1876

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1876

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1876

Election Day Date: November 7, 1876

Winning Ticket:

  • Rutherford Hayes (54, Christian), William Wheeler (57), Republican 4,034,142 47.92% 185 50.1%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Samuel Tilden (62, Christian), Thomas Hendricks (57), Democratic 4,286,808 50.92% 184 49.9%
  • Peter Cooper (85) Samuel Cary (62), Greenback 83,726 0.99% 0 0.0%
  • Other (+) – – 13,983 0.17% 0 0.0%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

Party loyalists, volunteers, surrogates campaigned; clubs; campaign textbooks

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:  Democratic National Committee spent $250,000 on its Literary Bureau to distribute pamphlets, etc.

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day: Ulysses Simpson Grant
Henry Wilson, Republican, 1873-1877

Population: 1880 49,371,340 28.0%, 1876: 46,459,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $8.31 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $146.4
GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 5.67 Population (in thousands): 46,459
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $179 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $3,152

Number of Daily Newspapers: 1,610 (1880)

Average Daily Circulation: 8,387,188 (1880)

Method of Choosing Electors:

  • Popular Vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)
  • The legislature of the newly admitted state of Colorado used legislative choice due to a lack of time and money to hold an election

Method of Choosing Nominees: National Party Convention

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Republican Party candidates:

  • Rutherford B. Hayes Governor of Ohio
  • James G. Blaine, Senator (Maine)
  • Benjamin H. Bristow, Senator (Kentucky)
  • Oliver P. Morton, Senator Indiana
  • Roscoe Conkling, Senator New York

Democratic candidates:

  • Samuel J. Tilden, governor of New York
  • Thomas A. Hendricks, governor of Indiana
  • Winfield Scott Hancock, U.S. Major General (Pennsylvania)
  • William Allen, former governor of Ohio

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Grant administration (Whiskey Ring scandal, corruption);
  • economic depression, Panic of 1873 (collapse of Jay Cooke’s banking company, 1873)
  • Coinage Act of 1873 returning to the gold standard denounced by Silverites as the “Crime of ‘73” – growing controversy over currency
  • Push for “Home Rule” in the South
  • Arguments about Civil Rights Act

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries): James G. Blaine; Jay Cooke;

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

  • 1874, the Republicans lost the House after controlling it for 20 years.
  • Spring of 1876: “Mulligan letters” revealed Republican frontrunner James G. Blaine received favors for saving the Little Rock and Fort Smith federal land grant. .
  • The Greenback Party organized 1874 in Indianapolis by agricultural interests, championing paper money, greenbacks, to inflate the economy.

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Democratic National Convention: June 14-16, 1876 Exposition Hall, Cincinnati, 7th ballot, Rutherford B. Hayes (Ohio) William A. Wheeler, (New York)
  • Republican National Convention: June 27-29, 1876, Merchant’s Exchange Building, Saint Louis, John A. McClernand (Illinois) 2nd ballot, Samuel J. Tilden (New York), Thomas A. Hendricks (Indiana)
  • Greenback Party Convention: Spring of 1876, Indianapolis

Convention Turning Points:

Republican National Convention:

  • James G. Blaine, the front-runner, was only 100 delegate votes short of nomination on the first ballot. However, Anti-Blaine delegates doubted he could win the election, He lost 41% support on the 6th ballot.
  • Reform Republicans ended the deadlock by supporting Ohio reform Governor, Rutherford B. Hayes.

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Republican Party Nomination

Presidential 7th ballot

  • Rutherford B. Hayes 384
  • James G. Blaine 351
  • Benjamin Bristow 21

Vice Presidential 1st ballot

  • William Wheeler 366
  • Frederick T. Frelinghuysen 89

Democratic Party Nomination

Presidential 2nd ballot

  • Samuel J. Tilden 401.5 535
  • Thomas A. Hendricks 140.5 85
  • Winfield Scott Hancock 75 58
  • William Allen 54 54
  • Thomas F. Bayard 33 4
  • Joel Parker 18 0
  • James Broadhead 16 0
  • Allen G. Thurman 3 2

Vice Presidential 1st ballot

  • Thomas A. Hendricks 730
  • Abstaining 8

Third Party Candidates & Nominations:

