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Prohibition Party

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Title: Prohibition Party  
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Subject: United States House of Representatives elections, 1944, United States House of Representatives elections, 1920, United States House of Representatives elections, 1934, United States House of Representatives elections, 1922, United States House of Representatives elections, 1942
Collection: 1869 Establishments in the United Kingdom, Conservative Parties in the United States, Far-Right Political Parties in the United States, Political Parties Established in 1869, Political Parties in the United States, Prohibition in the United States, Prohibition Parties, Prohibition Party (United States), Temperance Organizations in the United States
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Prohibition Party

Prohibition Party
Chairman Toby Davis
Founded 1869 (1869)
Ideology Temperance
Social conservatism
Colors Red, Green, Grey
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
0 / 50
State Upper Houses
0 / 1,921
State Lower Houses
0 / 5,410
Politics of United States
Political parties

The Prohibition Party (PRO) is a political party in the United States best known for its historic opposition to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is the oldest existing third party in the US. The party was an integral part of the temperance movement. While never one of the leading parties in the United States, it was once an important force in the Third Party System during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It declined dramatically after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. The party earned only 519 votes in the 2012 presidential election.


  • History 1
  • Women and the Prohibition Party 2
  • Decline 3
  • Secession of 2003 4
  • Electoral history 5
    • Presidential campaigns 5.1
    • Elected officials 5.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


National Prohibition Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1892.

The Prohibition Party was founded in 1869. Its first National Committee Chairman was John Russell of Michigan.[1] It succeeded in getting communities and also many counties in the states to outlaw the production and sale of intoxicating beverages.

At the same time, its ideology broadened to include aspects of progressivism. The party contributed to the third-party discussions of the 1910s and sent Charles H. Randall to the 64th, 65th and 66th Congresses as the representative of California's 9th congressional district. Democrat Sidney J. Catts of Florida, after losing a close Democratic primary, used the Prohibition line to win election as Governor of Florida in 1916; he remained a Democrat.

The Prohibition Party's proudest moment came in 1919, with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed the production, sale, transportation, import and export of alcohol. The era during which alcohol was illegal in the United States is known as "Prohibition".

During the Prohibition era, the Prohibition Party pressed for stricter enforcement of the prohibition laws. During the 1928 election, for example, it considered endorsing Republican Herbert Hoover rather than running its own candidate. However, by a 4–3 vote, its national executive committee voted to nominate their own candidate, William F. Varney, instead. They did this because they felt Hoover's stance on prohibition not strict enough.[2] The Prohibition Party became even more critical of Hoover after he was elected President. By the 1932 election, party chairman David Leigh Colvin thundered that "The Republican wet plank [i.e. supporting the repeal of Prohibition] means that Mr. Hoover is the most conspicuous turncoat since Benedict Arnold."[3] Hoover lost the election, but national prohibition was repealed anyway in 1933, with the 21st Amendment during the Roosevelt administration.

Women and the Prohibition Party

The [7]

Some of the most important women involved in this movement were:

Marie C. Brehm – Vice Presidential candidate in 1924 – first legally qualified woman ever to be nominated for this position[8]

Rachel Bubar Kelly – Vice Presidential candidate in 1996[9]

Susanna Madora Salter – First female mayor in the United States. Elected in Argonia, Kansas in 1860[10]

Eliza Stewart – Her successes in the courtroom were one reason why the Prohibition Party began to embrace lawsuits as a means to get their message across. Part of the Woman's Crusade. She went on to hold important positions within the party as well as help guide WCTU development, along with women such as Mattie McClellan Brown, Harriet Goff, and Amanda Way.[11]

C. Augusta Morse – In regards to the Woman’s Crusade, she claimed it was, “‘the dawn of a new era in women’s relation to reform. Never again can women be silenced by the ghost of the old dogma that her voice is not to be heard in public.”[12]

  • Prohibition Party website
  • Prohibition Partisan Historical Society website
  • Partisan prophets; a history of the Prohibition Party, 1854–1972, Roger C. Storms

