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A POLITICAL TEXT-BOOK FOR 1860.
NATIONAL CAUCUSES, CONVENTIONS, AND
a potent influence over such questions, being, on this occasion, unable to agree as to which of her favored sons should have the preference. Ninety-four of the 136 Republican members of Congress attended this caucus, and declared their preference of Mr. Madison, who received 83 votes, the remaining 11 being divided between Mr. Monroe and George Clinton. The Opposition supported Mr. Pinckney; but Mr. Madison was elected by a large majority.
NATIONAL Conventions for the nomination of candidates are of comparatively recent origin. In the earlier political history of the United States, under the Federal Constitution, candidates for President and Vice-President were nominated by congressional and legislative caucuses. Washington was elected as first President under the Constitution, and reëlected for a second term by a unanimous, or nearly unanimous, concurrence of the American people; but an opposition party gradually grew up in Toward the close of Mr. Madison's earlier Congress, which became formidable during his term, he was nominated for reëlection by a second term, and which ultimately crystalized Congressional Caucus held at Washington, in into what was then called the Republican May, 1812. In September of the same year, a party. John Adams, of Massachusetts, was convention of the Opposition, representing prominent among the leading Federalists, while eleven States, was held in the city of NewThomas Jefferson, of Virginia, was preemi-York, which nominated De Witt Clinton, of nently the author and oracle of the Republican party, and, by common consent, they were the opposing candidates for the Presidency, on Washington's retirement in 1796-7.
Mr. Adams was then chosen President, while Mr. Jefferson, having the largest electoral vote next to Mr. A., became Vice-President.
New-York, for President. He was also put in nomination by the Republican Legislature of New-York. The ensuing canvass resulted in the reëlection of Mr. Madison, who received 128 electoral votes to 89 for De Witt Clinton.
no opposition to the reëlection of Mr. Monroe in 1820, a single (Republican) vote being cast against him, and for John Quincy Adams.
In 1816, the Republican Congressional Caucus nominated James Monroe, who received, in the The first Congressional Caucus to nominate caucus, 65 votes to 54 for Wm. H. Crawford, candidates for President and Vice-President, is of Georgia. The Opposition, or Federalists, said to have been held in Philadelphia in the named Rufus King, of New-York, who received year 1800, and to have nominated Mr. Jeffer-only 34 electoral votes out of 217. There was son for the first office, and Aaron Burr for the second. These candidates were elected after a desperate struggle, beating John Adams and Charles C. Pinckney, of South Carolina. In In 1824, the Republican party could not be 1804, Mr. Jefferson was reelected President, induced to abide by the decision of a Congreswith George Clinton, of New-York, for Vice, sional Caucus. A large majority of the Repubencountering but slight opposition: Messrs.lican members formally refused to participate Charles C. Pinckney and Rufus King, the op-in such a gathering, or be governed by its deci posing candidates, receiving only 14 out of 176 Electoral Votes. We have been unable to find any record as to the manner of their nomination. In January, 1808, when Mr. Jefferson's second term was about to close, a Republicau Congressional Caucus was held at Washington, to decide as to the relative claims of Madison and Monroe for the succession, the Legislature of Virginia, which had been said to exert
sion; still, a Caucus was called and attended by the friends of Mr. Crawford alone. Of the 261 members of Congress at this time, 216 were Democrats or Republicans, yet only 66 responded to their names at roll-call, 64 of whom voted for Mr. Crawford as the Republican nominee for President. This nomination was very extensively repudiated throughout the country, and three competing Republican candidates
