|1912 Democratic National Convention|
|1912 presidential election|
Wilson and Marshall
|Date(s)||June 25 – July 2, 1912|
|Venue||Fifth Regiment Armory|
|Presidential nominee||Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey|
|Vice Presidential nominee||Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana|
The 1912 Democratic National Convention was held at the Fifth Regiment Armory in Baltimore from June 25 to July 2, 1912. It proved to be one of the more memorable United States presidential conventions of the 20th century.
1904 Presidential nominee Judge Alton B. Parker of New York served as the Temporary chairman and Keynote Speaker while Representative Ollie M. James of Kentucky served as Permanent Convention chairman.
The main candidates were House Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri and Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey. Both Clark and Wilson had won a number of primaries, and Clark entered the convention with more pledged delegates than did Wilson. However, he lacked the two-thirds vote necessary to secure the presidential nomination.
Initially, the front runner appeared to be Clark, who received 440¼ votes on the first ballot to 324 for Wilson. Governor Judson Harmon of Ohio received 148 votes while U.S. Representative Oscar W. Underwood of Alabama, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, received 117¼ with the rest of the votes scattered among the other delegates. No candidate managed to gain a majority until the ninth ballot, when the New York delegation shifted its allegiance to Clark. Due to the then-official two-thirds rule used by the Democratic Party, Clark was never able to secure the presidential nomination as he failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote for victory.
In past conventions, once a candidate received a majority of the votes, it would start a bandwagon rolling to the nomination. Clark's chances were hurt when Tammany Hall, the powerful and corrupt Democratic political machine in New York City, threw its support behind him. This was the move that gave Clark a majority on the ninth ballot, but instead of propelling Clark's bandwagon towards victory, the endorsement led William Jennings Bryan to turn against the Speaker of the House. A three-time Democratic presidential candidate and still the leader of the party's liberals, Bryan delivered a speech denouncing Clark as the candidate of "Wall Street".
Up until the Tammany endorsement, Bryan had remained neutral, but once the corrupt machine put itself behind Clark, he threw his support to New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, who was regarded as a moderate reformer. Wilson had consistently finished second to Clark on each ballot, Ironically, Wilson had nearly given up hope that he could be nominated, and he was on the verge of having a concession speech read for him at the convention freeing his delegates to vote for someone else. Bryan's endorsement of Wilson influenced many other delegates, and Wilson gradually gained in strength while Clark's support dwindled. Wilson received the presidential nomination on the 46th ballot.
The 46 ballots were the most cast at a convention since 1860.
|Thomas R. Marshall||31||31||31||31||31||31||31||31||31||31||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30||30|
|Simeon E. Baldwin||22||14||14||14||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|William J. Bryan||1||2||1||0||0||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||2||2||1||1||1||7||1||1||1||1||1|
|John W. Kern||0||0||1||2||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||0||2||2||2||4.5||3.5||1||1||1||1||0||0|
|Ollie M. James||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||0||0|
|William J. Gaynor||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|J. Hamilton Lewis||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thomas R. Marshall||30||30||30||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Simeon E. Baldwin||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|William J. Bryan||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0.5||1||0||0||0|
|John W. Kern||0||0||0||1||4||2||2||2||2||2||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||0||0||0|
|Ollie M. James||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|William J. Gaynor||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|J. Hamilton Lewis||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
Clark and Bryan were both proposed as vice presidential nominees, but both declined, with Clark preferring to remain as Speaker and Bryan fearful of overshadowing Wilson. Bryan instead proposed Oregon Senator George E. Chamberlain and North Dakota Governor John Burke, the latter of whom became the main progressive candidate. Governor Thomas R. Marshall of Indiana, who had swung his state's delegate votes to Wilson in later ballots, became the major candidate of conservatives. After the second ballot, Representative William Hughes, a leading campaign manager of Wilson's, successfully proposed making the nomination of Marshall unanimous. Wilson and Marshall went on to win a landslide victory in the 1912 Presidential election against a split Republican Party.
|Vice Presidential Ballot|
|Thomas R. Marshall||389||644.5||1,088|
|George E. Chamberlain||157||12.5|
|Elmore W. Hurst||78||0|
|James H. Preston||58||0|
|Martin J. Wade||26||0|
|William F. McCombs||18||0|
|John E. Osborne||8||0|
The primary battles leading up to the 1912 Democratic Convention are a pivotal event in Taylor Caldwell's 1972 novel Captains and the Kings. In the novel, the fictional Irish-Catholic Rory Daniel Armagh, a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, emerges as the front-runner for the 1912 Democratic presidential nomination after beating Woodrow Wilson in multiple primaries. (Unlike in real life, Champ Clark is not a factor in the novel.) Armagh is assassinated as part of a conspiracy of international power brokers before the convention.