External links

  • Andersen, Lisa, "From Unpopular to Excluded: Prohibitionists and the Ascendancy of a Democratic-Republican System, 1888–1912", Journal of Policy History, 24 (no. 2, 2012), 288–318.
  • James T. Havel, U.S. Presidential Candidates and the Elections (New York: MacMillan Library Reference, 1996)
  • S.B. Hinshaw, Ohio Elects the President: Our State's Role in Presidential Elections (Mansfield, OH: Bookmasters, 1999)

Further reading

  1. ^ Prohibition Party National Committee - History
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Give the Ladies a Chance: Gender and Partisanship in the Prohibition Party, 1869-1912.” Journal of Women’s History 2: 137
  5. ^ Gillespie, J. David. Challengers to Duopoly: Why Third Parties Matter in the American Two-Party System. 2012. P. 47
  6. ^ Andersen, Lisa M. F. 2011.Give the Ladies a Chance: Gender and Partisanship in the Prohibition Party, 1869-1912.” Journal of Women’s History 2: 137
  7. ^ Gillespie, J. David. Challengers to Duopoly: Why Third Parties Matter in the American Two-Party System. 2012. P. 47
  8. ^ “Prohibition presidential/vice-presidential candidates 1872-present.” Prohibitionists, n.d. Retrieved on November 19, 2014 from
  9. ^ “Prohibition presidential/vice-presidential candidates 1872-present.” Prohibitionists, n.d. Retrieved on November 19, 2014 from
  10. ^ Kansas Historical Society. 2010. “Susanna Madora Salter.” Kansaspedia. Retrieved on November 18. 2014 from
  11. ^ Andersen, Lisa M. F. 2011. “Give the Ladies a Chance: Gender and Partisanship in the Prohibition Party, 1869-1912.” Journal of Women’s History 2: 143 & 141.
  12. ^ Andersen, Lisa M. F. 2011. “Give the Ladies a Chance: Gender and Partisanship in the Prohibition Party, 1869-1912.” Journal of Women’s History 2: 145
  13. ^ “Frances E. Willard.” 2000. National Women’s Hall of Fame. Retrieved on November 18, 2014 from [1]. Archived August 4, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Gillespie, J. David. 2012. Challengers to Duopoly: Why Third Parties Matter in American Two-Party Politics. Columbia: The University of South Carolina Press. P. 47
  15. ^ “Frances E. Willard.” 2000. National Women’s Hall of Fame. Retrieved on November 18, 2014 from [2]. Archived August 4, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^
  17. ^ Beyond Bush, Kerry & Nader Creative Loafing, October 13, 2004
  18. ^ The National Prohibitionist, 6/2003, p. 1
  19. ^ CO US President Race Our Campaigns, November 2, 2004
  20. ^ The National Prohibitionist, 11/2004, p. 1.
  21. ^ Earl F. Dodge Dies Ballot Access News, November 8, 2007
  22. ^ Former Dodge Faction Endorses Gene Amondson Our Campaigns, February 29, 2008
  23. ^ Internal Prohibition Party Battle Has Court Hearing on January 16 Ballot Access News, January 15, 2007
  24. ^ Prohibition fight goes to court Ballot Access News, March 1, 2006, Volume 21, Number 11
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Prohibition Party Candidates


See also

The Drunkard's Progress: A lithograph by Nathaniel Currier supporting the temperance movement, January 1846.

Elected officials

Prohibition Party National Conventions and Campaigns
Year No. Convention Site & City Dates Presidential nominee Vice-Presidential nominee Votes
1872 1st Comstock's Opera House, Columbus, Ohio Feb. 22, 1872 James Black (Pennsylvania) John Russell (Michigan) 2,100
1876 2nd Halle's Hall,
Cleveland, Ohio
May 17, 1876 Green Clay Smith (Kentucky) Gideon T. Stewart (Ohio) 6,743
1880 3rd Halle's Hall, Cleveland June 17, 1880 Neal Dow (Maine) Henry Adams Thompson (Ohio) 9,674
1884 4th Lafayette Hall,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
July 23–24, 1884 John P. St. John (Kansas) William Daniel (Maryland) 147,520
1888 5th Tomlinson Hall,
Indianapolis, Indiana
May 30–31, 1888 Clinton B. Fisk (New Jersey) John A. Brooks (Missouri) 249,813
1892 6th Music Hall,
Cincinnati, Ohio
June 29–30, 1892 John Bidwell (California) James B. Cranfill (Texas) 270,770
1896 7th Exposition Hall, Pittsburgh May 27–28, 1896 Joshua Levering (Maryland) Hale Johnson (Illinois) 125,072
[7th] Pittsburgh May 28, 1896 Charles Eugene Bentley (Nebraska) James H. Southgate (N. Car.) 19,363
1900 8th First Regiment Armory,
Chicago, Illinois
June 27–28, 1900 John G. Woolley (Illinois) Henry B. Metcalf (Rhode Island) 209,004
1904 9th Tomlinson Hall, Indianapolis June 29 to
July 1, 1904
Silas C. Swallow (Pennsylvania) George W. Carroll (Texas) 258,596
1908 10th Memorial Hall, Columbus July 15–16, 1908 Eugene W. Chafin (Illinois) Aaron S. Watkins (Ohio) 252,821
1912 11th on a large temporary pier,
Atlantic City, New Jersey
July 10–12, 1912 Eugene W. Chafin (Illinois) Aaron S. Watkins (Ohio) 207,972
1916 12th St. Paul, Minnesota July 19–21, 1916 J. Frank Hanly (Indiana) Rev. Dr. Ira Landrith (Tennessee) 221,030
1920 13th Lincoln, Nebraska July 21–22, 1920 Aaron S. Watkins (Ohio) D. Leigh Colvin (New York) 188,685
1924 14th Memorial Hall, Columbus June 4–6, 1924 Herman P. Faris (Missouri) Marie C. Brehm (California) 54,833
1928 15th Hotel LaSalle, Chicago July 10–12, 1928 William F. Varney (New York) James A. Edgerton 20,095
[15th] [California ticket] Herbert Hoover (California) Charles Curtis (Kansas) 14,394
1932 16th Cadle Tabernacle,
July 5–7, 1932 William D. Upshaw (Georgia) Frank S. Regan (Illinois) 81,916
1936 17th State Armory Building,
Niagara Falls, New York
May 5–7, 1936 D. Leigh Colvin (New York) Alvin York (Tenn.) (declined);
Claude A. Watson (California)
1940 18th Chicago May 8–10, 1940 Roger W. Babson (Mass.) Edgar V. Moorman (Illinois) 58,743
1944 19th Indianapolis Nov. 10–12, 1943 Claude A. Watson (California) Floyd C. Carrier (Maryland) (withdrew);
Andrew N. Johnson (Kentucky)
1948 20th Winona Lake, Indiana June 26–28, 1947 Claude A. Watson (California) Dale H. Learn (Pennsylvania) 103,489
1952 21st Indianapolis Nov. 13–15, 1951 Stuart Hamblen (California) Enoch A. Holtwick (Illinois) 73,413
1956 22nd Camp Mack,
Milford, Indiana
Sept. 4–6, 1955 Enoch A. Holtwick (Illinois) Herbert C. Holdridge (California) (withdrew);
Edwin M. Cooper (California)
1960 23rd Westminster Hotel,
Winona Lake
Sept. 1–3, 1959 Rutherford Decker (Missouri) E. Harold Munn (Michigan) 46,193
1964 24th Pick Congress Hotel,
August 26–27, 1963 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Mark R. Shaw (Massachusetts) 23,266
1968 25th YWCA, Detroit, Mich. June 28–29, 1968 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Rolland E. Fisher (Kansas) 14,915
1972 26th Nazarene Church Building,
Wichita, Kansas
June 24–25, 1971 E. Harold Munn (Michigan) Marshall E. Uncapher (Kansas) 12,818
1976 27th Beth Eden Baptist Church Bldg, Wheat Ridge, Colo. June 26–27, 1975 Benjamin C. Bubar (Maine) Earl F. Dodge (Colorado) 15,934
1980 28th Motel Birmingham,
Birmingham, Alabama
June 20–21, 1979 Benjamin C. Bubar (Maine) Earl F. Dodge (Colorado) 7,212
1984 29th Mandan, North Dakota June 22–24, 1983 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Warren C. Martin (Kansas) 4,242
1988 30th Heritage House,
Springfield, Illinois
June 25–26, 1987 Earl Dodge (Colorado) George Ormsby (Pennsylvania) 8,002
1992 31st Minneapolis, Minnesota June 24–26, 1991 Earl Dodge (Colorado) George Ormsby (Pennsylvania) 935
1996 32nd Denver, Colorado 1995 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Rachel Bubar Kelly (Maine) 1,298
2000 33rd Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania June 28–30, 1999 Earl Dodge (Colorado) W. Dean Watkins (Arizona) 208
2004 34th Fairfield Glade, Tennessee February 1, 2004 Gene Amondson (Washington) Leroy Pletten (Michigan) 1,944
[34th] Lakewood, Colorado August 2003 Earl Dodge (Colorado) Howard Lydick (Texas) 140
2008 35th Adams Mark Hotel,
Sept. 13–14, 2007 Gene Amondson (Washington) Leroy Pletten (Michigan) 643
2012 36th Holiday Inn Express,
Cullman, Alabama
June 20–22, 2011 Jack Fellure (West Virginia) Toby Davis (Mississippi) 519
2016 37th Conference call[25][26] July 31, 2015 Jim Hedges (Pennsylvania) Bill Bayes (Mississippi)

