1835 Democratic National Convention

The 1835 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention that was held from May 20 to May 22, 1835, in Baltimore, Maryland. This was the second national convention of the Democratic Party of the United States. The delegates nominated Vice President Martin Van Buren for President and Representative Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky for Vice President.

1835 Democratic National Convention
1836 presidential election
Van Buren
RichardMentorJohnson
Nominees
Van Buren and Johnson
Convention
Date(s)May 20–22, 1835
CityBaltimore, Maryland
VenueFourth Presbyterian Church
Candidates
Presidential nomineeMartin Van Buren of New York
Vice Presidential nomineeRichard M. Johnson of Kentucky

Background

On February 23, 1835, President Andrew Jackson wrote to James Gwin of Tennessee and claimed a preference for someone who would "most likely to be the choice of the great body of republicans" in regard to his successor. He expressed the desire to hold another national convention to nominate candidates for the presidency and vice presidency. He instructed Gwin to show the letter to the editor of the Nashville Republican. The newspaper later reprinted the letter.[1]

Proceedings

Andrew Stevenson of Virginia served as the chairman and convention president. Six convention vice presidents and four secretaries were appointed.

Tennessee, Illinois, South Carolina, and Alabama sent no delegates to the convention.

Presidential nomination

Presidential candidates

President Jackson had long planned for Vice President Martin Van Buren to succeed him, and Van Buren was the unanimous choice of the delegates for the presidency.

Vice Presidential nomination

Vice Presidential candidates

Jackson and other major Democrats had settled on Richard Mentor Johnson, a Kentucky congressman who had fought in the War of 1812, as Van Buren's running mate. Many Virginia Democrats instead backed William Cabell Rives, the former Ambassador to France, but Johnson narrowly won the required 2/3 of the vote on the first vice presidential ballot.[2]

A man from Tennessee, Edward Rucker, who was present at the convention but not sent as a delegate, cast all 15 votes Tennessee was entitled to for Van Buren and for Johnson for the contested vice presidential nomination. Johnson was nominated for the vice presidency after he narrowly won more than two-thirds of the total delegates' votes. The delegation of Virginia declared that it had no confidence in Johnson's character and principles, and would not support him.[3]

Name Home State Delegate Vote Percentage
Richard Mentor Johnson Kentucky 178 67%
William Cabell Rives Virginia 87 33%
1835DemocraticVicePresidentialNomination1stBallot
1st Vice Presidential Ballot

Letters went out on May 23 from the convention president and vice presidents asking for the acceptance of the nominations by the nominees. Van Buren replied and accepted the nomination on May 29;[4] Johnson, likewise on June 9.[5]

General Election

The Whigs did not put forward a national ticket nominated by national convention. Van Buren defeated his many competitors for the presidency in the general election. While the electors of Virginia supported Van Buren for the presidency, they cast their vice presidential votes for William Smith. Consequently, Johnson received a plurality, but not a majority, of the electoral votes for the vice presidency. In the subsequent contingent election in the Senate, Johnson was elected vice president.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (April 4, 1835), "Gen. Jackson's Letter", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 80–81
  2. ^ Witcover, Jules (2014). The American Vice Presidency. Smithsonian Books. pp. 90–91.
  3. ^ Irelan, John Robert (1887). "History of the Life, Administration and Times of Martin Van Buren, Eighth President of the United States". Chicago: Fairbanks and Palmer Publishing Company. p. 233. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  4. ^ Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (June 13, 1835), "Mr. Van Buren's Acceptance", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 257–258
  5. ^ Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (July 11, 1835), "Col. Johnson's Acceptance", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 329–330

References

Preceded by
1832
Baltimore, Maryland
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
1840
Baltimore, Maryland
1836 United States presidential election

The United States presidential election of 1836 was the 13th quadrennial presidential election, held from Thursday, November 3, to Wednesday, December 7, 1836. In the third consecutive election victory for the Democratic Party, incumbent Vice President Martin Van Buren defeated four candidates fielded by the nascent Whig Party.

Under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, the Democrats had established a stable party, but the Whigs had only recently emerged and were primarily united by their opposition to Jackson. Unable to agree on a single candidate, and hoping to compel a contingent election in the House of Representatives by denying the Democrats an electoral vote majority, the Whigs ran two primary tickets. Northern and border state Whigs supported the ticket led by former Senator William Henry Harrison of Ohio, while Southern Whigs supported the ticket led by Senator Hugh Lawson White of Tennessee. Two other Whigs, Daniel Webster and Willie Person Mangum, also received electoral votes. The 1835 Democratic National Convention chose a ticket of Van Buren, who was Jackson's handpicked successor, and Congressman Richard Mentor Johnson.