were brought into the field through legislative | New-York, presided over the delil erations of the and other machinery-viz., Andrew Jackson, Convention, and the nominees received each Henry Clay, and John Quincy Adams. The re- 108 votes. The candidates accepted the nomisult of this famous "scrub race" for the Presi-nation and received the electoral vote of Verdency was, that no one was elected by the mont only. The Convention did not enunciate people, Gen. Jackson receiving 99 electoral any distinct platform of principles, but apvotes, Mr. Adams 84, Mr. Crawford 41, and Mr. pointed a committee to issue an Address to the Clay 37. The election then devolved on the people. In due time, the address was published. | House of Representatives, where Mr. Adams It is quite as prolix and verbose as modern powas chosen, receiving the votes of 13 States, litical addresses; and, after stating at great against 7 for Gen. Jackson, and 4 for Mr. Craw-length the necessary qualifications for the ford. This was the end of "King Caucus." Chief of a great and free people, and presentGen. Jackson was immediately thereafter put ing a searching criticism on the institution of in nomination for the ensuing term by the Le-free-masonry in its moral and political bearings, gislature of Tennessee, having only Mr. Adams somewhat intensified from the excitement for an opponent in 1828, when he was elected caused by the (then recent) alleged murder of by a decided majority, receiving 178 Electoral William Morgan, for having revealed the secrets Votes to 83 for Mr. Adams. Mr. John C. Cal- of the Masonic Order, the Address comes to the houn, who had at first aspired to the Presidency, conclusion that, since the institution had bein 1824, withdrew at an early stage from the come a political engine, political agencies must canvass, and was thereupon chosen Vice-Presi-be used to avert its baneful effects-in other dent by a very large electoral majority-Mr. words, "that an enlightened exercise of the Albert Gallatin, of Pennsylvania, (the caucus right of suffrage is the constitutional and candidate on the Crawford ticket,) being his equitable mode adopted by the Anti-Masons is only serious competitor. In 1828, Mr. Calhoun necessary to remove the evil they suffer, and was the candidate for Vice-President on the produce the reforms they seek." Jackson ticket, and of course reëlected. It was currently stated that the concentration of the Crawford and Calhoun strength on this ticket was mainly effected by Messrs. Martin Van Buren and Churchill C. Cambreleng, of NewYork, during a southern tour made by them in 1827. In 1828, Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, was the candidate for Vice-President on the Adams ticket.
DEMOCRATIC OR JACKSON NATIONAL
There was no open opposition in the Democratic party to the nomination of Gen. Jackson for a second term; but the party were not so well satisfied with Mr. Calhoun, the Vice-President; so a Convention was called to meet at Baltimore in May, 1832, to nominate a candidate for the second office. Delegates appeared U. S. ANTI-MASONIC CONVENTION-1830. and took their seats from the States of The first political National Convention in this Maine, New-Hampshire, Vermont, Massachucountry of which we have any record was held setts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New-York, at Philadelphia in September, 1830, styled the New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, MaryUnited States Anti-Masonic Convention. It was land, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, composed of 96 delegates, representing the Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, TenStates of New-York, Massachusetts, Connecti-nessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. cut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Maryland and the Territory of Michigan. Francis Granger of New-York presided; but no business was transacted beyond the adoption of the following
Resolved, That it is recommended to the people of the United States, opposed to secret societies, to meet in convention on Monday the 26th day of September, 1881, at the city of Baltimore, by delegates equal in number to their representatives in both houses of Congress, to
make nominations of suitable candidates for the office of President and Vice-President, to be supported at the next election, and for the transaction of such other business as the cause of Anti-Masonry may require.
Gen. Robert Lucas, of Ohio, presided, and the regular proceedings were commenced by the passage of the following resolution:
Resolved, That each State be entitled, in the nomination to be made for the Vice-Presidency, to a number of votes equal to the number to which they will be entitled in the electoral colleges, under the new apportionment, in voting for President and Vice-President; and that two-thirds of the whole number of the votes in the Convention shall be necessary to constitute a choice.
This seems to have been the origin of the famous "two-thirds" rule which has prevailed of late in Democratic National Conventions.
