Cover page of the Proceedings of the First National Convention of the Progressive Party, August 5-7,1912. From the Library of Congress Manuscripts division.
We don’t often have time to highlight new releases into the digital library on the blog but we wanted to make sure to share with you today’s release of all the Progressive Party minutes included in the Theodore Roosevelt Papers at the Library of Congress. These documents were spread over two reels in the original microfilm and give an intimate look at the workings of the Progressive Party from 1912 until 1916.
These 28 items include meeting minutes of the Progressive Party Executive Boards as well as a complete record of the 1912 National Progressive Party Convention held in Chicago. It also includes lists of the party’s national committeemen; reports from various party committees as well as some material crafted for Roosevelt’s 1912 campaign and planned 1916 campaign until he declined the Progressive nomination.
One of the more interesting conversations you can follow through the minutes was the hotly debated role of African American voters within the new party’s leadership such as in the minutes from August 5, 1912. You’ll also be able to read about the many planks of the party including woman suffrage, tariff reform and as World War I loomed, the party’s opinions on military preparedness and citizen duty in wartime.
As we celebrate the centennial of the birth of the Progressive Party and Theodore Roosevelt’s historic presidential run as a third party candidate, these items allow an in-depth look at the creation and maintenance of a third party in United States politics.
To explore these and more items related to the Progressive Party, use our featured search on the digital library portal or simply run a search for “Progressive Party” in the digital library. If you are interested more broadly in Roosevelt during this time period, use the Period option on the Advanced Search page and select Progressive Party Candidate.
Update: The Theodore Roosevelt Center has created a collection of these materials in our Public Collections so you can browse them all in one place! See the Progressive Party Minutes collection and dive in!