Greenback Party nomination

  • Peter Cooper 352
  • Others 119

Vice President

  • Newton Booth Senator California, anti-monopolist (declined)
  • Samuel F. Cary

Prohibition Party Nomination

(Second convention)

  • President: Green Clay Smith
  • Vice President Gideon T. Stewart

The American National Party

  • President James B. Walker
  • Vice President Donald Kirkpatrick

Convention Keynote Speaker:

Republican National Convention: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

Party Platform/Issues:

  • Republican Party: Denounced the Democrats; civil rights; fulfill pledges to veterans; tariffs; public land divided and distributed to homesteaders
  • Democratic Party: advocated honest, efficient government as opposed to the Grant administration’s corruption; end “the rapacity of carpetbag tyrannies” in the South; treaty protection for naturalized U.S. citizens visiting their homelands; Oriental immigration restrictions; tariff reform; opposition to land grants to railroads; civil service reform; ending Reconstruction

Campaign Innovations (General Election): Democratic campaign chairman Abram Hewitt organized the Democratic National Committee into various departments, including a literary bureau and a speaker’s bureau, laying the foundation for the “Educational Campaign”

Major Personalities (General Election): Ulysses S. Grant;

Campaign Tactics:

  • mud-slinging campaigns
  • Neither Tilden nor Hayes actively stumped as part of the campaign. Party loyalists, volunteers, surrogates campaigned.

Republican Party:

  • “Waving the bloody shirt,” continue to blame the Democrats by making the Civil War the main issue.
  • Attacked Hayes as “a drunkard, a liar, a cheat, a counterfeiter, a perjurer, and a swindler.” Claimed Hayes was anti-immigrant, pro-slavery, pro-confederate, participated in income tax fraud and stealing the pay of deceased soldier when he was a Union general.
  •  “Boys in Blue” clubs for Hayes

Democratic Party:

  • Democrats produce a Campaign Textbook
  • Tilden ran as a reformer attacking Republican corruption.
  • Attacks on Grant Administration scandals, Grant “the Mephistopheles [devil] of American politics.”
  • Paramilitary groups in the South, especially the Redshirts and White League following the Mississippi plan disrupted meetings and rallies, harassed Republicans. The violence suppressed black and white Republican voter turnout.
  • Campaign memorabilia included Portraits of Lucy Hayes, the Presidential candidate’s wife.

Turning Points (General Election):

  • Since both the candidates agreed on the major issues (hard money, federal troop withdrawal from the South, civil-service reform), the campaign consisted of exchanges of attacks on the candidates and parties

Popular Campaign Slogans:

Republican:

  • “Our Boys in Blue/We Go for Hayes.”
  • Our Nation’s Choice: Let us Strive for Human Rights, Let us Preserve Our Nation’s Honor.”

Democrat:

  • “Sound currency, An Honest Administration, Economy & Reform WILL BRING PROSPERITY.”
  • Tilden and Reform: “Reduction of Taxation and Honest Administration of the Government.”
  • “Retrenchment and Reform”

Campaign Songs:

  • Republicans: “For Hayes and Wheeler Too,” “The Boys in Blue,” “The National Veterans song,” “Attention Ye Freemen!: ‘Traitors are lurking, and craftily working/In secret to gain what was hopeless in fight…’”;
  • Democrats: “The night of gloom is gliding out/Forth breaks the rosy day. And Tilden is the sun of hope/That lights the nation’s way.”

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Republican “Not every Democrat was a rebel, but every rebel was a Democrat”
  • Robert Ingersoll to the Grand Army of the Republic Convention: “Every man that tried to destroy this nation was a Democrat. Every man that loved slavery better than liberty was a Democrat.”

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

Republicans and Democrats spent nearly the same amount for their campaigns, close to $2,000,000.

