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1868 Republican Convention - History

1868 Republican Convention - History

1868 republican Convention

Chicago

May 20 to 21, 1868

Nominated: Uysses S Grant of Ill for President

Nominated: Shuyler Colfax of Indiana for Vice President

The Republican convention unanimously nominated General Grant as their nominee. There were no other nominees. Shuyler Colfax who was the speaker of the House was selected to be the Vice Presidential candidate.


Commanding General of the U.S. Army Ulysses S. Grant was the unanimous choice of the Republicans for president. At the convention he was unopposed and chosen by acclamation on the first ballot. For vice president the delegates chose Speaker Schuyler Colfax, who was Grant's choice. In Grant's acceptance telegram he said "Let us have peace", which captured the imagination of the American people.

CandidateBorn [1] Office HeldStateDelegates

Ulysses S. Grant
April 27, 1822
(age 46)
Point Pleasant, Ohio
6th
Commanding General
of the United States Army

(1864–1869)

Ohio
650

Withdrew before convention

Presidential balloting


Conspectus of the History of Political Parties and the Federal Government/1868 Republican Party Platform

1. We congratulate the country on the assured success of the reconstruction policy of Congress, as evidenced by the adoption, in the majority of the states lately in rebellion, of constitutions securing equal civil and political rights to all and it is the duty of the government to sustain those institutions and to prevent the people of such states from being remitted to a state of anarchy.

2. The guarantee by Congress of equal suffrage to all loyal men at the south was demanded by every consideration of public safety, of gratitude, and of justice, and must be maintained while the question of suffrage in all the loyal states properly belongs to the people of those states.

3. We denounce all forms of repudiation as a national crime and the national honor requires the payment of the public indebtedness in the uttermost good faith to all creditors at home and abroad, not only according to the letter but the spirit of the laws under which it was contracted.

4. It is due to the labor of the nation that taxation should be equalized and reduced as rapidly as the national faith will permit.

5. The national debt, contracted as it has been for the preservation of the Union for all time to come, should be extended over a fair period for redemption and it is the duty of Congress to reduce the rate of interest thereon whenever it can be honestly done.

6. That the best policy to diminish our burden of debt is to so improve our credit that capitalists will seek to loan us money at lower rates of interest than we now pay, and must continue to pay, so long as repudiation, partial or total, open or covert, is threatened or suspected.

7. The government of the United States should be administered with the strictest economy and the corruptions which have been so shamefully nursed and fostered by Andrew Johnson call loudly for radical reform.

8. We profoundly deplore the tragic death of Abraham Lincoln, and regret the accession to the presidency of Andrew Johnson, who has acted treacherously to the people who elected him and the cause he was pledged to support who has usurped high legislative and judicial functions who has refused to execute the laws who has used his high office to induce other officers to ignore and violate the laws who has employed his executive powers to render insecure the property, the peace, liberty, and life of the citizen who has abused the pardoning power who has denounced the national legislature as unconstitutional who has persistently and corruptly resisted, by every means in his power, every proper attempt at the reconstruction of the states lately in rebellion who has perverted the public patronage into an engine of wholesale corruption and who has been justly impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and properly pronounced guilty thereof by the vote of thirty-five Senators.

9. The doctrine of Great Britain and other European powers, that because a man is once a subject he is always so, must be resisted at every hazard by the United Stales, as a relic of feudal times, not authorized by the laws of nations, and at war with our national honor and independence. Naturalized citizens are entitled to protection in all their rights of citizenship as though they were native-born and no citizen of the United States, native or naturalized, must be liable to arrest and imprisonment by any foreign power for acts done or words spoken in this country and, if so arrested and imprisoned, it is the duty of the government to interfere in his behalf.

10. Of all who were faithful in the trials of the late war, there were none entitled to more especial honor than the brave soldiers and seamen who endured the hardships of campaign and cruise, and imperiled their lives in the service of the country. The bounties and pensions provided by the laws for these brave defenders of the nation are obligations never to be forgotten the widows and orphans of the gallant dead are the wards of the people—a sacred legacy bequeathed to the nation’s protecting care.

11. Foreign immigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development, and resources, and increase of power to this Republic, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

12. This convention declares itself in sympathy with all oppressed people who are struggling for their rights.

13. That we highly commend the spirit of magnanimity and forbearance with which men who have served in the Rebellion, but who now frankly and honestly co-operate with us in restoring the peace of the country and reconstructing the southern state governments upon the basis of impartial justice and equal rights, are received back into the communion of the loyal people and we favor the removal of the disqualifications and ​ restrictions imposed upon the late rebels, in the same measure as the spirit of disloyalty shall die out, and as may be consistent with the safety of the loyal people.

14. That we recognize the great principles laid down in the immortal Declaration of Independence, as the true foundation of democratic government and we hail with gladness every effort toward making these principles a living reality on every inch of American soil.