The Convention proceeded to ballot for a candidate for Vice-President, with the following result:
In compliance with the foregoing call, a National Anti-Masonic Convention was held at Balti- For Martin Van Buren: Connecticut, 8; Illinois, 2; more, in September, 1831, which nominated Ohio, 21; Tennessee, 15; North Carolina, 9; Georgia, 11; William Wirt, of Maryland, for President, and Louisiana, 5; Pennsylvania, 80; Maryland, 7; New Jersey, 8; Mississippi, 4; Rhode Island, 4; Maine, 10; Amos Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-Pre-Massachusetts, 14; Delaware, 8; New-Hampshire, 7; sident. The convention was attended by 112 de- New-York, 42; Vermont, 7; Alabama, 1-Total, 208. legates from the States of Maine, New-Hampshire, Kentucky, 15-Total, 26. For Richard M. Johnson: Illinois, 2; Indiana, 9; Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Delaware and Maryland -only Total, 49. Massachusetts, New-York and Pennsylvania Mr. Van Buren, having received more than being fully represented. John C. Spencer, of two-thirds of all the votes cast, was declared
For Philip P. Barbour: North Carolina, 6; Virginia, 23; Maryland, 3; South Carolina, 11; Alabama, 6
duly nominated as the candidate of the party | diate predecessor (J. Q. Adams) by Gen. Jack for Vice-President. son in his Inaugural Address, and adds:
The Convention passed a resolution cordially concurring in the repeated nominations which Gen. Jackson had received in various parts of the country for reëlection as President."
Mr. Archer, of Virginia, from the committee appointed to prepare an address to the people, reported that
The committee, having interchanged opinions on the subject submitted to them, and agreeing fully in the principles and sentiments which they believe ought to be erabodied in an address of this description, if such an address were to be made, nevertheless deem it advisable under existing circumstances, to recommend the adoption of the following resolution : Resolved, That it be recommended to the several delegations in this Convention, in place of a General Address from this body to the people of the United States, to make such explanations by address, report, or other wise, to their respective constituents, of the object, proceedings and result of the meeting, as they may deem expedient.
The result of this election was the choice of General Jackson, who received the electoral vote of the following States:
The indecorum of this denunciation was hardly less glaring than its essential injustice, and can only be paralleled by that of the subsequent denunciation of the same Administration, on the same authority, to a foreign government.
Exception is taken to the indiscriminate removal of all officers within the reach of the President, who were not attached to his person or party. As illustrative of the extent to which this political proscription was carried, it is stated that, within a month after the inauguration of General Jackson, more persons were removed from office than during the whole 40 years that had previously elapsed since the adoption of the Constitution. Fault is also found with the Administration in its conduct of our foreign affairs. Again the Address says:
On the great subjects of internal policy, the course of the President has been so inconsistent and vacillating, that it is impossible for any party to place confidence in his character, or to consider him as a true and effective friend. By avowing his approbation of a judicious tariff, at the same time recommending to Congress precisely the same policy which had been adopted as the best plan of New-attack by the opponents of that measure; by admitting ments of a National character, and at the same moment the constitutionality and expediency of Internal Improvenegativing the most important bills of this description which were presented to him by Congress, the President has shown that he is either a secret enemy to the system, or that he is willing to sacrifice the most important national objects in a vain attempt to conciliate the conflicting interests, or rather adverse party feeling and opinions of different sections of the country.
Maine. 10; New-Hampshire, 7; New-York, 42;
For John Floyd, of Virginia: South Carolina, 11.
Mr. Van Buren received only 189 votes for Vice-President, Pennsylvania, which cast her vote for Jackson, having voted for William
Wilkins of that State for Vice-President.
NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONVENTION1831.
the United States Bank, and the necessity and Objection is taken to Gen. Jackson's war on siderable length. The outrageous and inhuman usefulness of that institution are argued at contreatment of the Cherokee Indians by the State ministration to protect them in their rights, of Georgia, and the failure of the National Adacquired by treaty with the United States, is also the subject of animadversion in the the Address.
A resolve was adopted, recommending to the young men of the National Republican Party to hold a Convention in the city of Washington on the following May.
