1904 Democratic National Convention

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1904 Democratic National Convention
1904 presidential election
AltonBParker.png HenryGDavis.png
Parker and Davis
City St. Louis, Missouri
Venue St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall
Presidential nominee Alton B. Parker of New York
Vice Presidential nominee Henry G. Davis of West Virginia
1900  ·  1908
Opening session of the convention

The 1904 Democratic National Convention was a United States presidential nominating convention that took place during the 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Summer Olympics in the Coliseum of the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall in St. Louis, Missouri. The convention nominated Alton B. Parker of New York for President and Henry G. Davis of West Virginia for Vice President. The ticket lost the 1904 presidential election to the Republican Party ticket of Theodore Roosevelt and Charles W. Fairbanks.


After the second straight defeat of Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan in the 1900 presidential election, the conservative allies of President Grover Cleveland regained power within the party.[1] However, with the popularity of President Theodore Roosevelt, many of the most prominent Democrats, such as Cleveland and former Attorney General Richard Olney, refused to run.[1] Additionally, Maryland Senator Arthur Pue Gorman alienated many in the South by opposing Roosevelt's policies in Panama.[1] In this atmosphere, conservative Democrats coalesced around New York Court of Appeals Judge Alton B. Parker, an ally of former New York Governor David B. Hill.[1] Parker hoped to one day sit on the United States Supreme Court, but Parker was convinced to run for president by Hill and was backed by business interests.[1] Over the objections of Bryan, Parker defeated former New York Congressman William Randolph Hearst on the first ballot.[1] In a further defeat for Bryan, the Democrats adopted a conservative platform far different from the policies espoused in 1896 and 1900.[2] However, Bryan would re-take control of the party in the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

Presidential candidates

Presidential ballot
First before shifts First after shifts Unanimous
Alton B. Parker 658 679 1,000
William Randolph Hearst 200 181
Francis Cockrell 42 42
Richard Olney 38 38
Edward C. Wall 27 27
George Gray 12 12
John Sharp Williams 8 8
Robert E. Pattison 4 4
George B. McClellan Jr. 3 3
Nelson A. Miles 3 3
Charles A. Towne 2 2
Arthur Pue Gorman 2 0
Bird S. Coler 1 1

Vice presidential spot

With Democratic prospects in the November election appearing bleak, most prominent politicians expressed no interest in the vice presidential nomination, or declined when asked to consider it. The names of several lesser-known individuals were mentioned, including businessman Marshall Field of Illinois, former Congressman John C. Black of Illinois, Congressman James R. Williams of Illinois, attorney John W. Kern of Indiana, Edward C. Wall of Wisconsin, David Bost of Wisconsin, Governor Alexander Monroe Dockery of Missouri, and attorney Joseph W. Folk of Missouri.[2] Henry G. Davis, a wealthy, 80 year old former Senator, was given the honor in the hope he would finance part of the campaign. Davis did not donate as much as party leaders had hoped, but his contributions still represented a third of the party's entire expenditure on the presidential campaign.

Vice presidential candidates

Vice presidential ballot
First Unanimous
Henry G. Davis 644 1,000
James R. Williams 165
George Turner 100
William A. Harris 58
Blank 33

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kennedy, Robert C. "Citizen Parker". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Bryan Crushed in Test of Strength". New York Times. 8 July 1904. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 

External links

  • Official report of the proceedings of the Democratic national convention held in St. Louis, Mo., July 6, 7, 8, and 9, 1904
  • Democratic Party Platform of 1904 at The American Presidency Project

Preceded by
Kansas City, Missouri
Democratic National Conventions Succeeded by
Denver, Colorado
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