The Primary may be a New Hampshire first, but so are Political Conventions.
New evidence has come to light that the founder of the modern political convention system was none other than man who gave us the perforated postage stamp, and central heating in the White House: Franklin Pierce.
America's 14th president brought electing a president out of the backrooms in 1832, when he was just 27 and the youngest-ever speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
The NH Secretary of State’s office uncovered documents showing that Pierce has not only engineered the first political nominating convention in New Hampshire, but pressed the rest of the nation to adopt the system.
Before 1832 presidential-nominees were selected by congressional party caucuses. Then incumbent president Andrew Jackson was a personal hero of Pierce’s, and Pierce was Jackson’s man in New Hampshire. Jackson sought a second term just as he had broken with the Congress over his choice of Martin Van Buren to replace the popular John C. Calhoun as vice president
Pierce organized the first New Hampshire convention across the street from the Statehouse in Concord’s Eagle Hotel (which is still there, by the way). He then pressed the other 23 states to hold a national “nominating convention.” Pierce got his way, and Jackson got reelected with Van Buren as his new vice president.
Pierce has opened the process, and allowed the popular Jackson to have his way in defiance of his party. That convention, that started in Concord, changed American politics. Some 20 years later, Pierce would nominated at a very similar convention to go on to run for and win the Presidency of the United States.