The National Republicans met in convention at Baltimore, Dec. 12, 1831. Seventeen States Such a Convention was accordingly held at and the District of Columbia were represented the Capital on the 11th of May, 1832, over by 157 delegates, who cast a unanimous vote which William Cost Johnson, of Maryland, prefor Henry Clay, of Kentucky, for President, and sided, and at which the following, among other John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, for Vice-Pre-resolves, were adopted:
Resolved, That a uniform system of Internal Improve
sident. James Barbour, of Virginia, presided, Resolved, That an adequate Protection to American and the States represented were: Maine, New- Industry is indispensable to the prosperity of the counHampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Con-try; and that an abandonment of the policy at this period would be attended with consequences ruinous to necticut, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, the best interests of the Nation. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana and Indiana. The Convention adopted no formal platform of principles, but issued an Address, mainly devoted to a criticism on the Administration of Gen. Jackson, asserting, among other things, that
ments, sustained and supported by the General Governharmony, the strength and the permanency of the Rement, is calculated to secure, in the highest degree, the public.
Resolved, That the indiscriminate removal of public gross abuse of power; officers, for a mere difference of political opinion, is a and that the doctrine lately boldly preached in the United States Senate, that "to the victors belong the spoils of the vanquished," is detri mental to the interest, corrupting to the morals, and dangerous to the liberties of the people of this country.
The political history of the Union for the last three years exhibits a series of measures plainly dictated in all their principal features by blind cupidity or vindictive party spirit, marked throughout by a disregard of good policy, justice, and every high and generous sentiment, and, terminating in a dissolution of the Cabinet under DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, circumstances more discreditable than any of the kind to be met with in the annals of the civilized world.
The address alludes to the charge of incapa
In May, 1835, a National Convention repre
city and corruption leveled against his imme-senting twenty-one States, assembled at Balti
result was the triumphant election of Harrison and Tyler, Van Buren receiving the electoral vote of only seven States; viz:
more to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President. The Hon. Andrew Stevenson, of Virginia, was chosen president, with half a dozen vice-presidents and four secretaries. A New-Hampshire, 7; Virginia, 23; South Carolina, 11; rule was adopted that two-thirds of the whole Illinois. 5; Alabama, 7; Missouri, 4; and Arkansas, 8number of votes should be necessary to make a | Total, 60. nomination or to decide any question connected therewith. On the first ballot for President, Mr. Van Buren was nominated unanimously, receiving 265 votes. For Vice-President, Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, received 178, and William C. Rives, of Virginia, 87. Mr. Johnson, having received more than two-thirds of all the votes cast, was declared duly nominated as the candidate for Vice-President. This Convention adopted no platform.
South Carolina refused to vote for Richard M. Johnson for Vice-President, throwing away her 11 votes on Littleton W. Tazewell, of Virginia. Harrison and Tyler received the votes of the following States:
necticut, 8; Vermont, 7; New-York 42; New-Jersey, 8: Maine, 10; Massachusetts, 14; Rhode Island, 4; ConPennsylvania, 80; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 10; North Carolina, 15; Georgia, 11; Kentucky, 15; Tennessee. 15; Ohio, 21: Louisiana, 5; Mississippi, 4; Indiana, 9; Michigan, 8-Total, 234.
A Convention of Abolitionists was held at
Warsaw, N. Y., on the 13th of November, 1889, which adopted the following:
Resolved. That, in our judgment, every consideration of duty and expediency which ought to control the action of Christian freemen, requires of the Abolitionists of the U. S. to organize a distinct and independent poli tical party, embracing all the necessary means for nomipublic suffrage.
nating candidates for office and sustaining them by
Hugh L. White, of Tennessee was nominated The Convention then nominated for Presiby the Legislatures of Tennessee and Alabama, dent James G. Birney, of New York, and for as the Opposition or Anti-Jackson candidate; Vice-President Francis J. Lemoyne, of Pennwhile Mr. Webster was the favorite of the Oppo-sylvania. These gentlemen subsequently desition in Massachusetts, and Willie P. Mangum, clined the nomination. Nevertheless they of N. C. received the vote of S. C., 11. The received a total of 7,609 votes in various Free result of the contest of 1836 was the election States.
of Mr. Van Buren, who received the electoral votes of the States of
Maine, 10; New-Hampshire, 7; Rhode Island, 4; Connecticut, 8; New York, 42; Pennsylvania, 30; Virginia, 28; North Carolina, 15; Louisiana, 5; Mississippi, 4; Illinois, 5; Alabama, 7; Missouri, 4; Arkansas, 8; Michigan, 8-Total 170.
