1896 Republican National Convention

The 1896 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in a temporary structure south of the St. Louis City Hall in Saint Louis, Missouri, from June 16 to June 18, 1896.

Former Governor William McKinley of Ohio was nominated on the first ballot with 661½ votes to 84½ for House Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine, 61½ votes for Senator Matthew S. Quay of Pennsylvania, 58 votes for Governor Levi P. Morton of New York who was Vice President (1889–1893) under President Benjamin Harrison. New Jersey banker Garret A. Hobart was nominated for Vice President over Henry Clay Evans of Tennessee. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio placed McKinley's name in nomination.

The convention was originally slated for the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall. However it was determined that repairs and upgrading the Hall could not be done in time and so a temporary wood convention hall was built in 60 days at a cost of $60,000 on the lawn south of City Hall which was under construction.[1] At the conclusion of the convention, both the temporary building as well as the original Exposition Hall were torn down and a new Coliseum was built.

The 1896 Convention was held in St. Louis less than a month after the infamous 1896 tornado that devastated a large swath of the city and killed at least 255 people. There was speculation that it might be unfeasible to hold the convention in the city, but, after a concerted cleanup effort was undertaken, the convention went ahead as planned.

1896 Republican National Convention
1896 presidential election
McKinley and Hobart
Date(s)June 16–18, 1896
CitySt. Louis, Missouri
ChairJohn M. Thurston
Presidential nomineeWilliam McKinley of Ohio
Vice Presidential nomineeGarret A. Hobart of New Jersey
Total delegates924
Votes needed for nomination471
Results (President)McKinley (OH): 661.5 (71.59%)
Reed (ME): 84.5 (9.15%)
Quay (PA): 61.5 (6.66%)
Morton (NY): 58 (6.28%)
Allison (IA): 35.5 (3.84%)
Not Voting: 22 (2.38%)
Cameron (PA): 1 (0.11%)
1896 RNC
Inside of the convention hall


The Republican platform of 1896 favored the gold standard but left the door open to free coinage of silver, it also supported acquisition of Hawaii and parts of the Danish West Indies, favored a canal across Central America, naval expansion, sympathized with revolutionaries in Cuba and Armenia, wanted exclusion of all illiterate immigrants, applauded gains in women's rights and pledged "equal pay for equal work". It also supported creation of a "National Board of Arbitration".

Presidential nomination


Presidential Ballot
William McKinley 661.5
Thomas Brackett Reed 84.5
Matthew S. Quay 61.5
Levi P. Morton 58
William B. Allison 35.5
James D. Cameron 1

Vice presidential nomination

Coming into the convention, former Vice President Levi P. Morton had strong support to re-take his former office from delegates who favored the gold standard. However, McKinley's manager, Mark Hanna opposed Morton's addition to the ticket, instead favoring Garret A. Hobart or Minnesota Senator Cushman Kellogg Davis.[2] Though McKinley's camp did not strongly oppose the party's gold standard platform, Hanna feared that the nomination of Morton would cause silver Republicans such as Colorado Senator Henry M. Teller to bolt the party.[3] Hanna was ultimately successful at keeping Morton off the ticket, but many silver Republicans nonetheless supported the Democratic ticket led by William Jennings Bryan.


Vice Presidential Ballot
Garret A. Hobart 523.5
Henry Clay Evans 287.5
Morgan Bulkeley 39
James A. Walker 24
Charles W. Lippitt 8
Thomas Brackett Reed 3
Chauncey Depew 3
John Mellen Thurston 2
Frederick Dent Grant 2
Levi P. Morton 1

See also


  1. ^ Official Proceedings of the Eleventh Republican National Convention – 1896
  2. ^ "Hanna Fighting Hard Aainst Morton". New York Time. 17 June 1896. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  3. ^ "McKinley to be Nominated Today". New York Times. 18 June 1896. Retrieved 8 October 2015.


External links

Preceded by
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1896 Democratic National Convention

The 1896 Democratic National Convention, held at the Chicago Coliseum from July 7 to July 11, was the scene of William Jennings Bryan's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate for the 1896 U.S. presidential election.

At age 36, Bryan was the youngest Presidential nominee in American history, only one year older than the constitutional minimum. Bryan's keynote "Cross of Gold" address, delivered prior to his nomination, lambasted Eastern monied classes for supporting the gold standard at the expense of the average worker. This was a repudiation of Cleveland administration's policy, but proved popular with the delegates to the convention.

Bryan secured the nomination on the fifth ballot over Richard P. Bland. Bryan declined to choose a Democratic vice presidential nominee, leaving the choice to his fellow delegates. Arthur Sewall of Maine was nominated on the fifth ballot. Bryan and Sewall ultimately lost to the Republican candidates, William McKinley and Garret Hobart.