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “What the South most needs is “peace,” and peace depends upon the suppremacy of law.  There can be no enduring peace, if the constitutional rights of any portion of the people are habitually disregarded.  A division of political parties, resting merely upon distinctions of race, or upon sectional lines, is always unfortunate, and may be disastrous.” Rutherford B. Hayes, Accepting the Presidential Nomination to the Committee of the Republican National Convention, Columbus, Ohio, July 8, 1876

Campaign Quotations:

  • “I would not accept a nomination if it were tendered unless it should come under such circumstances as to make it an imperative duty, circumstances not likely to arise.” Ulysses S. Grant
  • “Hayes has never stolen. Good God, has it come to this?” New York World

Election Issues:

  • November 7, after the all the votes were counted there was only a difference over quarter of a million popular votes between both candidates. Tilden 4,300,000 to Hayes 4,036,000. The Electoral vote was Tilden 184 to Hayes 165, Tilden was just short of one vote to win a majority. There twenty electoral votes (South Carolina 7, Louisiana 8, Florida 4, and one of Oregon’s) that were being contested.
  • On November 8, 1876, Zachariah Chandler, chairman of the Republican national committee and Republican Party leaders worked to ensure Hayes the 20 electoral votes he needed to win, they declared all of Oregan’s 3 votes for Hayes, and secured the electoral of the three southern states that were still under carpetbag rule. Both sides declare a victory
  • Oregan had clearly voted Republican; however, one of their electors was ineligible for that post, J. W. Watts.  Watts was a postmaster and federal officeholders are prohibited from being electors. Abram Hewitt, chairman of the Democratic national committee convinced the Democratic governor to replace the ineligible elector with a Democrat one, to “offset the palpable frauds” with the votes in Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina. At the same time, Watts resigned his post and along with the other two Republican electors forwarded their votes for Hayes to the state capitol.
  • On November 9, the Republicans declared victory for Hayes in the election; prompting representatives from both parties to go to the Southern states in question and investigate.
  • On November 10, President Grant sent additional troops to the South “to preserve peace and good order, and to see that the proper and legal Boards of Canvasses are unmolested in the performance of their duties.”
  • There was voter fraud in the three questionable states centering around black voters; Democrats intimidated and prevent black voters from voting, while Republicans convinced black voters to vote and often, with voters voting more than once.  Republicans justifiably won South Carolina, while the Democrats won Louisiana and Florida.
  • Despite this on December 6, when electors voted in their state capitols there were two sets of electoral votes from both parties certified and sent Washington for Louisiana and South Carolina and three from Florida, two sets for Tilden and one for Hayes.
  • On December 7, the lame-duck Congressional session opens. The Republicans control the Senate and the Democrats the House.  The Congress was responsible for determining what to do with the two sets of returns. However, the Constitution does not explain what should be done with conflicting results. The President of the Senate usually presides over the vote count, however, the Democrats did not want the Republican Senate President to control the decision and the Republican did not want to leave it to the Democratic House
  • On December 21, Senate creates a special committee to determine a process for a resolution, and chaired by Republican George Edmunds of Vermont; the house votes the next day to create a special committee and chaired by Democrat Henry Payne of Ohio
  • On January 25, 1877, after much debate the two Houses decided to set up an  Electoral Commission to decide the vote. The commission would consist of five senators, five representatives, and five Supreme Court justices. The commission would give the final decision unless both Houses override the decision. Senate passed the Electoral Commission bill, 47-17, Democrats voted 23-1 and Republicans voted 24-16 for the bill.
  • Justice David Davis an independent who was to fill the 15th position, but a Democratic-Greenback coalition in the Illinois legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate he refuses then to join the commission, he was replaced by Republican Joseph Bradley, who was suppose to remain neutral and non partisan.
  • Bradley however, does not remain non-partisan and when every contested Electoral vote passes the Electoral Commission in February and early March, he votes with the Republicans 8-7 in favor if the Republican Hayes/Wheeler ticket
  • The Compromise of 1877: On February 26, 1877 Southern Democrats and Ohio Republicans first meet at the Wormley House hotel in Washington D.C. to negotiate ending the deadlock; these negotiations ended up as the Compromise of 1877. Democrats would agree with the Electoral Comission’s decision and would not filibuster, Hayes would be elected, in exchange Reconstruction would end, federal troops would withdraw from Louisiana and South Carolina, a Southern would named to the cabinet, there would be federal aid for internal improvements and education in the South.
  • Late at night on March 1 into early on March 2, at 3:38 a.m a joint session of Congress reconvenes and at 4:10 a.m and grant Wisconsin’s contested votes to Hayes/Wheeler. The session also declares Rutherford Hayes president of the United States and William Wheeler vice president, by a vote of 185-184 in the Electoral College.
  • March 5 Rutherford B. Hayes is inaugurated president of the United States.
  • Soon after in the Spring of 1877, Hayes removes the remaining Federal troops in the South, formally ending Reconstruction.