The Whig strategy failed, as Van Buren won a majority of the electoral and popular vote. Van Buren's victory made him the third sitting vice president to win election as president, a feat that was not duplicated until the 1988 presidential election. Harrison finished in second place in both the popular and electoral vote, and his strong showing in the election helped him win his party's nomination in the 1840 presidential election. As Virginia's electors refused to vote for Johnson, the vice president was elected by the United States Senate, marking the first and (to date) only such occurrence. The Senate decided between Johnson and Francis Granger, who were the top two vice presidential electoral vote winners. Johnson was elected on the first ballot.

The election of 1836 marked an important turning point in American political history because of the part it played in establishing the Second Party System. In the 1830s the political party structure was still changing. The Democratic Party was organized, but factional and personal leaders still played a major role in politics. By the end of the campaign of 1836, the new party system was almost complete, as nearly every faction had been absorbed by either the Democrats or the Whigs.

Andrew Stevenson

Andrew Stevenson (January 21, 1784 – January 25, 1857) was a Democratic politician in the United States. He served in the United States House of Representatives representing Virginia, as Speaker of the House, and as Minister to the United Kingdom.

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was an American statesman who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States Congress and served as the United States Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore. He was also a prominent attorney, especially during the period of the Marshall Court. Throughout his career, he was a member of the Federalist Party, the National Republican Party, and the Whig Party.

Born in New Hampshire in 1782, Webster established a successful legal practice in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after undergoing a legal apprenticeship. He emerged as a prominent opponent of the War of 1812 and won election to the United States House of Representatives, where he served as a leader of the Federalist Party. Webster left office after two terms and relocated to Boston, Massachusetts. He became a leading attorney before the Supreme Court of the United States, winning cases such as Dartmouth College v. Woodward, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Gibbons v. Ogden. Webster returned to the House in 1823 and became a key supporter of President John Quincy Adams. He won election to the United States Senate in 1827 and worked with Henry Clay to build the National Republican Party in support of Adams.

After Andrew Jackson defeated Adams in the 1828 presidential election, Webster became a leading opponent of Jackson's domestic policies. He strongly objected to the theory of Nullification espoused by John C. Calhoun, and his Second Reply to Hayne speech is widely regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in Congress. Webster supported Jackson's defiant response to the Nullification Crisis, but broke with the president due to disagreements over the Second Bank of the United States. Webster joined with other Jackson opponents in forming the Whig Party, and unsuccessfully ran in the 1836 presidential election. He supported Harrison in the 1840 presidential election and was appointed secretary of state after Harrison took office. Unlike the other members of Harrison's Cabinet, he continued to serve under President Tyler after Tyler broke with congressional Whigs. As secretary of state, Webster negotiated the Webster–Ashburton Treaty, which settled border disputes with Britain.

Webster returned to the Senate in 1845 and resumed his status as a leading congressional Whig. During the Mexican–American War, he emerged as a leader of the "Cotton Whigs," a faction of Northern Whigs that emphasized good relations with the South over anti-slavery policies. In 1850, President Fillmore appointed Webster as secretary of state, and Webster contributed to the passage of the Compromise of 1850, which settled several territorial issues and enacted a new fugitive slave law. The Compromise proved unpopular in much of the North and undermined Webster's standing in his home state. Webster sought the Whig nomination in the 1852 presidential election, but a split between supporters of Fillmore and Webster led to the nomination of General Winfield Scott. Webster is widely regarded as an important and talented attorney, orator, and politician, but historians and observers have offered mixed opinions on his moral qualities and ability as a national leader.

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren (; born Maarten Van Buren, December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841, and the first president born after the independence of the United States from the British Empire. A founder of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the ninth governor of New York, the tenth U.S. secretary of state, and the eighth vice president of the United States. He won the 1836 presidential election with the endorsement of popular outgoing President Andrew Jackson and the organizational strength of the Democratic Party. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to Whig Party nominee William Henry Harrison, due in part to the poor economic conditions of the Panic of 1837. Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an elder statesman and important anti-slavery leader, who led the Free Soil Party ticket in the 1848 presidential election.

Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York to a family of Dutch Americans; his father was a Patriot during the American Revolution. He was raised speaking Dutch and learned English at school, making him the only U.S. President who spoke English as a second language. He trained as a lawyer and quickly became involved in politics as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. He won election to the New York State Senate and became the leader of the Bucktails, the faction of Democratic-Republicans opposed to Governor DeWitt Clinton. Van Buren established a political machine known as the Albany Regency and in the 1820s emerged as the most influential politician in his home state. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1821 and supported William H. Crawford in the 1824 presidential election. John Quincy Adams won the 1824 election and Van Buren opposed his proposals for federally funded internal improvements and other measures. Van Buren's major political goal was to re-establish a two-party system with partisan differences based on ideology rather than personalities or sectional differences, and he supported Jackson's candidacy against Adams in the 1828 presidential election with this goal in mind. To support Jackson's candidacy, Van Buren ran for Governor of New York and resigned a few months after assuming the position to accept appointment as U.S. Secretary of State after Jackson took office in 1829.

Van Buren was a key advisor during Jackson's eight years as President of the United States and he built the organizational structure for the coalescing Democratic Party, particularly in New York. He resigned from his position to help resolve the Petticoat affair, then briefly served as the American ambassador to Britain. At Jackson's behest, the 1832 Democratic National Convention nominated Van Buren for Vice President of the United States, and he took office after the Democratic ticket won the 1832 presidential election. With Jackson's strong support, Van Buren faced little opposition for the presidential nomination at the 1835 Democratic National Convention, and he defeated several Whig opponents in the 1836 presidential election. Van Buren's response to the Panic of 1837 centered on his Independent Treasury system, a plan under which the Federal government of the United States would store its funds in vaults rather than in banks. He also continued Jackson's policy of Indian removal; he maintained peaceful relations with Britain but denied the application to admit Texas to the Union, seeking to avoid heightened sectional tensions. In the 1840 election, the Whigs rallied around Harrison's military record and ridiculed Van Buren as "Martin Van Ruin", and a surge of new voters helped turn him out of office.

At the opening of the Democratic convention in 1844, Van Buren was the leading candidate for the party's nomination for the presidency. Southern Democrats, however, were angered by his continued opposition to the annexation of Texas, and the party nominated James K. Polk. Van Buren grew increasingly opposed to slavery after he left office, and he agreed to lead a third party ticket in the 1848 presidential election, motivated additionally by intra-party differences at the state and national level. He finished in a distant third nationally, but his presence in the race most likely helped Whig nominee Zachary Taylor defeat Democrat Lewis Cass. Van Buren returned to the Democratic fold after the 1848 election, but he supported Abraham Lincoln's policies during the American Civil War. His health began to fail in 1861 and he died in July 1862 at age 79. He has been generally ranked as an average or below-average U.S. President by historians and political scientists.

Richard Mentor Johnson

Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780[a] – November 19, 1850) was the ninth vice president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. He is the only vice president ever elected by the United States Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. Johnson also represented Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate; he began and ended his political career in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1806. He became allied with fellow Kentuckian Henry Clay as a member of the War Hawks faction that favored war with Britain in 1812. At the outset of the War of 1812, Johnson was commissioned a colonel in the Kentucky Militia and commanded a regiment of mounted volunteers from 1812 to 1813. He and his brother James served under William Henry Harrison in Upper Canada. Johnson participated in the Battle of the Thames. Some reported that he personally killed the Shawnee chief Tecumseh, which he later used to his political advantage.

After the war, Johnson returned to the House of Representatives. The legislature appointed him to the Senate in 1819 to fill the seat vacated by John J. Crittenden. As his prominence grew, his interracial relationship with Julia Chinn, an octoroon slave, was more widely criticized. It worked against his political ambitions. Unlike other upper class leaders who had African American mistresses but never mentioned them, Johnson openly treated Chinn as his common law wife. He acknowledged their two daughters as his children, giving them his surname, much to the consternation of some of his constituents. The relationship is believed to have led to the loss of his Senate seat in 1829, but his Congressional district returned him to the House the next year.

In 1836, Johnson was the Democratic nominee for vice-president on a ticket with Martin Van Buren. Campaigning with the slogan "Rumpsey Dumpsey, Rumpsey Dumpsey, Colonel Johnson killed Tecumseh", Johnson fell one short of the electoral votes needed to secure his election. Virginia's delegation to the Electoral College refused to endorse Johnson, abstaining instead. However, he was elected to the office by the Senate. Johnson proved such a liability for the Democrats in the 1836 election that they refused to renominate him for vice-president in 1840. President Van Buren campaigned for re-election without a running mate. He lost to William Henry Harrison, a Whig. Johnson tried to return to public office but was defeated. He finally was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1850, but he died on November 19, 1850, just two weeks into his term.

Timeline of Baltimore

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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