Convention of 1868

The Convention of 1868 was a direct result of the Radical Congressional Reconstruction Acts passed in 1867 overturning post-Civil War Presidential Reconstruction. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, commander of the Second Military District of the Carolinas, in compliance with the directives of the U.S. Congress, set the vote for a convention for 19-20 Nov. 1867. The poorly organized Conservative Party did not mount an effective opposition, while the newly formed Republican Party successfully promoted the planned convention. The registration for the election included 106,721 whites and 72,932 blacks. In the first statewide vote involving African Americans, the vote stood at 93,006 for a convention and 32,961 against. Of the 120 delegates elected, 107 were Republicans, including 18 men of northern birth (known as "carpetbaggers") and 15 blacks.

The delegates gathered in Raleigh on 14 Jan. 1868. On the second day of the meeting Calvin J. Cowles, a future son-in-law of Governor William W. Holden, was elected president of the convention. The delegates were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Congressional Reconstruction, even passing a resolution commending Congress for the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. In the Conservative press much was made of the fact that the convention cost more than $90,000, making it the most expensive constitutional convention in North Carolina history.

The constitution framed at the 1868 convention and submitted to the people on 21-23 April departed significantly from North Carolina's conservative tradition. Based in large part on the constitution of Ohio and other northern states, it was later viewed as "modern, progressive, liberal, and democratic." The new document abolished slavery, provided for universal male suffrage, eliminated property and religious qualifications for voting and office holding, organized a new superior court system, adopted the northern township-county commission form of local government, and authorized the establishment of a "general and uniform system of Public Schools." The term of the governor was extended to four years. County and executive officers were to be elected by the people, as superior and supreme court justices already were.

The 1868 state constitution was ratified by a vote of 93,086 to 74,016. Conservatives, who referred to the document as the "Canby constitution" or the "black and tan constitution," opposed many of its provisions. Objecting to black suffrage, the lack of property qualifications to vote for state senators, and the direct election of judges and many executive officers, they immediately launched a campaign to repeal or revise the document. Despite their adoption, in an 1875 convention, of many amendments that weakened the constitution's democratic aspects, as well as a number of revisions since then, North Carolina's present constitution retains much of the character and wording of the 1868 document.

Hugh T. Lefler, ed., North Carolina History Told by Contemporaries (1956).


Reconstruction Constitutions

Alexander H. Curtis The Alabama Constitutions of 1865 and 1868 were the third and fourth of six constitutions adopted by the state of Alabama between 1819 and 1901. Written during the period of Reconstruction, both constitutions were required by the U.S. Congress for Alabama to reenter the Union after the Confederacy's loss in the American Civil War. The 1865 Constitution was a revised version of the 1861 Constitution that removed any mention of secession and recognized the abolition of slavery as inscribed in the recently adopted Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was deemed insufficient for reentry into the Union by Congress, so Alabamians responded with the 1868 Constitution, which recognized the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was the first to be voted on by the people of Alabama and the only one in which African Americans had a major role in drafting. It was replaced by the Alabama Constitution of 1875, which rolled back the more progressive elements of the 1868 Constitution, signaling the collapse of Reconstruction.

As southern Democrats gained power in the first half of the 1870s, the advances of Radical Reconstruction were rolled back, and Democratic politicians dismantled laws protecting black suffrage and rights for former slaves. In 1874, Democrat George S. Houston was elected governor and Democrats won both houses of the state legislature, effectively ending Reconstruction in Alabama. The following year, another constitutional convention was convened that was comprised of 80 white Democrats, 12 Republicans (three of whom were African Americans), and seven independents. They framed and adopted the Alabama Constitution of 1875, which rolled back many of the advances of the Reconstruction constitutions by reducing the size of government, reducing funds for public education, and weakening the political power of African Americans.

Bridges, Edwin C. Alabama: The Making of an American State. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 2016.


Convention of 1868

The Convention of 1868 was a direct result of the Radical Congressional Reconstruction Acts passed in 1867 overturning post-Civil War Presidential Reconstruction. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, commander of the Second Military District of the Carolinas, in compliance with the directives of the U.S. Congress, set the vote for a convention for 19-20 Nov. 1867. The poorly organized Conservative Party did not mount an effective opposition, while the newly formed Republican Party successfully promoted the planned convention. The registration for the election included 106,721 whites and 72,932 blacks. In the first statewide vote involving African Americans, the vote stood at 93,006 for a convention and 32,961 against. Of the 120 delegates elected, 107 were Republicans, including 18 men of northern birth (known as "carpetbaggers") and 15 blacks.

The delegates gathered in Raleigh on 14 Jan. 1868. On the second day of the meeting Calvin J. Cowles, a future son-in-law of Governor William W. Holden, was elected president of the convention. The delegates were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Congressional Reconstruction, even passing a resolution commending Congress for the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson. In the Conservative press much was made of the fact that the convention cost more than $90,000, making it the most expensive constitutional convention in North Carolina history.

