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1916 Democratic National Convention

Gang, today’s research has me tracking down whether or not Emmett attended the the 1916 Democratic National Convention, which was held in St. Louis, Missouri from June 14-16.

Source: The Pensacola Journal, June 5, 1916.

Source: The Pensacola Journal, June 5, 1916.

According to an article in the June 5, 1916 edition of The Pensacola Journal, he may have attended, since there wasn’t much business going on in Congress at this time.

With Congress taking an unofficial break, though, he could have gone home during this time, instead of attending the DNC. The Florida primary election for Emmett’s successor took place on June 6; if you recall from previous posts, Emmett had ‘voluntarily retired’, so his last day on the job for the Third Congressional District would be March 4, 1917.

Even so, it doesn’t seem likely he’d go home to vote. It wasn’t just because I think it would have been a bittersweet kind of thing for him: By June, 1916, Emmett’s health was on the decline again, and indications were that he was keeping to himself, and staying local. A two-day trip by train would have been hard on him.

Also, Congress was still ‘officially’ in session, despite the unofficial break. Even if Emmett did go home, or, to the convention, he’d have to return to D.C. quickly. Woodrow Wilson was interested in getting legislation tied up before any official recess could take place.

A little background: The 1916 convention was completely different than the one held in Baltimore back in 1912, which ran from June 26 to July 2, resulting in Woodrow Wilson’s nomination after 46 ballots — a record even to this day. Emmett was an alternate to the 1912 convention that year, and his visit to Baltimore (as well as a side visit to Washington on his way back to Pensacola) was part of his indoctrination into national politics.

The video clip of the 1916 DNC included below has some interesting footage and narration.

Footage from the 1916 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Source: YouTube,

Footage from the 1916 Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Source: YouTube

I haven’t found anything specific that says Emmett was at the 1916 DNC, but what is interesting is that Emmett has changed his position on women’s suffrage. I found several interviews that reveal he supports it, and plans to vote for it while he is still in office, because, he said, ‘it was the sensible thing to do.’

By the way, he is, as of 1916, the only member of the national Florida congressional delegation who has come out in favor of women’s suffrage. I’m proud of him — but I’m now curious as to why and how he changed his mind!

Ah yes. Another query to track down. Welcome to my world! 🙂

I’ll keep looking for this over the weekend. Meanwhile, have a Happy Fourth, everyone!

Child-as-Liberty, 1916. Photo: Harris & Ewing, Library of Congress

Child-as-Liberty, Washington, D.C., 1916. Photo: Harris & Ewing, Library of Congress



Categories: Congressman Florida History Recommended Sources Research Status

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