The Prohibition Party has nominated a candidate for president in every election since 1872, and is thus the longest-lived American political party after the Democrats and Republicans.

Presidential campaigns

Electoral history

In recent years, the two factions have been fighting over payments dedicated to the Prohibition Party by George Pennock in 1930.[23] The fund pays approximately $8000 per year.[24]

The death of Dodge in November 2007 left the Dodge faction without a presidential nominee.[21] In the spring of 2008, the Dodge faction nominated Amondson for President, but they retained one of their own, Howard Lydick, as their vice presidential nominee.[22]

In February 2004, Dodge's rivals nominated Gene C. Amondson for President. Neither the Dodge faction nor the Amondson faction recognized the other as legitimate. Amondson filed under the Prohibition banner in Louisiana. Dodge ran under the name of the historic Prohibition Party in Colorado,[19] while the Concerns of People Party allowed Amondson to run on its line against Dodge.[20] Amondson received 1,944 votes, nationwide, while Dodge garnered 140.

The Prohibition Party experienced a schism in 2003, as the party's prior presidential candidate, Earl Dodge, incorporated a rival party called the National Prohibition Party in Colorado. Dodge held a rival nominating convention in his living room in August 2003, attended by eight people, and was nominated as the president of this rival party.[17][18]

Secession of 2003

The Prohibition Party has continued running presidential candidates every four years, but its vote totals have steadily dwindled. It last received more than 100,000 votes for president in 1948, and the 1976 election was the last time the party received more than 10,000 votes for president. In 2012, its presidential nominee received only 519 votes.

The Prohibition Party has faded into obscurity since World War II. When it briefly changed its name to the "National Statesman Party" in 1977 (it reversed the change in 1980), Time magazine suggested that it was "doubtful" that the name change would "hoist the party out of the category of political oddity."[16]


[15] and was honored in 2000 by the National Women’s Hall of Fame.[14] She later became the first woman ever to be featured in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol[13]

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