Gen. Harrison received the votes of
Vermont. 7; New-Jersey, 8; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 10; Kentucky, 15; Ohio, 21; and Indiana, 9-Tota!, 78. Hugh L. White received the vote of Georgia, 11, and Tennessee, 15: total, 26. Mr. Webster received the vote of Massachusetts, 14.
WHIG NATIONAL CONVENTION,--1839. A Whig National Convention representing twenty one States met at Harrisburg, Pa., Dec. 4, 1839. James Barbour, of Virginia, presided, and the result of the first ballot was the nomination of Gen. William H. Harrison, of Ohio, who received 148* votes to 90 for Henry Clay, and 16 for Gen. Winfield Scott. John Tyler, of Virginia, was unanimously nominated as the Whig candidate for Vice-President. The Couvention adopted no platform of principles; but the party in conducting the memorable campaign of 1840, assailed the Administration of Mr. Van Buren for its general mismanagement of public affairs and its profligacy, and the
*Ballots were repeatedly taken in committee throughout two or three days; but as no candidate received a majority, it was only reported to the convention that the committee had not been able to agree on a candidate to be presented to the convention. Finally, the delegates from New-York and other States which hnd supported (ien. Scott, generally went over to Gen. Harrison, who thus received a majority, when the result was declared, as
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1840.
A Democratic National Convention met at Baltimore, May 5th, 1840, to nominate candidates for President and Vice-President. gates were present from the States of Maine, New-Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, and Arkansas. Gov. William Carroll, of Tennessee, presided, and the Convention, before proceeding to the nomination of candidates, adopted the following platform—viz. :
limited powers, derived solely from the Constitution, and 1. Resolved, That the Federal Government is one of the grants of power shown therein ought to be strictly construed by all the departments and agents of the government, and that it is inexpedient and dangerous to exercise doubtful constitutional powers.
2. Resolved, That the Constitution does not confer upon the General Government the power to commence or carry on a general system of internal improvement. 3. Resolved, That the Constitution does not confer authority upon the Federal Government, directly or indirectly, to assume the debts of the several States, contracted for local internal improvements or other State purposes; nor would such assumption be just or ex
4. Resolved, That justice and sound policy forbid the Federal Government to foster one branch of industry to the detriment of another, or to cherish the interest of one portion to the injury of another portion of our common country-that every citizen and every section of the country has a right to demand and insist upon an equality of rights and privileges, and to complete and ample protection of persons and property from domestic violence or fore. 'n aggression.
5. Resolved, That it is the duty of every branch of the government to enforce and practice the most rigid economy in conducting our public affairs, and that no more revenue ought to be raised than is required to defray the necessary expenses of the government.
6. Resolved, That Congress has no power to charter a United States Bank, that we believe such an institution one of deadly hostility to the best interests of the country, dangerous to our republican institutions and the liberties of the people, and calculated to place the business of the country within the control of a concentrated
money power, and above the laws and the will of the people.
7. Resolved, That Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States; and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything pertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts, by abolitionists or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences, and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people, and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend to our Political Institu
8. Resolved, That the separation of the moneys of the government from banking institutions is indispensable for the safety of the funds of the government and the rights of the people.
Government, and discriminating with special reference to the Protection of the Domestic Labor of the country -the Distribution of the proceeds from the sales of the Public Lands-a single term for the Presidency-a reform of executive usurpations-and generally such an administration of the affairs of the country, as shall impart to every branch of the public service the greatest practicable efficiency, controlled by a well-regulated and wise economy.
