1904 Republican National Convention
The popular President Theodore Roosevelt had easily ensured himself of the nomination, though a threat had come from the Old Guard favourite Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, the loyal kingmaker in Republican politics. But the senator had died early in 1904 therefore ending all opposition in the Republican Party.
There were also very informal talks with future president William Howard Taft about trying for the nomination, but Taft refused these motions as evidenced by a letter to Henry Hoyt, the Solicitor General, in 1903.
The 1904 Republican platform favored the protective tariff, increased foreign trade, the gold standard, expansion of the Merchant Marine and strengthening of the United States Navy; it also praised Roosevelt’s foreign and domestic policies.
Vice Presidential candidates
Vice President Roosevelt had ascended to the presidency in 1901 after the death of President William McKinley. As the 25th Amendment had not yet been passed, there was no way to fill the vice presidential vacancy. So the 1904 convention had the task of choosing a running mate for Roosevelt. Entering the convention, Senator Charles Fairbanks of Indiana was considered the likely favorite for the vice presidential nomination, but the Roosevelt administration favored Illinois Representative Robert R. Hitt or Secretary of War William Howard Taft of Ohio. Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon of Illinois also had support among the delegates, but Cannon had no desire to leave his position in the House. However, the administration did not launch a fight over the nomination of Fairbanks, and Fairbanks was nominated by acclamation.
There were significantly fewer speakers at the 1904 convention then there are at a typical convention today. This is because the convention at the time was much lower in viewership (as there were not the mass media devices of TV or radio at this time only those actually invited saw it). Also, this was before the primary era so the delegates were expected to nominate the candidate at the actual convention as well as more typical tasks such as electing the chairman and handling other business which varies in importance at the Republican Convention today. Nonetheless, there were speeches by the following individuals at the 1904 Republican National Convention:
Tuesday, June 21
Wednesday, June 22
- Opening prayer by Rev. Thomas E. Cox
- Joseph Gurney Cannon, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Convention Chairman.
Thursday, June 23
- Opening prayer by Rev. Thaddeus A. Snively.
- Frank S. Black, Governor of New York.
- Albert J. Beveridge, United States Senator from Indiana.
- George A. Knight, Attorney and Businessman
- H.S. Edwards, Southern Writer
- William O’Connell Bradley, Former Kentucky Governor
- Joseph B. Cotton, Former Minnesota State Representative.
- Harry Sythe Cummings, First African-American City Councilman from Baltimore, Maryland
- Jonathan P. Dolliver, United States Senator from Iowa
- Chauncey Depew, United States Senator from New York
- Joseph B. Foraker, United States Senator from Ohio and former Governor of Ohio
- Samuel W. Pennypacker, Governor of Pennsylvania
- Thomas H. Carter, United States Senator from Montana
Roosevelt and his running mate Charles Fairbanks, were unanimously nominated but unlike candidates today they did not give convention speeches instead having individuals give nominating speeches for them. Roosevelt’s nomination speech was made by former New York Governor Frank S. Black and it was seconded by Indiana Senator Albert Beveridge. Fairbanks’s nomination speech was made by Iowa Senator Jonathan P. Dolliver and seconded by New York Senator Chauncey Depew.
- History of the United States Republican Party
- List of Republican National Conventions
- U.S. presidential nomination convention
- 1904 United States presidential election
- 1904 Democratic National Convention
- Republican Party platform of 1904 at The American Presidency Project
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