1908 Democratic National Convention

The 1908 Democratic National Convention took place from July 7 to July 10, 1908, at Denver Auditorium Arena in Denver, Colorado.

The event is widely considered a significant part of Denver's political and social history.

1908 Democratic National Convention
1908 presidential election
Bryan and Kern
Date(s)July 7–10, 1908
CityDenver, Colorado
VenueDenver Auditorium Arena
Presidential nomineeWilliam J. Bryan of Nebraska
Vice Presidential nomineeJohn W. Kern of Indiana
William Jennings Bryan at the 1908 DNC (1) (cropped1)
Bryan addresses the convention

The Convention

The 1908 convention was the first convention of a major political party in a Western state. The city did not host another nominating convention until a century later, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

The convention was the second Democratic National Convention to include female delegates.[1][2] They were Mary C.C. Bradford (Colorado) and Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward (Mrs. Henry J. Hayward) (Utah). Alternate delegates were Mrs. Charles Cook (Colorado), Harriet G. Hood (Wyoming), and Sara L. Ventress (Utah).[3]

Presidential nomination

Presidential candidates

Three names were placed in nomination: William Jennings Bryan, John A. Johnson, and George Gray. Bryan was unanimously declared the candidate for president after handily winning the first ballot's roll call.

Presidential Ballot
1st Unanimous
William J. Bryan 888.5 1002
George Gray 59.5
John A. Johnson 46
Blank 8
1st Presidential Ballot

Vice presidential nomination

Vice presidential candidate

Withdrawn candidates

Coal Merchant Archibald McNeil
of Connecticut


John W. Kern of Indiana was unanimously declared the candidate for vice-president without a formal ballot after the names of Charles A. Towne, Archibald McNeil, and Clark Howell were withdrawn from consideration.

Vice Presidential Ballot
John W. Kern 1002

See also


  1. ^ CNN: Think you know your Democratic convention trivia?
  2. ^ Smithsonian: Conventional Facts
  3. ^ America Comes Alive: A First For Women (1908)

External links

Preceded by
St. Louis, Missouri
Democratic National Conventions
Succeeded by
Baltimore, Maryland
1904 Democratic National Convention

The 1904 Democratic National Convention was an American presidential nominating convention that ran from July 6 through 10 in the Coliseum of the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall in St. Louis, Missouri. Breaking with eight years of control by the Democratic Party's reform wing, the convention nominated conservative Judge Alton B. Parker of New York for President and Henry G. Davis of West Virginia for Vice President.

The Democratic ticket lost in the November 1904 presidential election to the Republican Party and its ticket of Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks.

1908 Republican National Convention

The 1908 Republican National Convention was held in Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois on June 16 to June 19, 1908. It convened to nominate a successor to the popular GOP President, Theodore Roosevelt and his Vice President, Charles W. Fairbanks.

U.S. Secretary of War William H. Taft of Ohio won Roosevelt's endorsement and received the nomination. The convention nominated New York Representative James S. Sherman to be his running mate.

1908 United States presidential election in Colorado

The 1908 United States presidential election in Colorado took place on November 3, 1908, as part of the wider United States Presidential election. Voters chose five representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Until 2016, this was the last presidential election where a Democrat carried Colorado without winning the presidency.

Archibald C. Hart

Archibald Chapman Hart (February 27, 1873, Lennoxville, Quebec – July 24, 1935, Teaneck, New Jersey) was an American Democratic Party politician who represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1912–1913 and again from 1913–1917.

Hart was born in Lennoxville, Quebec on February 27, 1873. He moved with his parents to New York City in 1882 and to Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1884. He attended the common schools and studied law. He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1896 and commenced practice in Hackensack. Hart served in the Second Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, during the Spanish–American War and served four years in the Twenty-third Regiment of the New York Army National Guard. By profession, he was a banker, publisher, and real estate operator. Hart was selected as a delegate to the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

Hart was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Hughes and served in office from November 5, 1912, to March 3, 1913, but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in 1912 to the Sixty-third Congress. He was later elected to this Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Lewis J. Martin and reelected to the Sixty-fourth Congress, where he served in office from July 22, 1913, to March 3, 1917. He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1916.