Further Reading: 

  • Holt, Michael F. By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876. (2008).

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • Deadlock: Tilden won more popular votes than Hayes but only 184 electoral votes, one vote shy of victory. Hayes had 165. Twenty electoral votes from Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina were disputed. After a lengthy standoff under “the Compromise of 1877” the extraconstitutional “Electoral Commission” awarded all 20 disputed electoral votes, and the presidency, to Hayes.

CHRONOLOGY

  • January 6, 1873: The Credit Mobilier scandal (“The House of Representatives adopts a resolution to investigate the relations of Credit Mobilier in conjunction with the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1872, the New York Sun published the story of a scandal in which Union Pacific Railroad directors used the dummy Credit Mobilier Corporation to pay themselves from the railroad treasury; additionally they had bribed congressmen to avoid an investigation. Thirteen Senators are involved, although only two receive censure.”)
  • Grant administration’s scandals. (Whiskey Ring scandal, corruption)
  • February 12, 1873: President Grant signs the Coinage Act of 1873 into law,  returning to the gold standard Silverites denounced as the “Crime of ‘73”, growing controversy over currency.
  • September 18, 1873: Panic of 1873; the collapse of Jay Cooke’s banking company Jay Cooke & Company leads to an economic depression
  • November 19, 1873: Court convicts New York’s Tammany Hall boss William Marcy “Boss” Tweed on 204 charges of fraud, swindling 200 million from the city. Samuel J. Tilden, a millionaire corporate lawyer and reform governor of New York, overthrows the corrupt Tweed Ring. ( “Samuel J. Tilden gains recognition for his role in breaking up the Tweed ring and reasserting control of the Democratic organization in the city.”)
  • November 18-20, 1874: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) forms in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • November 1874: Mid-term Congressional elections. The Republicans lose the House after controlling it for 20 years.
  • 1874: The Greenback Party organizes in Indianapolis by agricultural interests, championing paper money, greenbacks, to inflate the economy.
  • March 1, 1875: Grant signs Civil Rights Act of 1875 equal rights for blacks in public places and guarantees black’s rights for jury duty.
  • May 1875: President Grant announces he will not run for President for a third term.
  • November 22, 1875: Vice President Henry Wilson dies.
  • December 15, 1875: The House of Representatives supports a resolution against third presidential terms to prevent Grant from running again.
  • April 27, 1876: James Blaine makes a speech in the House of Representatives  denying any wrongdoing in his interactions with the Arkansas railroad, his “whole connection…open as the day.”
  • May 2, 1876: A House committee begins an investigation; James Mulligan, former bookkeeper in Warren Fisher, Jr., Boston railroad broker’s office finds the “Mulligan letters.” In 1869, Republican frontrunner James G. Blaine received commissions for saving the Little Rock and Fort Smith federal land grant
  • Spring 1876: Greenback Party Convention, Indianapolis
  • June 5, 1876: James Blaine, who has requested to see the letters, speaks in the House with the letters in hand, saying he has nothing to hide; “I am not afraid to show the letters. Thank God Almighty I am not ashamed to show them….”
  • June 14-16, 1876: Republican National Convention convenes in Exposition Hall, Cincinnati nominates on the 7th ballot Rutherford B. Hayes (Ohio) for President  and William A. Wheeler, (New York) for Vice President. James G. Blaine, the front-runner is only 100 delegate votes short of nomination on the first ballot. However, Anti-Blaine delegates doubt he could win the election, therefore he loses 41% support on the 6th ballot. Reform Republicans end the deadlock by supporting Ohio reform Governor, Rutherford B. Hayes.
  • July 8, 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes accepts the Presidential Nomination to the Committee of the Republican National Convention, Columbus, Ohio, “What the South most needs is “peace,” and peace depends upon the suppremacy of law.  There can be no enduring peace, if the constitutional rights of any portion of the people are habitually disregarded.  A division of political parties, resting merely upon distinctions of race, or upon sectional lines, is always unfortunate, and may be disastrous.”
