1835 Democratic National Convention
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|1836 presidential election
Van Buren and Johnson
|Date(s)||May 20–22, 1835|
|Venue||Fourth Presbyterian Church|
|Presidential nominee||Martin Van Buren of New York|
|Vice Presidential nominee||Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky|
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.
President Andrew Jackson wrote on February 23, 1835, 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.
Tennessee, Illinois, South Carolina, and Alabama sent no delegates to the convention. Andrew Stevenson of Virginia served as the chairman and convention president. Six convention vice presidents and four secretaries were appointed.
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. 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.
|Name||Home State||Delegate Vote||Percentage|
|Richard Mentor Johnson||Kentucky||178||67%|
|William Cabell Rives||Virginia||87||33%|
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. 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; Johnson, likewise on June 9.
The opposition did not put forward rival candidates for the presidency and vice presidency nominated by national convention. Martin Van Buren defeated his many competitors for the presidency in the election of 1836. The electors of Virginia supported Van Buren, but cast their votes for William Smith for the vice presidency. Richard Mentor Johnson received a plurality, but not a majority, of the electoral votes for the vice presidency. In the subsequent election in the United States Senate, he was elected to the vice presidency.
- Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (April 4, 1835), "Gen. Jackson's Letter", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 80–81
- Witcover, Jules (2014). The American Vice Presidency. Smithsonian Books. pp. 90–91.
- 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.
- Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (June 13, 1835), "Mr. Van Buren's Acceptance", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 257–258
- Niles, Hezekiah, ed. (July 11, 1835), "Col. Johnson's Acceptance", Niles' Weekly Register, H. Niles, 48, pp. 329–330
- Proceedings of the convention, Niles' Weekly Register, Volume XLVIII, March 1835 to September 1835
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