Scenes of the convention are depicted in the 1944 biographical film Wilson.
| Democratic National Conventions
St. Louis, Missouri
The 1912 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1912 U.S. presidential election. New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1912 Democratic National Convention held from June 25 to July 2, 1912, in Baltimore, Maryland.1912 United States elections
The 1912 United States elections elected the members of the 63rd United States Congress, occurring during the Fourth Party System. Amidst a division between incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft and former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, the Democratic Party won the Presidency and both chambers of Congress, the first time they accomplished that feat since the 1892 election.
In the Presidential election, Democratic Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey defeated Republican President William Howard Taft and former president and Progressive Party nominee Theodore Roosevelt. Socialist union leader Eugene Debs, running his fourth campaign, took six percent of the vote. At the 1912 Democratic National Convention, Wilson took the nomination on the 46th ballot, defeating Speaker Champ Clark and several other candidates. Roosevelt left the Republican Party after an unsuccessful challenge to Taft at the 1912 Republican National Convention. Though Wilson carried just over 40% of the popular vote, he dominated the electoral college and won a greater share of the electoral vote than any candidate since Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Wilson's election made him the first Democratic president since Grover Cleveland left office in 1897. Roosevelt's candidacy finished second in the popular vote and the electoral college, the only time a third party candidate accomplished either feat.
Following the 1910 census, 41 seats were added to the House, setting the House at 435 seats. Democrats made major gains in the House, further strengthening their majority, while the new Progressive Party won ten seats.In the last Senate election before the ratification of the 17th Amendment, Democrats made moderate gains and won control of the chamber for the first time since the 1892 election.Champ Clark
James Beauchamp Clark (March 7, 1850 – March 2, 1921) was a prominent American politician in the Democratic Party from the 1890s until his death. He represented Missouri in the United States House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House from 1911 to 1919.
Born in Kentucky, he established a law practice in Bowling Green, Missouri. He won election to the House in 1892, lost his seat in 1894, and won the seat back in 1896. He became the House Minority Leader in 1908 and was elevated to Speaker after Democrats took control of the House in the 1910 elections. He inadvertently helped defeat the Canadian–American Reciprocity Treaty of 1911 by arguing that ratification of the treaty would lead to the incorporation of Canada into the United States.
Entering the 1912 Democratic National Convention, Clark had won the backing of a majority of the delegates, but lacked the necessary two-thirds majority to win the presidential nomination. After dozens of ballots, Woodrow Wilson emerged as the Democratic presidential nominee, and went on to win the 1912 presidential election. Clark helped Wilson pass much of his progressive agenda but opposed U.S. entry into World War I. The 1920 House elections saw the defeat of numerous Democrats, including Clark. He died the following March, two days before he would have left office.Fifth Regiment Armory
Fifth Regiment Armory is a historic National Guard armory located at Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is an imposing, fortress-type structure situated in midtown Baltimore. It consists of a full basement, a first floor containing a 200 foot by 300 foot drill hall, a mezzanine or "balcony" level, and a newer second level (reconstructed in 1933 after a fire) housing the trussed steel drill hall roof. The façade features buttresses, parapets, casement windows, and a crenellated roofline, giving the appearance of a medieval fortification. It was the site of the 1912 Democratic National Convention.
The Fifth Regiment Armory was designed by architects Wyatt & Nolting. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It is included within the Baltimore National Heritage Area.On October 31, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a television speech from the Fifth Regiment Armory. The event was attended by Maryland Governor Theodore McKeldin, Senator John Glenn Beall, Jr., Senator John Marshall Butler, and Congressman James Devereux.H. H. Bonniwell
H. H. Bonniwell was a member of the Minnesota Senate.James A. Parsons
James A. Parsons (ca. 1868 in Steuben County, New York – March 4, 1945 in Albany, New York) was an American lawyer and politician.James Z. Spearing
James Zacharie Spearing (April 23, 1864 – November 2, 1942) was a U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 2nd congressional district, based in New Orleans.
