The 9th Republican National Convention assembled in the Civic Auditorium in Chicago IL. It was attended by 832 delegates: the usual two delegates per electoral vote and two per territory.
Other than the presidential roll call ballot, the only matter of contention was the decision on which Virginia delegation to seat. One delegation was a fusion of the state Republicans with the Readjuster Party, while a straight Republican slate of delegates also appeared on the floor. After a very long debate in which many speakers were obviously not clear about the details of the situation, the Readjuster delegates were seated.
The presidential balloting has been described as a tussle among the second-rank Republican contenders. John Sherman led on the first ballot with 27.5% of the delegates, over twice his nearest competitor. While a lead of this size normally would have led to his nomination, Sherman's vote included 139 votes from former slave states, which would mostly vote Democratic in the election regardless of the nominee. Three-quarters of the remainder of his vote came from Pennsylvania and Ohio. The second place finisher, Gresham, was mostly supported by the plains and western states. "Favorite son" contenders were all trapped in the two-digit range.
On the second ballot, most of the top six candidates gleaned votes from the remaining contenders. Sherman peaked on this ballot. After the third ballot, with little change among the top six contenders, Depew withd