After leaving Congress, he resumed the practice of law and his former business pursuits in Hackensack and resided in Teaneck, New Jersey. He was the prosecuting attorney for Bergen County from 1920–1930. He died in Teaneck on July 24, 1935, and was interred in Hackensack Cemetery in Hackensack.

Byron Barwig

Byron Barwig was a member of the Wisconsin State Senate.

Cornelius Amory Pugsley

Cornelius Amory Pugsley Sr. (July 17, 1850 – September 10, 1936) was the Democratic Congressman from New York's 16th congressional district from 1901 to 1903. He was also President of the New York State Bankers Association in 1913. He created the Pugsley Medal in 1928 to honor champions of parks and conservation.

Denver Auditorium Arena

Denver Auditorium Arena was an indoor arena located at the corner of 13th and Champa Streets in Denver, Colorado. It was constructed as the Denver Municipal Auditorium in 1908 during the administration of Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer. The building was opened on July 7, 1908, and was the site of the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

With a capacity of 12,500, the building was at the time of its opening the second largest in America to Madison Square Garden. Initially, the venue was configured and equipped to hold numerous kinds of events including theater, opera, conventions, sporting events, exhibitions, concerts, and more. Renovations were made to the building in the 1940s, and in 1953 the southern half of the building was converted into the Auditorium Arena, a pure sporting venue with seating capacity of 6,841.

Herbert H. Manson

Herbert H. Manson was Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

John W. Kern

John Worth Kern (December 20, 1849 – August 17, 1917) was a Democratic United States Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered to be the first Senate majority leader (and in turn, the first Senate Democratic Leader), while serving concurrently as chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He was also the Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 1908 presidential election.

Born in Alto, Indiana, Kern practiced law in Kokomo, Indiana after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School. He won election to the Indiana Senate before serving as the city solicitor of Indianapolis. After running unsuccessfully for the position of Governor of Indiana, Kern was selected as the vice presidential nominee at the 1908 Democratic National Convention. The Democratic ticket of William Jennings Bryan and Kern was defeated by the Republican ticket of William Howard Taft and James S. Sherman.

Kern won election to the United States Senate in 1910, becoming a progressive ally of President Woodrow Wilson. He was elected Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus and helped pass several major pieces of legislation, including the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Revenue Act of 1913, and the Federal Reserve Act. He also introduced the Kern Resolution, which led to the investigation of conditions in coal mines, and supported passage of the Seventeenth Amendment. He was defeated for re-election in 1916, losing to Republican Harry Stewart New, and Kern died the following year.

Marcus C. L. Kline

Marcus Charles Lawrence Kline (March 26, 1855 – March 10, 1911) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.

Martin K. Gantz

Martin Kissinger Gantz (January 28, 1862 – February 10, 1916) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.

Born in Bethel Township, Miami County, Ohio, Gantz attended the common schools and National Normal University, Lebanon, Ohio.

He was graduated from the Cincinnati Law School in 1883.

He was admitted to the bar in 1883 and commenced practice in Troy, Ohio.

He served as mayor of the city of Troy in 1889.

Gantz was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second Congress (March 4, 1891 – March 3, 1893).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1892 to the Fifty-third Congress.

He resumed the practice of law in Troy.

He served as commissioner from the State of Ohio to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.

He served as delegate to all Democratic State conventions from 1892 to 1906.

He served as delegate to the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

He represented the United States State Department on the directorate of El Banco Nacional de Nicaragua y El Ferrocarril del Pacífico de Nicaragua in 1914 and 1915.

He died in Troy, Ohio, February 10, 1916.

He was interred in Riverside Cemetery.

Mary Bradford

Mary Bradford may refer to:

Mary D. Bradford (1856–1943), first woman in Wisconsin, USA to serve as Superintendent of a major city school system

Mary C.C. Bradford (1856–?), first woman to be elected to a seat in the 1908 Democratic National Convention

Mary Lythgoe Bradford (born 1930), editor and poet significant to Mormon literature

Mary C. C. Bradford

Mary Carroll Craig Bradford (August 10, 1856 – January 15, 1938) of Colorado was the first female delegate at the 1908 Democratic National Convention. She later became the Colorado State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Melbert B. Cary

Melbert Brinckerhoff Cary (July 23, 1852 – March 17, 1946) was Chairman of the Democratic Party of Connecticut.