Anderson Howell Walters

Anderson Howell Walters (May 18, 1862 – December 7, 1927) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Benjamin Franklin Howell

Benjamin Franklin Howell (January 27, 1844 – February 1, 1933) was an American Republican Party politician who represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1895 to 1911.

Born in Cedarville, New Jersey, Howell attended the common schools, and graduated from Fort Edward Institute, New York. He enlisted in the Twelfth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, in 1862 and served until the close of the war. He engaged in mercantile pursuits in South Amboy, New Jersey, 1865 and was named to the Township Committee, and served as Surrogate of Middlesex County from 1882 to 1892. He served as president of the People's National Bank of New Brunswick, vice president of the New Brunswick Savings Institution, and was a founder and vice president of the First National Bank of South Amboy (now known as Amboy Bank).Howell was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and to the seven succeeding Congresses, serving in office from March 4, 1895 to March 3, 1911. He served as chairman of the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization (Fifty-eighth through Sixty-first Congresses). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress.

He served as a delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention.

He served as a member of the United States Immigration Commission 1907-1910.

He died at the age of 89 at his home in New Brunswick, New Jersey, February 1, 1933, and was interred in Christ Cemetery, South Amboy, New Jersey.

Charles S. Hartman

Charles Sampson Hartman (March 1, 1861 – August 3, 1929) was a U.S. Representative from Montana.

Born in Monticello, Indiana, Hartman attended the public schools and Wabash College in Crawfordsville.

He moved to Bozeman, Montana, in January 1882.

He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1884, and began practicing in Bozeman. He was a probate judge of Gallatin County 1884-1886.

He served as member of the State constitutional convention in 1889.

Hartman was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Congresses.

He was reelected as a Silver Republican to the Fifty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1893 to March 3, 1899.

He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1898.

He served as delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention.

He resumed the practice of law.

He became affiliated with the Democratic Party in 1900.

He served as delegate to the 1900 Democratic National Convention.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for election as a Democrat in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress.

He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Ecuador in July 1913 and served until May 14, 1922, when he returned to Bozeman.

He moved to Great Falls in 1926 and resumed the practice of law.

He moved to Fort Benton in 1927, having been appointed judge of the twelfth judicial district of Montana on March 3, 1927.

Hartman was elected to the same office in 1928, and served until his death in Great Falls, on August 3, 1929. He was interred in Riverside Cemetery in Fort Benton.

Charles W. Fairbanks

Charles Warren Fairbanks (May 11, 1852 – June 4, 1918) was an American politician who served as the 26th vice president of the United States from 1905 to 1909 and a senator from Indiana from 1897 to 1905. He was also the Republican vice presidential nominee in the 1916 presidential election.

Born in Unionville Center, Ohio, Fairbanks moved to Indianapolis after graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University. He became an attorney and railroad financier, working under railroad magnate Jay Gould. Fairbanks delivered the keynote address at the 1896 Republican National Convention and won election to the Senate the following year. In the Senate, he became an advisor to President William McKinley and served on a commission that helped settle the Alaska boundary dispute.

The 1904 Republican National Convention selected Fairbanks as the running mate for President Theodore Roosevelt. As vice president, Fairbanks worked against Roosevelt's progressive policies. Fairbanks unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination at the 1908 Republican National Convention and backed William Howard Taft in 1912 against Roosevelt. Fairbanks sought the presidential nomination at the 1916 Republican National Convention, but was instead selected as the vice presidential nominee, serving on a ticket with Charles Evans Hughes. In the 1916 election, the Republican ticket lost to the Democratic ticket of President Woodrow Wilson and Vice President Thomas R. Marshall.

Edward O. Leech

Edward Owen Leech (December 9, 1850 – May 1, 1900) was Director of the United States Mint from 1889 to 1893.

Garret Hobart

Garret Augustus Hobart (June 3, 1844 – November 21, 1899) was the 24th vice president of the United States, serving from 1897 until his death in 1899. He was the sixth American vice president to die in office.

Hobart was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore, and grew up in nearby Marlboro. After attending Rutgers College, Hobart read law with prominent Paterson attorney Socrates Tuttle. The two studied together, and Hobart married Tuttle's daughter Jennie. Although he rarely set foot in a courtroom, Hobart became wealthy as a corporate lawyer.

Hobart served in local governmental positions, and then successfully ran for office as a Republican, serving in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate. He became Speaker of the first, and president of the latter. Hobart was a longtime party official, and New Jersey delegates went to the 1896 Republican National Convention determined to nominate the popular lawyer for vice president. Hobart's political views were similar to those of McKinley, who was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. With New Jersey a key state in the upcoming election, McKinley and his close adviser, future senator Mark Hanna, decided to have the convention select Hobart. The vice-presidential candidate emulated his running mate with a front porch campaign, though spending much time at the campaign's New York City office. McKinley and Hobart were elected.

