Presidential Candidates

Wheaton College has seen its share of political campaigns and candidates. Many have seen Wheaton College and the surrounding area as a bastion of Republican politics and the number of visits of Republicans, in and out of the campaign season, has reinforced this. The local Fourth of July Parade has often been on the itinerary of the presidential candidate. The connection between Wheaton College and presidential politics may hearken back to Jonathan Blanchard’s own involvement in the political process. Blanchard was heavily involved in the emergence of the Liberty Party while in Ohio and remained involved after his move to Illinois. He recognized the value of political structures to influence change. He was later nominated for the U.S. presidency by the anti-Masonic American Party (not to be confused with the “Know-Nothing” American Party of the same era). Blanchard had asked Frederick Douglass to serve as his vice-presidential running-mate. Douglass declined.