1852 Democratic Convention

Baltimore, Maryland

June 1 to 5, 1852

Nominated: Franklin R Pierce, of New Hampshire for President

Nominated: William O Butler of Kentucky for Vice President

The democratic party opened its convention in Baltimore in June of 1852 with four competing candidates for the Presidency. Most of those who had left the party with Van Buren to form the "Free Soilers" had returned. Before deciding on Presidential candidate the convention adopted a platform designed to unit the factions fighting over slavery. It opposed any further "agitation" over the issue of slavery. When it came to selecting a candidate for President- the four contender-Stephen Douglas, William Marcy, James Buchanan and Lewis Cass- deadlocked. On the 49th ballot the convention turned to a "dark horse" Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire. Pierce's views on slavery were not clearly articulated thus not offending anyone. His service as a General in the Mexican American War allowed the party to play the military hero card.