1900 Democratic National Convention

1900 Democratic National Convention
1900 presidential election
Bryan and Stevenson
Date(s) July 4–6, 1900
City Kansas City, Missouri
Venue Convention Hall
Presidential nominee William J. Bryan of Nebraska
Vice Presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois

The 1900 Democratic National Convention was a United States presidential nominating convention that took place the week of July 4, 1900, at Convention Hall in Kansas City, Missouri.

The convention nominated William Jennings Bryan for President and former Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for his former office. The ticket was to lose the general election to the Republican ticket of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

Presidential nomination


Bryan had little opposition for the nomination after Spanish–American War hero Admiral George Dewey dropped out in May after being quoted in newspapers that he thought the President's job would be easy, because the president merely followed the orders of Congress to enforce laws.[1] Bryan's strongest opposition at the convention came from Richard Croker of New York's Tammany Hall. Bryan was also nominated by a branch of the Populist Party.

The 1900 Democratic National Convention was the first time a woman served as a delegate to a major party convention. Elizabeth M. Cohen of Salt Lake City, Utah, became a delegate when one of the Utah delegates could not serve, and she seconded the nomination of William Jennings Bryan.[2][3][4]

The convention marked the first time that a member of royalty attended a U.S. national nominating convention as a delegate. David Kawananakoa, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii, represented the newest United States territory. Prince David was to break a tie about inserting a free silver plank into the convention platform. The Democrats included planks in the platform denouncing Republican imperialism and expansion, as had been demonstrated in the Spanish–American War.

Kansas City had the convention thanks to its new Convention Hall, which opened on February 22, 1899. The hall was destroyed in a fire on April 4, 1900, but was rebuilt in 90 days in time for the convention. Harry S. Truman served as a page at the convention.

Presidential ballot
William Jennings Bryan936

Source: US President – D Convention. Our Campaigns. (March 10, 2011).

Vice Presidential candidates

At the start of the convention, former Congressman Charles A. Towne of Minnesota was considered the favorite for the vice presidential nomination, as both the Populists and the Silver Republican Party backed Towne.[5] Other names mentioned as possible candidates include former New York Senator David B. Hill and John W. Keller, an obscure commissioner from New York City.[5]

Seven names were placed in nomination: Adlai Stevenson, David B. Hill, Charles A. Towne, Abraham W. Patrick, Julian S. Carr, John W. Smith, and J. Hamilton Lewis. Former Representative Lewis thanked the convention for its generosity but did not wish to be considered for the vice presidency. Governor Smith declined to allow the use of his name, and it was withdrawn before the result was announced. Former Senator Hill indignantly protested against his own nomination in a speech and declared that he would not take it if offered, for personal and valid reasons. Former Vice President Stevenson won the nomination with the help of Bryanites who wanted to keep Hill off of the ticket.[6] The choice of Stevenson alienated the Populists and Silver Republicans, who had planned to nominate the Democratic ticket.[6]


Vice Presidential Ballot
1st Before Shifts1st After Shifts
Adlai E. Stevenson559.5936
David B. Hill2000
Charles A. Towne89.50
Abraham W. Patrick460
Julian S. Carr230
John W. Smith160
Elliott Danforth10
Jim Hogg10

See also


  1. http://old.nationalreview.com/convention/diary/diaryprint.html
  2. Smithsonian: Conventional Facts
  3. Official Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention (1900). McLellan Printing Co. pp. 91, 148, 267.
  4. Freeman, Jo (2000). A Room at a Time: How Women Entered Party Politics. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 65. ISBN 0-8476-9804-1. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  5. 1 2 "WJ Bryan to be Nominated Today". New York Times. 4 July 1900. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Adlai E. Stevenson for Vice President". New York Times. 7 July 1900. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
Preceded by
Chicago, Illinois
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
St. Louis, Missouri
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