The constitution framed at the 1868 convention and submitted to the people on 21-23 April departed significantly from North Carolina's conservative tradition. Based in large part on the constitution of Ohio and other northern states, it was later viewed as "modern, progressive, liberal, and democratic." The new document abolished slavery, provided for universal male suffrage, eliminated property and religious qualifications for voting and office holding, organized a new superior court system, adopted the northern township-county commission form of local government, and authorized the establishment of a "general and uniform system of Public Schools." The term of the governor was extended to four years. County and executive officers were to be elected by the people, as superior and supreme court justices already were.

The 1868 state constitution was ratified by a vote of 93,086 to 74,016. Conservatives, who referred to the document as the "Canby constitution" or the "black and tan constitution," opposed many of its provisions. Objecting to black suffrage, the lack of property qualifications to vote for state senators, and the direct election of judges and many executive officers, they immediately launched a campaign to repeal or revise the document. Despite their adoption, in an 1875 convention, of many amendments that weakened the constitution's democratic aspects, as well as a number of revisions since then, North Carolina's present constitution retains much of the character and wording of the 1868 document.

Hugh T. Lefler, ed., North Carolina History Told by Contemporaries (1956).


Abraham Lincoln nominated for presidency at Republican Convention

Abraham Lincoln, a one-time U.S. representative from Illinois, is nominated for the U.S. presidency by the Republican National Convention meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine was nominated for the vice presidency.

Lincoln, a Kentucky-born lawyer and former Whig representative to Congress, first gained national stature during his campaign against Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois for a U.S. Senate seat in 1858. The senatorial campaign featured a remarkable series of public encounters on the slavery issue, known as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in which Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery while Douglas maintained that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become free or slave state. Lincoln lost the Senate race, but his campaign brought national attention to the young Republican Party. In 1860, Lincoln won the party’s presidential nomination.

In the November election, Lincoln again faced Douglas, who represented the Northern faction of a heavily divided Democratic Party, as well as Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge and Constitutional Union candidate John Bell. On November 6, 1860, Lincoln defeated his opponents with only 40 percent of the popular vote, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. The announcement of Lincoln’s victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House.


Alabama Republicans and the Populists (1890-1916)

By the late 1890s, a coalition between the Populist Party and the Republican Party often produced “fusion tickets”, that combined forces in several subsequent elections to win control of several of Alabama hill counties in this era. They were most dominant in Marshall, St. Clair, Shelby, and Chilton Counties. Between 1892-1932 Shelby County was usually closely contested under the leadership of A. P. Longshore. Marshall County elected Republican Thomas Kennamer in 1896 to the Alabama House of Representatives. DeKalb County voted in 1896 for GOP Presidential candidate William McKinley. Chilton County was decidedly Republican between 1900–1912, including electing Lewis W. Reynolds as a Republican Probate Judge in 1904 and again in 1916. S. J. Petree was elected as a Republican Probate Judge in Franklin County in 1910 C. C. Scheuing was elected Cullman County Sheriff in 1910 J. B. Sloan was elected as a Republican to the State Senate from a district made up of Blount, Cullman, and Winston Counties. In 1910, J. J. Curtis of Winston County became the first Republican Circuit Judge (for Winston & Walker Counties) in Alabama since Reconstruction.

In this time period, in the 54th United States Congress, two brothers, Truman H. Aldrich (1896–1897) and William F. Aldrich (1896–1897), both served as Republicans. William Aldrich also served in the 55th Congress (1898–99) and the 56th Congress (1900–01) with the unusual distinction of having been seated all three times in disputed elections ultimately decided by Congress itself. After William Aldrich left Congress in 1901, no Republican would be elected again until 1964.


Candidates for the vice-presidential nomination



  • Benjamin F. Wade (Ohio)

  • John A. J. Creswell (Maryland)

  • Andrew G. Curtin (Pennsylvania)

  • Reuben E. Fenton (New York)

  • Hannibal Hamlin (Maine)

  • James Harlan (Iowa)

  • William D. Kelley (Pennsylvania)

  • Samuel C. Pomeroy (Kansas)

  • James Speed (Kentucky)

  • Henry Wilson (Massachusetts)

Historical Events in 1868

Event of Interest

Feb 29 1st British government of Benjamin Disraeli forms

    University of Illinois opens 30th Grand National: George Ede victorious aboard Irish 9/1 shot The Lamb horse wins second GN in 1871