Born in Alto in Cherokee County, Texas, Spearing moved with his parents in 1866 to New Orleans, where he attended public schools. He left school and went to work in 1877. In 1886, he obtained a degree from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans. That same year, he was admitted to the bar and began his legal practice in New Orleans.
He served as member of the Orleans Parish School Board from 1908 to 1912 and again from 1916 to 1920 and as president in 1919 and 1920. Between the parish school board terms, he was a member of the Louisiana State Board of Education from 1912 to 1916. He was an alternate delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention, which nominated the Wilson-Marshall ticket, which handily won the electoral votes of Louisiana.
Spearing was elected to the Sixty-eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of H. Garland Dupré. He was reelected to the Sixty-ninth, Seventieth, and Seventy-first Congresses and served from April 22, 1924, to March 3, 1931. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1930. Thereafter, he resumed the practice of law in New Orleans, where he died and is interred at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.John J. Whitacre
John Jefferson Whitacre (December 28, 1860 – December 2, 1938) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.
Born in Decatur, Nebraska, Whitacre attended the public schools, Hiram (Ohio) College, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
He engaged as a manufacturer of hollow building tile.
He served as delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention.
He was an unsuccessful candidate in 1908 to the Sixty-first Congress.
He had a home built in Brown Township, Carroll County, Ohio. During the 1920 presidential campaign, both candidates, Warren G Harding and James M. Cox visited his home.Whitacre was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-second and Sixty-third Congresses (March 4, 1911 – March 3, 1915).
He announced he would not run for a third term in 1914:
All I've done since I've been in Washington has been to sit around and try to look wise, and that's what any man has to do who isn't willing to barter his convictions for political expediency. ... No man who wants to be intellectually honest has any business in congress.
He resumed his former manufacturing pursuits.
He served as president of the Whitacre Engineering Co. and the Whitacre-Greer Fireproofing Co.
He was nominated in 1928 for the 18th district, but lost.
He died in Miami, Florida, December 2, 1938.
He was interred in Magnolia Cemetery, Magnolia, Ohio.John S. Bransford
John Samuel Bransford (August 26, 1856 – 1944) was the 15th mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah from 1907 to 1911.Justus Goebel
Justus Goebel, Sr. (July 21, 1858 – March 11, 1919) of Covington, Kentucky was a Kentucky delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention and a tax-reform advocate. He was president of Lowry & Goebel.Newton D. Baker
Newton Diehl Baker Jr. (December 3, 1871 – December 25, 1937) was an American lawyer, Georgist, politician, and government official. He served as the 37th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1912 to 1915. As U.S. Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921, Baker presided over the United States Army during World War I.
Born in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Baker established a legal practice in Cleveland after graduating from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He became progressive Democratic ally of Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Baker served as city solicitor of Cleveland from 1901 to 1909 before taking office as mayor in 1912. As mayor, he sought public transit reform, hospital improvement, and city beautification. Baker supported Woodrow Wilson at the 1912 Democratic National Convention, helping Wilson win the votes of the Ohio delegation. After leaving office, Baker accepted appointment as Secretary of War under President Wilson. He was one of several prominent Georgists appointed to positions in the Wilson Cabinet.Baker presided over the U.S. military's participation in World War I. He selected General John J. Pershing to command the American Expeditionary Forces, which he insisted act as an independent unit. He left office in 1921 and returned to BakerHostetler, the legal practice he co-founded. He served as an attorney in Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., a landmark case that established the constitutionality of zoning laws. He was a strong supporter of the League of Nations and continued to advocate American participation in the League during the 1920s. Beginning in 1928, he served as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He was a candidate for the presidential nomination at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, but the convention chose Franklin D. Roosevelt.Norman E. Mack
Norman Edward Mack (July 24, 1856 – December 26, 1932) was editor and publisher of the Buffalo Times. He was also Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1908 to 1912.Oscar Lee Gray
O.L. Gray (July 2, 1865 – January 2, 1936) was a U.S. Representative from Alabama.
