the first 19 ballots, with Buchanan second, and Douglas and Marcy exchanging third and fourth places. Buchanan took the lead on the 20th ballot and retained it on each of the next nine tallies. Douglas managed a narrow lead on the 30th and 31st ballots. Cass then recaptured first placed through the 44th ballot. Marcy carried the next four ballots. Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire, a former Congressman and Senator, did not get on the board until the 35th ballot, when the Virginia...
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