As vice president, Hobart proved a popular figure in Washington and was a close adviser to McKinley. Hobart's tact and good humor were valuable to the President, as in mid-1899 when Secretary of War Russell Alger failed to understand that McKinley wanted him to leave office. Hobart invited Alger to his New Jersey summer home, and broke the news to the secretary, who submitted his resignation to McKinley on his return to Washington. Hobart died on November 21, 1899 of a heart disease at age 55; his place on the Republican ticket in 1900 was taken by New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt.

George Hires

George Hires (January 26, 1835 – February 16, 1911) was an American Republican Party politician who represented New Jersey's 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1885 to 1889.

Hires was born in Elsinboro Township, New Jersey on January 26, 1835. He attended the common schools and the Friends' School and received commercial training. He engaged in mercantile and manufacturing pursuits. He was sheriff of Salem County from 1867 to 1869, and was a member of the New Jersey Senate from 1881 to 1884.

Hires was elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses, serving in office from March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1889, but was not a candidate for renomination in 1888 to the 51st Congress.

After leaving Congress, he resumed mercantile pursuits, and also engaged in banking. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1894 and a delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention. He was a member of the Republican State committee for twelve years.

Hires died in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 16, 1911, and was interred in the First Presbyterian Cemetery in Salem, New Jersey.

George W. Wilson

George Washington Wilson (February 22, 1840 – November 27, 1909) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.

Henry C. Smith

Henry Cassorte Smith (June 2, 1856 – December 7, 1911) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Smith was born in Canandaigua, New York and in the following year moved with his father to a farm near Palmyra, Michigan. He attended the common schools and graduated from Adrian College in 1878. He taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the bar on September 25, 1880. He commenced practice in Adrian where he became city attorney.

Smith was a delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention. Two years later he was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 2nd congressional district to the 56th United States Congress, after defeating the Republican incumbent in the primary. He was re-elected to the 57th Congress in 1900, serving from March 4, 1899 to March 3, 1903. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-nomination in 1902, losing in the Republican primary election to Charles E. Townsend.

Smith resumed the practice of law in Adrian, where he resided until his death. He was interred in Oakwood Cemetery.

Henry Clay Evans

Henry Clay Evans (June 18, 1843 – December 12, 1921) was an American politician and businessman who represented Tennessee's 3rd district in the United States House of Representatives from 1889 to 1891, and was twice a candidate for Governor of Tennessee (1894 and 1906). He also served as U.S. Commissioner of Pensions from 1897 to 1902, and as U.S. consul to London from 1902 to 1905.A supporter of progressive causes such as the Lodge Bill, Evans frequently found himself at odds with the Southern Democrat-controlled state legislature. His district was gerrymandered to ensure his defeat in the 1890 congressional elections, and the state legislature tossed thousands of votes in the 1894 gubernatorial election to allow his opponent, Peter Turney, to win. He also consistently quarreled with fellow Tennessee Republicans, initially Congressman Leonidas C. Houk, and later the faction led by Congressman Walter P. Brownlow. Brownlow helped thwart Evans's bid for the vice presidential nomination at the 1896 Republican National Convention.Evans was also active in local politics in his adopted hometown of Chattanooga, where he championed education. He served two terms as Mayor of Chattanooga (1882–1883), and in his later years served as the city's Commissioner of Education.

Julius Edward Roehr

Julius Edward Roehr was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Mark S. Brewer

Mark Spencer Brewer (October 22, 1837 – March 18, 1901) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Brewer was born in Addison Township, Michigan and attended the rural schools and Romeo and Oxford Academies. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1864 and commenced practice in Pontiac. He was city attorney of Pontiac in 1866 and 1867 and circuit court commissioner for Oakland County 1866-1869. He was a member of the Michigan State Senate from the 20th District 1872-1874.

Brewer was elected as a Republican to the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 6th District for the 45th and 46th Congresses, serving from March 4, 1877 to March 3, 1881.

He was appointed consul general to Berlin on June 30, 1881, by U.S. President James A. Garfield and served from August 29, 1881, until June 7, 1885. He was again elected to the U.S. House for the 50th and 51st Congresses, serving from March 4, 1887 to March 3, 1891. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1890 and resumed the practice of law in Pontiac.

He was a delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention and was appointed a member of the United States Civil Service Commission by President William McKinley January 18, 1898, and served until his death in Washington, D.C.

He is interred in Oak Hill Cemetery, in Pontiac, Michigan.