Born in Marion, Mississippi, Gray attended school in Choctaw County, Alabama. He studied law, graduated from the University of Alabama in 1885, and was admitted to the Alabama bar. Gray taught school and served as Superintendent of Education for Choctaw County. He served as solicitor for the First Judicial Circuit from 1904 to 1910 and was a delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention.
Gray was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1919). He served on the Rivers and Harbors Committee and was the first Congressman to sign the World War I Declaration of War. His 1918 re-election campaign materials boast of his relationship with and support for U.S. President Woodrow Wilson:
"He Stood by the President All the Time
Let's all Stand by Him this Time."
After serving in Congress he returned to the Gray Plantation in Butler, Alabama and resumed the practice of law. In November 1934 he was elected Judge of the Alabama First Judicial Circuit Court.
He died January 2, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana, the home of his daughter and son-in-law (Bess Gray Garrett and Dr. Broox Cleveland Garrett) and grandchildren (Betty Gray Garrett and Broox C. Garrett, Jr.). Gray was interred next to his widow Laura Lee Gray, at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.
Gray's great-granddaughter, Dr. Betsy Vogel Boze, served as president of The College of The Bahamas.Oscar Underwood
Oscar Wilder Underwood (May 6, 1862 – January 25, 1929) was an American lawyer and politician from Alabama, and also a candidate for President of the United States in 1912 and 1924. He was the first formally designated floor leader in the United States Senate, and the only individual to serve as the Democratic leader in both the Senate and the United States House of Representatives.Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Underwood began a legal career in Minnesota after graduating from the University of Virginia. He moved his legal practice to Birmingham, Alabama in 1884 and won election to the House of Representatives in 1894. Underwood served as House Majority Leader from 1911 to 1915, and was a strong supporter President Woodrow Wilson's progressive agenda and a prominent advocate of a reduction in the tariff. He sponsored the Revenue Act of 1913, also known as the Underwood Tariff, which lowered tariff rates and imposed a federal income tax. He won election to the Senate in 1914 and served as Senate Minority Leader from 1920 to 1923. He unsuccessfully opposed federal Prohibition, arguing that state and local governments should regulate alcohol.
Underwood sought the presidential nomination at the 1912 Democratic National Convention, but the convention selected Woodrow Wilson after forty-six ballots. He declined the vice presidential nomination, which instead went to Thomas R. Marshall. Underwood ran for president again in 1924, entering the 1924 Democratic National Convention as a prominent conservative opponent of the Ku Klux Klan. One of the few prominent anti-Klan politicians in the South at the time, Underwood and his supporters narrowly failed to win adoption of a Democratic resolution condemning the Klan. He experienced a boomlet of support on the 101st presidential ballot of the convention, but the Democrats nominated John W. Davis as a compromise candidate. Underwood declined to run for re-election in 1926 and retired to his Woodlawn plantation in Fairfax County, Virginia, where he died in 1929.Second inauguration of Woodrow Wilson
The second inauguration of Woodrow Wilson as President of the United States was held privately on Sunday, March 4, 1917, and publicly on Monday, March 5, 1917, at the east portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. The inauguration marked the commencement of the second four-year term of Woodrow Wilson as President and of Thomas R. Marshall as Vice President. Chief Justice Edward D. White administered the presidential oath of office to Wilson.William F. Sheehan
William Francis Sheehan (November 6, 1859 – March 14, 1917) was an American lawyer and politician.William F. Wolfe
William F. Wolfe was United States Attorney of the Western District of Wisconsin from 1916 to 1917. Previously, he had been a member of the Platform and Resolutions Committee of the 1912 Democratic National Convention and would go on to be a member of the Committee on Rules and Order of Business of the 1916 Democratic National Convention. Also in 1916, Wolfe was a candidate for the United States Senate. He lost to incumbent Robert M. La Follette, Sr..William Irving Shuman
William Irving Shuman, or simply Irving Shuman, (1882–1958) was an American businessman, banker and political activist during the late 19th and early 20th century. A longtime member of the Democratic Party in Moultrie County, Illinois, he was an Illinois delegate to the 1912 Democratic National Convention and served as assistant U.S. Treasurer in Chicago, Illinois during World War I.William Sohmer
William Sohmer (May 26, 1852 in Dunningen, Kingdom of Württemberg – February 2, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York City) was an American politician.
of the DNC