Park Hee-byung

Park Hee Byung (1871, Gangwon, Korea – June 13, 1907, Denver, Colorado) was a Korean independence activist and one of the first Korean immigrants to the U.S. state of Colorado.

Robert W. Speer

Robert Walter Speer (December 1, 1855 – May 14, 1918) was elected the mayor of Denver, Colorado three times. He served two four-year terms in office from 1904 to 1912. He died from Influenza, early on in the worldwide epidemic of that year on May 14, 1918, while halfway through a third term in office that had started in 1916.

Roderick Dhu Sutherland

Roderick Dhu Sutherland (April 27, 1862 – October 18, 1915) was an American Populist Party politician.

Sutherland was born in Scotch Grove, Iowa and attended Amity College, College Springs, Iowa. He taught school and studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1888. He set up practice in Nelson, Nebraska, becoming the prosecuting attorney of Nuckolls County 1890 until 1896.

Sutherland served as the chairman of the Populist state convention in Nebraska in 1899. He then was appointed by governor William A. Poynter as a delegate to the trust conference held in Chicago in September 1899. He was elected as a Populist to the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1897 – March 3, 1901), but failed at being reelected to the Fifty-seventh Congress in November 1900. He was a delegate to the Populist National Convention and a delegate to the 1900 Democratic National Convention and the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

After his Congressional service, Sutherland resumed practice of law in Nelson, and died in Kansas City, Kansas in 1915. His remains were interred in Nelson Cemetery, Nelson, Nebraska.

Summers Burkhart

Summers Burkhart (26 June 1859 – 14 May 1932) was an American lawyer and the United States Attorney for New Mexico from 1913 to 1921.

Burkhart was born in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) to middle class parents, William Davidson Burkhart and Nannie Forest Burkhart. He was sent away for advanced schooling to the College of St. James in Washington County, Maryland, where he graduated in 1879. In 1880 he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and began the study of law. He was admitted to the NM bar in 1888, and was the First District Court clerk in 1889. Later that year Burkhart became the Clerk of Court for the NM Supreme Court, where he stayed two years, and left to practice law in Albuquerque, where he had been living since his marriage in May 1889. In 1893 and 1894, Burkhart was the City Attorney for Albuquerque. He left that post to become an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Court of Private Land Claims, where he stayed until 1896, and then returned to the private practice of law.

Burkhart served as an Albuquerque alderman from 1898 through 1900. He was chairman of the Central Committee of the Bernalillo County Democratic Party from 1896 to 1908, and resigned to become the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of New Mexico which post he held until 1911 when he resigned to run for the NM Supreme Court. Burkhart was the NM delegate to the 1908 Democratic National Convention. Defeated for the NM Supreme Court, Governor McDonald appointed Burkhart as Legal Adviser to the Governor. It was in this position that Burkhart issued the legal opinion that Albert Fall's election in February 1913 by the NM Legislature was illegal, forcing a special session and a new vote.Burkhart was active in securing passage in the U.S. Congress of the "Flood Amendment" to the N.M. Constitution.Following the election of Woodrow Wilson, Burkhart was appointed as U.S. Attorney for New Mexico. He was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in on 5 August 1913. He served until 3 March 1921, when he tendered his resignation upon the inauguration of Republican Warren G. Harding as president.

In 1925, Burkhart represented Governor Hannett against the unsuccessful election challenge of Manuel B. Otero. And the following year represented the State of New Mexico in New Mexico v. Colorado, a large water adjudication.

Burkhart married Miriam Parsons on 8 May 1889 in Las Vegas, NM, and they had two children.

Theodore Arlington Bell

Theodore Arlington Bell (July 25, 1872 – September 4, 1922) was a Democratic politician from California.

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