1856 Democratic Convention

Cincinnati, Ohio

June 2 to 6, 1856

Nominated: James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania for President

Nominated: John C Breckinridge of Kentucky for Vice President

When the Democratic party met in Cincinnati in early June of 1856 the parties was torn by the issue of slavery and states rights. The convention once again passed a platform that called for non-interferance by Congress in the issue of slavery. Both President Pierce and Stephen Douglas sought their parties nomination but both had been severely tarnished by events in "Bloody Kansas" as had Lewis Cass. The only candidate not tarred by recent event was James Buchanan, who had been US Ambassador to England at the time. On the first ballot Buchanan led with 135 1/2 votes to 122 1/2 for Pierce33 for Douglas and 5 for Cass. Pierce support faded rapidly while Douglas grew and Buchanan seemed unable to reach the two thirds required to win. On the sixteenth ballot Douglas instructed that his name be removed thus allow Buchanan to receive the nomination.