  • June 27-29, 1876: Democratic National Convention convenes at Merchant’s Exchange Building in Saint Louis, Missouri. John A. McClernand (Illinois) serves as chairman. The convention nominates on the 2nd ballot, Samuel J. Tilden (New York) for President, and Thomas A. Hendricks (Indiana) for Vice President. Democratic campaign chairman Abram Hewitt organizes the Democratic National Committee into various departments, including a literary bureau and a speaker’s bureau, laying the foundation for the “Educational Campaign”
  • “Waving the bloody shirt,” Republicans continue to blame the Democrats by making the Civil War the main issue of the campaign.
  • November 7, 1876: Paramilitary groups in the South, especially the Redshirts and White League following the Mississippi plan to disrupt meetings and rallies, harass Republicans, and suppress black and white Republican voter turnout.
  • November 7, 1876: All the votes are counted; there is only a difference of over a quarter of a million popular votes between both candidates. Tilden 4,300,000 to Hayes 4,036,000. The Electoral vote is Tilden 184 to Hayes 165, Tilden is just short of one vote to win a majority. Twenty electoral votes (South Carolina 7, Louisiana 8, Florida 4, and one of Oregon’s) are contested.
  • November 8, 1876: Zachariah Chandler, chairman of the Republican national committee and Republican Party leaders work to ensure Hayes the 20 electoral votes he needs to win, they declare all of Oregan’s 3 votes for Hayes, and secure the electoral vote of the three southern states that were still under carpetbag rule. Both sides declare a victory
  • November 8, 1876: Oregan clearly votes Republican; however, one of their electors is ineligible for that post, J. W. Watts.  Watts serves as a postmaster and federal officeholders are prohibited from being electors. Abram Hewitt, chairman of the Democratic national committee convinces the Democratic governor to replace the ineligible elector with a Democrat one, to “offset the palpable frauds” with the votes in Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina. At the same time, Watts resigns from his post and along with the other two Republican electors, and forward their votes for Hayes to the state capitol.
  • November 9, 1876: Republicans declare victory for Hayes in the election, prompting representatives from both parties to go to the Southern states in question and investigate.
  • November 10, 1876: President Grant sends additional troops to the South “to preserve peace and good order, and to see that the proper and legal Boards of Canvasses are unmolested in the performance of their duties.”
  • November 10, 1876: The voter fraud in the three questionable states centers around black voters; Democrats intimidated and prevented black voters from voting, while Republicans convinced black voters to vote and often, with voters voting more than once. Republicans justifiably won South Carolina, while the Democrats won Louisiana and Florida.
  • December 6, 1876: Electors vote in their state capitols where two sets of electoral votes from both parties are certified and sent Washington for Louisiana and South Carolina and three from Florida, two sets for Tilden and one for Hayes.
  • December 7, 1876: Lame-duck Congressional session opens. The Republicans control the Senate and the Democrats the House.  The Constitution does not explain what should be done with conflicting results, and the Congress does not know what to do to resolve the issue. The President of the Senate usually presides over the Electoral vote count, however, the Democrats do not want the Republican Senate President to control the decision and the Republicans do not want to leave it to the Democratic House.
  • December 21, 1876: The Senate creates a special committee to determine a process for a resolution, which is chaired by Republican George Edmunds of Vermont.
  • December 22, 1876: The House also creates and announces a special committee, which is chaired by Democrat Henry Payne of Ohio.
  • January 25, 1877: After much debate, the two Houses agree to set up an Electoral Commission to decide the vote. The commission would consist of five senators, five representatives, and five Supreme Court justices. The commission would give the final decision unless both Houses override the decision. Senate passes the Electoral Commission bill, 47-17, Democrats voted 23-1 and Republicans vote 24-16 for the bill.
  • January 25, 1877: Justice David Davis, an independent was to fill the 15th position, but a Democratic-Greenback coalition in the Illinois legislature elects him to the U.S. Senate, he then refuses to join the commission. Davis is replaced by Republican Joseph Bradley, who is suppose to remain neutral and non-partisan.
  • January 26, 1877: The House passes the Electoral Commission bill, 191-86; Democrats vote 158-18 for the bill, while 68-33 Republicans oppose it. Democrats are more in favor of the commission than Republicans in both Houses.
