1872 Democratic National Convention

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1872 Democratic National Convention
1872 presidential election
Horace Greeley restored (cropped).jpg BGratzBrown.png
Greeley and Brown
Date(s)July 9–10, 1872
CityBaltimore, Maryland
VenueFord's Grand Opera House, East Fayette Street (between North Howard & Eutaw Streets)
Presidential nomineeHorace Greeley of New York
Vice Presidential nomineeBenjamin Gratz Brown of Missouri
‹ 1868  ·  1876 ›
Interior of Ford's Grand Opera House of John T. Ford (1829-1894) on East Fayette Street between North Howard and Eutaw Streets in Baltimore during the 1872 Democratic National Convention. Built 1871, razed 1964.

The 1872 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held at Ford's Grand Opera House on East Fayette Street, between North Howard and North Eutaw Streets, in Baltimore, Maryland on July 9 and 10, 1872. It resulted in the nomination of newspaper publisher Horace Greeley (1811-1872) of New York and Governor Benjamin Gratz Brown (1826-1885) of Missouri for President and Vice President, a ticket previously nominated by the rump Liberal Republican faction convention meeting also in Baltimore's newly built premier Opera House of nationally well-known theatre owner/operator John T. Ford(1829-1894) (infamous as the owner of the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. where 16th President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated in April 1865) of the major Republican Party which had already re-nominated incumbent 18th President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) of the regular Republicans for another term.

The convention was called to order by Democratic National Committee chairman August Belmont. Thomas Jefferson Randolph served as the convention's temporary chairman and James R. Doolittle served as permanent president. At six hours in length, stretched over two days, the convention was the shortest meeting of a major political party convention in history.[1]

The convention[edit]

Accepting the "Liberal Republican" platform meant the Democrats had accepted the "New Departure", rejecting the anti-Reconstruction platform of 1868. They realized to win they had to look forward, and not try to refight the Civil War.[2][full citation needed] Also, they realized they would only split the anti-Grant vote if they nominated a candidate other than Greeley. However, Greeley's long reputation in the years before as the most aggressive attacker of the earlier Democratic Party, its principles, its leadership, and its activists cooled enthusiasm among many of the delegates for the potential nominee.

Presidential nomination[edit]

Presidential candidates[edit]

Horace Greeley received 686 of the 732 delegate votes cast on the first ballot. The motion to have Greeley's nomination be declared unanimous was carried.

Presidential Ballot 1st Unanimous
Horace Greeley 686 732
Jeremiah S. Black 21
James A. Bayard 15
Blank 8
William S. Groesbeck 2

Source: Official proceedings of the National Democratic convention, held at Baltimore, July 9, 1872. (September 3, 2012).

Vice presidential nomination[edit]

Vice presidential candidates[edit]

Benjamin G. Brown received 713 of the 732 delegate votes cast on the first ballot.

Vice Presidential Ballot 1st
Benjamin Gratz Brown 713
Blank 13
John W. Stevenson 6

Source: Official proceedings of the National Democratic convention, held at Baltimore, July 9, 1872. (September 3, 2012).

Straight-Out Democrats Convention[edit]

A splinter, conservative group of Democrats, calling themselves the Straight-Out Democrats, unhappy with the nomination of Greeley, held a Straight-Out Democratic National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. They nominated for President Charles O'Conor, who told them by telegram that he would not accept their nomination, and for Vice President John Quincy Adams II. The candidates received 23,054 votes (0.35%) in the election, and no Electoral College electors.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
New York, New York
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
St. Louis, Missouri