The contest resulted in the choice of the Democratic candidates (Polk and Dallas,) who received 170 electoral votes as follows: Maine, 9; New-Hampshire, 6; New-York, 36; Pennsylvania, 26; Virginia, 17; South Carolina, 9; Georgia, 10; Alabama, 9; Mississippi, 6; Louisiana, 6; Indiana, 12; Illinois, 9; Missouri, 7; Arkansas, 3; Michigan, 5-170.
For Clay and Frelinghuysen: Vermont, 6; Massachusetts, 12; Rhode Island, 4; Connecticut, 6; New-Jersey, 7; Delaware, 3; Maryland, 8; North Carolina, 11; Tennessee, 13; Kentucky, 12; Ohio, 23-105.
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION,
A Democratic National Convention assembled 9. Resolved, That the liberal principles embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, and sanc- at Baltimore on the 27th May, 1844, adopted the tioned in the Constitution, which makes ours the land two-third rule and, after a stormy session of three of liberty and the asylum of the oppressed of every nation, have ever been cardinal principles in the Demo-days, James K. Polk, of Tennessee, was nomicratic faith; and every attempt to abridge the present nated for President, and Silas Wright, of New privilege of becoming citizens, and the owners of soil York, for Vice-President. Mr. Wright declined among us, ought to be resisted with the same spirit the nomination, and George M. Dallas, of Pennwhich swept the Alien and Sedition Laws from our statute book. sylvania, was subsequently selected to fill the second place on the ticket.
The Convention then unanimously nominated Mr. Van Buren for reëlection as President; but, there being much diversity of opinion as to the proper man for Vice-President, the following preamble and resolution were adopted:
Whereas, Several of the States which have nominated Martin Van Buren as a candidate for the Presidency, have put in nomination different individuals as candidates for Vice-President, thus indicating a diversity of opinion as to the person best entitled to the nomination; and whereas some of the said States are not represented in this Convention, therefore,
Resolved, That the Convention deem it expedient at the present time not to choose between the individuals in nomination, but to leave the decision to their Republican fellow-citizens in the several States, trusting that before the election shall take place, their opinions will become so concentrated as to secure the choice of a Vice-President by the Electoral College.
WHIG NATIONAL CONVENTION, 1844. A Whig National Convention assembled in Baltimore, on the 1st of May, 1844, in which every State in the Union was represented. Ambrose Spencer, of New-York, presided, and Mr. Clay was nominated for President by acclamation. For Vice-President, there was some diversity of preference, and Mr. Frelinghuysen, of N. J., was nominated on the third ballot as lows:
The ballotings for President were as follows:
Mr. Van. Buren's name was withdrawn after the 8th ballot.
The platform adopted by the Convention was the same as that of 1840, with the following additions:
Resolved, That the proceeds of the Public Lands ought to be sacredly applied to the national objects specified in the Constitution, and that we are opposed to the laws lately adopted, and to any law for the Distribution of such proceeds among the States, as alike inexpedient in policy and repugnant to the Constitution.
Resolved, That we are decidedly opposed to taking from the President the qualified veto power by which he is enabled, under restrictions and responsibilities amply sufficient to guard the public interest, to suspend the passage of a bill, whose merits cannot secure the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and House of Repre fol-sentatives, until the judgment of the people can be obtained thereon, and which has thrice saved the American People from the corrupt and tyrannical domination of the Bank of the United States.
Resolved, That our title to the whole of the Territory of 3rd. Oregon is clear and unquestionable; that no portion of the same ought to be ceded to England or any other power; and that the reoccupation of Oregon and the reannexation of Texas at the earliest practicable period are great American measures, which this Convention recommends to the cordial support of the Democracy of the Union.
The principles of the party were briefly
summed up in the following resolve, which was LIBERTY PARTY NATIONAL CONVENadopted by the Convention:
Resolved, That these principles may be summed as comprising a well regulated National currency-a Tariff
The Liberty Party National Convention met
for revenue to defray the necessary expenses of the at Buffalo, on the 29th of August. Leicester