Event of Interest

Mar 20 Jesse James Gang robs a bank in Russellville, Kentucky, of $14,000

    1st US professional women's club, Sorosis, forms in NYC University of California founded in Oakland, California Metropolitan Life Insurance Co forms The Lake Ontario Shore Railroad Company is organized in Oswego, New York. Chinese Embassy arrives aboard steamship China Hampton Institute opens A Hawaiian surfs on highest wave ever - a 50-foot tidal wave Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation is assassinated by the Irish, in one of the few Canadian political assassinations, and only federal politician

Music Premiere

Apr 10 1st performance of Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem"

Ethiopian Emperor Commits Suicide

Apr 13 Abyssinian War ends as British and Indian troops capture Magdala and Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II commits suicide

British soldiers discover the body of Emperor Tewodros II after he committed suicide following the Battle of Magdala
    SC voters approved constitution, 70,758 to 27,228 Louisiana voters approve new constitution San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formed

Music Premiere

May 9 Anton Bruckner's 1st Symphony in C, premieres

    The city of Reno, Nevada, is founded Japanese Boshin War: end of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle, former Shogunate forces withdraw northward to Aizu by way of Nikkō Dutch government of Zuylen van Nijevelt falls Bedřich Smetana's opera "Dalibor" premieres at the New Town Theatre in Prague US Senate fails to impeach President Andrew Johnson by one vote Republican National Convention, meets in Chicago, nominates Grant Train robbery at Marshfield, Indiana by the Reno Brothers Gang, who make off with $98,000 Australian Aboriginal Cricket tour of England begins v Surrey Gentlemen US President Andrew Johnson is acquitted by the Senate by one vote during his impeachment trial Michael Obrenovich III, Prince of Serbia, is assassinated in Belgrade "Decoration Day", later called Memorial Day is first observed in Northern US states 1st Memorial Day parade held in Ironton, Ohio Dr James Moore (UK) wins 1st recorded bicycle race, (2k) velocipede race at Parc fde St Cloud, Paris Texas constitutional convention meets in Austin

How the Qwerty Keyboard was Born

Jun 23 Christopher Latham Sholes patents the Sholes and Glidden typewriter, the first commercially successful of its kind

    Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina readmitted to US US President Andrew Johnson passes a law that government workers would work 8 hr day Battle at Ueno, Japan: last Tokugawa armies defeated Maori leader Te Kooti and 300 of his followers captured the schooner Rifleman in the Chatham Islands and sail for New Zealand landing at Whareongaonga six days later Surrey wicket-keeper Ted Pooley completes a then-1st class cricket record 12 dismissals (8 caught, 4 stumped) in a County match against Sussex at The Oval 1st African American cabinet member in South Carolina, Francis L Cardozo as Secretary of State Louisiana and South Carolina are the last states to ratify the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing civil rights Oscar J Dunn, former slave, installed as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Alvin J Fellows patents tape measure 1st use of tax stamps on cigarettes All England Lawn Tennis Club is founded as The All England Croquet Club 1877 name changed to The All England Croquet & Lawn Tennis Club

Event of Interest

Jul 28 US Secretary of State William H. Seward announces 14th Amendment ratified by states, grants citizenship to ex-slaves

    Earthquake destroys the city of Arica, Chile Earthquakes kill 25,000 & causes $300 million damages (Peru & Ecuador) French Astronomer Pierre Janssen discovers helium in solar spectrum during eclipse New York Athletic Club forms Golf's 1st recorded hole-in-one by Tom Morris at Prestwick's 8th hole, Scotland Race riots in New Orleans, Louisiana Grito de Lares proclaims Puerto Rico's independence (crushed by Spain) British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Tom Morris Jr. beats his father, Tom Morris Sr. by 3 strokes at 17 young Morris remains youngest Open champion The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Nevski shipwrecks off Jutland while carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia. Battle of Alcolea, causes Queen Isabella II of Spain to flee to France Opelousas Massacre at St Landry Parish Louisiana (200 blacks killed) Spain's Queen Isabella is deposed, flees to France 1st edition of Maasbode published

Historic Publication

Oct 1 "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott is published in America by Roberts Brothers of Boston

    Cornell University (Ithaca NY) opens 1st written account of a Canadian football game Cuba revolts for independence against Spain Constitution of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg comes into effect

Election of Interest

Nov 3 Ulysses S. Grant (R) wins US presidential election over Horatio Seymour (D)

Victory in Battle

Nov 11 War of the Triple Alliance: Allied victory in the Battle of Avay leaves 3,000 Paraguayan soldiers dead, 600 wounded and the road to Asunción open

    American Philological Association organized in NY Louis Ducos du Hauron patents trichrome color photo process 1st baseball game played in enclosed field in San Francisco, at 25th & Folsom

Battle of Interest

Nov 27 Battle at Washita River, Oklahoma. General George A. Custer attacks group of Native American Indians, their chief Black Kettle dies in the attack

Event of Interest

Nov 30 The inauguration of a statue of King Charles XII of Sweden takes place in the King's garden in Stockholm