Meyer R. Bimberg

Meyer R. Bimberg (died March 25, 1908) was a successful seller of campaign buttons and a theatre builder. Known as "Bim the Button Man" after the 1896 Republican National Convention, he made his fortune selling campaign buttons and built five theatres: West End Theatre (New York), the Yorkville Theatre in Harlem, New York, the Colonial Theatre (New York), the Astor Theatre and the Stuyvestant Theatre (which later became known as the Belasco Theatre). He was found dead in his bed at the Zenobia building after a bout of tonsilitis. The New York Times compared his theatre building, though short-lived, to Oscar Hammerstein I's.A heavyset redhead, Bim used personal connections to help prognosticate the outcome of elections. His brother Edward Bimberg was the proprietor of the Palm Garden on 52nd Street after a career on the vaudeville stage.

Samuel Fessenden (lawyer)

Samuel Fessenden (April 12, 1847 – January 7, 1908) was an American lawyer, politician, and Civil War veteran.

The son of Samuel C. Fessenden, he was born and raised in Maine, where he attended Lewiston Falls Academy (now Edward Little High School). He served in the Union Army during the American Civil War in the Seventh Maine Volunteer Battery, eventually reaching the rank of second lieutenant in the First Maine Volunteer Battery. He later moved to Connecticut and served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and Connecticut Senate. He served as President pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate. He was a state's attorney for Fairfield County. He was also a candidate for the U.S. Senate and a delegate to multiple Republican National Conventions.He is best remembered outside of Connecticut for shouting from the floor of the 1896 Republican National Convention at Joseph Manley that "God Almighty hates a quitter" when it was becoming apparent that the candidate they were both supporting wasn't going to win the nomination.

Smedley Darlington

Smedley Darlington (December 24, 1827 – June 24, 1899) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall

St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall was an indoor exposition hall, Music Hall and arena in St. Louis, Missouri from 1883 to 1907.

Three national presidential nominating conventions were held in three separate buildings in or near the complex between 1888 and 1904 including the 1888 Democratic National Convention, 1896 Republican National Convention, and 1904 Democratic National Convention. In addition to the 1904 Democratic convention, it was used as a large venue for other conventions and congresses during the 1904 World's Fair.The 502 by 332 ft (153 by 101 m) exposition hall was built initially at a cost of US$750,000. It was designed by Jerome Bibb Legg and completed in 1884. Legg's most prominent existing building is Academic Hall at Southeast Missouri State University.Originally built to house the St. Louis Exposition, an annual fair, it covered 6 acres (2.4 ha) at Olive and 13th Streets and was one of the first buildings in the country to have electric lights.

The Music Hall, which was a home for the St. Louis Symphony, had a stage which could accommodate 1,500 people and claimed to be one of the world's largest. Its seating capacity was 3,500.In the winter of 1896 the Republican National Convention planned to be in a rebuilt permanent building in the center. However, it was determined that it would not be ready in time for the convention so a temporary wooden convention was erected on the lawn south of City Hall (three blocks south of the Exposition Hall). The temporary structure was erected within sixty days at cost of $60,000 including decorations.

Following the 1896 Convention, the temporary structure as well as the Exposition building were torn down and a new Coliseum was built on the site of the Exposition Building. The new Coliseum had an arena of 112 by 222 ft (68 m) with an 84 ft (26 m) ceiling. It had a single span trussed roof, with no columns or obstructions. The seating capacity was 7,000 but could be expanded to 12,000. It was rated at 10,500 for its 1904 convention.The whole structure including the new Coliseum and Music Hall were torn down in 1907 when the St. Louis Central Library was built at its location and the new St. Louis Coliseum was constructed.

Teller Amendment

The Teller Amendment was an amendment to a joint resolution of the United States Congress, enacted on April 20, 1898, in reply to President William McKinley's War Message. It placed a condition on the United States military's presence in Cuba. According to the clause, the U.S. could not annex Cuba but only leave "control of the island to its people." In short, the U.S. would help Cuba gain independence and then withdraw all its troops from the country.

Thomas Henry Dale

Thomas Henry Dale (June 12, 1846 – August 21, 1912) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Dale was born in Daleville, Pennsylvania. He attended the Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. During the American Civil War, Dale enlisted in the Union Army in 1863. After discharge from the service engaged in business as a coal operator, and in the wholesale beef business.

He was also interested in various other business enterprises in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He was instrumental in organizing the Scranton Board of Trade and was its president for several terms. He served as chairman of the Republican county committee for several years. He was elected as prothonotary of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, from 1882 to 1892. He was a delegate to the 1896 Republican National Convention.

Dale was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth Congress. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1906. He served as president of the Anthracite Trust Company in Scranton.

He died in Daleville, aged 66; interred in Dunmore Cemetery.

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