1904 Republican National Convention

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1904 Republican National Convention
1904 presidential election
RP1904.png RV1904.png
Roosevelt and Fairbanks
Date(s)June 21–23, 1904
City Chicago, Illinois
Venue Chicago Coliseum
Chair Joseph G. Cannon
Presidential nominee Theodore Roosevelt of New York
Vice presidential nominee Charles W. Fairbanks of Indiana
Other candidates Mark Hanna
Total delegates994
Votes needed for nomination498
Results (president) Theodore Roosevelt (NY): 994 (100%)
  1900   ·  1908  
Chicago Coliseum ahead of the Convention Chicago Coliseum.jpg
Chicago Coliseum ahead of the Convention
Convention hall during the opening prayer 1904 RNC opening prayer.jpg
Convention hall during the opening prayer
Crowds hear Elihu Root deliver the convention's opening speech Elihuroot 1904 rnc.jpg
Crowds hear Elihu Root deliver the convention's opening speech

The 1904 Republican National Convention was held in the Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, on June 21 to June 23, 1904.


The popular President Theodore Roosevelt had easily ensured himself of the nomination; a threat had come from the Old Guard favourite Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, the loyal kingmaker in Republican politics, but he died early in 1904, which ended any opposition to Roosevelt within 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.

Roosevelt was nominated by 994 votes to none, while the only other serious opponent to Roosevelt, Indiana Senator Charles W. Fairbanks, was nominated for vice president by acclaimation.


Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon at the convention. JoeCannon3.jpg
Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon at the convention.

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

As Theodore Roosevelt had ascended to the presidency following the death of William McKinley on September 14 1901, he served the remainder of McKinley's term without a vice president as the 25th Amendment had not yet been passed. This also left the Convention with 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; [1] Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon of Illinois also had support among the delegates, but Cannon had no desire to leave his position in the House. [1] After the administration decided not to launch a fight over the nomination of Fairbanks, he was nominated by acclamation. [2]


There were significantly fewer speakers at the 1904 convention than 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

Thursday, June 23

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.

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Fairbanks Will be Put on the Ticket". New York Times. 21 June 1904. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  2. "Roosevelt and Fairbanks Named". New York Times. 24 June 1904. Retrieved 8 October 2015.


Preceded by
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Chicago, Illinois