  • January 29, 1877: “President Ulysses Grant signs the Electoral Commission Act into law”
  • February 1, 1877: A Joint Session of Congress meets to count the Electoral votes; Republican Senator Thomas Ferry of Michigan and president pro tempore presides. Florida’s two sets of results are given to the electoral commission.
  • February 2-3, 1877: Lawyers for the Democratic and Republican Parties argue their case for Florida’s votes in front if the commission.
  • February 5, 1877: William Evarts, the lead counsel for the Republicans argues that only evidence previously submitted to the Congress should be admissible and Charles O’Conor argues for the Democrats that additional evidence should be admissible. The Electoral commission than dismisses the hearing to deliberate.
  • February 8, 1877: The Electoral Commission votes 8 to 7 along party lines, and rule in favor of Evarts and Republicans regarding evidence.
  • February 9, 1877: The Electoral Commission votes 8 to 7 along party lines, and gives Florida’s electoral votes to Hays and Wheeler.
  • February 10, 1877: A Joint Session of Congress meets and receives the commission decision. The Senate affirms their decision.
  • February 12, 1877: The House rejects the Commission’s decision 168-103.
  • February 13-15, 1877: The Electoral Commission listens to the arguments concerning Louisiana’s votes.
  • February 15, 1877: The Commission deliberates on Louisiana.
  • February 15, 1877: There is an assassination attempt on the Republican Governor of Louisiana, Stephen Packard, he fights off his attacker, and the bullets misses his heart, only grazes his knee.
  • February 16, 1877: The Electoral Commission votes 8 to 7 along party lines, and gives Louisiana’s electoral votes to Hays and Wheeler.
  • February 18, 1877: Although the Congress is in recess, they receive the official results
  • February 19, 1877: A Joint Session of Congress meets announces the commission’s decision. The Senate affirms their decision with Louisiana’s votes 41-28; the House recesses.
  • February 20, 1877: The House rejects the Commission’s decision 172-99. A Joint Session of Congress meets and the Electoral vote counting resumes. There is an objection to one Republican vote from Michigan, which both houses overrule.
  • February 21, 1877: A Joint Session of Congress resumes the Electoral vote counting until they encounter Oregon’s contested votes; they pass it over for the Commission to review.
  • February 22, 1877: Commission hears arguments for Oregon and then deliberate in secret
  • February 23, 1877: The Electoral Commission votes 8 to 7 along party lines, and gives Oregon’s electoral votes to Hays and Wheeler
  • February 24, 1877: Congress receives the Commission’s results; Senate affirms it 40-24, the House rejects it, 151-107.  Then the Joint session of Congress reconvenes and continues the Electoral vote count.
  • February 26, 1877: During the Electoral vote count Democrats object to the Pennsylvania and Rhode Island votes, but both Houses overrule the objection. When South Carolina’s contested votes turn up, they refer them to the Commission who hears arguments for the vote.
  • February 26, 1877: Southern Democrats and Ohio Republicans meet at the Wormley House hotel in Washington D.C. to negotiate ending the deadlock, secret meeting results in the “Compromise of 1877.”
  • February 27, 1877: The Electoral Commission votes 8 to 7 along party lines, and gives South Carolina’s electoral votes to Hayes and Wheeler
  • February 28, 1877: Congress receives the Commission’s results; Senate affirms it, the House rejects it. When the Electoral count continues Congressman Abram Hewitt, the Democratic party chairman, presents a second set of Vermont votes, which Senate President Ferry refuses, each then Congress separately vote on the Vermont votes issue; the Senate votes down the objection, the House filibusters the vote.
  • March 1, 1877: Late at night, the objection is overruled and the votes are awarded to Hayes and Wheeler. However, when the count continues Democrats object to Wisconsin’s votes. The Senate overrules and grants the votes to Hayes/Wheeler.
  • March 2, 1877: At 3:38 a.m the House overrules. The Joint session of Congress reconvenes and at 4:10 a.m they grant Wisconsin’s votes to Hayes/Wheeler. The session also declares Rutherford Hayes President of the United States and William Wheeler Vice President, by a vote of 185-184 in the Electoral College.
  • March 5, 1877: Rutherford B. Hayes is inaugurated President of the United States.
  • Spring of 1877: Soon after, Hayes removes the remaining Federal troops in the South, formally ending Reconstruction.
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