1848 Whig National Convention
1848 presidential election
Taylor and Fillmore
Date(s)June 7–9, 1848
CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
VenueChinese Museum Building
Presidential nomineeZachary Taylor of Louisiana
Vice presidential nomineeMillard Fillmore of New York
Total delegates280
Votes needed for nomination140
Results (president)Taylor (LA): 171 (61.07%)
Scott (NY): 63 (22.5%)
Clay (KY): 32 (11.43%)
Webster (MA): 14 (5%)
‹ 1844 · 1852 ›

The 1848 Whig National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held from June 7 to 9 in Philadelphia. It nominated the Whig Party's candidates for president and vice president in the 1848 election. The convention selected General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana for president and former Representative Millard Fillmore of New York for vice president.

Taylor and General Winfield Scott had both emerged as contenders for the Whig presidential nomination after serving in the Mexican–American War, while two long-time party leaders, Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, also commanded support in the party. With Southern delegates united around his candidacy, Taylor took the lead on the first ballot. Clay finished a strong second to Taylor on the first ballot of the convention, but his support faded on subsequent ballots and Taylor took the nomination on the fourth ballot.

After Webster declined the vice presidential nomination, Fillmore and businessman Abbott Lawrence of Massachusetts emerged as the top choices for vice president. Fillmore clinched the nomination on the second ballot. The Whig ticket went on to win the 1848 presidential election, defeating the Democratic ticket of Lewis Cass and William O. Butler.

The Convention

Illustration of the convention
Illustration of the Chinese Museum Building, the venue of the convention

The convention was held from June 7 to 9 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Every state was represented except for Texas. It was chaired by John A. Collier and John M. Morehead. Taylor had been courted by both the Democrats and the Whigs, but ultimately declared himself a Whig. The platform adopted largely consisted of praise for Taylor, with less attention paid to specific policies.[1]

The venue for the convention was the Chinese Museum Building. The building since was destroyed by fire in 1854.[2]

There were 280 individuals seated as delegates to the convention.[2]

Presidential nomination

By 1847, General Zachary Taylor had emerged as a contender for the Whig nomination in the 1848 presidential election.[3] Despite Taylor's largely unknown political views, many Whigs believed he was the party's strongest possible candidate due to his martial accomplishments in the Mexican–American War.[4] Henry Clay initially told his allies that he would not run in the 1848 presidential election, but he was unwilling to support Taylor, a "mere military man.".[5] Although Daniel Webster and General Winfield Scott each commanded a limited base of support in the party, Taylor and Clay each saw the other as their lone serious rival for the Whig nomination.[6]

Taylor led on the first ballot and grew his lead on subsequent ballots. On the fourth ballot, he secured 171 votes and won the presidential nomination.


Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Taylor 111 118 133 171
Clay 97 86 74 32
Scott 43 49 54 63
Webster 22 22 17 14
Clayton 4 4 1 0
McLean 2 0 0 0
Blanks 11 11 11 10

Vice Presidential nomination

Vice Presidential candidates




Webster was offered the vice presidential spot on the ticket, but declined. Former New York Representative Millard Fillmore was chosen as the vice presidential candidate on the second ballot.

Convention Vice Presidential vote
Ballots 1 2
Millard Fillmore 115 173
Abbott Lawrence 109 87
Not Voting 16 24
Andrew Stewart 14 0
Thomas M.T. McKennan 13 0
George Evans 6 2
John Sergeant 6 1
John M. Clayton 3 3
Hamilton Fish 2 0
Thomas Ewing Sr. 1 0
Thomas B. King 1 0
John Young 1 0
Rufus Choate 1 0
Solomon Foot 1 0
George Lunt 1 0

See also


  1. ^ Havel, James T. (1996). U.S. Presidential Elections and the Candidates: A Biographical and Historical Guide. Vol. 2: The Elections, 1789–1992. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 0-02-864623-1.
  2. ^ a b "1848 Whig National Convention". data.philly.com. Philly.com. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  3. ^ Klotter 2018, pp. 337–338.
  4. ^ Heidler & Heidler 2010, pp. 420–421.
  5. ^ Klotter 2018, pp. 342–345.
  6. ^ Klotter 2018, pp. 345–346.


Primary sources