1852 Democratic National Convention

Date: From 1852-06-01 to 1852-06-05

Place: Baltimore, Maryland

The 1852 Democratic National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 1 to June 5, 1852. After the sectional conflict wrought by the Compromise of 1850, Democratic leadership sought to unite the free-soil Democrats in the North and states’ rights southerners behind a moderate candidate acceptable to both sections. Front-runners for the nomination were James Buchanan, Lewis Cass, Stephen A. Douglas, and William L. Marcy. After forty-nine indecisive ballots, exhausted delegates nominated Franklin Pierce as the compromise choice. Delegates balanced Pierce, a northerner with southern sympathies, with Alabamian William R. King, who attendees nominated for vice-president on the second ballot. Along with the traditional Democratic tenets of limited government, rigid economy in the conduct of public affairs, and opposition to a national bank, the platform endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as the final word on anti-slavery agitation inside and outside of Congress.

David M. Potter and Don E. Fehrenbacher, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), 141-42; Yanek Mieczkowski, The Routledge Historical Atlas of Presidential Elections (New York: Routledge, 2001), 47; Elbert B. Smith, The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988), 237-38; Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention, Held at Baltimore, June 1-5, 1852 (Washington, DC: Robert Armstrong, 1852), 28-65, 66-67, 68.