The Greenback Party

James Weaver, the Greenback nominee for the 1880 US Presidential election

James Weaver, the Greenback nominee for the 1880 US Presidential election

The Greenback Party convened in 1880 at the Interstate Exposition Building in Chicago from June 9 to 11 to select presidential and vice presidential nominees and write a party platform for that year’s US presidential election. Delegates chose a ticket of James B. Weaver (pictured) of Iowa and Barzillai J. Chambers of Texas. The Greenback Party had drawn support from organized labor and farmers, mostly from the nation’s West and South, in response to the economic depression that followed the Panic of 1873. Weaver and Chambers triumphed quickly, winning a majority of the convention delegates’ votes on the first ballot. More tumultuous was the fight over the platform, as delegates from disparate factions of the left-wing movement clashed over Chinese immigration, government regulation of working conditions, and especially women’s suffrage. The general election was narrowly won by the Republican candidate, James A. Garfield, over the Democrat, Winfield Scott Hancock. The Greenback ticket placed a distant third, netting just over three percent of the popular vote.

%d bloggers like this: