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THE LIFE 



OF 



HON. SAMUEL JONES TILDEN, 

GOYEBNOB OF THE STATE OF NEW YOBK; 



WITH 



A SKETCH OF THE LIFE 



, » J 



OF 



HON. THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS, 



GOYEBNOB OF THE STATE OF INDIANA. 



BY 



WILLIAM MASON CORNELL, LL.D. 

'I 

AUTHOR OF "HISTORY OF PBNNSYLYANIA," "LIFE OF HOBACE GBEELBY," 

"MEMOIB OF CHABLES SUMNEB," ETC., ETC. 



BOSTON : 
LEE & SHEPARD. 

1876. 



Tsc n 






COPTBIOHT, BT 

WILLIAM MASON CORNELL, LL.D., 

1876. 



•1 



TO AU. 



AMERICAN. CITIZENS 



WHO BELIEVE IN 



THE PURITY AND HONESTY OF OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS, 



AND THAT THEY SHOULD BE 



CLEAN FROM EVERY TAINT OF CORRUPTION, 



THIS RECORD OF 



THE GREAT REFORMER 



IS DEDICATED. 



M70538 



PEEFAOE. 



LoKQ prefaces are seldom read ; and the author of the ^ 
following pages presents a short one. He wishes it to be 
distinctly understood at the outset, that, in writing the Life 
of Samuel Jones Tilden and of Thomas Andrews Hendricks, 
he has nothing to say that will or can possibly be construed 
to the disparagement of the personal character and integrity 
of Gov. Hayes or of Congressman Wheeler, the candi- 
dates of the Republican party for President and Vice-Presi- 
dent of the United States. He has formerly written the y 
Lives of Robert Ralkes, of Horace Greeley, and a Memoir ( 
of Charles Sumner ; and in none of them did he find cause 
for assailing any other gentleman. In a recent History 
of Pennsylvania, former historians were not impugned, but 
gratitude was expressed for what they had done. Provi- \ 
dentially, in the lives of the gentlemen portrayed in this 
volume, there is sufficient of uprightness, integrity, intellect, 
and good service rendered to their fellow-citizens, to place 
them on an eminence above reproach, and worthy of imita- 
tion ; and the author considers himself fortunate in having 
to set forth men of such honorable and praiseworthy 
characters. ^ 

It is always mean to besmirch a worthy man because he is 



1 



6 PBEFAGE. 

not of our party in politics, or of oar sect in religion ; and 
the '' violent dealing " of such as do this, in the language 
of Israel's king, generally ''comes down upon their own 
pate." Hence I was pleased to read in ''The Boston Daily 
Advertiser," the morning after Grov. Tilden's nomination, 
" Republicans will be ready to concede that in a personal 
sense no better selection could have been made ; " and, 
farther, "He [Tilden] has done good work as a reformer, 

^ and he is entitled to all the credit of it." This is creditable, 
and more than was to have been expected from such a parti- 
san paper, while the great evil of oar day is to disparage 
men who are not of pur party. The reader of these pages 
will look in vain for any thing of this kind in this volume. 

"^ ' W, M. C. 



/ 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE ANCESTRY O^ GOV. SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

PAGE. 

Any Man may be President. — This Country long concealed. — 
Settled by the Best Men. — * ' The Mayflower." — The Ancestors 
of Gov. Tilden.— Related to Cromwell. —The Fii-st Tilden set- 
tled in Scituate, Mass. — Tildens still there. — The Democratic 
Contract in ** The Mayflower " 16 

CHAPTER n. 

BIBTH AND EDUCATION OF GOV. TILDEN. 

Columbia County. — The Chemists, the Governor's Brothers. — 
Anecdote of the Quaker Druggist. — The Governor's Father a 
thorough Democrat. — The Anti-Masonic Excitement. — Young 
Tilden's Article. — Mr. Van Buren denies its Paternity. — * 
Samuel enters Yale College. — The Class. — Leaves on Account 
of his Health. — Graduates at the New York University. — 
Studies Law. — Opens an Office. — la fairly in the Legal Pro- 
fession 20 

CHAPTER m. 

POLITICAL PARTIES. 

Quotation from Dr. Capen's Book. —From Dr. Young and Pope. — 
Early Origin of Parties in our Country. —Federalists, Repub- 
licans, Whigs, and Democrats. — Thomas Jefferson. — Political 
Lying. — John Quincy Adams. — Andrew Jackson. — Anec- 
dote of Harrison and John Tyler. — Fame of Gen. Jackson 
growing brighter. — Many Times the Country has bfeen lost 

7 



8 CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

and saved. — Deacon's Prayer. — Rev. Mr. Burnham of New 
Hampshire. — The coming Election. — A Warm Canvass. — 
Mr. Tilden's Experience 25 

CHAPTER IV. 

POLITICAL LABORS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. 

Choice of a Profession. — What is expected of a Professional Man. 
— ^Waiting in a Profession. — Mr. Tilden's Political Papers. — 
His Speech answering Nathaniel P. Tallmadge. — He becomes 
an Editor. — Leaves the Editorship, and becomes a Member of 
the Assembly. — His Prominence in that Body. — Is elected a 
Member of the Convention to remodel the Constitution of the 
State of New York. — Becomes conspicuous in that Body . 35 

CHAPTER V. 

MR. TILDEN AS A LAWYER. 

Further Success as a Politician by Mr. Tilden. — Takes the Palm 
from Senator Tallmadge. — He feels the Need of Money. — 
Contrast between the Professions of Lawyers, Doctors, and 
Ministers. — A Hermit. — Mr. Tilden knew his Power as a 
Lawyer. — Defeat of Silas Wright, and Political Changes, 
proved favorable to him. — He soon becomes eminent as an 
Attorney. — How he managed the Case of Mr. Flagg. — Mr. 
Tilden starts a Newsi>aper. — He is chosen a Member of the 
Assembly. — His Work there. — He is elected a Member of the 
Convention to remodel the Constitution. — His Management 
of the Canal Case. — Dr. Burdell's Case. — Case of Delaware 
and Hudson Company against the Philadelphia Coal Company. 
— The Cumberland Coal Company 41 

CHAPTER VI. 

MR. TILDEN AS A REFORMER. 

Mr. Tilden as an Honorable Man. ~ Luther a Reformer. — Anec- 
dote of Alexander Pope. — Aristocratic Gathering at the Fifth 
Avenue Hotel. — Robert Collyer's Boat. — Mr. Bristow. — The 
New York Ring. — A Whip-Row. — Progress of the Ring. — 
Their vast Plunder. — Mr. Tilden's Plan for capturing the 
Ring. — Mr. Tilden again in the Legislature. — Nominated for 
and elected Governor. — His first Message. — His Objects: first, 
Reform; second, his Financial Policy. — Description of his Per- 
son. — What he achieved . 57 



CONTENTS. 9 

CHAPTER Vn. 

GOVERNOR TILDEN's DEFENCE. 

PAQIS. 

Accusers brought to face Each Other. — Mr. Tilden's own State- 
ment. — He. is not responsible for the Controversy with the 
"Times" Newspaper. — The Committee of the Bar Associa- 
tion. —He did not withhold Credit from "The Times." — Mr. 
Tilden's relations to Mayor Havemeyer. — His Speech at the 
Cooper Institute. — The Occasion of the Exposition. — Quota- 
tions from "Tlie Times." — Mr. Tilden's Description of the 
Origin of the Ring. — Its Harmony with the Account given by 
Others. — The Period of the Ring-Power. — Formative Period. 
— Mr. Tilden assumes the Lead of the Democratic State Organi- 
zation. — His Speech in the Circuit Court 72 

CHAPTER Vm. 

MR. tilden's own RECORD CONTINUED, IN WHICH HE 
FURTHER CONFIRMS THAT OF THE HISTORIAN. 

Contest of 1870. —The Sham. —Opposition. — The Conflict. — The 
Real Natiu'e of the Law. — Illustration. — The Means. — Who 
betrayed the City. — Immediate Consequences. — The Summer 
of 1870. —Court of Appeals.— Winter of 1871. — School Sys- 
tem. — Code Amendments. — Contest of 1871. — Strong Posi- 
tion of the Ring in the City. — IVIr. Tilden's Speech at the 
Cooper Institute in 1871. — Crisis of the Contest. — Pivot of the 
Contest. — Ring Plan of the Campaign. — Mr. Tilden's Plan of 
the Campaign. — How to overthrow the Ring in the Popular 
Vote of the City. — The Time when Mr. Tilden acted. — Mr. 
Keman. — Mr. Oswald Ottendorfer. — Mi. O'Conor. — Other 
Preparations. — Substitution of Mr. Green for Mr. Connolly in 
the ComptroUership. — Efforts of the Ring to recover Posses- 
sion. — State Convention. — Other Action. — Broadway Bank 
Investigations. — Mr. Tilden's Speech at Cooper Institute. — 
Democratic Reform Vote in the City. — Further Collection of 
Proofs. — Judicial Reform. — Conclusion. — Remarks by the 
Compiler 93 

CHAPTER IX. 

MR. tilden's war RECORD, AND THAT OF GOVERNOR 
OF THE STATE OF NEW f ORK. 

Gov. Tildeu believed that Slavery was guaranteed by the Consti- • 
tution. — Both Garrison and Phillips believed this. — Charles 
Sumner differed from them. — Mr. Tilden endeavored to avert 



10 CONTENTS. 

PAGB. 

the War. — "When it came, he said Pres, Lincoln should have 
- called out Five Hundred Thousand Men. — This was the Opin- 
ion of Many Others also. — Mr. Tilden believed that the War 
should have been conducted upon Sound Financial Principles. 
— Many supposed Secretary Chase's Plan for raising Money a 
bad one. — Secretary Seward's Prediction that the War would 
end in Ninety Days. — Mr. Tilden's Record as Grovemor. — 
Quotation from Senator Kernan's Speech. — The Democrats 
contend that Mr. Tilden, placed in the White House, would 
reduce the National Expenses One Half . . . . . 149 

CHAPTER X. 

TWO GREAT MEN's OPINIONS OF MR. TILDEN. 

The Work done at St. Louis. — Do the Circumstances of the Coun- 
try demand a Change? — Mr. Curtis's Knowledge of Mr. Til- 
den. — If Mr. Tilden is elected, it will be because the People 
demand it. — The Republican Party cannot rescue the Country 
from its Present Financial Condition. — The Kind of Man 
wanted. — Mr. Curtis's Views of the Change for the Worse in 
the Wharves and Docks of New York. — Where the Larger 
• Share of Blame for the War belongs. — What the Republican 
Party has to boast of. — What has the Republican Party done 
towards resuming Specie Payments?-:- Selections from Parke- 
Grod win's Letter. — His Personal Acquaintance with Mr. Til- 
den. — His Rank as a Statesman. ^- His Administration as 
Governor of New York. — Gov. Tilden's Work in overthrowing 
the Tweed Ring. — Mr. Godwin's Advice to his Late Colleagues 
of the Conference in New York 160 



THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 

CHAPTER XI. 

SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES OF THOMAS 

ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 

Birthplace of Gov. Hendricks. — Education. — Graduates at Hano- 
ver College. — Studies Law in Pennsylvania. — Settles in 
Indianapolis. — Is chosen to the State Liegislature. — Also to 
the State Convention. -«- Is elected a Member of Congress. — 
Also Senator. — Returns to the Practice of Law. — Is Chosen 
Grovemor. — His Views on the Finances. — A Hard-Money 
Man. — Description of his Person. — He is married, but has 
no Children 183 



/ 



CONTENTS. 11 

CHAPTER XII. 

SPEECH OF HON. THOMAS A. HENDRICKS AT ZANESVILLE, 

O., SEPT. 3, 1875. 

PAGE. 

Befeience to Gov. Allen. — Gov. Hendricks on the Republican 
Financial Policy. — Specie Payments. — Republican Obstmc- 
tions to Resumption of Specie Payments. — Extravagant Ex- 
penditures. — Vices in the Public Service. — District of Colum- 
bia. — Change the only Remedy 196 

CHAPTER Xin. 

THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, AND ITS WORK. ^ 

The Convention opened. — Permanent Organization. — The Plat- 
form. — Nominations. — Mr. Tilden nominated by Senator 
Keman. — His Address and Resolution. — Mr. Hendricks nomi- 
nated by Mr. Williams. — His Speech. —Mr. Fuller's Speech. 
— Mr. Campbell's Speech. — Samuel Jones Tilden the Nominee 
for President. — Thomas Andrews Hendricks nominated for 
Vice-President 225 

CHAPTER XIV. 

WHAT FOLLOWED. THE NOMINATIONS. 

General Enthusiasm. — Despatches to Gov. Tilden. — How he re- 
ceived the News, — His Remarks. — A Serenade. — Opinion of 
Hon. Charles Francis Adams. — Opinion of Hon. Charles G. 
Davis. — Opinion of Hon. Charles Levi Woodbury. — Of Hon. 
Edward Avery. — How the News was received in New York. 
— "The New York Times." — "The Sun." — " Chicago Trib- 
une." — Enthusiasm at Concord, N. H. — At Biddeford, Me. 
— Gov. Tilden's Ward in New York. — The Committee to 
announce to Gov. Tilden the nomination perform that Duty. — 
Gov. Tilden's Reply to the Committee. — Selections from the 
Speech of Senator Bayard. — Delegates call on Grov. Hendricks. 248 
— His Address to them. 

CHAPTER XV. 

MB. TILDEN's and MR. HENDRICK^S LETTERS OF ACCEPTANCE. 

Gov. Tilden indorses the St. Louis Platform. —Reform in Public 
Expense. — How to accomplish it.— The Condition of the 



12 CONTENTS. 

PAOB. 

South. — How to improve it. — Currency Reform. — Bank-note 
Besumption. — Liegal-tender Kesumption. — Necessary Cur- 
rency. — Proper Time of Resumption. — Preparation for it.- — 
Plan for Resumption. — Relief to Business Men. — Civil-Service 
Reform. — What he purposes to do if elected to the Presidency. 274 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OF ACCEFJANCE OF MESSRS. 

TILDEN AXD HEKDRICES. 

New York Express. — Brooklyn Eagle. — St. Louis Republican. — 
Philadelphia Times. — Albany Argus. — Eagle again. — Boston 
Sunday Times. — Courier. — Traveller. — New York Times. — 
New York Herald. — Saturday Evening Express. — New Haven 
Register. — Springfield Republican. — Baltimore Gazette. — 
Chicago Times. — Cincinnati Enquirer. — New York Journal of 
Commerce. — Detroit Free Press. — Portland Argus. — Bangor 
Commercial. — Manchester Union. 303 

CHAPTER XVn. 

MR. TILDEN ON A NATIONAL BANE IN 1840. — HIS MESSAGE 

IN 1875. 

Causes of Fluctuation in Prices. — Previous Crises and Failures. — 
United States Bank and Expansion of Currency the Causes. — 
From Mr. Tilden*s Speech in 1868. — Conclusion. 321 



ES'TEODUOTIOM'; 



As by history we are informed what mankind have 
been and done in past ages, the character of the best 
and worst men in every age, and how nations, empires, 
and kingdoms have arisen, flourished, decayed, and 
passed away, so by biography we see the benefit which 
great and good men have conferred on mankind. 
Indeed, no class of writings has had such vast influ- 
ence in forming the character of the young, either for 
weal or woe, as these. Conquerors have been made by 
reading the lives of conquerors that have preceded 
them ; heroes, by reading of heroes ; and martyrs, cler- 
gymen, eminent business men, and persons in all pro- 
fessions, have been inspired with that supreme devotion 
and energy to an object, that has enabled them to over- 
come all obstacles, aad achieve the same or even more 
than those after whj^m they patterned. 

The Creator, the fountain of all good, seems to have 
acted upon this principle in giving us the Bible, in 
which he has set before us, for our imitation, the char- 
acters of Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, and many 
other holy men, among the Old Testament worthies ; 

13 



14 INTEODUCTION. 

and we know, indeed, from the New Testament, that 
the grand object had in view by the Holy One in 
portraying their characters was for our imitation. 
Hence we are expressly told, " Whatsoever things were 
written aforetime were written for oi^r learning, that 
we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures 
might have hope ; " hence the writer to the Hebrews 
brings before us that host of worthies, till the ntimber 
seems to swell beyond his powers of description, and 
he exclaims, " And what shall I more say ? for the time 
would fail." All these were named, with their heroic 
deeds, for what ? " Seeing we also are compassed about 
by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also run with 
patience the race that is set before us : " in other words, 
seeing, knowing what others have done, taking them 
as our examples, let us discharge our duty, as they did ; 
" let us press towards the mark for our high calling." 
Deeply imbued with this principle of rising, of coming 
up to the highest round on the ladder of human per- 
fectibiUty, Dr. Young said, — 

** All can do what has by man been done." 

Having stated these general benefits to the world, 
from the biography of men who have rendered good 
service to their country, we are now prepared to speak 
of the gentlemen nominated at the St. Louis Conven- 
tion; namely, Samuel Jones Til den for President, and 
Thomas Andrews Hendricks for Vice-President of the 
United States. 



/ 



LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 



CHAPTER I: 



0**'-^ ^ ^ 






THE ANCESTBY OF GOV. SAMUEL JONES TILBEN", 

Any Man may be President. — This Country long Concealed. — • 
Settled by the Best Men. — The Mayflower. — The Ancestors of 
Gov. Tilden. —Related to Cromwell. — The First Tilden settled in 
Scituate, Mass. — Tildens still there. — The Democratic Contract 
in " The Mayflower:" 

While we firmly believe with Alexander Pope, 
that — 

" Honor and shame from no condition rise. 
Act well your part : there all the honor lies," — 

nevertheless a noble and worthy ancestry is by no 
means to be forgotten or despised. True, we have no 
monarchial descent or house of lords in our Republic ; 
and while we glory in the fact that the son of one of 
our poorest and most secluded citizens may become 
the * president of this great nation, — or the boy 
upon a "flat-boat," as Abraham Lincoln did, — still a 
descent from worthy and honorable parentage through 

15 



16 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 

many generations is not to be despised, but, on the 
contrary, to be held up as worthy of imitation and 
" to the praise of those who have done well," 

When it is considered that God concealed this vast 
country, stretching from the North to the South Pole 
and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, from all 
the nations of the Eastern world for ages, and that he 
then sifted all the. nations of the Old World for the 
choicest of the? vrhieat with which to sow it, the best 
inoa/tvjTiSi^^^Jiish'tcf people it, who does not see the 
hand of the Almighty Ruler in this grand event ? 

Nations had arisen, arrived to maturity, and passed 
away ; mighty conquerors had shaken the earth : and 
yet this Western Continent remained unexplored, 
uninhabited save only by — 

*' The poor Indian, whose untutored mind 
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind,*' — 

till that little ship, " The Mayflower," landed upon the 
barren and rocky coast of Massachusetts, with her 
precious freight. Though no one by the name of 
Tilden came in that vessel, yet Joseph Tilden of Ten- 
terden. County of Kent, England, was one of the 
" merchant princes " who fitted out that fine vessel 
that brought the Pilgrims to New England ; and, from 
the same county in England, Nathaniel Tilden, a 
brother of Joseph just named, came over in the " good 
shippe, Ann," as early as 1634, and settled in Scituate 
in Massachusetts; and in this town many boys have 



ANCESTRY OF GOV. SAMUEL JONES TILBEN. 17 

since had the Christian name o£ Tilden as an honor. 
This same Nathaniel Tilden was an ancestor of Samuel 
Jones Tilden; and, what is more, he (the governor) 
descended as in a royal line from the stanchest 
Puritan blood of Old England. Nathaniel Tilden by 
marriage was nearly related to Gov. Winslow, as one 
of the governor's brothers married a sister of Hannah 
Bourne, who was the wife of Nathaniel Tilden. Fur- 
ther still, another sister was married to a son of Gov. 
Bradford, thus still in the line of governors. John 
TUden, grandfather of Gov. Tilden, settled in Col- 
umbia County, New York. The governor's mother 
was a descendant of William Jones, once Lieutenant- 
Governor of the Colony of New Haven.. This Gov. 
Jones is represented in history as one of the regicide 
judges of Charles I. This Jones married a sistel: of 
OHver Cromwell, " the Protector," and a near relative 
of the celebrated John Hampden, Descended from 
such an ancestry, may not Gov. Tilden well have 
applied to him the epithet, " Blood will tell " ? 

If Paul could say of himself, " I was of the strait- 
est sect, an Hebrew of the Hebrews," may not the 
Democratic candidate for the president in this centen- 
nial year of our national existence well say, " I am a 
Puritan of the Puritans, of the * Ironsides ' of the Iron- 
sides " ? Give us a grander or a more noble ancestry, or 
one more " dyed in the wool " for civil and religious 
freedom, or one more entitled to the appellation of a 
reformer, you who canl The name of Tilden is stUl 



18 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

continued and honored in tlie colony. As they were 
thus of the good old stock from whence spring all the 
liberty of the British Constitution, according to the 
testimony of the historian Hume, Elam Tilden was 
careful to imbue his sons with the spirit and principles 
of that little band, who on board " The Mayflower," 
before landing, entered into the following compact : " In 
the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under- 
written, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord, 
King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c., 
having undertaken, for the glory of God and the ad- 
vancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king 
and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the 
northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents sol- 
emnly and mutually, in the presence of God and of one 
another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a 
civil body politic, for our better ordering and preserva- 
tion; and furtherixiore, to the end aforesaid, and by 
virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame such just 
and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and 
officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most 
meet and convenient for the general good of the colony, 
unto which we promise all due submission and obedi- 
ence. 

** In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed 
our names, at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the 
year of the reign of our sovereign lord King James 
of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and 
of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620." 



ANCESTRY OF GOV. SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 19 

To this instrument just one hundred names were 
subscribed. To this doctrine of pure democracy, the 
Tildens were strongly attached; and in this school 
Elam Tilden fully and thoroughly instructed his son 
Samuel Jones ; and to it he (the governor) has fully 
adhered till the present time. As Elam Tilden the 
good old New York farmer had as implicit faith in the 
fathers of Democracy, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jack- 
son, Martin Van Buren, and their associates, as the sign- 
ers of the compact of " The Mayflower " had in King 
James, or as the Israelites had in Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, he had literally fulfilled the instruction which 
Moses gave to the Israelitish fathers, and had taught 
his son these things, " speaking of them when he rose 
up, and when he lay down ; when he was in the house, 
arid when he was by the way," so that Samuel Jones 
Tilden was the best instructed in the national democ- 
racy by his ancestors, of any man in the community. 
So much for his " Pilgrim " ancestry. 



CHAPTER n. 

BIBTH AND EDUCATION OP GOV. TILDBN. 

Columbia County. — The Cliemists, the Governor's Brothers. — Anec- 
dote of the Quaker Druggist. — The Grovemor's Father a thorough 
Democrat. — The Anti-Masonic Excitement. — Young Tilden's Arti- 
cle. — Mr. Van Buren denies its Paternity. — Samuel enters Yale 
College. — The Class. — Leaves on Account of his Health. — Gradu- 
ates at the New York University. — Studies Law. — Opens an OflSce. 
— Is fairly in the Legal Profession. 

Samuel Jones Tilden was bom in New Lebanon, 
Columbia County, State of New York, Feb. 9, 1814: 
consequently, he is in the sixty-third year of his age. 
His grandfather, John Tilden, was one of the early 
settlers in this county. Columbia is in the east-south- 
east part of New York State, and contains an area of 
six hundred and twenty square miles. It is bounded 
on the east by the State of Massachusetts, and on the 
west by the Hudson River, and is drained by several 
small streams which afford valuable water-power. 
The surface of the east part is uneven and hilly, but, 
in the central and western portions, nearly level. The 
soil is generally fertile and well cultivated. Iron and 
lead ores, limestone, slate, and marble are among its 

20 



BIETH AKD EDUCATION OF GOV. TILDEN. 21 

mineral productions. The warm springs of New Leb- 
anon, in the north-east part, are much resorted to. 
The Western Raiboad, the Hudson River Raikoad, 
and the Harlem Railroad, traverse this county. Organ- 
ized in 1786. Capital, Hudson. 

When his grandfather settled in this county, it was 
nearly a wilderness. His father, Elam Tilden, was a 
stanch farmer. Elam Tilden had three sons : Moses 
was the eldest, Henry the second, and Samuel Jones 
the youngest. Moses and Henry have long been 
engaged as chemists in manufacturing medicine at New 
Lebanon, N.Y. Their medicines have long been held 
in good repute ; and the writer had employed them in 
medical practice in Boston for more than twenty years, 
when, about the commencement of the late war, he 
removed to Philadelphia. The following incident 
shows the pride of the Philadelphia druggists. It is 
well known that the *' City of Brotherly Love '* 
has long clauned pre-eminence as the medical emporium 
of our country. One day, I entered the shop of a 
druggist, and inquired if he had Tilden's extracts. 
He gave no answer. As he was an elderly man, I 
thought he might be hard of hearing, and repeated the 
question in a somewhat louder tone, " Do you keep 
Tilden's extracts ? " when he screamed, loud enough 
to frighten a quiet Quaker, "iVb/ We don't go to 
New York to get our medicines. Do you think we go 
to New York to get our medicines?" Still I think 
Moses and Henry Tilden make quite as good medicines 
as the druggists of the " Quaker City." 



22 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

Elam Tilden was a thorough Democrat, of the 
Andrew Jackson school. He believed in Thomas Jeff- 
erson, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Gov. 
Marcy, the Livingstons, Silas Wright, and their coad- 
jutors. The deeds of these men were often spoken of 
in the family ; and the present governor, then a lad, 
became deeply interested in Democracy. 

About thi^" time it was reported that William 
Morgan, who had written a book exposing Freema- 
sonry, had been abstracted from his home, and mur- 
dered by the Masons. The Anti-Masonic fever spread 
like wildfire over the country ; and so great was the 
excitement that no man who was a Mason, or said a 
word in their favor, could be elected to any office, or 
allowed to remain a member of any church. Those 
who did not join the cry, '* Down with Masonry I " 
were called Jacks^ and were as unpopular as the Masons 
themselves. An effort was made at this period to 
accomplish a coalition between the National Republi- 
cans and the Anti-Masons, and thus defeat the election 
of Andrew Jackson as President, and Martin Van 
Buren as Vice-President of the United States, and 
William L. Marcy as Governor of the State of New 
York. The contest was a sharp and bitter one. 
Young Samuel, then, in 1832, only in his eighteenth 
year, collected together the views he had heard 
expressed in the family, wrote them out, and showed 
them to his father. The father was so well pleased 
with the drawing-up of the paper, and the clearness 



BIETH AND EDUCATION OP GOV. TILDEN. 23 

with which he showed the inconsistency and absurdity 
of the Anti-Masonic coalition, that he took it and his 
son to Mr. Van Buren. The final result was, it was 
published in " The Albany Argus," Oct. 9, 1832, and 
used as a campaign document. The argument was so 
good, and the reasoning so cogent, that the authorship 
was charged upon Mr. Van Buren. This was so gen- 
erally believed, that Mr. Van Buren came out with a 
disclaimer, denying that he wrote it. This was the 
first political effort of Gov. Tilden, when a mere boy, . 
and long before his education was completed. Thus 
Gov. Tilden inherited a taste for politics from his 
father, and early entered this arena. 

When eighteen years old, Samuel entered the sopho- 
more class in Yale College. This was the class of 1837, 
and one remarkable for talent, containing the present 
Chief Justice Waite of the United States Court, the 
eminent attorney William M. Evarts, Prof. Silliman, 
Judge Edwards Pierrepont, and others. Mr. Tilden's 
health failing, he left Yale without graduating with his 
class. It is somewhat remarkable, that this was the 
only failure of his health during his sixty-three years. 
He completed his undergraduate studies under Chan- 
cellor Mathews, and graduated at the University of 
New York. 

Soon after his graduation, Mr. Tilden commenced 
the study of law, in the office of the late John W. 
Edmunds of New York. Here he had peculiar facili- 
ties for the study of law, and also of politics, for the 



24 LIFE OF SAMTJEL JONES TILDEN. 

latter of which, we have already seen, he had strong 
proclivities. He had previously selected this as his 
profession ; and now his acute and keenly logical mind 
was applied with great earnestness to search out all 
that could be learned while a student in this profession. 
He is said to have made good progress in his studies- 
TJpon admission to the bar, he opened an office in Pine 
Street, New York. 

He was now fairly introduced into the legal pro- 
fession, and, as the usual expression goes, had finished 
his education ; though in reality a man's education is 
but just begun when he commences the practice of his 
profession. 

Having thus traced the genealogy and studies of Mr. 
Tilden, down to this period, and noticed his taste for 
political investigations, we are now prepared to speak 
of his success in legal practice and as a political man ; 
and as for several of the first years in his legal pro- 
fession he mingled with politicians, and wrote and 
spoke for that party, I shall give his acts with the same 
admixture. 



CHAPTER in. 

FOLITIOAL PABTIBS. 

Quotation from Dr. Oapen's Book. — From Dr. Young and Pope. — 
Early Origin of Parties in our Country. — Federalists, Eepubli- 
cans, Whigs, and Democrats. — Thomas Jefferson. — Political 
Lying. — John Quincy Adams. — Andrew Jackson. — Anecdote 
of Harrison and John Tyler. — Fame of Gen. Jackson growing 
Brighter. — Many Times the Country has been Lost and Saved. — 
Deacon's Prayer. — Bev. Mr. Burnham of New Hampshire. — The 
Coming Election. — A Warm Canvass. — Mr. Tilden's Experience. 

" Paety is the great engine of human progress. It 
is a combination of men of similar views and kindred 
sympathies, for moral or political supremacy. It leads 
to the war of knowledge upon ignorance, the conflict 
of holiness against sin, the struggles of freedom 
against tyranny. It is to be found in man as an indi- 
vidual, swayed by the opposing passions of the soul, 
whether for good or evil ; and by the objects of choice, 
whether yielding to or resisting the spirit of tempta- 
tion. It is to be found in the numerous associations 
of society for influence ; controlling customs, forming 
habits, advancing fashions, and modifying, limiting, or 
extending the social or domestic duties. It divides 
the Church in regard to the sacred teachings of the 

25 



26 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

Holy Scriptures; and sects spring up to defend their 
varying creeds, each opposing each, and each opposing 
all. The votaries of science have their favorite schools 
and classes ; and party zeal is made to quicken the 
conceptions of genius. Bold and righteous men rise 
up as partisans against the world, pledged as martyrs 
to reformation. The people of every nation divide 
and subdivide in regard to their national rights and 
interests ; and we sometimes have the sublime spectacle 
of parties made up of emperors, kings, and presidents ; 
of empires, monarchies, and republics, discussing the 
great principles of national law, intervention, and the 
balance of power. 

*' A world without party would be incapable of prog- 
ress. In aU ages, parties have been viewed as indis- 
pensable to existence." 

The above quotation is made from "The History 
of Democracy," by Nahum Capen, LL.D. 

The author has not such exalted views arising from 
the benefit of parties as Dr. Capen has here expressed. 
They may be and undoubtedly are beneficial as a 
whole, upon the principle that 

^< The dread volcano ministers to good: 
Its smothered flames might undermine the world; 
Loud ^tnas fuhninate in love to man; 
Comets good omens are when duly scanned; 
And in their use eclipses learn to shine; " 

Or, according to Alexander Pope, that 

«< All partial evil's universal good.'' 



POLITICAL PAETIBS. 21 

• 

Political parties had an early origin in the history 
of our country ; and political lying was never carried 
to greater perfection than during the days of the 
Federalists and Republicans, when John Adams and 
Thomas Jefferson were the Presidents of the United 
States. The FederaKste represented Jefferson as a 
fiend incarnate, in league with Napoleon Bonaparte I., 
who was then in his glory. They predicted that he 
would conquer the whole of the Eastern world, and 
then set his blood-stained foot on the neck of America ; 
that Jefferson, full of French infidelity, and his coadju- 
tors, were planning to betray this nation, and deliver it 
into the hands of that tyrant. 

The Federal ministers of that day fulminated their 
political bulls with a zeal and energy well calculated 
to rekindle the "fires of Smithfield." The people, 
however, contented themselves with quarrelling hand- 
somely with each other every time they met; the 
leaders having a fight every May-training and town- 
meeting-day, and the ladies keeping apart from each 
other as much as they possibly could, and having a 
hot time whenever they did meet at a tea-party. I 
cannot forbear giving my readers one little " tempest 
in a teapot," a small affair, which came off at my 
grandfather's when I was eight years old. Grandfather 
was a Federalist, but not so rampant as some of them. 
He was an owner in navigation in a small way with 
Capt. S. F. and Capt. D. N. ; the former a Republican, 
and the latter a Federalist. They had met in one of the 



28 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

short days of December, 1810, sixty-six years ago next 
December. That may seem a good while to my readers 
who are now young; but I can assure them that it is 
very short. These three had met at grandfather's 
because he was the oldest of the trio. 

Capt. F., who I said was a Republican, and Capt. N. 
on the other side, soon got into a squabble. They 
were awfully cross, talked loud, looked ugly, gesticu- 
lated as though they would hurt each other, and 
seemed to me to be very dangerous men. I took 
shelter behind my grandfather's chair, lest by some 
side blow they should hit me ; and, from a child, I 
never liked to be hit. One of them, after the conflict 
had lasted from ten in the morning to ten at night 
(and grandfather always had some good old Jamaica, 
sugar, apple-cider, and pot-luck), Capt. F., seemed 
desirous to go home. He would start and go as far as 
the door, then come back, with a " No, I won't leave 
you [addressed to Capt. N.] ; for, after I am gone, 
you will tell Capt. B. more lies than the Devil can 
count." Such were the yelpings of politicians from 
1808 to 1815. America has seen nothing like that 
excitement since. 

The Federal party died with the " Hartford Conven- 
tion." 

As a doggerel poet of that day said, — 

"Did twenty lawyers there agree 
To form a great conspiracy." 



POLITICAL PAETEES. 29 

Upon the death of the Federalists, the Whig party 
arose, and the Republicans of that day took the name 
of Democrats. New phases of old questions, and new 
combinations, now took place. No President was 
elected by the people ; and John Quincy Adams was 
chosen by the House of Representatives. His admin- 
istration of four years was the most economical one we 
have had since we became a nation. 

Gen. Andrew Jackson now came into the field as a 
candidate for the presidency, and was elected. The 
contest was a very exciting one ; and all kinds of 
epithets were heaped upon Jackson. He was a Jaco- 
bin, a dueUist, an ignoramus who did not know how to 
write his name. The cry of the Whigs was, If he were 
elected, the country was ruined ; the nation would run 
into anarchy, and be blotted out. But he was elected, 
and the nation didn't die. 

He was chosen to a second term ; and the nation still 
lived. He strangled the United States, technically 
called "Nick Riddle's," Rank; and the country was 
ruined again. .He removed the deposits, and again 
ruined the country. He was an honest, patriotic man, 
a true Unionist; and put down nullification by his 
proclamation, as soon as they in South Carolina had 
read it. Well do I remember when they of that hot 
State had got aU ready to go out of the Union, and set 
up housekeeping for themselves. The day was fixed ; 
and every boy worQ his cockade of independence from 
the Union in his hat. Rut they never knew, in that 



80 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

State, when the day came that they were to go out of 
the Union. 

People at the North, who supposed Daniel Webster 
was the embodiment of all knowledge and statesman- 
ship, said he wrote that proclamation. But no matter 
who wrote it, so long as Andrew Jackson signed it. 
The whole of it was in a "nut-shell," and simply 
this : " If you are not still, down there in South Caro- 
lina, I will hang John G. Calhoun high as Haman, and 
let loose the dogs of war upon you." 

Jackson was an honest man, and, when threatened 
with unpeachment for violating the Constitution, could 
say with truth, « I have administered the Constitution 
as I understand it." The following anecdote shows 
the readiness of that old hero to aid the needy and suf- 
fering : A graceless official (would there had been no 
such swindlers there since Jackson's day !) had boarded 
with a poor widow lady until his bill amounted to 
several hundred dollars (the old lady not feeling willing 
to lose, and expecting she should if he left her), when 
he refused to pay her any thing. She thought she would 
go and see Pres. Jackson. Accordingly she went to the 
White House, rang the bell ; the messenger answered 
it, and she inquired if the President was at home. He 
said he was. " Can I see him ? " said she. " I will see," 
said the messenger. He informed the President that a 
woman at the door wished to speak with him. " Show 
her up," said the President. Wh^n she entered his 
room, he said, "What can I do for you, ma'am?" 



POLEriOAL PABTIBS. 81 

" Well, general," said she, " I don't know as you can 
do any thing ; but I thought I would tell you my story. 
I am a poor woman, and take boarders for a living. 
There is a clerk in such a department, who owes me 
several hundred dollars; and, though he has a good 
salary, he says he will never pay me." — " Well," said 
the President, "you go and see him again ; and, if you 
can't get any money of him, ask him if he vnll give 
you his note ; and, if you get it, come and see me 
again." She went and saw him ; and, when he refused 
to give her any money, she said, *' Will you give me 
your note?'* He said, "Yes," and gave it to her. 
When she had left, he said to the other clerks, " That 
old fool thinks she will now get her money ; but I had 
as Uef give her fi% notes as not." She then caUed on 
Pres. Jackson again. "Did you get any money?" 
said the President. " No, sir." — " Did you get his 
note ? " — " Yes, sir." — " Let me see it," said the Presi- 
dent. She gave it to him. He puUed down his glasses, 
read it, turned it over, and put his name on the back of 
it. Handing it back to the woman, he said, " You stop 
at the bank, and perhaps they will give you jthe money 
for it. I rather think they will." She obtained her 
money. The note became due, and the bank notified 
the young rascal of the fact. Hastening to the bank, 
in an indignant manner he inquired, " Why did you 
discount my note ? Didn't you know that you never 
would get your pay ? " The bank man calmly replied, 
" We will discount as many notes as you will send us 



82 UFB OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

with the same indorser." — " Who ? what fool indorsed 
my note ? " He was shown the note ; and, as he read 
upon the back of it the name of Andrew Jackson, a 
new light broke in upon him. He hastened and paid 
the note. But that did not save his neck ; for, when 
the quarter came round, he was informed ^' there was no 
more work for him to do under the Administration of 
Andrew Jackson." 

When the late Rebellion commenced, and James 
Buchanan was President, many of the old Whigs, who 
had turned Republicans upon the death of the Whig 
party, and who had been good haters of Andrew Jack- 
son, and doubtless could have prayed as did the good 
old deacon of Providence, R.I., " O Lord, convert Gen. 
Jackson, and take him to heaven, for thou knowest 
we don't want him here,** exclaimed, "Oh, we wish 
Gen. Jackson was president! for he would soon end this 
Rebellion, as he did nullification in 1833." All classes 
in the community now join in praising the old hero of 
New Orleans, and none more loudly than those who 
detested and scandalized him when he was president. 
From the day of his death, to the present time, his 
name has shone with increasing brilliancy, and his 
fame has been growmg brighter. 

Again, in 1840, a general excitement took place. The 
country was again to be saved or lost. The Democrats 
had been in power twelve years; eight under Gen. 
Jackson, and four under Mr. Van Buren. The Whigs 
now determined to take the country by storm. William 



POLTTIOAI* PABTIES. 88 

Henry Harrison was their candidate for president, and 
John Tyler for vice-president. Hard cider and log- 
cabins were the order of the day; and they sung, — 

" Tippecanoe 
And l>^ler, too." 

The ticket was elected, and Gen. Harrison died in 

one month; 

"And Tyler, too," — 

by turning Democrat, handed the government over 
again to the Democracy. 

Since 1840 the government has been saved or lost 
several times. Now, in this Centennial year 1876, it is 
to be lost or saved again. These alternate savings and 
losings remind us of a little incident which took place 
many years ago in New Hampshire. Old Minister 
Burnham of Pembroke, in the Granite State, was a 
zealous Whig. The State had been ruled by the Demo- 
crats for several years ; but, at the time now referred to, 
a Whig governor had been elected. Mr. Burnham read 
the proclamation for a day of Thanksgivmg, with the 
appendage, "God save the Commonwealth of New 
Hampshire I " and added ^' God has saved the Common- 
wealth of New Hampshire.'* 

All the indications are, that a warm canvass is before 
us. The men nominated by both parties are all highly 
esteemed by those who have put them in nomination. 

Mr. TUden has always been, as we have seen, in the 
Democratic school. That from his youth up, he has 



84 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

been thoroughly posted as to every rope in the Demo- 
cratic ship, no one can doubt. Had this not been the 
case, he never could have written that famous paper 
already named, and charged to have come from the pen 
of so learned and shrewd a politician as Mr. Van Buren ; 
for, of whatever else Mr. Van Buren may have been 
charged, no one ever considered him wanting in good 
sense or intellectual vigor. The items in this chapter, 
or rather tliis sketch of poUtical history, have been given 
to set before our readers the men who have figured 
upon our stage, and the views that have been enter- 
tained of them by the people, with whom, in the end, 
it will be found the truth lies* 



CHAPTER IV. 

POLmOAL LABOBS OF SAMUEL J. TILDES. 

Choice of a ProfessioiL — What is expected of a Professional Man. — 
Wiuting in a Profession. — Mr. Tilden's Political Pai>er8. — His 
Speech answering Nathaniel P. Tallmadge. — He becomes an 
Editor. — Leaves the Editorship, and becomes a Member of the 
Assembly.— His Prominence in that Body. — Is elected a Mem- 
ber of the Convention to remodel the Constitution of the State of 
New York. — Becomes Conspicuous in that Body. 

Wb now return to Mr. TQden in his law-office in 
Pine Street in the city of New York. He had settled 
the most important question that ever presents itself to 
a young man ; to wit, the choice of a profession. 

In the decision of this question is frequently in- 
volved the success or failure of a lifetime. A wrong 
choice at this critical period has ruined many an indi- 
vidual. He had chosen the profession of the law, 
the only one from which, according to Dr. Emmons 
and many others, a great public man or statesman can 
come ; for, though occasionally such a man arises out 
of some other profession, as in the case of Dr. Loring 
from the medical profession, and of the late Edward 
Everett of the clerical, yet these are exceptions to the 

86 



86 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

general rule, and happen only in those cases where, as 
the phrase is, they are bom with a " silver spoon in 
their mouths," or into whose laps nuggets of gold drop 
from their ancestors. 

Previous to enteiing a profession, we are considered 
mere learners or students ; and a mistake made at this 
period is pardonable, for it was at least half attribu- 
table to the teacher who was our guide. But, once 
having taken upon us the responsibility of a profession, 
we are "no longer under a schoolmaster," but are 
henceforward our own guides, and projectors of our 
own fortunes. 

Mr. Tilden inherited nothing, or but a small patri- 
mony, from his father, who, though a well-to-do New 
York farmer with other sons, had .but little to bestow 
upon his young lawyer, save the aid which he gave him 
in acquiring his education. 

Like every young man who enters either the legal 
or medical profession, unless he have a " father into 
whose shoes," to use a common expression, "he can 
step," he had but few clients and but a limited income. 
Not one-half of our young lawyers, unless favored as 
just stated by a paternal inheritance, earn enough 
during several of the first years of their profession to 
pay their board. In the medical profession the case is 
no better. Prof. Channing, of Harvard Medical College, 
was accustomed to relate to each class once a year the 
following story : — 

" Immediately after graduating, I took an office in 



POLTTICAIi LABOBS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. 37 

Boston, and put out mj^shingle. The first month I had 
but one call, and that, to a lady. I gave her an emetic ; 
and I did not sleep any that night for fear I had given 
her enough to kill her. Not having any more calls, at 
the end of the second month I closed my office, left my 
name standing, and embarked for Europe, where I spent 
two years. Whether anybody called during my 
absence, I never knew." 

Mr. Tilden, however, had meddled so much with 
politics, and had become acquainted with so many emi- 
nent men of the Democratic party, that little or no time 
was left him for ennui; for he had done much for his 
party before entering his profession. In 1837 Martin 
Van Buren became President of the United States. 
" During that summer appeared the presidential mes- 
sage calling for a special session of Congress, and rec- 
ommending the separation of the government from 
the banks, and the establishment of the independent 
treasury. This measure provoked voluminous and 
acrimonious debate throughout the country, even before 
it engaged the attention of Congress." The Whigs 
considered it a radical movement, and one which would 
prove the ruin of the country and the failure of all 
commercial business ; and the organs of the Whig party 
were unsparing in thek criminations of the adminis- 
tration, upon whose misdemeanors they charged the 
whole financial crisis. 

Mr. Tilden, schooled as we have seen in the tactics 
of the Democracy, though still a student, came to the 



88 I-IMS OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

defence of the President's policy. He wrote a series 
of articles, characterized by great strength of argument, 
advocating the recommendation of the President's sepa- 
rating the government from the banks, and redeeming 
the currency in specie. Thus as early as 1837 he 
showed his strong proclivities for "hard money." 
Like his first article referred to in a former chapter, the 
name of Tilden was not affixed to these papers. 

We select the following, showing the talent, power, 
and adaptability of Mr. Tilden, though so young, to 
defend the political party which he had espoused : it is 
from an historian of that period. " In the fall of 1838, 
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, a senator of the United States 
from New York, who had separated from the Demo- 
cratic party and joined the Whigs in opposition to the 
financial policy of President Van Buren, was announced 
to speak on the issues of the day in Columbia County. 
A meeting had been arranged very quietly, at which it 
was hoped he might exert an influence upon the doubt- 
ful men, and change the complexion of the party. The 
Tildens heard of the proposed meeting about noon of 
the day upon which it was to be held. They promptly 
sent word to all the Democrats of the vicinity; and the 
result was one of the largest meetings ever known in 
that region. Tallmadge, in the course of his speech, 
took great pains to convince his audience that it was 
the Democrats that had changed their position, but 
that he and his friends were unchanged. At the close 
of his remarks, one of the Whig leaders of the move^ 



POLITICAL LABOBS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. 89 

ment offered a resolution, which passed without oppo- 
sition, inviting any Democrats in the assembly that 
might be ^ disposed to reply to the senator. The 
young Democrats, who had mostly gathered in the rear 
of the hall, regarding this as a challenge to them, 
shouted for Tilden. Samuel, yielding to, the obvious 
sentiment, came forward, and took the place just 
viacated by the senator. 

^^ After discussing the main question of the contro- 
versy, he adverted to the personal aspects of the sena- 
tor's speech, and especially to his statement that the 
Democrats had changed position, while he himself had 
remained consistent. By way of testing the truth of 
this declaration, he turned to the Whigs on the plat- 
form, and, pointing to each of them in turn, asked if it 
was they, or if it was the senator who had opposed 
them in the late contest for the presidency, that had 
changed? Finally, fixing his eye upon the chairman, 
Mr. Gilbert, a memorable &rmer and almost an octoge- 
narian, he said, in a tone of mingled compliment and 
expostulation, * And you, sir, have you changed ? * 
By this direct inquiry the honest old man was thrown 
off his guard, and stoutly cried out, ^ No I ' Mr. 
Tilden skilfully availed himself of this declaration of 
his old neighbor and friend, and applied it to the 
senator in a strain of masterly sarcasm and irony. The 
effect was electric ; it thrilled the assembly, and com- 
pletely destroyed the objects of the meeting. 

" Mr. Tilden, who had watched the financial revolu- 



40 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TELDEN. 

tion of 1837 from the beginning, and knew its merits as 
thoroughly, perhaps, as any man of his time, undertook 
a defence of the President's scheme, and to overthrow 
the sophistries of his enemies, in a speech which he 
delivered in New Lebanon on the third day of October, 
1850. No one can read this speech without marvelling 
that men like Webster and Nicholas Biddle, to whose 
arguments Mr. Tilden especially addressed himself, 
could ever have become the champions of a system 
imder which the revenues of a nation were made the 
basis of commercial discounts. It is more marvellous, 
however, that in so short a time our people should have 
forgotten, as to a very considerable extent they appear 
to have done, the lessons taught in this speech, and 
those still better taught by the war then waged by the 
Democratic party with the policy of inflation, irre- 
deemable currency, and irresponsible credits. At the 
time this speech was delivered, the Whigs were medi- 
tating the re-establishment of the United States Bank 
if they could succeed in dividing the Democrats on the 
sub-treasury scheme. 

" This effort provoked Mr. Tilden to review the his- 
tory of the bank, and expose its ill-founded claims to 
be regarded in any sense as what it claimed to be, 
' a regulator of the currency.' What he says upon that 
subject possesses to the reader of to-day not only con- 
siderable historical interest, but is pregnant with les* 
sons which we fear will never be out of season." 



CHAPTER V. 

MB. TIIiDEK AS A LAWYER. 

Farther Snccess as a Politician by Mr. Tilden. — Takes the Pahn 
from Senator TaUmadge. — He feels the l^eed of Money. — Con- 
trast between the Professions of Lawyers, Doctors, and Minis- 
ters. — A Hermit. — Mr. Tilden knew his Power as a Lawyer. — 
Defeat of Silas Wright, and Political Changes, proved favorable 
to him. — He soon becomes eminent as an Attorney. — How he 
managed the Case of Mr. Flagg. — Mr. Tilden starts a Kewspaper. 
— He is chosen a Member of the Assembly. — His Work there. — 
He is elected a Member of the Convention to remodel the Consti- 
tution. — His Management of the Canal Case. — Dr. Burdell's 
Case. — Case of Delaware and Hudson Company against the 
Philadelphia Coal Company. — The Cumberland Coal Company. 

Mb. Tilden now had fame. He had written what 
had been ascribed to one of the shrewdest politicians 
of our country, when he was but eighteen years old. 
We all remember Mr. Van Buren, who was represented 
as the great magician, or, as Alexander H. Everett 
styled him, the "Uttle Dutchman," sitting behind the 
screen, and pulling all the wires during the eight 
years of the administration of Andrew Jackson. It 
was glory enough for Mr. Tilden, that in his teens he 
should have written so pungent and logical a paper, 

41 



\ 



42 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

that the sage men in the community could have 
ascribed it to such a man. 

But now, in addition to this, he had written other 
strong and powerful papers ; he had defeated so promi- 
nent a man as Samuel P. Tallmadge, a senator of New 
York in Congress, in an argument at a mass-meeting. 
He had taken the lead in the Assembly of the great 
State of New York, and in the Ck)nyention to form a 
new Constitution. These things, considering his youth, 
were fame and glory enough. 

But he had discovered that neither all these, nor his 
newspaper exploit, had brought him bread or money ; 
and, as already stated, he inherited no fortune from 
his father, though he had a good name from his ances- 
torial record. He now found that a man must have 
not only fame, but ononey, to be successful in life. 
This was to be made in his profession. 

A lawyer is a peculiar man, not only as to becoming 
a great man, a statesman, as formerly said, but also in 
many other respects. He is a man whom the people 
fear. They look upon him with a kind of dread, as 
though he had power to do them harm, to bring them 
into the courts, to mulch them out of their money, and 
to do pretty much as he has a mind to. Thus lawyers 
were considered by our Puritanic fathers as, if not a 
very wicked and mischievous, at least a useless and 
unnecessary class. This was the objection that the good 
old Puritanic parish of Weymouth made to John Adams 
manying Abigail Smith, their parson's daughter. Per- 



ME. TILDEN AS A LAWITEE. 43 

haps I can explain the views people generally have 
of lawyers by the following episode : In my boyish 
days, there lived near the famous Bighton Rock^ on a 
little plat of land by '* Taunton Great River," a her- 
mit. He was a bachelor, but had several relatives 
from whom he kept aloof. But one boy, a nephew, 
seemed to get into the good graces of his uncle the 
hermit, who invited the lad to come and stop with him. 
He did so ; and, for a time, they appeared to live 
together in great harmony. People began to say that 
Uncle John, who owned a large tract of land notwith- 
standing his preference for the life of a recluse, would 
make this nephew his heir. 

But at length the boy began to learn to write. This 
alarmed the hermit, and he declined to keep him any 
longer, assigning as a reason, if the boy learned to 
write, he would write away all his property. Lawyers 
all know how to write. 

Then, lawyers are in the way of making money very 
fast after they once get started in their profession. 
Everybody knows that it is not uncommon for them to 
receive a thousand, and often several thousand dollars 
for a single plea or speech. I once entered the office 
of one of these successful attorneys in Pittsburg, 
Penn. ; and, as I went in, he was gathering up a handful 
of bills which he had just received for a single case. 
Said he, ^^ The law is a profitable business, when a man 
gets well started in it." Not unfrequently have such 
lawyers as Daniel Webster, Rufus Choate^ Evarts, 



44 UFB OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN, 

Sargent, and many others, received the enormous sum 
of twenty or thirty thousand dollars for conducting a 
single case. 

It has been truly said by an eminent writer, " There 
is no other country where the position of a lawyer 
reaches the dignity and power which it possesses here. 
He has not here, in front of him, an aristocracy of 
hereditary title or of wealth. If a leader in his profes- 
sion, he is in the front Himself. If his professional 
pursuits carry him, in his career, beyond the investiga- 
tion of subjects of mere personal interest, he becomes 
versed in constitutional questions, in the principles 
that guide the grandest civil interests, and the State 
itself." 

Just in proportion as he has the power of intellect, 

the eloquence of an orator, a profound thinker, and a 

logical reasoner, he assuredly goes up to the top of the 

ladder, and reaches the place where Daniel Webster 

said " there is always room enough ; " to wit, " up 

«uch a legal man has every field of usefulness, power, 
ci trust open before him; and he may soar to the 
W^est oflBce in the gift of the Republic. 

9 while this is the favored position of the " gen- 

j ^^ the green bag,'' it is vastly different with 

that ^^^ clergymen. The case of the physician is 

little /I ^ P^^dding» quiet, useful life, usually saying 

only a. ^^^ little, and being but little known, save 

^^S a few families, — his patients. This is the 



ME. TILDEN AS A LAWYEB. 45 

general lot of the doctora in medicine. Occasionally 
(as there are exceptions to all rules) a few of them 
rise aboYe this general routine, which much resembles 
the everlasting tramp of the old horse in the tread- 
mill; round and round, but making no progress. A 
surgeon, an oculist, or perchance a medical practi- 
tioner, may get a few cases where he receives a 
respectable fee, but not to be compared with those 
of the lawyer. 

The case of the clergyman is worse, so far as money- 
making is concerned, than that of the doctor ; for, as 
has been just stated, the doctor does sometimes lay 
aside something for a " rainy day." But the preacher 
has no means of doing this ; and unless, perchance, he 
marries a rich wife, or falls into an aristocratic parish, 
that to gratify its own pride, enriches its pastor, he 
must be poor. He can be no farmer, mechanic, broker, 
or merchant ; for that would spoil him for a minister. 
Besides, he can hold no office; be president of no 
railroad-corporation at twenty thousand dollars a year ; 
or collector of the port of New York, at one hundred 
thousand dollars, including the pickings; or in any 
other lucrative employment. All these fields he is 
debarred from, because he is a clergyman. All this, in 
his case, is but verifying what the great apostle said, 
" If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men 
most miserable." 

Mr. Tilden well knew the advantageous position which 
he held for making money, though up to the close of 1845 



46 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 

he had made no special efforts in that direction. He 
had shone briUiantly for a young man in poUtics ; but 
he now found, as many others have, that this "did not 
pay." It was all well enough in its way, but it did not 
" keep the pot boiling." In a word, it was. all very fine, 
or, as the Philadelphia girls used to say, splendid; but 
resulted like the case of a young man who marries a 
pretty girl because she is pretty, but has no qualifica- 
tion for a good wife or any thing else, save only that 
she is pretty. As the old farmer said, " He soon finds 
out that pretty won't support a family, nor always 
make a good housekeeper." 

Mr. Tilden now in 1846 turned his attention more 
exclusively to his profession. Perhaps some changes 
in the political horizon aided him in this change of 
action. Silas Wright had been defeated in his elec- 
tion for governor this fall ; a difference of opinion had 
created a coolness between the friends of Pres. Polk 
and the friends of Mr. Van Buren; and, in many 
respects, the poUtical atmosphere had assumed a very 
different appearance from what it had presented for 
several years. 

This was, doubtless, a fortunate circumstance for Mr. 
Tilden, as it opened the way for him more readily to 
retire from the political arena, and assume, or rather 
resume, his professional business. 

He well knew he had the head, the intellect, to 
make his power felt as a lawyer; and as his services 
for the public had not been remunerative, and as he 



MB. TILDBN AS A LAWYEB. 47 

had no patrimony from Hs father, and as he weU knew 
that a pecuniary independence was necessary for the 
successful prosecution of a political career, he took hold 
of his profession with energy. In a word, he felt the 
necessity of having money, and went to work with vigor 
and alacrity to make it in his profession ; with what 
success, the sequel will show. He knew he possessed 
the advantages we have ascribed to the lawyer ; and, 
consequently, as long as men would give more for their 
wills than they would for their souls and bodies both, 
he knew the success that awaited him. 

As he had hitherto devoted himself to politics, so 
now he did not entirely renounce his former course ; 
but he made his profession first, and politics a second- 
ary consideration. 

Soon he became as well known as a lawyer as he had 
been as a politician ; and this was very considerable. 

One of the first prominent cases in which he was 
engaged was in a municipal election, one of New York 
in NoveAber, 1855. Azariah C. Flagg was one of the 
candidates for city oomptroUer. A strong and desper- 
ate attempt was made to defeat his election by pitting 
against him a popular mechanic by the name of Giles. 
He was brought forward by the so-called " Know- 
Nothing," or American party. Mr. Flagg belonged to 
the Democratic ranks, and had been known and praised 
throughout the city-^and the whole State for the faithful 
discharge of the public trusts that he had received ; and 
he was also a friend and co-worker with Mr. Tilden. 



48 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

The candidate of the "Kjiow Nothings " was a worthy, 
quiet man, against whose character no charge of malfeas- 
ance and dishonesty could be brought. He was evi- 
dently selected because nobody knew any thing "Against 
him, and because the leaders or wire-pullers supposed 
he would be as plastic in their hands as clay is in the 
hands of the potter. Who has not known many men 
elected to important offices, with no other recommenda- 
tion save the plastidti/ by which they could, or were -sup- 
posed they could, be modelled into any desirable shape? 

The great^ tact and shrewdness of Mr. Tilden were 
shown in his management of this case ; and no defender 
of a beleaguered city was ever more skilful in his de- 
fence than this attorney manifested for Mr. Flagg. I 
will give the case briefly in the language of another : — 

" The returns gave Mr. Flagg the office by a small 
plurality of 117, — 20,313 against 20,134 for Giles. His 
opponent was to prosecute a quo warranto ; and Mr. 
Flagg's title to the office was tested at a Supreme Court 
held before Judge Emott and a special jury. 

" The claimants seemed to have monopolized all the 
proof attainable, and to have left little or nothing for 
the defence. Add to this, the original canvass had 
been made, as usual, upon distinct papers commonly 
called tallies. The split tally comprised three foolscap 
sheets, which contained the original canvass of the split 
votes, and transfers from the tally of the regular vote 
and the aggregate result, showing the number of votes 
that each candidate had received. The tally of the 



MR. TILDEN AS A LAWYER. 49 

regular votes had disappeared, at least could not be 
produced ; and its loss was accounted for. The papers 
of split tallies, transfers, and summaries, that were pro- 
duced, corresponded with the oral testimony, and con- 
firmed the relator's theory of the alleged error in the 
return. 

" Such was apparently the desperate attitude of the 
comptroller's case, when Mr. Tilden was called upon 
to open for the defence. The defence, if any could be 
made, had to be constructed upon the basis of the testi- 
mony offered by the relator ; for other testimony there 
was none. The return showed, as the law required, the 
entire number of votes given in the district ; and the 
regular varieties of what are called regular votes 
appeared from the prosecutor's own oral evidence. 
On this slight basis of actual testimony Mr. Tilden 
constructed an impregnable defence. In his opening, 
and after reviewing the weak points in the testimony 
of the relator which he was enabled to discover by the 
light of his midnight researches, he, for the first time, 
gives an intimation to tis adversaries of the weapon he 
had improvised in a night for their destruction. 

" Before Mr. Tilden took his seat, the case was won, 
and Mr. Flagg's seat was assured. Within fifteen min- 
utes after the case was submitted to the jury, they 
returned with a verdict in his favor." 

Even after his admission to the bar, Mr. Tilden still 
manifested a deep interest in politics ; and in 1844, when 
James K. Polk was candidate for the Presidency, and 



60 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

Silas Wright for governor of the State of New York, 
he in conjunction with John L. O'Sullivan started the 
Democratic newspaper called " The Daily News." This 
was really a campaign paper advocating the principles 
of the Democracy, and the election of Polk and Wright 
to the oflfices just named. 

Though this was in the main a new field for Mr. Til- 
den, it being his first editorial labor, yet it was in 
reality, and in a political point of view, just that in 
which he had been previously engaged; to wit, writing 
political articles. For such a purpose the instruction 
he had received from his father and the eminent polit- 
ical men with whom he had mingled, such as Martin 
Van Buren, William L. Marcy, Silas Wright, and 
others, had pre-eminently qualified him for a political 
editor. He knew exactly where to begin, what to say, 
and how to- end such articles. They had a telling 
effect upon the politics of that day, and called forth 
from the whole Whig press severe and bitter criticism ; 
and, notwithstanding the denunciation they received 
from the whole opposing press, both Mr. Polk and Mr. 
Wright were elected to the oflfices for which they were 
nominated. Though his editorial career was a success, 
yet it was not a long one ; and he soon abandoned it for 
another field. In 1845 he was chosen a member of the 
State Assembly from the city of New York. Though, 
as we have already seen, he had long been a prominent, 
powerful,,and successful writer in the Democratic ranks, 
yet this was the first public office to which he had been 



ME. TILDEN AS A LAWYER. 51 

elected by his fellow-citizens. Coming as he did from 
the city of New York, with the ^clat which accom- 
panied him from the articles he had formerly written, 
he soon took a prominent place in the legislature, and 
was looked upon as an authority in all questions of 
moment. In fact, he made a permanent impression 
upon the members of that body, and stamped his image 
and superscription upon every law that was passed. 

That legislature called a convention for the purpose 
of remodelling the constitution of the State, and 
elected Mr. Tilden a member of that body. In this 
convention, which commenced its session soon after the 
adjournment of the legislature, Mr. Tilden was as 
conspicuous as he had been in the assembly. Indeed, 
he was the leading star; and, though one of the 
younger members, he was the leader of that body. 
He devised and carried through all the constitutional 
enactments relating to the finances of the Common- 
wealth. 

The management of the canals in the State of New 
York had been one of great importance ; and between 
the conflicting parties the mismanagement of their 
finances had been very conspicuous. Through the 
influence of Mr. Tilden, articles were introduced into 
the new Constitution, providing for the regulation of 
these matters, so that the State should be greatly bene- 
fited thereby. 

It may be safely said that no young man, the first 
time he became a member of the Assembly or of a Con- 






in 



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C, "'> Ih 






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ott 



and 



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MB. TILDBN AS A LAWYER. 53 

house. Against this array of affirmative evidence, Mr. 
Tilden determined by a cross-examination, believing 
that that would reveal the truth, to carry the one hun- 
dred and forty-two witnesses through such an ordeal as 
developed a series of circumstances which struck the 
mind of the judge with irresistible force, and led to his 
entire satisfaction and conviction that the pretended 
marriage had never taken place, and was a tissue of 
fabrications to obtain the property of the murdered 
man. His penetration of character on this occasion 
was a wonder to the court, and the admiration of all 
present. He not only demonstrated the falsity of the 
pretended marriage, but also produced a general con- 
viction that Mrs. Cunningham and her brood were the 
murderers of Burdell. Indeed, the case was made so 
clear that everybody said, had Tilden conducted the 
prosecution when she was indicted for murder, she 
would undoubtedly have been convicted. 

Another case in which Mr. Tilden showed great 
knowledge and tact was that of the Delaware and 
Hudson Canal Company against the Pennsylvania Coal 
Company. The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company 
had a contract with the Pennsylvania Coal Comjiany, 
by which among other things it was agreed, in case of 
the enlargement of their canal, the coal company 
should pay for the use of their canal extra toll equal 
to such portion of one-half the reduction in the ex^ 
pense of transportation as might result from such 
enlargement. In due time the canal company put in 



54 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

their claim for extra toll. The coal company denied 
that the cost of transportation had been reduced, or 
that they had derived any advantage whatever from 
the enlargement. After tedious and futile negotiations, 
suit was instituted by the canal company; and Mr. Til- 
den was retained for the defence. The case was tried 
before Judge Hogeboom of the Supreme Court sitting 
as referee. Seventy-odd days were consumed in the 
hearing ; and testimony offered by the plaintiff fills sev- 
eral large printed volumes. As in the Flagg case, the 
plan of the defence, as advised by Mr. Tilden, was a 
surprise both to court and counsel. The sum claimed 
was immense, — twenty cents a ton on an annual 
transportation of six thousand tons a year for ten years, 
and in addition to this a royalty of the same amount. 
By a calculation that took years of labor, bringing in 
with its just weight every statistic and circimistance of 
canal navigation, and by the application of the law of 
average, Mr. Tilden established the fact against the 
canal company and against the popular opinion; and 
settled the fundamental economic principles of canal 
navigation for the country. 

Among the more important cases in which Mr. Til- 
den has been concerned, one in which his strictly pro- 
fessional abilities appeared to special advantage was the 
case of the Cimiberland Coal Company against its 
directors, heard in the State of Maryland in the year 
1858. In that case he applied for the first time to the 
directors of corporations the familiar doctrine that a 



MR. TILDEN AS A LAWYER. 66 

trustee cannot be a purchaser of property confided to 
him for sale ; and he successfully illustrated and settled 
the equitable principle on which such sales to directors 
are set aside, and also the conditions to give them 
validity. Mr. Tilden's success in rescuing corporations 
from unprofijbiable and embarrassing litigation, in re- 
organizing their administration, in reestablishing their 
credit, and in rendering their resources available, soon 
gave him an amount of business which was limited only 
by his physical ability to conduct it. 

Since the year 1856, it is safe to say that more than 
half of the great railway corporations north of the 
Ohio and between the Hudson and Missouri Rivers 
have been at some time his clients. The general mis- 
fortunes which overtook many of these roads between 
1855 and 1860 called for some comprehensive plan for 
relief. It was here that his legal attainments, his 
unsurpassed skill as a financier, his unlimited capacity 
for concentrated labor, his constantly increasing weight 
of character and personal influence, found full activity, 
and resulted in the re-organization of the larger portion 
of the great network of railways, by which the rights 
of all parties were equitably protected, wasting litiga- 
tion avoided, and a condition of great depression and 
despondency in railway property replaced by an unex- 
ampled prosperity. His relations with these companies, 
his thorough comprehension of their history and 
requirements, and his practical energy and decision, 
have given him such a mastery over all the questions 



56 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

that arise in the organization, administration, and finan- 
cial management of canals, as well as railroads, that his 
influence, more than that of any other man in the coun- 
try, seems inseparably associated with their prosperity 
and success ; not only in his own coimtry, but abroad. 
It is, we believe, an open secret, that his transatlantic 
celebrity brought to him quite recently an invitation 
from the European creditors of the New York and Erie 
Railway, to imdertake a reconciliation of the various 
interests in that great corporation, which the proprieties 
and duties of his official position constrained him to 
decline. 



CHAPTER VI. 

'MR. TIIJ)EN AS A BEFOBMEB. 

Mr. Tilden as an Honorable Man. — Luther a Reformer. — Anecdote 
of Alexander Pope. — Aristocratic Gathering at the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel. — Robert Colly er's Boat. — Mr. Bristow. — The New York 
Ring. — A Whip-row. — Progress of the Ring. — Their vast Plun- 
der. — Mr. Tilden' 8 Plan for capturing the Ring. — Mr. Tilden again 
in the Legislature. — Nominated for and elected Governor. — His 
first Message. — His Objects: first, Reform; second, his Financial 
Policy. — Description of his Person. — What he achieved, 

Wb now come to a point of the deepest interest in 
Mr. Tilden's character. He had become eminent in his 
profession, and was respected and honored everywhere. 
No whisper of dishonesty had ever been made against 
him. His business in his profession was now immense ; 
and he stood before the world 

"An honest man, the noblest work of God," 

especially in these days of general swindlings, defalca- 
tion, and public plunderings. 

Reformers have arisen at various times and among 
diverse classes. Luther thought to reform the Catholic 
Church while in that body in his day ; but he soon found 
it was a hopeless undertaking, and that it was easier to 



58 ' LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

make a new one ; reminding us of what the postboy told 
Pope. The story is familiar to most, but will well bear 
repeating about this time. The boy had been in the 
habit of taking the great poet out to ride ; and Pope 
was accustomed, when any thing came across him 
suddenly, to say, " God mend me ! " On one occasion 
he asked the boy, how much was to pay for this ride ? 
The boy named what Pope thought an exorbitant sum, 
and the -poet used his favorite expression. The boy 
scanned him from head to foot, little, crooked-backed, 
withered-up fellow as he was, and then said, " I should 
think he could easier make a new one than to mend 
you." 

So, no doubt, it is sometimes easier to make a new 
church, or a new government, or a new party, than to 
mend an old one. 

In the commencement of this centennial year of 
grace 1876, from some cause or other, a general impres- 
sion seemed to pervade all classes in the community, 
that a EEFOEM was necessary somewhere in the United 
States. 

Hence that anomalous gathering was called at the 
Fifth Avenue Hotel in the city of New York. A gen- 
tleman of the Republican party, when the call for that 
remarkable assemblage was made, wrote to one of the 
leaders to know more particularly what the design of 
the meeting was. He was informed that it was not to 
be " a mass meeting, but as far as possible a representa- 
tive body ; " that was, a Patrician gathering. Such it 



ME. TILDEN AS A REFORMEB. . 59 

proved to be in very deed ; yet one of that number had 
the hardihood to say in open meeting, " I would vote 
for Gov. Tilden for President." For this charitable 
suggestion, a party paper in the State of New York 
severely, chastised him, stating that, as he lived in 
Massachusetts, so far away from New York, he was 
pardonable on account of his ignorance of Mr. Tilden's 
political manoeuvres in the Empire State. That aristo- 
cratic convention had about as much influence upon 
the nominations to be made, either at Cincinnati or St. 
Louis, as an assembly of sparrows or a bevy of chick- 
adees would, to disperse a colony of hawks. 

In the Greeley days the cry was, "Go West, go 
West." The following story, told by the Rev. Robert 
CoUyer at the Bristow meeting last month in Chicago, 
gives advice to the reformers, which has the true ring. 
Mr. Collyer told this story : "A great many years ago, 
on one of our south-western rivers, there was an old 
skipper who had a steamboat which was sailing in 
shoal water, and got stuck in the mud. She swung 
around in the water ; and there was no chance to get her 
afloat, do what they would. He was a terribly profane 
old fellow, and everybody knew it through the country. 
Suddenly an idea struck him. He said to one of his 
deck-hands, * You go up to the town, and tell them I 
have got religion, and I want them to come and hold a 
prayer-meeting on board.' The deck-hand went to the 
town, and spread the news around ; and every one, being 
interested in the old skipper's conversion, went down 



60 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

to hold the prayer-meeting. The old man was standing 
ready to receive them; and, as they came down, he 
said to every man, ' Go aft ; ' and they all went aft until 
the great load was at that end. They all went aft until 
there was a great weight, and the end which was in the 
mud got loose, and the ship floated off. As soon as the 
ship got afloat, the skipper said, * The meeting is over. 
Jump ashore ! ' [Loud laughter.] In our Republican 
party — I mean those leaders — there are men who get 
religion every time there is going to be an election. 
[Cheers.] They say, ' Gentlemen, go aft, go aft.' And 
we go aft. We are a good-natured crowd in this coun- 
try. The best-natured fellows anywhere on this planet 
is a crowd of Americans, such as I see before me to- 
night. We are good fellows ; and we go aft, and the 
old ship floats again, and then we jump ashore. Now, I 
don't mean to go into that prayer-meeting any more. 
[Cheers and laughter.] I don't mean to have any 
thing more to do with that old skipper. I mean to 
find, if I can, some man who doesn't get religion once 
in every four years." 

As Mr. CoUyer is understood to be a versatile man, 
3.nd can readily change, either his religious denomina- 
tiop or bis pplitijC3.1 party, the curious are now anxious 
to know which end of tb^ vp^sel he will be found in, 
since his frieud Bristow has been banished from the 
cabinet by the President, and thrown overboard by the 
Cincinnati Convention ? 

The opinion of the writer, he not being a politician^ 



ME. TILDBN AS A REFORMER. 61 

would be of little account as respects the reformers 
Bristow and Tilden: hence, instead of giving it, he 
proposes to state that of others. While all classes admit 
that Mr. Bristow was a practical reformer while in the 
Cabinet, and believe that he would continue such had 
he been elected President, still, as that is now out of 
the question, the Democrats now contend that they have 
nominated, in Samuel J. Tilden, the greatest reformer 
of the age, that there is now any possibility of placing 
in the Executive chair. To demonstrate this, they tell / 
us what reforms he has already instituted and carried 
through in the State of New York. A historian says, — 
A Democratic and Republican ring had been organized 
in this State. It originated in an act passed by the 
Legislature of the State of New York in 1857 in 
connection with a charter for the city of New York, 
providing that but six persons should be voted for by 
each elector, and only twelve chosen ; or, in simple lan- 
guage, that only the nominees of the Republican and 
Democratic party caucuses should be elected. At the 
next session of the legislature, their term of office was 
extended to six years; thus a Board of Supervisors 
consisting of six Republicans and six Democrats, to 
change a majority of which, it was necessary to have 
the control of the primary meetings of both the great 
National and State parties for a succession of years. 
This was a deeply-laid and well-concerted plan to give 
its projectors power and an opportunity, not only to 
perpetuate their own offices^ but also to rob the city to 
any extent they pleased. 



62 LIFE OP SAMUEL JOITES TILDEN. 

This was a "ring " in a double sense ; to wit, between 
the six Democratic and the six Republican supervisors. 
In the assembly there was a Republican majority, and 
the half-and-half supervisors had Democratic officials 
in the city. In common pariance it was an old- 
fashioned " whip-row," by which this combined ring 
were to manage and did manage to swindle the city of 
New York out of millions of doUars. 

This combination of shrewd and unprincipled men 
drew in just enough influential men to control the 
organization of each party. These men, who in public 
hfe pushed to extreme the abstract idea of their respec- 
tive parties, secretly joined hands in common schemes 
to perpetuate their personal power, and augment their 
property. Gradually the ring transferred the seat of 
its operations from the city of New York to Albany, 
the capital of the State. The lucrative city offices, 
subordinate appointments which each head of depart- 
ment could create at pleasure, with salaries in his dis- 
cretion, distributed among the friends of the legislators, 
contracts, money contributed by city officials, assessed 
on their subordinates, raised by jobs under the depart- 
ments, and sometimes taken from the city treasury, 
were the corrupting agencies which shaped and con- 
trolled all legislation. Year by year the system grew 
worse as a governmental institution, — more powerful 
and more audacious. The Executive Department 
swallowed up all the local powers, which gradually 
became mere deputies of legislators at Albany, on 



MR. TILDEN AS A REFORMER. 63 

whom alone they were dependent. It became com- 
pletely organized on the 1st of January, 1869 ; but its 
power was enormously extended by an act passed on 
the 5th of April in the following year, giving the 
power of local government to a few indivi3uals of the 
" ring " for long periods, and freed from all accounta- 
bility. 

The authoritative record in which Gov. Tilden con- 
ducted this masterly and successful reform is given 
us as follows by the historian : — 

" Within a month after the passage of this Tweed 
charter, the Board of Special Audit, one of the fruits 
of this Legislature, were making an order for the pay- 
ment of over six millions of money, of which it is 
now known that scarcely ten per cent in value was 
realized by the city. Tweed got twenty-four per cent, 
and his agent Woodward seven; the brother of 
Sweeny, ten ; Watson, deputy collector, seven ; thirty- 
three per cent went to mechanics who furnished the 
biUs, though their share had to suffer many abatements ; 
and twenty went to other parties. Over two hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars were sent to Albany to be 
distributed among the members of the Legislature. 

" The percentages of theft, comparatively moderate 
in 1869, reached sixty-six per cent in 1870, and, later, 
eighty-five per cent. 

" The senators who voted on the 6th of April, 1870, 
with but two dissenting voices, to deprive our great 
commercial metropolis, with its million of people, of all 



64 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

power of self-government, as if it were a conquered 
province ; to confer upon Tweed, Connolly, Sweeny, and 
Hall, for a series of years, the exclusive power of ap- 
propriating all moneys raised by taxes or by loans, and 
an indefinite power to borrow; who swayed all the 
institutions of local government, the local judiciary, 
and the whole machinery of elections, — did not come 
again within reach of the people until the election of 
tjie 7th of November, 1871, when their successors were 
to be chosen. All hope of rescuing the city from the 
hands of the freebooters depended upon recovering the 
legislative power of the State, in securing a majority 
of the senate and assembly. To this end Mr. Tilden 
directed all his efforts.N In a speech at the Cooper 
Union in New York, he stated Mr. Tweed's plan, which 
was, to carry the senatorial representation from that 
city, and then re-elect eight, and if possible twelve, of 
the Republican senators from the rural districts whom 
he had bought and paid for the previous year, and thus 
control all the legislation that might be presented there 
which involved his freebooting dynasty." 

A party in power is naturally disposed to risk the 
continuance of abuses, rather than hazard the extreme 
remedy of " cutting them out by the roots." The 
executive power of. the State, and all its recently en- 
larged official patronage, were exerted against the latter 
policy. And since the contest of 1869 the " ring " 
had studied to extend its influence in the rural dis- 
tricts, and had showered legislative favors as if they 



MB. TILDEN AS A EEPOEMER. 65 

were ordinary patronage. But fortune favors the brave. 
Without an office or a dollar's worth of patronage 
in city or State to confer, Mr. Tilden planted him- 
self on the traditions of the elders, on the moral sense 
and forces of Democracy, and upon the invincibility of 
truth and right. That undaunted faith in the harmony 
of truth and its irreconcilability with error, which we 
have foimd sustaining him at the bar, and carrying him 
from victory to victory against more desperate odds, 
sustained him here. As always happens to those who 
battle for the right, Providence came to his aid. The 
thieves fell out, and one of their number betrayed 
them. A clerk in the comptroller's office copied a 
series of entries, afterwards known as "secret ac- 
counts," and handed them to the press for publication. 
They showed the dates and amounts of certain pay- 
ments made by the comptroller, the enormous amounts 
of which, compared with the times and purposes of the 
payments and the recurrence of the same names, 
awakened suspicions that they were the memorials of 
the grossest frauds. Mr. Tilden soon became satisfied 
of this, from the futility of the answers received from 
city officers when questioned about them, and from 
other sources, and reached the conclusion that the city 
had been the victim of frauds far transcending any 
thing ever suspected. He immediately formed his plan, 
for the execution of which, as it involved the control 
of the approaching State Convention, the co-operation 
of several leading Democrats was first secured. He 



66 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

accepted an arrangement by which he was to be sent 
to the convention from his native district, Columbia 
County, which had always during the " ring " ascend- 
ency afforded him that opportunity of being heard. 

Early in September he issued a letter to some 
seventy-six thousand Democrats, reviewing the situa- 
tion, and calling upon them "to take a knife, and cut 
the cancer out by the roots." But, before the meeting 
of the convention, an event happened which could not 
have been foreseen, but which was pregnant with the 
most important consequences. 

To the eternal honor of the Democratic party of the 
city and State, on the issue thus made up by Mr. Til- 
den they gave him their cordial and irresistible support. 
The result was overwhelming, and not only changed 
the city representation in the legislative bodies of the 
State, but in its moral effect crushed the " ring." 

Mr. Tilden was one of the delegates chosen to 
represent the city in the next legislature. In deference 
to the views of his principal coadjutors, 'Mr. Tilden 
devoted the six-weeks' interval between his election 
and the meeting of the legislature to the prosecution 
of its investigation in the city departments, and in 
preparing the vast mass of accurate information which 
was the basis of nearly all the judicial proofs that have 
since been employed successfully in bringing the mem- 
bers of the " ring " to justice, or driving them into 
exile. 

Mr. Tilden gave his chief attention, during the 



MB. TILDEN AS A BEFOBMER. 67 

session of the legislature, to the promotion of those 
objects for which he consented to go there, — the re- 
form of the judiciary, and the impeachment of the 
creatures who had acquired the control of it under the 
Tweed dynasty. 

Mr. Tilden had thus by his bold acts made himself 
prominent in the work of reform, and recognized as 
the man to lead in the State. Prominent friends of 
reform urged hun to accept the nomination for gover- 
nor. • They said he could be nominated without diflft- 
culty, and elected- triumphantly ; and in his triumph the 
great cause of administrative reform would receive an 
impulse which would propagate it not only over the 
whole State, buU over the Union. 

Mr. Tilden ultimately consented to take the nomina- 
tion for governor, his objections to which were over- 
come by a single consideration. It was the only way 
in which he could satisfactorily demonstrate that a 
course of fearless and persistent resistance to wrong 
will be vindicated and sustained by the masses of the 
people; that honesty and courage are as serviceable 
qualities, and as well rewarded in politics, as in any 
other profession or pursuit in life. He was unwilling 
to leave it in the power of the enemies of reform, to 
say that he dared not submit his conduct as a reformer 
to the judgment of the people ; to say that his course 
v^had ruined his influence; that his name should be a 
warning to the rising politicians of the country against 
following his example. He felt that, whatever might 



68 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

be the result of Iiis administration, the moral effect of 
his election would be advantageous, not only in his 
own State, but throughout the country. But for these 
considerations, Mr. Tilden would have allowed himself 
to be made the candidate of the Democratic party for 
the Senate of the United States, a position more con- 
genial to his tastes, and for which his personal prefer- 
ences were well known. 

He was nominated and elected ; and whatever lessons 
or eloquence could be expressed in big majorities were 
not wanting to lend their dclat to his triumph. Mr. 
Tilden's plurality over John A. Dix, the Republican 
candidate, was 53,315. Mr. Dix had been elected two 
years previously by a plurality of 53,451. 

The first message of Gov. Tilden foreshadowed with 
distinctness the controlling features of his administra- 
tion. 

Fir%t^ Reform in the administration. 

Second^ The restoration of the financial principles 
and policy which triumphed in the election of Jackson 
and Van Buren, and which left the country without a 
dollar of indebtedness in the world, and a credit abroad 
with which no other nation could then compete. 

In furtherance of his policy of administrative reform, 
he recommended a revision of the laws intended to pro- 
vide criminal punishment and civil remedies for frauds 
by public officers and by persons acting in complicity 
with them. These recommendations, during the same 
session carefully wrought into the legislation of the 



MB. TILDEN AS A BEFOBMEB. 69 

State, bore especially upon those forms of administra- 
tive abuse which the exposure and arrest of William 
M. Tweed had recently revealed, and also upon another 
and kindred class of abuses in the management of our 
canals, with which the governor was already acquainted, 
but of which the public as yet had only au imperfect 
realization. 

But the feature of the message which produced, per- 
haps, the most profound impression, not only upon his 
own immediate constituents, but upon the whole nation, 
was that which related to the financial policy of the 
Federal Government. A generation had grown up 
who had never seen or used any other money than a 
printed promise of the Government ; and it had become 
a wide-spread conviction among the aspiring politicians 
of both the great parties, that the current public opinion 
in favor of an inflated and irredeemable currency would 
overwhelm and destroy any public man who would 
attempt to stem it. No convention of either party in 
any State of the Union had ventured the experiment : 
the active leaders of both had either avoided or yielded 
to the current. Mr. Tilden deemed it his duty to lose 
no time in advocating the only financial policy which 
ever had insured or can insure a substantial and endur- 
ing national prosperity. 

On the 19th of March, and as soon as he had secured 
from the legislature such additional remedies for official 
delinquencies as were requisite for his purpose, the 
governor in a special message invited^ the attention of 
the legislature to the management of the canals. 



70 ^ LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

He pointed out in this communication, with consider- 
able detail, the fraudulent processes by which for an 
indefinite period of years the State had been plundered, 
its agents debauched, its politics demoralized, and its 
credit imperilled. The fulness, boldness, and direct- 
ness of his statements, produced a profound i^papression, 
not only throughout the State, but throughout the 
country. 

The legislature, though containing in both branches 
many of the most notorious canal-jobbers, and consti- 
tuted largely in that interest, was obliged to yield to 
the irresistible public sentiment which the governor's 
policy and message had awakened, and granted him the 
authority to name such a commission. The results of 
the investigations communicated to him from time to 
time during the summer of 1875, and to the succeeding 
legislature of 1876, arrested completely the system of 
fraudulent expenditure on the canals, which he had 
denounced at the bar of public opinion. 

Through the adoption of various other financial 
measures upon his recommendation, and by the discreet 
but vigorous* exercise of the veto-power, the governor 
was fortunate enough to secure a reduction of the State 
tax, the first year of his administration, about seven- 
teen per cent ; and to inaugurate a financial policy by 
which the State tax, which was seven and one-half mills 
on the dollar of the assessed valuation when he came 
into office, will be reduced to four mills at least at the 
expiration of his term of two years, and at the expira- 



MR. TIIiDEN AS A EEPORMEB. 71 

tion of the next succeeding year to not exceeding three 
mills. 

Mr. Tilden is now in the sixty-third year of his age. 
He is five feet ten inches in height ; and he has what 
physiologists call the purely nervous temperament, with 
its usual accompaniment of spare figure, blue eyes, and 
fair complexion. His hair, originally chestnut, is now 
partially silvered with age. 

At the Utica Convention resolutions were passed, 
presenting his name as a candidate for the presidency, 
and requesting the delegates to vote as a unit. 

The Democrats claim, and the Republicans generally 
acknowledge, that Gov. Tilden, with the aid of Charles 
O' Conor and a few others of both the Democratic 
and [Republican parties, achieved one of the greatest 
victories, and overthrew the most corrupt ring, that 
ever existed in any civilized country. Indeed, so thor- 
oughly was the triumph of law, justice, and equity, 
over fraud, deceit, theft, that the swindling ring was 
not only thoroughly routed, but its fat and sleek and 
lordly boasters were compelled to disgorge their " wages 
of unrighteousness," and take their flight ; whither to 
Canada, Botany Bay, or London, with Winslow, no man 
knoweth unto this day. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

GOVBRNOB TILDEN'S DEFENOE. 

Accusers brought to face Each Other. — Mr. Tilden's own Statement. 
— He is not responsible for the Controversy with the " Times " 
Newspaper. — The Committee of the Bar Association. — He did 
not withhold Credit from " The Tunes." — Mr. Tilden*s Relations 
to Mayor Havemeyer. — His Speech at the Cooper Institute. — 
The Occasion of the Exposition. — Quotations from " The Times." 
— Mr. Tilden*s Description of the Origin of the Ring. — Its Har- 
mony with the Account given by Others. — The Period of the 
Ring-Power. — Formative Period. — Mr. Tilden assumes the Lead 
of the Democratic State Organization. — His Speech in the Circuit 
Court. 

Is the last chapter has been recorded the great and 
chief reformatory work of Mr. Tilden. The record 
there given has been the one generally received and 
believed to be correct by the public. A partisan paper, 
" The New York Times," however, made a strenuous 
effort, by maintaining that Mr. Tilden stood aloof from 
that reform, and took no active part in it until well 
assured that the ring would be destroyed, and the 
ringleaders brought to justice ; and that, when this had 
become a foregone conclusion, then, Mr. Tilden came to 
the rescue. 

72 



GOVERNOR TILDEN's DEFENCE. 73 

It will be seen by the reader, that, in Gov. Tilden's 
defence against the aspersions in " The Times," some 
of the same facts are repeated that were stated in the 
last chapter. This has been done to* show that the 
origin of the " ring " and its progress are fully " estab- 
lished in the mouth of two or three witnesses." Nor 
is this of small moment ; for, if the " Times' " state- 
ment is correct, then Mr. Tilden is far from having 
been the reformer that he has been represented to have 
been. But if he is to be credited, as a man of truth, 
and the sources from which the facts in the last chapter 
were derived were reliable, then he is entitled to the 
credit of having been one of the greatest reformers 
of the age. 

Now, as it was the custom of the Homans not to 
condemn any man until he and his accusers had been 
brought face to face, and as even in the Jewish San- 
hedrim the following pertinent question was asked : 
" Doth our law judge any man before it iiear him ? " 
so, before Mr. Tilden should be stripped of the honor, 
and prominent part which he took in that great 
REFORM, he should be tieard in his own defence. The 
following is Mr. Tilden's statement in lis own lan- 
guage : — 

** If one were to attempt to correct every ordinary 
error concerning himself which appears in print, the 
occasions of controversy would be inconveniently fre- 
quent for the avocations of a busy life. It is, therefore, 



74 LIFE OF SAJlUEIi JONES TILDEN. 

only in a very exceptional case that I should depart 
from my habit of leaving such errors to answer them- 
selves, or to be refuted by my acts, or by the general 
tenor of my life. But articles in * The Times ' for 
several weeks past so falsify the history of the events 
they discuss, by perverting some facts and suppressing 
others, that it is a right, and perhaps a duty, to vindi- 
cate the truth. 

"I begin by saying that I am in no manner or 
degree responsible for this controversy. I have been 
concerned in no attempt to appropriate to myself, or to 
any set of men, or to any party, the merit of having 
overthrown the * ring.' 

"As credit with the public was no part of my 
motives, but only a sense of duty, founded on the idea 
that every personal power is a trust, I have felt no 
sacrifice in awarding the most liberal honors of the 
victory to others. 

" The Committee of the Bar Association will remem- 
ber, that, when they came to Albany with their memo- 
rial, the winning policy I indicated was to do the 

work, bear the burdens, and bestow on others the 

* 

honors. That policy, and the persistent forcing of 
the issue, in the glare of a vehement public opinion, 
stimulated by the nearly united metropolitan press, did 
much to carry impeachment, by four votes to one, 
over corruptions and combinations^ in a body which 
* The Times ' has characterized as venal, and in 
which nearly every reform failed. Even after the work 



GOVEENOR TILDEN's DEFENCE. 75 

was completed, and the Bar Association met to dis- 
tribute honors, I stood among its members, not to take 
any share to myself, but to join in a well-merited tribute 
of thanks to Messrs. Van Cott, Parsons, and Stickney. 
I believe those gentlemen would avow that there was 
no timiB before the final vote in the assembly, when, 
without my individual co-operation, they would have 
hoped for success, which needed to be organized anew 
after every reverse. 

" Nor is it true that I was at all disposed to withhold 
credit from ' The Times ' for its services in the con- 
flict. Its statement that Mr. Hewitt's * civil word' 
was the first it had received from any Democrat, is 
disproved by my printed speeches ; and when the 
project — afterwards abandoned for the best motives — 
was entertained of offering it a public testimonial, I 
was applied to by its friends to join, and assented. 

"INSPIRATION OP ATTACKS ON MB. 

"What( is the inspiration of its attacks upon me 
during the last month, I was too much out of contact 
with all sources of information in current politics to be 
able to ascertain. Could it be that its watchful rivals 
had discovered a morbid spot on which they delighted 
to put their fingers, had found they had only to mention 
with commendation a co-worker of the fight, in order 
to provoke a column of detraction? I waited. At 
last came an article ascribing to me a plan to control 
Mayor Havemeyer ; characterizing me as ^ one of the 



76 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

most active intriguers of the day ; ' as attempting, ' by 
underhand devices, to cheat the Republicans out of 
the fruit of their victory ; ' and ascribing to me ' labori- 
ous stratagems,' * wonderful mines and countermines.' 
It asserted of me, * He has now hatched another mag- 
nificent device, and very likely supposes that the mayor 
will lend himself to it.' It then added, ' The legisla- 
ture will do nothing of the kind.' And it concluded, 
* If a party victory is to be claimed, we claim it in 
behalf of the JRepublican party ^ 

" Next comes a proposied charter, containing most of 
the worst features of the present, denying Mayor Have- 
meyer all substantial power over the workings of the 
City Government, of which he is the nominal head ; 
putting him under guardians in the exercise of the 
scanty authority doled out to him ; and vesting most 
of the governmental power and the real influence in 
executive oflftces with long terms, practically appointed 
by bill at Albany. 

" MAYOR HAVEMEYEB. 

" Then appears another colimin full of similar allega- 
tions respecting me, and of what purport to be state- 
ments of facts. Among them is this : * He is said to 
have great influence over Mayor Havemeyer, and to be 
working hard to drag the mayor into his great reconstrtie- 
tion schemes. Do we owe it to his influence, that the 
mayor voted for Charles Shaw as counsel to the Board 
of Health ? ' 



GOVERNOB TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 77 

" Now, in the whole of this mass of statement, so far 
as it relates to me, there is not a single atom of truth. 
I have not seen Mr. Havemeyer since December, nor 
at any time since his election, except when I met him 
on the street, or he called on me to ask my opinion on 
some question. I have not recommended or suggested 
to him any human being for an office, or any benefit 
within his gift. I do not mean to intimate that there 
would have been any thing improper in doing so, but 
simply to state the fact as it is. I have not sought to 
influence Mr. Havemeyer in any thing whatsoever. If 
my opinion would have any weight with him, or on 
any occasion would be asked by him, it is because in 
almost thirty years of mutual knowledge he has looked 
into my mind and heart, and in no instance has seen 
any thing which was not frank, true, disinterested, and 
patriotic. He knows that if I had the power, which I 
do not pretend to have, I would not deflect him one 
hair's-breadth from the line of fidelity to his peculiar 
trust as a non-partisan representative of municipal 
reform, for the advantage of any party, clique, or man. 
If he had occasion to seek my aid or counsel, he would 
begin by apologizing for troubling me, so well does he 
know that my thoughts and tastes turn to other objects, 
when inclination is not overcome by a sense of duty. 
As to Mr. Charles P. Shaw, I do not believe that I 
should know that gentleman if I were to meet him ; 
and I never heard his name mentioned in connection 
with any appointment until I read of his being voted 



78 lilFB OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 



• 



for as counsel to the Board of Health, by Mr. Have- 
meyer* 

" * The Times' not only assumes to state with abso- 
lute positiveness my plans -and thoughts, but also my 
arguments to Republicans, and my whispers to my 
friends. There is not one word of truth in all these 
statements. I have not had any plans of reconstruct- 
ing the Democratic party of the city, by any aid of 
patronage from Mayor Havemeyer. I do desire that 
the organization of the Democratic party, and of all 
parties, should be in the hands of a better class of men 
than of late years have controlled them. In my 
speeches during the last two years, I have constantly 
urged the idea, that, without more attention by our best 
men to their respective party organizations, good gov- 
ernment, especially in a great city like this, is impos- 
sible. All my friends know how great is my repugnance 
to an active personal connection with city politics, even 
in a temporary and exceptional period. After sixteen 
months of engrossing occupation, in the various con- 
troversies which grew out of the municipal frauds, and 
the reform in the judiciary, I consider the work I 
undertook, so far as within my power, to be substan- 
tially accomplished. Except in such matters as con- 
cerned that work, from the day of the election, I have 
been totally withdrawn from political action or thought. 
In that, I am still ready to co-operate as well as in any 
new legislation necessary for the city. But my atten- 
tion has been occupied in repairing the long neglect of 



GOVERNOR TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 79 

my private affairs, and in getting ready to execute a 
purpose which, for some years, has been perfectly 
settled, and which no vicissitude in State or National 
politics could have changed. This is a period of relax- 
ation in which to renovate iny health by repose and 
travel. The purpose, and the motive for which I have 
deferred it for two years, were stated in the following 
passage from my speech at the Cooper Institute, Nov. 
2, 1871, as it is reported in * The Evening Post : ' — 

" ' For myself, I would gladly have escaped the burden 
that has fallen upon me. I would have preferred to 
pass next year and this winter abroad, to have some 
repose after twenty years of incessant labor in my pro- 
fession. It was because I could not reconcile myself 
to consent that this condition of things should exist 
without redress, that I deemed it my duty, before I 
should finally withdraw from public affairs, to make a 
campaign, to follow where any would dare to lead, to 
lead where any would dare to follow, in behalf of the 
ancient and glorious principles of American free gov- 
ernment. 

" ' And by the blessing of God, according to the 
strength that is given to me, if you will not grow 
weary and faint, and falter on the way, I will stand by 
your side until not only civil government shall be 
reformed in the city of New York, but until the State 
of New York shall once more have a pure and irre- 
proachable judiciary, and until the example of this 



80 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

great State shall be set up to be followed by all the 
other States. 

"OCCASION OF THIS EXPOSITION. 

" I have deemed this exposition due to Mr. Havemeyer, 
to the Committee of Seventy, and the other honorable 
citizens who are striving for good legislation at Albany. 
It is called for by the elaborate and studied attempt to 
alarm the party passions of the Republicans by ascrib- 
ing to Ine acts and purposes which I have never enter- 
tained ; and to excuse to the consciences of men who 
have some hesitating sense of duty, the continuance 
and renewal of the system of disposing of the great 
trusts of this city by secret arrangements, carried out 
by artfully worded legislation at Albany, which is 
generally obtained by dividing up oflB.ces as bribes ; of 
denying the people of this city any voice in their own 
government, by rendering elections nugatory ; and even 
refusing to the non-partisan reformer Mayor Havemeyer 
any power over the government he is set to reform. 
And I now declare, that in all the long diatribes of 
' The Times,' so far as they relate to me, my plans, 
designs, purposes, or acts, in respect to Mayor Have- 
meyer, there is not one word of truth. 

" Having resolved to depict me as the Mephistopheles 
whose influence over Mayor Havemeyer was to alarm 
the Republicans into seizing away from him the legiti- 
mate powers of his office, ' The Times ' states a variety 
of pretended facts illustrative of its theory. 



GOVERNOR TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 81 

" In its latest article, it says, * Mr. Tilden having 
very carefully held aloof from the contest, and system- 
atically thrown cold water upon it, untU he saw it was 
practically over,' * he went about declaring that " The 
Times" would be beaten, that Mr. Tweed "carried 
too many guns for us." ' 

" The truth is, I never ' declared ' and never said any 
such thing, or any thing similar, to any human being. 

" Nor did I ' systematically ' or at any time * throw 
cold water ' on the contest. How early I took part in 
it, will be discussed hereafter. 

" It is not true that I had any connection with the 
Cincinnati nominations. The statement that no one 
has been able ' to extract from me a dime towards ' 
the Greeley statue, is equally unfounded. I was never 
asked but once, and made a subscription on the spot 
without a word of objection. 

" I mention these cases as specimens of the loose state- 
ments affirmed as positive facts with which these arti- 
cles abound. I submit to the gentlemen who manage 
* The Times,' that they go beyond the license of legiti- 
mate controversy. 

" Having now disposed of these preliminary matters, I 
proceed to reply to the substantial allegations contained 
in the numerous articles of ' The Times.' 

" They are embodied in the following specimen ex- 
tracts : — 

" * Mr. Tilden took no part in the battle with the ring.^ 

" * The public will never forget, that, in the greatest 



82 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

battle ever fought with organized corruption in this 
country, the old Democratic leaders of New York had 
not the courage or honesty to strike a blow.' 

" ' In ALL that hitter contest, when at times it seemed 
as though this journal [" The Times "] would be over- 
whelmed by its enemies, or at least severely injured by 
their machinations, we never had a word of open encour- 
agement or an act of assistance from the ancient chiefs 
of the Democracy.' 

" ' Mr, Tilden came in only after the ring was down.^ 
" ' They denounced when it was no longer dangerous 
to denounce. Their indignation concerning the ring 
was edifying, after the ring was down.' 

" * Mr. Tilden came with his advice when it was very 
easy to give it ; and the other leaders hastened to run 
fi-om the sinking ship.' 
. " ' Mr. Tilden was shrewd enough to see, that, unless 
a section of the Democratic party cut loose from Tam- 
many, the whole party must inevitably go under with 
Tammany. He cut loose in the very nick of time, to 
save his own reputation.' 

" * HE THB0V7S MUD ON THE GRAVE OP THE RING. 

" * Just at present it is a comparatively comfortable 
thing for Mr. Tilden to throw mud on the grave of the 
Tammany Ring. Capturing the comptroUership from 
the ring for the reform movement, wasn't his, and 
^as but a trifle. Mr. Tilden's coup d'Stat was not 
peculiarly Mr. Tilden's, and was any thing but a won- 
derful coup.' 



GOVERNOR TILDBN'S DEFENCE. 88 



" * MR. TILDEN DID NOT COLLECT PROOFS, 

" * We cannot, however, agree with Mr. Hewitt, that 
to Mr. Tilden is due the credit of proving charges 
vaguely made.' 

" * TIME OF TRIAL. 

" ' But there was a time, we beg leave to remind these 
outspoken denouncers of. the ring, when to attack 
Tweed or Connolly meant to attack an enormous and 
powerful interest, a gigantic corruption, backed by all 
the power of the Democratic party. Office and endow- 
ment and honor were on the side of the successful 
scoundrels ; every possible promise of money and place 
was held out to those who would support them ; and 
those who opposed them had to bear a cutting storm of 
reproach and obloquy.' 

"'MR. TILDEN, WITH MR. O'CONOR AKD MR. HEWITT, 

SEEMED TO COVER THE RING. 

" * In those days, respectable gentlemen leading the 
Democratic party, like Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Tilden, 
though despising, from the bottom of their hearts, the 
thieves in high places, and believing them thorough 
swindlers, yet never ventured to utter a word against 
them in public. In fact, to the distant public, their 
respectability covered the ring's rascality. Mr. Tilden, 
Mr. O'Conor, and others like them, appeared tUe 
pillars of Tammany Hall,' . 



84 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

" 4 4t rpHjj TIMES " THE ELDEB SOLDIEB. 

" ' Our daily incessant attacks upon Tammany began 
in the summer of 1870. It was not until a year later, 
that Mr. Tilden, or any leading Democrat, could be 
induced to lift a finger ot utter a word against Tweed 
and his confederates.' 

"*ME. TILDEN BAOKWABD AND TIMID. 

" * Mr. Tilden was throughout this period as quiet as 
a mouse ; or, if he did appear anywhere in public, it was 
generally in a position which led people to suppose that 
he was on the side of the Tweed gang. . He presided 
over their convention at Rochester in September, 1870. 

" * We never questioned the fact that Mr. Tilden all 
this time in his heart detested the Tammany gang ; but 
he took care never to say so.' 

"*LAST COMPLAINT. 

" ' He came over to our side, and then did his best to 
keep up appearances for the Democratic party.' 

" * Mr. Tilden generally manages to save himself by 
these somersaults at the eleventh hour.' 

^' ' When a crafty man is plotting to do you some 
injury, he generally becomes your accuser, and charges 
you with devising the very mischief he is preparing to 
launch at your head. Thus Mr. Tilden and his friends 
are already complaining of the rapacity of the Repub- 
licans,' 



GOVEENOB TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 85 



"ORIGIN OP THE BING. 

"The 'ring 'had ite origin in the Board. of Super- 
visors. That body was created by an act passed in 
1857, in connection with the charter of that year. The 
act provided that but six persons should be voted for 
by each elector, and twelve should be chosen. In other 
words, the nominees of the Republican and Democratic 
party caucuses should be elected. At the next session, 
the term was extended to six years. So we had a body 
composed of six Republicans and six Democrats, to 
change a majority of which you must control the pri- 
maries of both of the great National and State parties 
for four years in succession. Not an easy job, certainly I 
The individual man has little enough of influence when 
you allow him some chance of determining between two 
parties, some possibility of converting the minority into 
a majority. This scheme took away that little. It also 
invited the managers of the primaries to do as badly as 
possible, by removing all restraints. 

" It IS but just to say that the Democracy are not 
responsible for this sort of statesmanship, which con- 
siders the equal division of oJB&cial emoluments more 
important than the administration of official trusts or 
the well-being of the governed. In the assembly of 
1857, of one hundred and twenty-eight members, the 
Democracy had but thirty-seven ; of thirty-two senators, 
it had but four; and had not the governor. In the 
thirteen years from 1857 to 1869, it never had a 



86 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

majority in the senate, in the assembly but once ; and 
had the Governor but once up to 1869. The Repub- 
licans had ihe legislative power of the State in all that 
period, as they and their Whig predecessors had pos- 
sessed it for the previous ten years. 

"The ring was doubly a 'ring.' It was a ring 
between the six Republican and the six Democratic 
supervisors. It soon grew to a ring between the Re- 
publican majority in Albany and the half-and-half 
supervisors, and a few Democratic officials of this city. 
L^The very definition of a ' ring' is, that it encircles 
enough influential men in the organization of each 
party to control the action of both party machines, — 
men who in public push to extremes the abstract ideas 
of their respective parties, while they secretly join their 
hands in schemes for personal power and profit!) 

" The Republican partners had the superior power. 
They could create such institutions as the Board of 
Supervisors, and could abolish them at will. They 
could extinguish offices, and substitute others ; change 
the laws which fix their duration, functions, and respon- 
sibilities, and nearly always could invoke the executive 
power of removal. The Democratic members, who in 
some city offices represented the firm to the supposed 
prejudices of a local Democratic majority, were under 
the necessity of submitting to whatever terms the 
Albany legislators imposed ; and at length found 
out by experience, what they had not intellect to 
foresee, that all real power was in Albany. They 



GOVERNOR TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 87 

began to go there in person to share it. The lucrative 
city offices, subordinate appointments, which each head 
of department could create at pleasure, with salaries 
in his discretion, distributed among the friends of the 
legislators, contracts, money contributed by city officials 
assessed on their subordinates, raised by jobs under 
the departments, and sometimes taken from the city 
treasury, were the pabulum of corrupt influence which 
shaped and controlled all legislation. Every year 
the system grew worse as a governmental institution, 
and became more powerful and more corrupt. The 
executive departments gradually swallowed up all local 
powers, and themselves were mere deputies of legisla- 
tors at Albany, on whom alone they were dependent. 
The mayor and common council ceased to have much 
legal authority, and lost all practical influence. There 
was nobody to represent the people of the city ; there 
was no discussion, there was no publicity. Cunning 
and deceptive provisions of law, concocted in the 
secrecy of the departments, commissions, and bureaus, 
agreed upon in the lobbies at Albany, between the 
city officials and the legislators or their go-betweens, 
appeared on the statute-book after every session. In 
this manner all institutions of government, aU taxa- 
tion, all appropriations of money for our million of 
people, were foimed. For many years there was no 
time when a vote at a city election would in any prac- 
tical degree or manner affect the city government. 



88 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 



" PBEIOD OF EINO POWEB. 

" The * ring * became completely organized and ma- 
tured on the 1st of January, 1869, when Mr, A. Oakey 
Hall became mayor. Mr. Connolly was comptroller 
two years earlier. 

" its power had already become great ; but was as 
nothing compared with what it acquired on the 6th 
of April, 1870, by an act which was a mere legislative 
grant of the oJB&ces, giving the powers of local govern- 
ment to individuals of the *ring,' for long periods, 
and freed from all accountability, as if their names had 
been mentioned as grantees in the bill. 

" Its duration was through 1869, 1870, and 1871, until 
its overthrow at the election of November, when it lost 
most of the senators and assembly-men from this city, 
and was shaken in its hold on the legislative power of 
the State. 

" It will be noticed that the first date in the list of 
county warrants bearing indications of fraud, pub- 
lished by ' The Times ' in the last of July, 1871, is 
Jan. 11, 1869. Of the $11,250,000 embraced in these 
accounts, $3,800,000 were in 1869 ; $880,000 in 1870, 
before April 6 ; $6,250,000 in 1870, after that date ; 
and $323,000 in 1871. The thorough investigation 
made by Mr. Taintor, at my instance, shows the aggre- 
gate vastly larger, but does not much alter the propor- 
tions, except in 1871. The periods of power and 
plunder are coincident in time and magnitude. 



GOVEBNOR TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 89 



"FORMATIVE PERIOD. 

"Even before the ' ring ' came into organized^ exist- 
ence, the antagonism between those who afterwards 
became its most leading members, and myself, was 
sharply defined and public. It originated in no motive 
of a personal nature on my part, but in the incompati- 
bility of their and my ideas of public duty. I dis- 
trusted them. They knew they could not deceive or 
seduce me into any deviation from my principles of 
action. As early as 1863, some of them became deeply 
imbittered, because, being summoned by Gov. Seymour 
to a consultation about the Broadway Railroad Bill, I 
advised him to veto it. 

" Some years aifterwards I accepted the lead of the 
Democratic State organization. I did so with extreme 
reluctance, and only after having in vain tried to place 
it in hands in which I could have confidence. I had 
seen the fearful decay of civic morals incident to the 
fluctuating values of paper money and civil war. I 
had heard and believed that the influence of the Re- 
publican party organization had been habitually sold 
in the lobbies, sometimes in the guise of coimsel fees, 
and sometimes without any affectation of decency. I 
had left the assembly and constitutional convention in 
1846, when corruption in the legislative bodies of this 
State was totally unknown, and now was convinced 
that it had become almost universal. I desired to save 
from degradation the great party whose principles and 



90 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 

traditions were mine by inheritance and conviction, 
and to make it an instrument of a reaction in the 
community which alone could save free government. 
Holding wearily the end of a rope, because I feared 
where it might go if I dropped it, I kept the State 
organization in absolute independence, I never took a 
favor of any sort from these men, or any man I dis- 
trusted. I had not much power in the legislature on 
questions which interested private cupidity ; but in a 
State convention, where the best men in society and 
business would go, because it was for but a day or two, 
those with whom I acted generally had the majority. 

" 1869, 

" I had no more knowledge or grounds of suspicion of 
the frauds of 1869, as they were discovered three years 
afterwards, than * The Times ' or the general public ; 
but I had no faith in the men who became known as 
the 'ring,' and they feared me. I had no personal 
animosity ; but I never conciliated them, and I never 
turned from what I thought right, to avoid a collision. 

" The first impulse of their growing ambition and 
increasing power was to get rid of me, and possess 
themselves of the Democratic State organization. 
Their intrigue for this purpose was conceived and 
agreed upon in the winter, at Albany. I knew it, but 
I did nothing till August. Then I accepted the issue ; 
and they were defeated by seven-eighths of the con- 
vention. The country papers of the Republican party 



GOVEENOR TILDEN'S DEFENCE. 91 

were full of the subject. The files of * The Times ' 
show that the contest attracted public attention. That 
these men and I were not in accord, was known wher- 
ever in the United States there was the least informa- 
tion on such subjects. 

" This year was marked by the saturnalia of injimc- 
tions and receiverships. 

" In April and May, in speeches in the Circuit Court 
of the United States I denounced the orders granted 
by Barnard to Fisk against the Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany, as perversions of the instruments of justice, bear- 
ing on their face bad faith. I had reason to believe 
that Tweed was a partner in this freebooting specula- 
tion, and his son was Barnard's receiver. The contest 
excited universal attention. My motive in taking the 
case, with great inconvenience to more important 
business, was the abhorrence I felt of the prostitution 
of judicial power which touched the rights and inter- 
ests and honor of every man in the community ; and 
the consideration, that, on being applied to by the 
company in its extremity, I had advised that the orders 
in Barnard's court, for the seven months previous, were 
nullities ; and the acceptance of that advice seemed to 
impose on me the obligation to maintain it, as was done 
successfully.. 

" I declined retainers from Fisk in matters involving 
no scandal, but in which he had not my sympathy, after 
he had informed me that he had paid a counsel, during 
the year, many times the largest fee I had ever received, 
adding, ' We don't want anybody else : we want you.' 



92 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

"My open denunciations of the judicial abuses so 
frequent at this time, and the general support I had 
received from the country delegates, I have always 
believed to be the origin of the reaction by which, 
instead of a third subject for impeachment. Judge 
Brady was nominated. 

" In December I signed the call for the meeting at 
which the Bar Association was formed. At that meet- 
ing, on the 1st of February, upon being called on, I 
gave uiilBrance to my unpremeditated thoughts in words 
which stand, without any change, as they were reported 
in the oflBcial proceedings of that body. They were 
generally deemed to breathe a tone of defiant independ- 
ence. Among those thoughts were these : — 

" * If the bar is to become merely a mode of making 
money, making it in the most convenient way possible, 
but making it at all hazards, then the bar. is degraded. 
If the bar is merely an institution that seeks to win 
cases, and win them by back-door access to the judi- 
ciary, then it is not only degraded, but corrupt.' " 



CHAPTER VIII. 

MB. TILDEN'S own BEOOBD CONTINUED, IN WHICH HE 
FUBTHBR CONFIEMS THAT OP THE HISTOBIAN. 

Contest of 1870.— The Sham.— Opposition.— The Cjonflict. — The 
Beal Nature of the Law. — Illustration. — The Means. — Who 
Betrayed the City. — Immediate Consequences. — The Summer of 
1870. — Court of Appeals. —Winter of 1871. — School System. — 
Code Amendments. — Contest of 1871. — Strong Position of the 
Bing in the City. — Mr. Tilden's Speech at the Cooper Institute 
in 1871. — Crisis of the Contest. — Pivot of the Contest. — Ring 
Plan of the Campaign. — Mr. Tilden's Plan of the Campaign. — 
How to Overthrow the Bing in the Popular Yote of the City. — 
The time when Mr. Tilden acted. — Mr. Keman. — Mr. Oswald 
Ottendorfer. — Mr. O' Conor. — Other Preparations. — Substitu- 
tion of Mr. Green for Mr. Connolly in the Comptrollership. — 
Efforts of the Bing to recover Possession. — State Convention. — 
Other Action. — Broadway Bank Investigations. — Mr. Tilden's 
Speech at Cooper Institute. —^Democratic Beform Yote in the 
City. — Further Collection of Proofs. — Judicial Beform. — Con- 
clusion. — Bemarks by the Compiler. 

Fob the first* time in four and twenty years, the 
Democrats had, in 1870, the law-making power. They 
had in the senate just one vote, and in the assembly 
seven votes, more than were necessary to pass a bill, if 
so rare a thing should happen as that every member 
was present, and all should agree. 



94 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

This result brought more 'dismay than joy to the 
" ring." They had intrenched themselves against the 
people of this city in the legislative bodies. But the 
Democratic party was botmd by countless pledges to 
restore local government to the voting power of the 
people of the city. The "ring" could trade in the 
lobbies at Albany, or with the half-and-half supervisors 
in the mysterious chambers of that Board. They might 
even risk a popular vote on mayor, if secure in the 
departments which had all the patronage, and could 
usually elect their own candidate. But they had no 
stomach for a free fight over the whole government, at 
a separate election. 

Their motives were obvious, on a^ general view of 
their human nature. None but the " ring " then knew 
that, in the secret recesses of the supervisors and other 
similar bureaus, were hid ten millions of bills largely 
fraudulent, and that, in the perspective, were eighteen 
other millions, nearly all fraudulent. 

THE SHAM. 

A sham was necessary to the " ring." Moral support 
was necessary to sustain their imposture. None of the 
" ring " ever came near me ; but Mr. Nathaniel Sands 
often called to talk oyer city reform. He sometimes 
brought my honored and esteemed friend, Mr. Peter 
Cooper. They were convinced that the "ring" had 
become conservative, — were not ambitious of more 
wealth, were on the side of the tax-payers. There was 



MR. tilden's own eecord, 96 

thought to be great peril as to who might come in, 
in case the " ring " should be turned out. I told Mr. 
Sands I would shelter no sham. I would co-operate 
with anybody for a good charter. The light and air 
of heaven must be let in upon the stagnant darkness 
of the city administration. The men to come into 
office must enter after a vote of the people. I did not 
believe the " ring " would agree to that. I would agree 
to nothing else. 

The " ring " did not want any conference with me. 
They tried their own plan. It failed ignominiously. 
After it was defeated, none were so poor as to do it 
reverence. 

It never had the slightest chance of revival without 
a general support of the Republicans. Not only were 
three Democratic city senators against it, but enough 
Democratic senators from the country would vote 
against it, if their vote could be made effective. 

OPPOSITION. 

During the lull, I had conferences with Mr. Jackson 
S. Schultz, then president of the Union League Club, 
Mr. Nordhoff of " The Post," Mr. Greeley of " The Tri- 
bune," Mr. Marble of " The World," and many others. 
I entered into no alliance with the " young Democracy " 
for future political power, and for weeks was ignorant 
even of their meetings. I did accept from Mr. Marble 
two invitations to attend consultations on a draft of a 
charter; and certain fundamental ideas, on which he 



96 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

and I insisted, were conceded. These were, a separate 
municipal election in each spring, a new election before 
the executive offices should be filled, the subjection of 
all officers to a practical responsibility, and terms of 
office which should preserve to each successive mayor 
his supervisory powers over the government of which 
he is the head. These ideas were concurred in by the 
Union League Club, and by the other gentlemen I have 
mentioned. 

THE CONPLIOT. 

Suddenly a charter was sprung by Mr. Tweed, and 
rushed forward very fast. 

I was convinced it would pass. A clerk in one of 
the public offices came privately to tell me " the stuff 
had been sent up." There was a movement to resist it. 
Mr. Schultz,' Mr. Bailey, and others were in motion. 
The Union League Club appointed a committee of fif- 
teen to go to Albany to remonstrate. My co-operation 
was asked. I had little hope. I expected a large 
Republican support of Mr. Tweed's scheme ; .but I 
thought it right to do the utmost for those who were 
willing to make an effort. I felt more scorn than I 
ever remember to have felt for the pusillanimity which 
characterized the hour. I had no objection to hang 
up my solitary protest against the crime about to be 
committed. I made a speech before Mr. Tweed and 
his committee of the senate. An unrevised report was 
published at the time. It contains the following pas- 
sages : — 



MB. tilden's own becobd. 97 

** By the fivBt appointment of these various offices, 
Belf-govemment in the people of the city of New York 
is in abeyance for from four to eight years. Sir, by 
that bill, the appointment of all these offices is to be 
made by a gentleman now in office. It is precisely as 
if in the bill it had read: * Not -that the mayor shall 
make these appointments, but the individual who 
to^ay fills that office.' The act proceeds in the same 
way in which the acts creating commissions have done. 
A gentleman is designated who makes these appoint- 
ments. To all practical intents and purposes^ they abb 
GOMMISSIONEBS jiLst as Under the old system. Under 
the Republican system of commissioners, the Street 
Department and the Croton Board have been reserved 
to the control of the city authorities. They stand as 
under the old system anterior to the time when these 
Commissions began to be formed. The mayor has no 
power over these functionaries, except to impeach 
them; and all experience has shown that that is a 
dilatory and insufficient resource, not to be relied on in 
the ordinary administration of the . government. On 
the 31st December, by the provisions of this bill, the 
term of the mayor's office will expire. Then, sir, what 
will be the situation of his successor f For two years 
he will have no power whatever over the administration 
of the government of which he is the nominal head. 
All these functionaries survive him. Theib terms go 
beyond his term ; and he has not the power to remove 
them^ not the power to enforce any practical responsi- 



98 LIPB OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

lility as against them. He is a mere cipher. Then, 
sir, at the end of two years, another election takes place, 
another mayor is elected. Still these officers extend 
their terms clear beyond his^ the shortest of them being 
for four years, and the longest of them for eight years, 
many of them for ftve. This charter is defective in 
another respect, in that it makes the election of charter 
officers coincident with that of the State and Federal 
officers. The municipal election of a million people is 
of sufficient importance to be dealt with by itself ; and 
by so doing you avoid mixing up municipal intere8t$ with 
State and National interests. What I object to in this 
bill is, that you have a mayor without any executive 
power ; you have a legislature without legislative power ; 
you have elections without any power in the people to 
affect the government for the period during which these 
officers are appointed. It is not a popular government, 
it is not a responsible government : it is a government 
beyond the control, and independent of the will, of the 
people. That the mayor should have real and sub- 
stantial power, is the theory we have been discussing 
for the last four or five years. It is the theory upon 
which we have carried on our controversies against 
our adversaries, and are now here. After a period of 
twenty years, for the first time the party to which I 
belong possesses all the powers of* the government. I 
have a strong and anxious desire that it should make 
for the city of New York a government popular in its 
form. Mr. Chairman, I am not afraid of the stormy 



> 



MB, tilden's own eecord. 99 

sea of popular liberty. I^stiy^imaLJtlm-^e^^ We, ^ / 
no doubt, have fallen upon evil times. We, no doubt, 
have had many occasions for distrust and alarm ; but 
I still believe, that, in the activity generated by the effec- 
tual participation of the people in the administration of 
the government^ you would have more purity and more 
safety than under the system to which we have been 
accustomed. It is in the stagnation of bureaus and 
commissions, that evils and abuses are generated. The 
storms that disturb the atmosphere clear and purify it.^ 
It will be so in politics and municipal administrations, 
if we will only trust the people." 

The bill passed. An intenser animosity than was 
excited against me in the men who thus grasped an 
irresponsible despotism over this city, cannot be im- 
agined. Mr. Tweed threatened to Lieut.-Gov. Beach, 
that they would depose me from the State Committee ; 
and met the answer, " You had better try it." 

EBAIi NATUBB OF THE LAW. 

Let us pause a moment to consider the real character 
of that law fraudulently called a city charter. Mr. 
Tweed's case will illustrate its operation. He had 
never been able to become street Commissioner. Charles 
G. Cornell was appointed to that office by a Republican 
mayor, and Mr. Tweed made deputy. When the office 
became vacant, Mayor Hoffman could not be induced 
to appoint Mr. Tweed. George W. McLean was ap- 
pointed, and Mr. Tweed remained deputy. He had 



100 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

now been turned out as deputy, and could not get 
back. On the loss of his office, all his political power 
turned to dust and ashes. 

The Tweed charter vacated the office of street Com- 
missioner, and of the functionaries of the Croton depart- 
ment, within five days, vesting all their powers in a 
Commissioner of Public Works ; and required Mr. A. 
Oakey Hall to appoint that Commissioner. It was 
known to everybody that Mr. Tweed was to be 
appointed. The act passed on the 5th ; and on the 9th 
Mr. Tweed was appointed. His term was four years. 
The power of the governor to remove him on charges 
was repealed, and all powers of removal by the city 
government. Impeachment was restricted by the con- 
dition that the mayor alone could prefer charges, and 
trial could only be had if every one of the six judges 
of the Common Pleas was present. 

ILLUSTEATION. 

In ancient times offices were conferred by grant from 
the sovereign. This was conferred by grant from the 
State. 
^ Let us suppose the act had run in these words : — 

" We the people of the State of New York, repre- 
sented in Senate and Assembly, do by our supreme legis- 
lative authority hereby grant to William M. Tweed 
the office of Commissioner of public works ; and annex 
thereto, in addition to the powers heretofore held by the 
street commissioner, all the powers heretofore held by 



^ , .. - - .1 J * v» ^ J 



MB. tilden's own BECORD. '' ^ lOl 






•»• •» 1' "^ - -J .■• 



the various officers of the Croton depkrtin^fitj; la have and 
to hold the same for four years, with the privilege of ex- 
tending the term by surrendering any remnant thereof, 
and receiving a re-appointment for a further new term 
of four years ; which office shall be free and discharged 
of the power of the Governor to remove for cause on 
charges, as in the case of Sheriffs, and of aU power of 
removal by the City Government ; and absolutely of all 
accountability whatsoever, unless Mayor Hall or some 
successor shall choose to prefer articles of impeachment 
to the Coiu:t of Common Pleas, and unless all the six 
judges shall attend to try such articles." 

I aver that such was exactly the operation of that act. 
The legal effect and the practical working of the act 
were identically the same as if it had been expressed in 
these words. 

THE BINQ ENTHBONBD OVEB THE dTY. 

In like manner, the offices of three of the five heads 
of the Parks were granted for five years to Peter B. 
Sweeney, Thomas C. Fields, and Henry Hilton, giving 
them the control of the Central Park and every park in 
the city, and of the boulevards ; suppressing Mr. Green, 
and removing Messrs. Stebbins, Russell, and Blatchford. 
The office of chamberlain was granted to Mr. John J. 
Bradley. The department of police was granted from 
five to eight years to Messrs. Henry Smith, B. F. Ma- 
niere, Bosworth, and Brennan. The departments of 
health, fire, excise, charities, docks, and buildings 



• • • • ^ • 



102 • '•* iiite. OP SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 



' • • • " ••* --*«•• - 



I 



' " 'were * granted ity others. By an amendment passed 
twenty days later, Mr. Connolly and Mr. O'Gonnan 
were brought into the same category. 

Such a concentration of powers over this city was 
never before held by any set of men or any party as 
was thus vested in the " Ring." 

The true character of this fraudulent measure was 
at once fully exposed. The issue was made by Messrs. 
Schultz, Bailey, Vamum, Greeley, and others, and by 
the Union League Club. All the features of the act 
were pointed out in their resolutions, and remonstrated 
against. They were discussed, condemned, and de- 
nounced in my speech published at the time. They 
were ably exposed by '* The World," ** The Evening 
Post," " The Sun," and " The Tribune." 

THE MEANS. 

It would seem incredible that such a violation of the 
rights of the people and of all just ideas of government, 
even if these extraordinary grants had been to the best 
men in the community, could be passed. No such thing 
would have been even excusable, unless for a short time 
as a temporary dictatorship in a public extremity. It 
was adopted as a permanent measure ; and the grant 
was to men who were the objects of suspicion, who, in 
little more than a year afterwards, were hunted from 
human society, as well as from office, some of whom 
were or are in exile, and others of whom are now 
arraigned by the State in civil and criminal actions. 



/ 



MB. tilden's own eecord. 103 

The air was full of rumors of corruption. The great 
public trusts, involving the interests, safety, and honor 
of a million of people, had been divided up as bribes. 
It was everywhere said that the crime had taken a 
grosser form, and that Senators and Assemblymen had 
been bought with money to vote for this iniquity. A 
year later, it was stated in the newspapers, on the 
authority of Judge Noah Davis, as derived from a 
well-known member of the lobby, that the price paid 
to six leading Republican senataes was to each ten 
thousand dollars for the ch£»*ter, and five thousand for 
the kindred bills of the sessioxt, and five thousand for 
similar services the next year. 

Shortly after this revelation, while the revolt of 
forty thousand Democrats in this city was taking its 
representation away from the " Ring," the Republicans 
of the interior were re-electing five of these six Senators 
as their contribution, with many other similar charac- 
ters, to the " Reform " Legislature. Those five Senators 
now sit in the highest seats of the Grant Republican 
Sanhedrim at Albany. 

" The Times " has for a long whUe been as " still as 
a mouse " about them. 

WHO BETRAYED 1?HE CITY? 

There hav^ been two great battles against the " Ring." 
The first was in Albany, in April, 1870. That was to 
prevent the " Ring," while only objects of suspicion, 
from being enthroned in absolute dominion over the 



104 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

people of this city. The loss of that battle made no 
change possible until the Senate could be changed. The 
election for Senators did not come until November, 
1871. Then was the second great battle, made neces- 
sary by the loss of the first. 

Who was responsible for that disastrous day, when 
the beginning of the crimes afterwards discovered was 
shrouded in darkness, and their larger development 
made possible ? Was it Mr. Tilden ? Mr. O'Conor? Mr. 
Hewitt? Did their "respectability cover the Ring's 
rascality," as "The Times " charges? « The Times " 
itself shall answer. 

On the 6th of April, 1870, the day after the passage 
of the act granting New York city to the " Ring," " The 
Times," in an article headed " Municipal Reform," 
hailed this measure as a reform; derided the Union 
League Club and Mr. Greeley with their " entire lack 
of influence," in that " so pronounced an expression *' 
against the charter had not ^^ been heeded ly at least one 
Republican Senator ; " and said that, — 

'*If it shall be put in operation by Mayor Hall, 
with that regard to the general welfare which we have 
reason to anticipate, we feel sure our citizens will have 
reason to count yesterday^B work in the Legislature as 
most important and salutary. ^^ 

On the 8th it declared, — 

" Senator Tweed is in a fair way to distinguish him-- 
self as a reformer; " that he had put the people of Man- 
hattan Island under great obligations, &c. 



MB. TILDBN's own RECORD. 105 

" We trust that Senator Tweed will man%fe%t ike same ^ 
energy in the advocacy of this last reform which marked 
his action in regard to the charter^ ^ 

On the 11th it published Mayor Hall's instrument, 
dated the 9th, making the appointments to all the 
municipal offices. Among them were the following : — 

" Department of Pvhlic Works^ — WiUiam M. Tweed. 

" Department of Parks^ — Peter B. Sweeney, Thomas 
C. Fields, Henry Hilton. 

" Department of Police^ — Henry Smith, B. F. Man- 
iere, Bosworth, and Brennan. 

" Chamberlain^ — John J. Bradley : and so on." 

On the 12th it jeered the Union League Club, Mr. 
Greeley, and Mr. Tilden. It commented on a remark 
in Mayor Hall's paper making the appointments, in 
which he said he would have been politically justified 
in conferring them all on Democrats; and repUed that 
the JRepvhlicans were rather useful to the authors of the 
new charter in the recent contest; that, hut for the 
JRepvhlicans^ the young Democracy might to-day " be at 
the top of the tree ; " that Mayor Hall and his " associ- 
ates will doubtless show a proper appreciation of the 
assistance rendered them by the Republicans when the 
enemy were crying war to the knife, and knife to the 
hilt." 

On the 13th it said, '^ As a whole, the appointment 
of the heads of the various departments of the City 
Goyemment, which have been announced by the Mayor, 
are far above the average *in point of personal fitness. 



106 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDBK. 

and should be satisfactory. We feel inclined to be 
thankful^ if not entirely satisfied with the result." 

It also asserted that the charter and election law 
" could not have been secured without the help of the 
RepublicanB in the Legislature^ and hence the cbedit 
is AS MUCH thetbs as it is of the Tweed Democracy." 

The "Ring" having possession of the Tammany 
Society, in which Mr. Tilden had not set his foot 
during their ascendency, at the election of April 18, 
put up a sham ticket on which they placed the names 
of persons whom they hated, and gave it. a few of 
their own votes to exhibit the appearance of a contest. 

On the 19th, " The Times," under a flaming notice 
headed, " Now is the triumph of Tweed complete," 
exulted over the prostrate Tilden, A. H. Green, and 
others, " heroes of the O'Brien faction." 

On the 21st of May, it had a commendatory notice 
of Mr. Peter B. Sweeney, presiding over a meeting of 
the Commissioners of the Public Parks, and added, 
^^That he will hefaithfvl to his word, the meeting yester- 
day afforded a fresh guaranty." 

IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES. 

The 5th of May was a day destined to be famous in 
our municipal annals. Some mysterious and insensible 
influence seemed to debilitate the tone of "The 
Times " in its utterance that morning. It spoke feebly 
of " reforms made possible by the recent legislation 
at Albany," Was the atmosphere dark and murky 



MB. tilden's own eecord. 107 

with what was going on in the new Court-House at the 
same moment ? 

There the single meeting of the Board of Special 
Audit was being held. Hall and Tweed and Connolly 
were making the order for the payment of the f 6,312,- 
600, of which scarcely ten per cent in value was 
realized by the city. Tweed got twenty-four per cent, 
and his agent Woodward, seven ; the brother of 
Sweeney, ten ; Watson, i^even ; twenty went to parties 
not yet named in the forms of legal proof; thirty-three 
went to the mechanics who furnished the bills, but 
their share had to suffer many abatements. Gurney 
had advanced, March 30, $10,000 to go to Albany; 
and again, April 17, f40,000, making $50,000. Inger- 
soll also had to send $50,00© ; Keyser, $25,000 ; Miller, 
$25,000; Hall, $25,000; and others their quotas; and 
then, they had to do work on city houses and country 
houses, and make furniture, and to paint, to supply 
safes, and perform miscellaneous services, out of their 
third. 

As the time advanced, the percentages of theft 
mixed in the bills, grew. Moderate in 1869, they reach 
sixty-six per cent in 1870, and, later', eighty-five per 
cent. The aggregate of fraudulent bills after April 5, 
1870, was, in the rest of that year, about $12,250,000 ; 
and, in 1871, $3,400,000. Nearly fifteen and three-- 
quarter millions of fraudulent bills were the booty 
grasped on the 5th of April, 1870. Fourteen, perhaps 
fifteen millions of it, was sheer plundey. 



108 MPB OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

The victory of the 5th of April enabled the " Ring " 
to cover up what had been already stolen, and to 
go forward on a far larger scale, and commit these 
enormous rbbberies. 

THE SUMMER OP 1870. 

"The Times" is in error in saying that its daily 
incessant attacks on Tammany began in the summer of 
1870. There is not a word of that kind in its editori- 
\ als in aU that summer. Until the 20th of September, 
Mt kept " still as a mouse," as it says Mr. Tilden did. 
Then it first touched the subject incidentally to an 
article on the Democratic State Convention held the 
next day. 

The stillness of Mr. Tilden left ringing in the ears 
of the people his unavaUing protest and his denunciar 
tion. 

The stillness of " The Times " left echoing in the 
public ear its boast that " the credit " of the " Ring *' 
supremacy belonged " as much to the Republicans as to 
the Tweed Democracy." 

Three days later it began a series of elaborate 
attacks, not really upon the " Ring," but upon their 
foe, Mr. Tilden. It accused him of going to Roches- 
ter to preside over Tweed's convention; and it has 
repeated the statement many times lately. The truth 
is, he dij^ uot preside, and it was not Tweed's conven- 
t}ou. 
\ It was my official duty to move the appointment of 



ME. tilden's owk becobd. 109 

the temporary chairman, and it was customary to pre- 
cede the motion by an address upon National or State 
politics. That I did. The Convention was a body of 
honorable and respected gentlemen, except a few mem- 
bers of the ^^ Ring," who got in as delegates by means 
of the power and prestige " The Times " had helped 
them to acquire, and in whom it had expressed its con- 
fidence after their then recent public assumption of the 
municipal offices. 

I had not even the benefit of its first beginning of 
retraction. That happened after I had gone to the 
Convention, and was not communicated to me by tele- 
gr^h. 

/To have staid away would have been to abandon 
my watch and guard, ^rue men, in Jbhe^.i^tei^^^ on 

V^attle^^fis ^ 9^ theiy arma ; they do not run awa^ ^ 

But " The Times " complains tliat I did not denounce \ 
the " Ring " in my speech. Neither they nor their 
doings were at issue. ^There was no new suspicion of 
them after they had been accepted as rulers of the 
metropolis by the nearly unanimous vote of both houses 
of the legislatur^ aided by " The Times." The gene- 
ral public had acquiesced in the disposition to try them 
again, v^he whole press assented. Nearly everybody 
began to make relations with them. I did not. I 
stood aloof.y The Republican State Convention had 
been held two weeks before. Senator Conkling, Mt. 
George William Curtis, and others addressed it ; but 
not one of them had a word to say about the surrender 



110 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDBK. 

of the metropolis to an autocracy, or of the character 
of the men to whom this ignominious betrayal had 
been made. How could they ? The " credit " of it 
was " as much due to the Republicans as to the Tweed 
Democracy.*' 

Nothing was left me to do but to await the issue of 
the portentous experiment. T As to their frauds at elec- 
^ tions, I had no means of knowledge more than other 
citizensj but I had sent to Albany a caref uUy prepared 
election law, which had been examined and approved 
by leading Republicans of this city. The Republican 
Senators rejected it, and took Tweed's election law 
with Tweed's charter. "The Times" boasted over 
this election law as " by far the more substantial reform 
of the two." I feel scarcely able to enter into the 
comparison of the relative merits of the two measures. 
The " substantial reform " known as the election law 
was the means by which Mayor Hall acquired such 
immense power over the inspectors and canvassers and 
all the machinery of the electiojis, that the " Ring " 
began to think they could get along without the voters. 
It suppressed the opposition of the practical politicians 
in the wards, who saw how it was capable of being 
worked. In the contest of 1871, it discouraged them 
from joining us more than any other power wielded by 
the "Ring." In some districts, men of great local 
influence openly said it was of no use to run a ticket 
so long as that power could be exercised against them. 
The Reformers were generally appalled by it. I had 



ME. tilden's own recoed. Ill 

confidence, because I counted on the intensity of the 
popular ferment as likely to permeate and weaken all the 
agencies of the " Ring," and to swell the wave of oppo- 
sition until it should sweep over all artificial obstruc- 
tions. 

If the value of a thing is to be measured by what 
it costs, we are thrown back to a statement made to 
Judge Davis of the price paid to the leading Republi- 
can Senators. Five thousand dollars for the election 
law, and for Section Four of the Tax Levy under 
which the six million dollars of the special audit were 
acquired, was, perhaps, as cheap as ten thousand 
dollars for the charter. The agents of the Citizens' 
Association cost only a few offices. " The Times " 
threw itself in gratuitously. My defence, if I need 
one, for not stopping the " Ring " from cheating at elec- 
tions, is, that I tried to do so, but could not. I was 
beaten by the Republican Senators and ^^ The Times." 

COUET OF APPEALS. 

Soon after the disastrous failure to secure self- 
government for our people, a lawyer of this city came 
to me, and said that the best thing for me to do was 
to endeavor to secure a good Court of Appeals. My 
recollection is, that the general term for this depart- 
ment, two of the three members, which have since 
been expelled for corruption, had at that time just 
been constituted. I felt that to make civil rights safe in 
the second and last appeal was of great value, and set 



112 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

about the work. In the mean time a distinguished 
gentleman from the interior came to propose to me to 
run as Chief Judge of the new court, and to assure me 
of a support which I understood would carry with it 
the State administration and every thing jealous of or 
hostile to me throughout the State. It was evident 
that I was considered less dangerous at the head of the 
court than at the head of the State Committee. . I 
answered that I thought I should not be dependent on 
any such help if I desired the nomination, but that it 
was not in accord with my plan of life to desire or take 
the office. I did issue a private appeal for the forma- 
tion of a good court to nearly all the Democratic 
lawyers of the State, and to other prominent men. 
Many of the foremost members of the bar came to the 
convention ; and we nominated and elected five of the 
seven members of a court which has the complete con- 
fidence of the bar and the people. After the judicial 
election I went on business into distwit States until late 
in the summer. 

WINTEE OF 1871. 

I did not set my foot in Albany during the session 
of 1871. « The Times " frequently said, " Such men a» 
Samuel Tilden have no real influence:' If " The Times " 
meant, no influence in what was then the poUtical and 
legislative Sodom of the State, there is no exaggeration 
in the assertion. Men who are bought on great ques- 
tions are in no situation to disobey on inferior matters 
which are reaUy insisted on. Mr. Tweed was never so 



MR. tilden's own becobd. 113 

supreme over neaxly the whole body of the Republican 
members ; and, with their aid, could despise or suppress 
and punish every revolt on the Democratic side. And 
he had acquired the prestige of successful power. The 
Democrats had not, in either house, one vote to spare 
from the number necessary to pass a bill. But Mr. 
Tweed was no worse off that he was completely depen- 
dent on his alliances with the Republicans. Nearly 
every bad measure passed without any opposition, or 
with only a sham opposition. " The Times " on one 
occasion complained that the root of the evil was in the 
apathy of the Republican party of that city. There was 
force in the statement. The prejudices, the party 
passions, the interests of ambitious men, made the oppo- 
sition the natural organ of the discontents of society 
with the ascendent power, which, at this time, had some 
pretext for calling itself Democratic, though, in truth, 
it was a ^^ Ring *' of both parties. The combination had 
such control over the Republicans at Albany, and in 
this city, that a revolution in the Republican party was 
necessary to create an opposition ; and, without an oppo- 
tion, dissenting Democrats were powerless. In stimu- 
lating the hearty animosity of Republicans, even though 
by vague appeals, or if for merely partisan ends, " The 
Times " rendered valuable service in a preparation for 
the future. But time was necessary. 

It is wholly untrue, that at any moment I wad 
timid, or selfishly reserved, or shrank from any respon- 
sibility. 

8 



114 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

I am not a newspaper, whose business it is to address 
the public every day ; whose recurring want, more than 
meat or bread, is a topic ; and to whom invective, even 
if without facts or evidence, provided it makes a sensa- 
sation, is money, — more money, in circulation and 
advertisements. Men not of the editorial avocation 
have to turn from their ordinary duties and habits 
when they appear before the public ; and it is only on 
few occasions that they find the forum, or the oppor- 
tunity, or the leisure. How many times did Mr. Wil- 
liam A. Booth, who is mentioned with commendation 
by " The Times," and is truly an excellent citizen, or 
Mr. Jackson Schultz, or even Mr. Evarts, appear during 
this period? I will not ask about the Chairman of the 
Republican State Committee. It is safe to conjecture 
that he was running of errands for some branch of the 
"Ring," and serving around the legislative halls for 
what are daintily termed counsel fees. 

I would have had a perfect right to wait until that 
" Ring " dominion over our million of people, which "The 
Times " boasted was " as much " the work of " the 
Republicans " as of the " Tweed Democracy," had ma- 
tured its fatal fruits, before I should again renew the 
battle which had been once betrayed and lost. But 
nevertheless, on some occasions, I did intervene. 

SCHOOL SYSTEM. 

The revolution in the school system^ in the winter 
of 1871, was the favorite scheme of the master spirit of 
the " Ring." I publicly condemned it. 



ME. tilden's own becobd. 115 



CODE AMENDMENT. 

The provision of the Code Amendment BUI, which 
conferred on the Judges a transcendent authority to 
punish for what they might choose to consider as con- 
tempts, was the measure which was to apply coercion 
to the press, and to speakers who should attack the 
" Ring." What the two millions a year of advertise- 
ments, open to be given or recalled at the will of Mayor 
Hall, should fail to win, this summary power — since 
understood to have been devised by Cardozo, and 
designed to be wielded by him and Barnard — was to 
conquer. It was said — I know not with what truth 
— to be specially aimed at " The Times." Probably 
many an article of that journal in the spring of 1871, 
which seemed to the public to be vague and wanting in 
definite facts, had point enough to the men who knew 
they had stolen fourteen millions, since it helped them 
into power. At any rate, this scheme was the desperate 
resource of a denomination bold and blind, as it was 
ripening for a fall. In it were concentrated the fears 
and hopes of the " Ring." It was passed without a dis- 
senting voice in either house. Every Republican mem- 
ber voted for it, or staid away. The Chairman of the 
Committee of Conference, who manoeuvred it through, 
was a Republican Senator, who admitted, last year, the 
" borrowing," in. one instance, of ten thousand dollars 
from Mr. Tweed, which had not been repaid. 

One evening in May, when I was temporarily con- 



116 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

fined to my house by illness, Mr. Randolph Robinson 
called to ask me to be chairman of a committee of the 
Bar Association to go to Albany, and remonstrate 
with Gov. Hoffman against his signing this bill. I 
declined to be chairman, but assented that the meeting 
might put me on the committee, if it chose to do so, 
with the knowledge that I could not go ; and said 
that I would write a letter against the bill. 

On second thought, a hurried note was addressed to 
Mr. Evarts, who was chairman, that it might be sure of 
publication. It was paraded in the foreground of the 
controversy. It and its writer were constantly cited 
by " The Times." An issue was publicly declared from 
which everybody knew I would not retire. If the bill 
had not been vetoed, an open collision must have 
spread all over the State. After I had taken my 
position, I received assurances of co-operation, in such 
a controversy, from Francis Eernan and others. 

THE CONTEST OP 1871. 

The 7th of November, 1871, was the first day when 
a vote of the people could even indirectly retrieve the 
results of the legislation of April 5, 1870. 

STRONG POSITION OP THE " BING " IN THE CITY. 

Mr. Tweed was in his office until April, 1874, 
Connolly until 1875, and Sweeney until 1875. - They, 
with the mayor, were vested with the exclusive legal 
power of appropriating all moneys raised by taxes or 



MR. tilden's own rbcobd. 117 

by loans, and an indefinite authority to borrow. Prac- 
tically they held all power of municipal legislation, 
and all power of expending as well as of appropriating 
moneys. They had filled the departments with their 
dependants for terms equally long. 

They wielded the enormous patronage of offices and 
contracts ; they swayed all the institutions of local gov- 
ernment, the local judiciary, the unhappily localized 
portion of the State judiciary, which includes the 
Circuit Courts, the Oyer and Terminers, the Special 
Terms, and thei General Terms ; in a word, every thing 
below the Court of Appeals. They also controlled the 
whole machinery of elections. New York City, with 
its million of people, with its concentration of vast 
interests of individuals in other States and in foreign 
countries, with its conspicuous position before the 
world, had practically no power of self-government. 
It was ruled, and was to be ruled so long as the terms 
of these offices continued, — from four to eight years, — 
as if it were a conquered province. The central source 
of all this power was Albany. The system emanated 
from Albany. It could only be changed at Albany. 

In my speech at the Cooper Institute in 1871, I 
said, " They stripped every legislative power and every 
executive power, and all the powers of government, 
from us,- and vested them in half a dozen men for a 
period of from four to eight years, who held and were 
to hold supreme dominion over the people of this city." 

I heard my friend Mr. Choate say, that the men in 



118 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

power had been elected by your suffrage. I am sure 
that was a slip of the tongue. The men m power 
were elected by no man's suffrage. They never coidd 
have been elected by any man^» mffrage. They were 
put in power by the act of the Senate and Assembly 
of the State of New York, without consulting us or 
any of us. The ground that I had taken is, that as the 
State had put these men on us^ the State must take 
them off. That is the reason I differ from my Demo- 
cratic friends of the rural districts, who say, - 

" What 1 will you carry a local controversy into the 
State convention ? Will you carry it into the politics 
of the State, and distract and disorganize the Demo- 
cratic party ? " 

I answered, "It is too late to consider that ques- 
tion. For ten years the Democratic party has pledged 
itself to give back to New York the rights of self- 
government ; and when it came into power it betrayed 
that pledge, and violated that duty. 

" Alone I went to the city of Albany, and recorded 
my protest against the outrage. The plan was cun- 
ningly contrived and skilfully executed, but owed its 
success to a disregard of all moral obligations and all 
restraints of honor or principle. How was it accom- 
plished ? By taking a million of dollars, stolen from 
the tax-payers, and buying in the shambles a majority 
in the two houses'of the Legislature. 

When I spoke against this charter before a com- 
mittee of the Senate, Mr. Tweed sitting in the chair, I 



MR. tili)bn's own becord. 119 

already knew that not more than one vote of the 
Democrats and not more than one vote of the Repub- 
licans would be cast against it ; but I felt it to be my 
duty to the people of New York and to the Democratic 
party, to record my protest against what I then deemed 
a crime against us, and a betaiyal of our principles. 

The officers composing the " Ring " government of 
this city could not be removed, or their power curtailed 
or limited, except by new legislation. Such legislation 
cotild only be made by the concurrent action of the 
Assembly, Senate, and Governor. 

If they could hold enough of the Senators to defeat 
the passage of a bill changing this state of things, they 
could resist public opinion, and defy the vote of the 
people of this city, which might spend itself without 
results upon Aldermen and Assistants totally without 
power, and on a Mayor having little legal authority, 
and capable of being nothing more than a subordinate 
instrument of the executive departments. 

CRISIS OF THE CONTEST. 

The Senators who had voted on the 5th of April, 
1870, with but two dissenting voices, to create this 
state of things, did not come within the reach of the 
people until the election of the 7th of November, 1871, 
w^ep their successors were to be chosen. 

The 6th of April, 1870, and the 7t;h of November, 

« 

were the two days of battle. ^The intervening 
time was but the interval between two battles. The 



120 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 

period which preceded the election of the 7th of 
November, 1871, was important and valuable only as a 
time of preparation. 

PIVOT OP THE CONTEST. 

The objective point of the battle was the legislative 
power of the State, the Senators, and Assemblymen. 

"ring" plan op the CAMPAIGN. 

The "Ring" saw that. Early there came to me 
prominent gentlemen from the interior, to propose that, 
I should name all the delegates to the State Convention 
to be sent by the Tammany organization, and so have 
no contest. The object of the " Ring " was, to retain 
the prestige of " regularity," in aid of the election of 
their nominees as Senators and Assemblymen. If they 
could hold the five Senators from the city, they had no 
misgivings about holding the Republican Senators from 
the country. At last, when I consented to have a con- 
ference with one of them on the basis of a resignation 
of all city offices, and a withdrawal from the Demo- 
cratic city organization and all political leadership, the 
surrender on my terms was refused ; and their reliance 
on holding the Senate BY means OP eight eepublican 
SENATORS already secured to Mr. Tweed was avowed. 

A passage of my speech at the Cooper Institute is 
reported as follows : — 

" Mr. Tweed's plan is, to carry the senatorial repre- 
sentation from this city, and then to re-elect eight, and 



^ ^ 



MR. tilden's own becord. 121 

if possible twelve, of the Republican Senators from the 
rural districts whom he bought and paid for last year, 
and to control all the legislation that might be presented 
there in your behalf; and it was because I had some 
misgivings that this might be done^ that I thought it was 
my duty personally to take the field and help you in this 
conflict, 

*' If I had felt that the Republicans covXd have carried 
the thing of themselves^ it would have been pleasanter 
and easier for me to have stepped aside^ and let them do 
it. I felt it to be my duty to the honest masses of the 
Democracy, and still more to the people (for party is of 
no value unless it can serve the people faithfully and 
effectually), to take my stand with the advanced col- 
umns of reform and good government ; to take my 
place there, and stand or fall with those who gather 
round me." 

MY PLAi^ OF ^HB CAMPAIGN, \ 

My plan of the caHipaigiLj^s in a single id^. It 
was to take away from the " Ring '"^ thr^enators and 
assemblymen from this city. That was to storm the 
central stronghold on which their lines rested, while 
they were extending their operations over the whole 
State. 

Their allies throughout the State in both parties 
would be rendered powerless, or be dispersed. I feared 
most their allies in the Republican party. As it was, 
the Assembly was largely made up of men who had got 



^ .> 



122 LIFE OV SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

themselves nominated by the Republicans, in the expec- 
tation that Tweed wo\ild come back : and such golden, 
or rather greenback showers, as he had scattered during 
the two previous sessions, would descend upon them. 

Offei's of a surrender of all part in the State 
Convention, and in the State organization, were contin- 
ually made in every form ; and weighty pressure was 
brought on me from powerful men all over the State 
to accept it, and so " save the party," I uniformly 
asked, " Who is to have the Jive Senators and twenty-one 
Assemblymen f " In a speech at the State Convention, I 
made this issue. I said that the object of endeavoring 
to get a recognition of the organization then controlled 
by the "Ring," or of avoiding its direct repudiation, 
was " to go lack and nominate twenty-one Members of 
Assembly and five Senators^ and then to say to the upris- 
ing masses of the best intellect and moral worth of the 
people, *^ you do not vote this ticket^ you are out of 
the Democratic party. ^ " I denied that the system of 
organization then in use in the city had any moral 
right to be considered regular, or to bind the Demo- 
cratic masses. I avowed before the convention, that I 
would not vote for any one of its nominees as Assembly- 
men or Senators. 

In my speech at Cooper Institute, I said, « A great 
many times that offer was repeated, and every thing 
was tendered me except the Senate and Assembly of the 
State of New York ; but I said that every thing else was 
of no value for them to give^ and of w) value for me to 



MB. TILDEN'S own RECORD. 123 

take; that the legislation which should be made in 
respect to the City Government, whatever else I would 
promise, that I could not compromise^ and I WOULD not, 
[Applause.] I told the State Convention, being the 
nominal head of the Democratic party of the State, for 
the sake of perfect frankness and distinctness, and in 
order that I might not be misunderstood, — I told them 
that I felt it to be my duty to oppose any man who 
would not go for making the government of this city what 
it ought to 6e, at whatever cost^ at whatever sacrifice. If 
they did not deem that regular, I would resign as Chair- 
man of the State Committee^ and take my place in the 
ranks of my plundered fellouhcitizens^ and help them to 

FIGHT THEIR BATTLE OF EMANCIPATION." 

OF EMANCIPATION. 

On this issue I staked my political existence and all 
my party relations throughout the State. I threw my- 
self into the breach in order to inspire courage in the 
Democratic masses of the city to break away from the 
prestige of a pretended but sham " regularity." 

HOW TO OVERTHROW iHE RING IN THE POPULAR 

VOTE OF THE CITY. 

There was a Democratic majority in the city of at 
least forty or fifty thousand, if all the honest and only 
the honest votes should be polled. The party organi- 
zation in the city, which had been accepted by the State 
Convention for years, in preference to the other organi- 



124 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

zations that had competed with it, had fallen into the 
complete possession of the " Ring," and had been made 
a close corporation, within which no contest could be 
waged against them, so long as they held so vast oi&cial 
power and patronage. All rival organizations, and 
nepj^ly all spirit of opposition, had been crushed out 
under the operation of the enormous centralized domin- 
ion derived from Albany. 

The despondency and disbeUef in the possibility of 
carrying the election in the city against the nominees 
who would be in the interest of the " Ring " was deep, 
almost universal, and hopeless. 

It is seldom that ten per cent of any party scratch 
the regular ticket. 

To the Democratic masses it was said, not only 
that the accused persons were innocent, but that even 
if they were guilty a great organization ought not to be 
destroyed for the wrong of a few individuals ; that the 
party was not responsible for them ; and that the par- 
ticular nominees were good men. How were the votes 
of twenty or thirty or forty thousand rank-and-file 
Democrats to be detached ? 

Nothing short of an organized revolt of the Demo- 
cratic masses under the best Democratic lead, with the 
most effective measures, and with some good fortune, 
could accomplish so difficult a work against such 
extraordinary powers as were combined to uphold the 
existing system. 

The first measure necessary was to break the pres- 



/ 



MR. TnJ>EN'S OWN BECOBD. 126 

tige of the organization which the " Ring " controlled as 
the representative of the party in the eyes of its masses ; 
to do this by the act of the State Convention. 

That was no easy matter. To able men who sympa- 
thized with me, it seemed impossible. It proved even 
more difficult than I expected. A party in power is 
naturally disposed to risk the continuance of abuses 
rather than to hazard the extreme remedy of " cutting 
them out by the roots." The executive power of the 
State, and all its recently enlarged official patronage, 
were exerted against such a poUcy. And, since the 
contest of 1869, the " Ring " had studied to extend its 
influence on the rural districts, and had showered legis- 
lative favors as if they were ordinary patronage. With- 
out having, or having had for years, the power to give 
an office in city or State, I stood on the traditions of the 
older leaders, and the moral sense of the honest masses 
of the Democratic parly. 

THE TIME WHEN I ACTED. 

The publication by " The Times " of what is called 
the " secret accounts " was completed on the 29th of 
July. They consisted of copies, made by a clerk, of 
entries in a book kept in the office of the comptroller. 
They showed the dates and amounts of certain pay- 
ments made by the comptroller, with a brief description 
of the objects, and the names of the persons to whom 
the payments were made. 

The enormous amounts, compared with the times 




126 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

and purposes, and the recurrence of the same names, 
created a moral conviction of gross frauds, though of 
course not amounting to judicial proof against anybody 
on which a criminal or civil action would lie, or disclos- 
ing the real principles in the fraudulent transactions. 

I soon became satisfied of the substantial truth of 
these statements, by the futility of the answers on behalf 
of the city officers, and by cross-examining a financial 
gentleman who came to me with a letter from a distin- 
guished citizen, and the form of a caU for a public meet- 
ing, which he wished me to head. /The statements 
made me believe that municipal frauds had been com- 
mitted immeasurably transcending any thing I had ever 
suspected ; >and they furnished a sort of evidence capa- 
ble of acting strongly upon the popular mind. ' I-am a 
believer in the potency of definite facts in making an 
impression on the public. For that purpose, I had 
rather have one fact than a column of rhetoric. The 
publication was made just as I was going into the 
country. In two or three days there, I formed my 
programme. 

MB. EIEBNAN. 

For so difficult a movement in the State Convention, 
co-operation was necessary. The first man I sought 
was Mr. Francis Kernan. His freedom from all entan- 
glements, — whether personal or political, with corrupt 
interests or corrupt men, — his high standard of public 
duty, his disinterestedness and independence, his tact 
and eloquence in debate, his general popularity, and 



MB. tilden's own becoed. 127 

the readiness of his district to send him as a delegate, 
made him my necessary ally in the State Convention. 
After much telegraphing, I found he was in Albany on 
professional business. I went there, and passed a day 
with him. 

It was, I believe, the 4th of August, 1871. That 
was within six days of the time when the publication 
of the "secret accounts" was completed. It was a 
^onth before the 4th of September, when the meeting 
^as !^ld, at which the committee of seventy was 
cie^ed^ It was three weeks earlier than I had moved, 
in 1869, when my own fortunes were involved in a 
contest with the " Ring." It was earlier than apolitical 
campaign in reference to the November election usually 
opens. It was more than three months before the 
election. So far from the ** battle " being over, it was 
scarcely begun. So far from the '* Ring " being " down," 
as " The Times " alleges, it was confident of holding its 
own for months afterwards. 

The programme then submitted to Mr. Kernan 
embraced every thing which has been done since, except 
the impeachment of the judges. He was about to go 
to the seashore with a sick relative ; and, while his 
concurrence was given, particular measures were left 
for his consideration, until his return. Ten days 
afterwards, I joined him at Albany, went with him to 
Utica, and received the assurance of his co-operation; 
and had consultations with Gov. Sejrmour, who was 
also in full sympathy with us. Mr. Kerman will recall 



128 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

the fact, that at that first interview, — contemplating 
the difficulty of the conflict, — I said, and he agreed, 
that we ought to make the contest, even if we should 
fail in it. 

On my way home, I stopped a few days at Saratoga, 
There I met Mr. George Jones of " The Times." I liad 
known him twenty years. He spoke freely to me. I 
saw no indication that he thought the battle was over. 
He seemed, rather, to feel its stress. I told him I 
should appear in the field at the proper time. Often 
afterwards, when I met him, he referred to that casual 
interview with apparent satisfaction. 

Some five or six weeks later, after Mr.* Green was 
in as substitute for Mr. Connolly, I went into the comp- 
troller's office. There sat Mr. Jennings and Mr. Jones. 
The former said, " We want an interview with you." 
Mr. Green kindly gave us a room in the basement. 
When we arrived there, and were seated, Mr. Jennings 
said, " Do you see any daylight ? " and went on to say, 
in words which I may not be able literally to repeat, 
that the contest was too exhausting to be continued 
very long. I stretched out my hand to him, and said, 
" Be of good cheer. We shall win this fight." 

MR. OSWALD OTTENDORPEB. 

At Utica I had seen some gentlemen who professed 
to represent Mr. Ottendorfer's views. I hastened to 
see him, as soon as I arrived at New York. He had 
accompanied me to Albany the year before, when I 



MB. tilden's own becoed. 129 

made the speech against the Tweed charter. He was a 
very important element in the contemplated movement. 
His purity and elevation of purpose made me think he 
would join us, notwithstanding the great efforts which 
were made to prevent it. He did so. 

MB. O'CONOB. 

Averse to engaging personally in politics ; at an emi- 
nence in professional renown, in social consideration, 
and in personal character, which lifted him abovp 
rivalries, and disposed everybody to defer to him so 
long as he abstained from fresh collision; entitled to 
consult his ease, and the comfort of tranquillity, — Mr. 
O'Conor was nevertheless in complete sympathy with 
the right. I had often communed with him, over evils 
which there seemed to be, at the time, no means to 
redress. I went out to Washington Heights to see 
him. I told him the hour had come. He said he would 
help according to his view of what he was best adapted 
to, and of what was most fit for him to imdertake. 

There were great legal difficulties in the way of 
getting investigation or redress. 

The Aldermen, who were vested with a statutory 
power of compelling disclosure, were allies of the 
" Ring." The Legislature was not in session. For a 
long time, there was no grand jury, capable of making 
the traditionary inquest, which had not been packed. 

The local authorities which had power to order 
civil actions, if such would lie in their behalf, were in 



130 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

complicity with the wrong-doers. The officials who 
would conduct such actions were their appointees ; the 
juries would be selected in their interest; and the 
judges who dominated in the court were their instru- 
ments. 

Criminal proceedings were equally hampered. Well 
might the mayor say to Garvey, — as the latter has 
recently testified, — " Who is to sue ? " 

As early as August, I had discussed with Mr. 
O'Conor, the right of the State by the Attorney-general 
to sue ; but even that resource was unavailable, because 
we could not then count on the co-operation of that 
officer. 

When I suggested a new law, appointing one or 
three Commissioners, conferring on them full powers of 
compelling disclosure, vesting them with the right to 
sue, enabling them to lay the venue outside of this 
county, giving preference to their actions, with other 
provisions to render the remedy speedy and efficacious, 
Mr. O'Conor said he would take the head of such a 
commission. 

It was these conferences which led Mr. Keman 
and myself to vote for Mr. O'Conor — without his 
knowledge — as Attorney-general. To the gentleman 
who was nominated, I sent a message, advising him of 
the necessity that he should satisfy the people of New 
York that he would exert the powers of his office in 
their behalf. He came to my house on the Sunday 
morning of October 15, with a letter dated the 14th, 



MR. TILDEN'S own RECORD. 131 

which was published on the 16th, containing such an 
assurance ; and said he would authorize any suit Mr. 
O'Conor or I should advise. He had returned to 
Albany, and communicated this agreement to Gov. 
Hoffman, before the delegates of the committee of 
seventy had their interview — on the afternoon of the 
17th — at which Mr. Champlain announced his purpose 
to depute Mr. O'Conor. 

With characteristic disinterestedness and public 
spirit, that trust was undertaken by Mr. O'Conor, with 
the declaration that he would accept no compensation 
for his professional work ; and ever since he has given 
his time and his great abilities and acquirements to the 
service of the people. 

OTHER PREPARATIONS. 

'v These conferences were in August, and before the 
committee of seventy was appointed. They did not 
wait for or depend upon any co-operation. They contem- 
plated independent action. Other preparations for the 
State Convention were made. I accepted an arrange- 
ment to be upon the floor as the representative of my 
native district, which had always during the " Ring " 
ascendancy provided me that opportunity. I asked a 
few other gentlemen to come, but had not time to look 
after delegates in detail. I did, however, early in 
September, issue a letter to twenty-six thousand Demo- 
crats reviewing the situation, and calling upon them to 
" take a knife, and cut the cancer out bjr th^ roots," 



132 UFB OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 



SUBSTITUTION OF MB. GBEEN FOB MB. CONNOLLY 

IN THE COMPTROLLEB8HIP. 

Meantime an important event happened, which could 
not have been foreseen. 

On the 14th of September, Mr. Connolly applied to 
me, through a friend, for an interview. Without know- 
ing its object, I gave it on the morning of the 15th. 
The most artful members of the "Ring" plotted to 
save themselves, to come in as parts of a new system, 
even as reformers with added power, upon Coimolly's 
ruin. In his distrust of them, and fears for himself, he 
sought advice. 

I began by telling him that I could not be his coun- 
sel, or assume any fiduciary relations toward him ; that 
he and all the others must surrender all office and all 
local party leadership, and recognize the fact that their 
careers were ended. 

To this he assented, but still wanted my advice. I 
counselled him that he had no right to resign his office 
into the bands of his confederates, that such an act 
would be a new wrong against the public. 

To his inquiry, whether if he remained he could get 
money to carry on the government, I told him I would 
consult Mr. Havemeyer, and we would meet him again 
that evening. 

Mr. Havemeyer came, but Connolly did not. After 
consultation, Mr. Havemeyer went to Connolly's house ; 
found him in bed sick, encouraged him; appointed a 



MB. TILDEN'S own RECORD, 138 

meeting at my house for the next morning at ten^ and 
requested, as I had desired, that Connolly's counsel 
should come with him. Meantime I had examined the 
law, and found a singular enactment by which the comp- 
troller was authorized to appoint a deputy, and confer 
upon him for a definite period all his own official powers. 
Mr. Havemeyer must have been informed of this, and 
consulted about the proposed action under it before he 
went to Connolly's, for he had agreed to assume the 
responsibility of public advice to Connolly to stay in, 
as Mr. Green could only hold as his deputy. 

Besides Mr. Havemeyer and Mr. Green, the only 
human being who had any intimation of the purpose 
was Judge Swajme, of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, who passed the evening with me, to 
whom I confided the matter, with whom I discussed the 
question of the right of the State to sue in such 
cases under the general rules of jurisprudence, and, in 
the intervals of conversation with whom, I prepared 
some of the papers. 

In the morning, Mr. Havemeyer and Mr. Connolly 
and his counsel came. I pressed Mr. Connolly to sur- 
render the office into the hands of the reformers, by 
deputing Mr. Green to exercise all its powers ; that he 
had less to fear from the public than from his confed- 
erates ; that if he threw himself upon the mercy of the 
public, and evinced a disposition to aid the right, the 
storm would pass him, and beat upon the others. His 
coimsel said it was a personal question. One of them 



1S4 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

stated the opposite view taken by some of Mr. Con- 
nolly's friends. It was, that, if he would resign, a man 
should be put in his place who would have character 
enough to assume the whole duty of investigation, and 
would exclude the committee of whitjh Mr. Booth was 
chairman ; and that Mr. Connolly should be protected. 
It was disclosed that the counsel who presented this 
view had come fresh from an interview with Mr. 
Sweeney. 

At length Mr. Connolly consented, the papers were 
executed, Mr. Green sworn in ; and they left my house 
only to go to the office of the comptroller, and put Mr. 
Green in possession. 

" The Times " seems to consider the acquisition of 
this office by the reformers at that stage of the contest 
as of little value. That was not its opinion at the time. 
It is not my opinion. 

The possession of the ComptroUership by the re- 
formers was a fatal embarrassment to the " Ring." It 
involved a publicity of all the expenditures of the 
departments, and was a restraint on those expendi- 
tures. It created doubt and dismay in all their action. 
It was an obstacle to such modes of raising money as 
had brought the charter through in 1870, and to the 
hope of reimbursing advances for such purposes. It 
protected the records on which all civil and criminal 
actions must be founded, from such destruction as was 
attempted in the burning of the vouchers. Every 
investigation, including that of Mr. Booth's committee. 



MR. TILDEN'S own RECORD. 136 

were fruits of that possession. So also was the dis- 
covery of judicial proofs in the Broadway Bank, and 
the collection of such proofs, which continued for 
eight months afterwards, with important results which 
have not even yet become public. It divided the 
influence of the city government in the elections, and 
broke the prestige of the " Ring." 

EFFORTS OF THE "RING" TO RECOVER POSSESSION. 

Then began a struggle on the part of the " Ring " to 
force Mr. Connolly to resign, in order that Mr. Green's 
power might cease. On the 18th, the mayor treated 
Mr. Connolly's deputation of Mr. Green as a resigna- 
tion ; and then, with singular inconsistency, assumed to 
remove Mr. Connolly, though he had lately declared he 
had no power of removal. The vacancy thus alleged to 
exist, he, on two incompatible theories, each totally 
unfounded, proceeded to fill. Early that morning I 
sought Mr. O'Conor. The freedom from doubt of the 
law was no security. The moral support of his great 
legal name, affirming the validity of Mr. Green's 
possession, was necessary. He examined the statutes, 
and had no doubt. He consented to reduce his opinion 
to writing, saying that he would not take a fee, and 
inserting the explanation that the opinion was given 
at my request. It appeared in " The Evening Post " of 
that afternoon. 

An attempt, tinder color of judicial process, to forci- 
bly eject Mr. Green, was anticipated. A carriage was 



186 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

waiting to take me to Judge Brady. If a judge could 
be found to vacate fraudulent orders as fast as they 
could be granted, it was well : if not, I bad resolved 
the next day to open an issue, in advance of the elec- 
tion of the new Legislature, — a Convention to revise 
the judiciary. 

Mr. O'Conor's opinion saved that day. Mr. O'Gor- 
man, evading the legal question, advised the mayor, 
as a matter of expediency, to acquiesce in Mr. O'Con- 
or's opinion. The plot feU to pieces. 

But there were men behind the mayor, who would 
not give up the struggle. When Keyser alleged that 
his name on the warrants was forged, the effort was 
renewed. It was in resisting it that I struck on the 
clew which led to the revelations of the Broadway 
Bank. 

STATE CONVENTION. 

The contest in the State Convention quickly fol- 
lowed. It is but fair to admit that what I asked the 
Convention to do was more than any party was ever 
found able to venture upon. It was, to totally cut off, 
and cast out &om party association, a local organiza- 
tion, which held the influence growing out of the 
employment of twelve thousand persons, and the dis- 
bursement of thirty millions a year, which had pos- 
session of all the machinery of local governments, 
dominated the judiciary and police, and swayed the 
officers of the election. I still think, that, on such an 
occasion, the greatest audacity in the right would have 



MB. tilden's own reooed. 137 

been the highest wisdom, and, in the long-run, the 
most consummate prudence. If the Convention could 
not reach that breadth and elevation of action, it 
nevertheless did help to break the prestige by which 
the oiganization expected to inthrall the local masses. 
For myself, I at no time hesitated to avow, as my con- 
viction of duty and my rule of action, that a million 
of people were not to be given over to pillage to serve 
any party expediency, or to advance any views of State 
or National politics. 

OTHEB ACTION. 

For more than three months I devoted myself to this 
contest. Whatever seemed, on a general survey of the 
whole field, necessary to be done, I endeavored to 
find the best men and best methods to do, and, at all 
events, to have that thing accomplished. I addressed 
the Democratic masses. I constantly pointed out to 
the public the legislative bodies as the turning-point 
of the controversy. I entered into an arrangement 
with Mr. O'Conor and Mr. Evarts to go to the Legisla- 
ture; and, when events afterwards induced them to 
abandon the intention,. I went alone. I invited the 
meeting at which the reform delegation to the State 
Convention was originated, and helped to form that 
delegation. 

On the eve of the election, when Mr. Wickham, 
who was chairman of the newly extemporized Demo- 
cratic reform organization, came to me to say that they 



138 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

could not supply booths or ballots without ten thou- 
sand dollars beyond what they were able to raise, I 
agreed to provide it, and did so. With the aid of Mr. 
Edward Cooper, I raised from personal fiiends, includ- 
ing my own contributions for the legitimate purposes 
of the contest, about the same sum which I understand 
the committee of seventy collected from the whole 
community for simUar purposes. 

BROADWAY BANK INVESTIGATIONS. 

These investigations furnished the first, and for a 
long time the only, judicial proof of the frauds. 
They occupied me, and some four or five clerks and 
assistants, about ten days. The analysis of the results, 
and their application as proof, were made by myself, 
as well as the original discovery of the relation of the 
numbers, which was the clew to all the revelations. 

" The Times " seems to ascribe the collection of judi- 
cial proof to Mr. Booth's committee. This is an entire 
error. Nothing of the kind was attempted by that 
committee. The value of their report was in its exhi- 
bition of the accounts of payments from the comp- 
troller's office. It did not trace any share of the 
money to any public officer. That Mr. Booth was 
allowed to inspect the accounts, was due to the posses- 
sion of the comptroller's office by Mr. Green. 

This information obtained from the Broadway Bank 
established the fact that but one-third of the nominal 
amount of the bills had ever reached the persons who 



MR. TILDEN'S own RECORD. 189 

pretended to be entitled to the payments, and that 
two-thirds had been divided among public oflScers and 
their accomplices ; and it traced the dividends into the 
actual possession of some of the accused parties. It 
converted a strong suspicion into a mathematical cer- 
tainty; and it furnished judicial proof against the 
guilty parties. On this evidence, and on my affidavits 
verifying it, the action by the Attorney-general was 
founded. 

SPEECH AT COOPER INSTITUTE. 

At the great " reform " meeting at the Cooper Insti- 
tute, I made a speech, advocating a union of all the 
elements opposed to the ** Ring," without reference to 
Stafe or National politics. This was done while I was 
the official head of the State organization of the Demo- 
cratic party. My action was regarded as questionable 
by some good men who judged it by the ordinary 
standard of political parties. . All the secret allies of 
the " Ring'* throughout the State were employed, aided 
by most of the executive patronage, in accusing me of 
sacrificing the success of the State ticket, and the 
supremacy of the Democratic party in the State, to my 
effort to overthrow the " Ring." Complaints were in- 
spired from high quarters, that I had not kept back the 
Broadway Bank disclosures, and deferred the action by 
the Attorney-general until after the election. This was 
the basis of an organized movement against me in the 
Assembly, continued and renewed for a whole year 



140 LrPB OP SAMUEL JONES TILDBN. 

throughout the State. My own opinion was, and is, 
that the most vigorous and effective measures were 
necessary to overthrow the corrupt dominion over this 
city; that if they had not been taken with boldness, 
the immense power which had been created by the 
legislation of 1870, the whole local government ma- 
chinery with its expenditure and patronage, and its 
employment of at least twelve thousand persons, and 
Its possession of the police, its influence on the judi- 
ciary, its control of the inspectors and canvassers of 
the elections, would have enabled the « Ring " to hold 
a majority in the city, and would have defeated aU 
adverse legislation at Albany. 

And, while I never hesitated to avow that the eman- 
cipation of our milUon of people was not to be made 
secondary to any other object by a citizen and elector 
of this city, I thought and still think the timid and 
talse policy I was assailed for not adopting - if I know 
aright the many high-minded and independent gentle- 
men of the interior who would not have brooked any 
compromise with wrong -would have been far more 

wouW have permanently compromised the Democratic 
masses of this State, that, on the issues thus made with 
vcrwneimmg support 



MB. tilden's own eecoed. 141 



DBMOCRATIO BEFOEM VOTE IN THE CITY. 

How largely the redemption of the city was due to 
the Democratic masses, is easily shown. The vote for 
Willers, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of 
State, was 83,326 : his majority was 29,189. The 
vote for Sigel, the Union reform candidate for Regis- 
ter, was 82,565: his majority was 28,117. WiUers's 
vote was nearly 1,000, and his majority more than 1,000, 
the larger. 

It follows that 28,653 Democrats who voted for 
Willers also voted for Sigel. Even that does not show 
the whole Democratic contribution to the reform vic- 
tory ; for at least 10,000 or 12,000 Democrats, dissatis- 
fied that the State convention had not gone farther 
than it did, voted the Republican State ticket. The 
whole Democratic vote cast for Sigel was little short of 
40,000, against the 42,500 he received from all other 
sources. The result, so much more overwhelming than 
was expected by the public, not only changed the city 
representation in the legislative bodies of the State, but 
in its moral effect crushed the " Ring." 

So far from true is it that the " battle was over," as 
" The Times " alleges, when I entered it, the battle was 
not over till the polls closed. Even to the night before 
the election, general despondency prevailed. All 
through the contest, it was difficult to inspire the local 

* 

politicians with confidence in our chances of success. 
Many whose sympathies, interests, and resentments were 



142 LIFE OF SAMVEL JONES TILSEN. 

with UB held back; and some abaodoned us at a late 
period. The Republicans in the city had little hope. 

The belief was general in the city and State, and 
among all parties, even to the election, that we should 
&0, and that the " Ring " would hold a majority. 

FnBTHEB COLLECnOK OF PBOOFS. 

After the election it was urged by Mr. O'Conor, 
Mr. Havemeyer, and Mr. Green, that I ought to continue 
the investigations by which the judicial evidence of the 
fisuds should be collected and preserved ; that this 
work was more important than even the preparation of 
legislation. In deCerence to their views, I gave my 
time to the work during all the six weeks until the 
legislative session commenced, and in every interval at 
my command for many months afterwards. When the 
investigations com 
which disclosure cc 
the hands of the a 
whose sessions wei 
vast mass of accu 
and preserved, whii 
proofs that have be 



It was the opin 
own, that a reform 
it was carried on 
Supreme Court, v 



MB. tilden's own recobd. 148 

important to the welfare, safety, and honor of our 
community, but was a measure without which every 
other reform would prove nugatory ; and that the op- 
portunity of effecting it at the last session could not 
be allowed to pass unimproved without leaving us, for 
an indefinite period, subject to the intolerable evils and 
scandals which had recently grown up, and to the 
world-wide disrepute they had occasioned. As a 
citizen and a lawyer, trained amid better standards, I 
had seen the descent of the bench and the bar with 
inexpressible concern. I had often questioned with 
Mr. O'Conor, whether those of us at the bar, who had 
ceased to be dependent for a livelihood upon profes- 
sional earnings, ought not feel ourselves under a provi- 
dential call, on the first opportunity, to open to the 
younger members of the profession a better future than 
that which was closing in upon them, — a future in 
which personal and professional honor would not be 
incompatible with pecuniary success. I had advised a 
son of Francis Keman, who came here to begin a 
career, to return to Utica, rather than confront the 
degrading competition to which a yoimg man would be 
exposed. In the heat of an extemporaneous speech at 
the Cooper Institute, I had become committed to this 
cause. 

It seemed to me a paramount duty, to press a move- 
ment for that object with all the concentration and 
persistence requisite to success ; and there never was a 
moment by day or night, during all the session, when 



144 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

any thing which it was possible to do could be safely 
omitted. There were several periods of general de- 
spondency, and frequent crises in which the cause had 
to be rescued. 

It early came to the knowledge of Mr. Peckham, Mr. 
O'Conor, and myself, that a large, fund was attempted 
to be raised for the purpose of corrupting the Com- 
mittee and the Assembly, in the interest of the accused 
judges. Even after the impeachment was adopted by 
the Assembly, — when general despair was felt at the 
choice of managers, — the lost ground was promptly 
recovered by a measure initiated by myself. It was an 
arrangement by which the selection of counsel was to 
be satisfactory to the Bar Association. . 

Attention to the completion of this object, to the 
conduct of the suits which had been commenced, to 
the gathermg-in of the fruits of the investigations, 
and to other accessory work necessary to finish the 
original undertakiags, occupied most of the summer. 

CONCLUSION. 

On the whole, I have given sixteen months of time 
to these public objects, with as incessant and earnest 
efforts as I ever applied to any purpose. The total 
surrender of my professional business during that 
period, the nearly absolute withdrawal of attention 
from my private affairs and from aU enterprises in 
which I am interested, have cost me a loss of actual 
income which, with the expenditures and contributions 



ME. tilden's own bbcobd. 145 

the contest has required, would be a respectable endow- 
ment of a public charity. The surrender of two sum- 
mers, after I had shaped all my engagements to take 
my first vacation in many years, was a serious sacrifice. 
. I do not speak of these things to regret them. In 
my opinion, no instrumentality in human society is so 
potential in its influence on the well-being of mankind 
as the governmental machinery which administers jus- 
tice, and makes and executes laws. No benefaction of 
private benevolence could be so fruitful in benefits as 
the rescue of this machinery from the perversion which 
had made it a means of conspiracy, fraud, and crime, 
against the rights and the most sacred interests of a 
great community. 

The cancer which reached a head in the municipal 
government of the metropolis gathered its virus from 
the corrupted blood which pervades our whole country. 
Everywhere there are violated public and private trusts. 
The carpet-bag governments are cancers on the body 
politic, even more virulent than the New York " Ring." 

I felt impelled to deal with the evil here, because an 
offence which is directly before one's eyes is doubly an 
offence, and because it was within our reach ; while to 
renovate government throughout the United States is a 
work of great difficulty, taking time, large hope of the 
future, and long-continued efforts towards reformation. 
If the world cannot be changed, it is something to 
make one's own home fitter to live in. 

A reaction must begin somewhere. I have not lost 



146 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

hope that free government upon this continent may yet 
be saved. I remember that nations have experienced 
great changes for the better, in manners and in morals, 
after long periods of decay. There are some good 
signs in our own horizon. Last month, when a gigantic 
controversy of the stock market reached the courts, 
none of the journals inquired, "Which side owns the 
judge ? " At any time within the last three years, that 
would have been the only theme. 

The money articles have ceased to treat their readers 
to admiring discussions of the relative dexterity with 
which men of colossal capitals, first citizens of the 
metropolis, representatives of its moneyed aristocracy, 
contend with each other in feats which have a moral 
aspect about like cheating at cards. Since the smell of 
the paper-money afflatus in 1863, the absence of such 
discussions is a refreshing novelty at our breakfasts. 
Even on the cheek of a member of Congress begins to 
rise a delicate hue of doubt in being discovered to have 
had a pecuniary interest in a public question on which 
he has voted. Amid the blackness of successful wrong 
which overspreads the whole heavens, are these little 
gleams of a revival of the public conscience. If its 
growth shall be as steady, as rapid, and as persistent, as 
has been its decay during the last two years, every- 
where throughout the country will come revolutions of 
measures and of men. 

If the work to which I have given so freely, accord- 
ing to the measure of my abilities, shall stand, I will 



ME. tildbn's own kegobd. 147 

not compete for its honors, nor care for falsehood or 
calumny concerning the part I have borne in it. 

If it is to fail once more ; if the people of this 
metropolis, if the Republican citizens of culture and 
property, whose interests axe deeply involved in a good 
municipal government, and who are now to show 
whether they wUl stand against bad measures in their 
own party, shall shamefully consent to a repetition of 
the fraudulent devices of the Tweed charter of 1870, — 
theirs, not mine, will be the responsibiUty. 

S. J. TiLDEK. 
Ksw YoBK, Jan. 27, 1873. 

• 

The preceding long quotations have been made, 
first, from the statements of others respecting Mr. Til- 
den's work in breaking up the New York " Ring ; " and 
second, confirmed by Mr. Tilden's statements given 
by himself, under his own signature, at the time. Thus 
it wiU be seen by the reader, that what is here written 
by him has not been done since he was nominated as 
a candidate for the Presidency, nor for campaign pur- 
poses. Indeed, it would have been impossible to have 
given any thing like a full and fair sketch of his life, 
without bringing in the work which he did in destroy- 
ing the " Ring " which had cheated the city of New York 
out of ten millions of dollars, and was in a fair way to 
swindle it out of twenty thousand dollars more. 

It will, also, be seen by the reader, that I have given 
the statements of ^^ The Times " newspaper, against Mr. 



148 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

• 

Tilden, and his answers to them, so that the whole sub- 
ject is here brought before the reader, and he can form 
his own opinion as to whether Mr. Tilden is worthy of 
praise and commendation, or of censure and blame, for 
the prominent part which he took in this great work. 

A biographer or an historian is unworthy of the 
trust, if he does not state facts^ let them strike where 
they may. This the CompUer of this volume designs 
to do, and wiU do, so far as he is able from the record; 
and, if he did not do this, his statements would be bat 
onesided, and consequently unworthy of credence. 



CHAPTER IX. 

MB. TILDEN'S WAB EEOORD, AND THAT OP GOVEBNOB 

OP THE STATE OP NEW YOBK. 

Gov. Tilden believed that Slavery was guaranteed by the Constitu- 
tion. — Both Garrison and Phillips believed this. — Charles Sum- 
ner differed from them. — Mr. Tilden endeavored to avert the 
War. — When it came, he said Pres. Lincoln should have 
called out Five Hundred Thousand Men. -^ This was the Opinion 
of Many Others, also. — Mr. Tilden believed that the War should 
have been conducted upon Sound Financial Principles. — Many 
supposed Secretary Chase's Plan for raising Money a bad one. — 
Secretary Seward's Prediction that the war would end in Ninety 
Days. — Mr. Tilden's Becord as Governor. — Quotation from Sen- 
ator Keman's Speech. — The Democrats contend that Mr. Tilden, 
placed in the White House, would reduce the National Expenses 
One Half. 

It has been intimated to me, that Mr. Tilden*s war 
record is not good. Well, my business is to give it as 
it was. If not good, let him bear the reproach of it. 
If good, let him have the praise of it. 

That he was one of those who believed that slavery- 
was guaranteed by the Constitution of the United 
States, is beyond a doubt. Conservative Whigs and 
Conservative Democrats both believed this. It was 

149 



150 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

the creed of Daniel Webster, who was called " the 
Defender of the Constitution." 

In .this opinion extremes met. William Lloyd 
Garrison and Wendell Phillips both believed that 
slavery was guaranteed by the Constitution ; and for 
this reason Garrison called it " a covenant with death, 
and a league with hell," and Mr. Phillips relinquished 
his Commission as a Justice of the peace because he 
would hold no office under such a government. 

The prevailing opinion was, that slavery was guar- 
anteed in the Constitution. I am aware that Charles 
Sumner took a different view of this matter from others 
of his anti-slavery coadjutors. He maintained that 
"slavery was sectional, not national." 

It is evident from the record, that Mr. Tilden was on 
the conservative side of this question. His acts and 
his writings showed this. 

He endeavored to avert the war. He did all in his 
power to preserve peace between the North and the 
South. 

But the war came. It was evidently, as is now seen, 
a blessing in disguise. It accomplished what there was 
no prospect of accomplishing when it commenced,- 
the abolition of slavery. Slavery was as strong, as 
rampant, as boastful, the day Fort Sumter was fired 
upon, as it ever had been ; and had the South been 
content to fight out their contest in the Union, instead 
of out of it, it is believed slavery would have con- 
tinued until this day, and how much longer, no man 
knoweth. 



ME. tildbn's war eecoed. 151 

The finger of the Almighty was in that event, as all 
now see, both North and South. It is on the record, 
that, till the war came, Mr. Tilden made all possible 
efforts to avoid it. This is admitted by all. But the 
question before us now is, What was his record after 
the war was commenced ? 

Till the war came. Gov. Tilden labored to avert it. 
So did most of the conservatives of the North. Indeed, 
after Abraham Lincoln was elected, well do we remem- 
ber the efforts put forth at the North to pacify the 
South. In Philadelphia, where the writer then lived, 
every effort was made, even by the Republicans, to avert 
a war, and to please the South. Even Mayor Henry, a 
zealous Republican, said to Henry Ward Beecher, " I 
advise you not to lecture, for I cannot assure you that 
the building will not be pulled down over your head." 
It is true, this was not the feeling of everybody. But 
it is also true, that it was shared by many, both Repub- 
licans and Democrats ; and, from the record, it appears 
to have been the view of Gov. Tilden. It was from 
such a feeling that it was hoped the war would be 
averted. 

In the winter of 1860-61, Mr. Tilden attended a 
meeting of prominent citizens of both Republicans 
and Democrats, to see what could be done to prevent 
a civil war between the North and the South. He 
urged upon the North reconciliation and forbearance, 
having very clear views of the sad consequences that 
would follow a war between the Northern and South- 



162 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. • 

ern States. Upon the South, he urged submission to 
the will of the majority, and respect for the Federal 
Constitution, assuring them that their only safety was 
in the Union, and not out of it. Had the mad politi- 
cians of that part of our country heeded this advice, 
it had been for their good, and would have saved a 
multitude of precious lives. 

But, when the war actually came, where should we 
have expected to find Mr. Tilden? He had been 
trained in the school of Andrew Jackson ; and who 
does not know the Union proclivities of Jackson? 
Was there ever a stronger Union man than he ? Was 
it not he who quelled the nullification rebellion in 
1833? 

Now, as Tilden had been brought up in this school ; 
as with his mother's milk he had swallowed this doc- 
trine ; as, with the earliest instruction of his father, it 
had been the meat upon which he fed, — where, it 
may be asked,- would one have expected to find 
Samuel Jones Tilden, when the first gun had been 
fired upon the flag of our Union ? Well, where does 
the record show that he was ? " He was ready to main- 
tain the integrity of our territory, and the supremacy 
of the constitutional authorities." As he had carefully 
studied the relations between the Federal and State 
governments, and had a perfect understanding of them, 
so he never wavered as to preserving the constitutional 
rights and government of the nation. 

Well do I remember, when Fort Sumter was 



MB. TILDEN'S war RECORD. 158 

attacked, what an ejffect it produced, as the tidings 
rolled up towards the North. It was a yery different 
feeling from what the South had expected; and no 
people were ever more disappointed than they were, at 
Buch an effect. 

Undoubtedly, they had been looking for aid and 
sympathy from a portion of the people at the North ; 
but in this they were greatly disappointed. It must 
be confessed, that, here and there, a man was found to 
sympathize with them ; but even these deplored their 

folly. 

From the outburst of that fiery contest, every sensi- 
ble man who had any knowledge of the strength of 
the North and West, and of the weakness of the South, 
knew how it would end. The writer, at the com- 
mencement of the war, had under his treatment a 
Baptist clergyman from Charlestoix, S.C. About the 
time Fort Sumter received the first shot, he left 
Charleston for Philadelphia, to be treated for epilepsy 
(from which he recovered). His name was Charles M. 
Breaker. He said to me one day, "I am a South- 
Carolinian, and my sympathies are all with the South. 
I own property there, both houses and slaves. I have 
travelled through the whole Union. I know the 
strength of the North, and the comparative weakness 
of the South ; and I know that it is as impossible for 
the South to overcome the North, or to gain their 
independence, as it would be for a kitten to whip a 
Uon.'' 



154 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

He judged this from what he had seen, and the 
judgment was a wise one ; and it was the opinion of 
those who knew the strength of the two portions of 
the country. 

A meeting was held at the house of Gen. Dix in 
New York, immediately after Pres. Lincoln's first call 
for seventy-five thousand troops, at which Mi;. Tilden 
was present, and took part in the discussion. He 
expressed the opinion that we were at the beginning 
of a great war, and said, Pres. Lincoln should have 
called out at least five hundred thousand, instead of 
seventy-five thousand, men; that, one-half of them 
should be for immediate service, and the other half 
put in camps to receive military instruction. 

Many others, at the time that call was issued, felt 
and expressed a similar opinion. They believed and 
still believe, that, if Mr. Lincoln had called for a million 
of troops, at that time, the spirit and feeling of the 
country were such, that they would have been readily 
furnished, and that the war would have been speedily 
ended. Who does not remember the alacrity with 
which that call for seventy-five thousand troops was 
responded to ? Volunteers were so numerous that they 
could scarcely be counted, and companies were organ- 
ized in many of the States ; and, when informed that 
they could not be received, they were greatly chagrined 
and disappointed. 

But after the war was begun, and blood had been 
shed, and the Union army had experienced a ^^BuU 



MB. TILDEN's war RECORD. 155 

Run " defeat, volunteers did not so readily offer. Had 
Mr. Lincoln called for a million troops at that time, it 
would have saved all the bounty-money that was after- 
wards paid for volunteers, and there would have been 
no necessity for the draft. Many then believed, and 
still believe, that calling for only seventy-five thousand 
troops was one of the greatest mistakes of Mr. 
Lincoln's Administration, and that, if Mr. Tilden's sug- 
gestion had been complied with, many lives would have 
been saved, and much treasure, with a speedier end of 
the war. Unfortunately, neither Mr. Lincoln, neither 
Secretary Seward, nor, indeed, any of the members of 
the Cabinet, seemed to have any adequate idea of the 
strength of the South, and the preparations which they 
had made for the war. The prediction of Secretary 
Seward, that the war would be ended in ninety days, 
was believed by many at the time to be that of a false 
prophet, as he proved to be, to the great regret of the 
Union. 

As it was, soldiers were raised and put into the field 
just fast enough to encourage and feed the war spirit 
of the South. While they would have been frightened 
and overwhelmed at seeing a million men flocking to the 
standard of Pres. Lincoln, they merely laughed at the 
idea of our subduing them with seventy-five thousand. 

When the war had been in progress for some two 
years, Mr. Tilden was invited by the Administration at 
Washington to give his advice as to the further conduct 
of the war. He said, — 



166 LIFE OP SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

" You have no right to expect a great mUitary geniua 
to come to your assistance. They only appear once in 
two or three centuries. You will probably have to 
depend upon the average military talent of the coun- 
try. Under such circumstances, your only course is, to 
avail yourself of your numerical strength and your 
superior military resources resulting from your greater 
progress in industrial arts and your greater producing 
capacities. You must have reserves, and concentrate 
your forces on decisive points, and overwhelm your 
adversaries by disproportionate numbers and reserves." 

This advice was not followed ; but, within a year 
after it was given, Mr. Tilden had the satisfaction to 
hear the Secretary of War acknowledge its wisdom, 
and lament his inability to comply with it. 

Mr. Tilden believed, and expressed to Secretary 
Chase and his friends that belief, that the war ought 
to be carried on under a system of sound financial 
principles ; and that, if the Grovemment would adopt 

4 

such a course, the people would sustain it. 

Many believed, in harmony with this opinion, that the 
financial course pursued by Mr. Chase was a bad one; 
that the creation of national banks, and the inflation 
of the currency, were all in a wrong direction ; and to 
this day there are many stanch Republicans, as well as 
Democrats, who feel and express the opinion that direct 
taxation would have been a much wiser course for the 
Secretary of the Treasury to have adopted. Indeed, 
whichever course might have seemed the wiser one, we 



ME. tilden's war becord. 167 

at this present time are fully assured that our financial 
matters could not be in a worse or more unsatisfactory 
condition than they now are. 

Thus it would seem that Mr. Tilden's opinion 
respecting the extent and power of the Rebellion, and 
the number of men necessary to put it down, the way 
in which the war should have been conducted, and the 
finances of the country, were in harmony with that of 
many of the wise men, both of the Republican and 
Democratic parties. 

Latterly, Mr. Tilden has been accused of having been 
instrumental in introducing to the Democratic platform 
of 1864, the plank declaring the war a failure. But 
this charge is stated to be false by Mr. Manton Mar- 
ble, who was prominent in that Convention. He says, 
" Gov. Tilden opposed in Committee that portion of the 
resolution saying, ' After four years of failure to 
preserve the war, &c.' He got it struck out, and even 
refused to agree with the Resolution as amended. It 
was then irregularly restored. Gov. Tilden at all stages 
refused to agree to the Resolution, and sent a message 
by me to Gen. McClellan, advising him to discard it in 
his letter of acceptance. Gov. Tilden, moreover, made 
a speech in the New York delegation against an armis- 
tice, which was briefly reported by me in ' The New York 
World,' and is correctly cited by the ' Courier Journal.' 
I was personally present in the New York delegation, 
and all meetings of the committee in an adjoining 
room." 



158 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

The compiler is fully aware that many of the partisan 
or Republican papers have made statements derogatory 
to a good record of Gov. Tilden's conduct during the 
war. He is also equally apprised of the fact that the 
Democratic organs have peiiistently denied these allega* 
tious. It is by no manner of means incumbent upon 
him to attempt to reconcile these diverse opinions. He 
has given quotations from Mr. Tilden's statements as 
above, and from those of his friends, and they must pass 
with the reader for what they are worth ; and every 
man is entitled to be believed, until his statements have 
been proved false. 

Mr. Tilden's record as Governor of the State of New 
York here follows as in a few sentences taken from 
Senator Kernan's speech, when he nominated Mr. Til- 
den for the Presidency in the late Convention at St. 
Louis. Senator Keman said, " He [Tilden] was selected 
as Governor of our State. He came into office on the 
1st of January, 1875. The direct taxes taken from tax- 
ridden people in the State of New York were over fifteen 
million dollars in the tax levy of 1875. He has been in 
office eighteen months ; and the tax levy for the State 
of New York in 1876 is but eight million dollars. If 
you go among our farming people, among our men who 
find business coming down, and their produce bringing 
low prices, you will find that they have faith in the man 
who has reduced taxation in the State of New York 
one-half in eighteen months ; and you will hear the hon- 
est men throughout the country say that they want the 



MB. tildek's wab becobd. 159 

man who will do at Washington what has been done in 
New York." 

If Gov. Tilden in eighteen months has reduced the 
expenses one-half in the State of New York, the Demo- 
crats contend with much plausibility, that, if he were 
placed in the White House at Washington, he would 
reduce the national expenditure of the government in 
equal proportion. 



CHAPTER X. 

TWO QEBAT MEN'S OPINIONS OF MB. TILDBN. 

The Work done at St. Louis. — Do the Circumstances of the Country 
demand a Change? — Mr. Curtis' s Knowledge of Mr. Tilden. — 
If Mr. Tilden is elected, it will be because the People demand it. ^ 
The Republican Party cannot rescue the Country from its present 
Financial Condition. — The Kind of Man wanted. — Mr. Curtls's 
Views of the Change for the worse in the Wharves and Docks of 
New York. — Where the larger Share of Blame for the War 
belongs. — What the Republican Party has to boast of. — What 
has the Republican Party done towards resuming Specie Pay- 
ments? — Selections from Parke Godwin's Letter. — His Personal 
Acquaintance with Mr. Tilden. — His Rank as a Statesman. — His 
Administration as Governor of New York. — Gov. Tilden' s Work 
in overthrowing the Tweed Ring. — Mr. Grodwin's Advice to his 
late Colleagues of the Conference in New York. 

Having finished what I have to say of Mr. Tilden 
personally, and from what he has written himself, I 
now allow two of the most prominent citizens of the 
Republic to give their opinion of him and of the politi- 
cal parties as now existing : — 

A LETTER FROM MR. GEORGE TIOKNOE CURTIS TO 

HON. P. O. PRINCE. 

Far Rockaway, L.I., July 1, 1876. 

My DEAR Sir, — The good work done at St. Louis, 

160 



TWO GEEAT MBN'S OPINIONS OF MR. TILDEN. 161 

which your delegation by their firmness did so much to 
promote, imposes upon all Democrats, the duty of labor- 
ing for the success of our cause. I do not know what 
may be the chances in my native State ; but I feel a 
strong desire to see it range itself on the side of that 
reformation in our National Government for which the 
nomination of Tilden and Hendricks affords so excellent 
a promise and so clear a prospect. I suppose that the 
contest in Massachjisetts will be a close one, and that 
the success of the Democratic ticket, there as well as 
here, must depend upon the willingness of voters who 
have heretofore acted with the Republican party to lay 
aside their prejudices against the name of Democrat, 
and to act upon the conviction that the welfare of the 
country requires a change, both of measures and of 
men. I hear it constantly said by Republicans, in 
reference to the public feeling of this State, that New 
York is essentially a Republican State ; and that while 
many Republicans may have been willing to have Mr. 
TUden made governor, and even voted for him because 
they expected and* believed he would govern the State 
honestly and wisely, yet that they will not vote to 
make him President of the United States, because they 
will not consent to have the National Government put 
into the hands of a Democratic administration. This 
kind of prejudice will be appealed to everywhere, by 
the leaders and orators of the Republican party, as well 
as here ; and, although it is a very intangible sort of 
sentiment, it is our duty to meet it and reason with it 



162 LIFE 07 SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

as specifically as its nature may admit of, and with 
entire candor and directness of purpose. Of course, 
no one can expect to reach the office-holding classes, or 
to influence by any arguments those whose political 
feelings and prejudices are incapable of being softened 
by any considerations whatever. But among the 
masses of voters who have hitherto voted with th©^ 
Republican party there are multitudes of men who are 
as unselfish and as patriotic in their political conduct 
as it is possible for men of average purity and intelli- 
gence to be ; and with such men " now is the day, and 
now the hour," to reason calmly and candidly. 

The question for the consideration of such men is : 
Do not the circumstances of the country now require a 
change of administration ? and what rational objection 
can there be to the accomplishment of that change by 
making Gov. Tilden President? The latter part of this 
question can be best answered by considering who and 
what Mr. Tilden, is and what sort of a President he is 
morally certain to be if chosen. 

I have known him personally and well for about four- 
teen years in that kind of intercourse which enables 
one man to measure another; but I am not conscious 
that I have ever incurred any considerable obligations 
to him. I suppose that I enjoy as much of his respect 
as I am entitled to ; but I have not the honor of his 
particular friendship. What I say of him, therefore, is 
fairly to be considered as impartial. That he is a states- 
man of very wide and comprehensive views of public 



TWO GBEAT MBN'S OPINIONS OF ME. TILDEN. 163 

questions, and that he also possesses great and accurate 
knowledge of many subjects belonging to the details of 
government, is what no one can hesitate to assert who 
has observed his public career as closely as I have. I 
hear and see it said that he has never held office of any 
kind under the Federal Government. This is by no 
means a disqualification for the office of President of 
tiie United States. It is possible for a man who has a 
natural and an acquired aptitude for public aJBfairs, to 
know as much of the nature of our institutions, to 
understand as much of the Federal jurisprudence and 
legislation, and to appreciate as well all questions that 
may have arisen or are likely to arise in the adminis- 
tration of the Federal Government, without ever having 
held an office under it, as he could if he had gone through 
the whole grade of its offices, from that of a postmaster 
to that of senator or cabinet minister. I grant that the 
class of men in our country of whom this can be said, 
and who have reached the age of sixty without having, 
held any Federal office, is not a large class ; but that 
Gov. Tilden belongs to this class, and that he is an emi- 
nent example of such men, I do not hesitate to afi^m. 
I should cheerfully have given my vote, if I had been a 
member of the St. Louis Convention, to Mr. Thurman, 
or Mr. Bayard, or Mr. Hendricks, as candidate for the 
office of President, all of whom have held Federal office ; 
but, in balancing between either of them and Gov. Til- 
den or Gov. Seymour, I should not have been influenced 
at all by the fact that neither of the two last named has 



164 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

ever held any position in the Federal Government. The 
truth is, in my estimation, that any man who is entitled 
to be considered a statesman, and who has had the 
political experience and followed the political studies 
which we know to have been the experience and the 
studies of Mr. Tilden and Mr. Seymour, is as well quali- 
fied to be President as are any of those who have held 
Federal offices. The objection is one that will not have 
much weight with the people. 

In the next place, let us consider the fact, that, if Mr. 
Tilden is elected President, he will be elected because 
the public voice demands that the executive branch of 
the National Government shall be taken out of the 
hands of the Republican party, and be intrusted to one 
who wiU use aU its influence and aU its power to purify 
it from the abuses and corruptions which the RepubU- 
can party has brought upon us. The issue is between 
reformation and no reformation ; for all experience of 
free governments and all common-sense concur in 
teaching us, that, when a political party that has long 
had the possession of power has introduced or has 
tolerated great abuses and great corruptions, the only 
reformation that can be practicably secured is to be 
secured by turning out that party, and putting in 
another. If Gov. Tilden becomes President, he will be 
placed in that position because public opinion demands 
a thorough reformation in the Government of the 
United States, and because the people have seen that 
they have no other means of securing that reformation 



TWO GBBAT MBN'S OPINIONS OF MB. TILDEN. 16S 

excepting by transferring, the Executive office to a 
Democrat. ^Fortunately for the people, and fortunately 
for Gov. Tilden himself, the circumstances of his can- 
didature make it his highest ambition and his strongest 
personal interest to become a patriot President ; to enter 
upon and to administer the office with no personal 
resentments to gratify, with no friends unduly or im- 
properly to reward, and with no one to punish except- 
ing those whom public justice may demand shall be 
made to suffer for actual crime, or who ought to be 
made to give place to better public servants. His 
administration, therefore, while it will necessarily be 
Democratic, will be bound by every necessity that can 
Burroimd and press upon a National administration to 
govern the country with a single eye to the public good. 
The Democratic party stands before the people asking 
their suffrages for this candidate, because he represents 
the spirit of reform. The candidate himself, if elected, 
must stake all for personal renown, for gratified ambi- 
tion, for honorable fame present or future, for peace of 
mind and repose of conscience, upon what he can do to 
restore our Government to its ancient purity, and the 
people to their wonted prosperity and happiness^ With 
a candidate so bound in the adamantine chains of virtue, 
BO forced to strain every faculty and every nerve to the 
demands of patriotism, it would be the idlest folly for 
the people to allow a vague distrust of the name of 
Democrat to divert their suf&ages from him, and to 
continue in power the party that has brought upon ua 



166 UFB OF SAMtJEL JONES TILDEK. 

all that we now suffer from disgrace, from imbecility, 
fr*om corrapt practices, and from a wide-spread financial 
distress. 

Consider too, my dear sir, or rather ask your Repub- 
lican friends, the old Whig friends of my youth and 
early manhood, the men among whom I was bom and 
reared, and whose habits of thought and action I know 
so well, — ask them to consider how is it possible for the 
Republican party, if cpntinued in power, to rescue our 
country from its present financial condition. That con- 
dition has for its root and primary cause the enactment 
of the legal-tender provision, and the creation of a 
currency that is utterly irredeemable in any thing that 
the civilized world or the habits of a commercial people 
can receive as a measure of values. It is of no conse- 
quence now, what was the real or pretended necessity 
for the original creation of this currency, this stupen- 
dous violation of all the monetary provisions of our 
National Constitution, this huge departure from every 
sound principle of public finance. The evil once done, 
it was of course to be undone as soon as the pressure 
of the real or the pretext for the supposed cause for 
doing it was removed. But what has the Republican 
party done for its removal ? No sooner had the force of 
constitutional truth wrung from a reluctant Chief Jus< 
tice of the United States a casting-vote which made a 
decision that pronounced the legal-tender law unconsti- 
tutional, than the whole force of the Republican admin- 
istration was brought to bear to produce a new majority 



TWO GBEAT HEN'S OPINIONS OP MB. TILDEN. 167 

of the bench, and by that new majority to reverse what 
had been once judicially determined ; and not only to 
reverse, but to declare that it is competent to Con- 
gress, at any time when it shall see fit to assert a 
public necessity for so doing, to create the monstrous 
fiction of a legal-tender paper currency. The pro- 
curing of this fatal decision is the one great achieve- 
ment of the Republicans on the subject of specie pay- 
ments since the close of the war. Not a single step 
has been taken, not a single measure has been adopted, 
having the smallest tendency to bring about a resump- 
tion of specie payments. Having procured a declaration 
by a new majority of the supreme bench, that Congress 
has the power to make paper money a legal tender, the^ 
Republicans have rested content with vague utterances 
of the desirableness of a return to specie payments, and 
with a sham promise that it shall come about in 1879, 
without any mortal man of them having suggested how 
that is to be done in 1879 which has not been done or 
attempted in any year of the past decade. The conse- 
quence of all this imbecility and incapability is, that 
business is utterly paralyzed. No man knows what to 
do, for no man can tell what the future is to bring forth. 
l^as there, then, ever a clearer case for changing the 
administration of affairs from one party to another? 
What is wanted is a man of sound financial views, and 
a clear head, in the office of President of the United 
States. He may go on until doomsday, trusting to the 
representatives of the people in either house of Congress 



168 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TUDEN. 

to reconcile the differences of opinion among their con- 
stituents, whose opinions they personally reflect, in the 
hope that soft-money men will^ see the error of their 
ways, and that hard-money men will find the concessions 
which they ought to make. It will all come to nothing 
until there is a man in the office of President who, raised 
above the necessity for conciliatory local opmions, graep- 
ing the whole of the great problem with the hand of a 
master and the brain of a statesman, aiming at nothing 
but the welfare of the whole people, and capable of 
understanding what that welfare requires, shall present 
apian of financial and revenue reform that will so com- 
mand the assent and confidence of the people that Con- 
egress will be compelled by the fiat of the nation at large 
at once to make it law. Then confidence will return, 
and business will revive. If we fail to get such a 
President, we shall blunder on and wrangle on until the 
poor are starving, and the rich have become the poor, 
and new sectional differences and collisions are added 
to the social disorganization. I know of no man in the 
nation to whom I should more willingly intrust the 
financial problem than I should to Gov. Tilden. He is 
not a rash man. He is not only comprehensive and 
clear-sighted, but he is cautious and conservative. He 
will neither ruin men by a great and sudden contrac- 
tion, nor will he hazard their welfare by giving way to 
schemes of inflation. If any man can solve this problem 
of a safe and speedy return to specie payments. Gov. 
Tilden may be expected to do it ; and, although the 



TWO GEBAT MEN'S OPINIONS OF MB. TILDEN. 169 

necessary measures do not call for the exercise of the 
one-man power, it is eminently a question that demands 
for its first treatment the exercise of the one-braiu 
power. 

In my daily passages between the city of New York 
and my country home, at this season of the year, I am 

obliged to pass along the East River, for a distance of 

« 

about two miles, on a ferry-boat. It is absolutely appall- 
ing to contrast the present condition of our wharves 
and docks with what it was when I began, fourteen 
years ago, to make this passage before one of the noblest 
water-fronts in the world. New York had then a com- 
merce which it made one's heart swell to behold. Great 
hulls, whose enormous bulk betokened what they had 
brought or were to take away, lay tier on tier along the 
shore. Forests of masts, smoke-stacks, derricks, too 
thick for any unpractised eye to count, almost hid the 
buildings behind them from sight. The incessant rattle 
of the calkers' hammers made a music which any con- 
templative man might for a moment prefer to the 
orchestral harmonies of an opera-house. Notwithstand- 
ing that one feels like an insignificant atom in the 
presence of any great manifestation of collective human 
power and activity, there is always something exhila- 
rating in such a scene. It is nearly all gone. The 
traveller on these waters now passes whole stretches 
of piers at which no craft whatever is lying. In many 
and many a slip he sees no objects bigger than the heads 
of boys whom the heat of the day has driven into the 



170 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

tide. Skirting, yesterday afternoon, by these melancholy 
places, I stood on the deck of the ferry-boat with a 
Republican friend, who in an unguarded moment 
allowed an exclamation to escape him, which showed 
that he felt the contrast as I did. "And yet," said I, 
** you are not willing to have us Democrats change the 
administration of the government, and try what can be 
done to restore our national commerce to its former 
prosperity." In an instant all my friend's antagonism 
was aroused. " No," he replied : " I will never consent 
that the men who made all this desolation necessary by 
encouraging, yes,* by making the Rebellion, shall be 
intrusted with the government." My friend who 
uttered this sentiment is a man of great intelligence 
and purity of character ; but, knowing how fixed and 
inveterate are his political views, I did not continue 
the conversation. There are those with whom one 
cannot reason on this subject, because they perpetually 
go back from the present to the past, and, illogically 
putting the responsibility for the late civil war where 
it certainly does not belong, they argue that those who 
have caused great pubUc mischiefs are not the persons 
to remedy them. But there are others whom one can 
possibly reach. 

It is singular that men of fair intelligence and com- 
mon candor should not be able to see, that, if a balance 
of responsibility for the late civil war were to be struck 
between the two political parties of the country, the 
larger share of blame would not &11 to the Democrats. 



TWO GEEAT MEN'S OPINIONS OP ME. TILDEN. 171 

But the truth is, that with no show of justice can the 
war be regarded as any thing but a sectional coUision, 
having its origin in remote causes, th6 existence and 
operation of which it is idle to impute to the party action 
of any portion of the people. North or South, as if such 
party action had produced the attempted separation of 
the States into two nations. The war, however, like all 
wars of great magnitude and long continuance, has left 
behind it a train of enormous evils. It has exhausted 
the resources of the country by creating a national debt 
that has never yet been so managed as not to press with 
a terrible weight upon the industries of the people, and 
by the introduction of a currency which, as a medium 
for the measure and exchange of values, wastes every 
man's labor faster than he can accumulate a profit from 
either his labor or his capital. The removal of these 
evils was in the hands of the Republicans. They have 
had the full power of legislation and government for 
a period of sixteen years. If they think that they are 
entitled to plume themselves on the fact that they car- 
ried us successfully through the war, what can be said 
of their success in freeing us from its deplorable conse- 
quences ? If they have demonstrated any thing since 
it was ended, they have demonstrated their utter inca- 
pacity to relieve the people from those consequences, — 
a fact that is so glaring and undeniable that it shows, in 
its turn, how little of credit is due to them, as a mere 
party, for the prosecution of the war, and how much its 
successful termination was due to the combined energies 



172 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

of the whole people of the North, without reference to 
party divisions. The case, then, now really stands thus: 
The Republican party, as a political organization, is 
incapable of restoring the country to a condition of 
prosperity ; and at the same time its leaders and politi- 
cians are unwilling to have the people call upon the 
Democratic party to undertake that duty.. They expect 
by appeals to the merest prejudices to induce the people 
to bear longer and indefinitely " the ills they have," lest 
they may " fly to others that they know not of." What 
are these other ills that they know not of ? All men 
everywhere, of all poUtical stripes, have accepted the 
national supremacy under the Constitution as it has 
been established by the result of the war. All men 
everywhere have accepted as final the new social con- 
dition of the former slaveholding States. The Demo- 
cratic party, discarding all questions on which there 
can be any differences of opinion among honest and 
patriotic citizens, ask nothing but to be allowed to try 
to reform the administration of the Government which 
the Republicans have debased, and to rebuild the pros- 
perity of the country which the Republicans have laid 
waste. Yet the people are to be told that they ought 
not to permit this effort to be made, because the South- 
em slaveholders, or some of them who attempted to 
break up the Union, were formerly called Democrats. 
It is very much as if a steward of the name of Smith 
were to say to his master, '^ Sir, your affairs are in great 
confusion : I am sorry I have not been able to straighten 



TWO GREAT MBN'S OPINIONS OF MR. TILDEN. 173 

them out. But I advise you not to employ Mr. Jon6s ; 
for you remember that it was a man of the name of 
Jones with whom you had that great lawsuit about 
one of your farms ; and you know that I beat him, and 
saved the property for you." — "Yes," replies the un- 
happy owner of a great property, mortgaged with an 
enormous debt, — " yes : I know, Mr. Smith, that you 
were steward when I had that lawsuit j but you made 
it cost two or three times what it should have cost, by 
your ruinous method of procuring the money. You 
have since so squandered and mismanaged my revenues 
that I cannot pay my honest debts. You may go. I 
shall try what Mr. Jones can do for me. There is 
nothing but his name in common between him and my 
old adversary in the lawsuit." 

I am free to say, without metaphor or circumlocution, 
that if the Republican party had any thing to rely 
upon but its boast that "its deeds have passed into 
history;" if, in other words, it had manifested any 
power to relieve the distresses of the people ; if it could 
point to any one practical measure as an earnest that it 
had found and can be trusted to apply the remedy, 
then I should say, " In heaven's name, let it continue 
to govern the country I " But it is to be presumed that 
it has put forth its strongest claims in what is called 
its " platform ; " and I look through that document in 
vain for a single recital of any such ground of confi- 
dence. I find nothing on the subject of our greatest 
difficulty, in this hour of supreme anxiety and distress, 
but this vague and indefinite resolution : — 



174 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

" Fourth^ In the first act of Congress signed by Pres. 
Grant, the National Government assumed to remove 
any doubts of its purpose to discharge all just obliga* 
tions to public creditors, and solemnly pledged its faith 
to make provision, at the earliest practicable period, for 
the redemption of the United States notes in coin. 
Commercial prosperity, public interests, and national 
credit demand that this promise be fulfilled by a con- 
tinuous and steady progress to specie payment." 

A period of nearly eight years has elapsed since this 
uncertain promise was put forth. What one thing has 
been done which shows that " a continuous and steady 
progress to specie payment " has even been begun ? It 
seems as if the wisest heads of the party had been 
employed in framing a palpable condemnation of their 
own inefficiency. They assert a promise to do some- 
thing, and a public duty to do it ; but in no single line 
of the whole document do they undertake to show that 
they have made any " provision " to fulfil the promise, 
to discharge the duty, or that they know or have 
conceived of any means of meeting what they say the 
public interest demands. Yet upon them has been the 
burthen, upon them has been the responsibility, in their 
hands has been the power, year after year, through the 
long and dreary period in which we have waited and 
waited for their action; and now that they have noth- 
ing to show, and the time has come for the people to 
determine whether they will gfrant to this party a new 
lease of power, the people are to be cajoled with a 



TWO GREAT MEN'S OPINIONS OP MR, TILDEN, 175 

" continuous and steady progress " in that which has 
had no beginning, which in the nature of things can 
have no continuity, of which neither steadiness nor 
unsteadiness can be predicated, and which, in the place 
of progress, gives us blank vacuity and nothingness. 
The promises of the Republicans to restore specie pay- 
ment are like the promises of the currency itself. You 
present a greenback for payment, and you get another 
promise to pay. You ask for a fulfilment of pledges, 
and you get another pledge. Where and how is this 
to end ? I see no end that is possible, but to put the 
power and responsibility of legislation and government 
into other hands. Whether. the people Mrill see it in 
the same light, we shall know when they have acted. 
In the mean time, we who advocate the change have a 
very plain duty to perform. 

With gfreat regard, and many congratulations on the 
results at St. Louis, I remain yours sincerely, 

Geo. Ticknor Curtis. 

Frederick O. Prince, Esq., Boston, Mass. 

The following quotations from a letter written by one 
who was a prominent member of that singular body of 
reformers that met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in May 
last, speak for themselves. It is, as will be seen, from 
the able pen of Parke Godwin, who was. also one of 
the executive committee of that convention. I omit 
what he says of Gov. Hayes, — as I am not writing 
the life of that gentleman, — and take what he states of 
Gov. Tilden 2 — 



176 LIFE OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEN. 

Who, then, is Samuel J. Tilden ? 

In reply, good friends of the conference, let me 
speak to you from my personal knowledge. I have 
been intimately acquainted with Mr. Tilden for nearly 
forty years ; and though I have often differed with him 
politically, sometimes even lamenting his strong reli« 
ance on party agencies, I have never had the sUghtest 
occasion to suspect his absolute integrity of purpose 
and sincerity of conviction. In all the relations of 
private life, he is purity itself. At the same time he 
has always been a publicspirited citizen, taking an 
active part in whatever concerned the welfare and 
progress of the community in which he lived. His 
devotion, indeed, to public affairs, began whUe he 
was stiU a youth ; and his early discussions of intricate 
questions of finance attracted the attention of maturer 
minds by their singular penetration and judgment. 
Professionally, he has taken rank with Van Buren, 
Brady, O'Conor, Graham, Evarts, Eirkland, and other 
foremost lawyers; and in a peculiar class of cases, — 
heavy and complicated railroad litigations, — he is ad- 
mitted to he facile prtnceps. His counsel, when impor- 
tant and decisive action was involved, has been deemed 
invaluable. In still higher relations Mr. Tilden seems 
to me to combine more than any man now before the 
public, hardly excepting Mr. Adams of Massachusetts, 
the two great kinds of quality, theoretic and practical, 
which form the true statesman, — a profound under- 
standing of the philosophic grounds of political opin- 



TWO GREAT MBN'S OPINIONS OP MB. TILDENI 177 

ion, and the sagacious tact and energy of the man of 
business. 

This union of theoretic insight with practical capacity 
has been singularly shown in his administration of the 
affairs of this State. New York is the largest Com- 
monwealth of the Union, — the largest in population, 
in agricultural products, in manufacturing enteii)rise, 
in commercial capital ; in a word, in the diversity and 
importance of its business relations. And the governor- 
ship there is not a mere clerical function, confined to 
the appointment of notaries and the signing of com- 
missions, as in many of the newer Western States, but 
an onerous, intricate, and responsible trust. The gov- 
ernor is invested with the veto^ which makes him a 
part of the legislative power ; while his executive coti- 
nection with the complicated business of the quaran- 
tine, the salt-works, the State prisons and charities, 
and an immense system of canals, imposes upon him 
the most varied and difficult duties. Mr. Tilden, in 
his short tenure of the place, has evinced a masterly 
fitness for all its duties. He has defeated a multitude 
of ill-considered • and improper bills, rectified many 
minor errors of administration, overthrown a fraudu- 
lent and gigantic conspiracy, and reduced the taxation 
from over $15,000,000 in 1876 to less than $8,000,000 
in 1876, with an assurance that, if the changes he has 
suggested are followed, the decrease will be two or 
three millions more in 1877. A part of this reduction 
is due to the extinction of the bounty debt, but the 



178 LIFE OF SAMITEL JOKES TILDEK. 

rest to Gov. Tilden's direct efforts and influence. I 
have said that Mr. Tilden was more of a partisan than 
suited my own temperament; but I ought in justice to 
add that he was never so much of a partisan as to 
render him insensible to the higher duties of the citizen. 
He separated from the bulk of his own party in this 
city, with other Free-Soilers of this State, when we 
thought it advisable to protest against certain encroach- 
ments of slave power. He separated from the bulk of 
his party in this city when he undertook to beat down 
the infamous Tweed gang, intrenched by the laws, and 
possessed of an almost overwhelming force. It was 
against the advice of many of the most eminent men 
of his own party, that he assailed the Canal Ring, 
whose ramifications extended through nearly every 
county in the State, and whose wealth and influence 
were supposed to be invincible. And it was against a 
large and well-combined faction of his own party, that 
he lifted it at St. Louis out of the quagmires of doubt 
and error in which it was floundering, and placed it on 
the high ground of its ancient traditions. Mr. Tilden 
is cautious and wary, and never acts until assured of 
foothold on truth and right ; but then he is as tena- 
cious in pursuit as a sleuth-hound, and absolutely 
inflexible. 

CONCLUSION. 

And now, appealing to every impartial member of 
the conference to dismiss his ancient party animosities 
and prejudices, I ask him to consider the words of our 



TWO GREAT MEN'S OPINIONS OF MB. TILDEN. 179 

address describing the political situation, as quoted and 
often published; I ask him to consider the demands 
it made of the conventions, and the character of can- 
didate it presented as a 9ine qua non^ — and then say 
which of the parties has most nearly met the require- 
ments. The Republican party, which is responsible 
for the greater part of the widespread demoralization, 
is substantially unchanged. It will be for the next 
four years what it has been for the past eleven years, 
A candidate chosen expressly for his neutral qualities 
will not direct its tendencies, or infuse vigor 0¥ con- 
sistency into its councils. Its leadership will continue 
to be, as heretofore, in the hands pf its Blaines, its 
Conklings, its Mortons, its Camerons, its Logans, and 
its Kelleys. On the contrary, the Democratic party, 
abjnring its former errors, and rising to the full de- 
mands of the situation, puts itself into essentially new 
hands. Its standard-bearer, a sagacious, prudent, most 
accomplished statesman, inured to management, and 
fre^h from desperate conflicts with the enemies of pure 
government, has lifted it to a higher plane of faith, 
and will also lift it to a higher plane of practice. But 
he must be sustained by good men everywhere who 
sympathize in his objects. He has brought us the re- 
enforcement of a mighty organization ready to adopt 
our cause, and to fight our battle: can we turn it 
away? Can we, sinking back into the blindness of 
mere partisan feeling, neglect this glorious opportunity, 
which puts an overwhelming vote at our disposal, for 



180 UFB OF SAMUEL JONES TILDEK. 

the rescue of the Government ? I do not well see how 

there can be two answers ; but, be that as it may, I 

who have for many years stood by this noble man, and 

been the eye-witness of his gallant fights with *^the 

beasts at Ephesus,'* would be recreant to the labor and 

aspirations of my whole life, not to lend him my 

heartiest support 

Pabkb Godwin. 

BosLTN, JjJL, July 18, 1876. 



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THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 



THOMAS ANDEEWS HENDEICKS. 



CHAPTER XL 



8KBTCH OF THE UFB AND PUBLIC SEBVICBS OF 
THOMAS ANDBEWS HENDBIOKS. 

Birthplace of Gk>y. Hendricks. — Education. — Graduates at Hanover 
College. — Studies Law in Pennsylyania. — Settles in Indianapolis. 
— Is chosen to the State Legislature. — Also to the State Conven- 
tion. — Is elected a Member of Congress. — Also Senator. — Be- 
turns to the Practice of Law. — Is chosen Govemor. — His Views 
on the Finances. — A Hard Money Man. — Description of His Per- 
son. — He is Married, but has no Children. 

It is well known that Mr. Hendricks is now Gov- 
ernor of the State of Indiana. He was born in Mus- 
kingum County, O., Sept. 7, 1819 : consequently he is 
nearly fifty-seven years old. His father removed to 
Shelby County, Ind., when the present Governor was 
but three years old. Though he was bom in a neigh- 
boring State, this fact has not affected his popularity in 
Indiana ; for, indeed, many of the citizens of this State 
originated in Ohio, and Mr. Hendricks, having spent 
his childhood and youth in the younger Commonwealth, 

163 



184 THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 

has been identified with all its interests, whether pros* 
perous or adverse. 

The following account of the services of Gov, Hen- 
dricks is from the pen of one who has known him weU, 
and seems so far correct that it has passed under the 
inspection of his Excellency virith approval : — 

No man in the State is now more generally loved, 
and certainly no one is less hated. His youth was not 
a season of hardship ; and he received a liberal educa- 
tion, graduating at Hanover College in 1841. He then 
studied law at Chambersburg, Penn., and was admitted 
to the Bar at that place in 1843, He returned to 
Indiana immediately after, and entered upon the prac- 
tice of his profession. His success was rapid and well 
earned. There was a charm about him that won him 
hosts of friends. He was pure in morals, and not 
merely upright in character, but solicitous to preserve 
himself from even the appearance of evil. He was 
careful in money matters, and slowly accumulated his 
present moderate fortune, although his practice was 
often interrupted by political service, and his expenses 
increased to meet the social requirements of official 
station. At the bar he was distinguished for learning, 
subtlety, and eloquence. His temperament is such that 
at times he flings aside his habitual courtesy and cau- 
tion, and gives free rein to his aggressive impulses. 
He was ever on such occasions a dangerous opponent. 
In comparing him as a lawyer with his rival Morton, 
it is common to say that Heodricks was apt to be 



SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND PtJBLIC SERVICES. 185 

worsted before a jury, and his rival had no chance 
before a judge. 

In 1848 Mr. Hendricks was chosen a member of the 
State Legislature ; and in 1850 he served in the State 
Constitutional Convention. During the next five years, 
he represented the Indianapolis district in Congress, 
and for four years afterwards was Commissioner of the 
Greneral Land Office. In the memorable campaign of 
1860, he ran for Governor against Henry S. Lane, and 
was defeated. Lane was chosen United States Senator 
immediately after his inauguration, and Oliver P. Mor- 
ton succeeded to the governorship. In the election of 
1862, there was a political revulsion, and Indiana elected 
a Democratic legislature. Mr. Hendricks was then 
chosen Senator for the term ending in March, 1869. 
This was a period during which the Democratic party 
in the Senate was represented by a weak minority. 
J^othing was possible sav« an able protest against the 
various reconstruction measures adopted ; and this was 
to be made in the face of strong popular prejudice 
throughout the country, as well as strong opposition in 
the Senate-Chamber. Mr. Hendricks at once took the 
lead aimong the Democrats, and made for himself a 
national reputation. It is a common criticism upon 
him, that he is timid and cautious : let those who think 
80 read the debates during his term of office, and they 
will be astonished to find the Indiana Senator ever 
active and aggressive. 

It is a sufficient proof of the ability and success of 



V 



186 THOMAS ANDBEW8 HENDRICKS. 

Mr. Hendrieks in the Senate, that towards the close of 
a single term he had placed himself among the fore- 
most men of his party, and become a prominent candi- 
date for the Presidency. In the Convention of 1868, he 
was brought forward, and one time led all other candi- 
dates, receiving the solid vote of New York and the 
North-west. Ohio, however, which had been compelled 
to abandon its own candidate, was determined to defeat 
all other Western men; and the delegates from that 
State threw their vote for Horatio Seymour persist- 
ently, and finally produced a stampede of the whole 
Convention to his support. 

In Indiana that year, he fan for governor a second 
time, and was a second time defeated. His opponent 
was Gov. Conrad Baker ; and so close was the contest, 
that Mr. Hendricks only fell nine hundred and sixty- 
one votes behind. 

After his retirement from the Senate in 1869, Mr. 
Hendricks returned to the practice of his profession at 
Indianapolis ; and, although he had not been successful 
in his candidacy before the National Convention, he 
was at least well before the country, as a man to be 
considered on all occasions when a Presidential nomi- 
nation was to be made. He himself never lost the 
consciousness that the eye of the public was on hinii 
and always acted with circumspection, as if anticipating 
the blaze of a national canvass, and desirous of keeping 
his record clear. The unfortunate nomination of Gree« 
ley in 1872, and the fusion with the so-called Liberal 



SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES, 187 

Republicans, postponed the day of ambition ; and Mr. 
Hendricks, acquiescing in what appeared to be the 
popular wiU, gave in his hearty approval to the new 
departure. He was not allowed to remain idle during 
the canvass. Against his earnest protest he was again 
nominated for the Goyemorship. The campaign was 
a bitter one, and almost disastrous to the Democracy 
throughout the country. The result in Indiana was 
bad, but feur better than in mo^t other localities. The 
Bepublicans carried the legislature, and elected all of 
their State ticket except the Governor and the super- 
intendent of public instruction. The majorities were 
very small, but they were enough. The personal popu- 
larity of Gov. Hendricks carried him through. As a 
man, courteous in social intercourse, an influential 
member of an influential church, clean and respectable 
in all his walks and ways, he was fortunate to have for 
his opponent Gen. Tom Browne, a man who had served 
creditably in the war, but who had brought into civil 
life the recklessness and dissipation which are forgiven 
to the soldier, but make the statesman distrusted. It 
was to Browne's further disadvantage, that the temper- 
ance sentiment was at that time, as it has since been, 
very strong in Indiana ; and the first stirring of that 
spirit which afterwards broke out in the temperance 
crusade was then felt. As the fanatics on this subject 
are mostly Republicans, it was a severe trial to their 
allegiance to be compelled to vote for a man whom, 
had he been a Democrati they would have described as 



188 THOMAS ANDBEWS HENDBIGKS. 

a drunkard. Browne hardly mended the matter by 
saying, in his speech before the Convention which 
nominated him, that, if by eating meat he had hitherto 
offended his brother, he would eat meat no more. 
^'Eating meat" became a cruel piece of campaign 
slang. With these circumstances in his favor, Gov. 
Hendricks won by a majority of 1,148. In general 
terms, it may be said of his Administration, that it has 
been able, conscientious, high-minded. He has aimed 
fairly to do his duty, and his official conduct cannot be 
criticised. 

The whole legislative session of 1875 was a struggle 
between the House and the Senate for partisan advan- 
tage ; and the decisive stroke by which the Governor, 
who had watched the contest impartially, stepped in, in 
behalf of the public good, and put an end to the strife, 
was admirable. The session was limited by law ; and 
the Republican Senate, adopting the tactics which the 
Senate at Washington is now pursuing, refused con- 
currence in the measures adopted by the House, and, 
although conference Committees had agreed upon all 
vital questions, delayed action until after midnight on 
the last day, hoping in this way to block the business 
of the State, or force the Democrats into a long and 
expensive extra session, which would condemn the 
party in a Granger community. The session closed on 
Saturday night ; and the Governor issued his Procla^ 
mation on Monday, re-assembling the Legislature on 
Tuesday, without giving the members a chance to 



SKETCH OP HIS UFB AND PUBLIC SE&VICES. 189 

scatter, and politely suggesting, that, although they 
had a right to stay forty days, it would be much 
healthier for them to do their work and go home 
before the close of the week. They gathered together 
like little lambs. The whole scheme of making party 
capital, one way or the other, was abandoned. They 
took up their work where they had laid it down, 
finished it, and were gone by Saturday, much to the 
gratification of all good citizens. 

Since the action of the Cincinnati Convention refus- 
ing to indorse the resumption act, the financial issue 
will not be likely to play an important part in the 
campaign; but it may be weU to give some facts in 
regard to Gov. Hendricks's course during the great 
currency agitation of the last two years. At the begin- 
ning of the clamor for more money, in the Fall of 1873, 
he was not in any way called upon to express his 
opinions on financial questions ; and, although his con- 
victions on those topics were based on sound old Demo- 
cratic principles, it was his nature to "sympathize with 
the distress which he saw about him in every direction, 
rather than set out to preach to the people the narrow 
and difficult path to salvation through self-denial .and 
suffering. The strength of 'the popular conviction, that 
relief was possible through inflation, could hardly be 
over-estimated. Some believed firmly that unlimited 
quantities of paper money, issued on the faith of the 
Government, was the true American theory of finance. 
Others knew that such an issue of irredeemable paper' 



190 THOMAS ANDBEWS HENDBICKS. 

would only afford temporary relief, to be followed by 
greater disaster ; but they hoped to be safe before the 
next storm, if they should weather that which was on 
them. All advocated the inflation of the currency with 
a fierceness which brooked no resistance ; and the old- 
fjEushioned leaders, who might have thrown themselyes 
across the course of popular opinion, had they imagined 
what way it was tending, found the tide grow too strong 
and furious to withstand ; and most of them went with 
it. Whoever was recognized as a hard-money man 
was considered in some sort as a traitor to the West^ 
and a public enemy. The feeling on this point has 
been modified to a great extent during the past year ; 
and the objective point of the paper-money men has 
changed. The purpose now avowed is not an increase 
of the currency so much as the maintenance of the 
present standard, and the substitution of greenbacks for 
national bank-notes. The movement has ceased to 
be wholly aggressive. Under the circumstances, the 
course of Gov. Hendricks, when it became his duty to 
take an active part in the discussion of the issues of 
the day in the canvass of 1874, was wise and manly. 
To be sure, he did not advocate the sound theories of . 
finance with the vigor of Kerr, or proclaim his convic- 
tions with the good-tempered firmness of McDonald ; 
but he maintained his opinions none the less effectively 
because he adopted a conciliatory tone. He presided 
over the Democratic Convention held in July at Indian* 
apolis, as we have akeady said ; and, in his address on 



SKETCH OP HIS LIFE AND PUBLIC SEB VICES. 191 

taking the chair, argued that gold and silver were the 
true basis of our currency, and that the proper method 
of returning to specie payments was through the grow* 
ing-up process, —the development of the resources of 
the South, the increase of production, and the retrench- 
ment of public and private expenditures. The platform 
adopted by the Convention was an essentially unsound 
one, so fax as the financial planks are concerned ; and in 
the subsequent canvass Mr. Hendricks took occasion to 
define distinctly the points of difference between its 
doctrines and his own opinions. How many of the 
politicians who have been so glib in censuring him 
would have done as much? It is common, among 
Republicans in the East, to pretend that in this canvass 
the currency issue was drawn between the two parties. 
The fact is, both were stron^y for inflation ; and the 
victory of the Democrats was won on the general record 
of the Administration, of which the panic of 1874 had 
broken the prestige. In illustration of Mr. Hendricks's 
teachings at this time, we give an extract from his 
address to the Democratic Convention. After arguing 
against the hasty contraction of our paper circulation, 
checking labor and paralyzing enterprise on the one 
hand, and against undue inflation, which would lead to 
depreciation and a reckless spirit of speculation and 
adventure on the other, he said : — 

^^ We desire a return to specie payments. It is a seri- 
ous evil, when there are commercial mediums of differ* 
ent values, -when one description of money is for one 



192 THOMAS ANDBEWS HENDBICKS. 

elass and purpose, and another for a different class and 
purpose. We cannot too strongly express the impor- 
tance of the policy that shall restore uniformity of value 
to all the money of the country, so that it shall be al- 
ways and readily convertible. That gold and silver are 
the real standard of value, is a cherished Democratic 
sentiment, not now nor hereafter to be abandoned. But 
I do not look to any arbitrary enactment of Congress for 
a restoration of specie payments. Such an effort now 
would probably produce widespread commercial dis- 
aster. A Congressional declaration cannot make the 
paper currency equal to gold in value. It cannot make 
a bank-note equal to your dollar. The business of the 
country alone can do that. When we find the coin of 
the country increasing, then we may know that we are 
moving in the direction of specie payments. The im- 
portant financial question is, How can we increase and 
make permanent our supply of gold? The reliable solu- 
tion is by increasing our productions, and thereby redu- 
cing our purchases Skud increasing our sales abroad. He 
can readily obtain money who produces more than he 
consumes of articles that are wanted in the market; and 
I suppose that is also true of commxmities and nations. 
How can the Republican party atone to the people for 
its evil policies, which have driven gold from the coun- 
try, and rendered a return to specie payments more 
difficult, and made its postponement inevitable ? " 
. In reality Gov. Hendricks is probably a more genu- 
ine hard-money man than Gov. Hayes, and would 



SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND PUBLIC SEEVICES. 198 

perhaps differ from him on financial policy only in his 
opposition to national banks, and his willingness to sub- 
stitute Government notes for bank circulation. 

On questions of State policy Mr. Hendricks has 
shown masterly knowledge; but there is one matter 
upon which he has been especially solicitous, namely, 
the 'School question of Indiana. As a member of the 
Constitutional Convention, he was active in securing 
ample provision for popular education, and placing its 
support beyond the vicissitudes of politics. Impressed 
with the value of the work then accomplished, he has 
since repeatedly insisted upon the most anxious watch- 
fulness over the growth and perfection of the system, 
and relaxed in its favor his Democratic prejudices 
toward strict construction and economy. 

Gov. Hendricks is a man of medium height and 
symmetrical form. He is erect, active, and vigorous. 
His face is manly and handsome. The features are 
large and expressive ; and while there is a soft, good- 
humored expression in the large blue eye and in the 
mouth and dimpled chin, the brow, forehead, and full, 
heavy jaw, show wisdom and resolution. His com- 
plexion is florid ; and his hair and side-whiskers are 
yet untouched with gray. He looks like one who has 
lived a happy life, encountered no great sorrow, and 
yielded to no great vices. Though he has for years 
been taught to regard the Presidency as within his 
grasp, his ambition has been rather a sort of rational 
longing for the honor, than an insatiable thirst for 



194 THOMAS ANDREWS HENDEICKS. 

power. His disposition is as sunny as his complexion ; 
and in social life he is a great favorite. To acquaint- 
ances he is affable and easy, to close friends warm 
and lovable, to political partisans courteous but cau- 
tious. He would rather conciliate an enemy» than 
oblige an ally. His habits are such that he found five 
thousand dollars a year ample for his expenditures 
during his senatorial term at Washington. He has 
always trusted to doing the work which he had in 
hand well, as in the highest recommendation, in the 
long-run, before the people ; and the many honors 
which have come to him seem to have been conquered 
without great effort. His voice is a rather thin tenor, 
and has nothing imposing in its tones, but is audible 
to great distance when he speaks with earnestness. 
He appears to the best advantage before a crowd, for 
then he kindles with the excitement of the occasion ; 
and an interruption or a jest from some dissenting 
auditor is all that is necessary to make him forget his 
habitual deliberative cast of thought, and fling himself 
into dashing and aggressive argument. One of the 
features of his career has been the long rivalry between 
him and Morton, — a rivalry in which the bitterness 
was all on one side. In all combinations in his behalf, 
his friends have taken the possibility of the continuance 
of that rivalry for the highest prize in the nation into 
account. Now that Morton is out of the field, they 
can probably promise, without a mental reservation, 
to carry Indiana for their favorite. 



SKETCH OP HIS UFE AND PUBLIC SEE VICES. 196 

Mr. Hendricks is an Episcopalian in religion. His 
wife is a woman of great culture, and force of character, 
— one formed to be a man's comrade in the path of 
honor, rather than a source of temptation. They have 
no children. 



CHAPTER Xn. 

SPEECH OF HON. THOMAS A. HENDBICEIS, AT ZANES* 

VILLB, O., SEPT, 3, 1875. 

Beference to Gk>y. Allen. — Gov. Hendricks on the Bepublican Fi- 
nancial Policy. — Specie Payments. — Bepublican Obstructions to 
Besumption of Specie Payments. — Extravagant Expenditures. -~ 
Vices in the Public Service. — District of Columbia. — Change the 
only Bemedy. 

As I gave Gov. Tilden's life, first by the historian, 
and then let him speak for himself, so I have given a 
sketch of Gov. Hendricks in the last chapter, from 
another: I now allow him to speak for himself. It has 
been said of some of the papers that have published a 
single sentence of his financial creed, " They dare not 
publish one of his Speeches entire : " I here give the 
whole of one of his Addresses, verbatim et literatim: — 

Fellow-Citizens, — I think the re-election of Gov. 
Allen very important ; and therefore, upon the invita- 
tion of your State Executive Committee, I stand before 
you to-day. f I understand that it is quite customary 
to confer upon your governors, whose administrations 
are acceptable to the people, the honor of a re-election, 

196 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLB, O, 19T 

Such a custom seems to be consistent with the public 
interest. The official term is so short, that within its 
limit an important policy or work can hardly be estab- 
lished or completed^ The honor of a re-election was 
conferred upon Grov. Hayes : why shall it be denied to 
Gov. Allen? I think I am safe in saying that his 
administration is acceptable to the people. It* has been 
true and faithful to them. And towards its political 
opponents it has been liberal, if not generous. Avoiding 
their spirit and practice of proscription and partisan 
hatred, it has not treated them as unworthy citizens, 
and unfit to be trusted, but has allowed them to share 
in the responsibilities and honors, as they do in the 
burthens, of the public service. Does Gov. Allen not 
possess the personal qualities which you admire ? Is 
he not clear in his judgment to discern the right, and 
sincere to approve it, and strong and bold to maintain 
it? Do you not know and feel that he is a fit repre- 
sentative of the giant greatness of your State, as he is 
of the stalwart statesmen in whose association most of 
his public life was spent? You distrust neither his 
judgment, nor the purity of his motives. Why, then, 
shall he not receive the honor, and the State the bene- 
fit, of his re-election ? There is but one answer. The 
Republican leaders cannot afford it. It will endanger 
their hold upon power, and will loosen the grasp of the 
eighty thousand office-holders upon their rich emolu- 
ments. Abeady, from every quarter, they are upon 
you. Did you not see the circular address of Mr. 



198 THOMAS AKDBEWS HENDBIGES. 

Edmunds, the postmaster at Washington City, to the 
office-holders throughout the land, for money ? I sup- 
pose the Congressional Committee did not expect it to 
become public. The sums thus realized are enormous. 
A levy upon eighty regiments of office-holders wiU fill 
the party coflFers to overflowing. To what uses is it to 
be applied? No national contest calls for universal 
bribery. Ohio is the object of attack, because she is 
powerful and influential, and will stand almost alone 
in October. To the full extent of the influence which 
your election will exert, you are in the midst of the 
national contest. So this question is precipitated upon 
you : Is it for the good and welfare of the people to 
continue the managers of the Sepublican party in 
uninterrupted and permanent control? For many 
yearS they have held absolute control. In the spirit of 
cruel proscription they have excluded Democrats and 
Liberals from all participation. They have had their 
own way absolutely. And, according to all fair judg- 
ment, they carry the entire responsibility for our 
present condition. Our country is unsurpassed, if not 
unequalled, in material resources, — in the elements of 
great wealth. Our people are, in an eminent degree, 
energetic, intelligent, and industrious. Yet every 
interest languishes, and the people suffer. Frightened 
capital is concealed, and labor stands upon the street- 
corners begging employment. Month by month, the 
shadows grow and darken over the land. 
When evils become intolerable, the remedy of the 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 199 

people is in a change of administration. That is your 
policy, even in private life. You do not continue an 
agent under whose management your capital disappears, 
and your debts increase ; and even when you do 
not see the causes, and cannot locate the fault, you 
will organize a change before your loiin is complete. 
Your physician is not continued, although he may have 
had your confidence, after you see that he is not 
prepared to contend with the calamities that threaten 
your family. You will not sacrifice all your little flock 
to a former devotion. 

Of course you know that the leaders propose no 
reforms. The present policies and conduct of public 
affairs, in their judgment, reach the summit of human 
wisdom ; and Gen. Grant's administration furnishes the 
world and coming generations the model to .be imitated 
and the example to be followed. In their speeches 
this year, they say, that, in respect to its efforts to 
promote the purity of the public service, it eclipses all 
Democratic administrations, and that no President has 
come out of the office clearer than Gen. Grant. If so, 
it is plain that no change should be made. In their 
State platform they declare to you that," " because of 
the distinguished success of his administration," Pres. 
Grant is entitled to the gratitude of his countrymen. 
If, indeed, that be sincerely stated, and you really 
regard his administration as separated from all others 
by its superior qualities and extraordinary excellence, 
then, as true men, you want no change in the conduct 



200 THOMAS ANDEEWS HENDEICKS. 

of public affairs, but you desire that, as this adminis- 
tration is, so its successor shall be. 

EEPUBMCAN FINANCIAL POLIOY. 

But before striking a blow at Gov. Allen, only to 
perpetuate the present conduct and policies, will you 
not carefully consider the same, and decide whether 
that be your real judgment ? Upon finance, what do 
you want your vote to mean ? Do you wish it to be an 
approval and indorsement of the policy of the Repub- 
lican party on that subject ? That policy is found in 
the act of the 14th of last January. Gov. Morton 
informed the people of Ohio that it was the result of 
consultation and compromise, and that every Republi- 
can Senator, save one, voted for it, as did all the 
Republicans in the House, except a few from the 
Eastern States. No Democrat in the Senate voted for 
it ; and I am not aware that it received any Democrat's 
support in the House. In the speech at Marion, Mr. 
Senator Sherman declared that he reported the measure, 
advocated and voted for it, and heartily defends and 
approves it ; that it was the result of the most careful 
deliberation ; that it definitely declares a public policy ; 
and that it is the fixed policy of the Republican party, 
"and no step backward." And now, as that act 
declares the deliberate purpose and fixed policy of that 
party upon a most important question, it should be 
accurately and generally understood. The first section 
provides for the substitution of silver coin for the frac- 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLB, O. 201 

tional currency. The silver is not in the treasury, and 
must be purchased. The special despatch to "The 
Cincinnati Commercial" of the 14th, last month, says 
that the Secretary of the Treasury will be obliged to sell 
between thirty and forty millions of five per cent bonds 
for that purpose. The direct effect is to increase our 
interest-bearing debt about forty millions, and the annual 
interest two millions ; in other words, it is the conver- 
sion of a domestic debt which bears no interest, into a 
foreign debt bearing interest. The silver coin, when 
80 issued, will not be a legal tender beyond five dollars ; 
and its depreciation below gold will be nearly if not 
quite as great as that of the currency which it is to 
displace. 

The second section repeals the law which allows a 
charge for coining bullion, and is proper. The third 
and remaining section removes legal restrictions and 
limitations, so as to allow free banking. It also pro- 
vides, that, upon the issue of bank-bills to the banks, 
the Secretary of the Treasury shall redeem legal-tender 
treasury-notes to the extent of eighty per cent of the 
bank-bills so issued, until the volume of the legal- 
tender treasury-notes outstanding shall be reduced to 
$300,000,000. The effect pf that provision is to sub- 
stitute national bank paper for legal-tender notes to 
the extent of about $82,000,000 of the latter. The 
section then provides that " on and after the first day 
of January, Anno Donuni eighteen hundred and sev- 
enty-nine, the Secretary of the Treasury shall redeem 



202 THOMAS ANDBEWS HEKDBIOKS, 

in coin the United States legal-tender notes then out- 
standing, on their presentation for redemption at the 
office of the Assistant Treasurer of the United States, 
in the city of New York, in sums of not less than fifty 
dollars." Thus, by the process of redemption and sub- 
stitution, all the legal-tender notes are to be taken from 
circulation, and the currency of the country is to be 
coin and bank-bills. In other words, it was intended 
to give the national banks the entire field, notwith- 
standing the same Congress, in the month of June 
before, had given the country the assurance that the 
legal-tender circulation should remain at $B82,000,000. 
Such was the construction given to the act of June, 
1874, whilst it was pending in the Senate. I have 
given you the language of that provision of the act 
requiring the Secretary of the Treasury, on the first day 
of January, 1879, and thereafter, to redeem the legal- 
tender notes ^^ then outstanding ; " because it had been 
stated to the people of Ohio, that " the bill provided 
that the greenbacks should not be retired so as to leave 
less than $300,000,000 in circulation." From the lan- 
guage of the law, you will perceive that all the legal- 
tender notes that are not displaced by bank-bills are 
to be redeemed and taken out of circulation. Do you 
wish your vote to approve this measure, and fasten it 
upon the country ? I was called upon to preside over 
the Democratic convention of Indiana, last year. In 
my address to that body, upon this subject, I said, " Our 
paper currency consists of treasury-notes, declared by 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 203 

Congress to be lawful money, and national bank-notes. 
I am not in favor of the policy that proposes to retire 
the treasury-notes, to make room for an increase .of 
national banks and their paper. The treasury-notes 
are the cheaper currency to the people, and command 
public confidence. They are not irredeemable. For 
their value they rest upon the pledge and conscience 
of the country. The relation between the holder and 
the government is direct. The people are not required 
to pay interest upon national bonds deposited as the 
basis of their security and value, as in the case of bank- 
notes. Passing everywhere, and without question, 
they are the favorite and popular currency." 

I ask your very careful consideration of the last 
provision of the act. It would have been idle, as well 
as vicious, for Congress to direct the Secretary of the 
Treasury to redeem the legal tenders in coin without 
making provision for the same. To meet the necessity 
the act provides : " And, to enable the Secretary of the 
Treasury to prepare and provide for the redemption 
in this act authorized or required, he is authorized to 
use any surplus revenues from time to time in the 
treasury not otherwise appropriated ; and to issue, sell, 
and dispose of, at not less than par, in coin, either 
of the descriptions of bonds of the United StatCLs, 
described in the act of Congress approved July 14, 
1870, entitled 'An Act to authorize the Refunding of 
the Public Debt,' with like qualities, privileges, and 
exemptions, to the extent necessaiy to carry this act 



204 THOMAS ANDEEWS HENDEICKS. 

into full eJBfect ; and to use the proceeds thereof for the 
purposes aforesaid. And alf provisions of law inconsist- 
ent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed." 
At the passage of this act, there was outstanding, as I 
suppose, $382,000,000 of legal-tender notes, as provided 
in the act of June, 1874. Should the $82,000,000 be 
retired by the substitution of bank-notes under the 
first section, then there will remain $300,000,000 to be 
redeemed with gold. It is not probable that the 
$82,000,000 will be entirely displaced by bank-notes : 
if not, an excess of the $300,000,000 will remain for 
redemption in gold. That excess will probably equal 
the surplus revenues in. gold that the secretary will 
find available for the purposes of the act. I suppose 
it may therefore be assumed that the secretary will 
be required to sell five per cent bonds to meet 
$300,000,000 of treasury-notes. The immediate and 
direct effect of the measure will be to increase our debt 
bearing interest $300,000,000, and an annual interest 
of 15,000,000 in gold. If we add the $40,000,000 
of bonds that must be sold to buy silver to displace 
the fractional currency, we have, in this measure, an 
increase of the interest*bearing debt of $340,000,000 ; 
and, of the annual interest, of $17,000,000 in gold. The 
bonds will be sold In Europe. This administration 
conducts all such transactions through a European 
syndicate, or combination of banks. Thus the debt 
will be a foreign one, and will add $17,000,000 to the 
enormous annual exportation pf gold to mpet interest. 



SPEECH AT ZAliTESVILLE, O. 205 

What consideration of obligation or of good policy can 
support this measure? In the midst of a financial 
crisis so serious as to disturb the foundations of our 
prosperity, we are to add this large sum to our foreign 
debt. Why is it dojie ? The $382,000,000 of treasury- 
notes are held exclusively by our own people. It is a 
domestic debt. The holders are not asking its redemp- 
tion. For the present they want it to remain circu- 
lating among them as " lawful money," The treasury- 
notes were issued as legal tenders at a time when they 
were supposed to be essential to the maintenance of 
the pubUc credit. It was deemed expedient to issue a 
portion of the government's credit in the form of 
currency ; and therefore the treasury-notes bear a 
double character. They are at once the evidence of 
a government debt, and are a medium of commerce ; 
a debt to be paid, and legal tenders to be used. They 
were so issued by the government, and so accepted by 
the people. No time was fixed for their redemption. 
The people received them, leaving that to the pleasure 
and conscience of the government. In the mean time, 
they have been used as money. Then, in accordance 
with the purpose of their issue, should they be with- 
drawn so as to injure business and labor until as good 
or a better currency can take their place? Every 
obligation of the government must be met and dis- 
charged. Whoever questions the fidelity of the Democ- 
racy to the country's honor, in that respect, speaks 
without regard to truth. I fully recognize the obliga- 



206 THOMAS AiTDBEWS HBNDBICKS. 

tion for the redemption of the treasury-notes ; but I 
cannot feel that it must be discharged at a time when 
it may seriously add to our embarrassments, and when 
the people who hold them do not desire it. In our 
present condition, any addition to our foreign gold 
obligations is a calamity. Will you vote to convert 
this domestic, non-interest-bearing debt, into a foreign, 
interest-bearing, gold debt ? In this statement, I have 
made no estimate for the sale of bonds, and increase 
of interest-debt, which may be necessary to enable the 
secretary to redeem the $82,000,000 legal tenders, which 
are to be displaced as bank-bills issue. 

It is now my duty to call your attention to other 
probable consequences of this measure, more frightful 
than those which I have exposed. As the time for the 
redemption of the treasury-notes in gold approaches, 
and the Secretary prepares for their redemption by the 
sale of bonds and the accumulation of gold in the 
treasury, they will rapidly advance in value. During 
the period of two years before the redemption com- 
mences, persons who are able to hold money out of 
active use will accumulate and retire the treasury- 
notes for the profit of their increasing value. The 
banks are permitted by law to redeem their bills in 
treasury-notes. So long as the bills and notes are 
about the same value, the bills are not presented to the 
banks for payment. But, as soon as the treasury-notes 
advance in value, they will be presented for payment. 
The banks will anticipate that probable result, and 



SPEECH AT ZANE8VILLB, O. 207 

wiU prepare for it by hoarding the treasury-notes for 
the redemption of their paper. The probable conse- 
quence will be, that under these influences the treas- 
ury-notes will, for a considerable period of time, be 
withdrawn from circulation, and our currency will be 
contracted to nearly one-half its quantity. As rapidly 
as the treasury-notes are used in the redemption and 
retirement of the bank-bills, they will be presented at 
the treasury for redemption in gold, and will disappear 
forever. I know it is said, that, as soon as it is estab- 
lished that they are redeemable in gold, they will not 
be presented, as they will then be as good as gold. To 
some extent that would be true in a time of established 
composure and confidence; but that will not be the 
condition of our country whilst this law is being 
executed. Do you not present your negotiable paper 
at maturity, merely because you have confidence in the 
ability and willingness of your debtor ? How long do 
you think the gold paid out in the redemption of the 
treasury-notes will remain in the country? Will it 
pass along the veins and arteries of business, and give 
life and energy? In a time of general confidence 
it might be so, but not whilst this law is being exe- 
cuted. Public confidence and financial stability cannot 
be made to rest upon borrowed gold. This measure 
will increase our gold obligations abroad, and, because 
of contraction, will reduce production at home. This 
flow of gold abroad wiU continue, and the borrowed 
gold will soon be gone. 



208 THOMAS ANDEBWS HENDRICKS. 

In this presentation of the subject I have not con- 
sidered the possibility of any extraordinary foreign 
demand. Any great financial crisis abroad, or disturb- 
ance of the peace of Europe, would cause our bonds to 
be thrown upon our market in large quantities, and a 
corresponding draft upon our supply of gold. I do 
not believe we can rely upon this measure for any 
supply of gold to our domestic currency that will be 
permanent or useful. Substantially our reliance for a 
currency must, then, be upon the banks. Will they be 
in a condition to supply it? The retirement of the 
treasury-notes will leave them under the obligation to 
redeem in gold only. Can they meet that obligation ? 
And, with the known uncertainty in the supply of gold, 
will they venture to throw their paper upon the cur- 
rents of trade in quantities at all adequate to the 
demands of legitimate business? The act permits 
free banking; and the bills are yet redeemable in 
treasury-notes. What has been the result? The 
statement of the comptroller, made on the 6th of July, 
shows that since the passage of the law, Jan. 14, 1875, 
to the 1st of July, nearly half a year, the increase 
of bank currency is but $7,558. Does this statement 
justify the opinion, that, after the treasury-notes have 
ceased to be available for redemption, the banks will 
venture their paper upon the disturbed currents of 
business ? I believe the financial policy of this admin- 
istration, and of the party which supports it, as 
expressed in this act of Congress, will so contract the 



SPEECH AT ZANBSVILLE, O. 209 

currency as to paralyze all legitimate business, and 
leave labor in rags begging for employment. I know 
the opinion is entertained, — for I have heard it 
expressed by many, — that the law is so clearly impoli- 
tic that its execution wUl not be attempted. 

Did the President, in his first inaugural, not say that 
all laws should be executed, whether they met his 
approval or not ? But the law is now being executed. 
Many millions of dollars of the bonds have abeady 
been sold to provide the means for the retirement of the 
oustanding currency. Is this terrible blow to fall upon 
the industries of the country ? Ohio stands in the van. 
She should make her great strength so felt that even 
Senator Sherman, who reported the measure, will re- 
spect it in a movement for repeal. If Grov. Allen be 
elected, I believe it will be repealed, so great is the 
power of the people. But Senators Sherman and Mor- 
ton, in their keynote speeches, declared to the people 
of Ohio that this is the party policy to be approved 
and stood by. May it not well be claimed that Gov. 
Allen's defeat is its approval and indorsement by the 
people ? Will you, then, expect the Senate to consent 
to its repeal ? However earnest we may be for a return 
to specie payment, we cannot wish to reach it through 
universal bankruptcy, and a frightful increase of our 
foreign public debt. Because of my strong belief that 
this measure is fraught with calamity to the commercial 
interests, to the industrial pursuits, and to the labor of 
the country, I have responded to the committee's invi- 



210 THOMAS ANDEEW8 HENDRICKS. 

tation, without reference to many other questions that 
may be discussed among you. Have you considered the 
reasons which Senator Sherman says controlled his 
party in passing this law ? He himself wanted another 
measure ; whether better or worse than this, I need not 
consider. He wished to fund the treasury-notes until 
the residue should be at par with gold ; by how great 
a contraction, neither he nor I can say ; how destruc- 
tive to business, no one can say. Probably the country 
would become strewn with broken fortunes, and the 
highways filled with wretched men seeking employ- 
ment. His party friends would not agree to it. He 
says they had gone into the canvass of last year with 
divided counsels; and the result was defeat. When 
they met last winter, they were taught by the defeat 
that the party in power must agree upon some measure ; 
and the result was the passage of this law. It is a 
strange statement, — confession, I may say, — that a law 
affecting every interest of the people was the child of * 
party necessity. Will you adopt it and rear it, that it 
may destroy you? Your decision will be in your vote. 

SPECIE PATTMENTS. 

Having stated my objections to the last-developed 
financial policy of the administration and its party, I 
ask your permission to read what I said to the people 
of Indiana last year, in respect to specie payments: 
" The expression in favor of a return to specie pay- 
ments is very general ; but the real question is, When 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 211 

and how can that be accomplished? So long as the 
supply of coin is so small as compared with the paper 
money, it is impossible. The effort now would probably 
result in commercial disaster. The people so believe. 
No sentiment attributed to Mr. Greeley in 1872 was 
more hurtful to his political fortune than the demand 
for immediate specie payments. To render it possible, 
without hurt to the country, coin and paper must come 
nearer together in quantity. They will then be nearer, 
if not uniform, in value. How shall that be brought 
about ? By reducing the paper currency ? With the 
present burthen of National, State, and local taxation, 
and the large volume of other indebtedness to be pro- 
vided for, that cannot be borne. It would cramp busi- 
ness, and paralyze labor. No one desires a return to 
specie payments more earnestly than myself; for I 
believe gold and silver are the real standard of values, 
universal and permanent. As I had occasion once 
before to say, the existence of commercial mediums of 
different values — one description of money for one 
class and purpose, and another for a different class and 
purpose — is too serious an evil to be long endured. 
All the money of the country should be of uniform 
value, and readily convertible. But we are not in that 
condition. Our paper money exceeds the coin by 
nearly five dollars to one. How shall we bring them 
nearer together in quantity, that they may approach 
and meet in value ? Shall we commence at the top, and 
tear down, or at the bottom, and build up ? Business, 



212 « THOMAS ANDBBWS HENDRICKS. 

enterprise, and labor, every important interest of the 
country, demand that the volume of the currency be 
maintained to meet their requirements; but every 
interest will be strengthened by increasing the supply 
of coin. How is that to be accomplished ? By encour- 
aging an increased production of our great staples that 
command the foreign market, by reducing our expen- 
ditures in foreign purchases, and by reversing the fatal 
policy which has sought to make our debt a foreign 
debt. When we purchase less of foreign goods, and 
sell more of our productions abroad, and cease to pay 
so much of the interest on our debt abroad, and pay it 
to our own citizens, the current of gold will turn 
toward our shores ; and then specie payments will be 
certain, natural, and permanent, and will become the 
basis of an enduring prosperity." As soon as the busi- 
ness of the country, and the condition of our European 
trade, will justify the opinion that gold is accumulating, 
and is likely to remain. Congress may safely fix the 
time, and provide for the redemption of the treasury- 
notes. 

When I addressed these sentiments to my fellow- 
citizens of Indiana a year ago, it did not occur to me 
tliat there was a statesmanship beyond and above all 
I had thought to be found simply in borrowing gold, 
increasing our national debt, and the ever-recurring 
payment of interest abroad. I had supposed that our 
ability at all times to redeem the paper currency in 
gold depended upon a permanent as well as a sufficient 



SPEEOH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 213 

supply. I had thought that gold brought into the 
country under the influences of increased production 
and commerce would remain, but that borrowed gold 
would not stay. My confidence is in the development 
of the resoiirces of the country, in its increasing and 
extended productions, and in the stable laws that regu- 
late trade and commerce, rather than in temporary and 
arbitrary devices by Congress. More than once during 
the war, under the lead of Senator Sherman, Congress 
undertook to regulate transactions in gold, with a view 
to controlling its price ; and you recollect how foolish 
and abortive all such attempts proved to be. 

BEPTTBLIOAN OBSTRUCTIONS TO BESUMPTION. 

The party that now seeks continued power is respon- 
sible for the two great impediments in the way of 
resumption. By strange and questionable devices they 
have sought to make our debt a foreign instead of a 
domestic debt. The consequence is, that every pay-day 
large sums in gold are sent abroad to pay interest 
coupons. The red blood flows from the veins and 
arteries of the country. Ireland was impoveriBhed by 
her landlords, who expended their rents abroad. Cheap 
Chinese labor eats at the vitals of our prosperity on the 
Pacific coast, so long as their wages are sent back in 
gold to China. The farmer grows poorer every year, 
who returns no nourishment to his fields. To our 
State convention last year, I made this statement of the 
second impediment ; ^' Cotton and tobacco are the most 



214 THOMAS ANDBBWS HENDRICKS. 

important staples in our exports, at some times exceed^ 
ing all other commodities. Since the close of the war, 
it has been the suggestion of wisdom to encourage their 
production in the largest possible quantities, as it had 
been the dictate of humanity, Christianity, and patriot- 
ism, to promote reconciliation and harmony between 
the sections. But political and partisan interests have 
been made paramount to humanity, and the welfare of 
the country. Bad governments have been established, 
and as far as possible maintained, in the South. Intel- 
ligence and virtue have been placed under the dominion 
and servitude of ignorance and vice. Corruption has 
borne sway ; public indebtedness has become frightful, 
and taxes too heavy to carry, and development crushed, 
and enterprise manacled. In a word, it has been the 
government of hatred; and all this, that party might 
bear rule." They have nourished the noxious plants of 
corruption, violence, and fraud, in Louisiana and other 
States, rather than the cotton-plant and sugar-cane. 
Agriculture cannot flourish under bad laws, corrupt 
administration, and cruel taxation. 

I suppose it is entirely clear to your observation, that, 
had State authority been respected in accordance with 
the Constitution, and the people been left in the con- 
trol of their domestic affairs, without prejudice or 
denial of right to any class, in accordance with the 
Constitution, greater harmony would have prevailed* 
between the races, prosperity would have returned to 
those communities more rapidly, and the production of 



SPEECH AT ZANESVIIiLE, O. 215 

the great staples would have been much more abun- 
dant. Then our valuable materials of export would 
have been in larger supply, and, as a consequence, 
our supply of gold more reliable and permanent, and 
specie payments nearer a possibility. Individual hap- 
piness, and the general interests of the country, have 
been sacrificed to party policy. Harmony based upon 
justice, and the protection of the rights of all classes, 
must be restored. Prosperity will follow, as pure 
water flows from a pure fountain. 

The general paralysis of business and employment, 
and the distrust of useful investments because of 
shrinkage in values, as well as the condition of our 
currency, have brought about differences of opinion 
among Democrats. I think these differences may be 
adjusted. I have heretofore expressed the opinion 
that a wise statesmanship may avoid the extremes of a 
contracted currency, cramping enterprise and labor, on 
the one hand, and of an inflated and depreciated cur«- 
rency on the other; that they are the extremes of 
gluttony and starvation, and that health and strength 
will come of neither. I have an unshaken confidence 
that the national council of our party will so adjust 
these differences as to maintain our ancient doctrine in 
favor of a sound and staple currency, and of policies in 
accordance therewith, and with a return to specie pay- 
ments always in view, and at the same time avoiding 
the disasters which would inevitably follow contrac- 
tion. 



216 THOMAS ANDBEWS HENDBIGKS. 



EXTEAVAGAKT BXPENDITUBES. 

As connected with and having a very important 
influence upon the business and financial condition of 
the country, it is my duty to call your attention to the 
eittravagant expenditure of money by the General Gov- 
ernment. The last report of the Secretary of the 
Treasury shows that for the year ending June 30, 
1874, the " net ordinary expenditures, exclusive of the 
public debt," amounted to $285,738,800.21. The 
interest paid that year on the public debt was $107,- 
119,816.21 ; the amount paid on pensions, $29,038,414.- 
66,— making together $136,158,229.87. Deduct the 
interest and pensions from the net expenditures, and 
there remains $149,580,571.34. That sum represents 
the ordinary payments for one year, after deducting 
every thing that resulted from the war. I have seen it 
stated that the expenditure for the same purposes 
during the last year amounted to about $145,000,000 ; 
but I am not able to speak accurately, as the Secretary 
has made no report of that year. Before the war the 
ordinary expenditures were from fifty to sixty millions ; 
sometimes going above that, because of extraordinary 
demands. Do you not think two dollars for one, or 
about one hundred millions, ought to be sufficient? 
Yet they now require nearly three to one. Favoritism 
always costs the people heavily, but it seems strange 
how pretexts can be found for $150,000,000. Will you 
vote to indorse such expenditures ? 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLB, O. 217 

VICES IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. 

Closely connected with the extravagance is the im- 
morality which pervades the public service. This, too, 
calls for your attentive consideration, and your sincere 
efforts at reform. It impairs your revenues, and dis- 
turbs public confidence. Need I particularize? It is 
known to you, at least in part. What department is 
free from taint ? In the Post-Office Department, it ex- 
tends from the conspiracy to defraud the Government in 
the mail lettings, involving immense sums, down to the 
petty pilfering in the repair of man-bags in the neighbor- 
hood of the Post-Office at Indianapolis. The Treasury 
Department has been singularly unfortunate. During 
the four years in which Mr. Guthrie was at its head, 
there were no defaults, and there was no money lost ; 
but of late years long lists of defaulting officers have 
been published ; and recently large numbers of officers 
in the Internal Revenue Service have been detected in 
complicated and enormous frauds. The Department of 
Justice, under the management of the late Attorney 
General, became the instrument of injustice. Cruel in 
its political prosecutions, and unscrupulous in the use 
of the public money for political purposes, it became 
the object of general suspicion and distrust. Arkansas 
and North Carolina were the scenes of its most auda- 
cious misappropriation of money. 

Will it be proper for me to speak of the Interior 
Department ? An Ohio man is at its head. I will 



218 THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 

speak of the Indian service only. In former adminis- 
trations the entire cost of that service was but about 
$3,000,000, when the Indians were more numerous 
than now. During Mr. Lincoln's administration, that 
was about the cost of the service. In his message of 
December, 1863, he says that for the prior year the 
payment on account of pensions and Indians amounted 
to $4,216,520.79. I suppose the pension-list was then 
something above $1,000,000, leaving the Indian expen- 
ditures $3,000,000. The last official report shows the 
expenditure for the Indian service alone $6,692,462.09. 
It has more than doubled. For improved administra- 
tion you would pay more money ; but where are the 
fruits of the large expenditure ? Both the Govern- 
ment and the Indians are cheated in the quality and 
quantity of clothing and food furnished, and in the 
false accounts that are allowed and paid. An army 
officer stationed last winter at the Red Cloud agency 
thus describes the situation and scene : " The Indians 
are all quiet now. The ^ poor wretches have been 
several times this winter on the verge of starvation, 
through the rascality of the Indian ring. They have 
been compelled to eat dogs, wolves, and ponies." Did 
you read the description of the dramatic scene in the 
Interior Department on the first day of last June, as 
given in the despatches ? It illustrates the policy and 
style of the department. They wanted the Black 
Hills country. The Indians were brought in for nego- 
tiation. On that day they were in the Secretary's 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLB, O. 219 

room. The Secretary was there. A bishop was by his 
Bide. The Indian Commissioner was there also. $25,- 
000 were offered them for the Black Hills. They 
did not want to leave that hunting-ground. They 
were reminded of the desire of the whites for the 
country, and of the diflBculty in keeping them out. 
The Secretary then told them, that, if they did not take 
the $25,000 in thirty days, they might not get it at all. 
In the agony of his soul, the chief, Red Cloud, cried 
out, " Great Spirit, hear me I Have mercy upon me ! 
Pity me I " Was ever such a prayer uttered within 
those walls before ? In these years of Indian misman- 
agement, too corrupt and cruel to be described, the 
Indians are becoming more treacherous, and the borders 
more insecure. What say you, my countrymen, to a 
return to such a policy as Jackson maintained, when 
the Indian was made to obey the authority of the 
country, and the white man to respect the rights of the 
Ihdian ? I will only refer to the late shame brought 
upon the departments by the developed frauds con- 
nected with the marine corps. These are all recent 
transactions. They yet remain for Congressional inves- 
tigation. 

THE DISTRICT OP COLUMBIA. 

I will not weary you even by a reference to the 
notorious and enormous frauds that have been investi- 
gated during the past few years, except that in the 
District of Columbia. That cannot be omitted, 
because it was in our national capital, and brought 



220 THOMAS ANDBBWS HENDRICKS. 

special disgrace upon the whole people, and because, in 
respect to it, the party has entered a plea of guilty. 
In 1871 the District of Columbia was placed under a 
new form of government. The governor and many 
officers, and one branch of the legislature, were ap- 
pointed by the President ; and the other branch was 
chosen by the people. The opportunity to maintain 
good government was most favorable. It was immedi- 
ately under the eye of the President and his cabinet, 
with a party so strong as to exclude all opposition. 
They had their way, and developed their tendency. 
Corruption and favoritism soon had sway ; and in three 
years the debt of the District exceeded $20,000,000. 
The burthen became too great for the party. Before 
the world it was admitted, that with officers appointed 
by the President, and elected by the party, they could 
not maintain free and pure government. They aban- 
doned it ; and, in the spirit of Rome's government of 
her conquered provinces, they placed the District of 
Columbia under the control of three commissioners 
chosen from distant parts of the country. Free and 
representative government fell before corruption in the 
capital of our country ; and it stands as a humiliating 
admission to the world. What answer is made to the 
people when they complain of this most extraordinary 
condition of the service ? Will this plea for the party 
be received, that, considering the magnitude of the 
service, there "never has been a period in the history 
of the government, when there has been less fraud or 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 221 

peculation, or as little as now " ? There are old gen- 
tlemen who hear me to-day, whose memories go back 
to a better time, — to a period when there was such 
pure statesmanship and such exalted official integrity 
as inspired the world with a higher confidence in free 
republican institutions; to a period when one single 
case of default aroused the indignation of the whole 
country, and precipitated the downfall of an adminis- 
tration. 

What say you to the oft-repeated apology that they 
are active and zealous in detecting, pursuing, and pun- 
ishing criminal officials ? Their zeal and activity may 
be admitted, for there is so much to do; but, when 
they suppress fraud in one quarter, it breaks out in 
another. In that respect, the body politic, under their 
treatment, seems to be like the body of a man whose 
follies and vices have brought upon him disease which 
pervades hi^ whole system. If, by the skill of the 
physician, it be subdued in any part, it soon appears in 
another. But the statement that they punish their 
guilty must be denied. Who has been punished? 
There was the case of a paymaster at Washington 
City, who, for the embezzlement of above four hundred 
thousand dollars of the public money, was tried by 

• 

court-martial, and sentenced to the penitentiary; but 
Pres. Grant pardoned him within a year, and the money 
was never returned. On the contrary, how many par- 
tisans, implicated in transactions which the people have 
condemned, have been promoted to high offices ? The 



222 THOMAS ANDREWS HENDRICKS. 

Tweed defence has served them well. It matters not 
how many official criminals there may be : Tweed is set 
off against each. Tweed's mantle has fallen over and 
covered from sight more crimes than any mantle that 
ever fell from human shoulders. Are you, honest gen- 
tlemen, not tired of that trick? Why not let every 
man, rogue or saint as he may be, stand in his own 
shoes, and be judged by his own conduct ? 

CHANGE THE ONLY REMEDY. 

Do you not perceive, my fellow-citizens, that for all 
public evils your only remedy is in a change of admin- 
istration? This you know, — that when a party has 
been long in power, and controls great patronage and 
large sums of money, all adventurers, and those who 
seek to make money out of politics, work their way 
not only within its ranks, but into positions of influ- 
ence and party control. Naturally enough they become 
active managers, giving their money liberally ; and, by 
taking charge of primary elections and conventions, 
they control, in many instances, the nominations. Their 
hold is hard to break; and it becomes the interest of 
politicians to conciliate rather than fight them. That 
is the reason, as I suppose, why it is so difficult, if not 
impossible, for a party to correct abuses and evils 
within its own organization. 

That you are convinced there should be a change 
of national administration, I cannot question. Such 



SPEECH AT ZANESVILLE, O. 228 

changes are made upon assurances of better conduct, 
and of measures more consistent with the interests of 
the people. You may be misled ; but in all efforts at 
reform we must trust each other somewhat. Deceived, 
disappointed, and dissatisfied, will you avail yourselves 
of your only remedy? I appreciate the fact that for- 
mer convictions, prejudices, and associations, stand in 
the way of thousands of good men whose sympathies 
are with the Democracy and Liberals upon the pending 
questions. I cannot doubt that their present convic- 
tions in respect to the welfare of the country will 
control their action. They know that even in times 
' of the most bitter conflict they respect many of the sen- 
timents of our party, especially those in earnest sympa- 
thy with the interests of the masses of the people. 
They can not and will not remain separate from the 
organized body of men that will give* these sentiments 
practical force and meaning. They know that our 
principles will endure, and bring practical results. May 
I quote myself in saying that " organizations may be 
broken, and pass away, but Democracy cannot die. It 
is endowed with the immortality of truth and right. 
Wherever, in all lands, men aspire to higher, freer, 
better government, and purer liberty ; wherever there 
is the sentiment that government is made for man, and 
not man for government, — there is the spirit of De- 
mocracy that will endure, and yet achieve man's enfran- 
chisement and elevation"? . He was a great man who 



224 THOMAS ANDREWS HENDBICKS. 

Baid, "There can be no free government without a 
Democratical branch in the Constitution." May I not 
add, " There can be no free policies or administrative 
measures, promoting popular rights, without the Demo- 
cratical element and sentiment " ? 



CHAPTER Xni. 

THE DEMOCBATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION, AND ITS 

WORK. 

The Conyention Opened. — Permanent Organization. — The Plat- 
form. — Nominations. — Mr. Tilden nominated by Senator Keman. 

— His Address and Resolution. — Mr. Hendricks nominated by 
Mr. Williams. — His Speech. — Mr. Fuller's Speech. — Mr. Camp- 
bell's Speech. — Samuel Jones Tilden the Nominee for President. 

— Thomas Andrews Hendricks nominated for Vice-President. 

This body assembled in St. Louis, June 27, 1876, 
for the purpose of nominating candidates for President 
and Vice-President of the United States. The Conven- 
tion was called to order by Hon. Augustus Schell, 
chairman of the National Democratic Committee. 
Henry Watterson, of Kentucky, was chosen temporary 
chairman, and Gen. John A. McClemand of Illinois 
was chosen permanent president. Various addresses 
were made, but no special business was transacted the 
first day. 

THE PLATFORM. 

I 

The Convention re-assembled at a quarter past two 
o'clock. 

The President. — The sergeant-at-arms will clear 
the aisle, and see that order is preserved. 

225 



226 THE DEMOCBATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

The Committee on Platform, I am informed, is ready- 
to report. 

Mb. Mebedith, of Virginia. — Mr. President, and 
Gentlemen of the Convention: The Committee on 
Resolutions have finally agreed upon their report. It 
is but fair to them to state that a great many resolu- 
tions were laid before them, on the subjects likely to 
engage the attention of the Convention ; that those 
resolutions have been read, examined, considered, delib- 
erated upon, and discussed; and they have finally 
agreed upon the following declaration of principles, 
which I am instructed to report. I will ask Lieut.-Gov. 
Dorsheimer to read the resolutions for me. 

Gov. Dorsheimer then read as follows : — 

Firsty We, the delegates of the Democratic party 
of the United States, in National Convention assembled, 
do hereby declare the Administration of the Federal 
Government to be in an urgent need of immediate 
reform ; and we do hereby enjoin upon the nominees of 
this Convention, and of the Democratic party in each 
State, a zealous effort and co-operation to this end, and 
do hereby appeal to our fellow-citizens of every former 
political connection, to undertake with us this first and 
most pressing patriotic duty. 

Second^ For the Democracy of the whole country, 
we do here re-afl&rm our faith in the permanence of the 
Federal Union ; our devotion to the Constitution of the 
United States, with its amendments, universally accept- 
ed as a final settlement of the controversies that 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 227 

engendered civil war : and do here record our steadfast 
confidence in the perpetuity of Republican self-govern- 
ment; in an absolute acquiescence in the will of the 
majority, the vital principle of the Republic; in the 
supremacy of the civil over the military authorities; 
the total separation of Church and State, for the sake 
alike of civil and religious freedom; in the equality 
of all citizens before the just laws of their own enact- 
ment; in the liberty of individual conduct by sump- 
tuary laws ; in the faithful education of the rising 
generation, that they may preserve, enjoy, and transmit 
these best conditions of human happiness and hope, we 
behold the noblest products of a hundred years of 
changeful history ; but while upholding the bond of 
our Union, and the great charter of these our rights, it 
behooves a free people to practise also that eternal 
vigilance which is the price of liberty. 

Thirds Reform is necessary to rebuild and estab- 
lish in the hearts of the whole people of the Union, 
eleven years ago happily rescued from the danger of a 
secession of States, but now to be saved from a 
corrupt centralism, which, after inflicting upon ten 
States the rapacity of carpet-bag tyrannies, has honey- 
combed the offices of the Federal Government itself 
with incapacity, waste, and fraud, infected States and 
municipalities with the contagion of misrule, and 
locked fast the prosperity of an industrious people in 
the paralysis of hard times. 

Fourth^ Reform is necessary to establish a sound 



228 THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

currency, restore the public credit, and maintain the 
national honor. We denounce the failure of all these 
eleven years to make good the promise of the legal- 
tender notes, which are a changing standard of value 
in the hands of the people, and the non-payment of 
vsrhich is a disregard of the plighted faith of the nation. 

Fifths We denounce the improvidence which in 
eleven years of peace has taken from the people in 
Federal taxes thirteen times the whole amount of the 
legal-tender notes, and squandered four times this sum 
in useless expense, without accumulating any reserve 
for their redemption. 

Sixths We denounce the financial imbecility and 
immorality of that party, which, during eleven years 
of peace, has made no advance toward resumption, and 
no preparation for resumption ; but, instead, has ob- 
structed resumption by wasting our resources, and 
exhausting all our surplus income, and, while annually 
professing to intend a speedy return to specie pay- 
ments, has annually enacted fresh hinderances thereto. 
As such a hinderance, we denounce the resumption 
c}.a|iise of the act of 1875, and we here demand its 
yepe^,!. 

Sevenths We de^aand a judicious system of prepa- 
ration by publip econpmies, by official retrenchment, 
and l^y finance, whici^ sh^ll enable the nation soon to 
assure the whole world of its perfect ability and its 
perfect readiness to meet any pf -its promises at the call 
of the creditor entitled to paypaent. We believe in 



THE DEMOCRATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 229 

such a system, well devised, and, above all, intrusted to 
competent hands for execution, creating at no time an 
artificial currency, and at no time alarming the public 
mind into a withdrawal of that vaster machinery of 
credit by which ninety-five per cent of all business 
transactions are performed, -a system open to the 
public, and inspiring general confidence, which would, 
from the day of its adoption, bring healing on its wings 
to all our harassed industries, set in motion the wheels 
of commerce, manufactures, and the mechanic arts, 
restore employment to labor, and renew in all its natu- 
ral sources the prosperity of the people. 

Eighth^ Reform is necessary in the sum and mode 
of Federal taxation, to the end that capital may be set 
free from distrust, and labor lightly burdened. We 
denounce the present tariff-levies upon nearly four 
thousand articles, as a masterpiece of injustice, in- 
equality, and false practice. It yields a dwindling, not 
a yearly rising, revenue. It has impoverished many 
industries to subsidize a few. It prohibits imports that 
might purchase the products of American labor. It 
has degraded American commerce from the first to an 
inferior rank upon the high seas. It has cut down the 
sales of American manufactures at home and abroad, 
and depleted the returns of American agriculture, an 
industry followed by half our people. It costs the 
people five times more than it produces to the Treasury, 
obstructs the process* of production, and wastes the 
fruits of labor ; it promotes fr*aud, fosters smuggling, 



230 THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

enriches dishonest officials, and bankrupts honest mer- 
chants. We demand that all custom-house taxation 
shall be only for revenue. 

Ninths Reform is necessary in the scale of public 
expense, Federal, State, and municipal. Our Federal 
taxation, has swollen from 160,000,000 in gold in 1860, 
to $450,000,000 in currency in 1870; our aggregate 
taxation from $154,000,000 in gold in 1860, to $730,- 
000,000 in currency in 1870, — or, in one decade, from 
less than five dollars per head to more than eighteen 
dollars per head. Since the peace, the people have paid 
to their tax-gatherers more than thrice the sum of the 
national debt, and more than twice that sum for the 
Federal Government alone. We demand a rigorous 
frugaUty in every department and from every officer of 
the Government. 

Tenths Reform is necessary to put a stop to the 
profligate waste of the public lands, and their diversion 
from actual settlers by the party in power, 'which has 
squandered 200,000,000 acres upon railroads alone, 
and out of more than thrice that aggregate has disposed 
of less than a sixth directly to tillers of the soil. 

Eleventh^ Reform is necessary to correct the omis- 
sions of a Republican Congress and the errors of our 
treaties and our diplomacy, which have stripped our 
fellow-citizens of foreign birth and kindred race, re- 
crosing the Atlantic, of the shield of American citizen- 
ship, and have exposed our brethren of the Pacific 
Coast to the incursions of a race not sprung from the 



THE DEMOCEATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 231 

same great parent stock, and, in faet, now lately denied 
citizenship through naturalization, as being neither 
accustomed to the traditions of progressive civilization, 
nor exercised in liberty under equal laws. We de- 
nounce the policy which thus discards the liberty-loving 
German, and tolerates the revival of the coolie trade 
in Mongolian women imported for immoral purposes, 
and Mongolian men held to perform servile labor- 
contracts ; and demand such a modification of the treaty 
with the Chinese Empire, or such legislation by Con- 
gress within constitutional limitations, as shall prevent 
the further importation or immigration of the Mongo- 
lian race. 

Twelfth^ Reform is necessary, and can be effected 
only by making it the controlling issue of the elections, 
and lifting it above the two false issues with which the 
office-holding class and the party in power seek to 
smother it, — the false issues with which they would 
enkindle sectarian strife in respect to the public schools, 
of which the establishment and support belong exclu- 
sively to the several States, and which the Democratic 
party has cherished from their foundation, and is resolved 
to maintain without partiality or preference for any class, 
sect, or creed, and without contributing from the Treas- 
ury ; the false issue by which they seek to alight anew 
the dying embers of sectional hate between kindred 
peoples, once unnaturally estranged, but now re- 
united in one indivisible Republic and a common 
destiny. 



232 THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTIOK. 

Thirteenth^ Reform is necessary in the civil service. 
Experience proves that the efficient, economical conduct 
of the governmental business is not possible if its civil 
service be subject to change at every election ; if it be 
a prize fought for at the ballot-box ; if it be a brief 
reward of party zeal, instead of a post of honor assigned 
for proved competency, and held for fidelity in the 
public employ ; that the dispensing of patronage should 
neither be a tax upon the time of all our public men, 
nor the instrument of their ambition. Here, again, 
professions falsified in the performance attest that the 
party in power can work out no practical or salutary 
reform. 

Fourteenth^ Reform is necessary even more in the 
higher grades of the public service. The president, 
vice-president, judges, senators, representatives, cabi- 
net-officers, — these and all others in authority are the 
people's servants ; their offices are not a private perqui- 
site : they are a public trust. When the annals of this 
Republic show the disgrace and censure of a yice-presi- 
dent, a late speaker of the house of representatives, 
marketing his rulings as a presiding officer ; three sena- 
tors profiting secretly by their votes as law-makers ; five 
chairmen of the leading committees of the late house 
of representatives exposed in jobbery ; a late secretary 
of the treasury forcing balances in the public accounts ; 
a late attorney-general misappropriating the public 
funds; a secretary of the navy enriching his friends 
by percentages levied off the profits of contractors with 



THE DEMOCEATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 233 

his department ; an ambassador to England censured 
in a dishonorable speculation ; the president's private 
secretary barely escaping conviction upon his trial for 
guilty complicity in frauds upon the revenue ; a secre- 
tary of war impeached for high crimes and confessed 
misdemeanors, — the demonstration is'complete that the 
first step in reform must be the people's choice of honest 
men from another party, lest the disease of one pblitical 
organization infect the body politic, and lest, by making 
no change of men or party, we can get no change of 
measures and no reform. All these abuses, wrongs, 
and crimes, the product of sixteen years' ascendancy 
of the Republican party, create a necessity for reform 
confessed by the Republicans themselves; but their 
reformers are voted down in convention, and displaced 
from the cabinet. The party's mass of honest voters is 
powerless to resist the eighty thousand officers, its lead- 
ers and guides. Reform can only be had by a peaceful 
civic revolution. We demand a change of system, a 
change of administration, a change of parties, that we 
may have a change of measures and of men. 

Nominations were now in order. Our limits do not 
allow of all the speeches that were made for the several 
candidates; but, as is proper, we give those of the 
gentlemen who nominated the successful candidates. 

NOMINATION OF MB. TILDEN BY SENATOR KEBNAN. 

The secretary called the State of New York. Senator 
Eeman spoke as follows : — 



284 THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

Mr. President, and Delegates of the Democracy of 
the United States, I desire to say to you that I rejoice 
and feel a pleasure in every word which has been said 
in commendation of the distinguished men who have 
been presented to you for your support. They are my 
countrymen; they belong to the glorious party with 
which I act ; and no man would repel with more indig- 
nation any word or insinuation to their detriment, and 
no man feel more pride in all their glorious fame, than 
I do. But, while, fellow-Democrats, I appear before 
you to address my words, feeble though they may be, to 
your judgment, swayed by nothing but your love of 
country, the election which we are to have this fall 
rises far above the ordinary elections which we have 
had. It is one, in my judgment, that touches the wel- 
fare and the prosperity of our people throughout the 
entire Union. It is not a mere question of whether 
honorable, honest, and upright men shall be elected, but 
whether we shall select those men who are more sure 
to carry the election, that we may have reform and 
changes which are essential to our prosperity and our 
happiness. Don't we heed change and reform, you 
warm-hearted men from the South, who have been 
trampled down under this Constitution, and who have 
been wronged as no people ever have ? Don't we need 
a restoration of proper administration, by which you 
men in those States shall be allowed to manage your 
own affairs, and shaU be freed from plundering adven- 
turers who are eating up the substance of your people. 



THE DEMOCBATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 285 

and taking from you all real republican government? 
Don't we need change and reform, you men through- 
out this fertile and glorious West ? Your industry does 
not get its just reward ; your labor goes without that 
which labor should always win ; your industry is para- 
lyzed, and your capital even is too timid to aid enter- 
prises. Don't we need it in my own section of the 
Union, where our closed factories and where our dis- 
pirited laborers seek in vain for that which shall give 
bread to their wives and children? Ah, we need re- 
forms that shall strike taxation, which shall lighten our 
burden, which shall give us the prosperity which an 
economical and honest administration will give. We 
need reforms which shall bring back purity and honesty 
and economy in the administration of your public 
affairs. And, my fellow-Democrats, I appeal to your 
intelligence. The great issue which is in the minds of 
our people, the issue on which this election will be lost 
or won, is that question of needed administrative reform 
where we can get it ; and in selecting our candidates, 
without any disrespect to others, we should select men 
who will command the entire confidence of our people, 
as much as we can, in reference to these questions of 
reform and economy, and reduction of taxation. We 
all know the Republican party has resolved in 1868 and 
in 1872, in language which we cannot excel, that they 
would give us reforms, and they would lighten the 
burdens of taxation. My friends, I know that any 
Democrat that comes into the administration will work 



286 THE DEMOCEATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

out these reforms ; but, if we are wise, we will take a 
man, if we find him, who has done reforms when in 
office. I have no disrespect for the Democrat who in 
this Convention can utter dissent to the good repute of 
any candidate. I honor them all. I am addressing 
your judgment. I have said, that if we had a man that 
had been so fortunate as to be placed in public position, 
who had laid his hand on dishonest officials, no matter 
to what party they belonged, who had rooted out 
abuses in the discharge of his duty, who had shown 
himself able and willing to bring down taxation, and 
inaugurate reform, — if we are wise men, and have such 
a man, it is no disparagement to any other candidate to 
say that this is the man that will command the confi- 
dence of many who have not always been with the 
Democracy, and make our claim strong, so that it will 
sweep all over this Union a triumphant party vote. 
Now, there is, in the State whence I came, a Democrat 
who has the good fortune to be placed in position where 
these qualities have been exemplified. There had 
grown up in our great Democratic city, men who called 
themselves Democrats, who, under the guise of Democ- 
racy, dishonored our party by plundering the people 
whom they were bound to protect and serve ; and, citi- 
zens, there the one I shall name, connected with others, 
overthrew these corruptionists in their own party, and 
they restored honesty and economy; and these men 
have flown to other lands, lest they should be punished 
for their crimes. He was selected as governor of our 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 287 

State. He came into office on the 1st of January, 1875. 
The direct taxes taken from our tax-ridden people in 
the State of New York were over fifteen million dollars 
in the tax-levy of 1875. He has been in office eighteen 
months; and the tax-levy for the State of New York for 
1876 is but eight million dollars. If you go among 
our farming people, among our men who find business 
coming down, and their produce bringing low prices, 
you will find that they have faith in the man who has 
reduced taxation in the State of New York one-half in 
eighteen months ; and * you will hear the honest men 
throughout the country say that they want the man who 
will do in Washington what has been done in New York. 
Now, do not misunderstand me. We have other 
worthy men and good men in the State of New York, 
who, if they had had the chance to be elected, and had 
a chance to discover the frauds in our State administra- 
tion along our canals, which were thus depleting our 
people, would have done the work faithfully, I doubt 
not ; but it so happened that Samuel J. Tilden — It so 
happened that the great Democratic party of the State 
of New York reaped this great benefit for our people, 
and this great honor for our party, because they elected 
Samuel J. Tilden. When they found, in the State of 
New York, that he had been thus active in reforming 
abuses, it happened that he was the man that, by his 
measures — I want to add one word, my friends, and 
it is this. I do not come here to vouch for my opinion ; 
but I read from the resolutions passed by the Convention 



238 THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

of the State of New York, with their three delegates 
from every congresBional district in the State, which is 
a part of the credentials which I laid before this Con- 
vention — I want to give you what the representatives 
of the Democracy of New York said in their judgment 
was the position of the gentlemen I have named. 
After passing by their commendation of other things, 
they 

liesolved. That the Democratic party of New York, 
while committing to their delegates the duty of joining 
with the feelings of their fellow-Democrats in all the 
States in the momentous deliberation of the National 
Convention, decree their settled convictions that a 
return to the Constitutional principles of frugal expen- 
diture, and the administrative purity of the founders 
of the Republic, is the first and most imperative neces- 
sity of the times. This is the commanding issue now 
before the people of the Union, and they suggest, with 
respectful deference to their brethren of other States, 
and with cordial appreciation of other renowned Demo- 
cratic statesmen, faithful like him to their political 
convictions and public trusts, that the nomination of 
Samuel J. Tilden to the office of President would 
insure the vote of the State of New York. 

Mb. Williams of Indiana. — Mr. President, and 
Gentlemen of the Convention, In the name and in 
behalf of the united Democracy of the State of Indiana, 
I put in nomination Gov. Thomas A. Hendricks, of 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 239 

Indiana, as your candidate for President of the United 
States. He is a man that is known to the whole nation. 
There is no spot or blemish on his public or private 
character. He is presented as the unanimous choice of 
the Democracy of a Democratic State. He comes here 
backed up by his delegation and by every Democrat in 
Indiana. There is no fire in the rear here. We believe 
that if he is our nominee we can carry the State of 
Indiana by from twelve thousand to twenty thousand. 
You delegates in this Convention must determine 
for yourselves, by your votes, whether you want 
Indiana to remain Democratic, or not. We propose 
to support the nominee of this Convention, whoever 
he may be. There is no diversity among us on that 
subject ; but we would like to have a man for our candi- 
date that we know that we can carry the State for. In 
conclusion, Mr. President, I desire to read the resolution 
that was adopted by the Democracy of the State at its 
last convention ; and with that, sir, I will close : — 

Resolved^ That the people of Indiana recognize with 
pride and pleasure the eminent public services of the 
Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks. In all public trusts he 
has been faithful to duty, and in his public and private 
life pure and without blemish. We therefore declare 
that he is our unanimous choice for the Presidency of 
the United States. 

Mb. Puller (Illinois), — Mr. President, and Fellow- 
Citizens of the Convention, Depressed under the 



240 THE DEMOCBATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

weight of debt and taxation, universal corruption, 
general demoralization, and all the evils that inevitably 
flow from a persistent disregard of fundamental law, 
and the long and uninterrupted retention of unlimited 
power in the same hands, the country demands a return 
to the principles and practices of the fathers of the 
Republic, in the one hundredth year of its existence, 
and a restoration of a wise and frugal government that 
shall leave to every man the freest and purest of his 
avocations or his pleasures consistent with the rights of 
his neighbors, and shall not take from the mouth of 
labor the bread he has earned. Dissatisfied with bare 
respectability, which, though it may tend to retard, 
cannot stay the downward progress, the country turns 
to the Democracy assembled in convention, and asks 
this great party to put in nomination the next Presi- 
dent of the United States. That nominee must be 
intrinsically honest, that he may be the cause of honesty 
in others ; capable himself, that he may be quick to dis- 
cern and to appropriate the capacity of others, fis well 
as to exert his own; lofty in thought, and pure in 
spirit, that he may drag up drowning honor by the 
locks, bring governmental administration from the 
depths into which it has descended, and elevate and 
purify the moral tone of the nation. He must be a 
statesman of breadth of mind, and such grasp of infor- 
mation as to be enabled to embrace the whole country 
within the compass of his judgment, and so to act that 
he will secure the greatest good to the greatest num* 



THE DEMOCBAtiC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 241 

ber, and so the good of all. Such a man, Mr. Presi- 
dent, and gentlemen of the Convention, is presented in 
the name of Thomas A. Hendricks. Endowed with 
that capacity for continuous effort, that fixity of pur- 
pose, that simplicity of habit, which characterized his 
hardy ancestry, and whose progenitors, centuries ago, 
wrested from the sea the land on which they live ; 
taught by an education, acquired by the use of the axe 
and the sword, the value of economy which the world 
seems to spurn, while it honors and does homage to its 
fruits ; and schooled by thirty years of eminent and 
honorable practice at the bar, and twenty-five of con- 
current activity in both public stations; of stainless 
character, with a record which needs no explanation, as 
it lies out in the sunlight without a blot to mar its 
beauty; conversant with the interests of the entire 
country, though particularly those of the Great West 
in which his Revolutionary sires were pioneers, and of 
that South linked to it by a thousand ties of intercom- 
munication, common interest, and mutual affection; 
added to all, possessed of those qualities of heart that 
contract friendship, and never disappoint,— Thomas 
A. Hendricks would realize the wishes of the people, 
and would at least deserve success ; and, if deserved, 
what better leader to insure it? Here on the fertile 
plains of the West, here in the great empire, the 
seat of empire, beneath that star which, so long leading 
the way, now shines resplendent above the Valley of the 
Mississippi, — here the decisive battle of the campaign 



242 THE DEMOCBATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

• 

is to be fought ; for here are to be waged those great 
contests which precede the main engagement, and 
determine it. 'JVhat better leader than he to meet the 
advancing hosts of the enemy at their first onset, send 
back their wavering forces to the centre, and mingle all 
in indistinguishable ruin ? What better leader than he, 
who, believing odium incurred by the practice of virtue 
is honor and not odium, in the disastrous days snatched 
victory from defeat, and lighted up with the splendor 
of his achievements the darkness which lasted from 
1860 to the dawn of 1876 ? Already, in the expectation 
of his candidacy, the people are conscious of approach- 
ing victory ; already thousands upon thousands are lis- 
tening to catch the blast upon that bugle-horn, well 
worth a million men ; already the enemy recoil at the 
suggestion of his name, for they know by that sign we 
can conquer. Mr. President, on behalf of many dele- 
gates from Illinois, on behalf of thousands of Demo- 
cratic voters of that State, on behalf, I believe, of 
myriads of my fellow-citizens of the West, the thunder- 
ing tramp of whose feet as they rush to the encounter, 
and the sound of whose voices as they rise in tri- 
umphant refrain, as they march from the smoke of bat- 
tle, I have the honor to second the name of Thomas A. 
Hendricks of Indiana. 

Me. Williams of Indiana. — I desire, with the per- 
mission of the Convention, that Gen. Campbell of Ten- 
nessee shall occnpy five minutes of my time. 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 243 

Gen. Campbell of Tennessee. — Mr. President, and 
Gentlemen of the Convention, I am instructed by dele- 
gates from the State of Tennessee, wh© received their 
authority from the largest Convention that ever assem- 
bled in their State> to second the nomination of the 
great and distinguished statesman of Indiana, the Hon. 
Thomas A. Hendricks ; and I pledge the State of Ten- 
nessee, that if this Convention, in its wisdom, shall see 
proper to approve the nomination which is made here 
to-day, that in Noveaiber next we will carry him at the 
polls by a majority of sixty thousand votes. I would 
not be doing the great State of Tennessee justice, nor 
myself justice, nor the other distinguished gentlemen 
whose names have been and will be presented to this 
Convention, did I not say to you that all of them have 
many devoted followers and admirers in the grand old 
volunteer State. There are many there who would 
like to follow the lead of the great statesman-governor 
of New York, who has cleansed the Augean stables in 
his State, and driven the hydra-headed monster of 
corruption into exile. There are many, very many, 
in that State, who would be glad to follow the distin- 
guished soldier of the State of Pennsylvania ; and it was 
when the black clouds of subjugation hovered over our 
heads, that he was the first to produce a rift in the 
clouds, and to hold up the bow of promise to our 
people. It was he of whom our distinguished chairman 
once said he was like a sword wearing a jewel in its 
belt. But there is one consideration that has more 



244 THE DEMOCBATIO NATIONAL CONVENTION. 

influence with Tennessee than any other ; and that is 
the simple consideration of success. We feel that we 
must conquer in the battle that is to be fought in 
November next ; and, in casting around among many 
of the distinguished men of the nation, whom Tennessee 
will follow, she is of the opinion that under the leader- 
ship of the great statesman of Indiana we are more 
certain to conquer than any other. And, when we 
look at his character, we find that his whole history is 
the very best and most eloquent* sermon on political 
integrity and reform, that was ever written by man. 
We find that his Democracy is as catholic as the Con- 
stitution itself. We find that he lives in a locality 
where there are no dissensions in his ranks. We find 
that his own people come up here in solid phalanx for 
him, like the Macedonian phalanx, with their lances 
all pointed outward, and none toward their friends. I 
thank you, gentlemen of the Convention, and give you 
now assurance of the hearty support that the State 
of Tennessee will give the distinguished statesman of 
Indiana in November next. 

On the second ballot, Samuel Jones Tilden was 
nominated. 

His nomination had been opposed by Mr. John 
Kelley, a remnant of the Tammany Democracy ; but to 
no avail. Indeed, many of the Democrats say Kelley's 
or the Tammany opposition to Tilden, and Grant's 
telegram congratulating Hayes, will pretty surely elect 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAIi CONVBNTIOK. 245 

Tilden. Indeed, some who profess to believe that 
Mr. Tilden is a greater " magician " or wire-puller 
than Mr. Van Buren ever was, affect to say and 
believe that Mr. Tilden hired Kelley to go to the 
Convention, and fight against his nomination. Well, 
Tammany's opposition to him is a pretty good evidence 
that he is an honest man ; and therefore, if Mr. Tilden 
did spend a " barrel of money " to get nominated, he 
might have put some of it " where it would do the 
most good," even if he gave it to Kelley. Some do 
not hesitate to say that Grant's expelling Mr. Bristow 
from the cabinet, and Postmaster Jewell, and, indeed, 
all who sympathized with Bristow, will secure the 
election of Tilden and Hendricks. 

Indeed, the Republican organs are about as severe 
upon Pres. Grant, on this subject, as are the Demo- 
<;ratic. " The Boston Advertiser " of July 13 said, — 

" Meantime, the public are sick of hearing of inces- 
sant interference, on the part of the President, with 
petty appointments aU over the land." 

« The Daily Globe " of July 12 said,— 

" He [Grant] shows, as he has so often before shown, 
that he has no comprehension of lofty principles of 
action, and little sympathy with men of moral convic- 
tions and purity of character. The Republican party 
is responsible, in a certain sense, for his administra- 
tion, and cannot free itself altogether from association 
with it ; and he is using the time left to him, to make 
the burden and the disadvantage as heavy as possible. 



246 THE DEMOCBATIO NATIONAIi CONVENTION. 

" It [the Republican party] must cut loose from 
Grant and Giantism, and show that its new departure 
is genuine, and will lead to the proposed goal ; or it 
cannot continue in power." 

The next day the same paper had the following : — 

"Mr. Grant is catching it this time, not only from the 
independent press, but from the organic, which shows 
that the Republicans are inclined to cut loose, as we 
suggested yesterday they must, from the administra- 
tion wing of the party. In Boston, * The Advertiser' 
advises turning the cold shoulder upon it ; and here 
comes even the timid * Journal ' with this suggestive 
little paragraph : — 

^^ ^ Let us see : less than eight mo&ths more of this ^ 
peculiar administration. Let us brace up I ' " 

" The Evening Transcript " of July 12, a strong 
Bristow paper, is still more severe upon Pres. Grant. 
It says, — 

" Gov. Tilden talks bravely about entering the cam- 
paign for reform, with all the consecration of a soldier. 
Considering the composition of his reforming army, 
such a style of comment appears ridiculous enough. 
And so it would be, were it not that the administra- 
tion of Gen. Grant is beginning to hold itself up as 
a warning against Republican rule. The President, 
after Gov. Hayes's nomination, congratulated him on 
the fact, and hailed him as his successor, very much in 
a Pickwickian sense, we should think, considering the 
support the Executive is now rendering the Demo- 



THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION. 247 

cratic party. Perhaps the crowd, headed by Boss 
Shepherd at Washington, who has now too much of 
the President's confidence, don't fancy Gov. Hayes's 
unmistakable utterances respecting civil-service reform. 
Their influence is gone if Hayes becomes an occupant 
of the White House, and the Republican party again 
succeeds. They know it, feel it, and are acting from 
motives of revenge accordingly. It is the intrigues 
of this corrupt cabal, whose advice now exercises too 

I 

much sway in the national councils, which place the 
administration directly in the face of the best Repub- 
lican sentiments of the country. When Gen. Grant 
echoed the sentiment of the Secretary of the Treasury, 
that no guilty man should escape, the people ap- 
plauded. Now, under a different inspiration, he is 
pardoning the revenue thieves with indecent haste. 
Nay, more than that : he has dismissed almost all the 
officers who detected and punished the committers of 
fraud, and saved millions of dollars to the national 
treasury. By this course, he virtually says to crooked- 
whiskey venders, ' The Government rejects its former 
attitude, under faithful and honest officials, and here- 
after will turn its blind eye towards your misdeeds.' " 

The Convention nominated Thomas Andrews Hen- 
dricks for Vice-President, with great unanimity. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

General Enthusiasm. — Despatches to Grov. Tilden. — How he received 
the News. -^ His Remarks. — A Serenade. — Opinion of Hon. 
Charles Francis Adams. — Opinion of Hon. Charles G. Davis. ^ 
Opinion of Hon. Charles Levi Woodbury. — Of Hon. Edward 
Avery. — How the News was received in New York. — " The New 
York Times." — " The Sun." — " Chicago Tribune.^' — Enthusi- 
asm at Concord, N.H. — At Biddeford, Me. — Gov. Tilden's Ward 
in New York. — The Committee to announce to Gov. Tilden the 
Nomination perform that Duty. — Gov. Tilden's Reply to the Com- 
mittee. — Selections from the Speech of Senator Bayard. — Dele- 
gates call on Gov. Hendricks. — His Address to them. 

The enthusiasm was general. The common expres- 
sion among the delegates was, that the hour and the 
man had now met. In the mean time, Gov. Tilden had 
passed the day quietly at the Executive Mansion in 
Albany. He received but few despatches from St. 
Louis, and returned none'. In the evening, the " Asso- 
ciated Press Bulletin " was received, and sent up to him, 
annoimcing simply, " Tilden nominated on the second 
ballot." When this was read to him, he simply said, 
without a smile or a frown, " Is that so ? " 

The following despatch was then received and read, 
to him: — 

218 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 249 

St. Louis, June 28. 

Gov. Samuel J. Tilden, — I congratulate you on 
your enthusiastic nomination. Kentucky will most 
heartily indorse you with her forty thousand majority. 

(Signed) John C. Underwood, 

Lieutenant-Governor of Kentucky. 

Then he inquired, if any one knew what the vote 
was, and what the platform contained ? 

He then said to a few of his friends around him, in a 
very low tone, — 

" I can tell you what has been done. This nomina- 
tion was not made by the leaders of the party : it was 
the people who made it. They want reform; they 
have wanted it a long while ; and, in looking about, 
they have become convinced that it is to be found 
here [pointing to himself]. They want it; that is 
what they are after. They are sick of the corruption 
and maladministration of their affairs; they want a 
change, and one for the better, — a thorough reforma- 
tion. You will find there will be a larger German vote 
polled next fall than ever ; and it will be largely cast 
for the Democratic ticket. I know that." 

Other despatches were then received, conveying 
congratulations from all parts of the country, in the 
midst of which the Governor maintained an almost 
stolid imperturbability. Among them were the fol- 
lowing : — 



250 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

Bausioh, N.O., June 28. 

Cordial congratulations. North Carolina is good for 
ten thousand majority. 

(Signed) W. H. Bledsoe, 

President of Tilden and Vance Club. 

Lakcasteb, Pemn., June 28. 

Congratulations. Tilden and Reform will carry- 
Pennsylvania. 

(Signed) A. J. Steinman, 

Member of State Committee. 

It was determined early this evening that the Gover- 
nor should be tendered a serenade to-morrow evening 
after the completion of the ticket ; but a large number 
of the citizens could not wait till then, so they secured 
the services of a band of music, and at twelve o'clock 
proceeded to the Executive Mansion. The Governor 
received them, shaking hands with a large number, 
and receiving their congratulations. The crowd then 
retired to the grounds in front of the mansion, when, 
after repeated calls, the Governor stepped to the door 
and said, — 

" Citizens of Albany, I thank you for this impromptu 
expression of your kind regards. During my resi- 
dence in your city the past two years, I have received 
many like gratifications, and I assure you that I feel 
grateful to you. At some other time I will be glad to 
give you a more formal reception, and now will only 
say good-night." 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 251 

The Governor received congratulations from almost 
every part of the country, which there is no necessity 
for repeating in this place, and which, if stated, would 
fill a volume. One or two statements from prominent 
gentlemen, may, however be given. 

The following is a newspaper report (presumed, and 
said to be correct), from — 

CHABLES FBANGIS ADAMS. 

In a brief interview with the Hon. Charles Francis 
Adams at his Quincy home, immediately after the 
reception of the news of Gov. TUden's nomination, 
the veteran statesman very frankly gave his opinion 
of the nomination. Mr. Adams expressed his surprise 
at the Convention's arriving at so speedy a decision. 
That Mr. Tilden had secured the necessary two-thirds 
on the second ballot, showed his great strength in his 
party. Mr. Tilden, said Mr. Adams, is a formidable 
candidate, especially on a hard-money platform. With 
Mr. Tilden and this platform the Democratic party 
stands better, morally, before the people, than does the 
Republican party. Hayes is nothing; respectable, no 
doubt, but without any record as a reformer. Tilden 
is in himself a platform. He has made his record. 
Of the two, said Mr. Adams, very decidedly, I would 
infinitely prefer to see Mr. Tilden in the Executive 
chair.. Mr. Adams further said that he had feared 
Tilden's enemies would stab him in the back. His 
foes were jobbers and corrupt men. He will have hid- 



252 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

den enemies to encounter in the coming campaign. 
The traditionary discipline of the Democratic party, 
the party pride and inclination, will cause all Demo- 
crats to fall into line for Mr. Tilden. Mr. Adams also 
said he thought Mr. Tilden would carry his own State, 
although Thurlow Weed and others think differently. 
The independent vote wiU probably divide, those 
voters with Republican predilections going for Hayes. 
However, Gov. Tilden will secure the support of the 
opponents of corruption who desire to see real work 
accomplished. The Republican platform is weak, 
especially in its financial plank. This was an endeavor 
to catch both the '^ soft " and " hard " money men. As 
to the other candidates before the St. Louis Conven- 
tion, Mr. Adams thought them all weak. Hancock 
would have been beaten on account, partly, of his 
being a military man. There is a reaction, perhaps 
temporary, against military men, owing to the dissatis- 
faction with Gen. Grant. Thurman would have been 
a fair candidate, but not strong. It wiU be a hard 
fight. Tilden's war record is a good one. He is all 
right there. As President, Mr. Tilden would sweep 
away corrupt men and abuses. 

Another individual's opinion must be given, as it 
comes from the " Old Colony," Mass. 

HON. CHARLES G. DAVIS OF PLYMOUTH. 

Hon. Charles G. Davis was interviewed last evening 
upon the nomination at St. Louis. *♦ You know very 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIOKS. 258 

well," said he, " if you have taken any pains to learn, 
my reasons for abandoning the Republican party : that 
I consider it an historical and philosophical impossi- 
bility for any political party, dynasty, corporation, or 
sect, to reform itself after its organization has once be- 
come corrupt, so long as it is in power. Men in power 
do not reform themselves. Individual character is 
seldom, perhaps never, changed after its characteristics 
are bedded by time, and never in the full flush of 
power or success. In such cases, to reform the person 
or power or class, it must be put in Coventry for a time. 
For these reasons I have long been of the opinion that 
it would take more than a Hercules now to cleanse the 
Augean stables of Republicanism. The nomination 
and election of the best man on earth by the Republi- 
can party, unless he had superhuman power, could 
avail nothing. If elected, such a nominee must come 
into power with a Republican Congress elected at the 
same time, and with an army of office-holders who have 
agisted in his election. How can he effect his object, 
even if he has the will to do it ? Such a Congress will 
protect the office-holders' rings, and he cannot know 
where corruption wasteth at noonday. He will be 
practically impotent. How much more must this be 
the case with a weak man, howsoever honest? We 
want, to-day, a man of will, of honest intent, who has 
long dealt with men acquainted with affairs, who dares 
to say " Yes," and also dares to say " No," — a positive 
man, brought up in the principles of Democratic sim- 



254 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

plicity and economy; and such a man is Tilden. I 
feared that the Convention and politicians might be 
tempted to nominate a military hero, who, of however 
good report, character, and ability, was not versed in 
public affairs and civil life. The people to-day ask not 
only for an honest man, but a statesman. So far as 
New England is concerned, if elected, Tilden will 
awaken the blinded eyes of our infatuated manufactur- 
ers, who are to-day losing the foreign market by their 
own tariff, and allowing all the coarser manufactures 
to move to the West, nearer the only market which 
Republican rule has left to us. The party North and 
South has shown its loyalty by avowals and protesta- 
tions which present a moral spectacle, seldom, if ever, 
seen after a civil war. And what we want now is not 
professions only of pleasure that the South and the 
North shake hands at Bunker Hill, but acts which 
show that we mean what we profess. It was the South 
which came to Bunker Hill ; let the North now show 
that she means what she professes. The political death 
of Blaine has, to some extent, washed the bloody shirt ; 
but it is still flaunted before our eyes." 

One more prominent citizen expressed himself as 
follows : — 

HON. CHAELES LEVI WOODBURY. 

This is a regular reform ticket; and its effect through- 
out the United States will be to arouse every honest 
man who desires to keep his country in the paths that 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 265 

the founders laid out for it. I regard it as the strongest 
nomination the Democrats could have. It brings the 
issues of the campaign back to the questions of the 
day which really concern the weU-being of the Repub- 
lic. With Tilden we shall have a country where the 
laws will be obeyed by the Executive Department, and 
the liberty of the citizen will be protected at home and 
abroad. Mr. Tilden's talent for carrying out economy 
in the administration of the Government will insure a 
reduction of expenses, and by the consequent decrease 
of taxation will bring back prosperity to all the indus- 
tries of the country. Labor now will have a chance 
of obtaining a fair reward for its industry, and the con- 
fidence of capitalists will be restored so that enterprise 
will have fair prospects of success. I think every in- 
dustrial department of the land will feel a fresh stimu- 
lus from this nomination. I regard it as the key of 
returning prosperity to our manufactures and to our 
mining and agricultural interests. To the South it 
promises a stable currency, a market for her products, 
and a renewed prosperity. Thus the South will again 
become a great market for the mechanical products of 
the Eastern and Middle States. In a purely political 
aspect Mr. Tilden wiU be the embodiment of peace and 
renewed confidence between the sections of the Union 
lately dissevered. JSia nomination is the true emhodi- 
ment of that spirit of love and loyalty which found its 
first public demonstration at the Centennial celebration 
of Bunker Hill last year in Boston^ and which in this 



256 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

centennial year is destined in a wider field to bring the 
whole country into a union of harmony, equal rights, 
and liberty to all. The North has this assurance in 
Tilden's record as an old Barn-burner, that he is neither 
wedded to pro-slavery affiliations, or desirous of yield- 
ing any thing to the South not clearly her right. This 
nomination presented the remarkable fact that Gov. 
Tilden on the first ballot had more than a majority of 
the whole number of votes in Convention. When we 
reflect that this has not happened in any Democratic 
Convention since the nomination of Martin Van Buren, 
it affords a striking evidence of the great respect which 
the representatives of the thirty-seven States have for 
the character and ability of Gov. Tilden. He is thus 
well known throughout the Union, universally re- 
spected, and will command the entire strength of the 
Democratic party, with every prospect of carrying all 
the floating vote, including both the German, European, 
and American population, who look to honesty and 
ability as the true requisites for a useful President. 

HON. EDWARD AVERY 

said last night : " The way the thing struck me from 
the beginning was, that this whole contest had got to 
be fought out on the proposition of governmental reform, 
and simply upon that ground. It became apparent to 
me some time ago, that Tilden was the only Democrat 
in the country who had the opportunity of practically 
showing his ability and willingness to carry out reform, 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 257 

irrespective of political friends, and that therefore he 
was the only proper person upon whom the party could 
centre as the candidate in this contest ; and after Hayes's 
nomination it became more apparent than ever. Before 
that, if we desired success, it was absolutely necessary 
that we should nominate him ; and I cannot see, from 
the investigation I have made, any thing to indicate that 
he will not be able to carry the greater part of the Ger- 
man vote, the Middle States, and the West, or that he 
is not acceptable to the Democratic Central States. If 
we are wise in the nomination of vice-president we shall 
have a chance to carry Indiana in October." In regard 
to the platform Mr. Avery, who was on the committee 
on resolutions, says, " We dissented, in connection with ' 
several other gentlemen from Maine, Connecticut, New 
York, and New Jersey, from that portion of the platform 
that calls for the repeal of the resumption laws ; but in 
every other respect the platform was entirely satisfac- 
tory to the Massachusetts delegation, and we only 
dissented from that proposition because it might be 
misunderstood. I consider the nomination and the plat- 
form the triumph of hard money and reform." 

AT NEW YOEK. 

New York^ June 28. — The nomination of Tilden 
was well received by the Democrats. The so-called 
aristocratic members of the Democratic party here 
have for a long time been disgusted with John Kelley's 
iron rule, and it is considered that Tilden's nomination 



268 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

is his (Kelley's) funeral. It is predicted, that he 
(Kelley) will be forced to resign his leadership, and 
that Tammany Hall will commence the campaign under 
a new leader. The question of Tilden's election is seri- 
ously discussed by politicians on both sides ; but the 
drift of their sentiment is, that, if the Republicans put 
up their best man for Governor, " Uncle Sammy " 
cannot carry this State. 

A hundred guns were fired in Madison Square, and 
several thousand persons were present. The German 
element indorsed the nomination by a salute of a 
hundred guns in Tomkins Square. 

[The New York Times.] 

New York, June 28. — " The Times " says, " The 
Democrats have no cause to find fault with the nomina- 
tion of Tilden." It considers his defeat inevitable, 
but there should be no belittling of his strength in 
New York. His candidacy forces upon us a campaign 
of hard, earnest, and systematic work. " The Times," in 
another article, says, " The platform must be regarded 
as a clear, unqualified declaration for the repudiation of 
the resumption pledge." 

[The New York Sun.] 

New York, June 28. — " The Sun " is grateful for the 
nomination, because it is in the interest of the country. 
It is as a reformer that Mr. Tilden is selected to lead 
the opposition in this Centennial year. Such a nomi- 
nation cannot fail to excite in every part of the coun- 
try a most hearty and hopeful enthusiasm. We admit 
no doubts of its success. 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 259 

[The Chicago Tribune.] 

Chicago^ June 28. -r- Of Tilden's nomination " The 
Tribune " says, " The nomination was by such an over- 
whelming majority that it leaves no doubt that the 
Convention deemed him the only man having a possible 
chance of success. The nomination is a warning of 
the desperate struggle that is to be made. 

[The New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung.] 

New Yorh^ June 28. — " The Staats-Zeitung " is en- 
tirely satisfied with the platform and nomination, and 
will support Tilden cordially. 

IN OTHEE PLACES. 

" The Evansville Courier " rejects Tilden, and calls 
for a greenback ticket, with William Allen at its head. 

[The Indianapolis Sentinel.] 

" The Indianapolis Sentinel " awaits the final result 
of the Convention before defining its position. 

[The Nashville American.] 

*'The Nashville American" regrets the defeat of 
Hendricks, and supports Tilden. 

THE ENTHUSIASM AT CONCOBD, N.H. 

Concord^ JV.-Er., June 28. — The nomination of Gov. 
Tilden at St. Louis sent a thrill of enthusiasm through 
every Democratic heart in this city to-night, on the 
reception of the news, confirmed by the " Post " bulle- 
tins. Cheers fiUed the air, and in a few moments the 



260 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

city was alive with excitement. Guns were fired, 
bombs and rockets, and every description of celebration, 
quickly followed, and a perfect rush of enthusiastic 
men filled the streets. In the House of Representatives, 
the announcement was made by Mr. Hatch, in the 
midst of a spirited debate ; and business was for a 
moment suspended, as applause, wild and tumultuous, 
filled the hall. The most prominent Democrats were 
interviewed by the " Post " reporter, and not one was 
found who was not thoroughly in unison with the action 
of the Convention. Every one said, " It is a winning 
ticket." Such a marked difference between the over- 
whelming reception of to-night's news and that of the 
nomination of Hayes and Wheeler was so apparent, 
that even Republicans paled at the contrast, and were 
obliged to admit that the spontaneous action to-night 
was a more perfect and satisfactory ratification than 
any other that could be given, and more to be sought 
than the drummed-up and cold meetings they held 
several days after the Convention. No such feeling 
has been manifested here since the days when Frank 
Pierce led the Democrats to victory. 

BEJOICINGS AT BIDDEFOED, MB. 

Biddefordj ifcTe., June 28. — A Tilden flag was flung 
to the breeze in this city at 11 o'clock this evening. 
Bands and processions paraded the streets amidst the 
wildest enthusiasm. Many Republicans admit that the 
ticket will win, and the Democrats are confident of 
victory next November. 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 261 



UNQUALIFIED APPEOVAL OF THE PEOPLE AT 

NASHUA, N.H. 

NaBhua^ ff.H.^ June 28. — The news of the nomi- 
nation of Tilden was received with great enthusiasm 
by the Demobrats of this city this evening. Large 
numbers of them kept up the feeling till a late hour. 
The choice of the Convention receives the unqualified 
approval of all. 

DEMONSTRATIONS OF JOY AT MANCHESTEE, N.H. 

Manchester, N.H., June 27. — The announcement, at 
10, P.M., of Samuel J. Tilden's nomination by the St. 
Louis Convention was received with three hearty cheers 
by the large number of Democrats in attendance at the 
telegraph oj£ce. 

A SALUTE FIEED AT RUTLAND, VT. 

Rutland, Vt., June 28. — The Democrats of Rutland 
fired a salute this evening, in honor of the nomination 
of Tilden. 

THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM BEGUN IN NEW 

YORK. 

The Eighteenth Ward, and, indeed, the entire Six- 
teenth Assembly District, in which is the home of Gov. 
Tilden, were ablaze last evening ; and more than two 
thousand persons gathered in Academy Hall and on the 
sidewalk to participate in a great ratification meetings 



262 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

and the unfurling of a magnificent TUden and Reform 
banner. Hundreds of rockets buzzed through the air, 
blue and red and' white tinted lanterns illuminated the 
street, and for many blocks in all directions*a multitude 
traversed the pavements, and shouted for Tilden and 
Hendricks. A large outdoor stand had been erected in 
front of Academy Hall, and around its sides were 
wreathed the folds of the American flag. In Academy 
Hall eloquent speeches were delivered by Judge Spen- 
cer, James Daly, Senator (Grross, Major Haggerty, the 
Hon. James E. Morrison, the Hon. Thomas Cooper 
Campbell, Mr. James Fitzgerald, and others. Mr. 
Campbell and Major Haggerty spoke in ringing words 
of the corruption and worthlessness of the Republican 
party, and their speeches were received with repeated 
cheers. A large and very handsome picture of Gov. 
Tilden was swung at the back of the platform. A 
hopeful letter was received from the Hon. Abram S. 
Hewitt. 

New Yorkj July 11. — The Democratic Announce- 
ment Committee, consisting of one member from each 
State in the Union, met to-day in secret session in the 
Fifth Avenue Hotel to arrange for the notification of 
Gov. Tilden of his nomination by the Democratic Con- 
vention at St. Louis-. Gen. McClemand presided, and 
a quorum of the Committee was present. The commit- 
tee decided to proceed to Albany in a body, and notify 
Mr. Tilden of his nomination. A suitable address was 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 263 

drawn up, to be delivered by the chairman of the com- 
mittee to-morrow in Albany. The committee also 
decided to notify Mr. Hendricks ; and a sub-committee, 
consisting chiefly of Western men, was appointed to 
call on the candidate for Vice-President, and notify him 
of his nomination. 

A long discussion ensued between the members of 
the committee, on the question of whether they should 
go to Albany to wait on Gov. Tilden, or await his 
arrival here. Finally a telegram was sent to the Gover- 
nor, notifying him of the committee being in session, 
and stating that his presence was desirable ; to which 
he replied he would be pleased to meet the committee 
at his home in Grammercy Park at nine this evening. 

AT THE governor's RESIDENCE. 

The committee waited on the Governor at the time 
appointed. Delegates from nearly every State in the 
Union were present. The Governor gave the commit- 
tee a cordial greeting. Gen. McClemand addressed 
the Governor, and outlined the work of the St. Louis 
Convention. It was august in character, patriotic in 
sentiment, and met at a time when civil authority was 
exposed to fresh encroachment from the miUtary ; when 
hard money was dishonored, and virtually banished from 
circulation by vicious legislation ; when peculation and 
corruption were sapping the foundations of the govern- 
ment. The Convention determined to save the coimtry, 
and chose for its standard-bearers, tried, true, and 
trusted men. 



264 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

Gen. McClemand then read the address of the com- 
mittee conveying the official information of his nomina- 
tion to Gov. Tilden. It stated that he was nominated 
because his name was prominently identified with 
reform, reduction of taxation, and the maintenance of 
the rights of the laboring masses ; and his record is one 
of untarnished purity in the eyes of his countrymen. 

• 

A BBPEESENTATIVE INDIANIAN SPEAKS HIS SENTI- 
MENTS. 

Hon. Bayless W. Hana of Indiana, in addressing 
Gov. Tilden, alluded briefly to the struggle of that 
State to secure the first place on the National ticket for 
her favorite son, whom he eulogized in fitting terms, 
and then said, — 

" But, sir, when the Democratic party, speaking 
through its delegates assembled in the National Con- 
vention, in its faultless wisdom, and with a unanimity 
and determination unparalleled in the history of the 
Democratic Conventions, elected to commit, if possible, 
this precious charge to the hands of another, Indiana 
responded " Amen." And to-day her people, not only 
with great cheerfulness, but with great enthusiasm, all 
say amen to the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden, the 
acknowledged chief among chieftains of the devoted 
reformers who have battled for the overthrow of rings 
and conspiracies, in office and out of office, for the 
restitution of honest and economical government every- 
where. Indiana, sir, gladly and joyfully accepts the 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 265 

situation. In the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden and 
Thomas A. Hendricks she beholds again the complete 
unification of the Democratic party, re-established upon 
those sound and abiding principles which gave it so 
much strength and renown in the golden days of its 
ancient ascendency. They feel that reason, justice, and 
economy are to be once more re-instated throughout the 
land, and that madness, cruelty, and prodigality must 
be swept away. 

New York^ June 12. — The following is a full report 
of the remarks of Gov. Tilden to the Democratic Com- 
mittee of Notification : — 

Gen. McClernand and Gentlemen of the Com- 
mittee, — I shall at the earliest convenience prepare 
and transmit to you a formal acceptance of the nomina- 
tion which you now tender to me in behalf of the 
Democratic National Convention, and I do not desire 
on this occasion to anticipate any topic which might be 
appropriate to that communication. It may, however, 
be permitted to me to say that my nomination was not 
a mere personal preference between citizens and states- 
men of this Republic, who might very well have been 
chosen for so distinguished an honor, and for so august 
a duty. It was rather a declaration of that illustrious 
body, in whose behalf you speak, in favor of adminis- 
trative reform, with which events had associated me in 
the public mind. The strength, the universality, and 
the efficiency of the demand for administrative reform 



266 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

in all goyemments, and especially in the administration 
of the Federal government, with which the Democratic 
masses everywhere were instinct, have led to a series of 
surprises in the popular assemblages, and perhaps in the 
Convention itself. It would be unnatural, gentlemen, 
if a popular movement so genuine and so powerful 
should stop with three and one-half millions of Demo- 
crats ; that it should not extend by contagion to that 
large mass of independent voters who stand between 
parties in our country, and to a portion of the party 
under whose administration the evils to be corrected 
have gro^ up. And perhaps in what we have wit- 
nessed there may be an augury in respect to what we 
may witness in the election about to take place through- 
out our country ; at least, let us hope so and believe so. 
I am not without experience of the dijficulty and the 
labor of effecting administrative reform when it requires 
a revolution in policies and in measures long established 
in government. If I were to judge by the year and a 
half in which I have been in the State government, I 
should say that the routine duties of the trust I have 
had imposed on me are a small burden compared with 
that created by the attempt to change the policy of the 
government of which I have been the executive head. 
Especially is this so where the reform is to be worked 
out with more or less of the co-operation of public offi- 
cers, who either have been tainted with the evils to be 
redressed, or who have been incapacitated by habit or 
toleration of the wrongs to be corrected, to which they 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 267 



% 



have been consenting witnesses. I, therefore, if your 
choice should be ratified by the people at the election,^ 
should enter upon the great duties which would fall 
upon me, not as a holiday recreation, but very much in 
that spirit of consecration in which the soldier enters 
battle. But let us believe, as I do believe, that we now 
see the dawn of a better day for our country, and that 
dijficult as is the work to which the Democratic party, 
with many of the allies and former members of other 
parties, has addressed itself, the Republic is yet to be 
renovated to live in all the future, and to be transmitted 
to future generations as Jefferson contributed to form it 
in his day, and in which it has been ever since, until a 
recent period, a blessing to the whole people. Gentle- 
men, I thank you for the very kind terms in which you 
have made your communication, and I extend to you 
collectively and individually a most cordial greeting. 

AN ABLE SPEECH BY SENATOE BAYARD. 

At the grand ratification in Philadelphia, Senator 
Bayard of Delaware was introduced, and received with 
long and continued cheering. He expressed his satis- 
faction at finding, in such weather, so large a gathering 
of devoted Democrats, met to discuss the interests of 
the people. He hoped they would understand that 
the fate of the people was in the hands of the people ; 
that there is no abuse they cannot end, and no reform 
accomplished, unless they demand it. If this Govern- 
ment is to go down, it will be either from the indiffer- 



268 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

ence or the ignorance of the people, or because they 
lack the courage to stand up for their rights. In 
Europe a dynasty may be overthrown, and the country 
go on. Here, however, if the principles of freedom, 
which enable us to enact our wishes into law, fall, that 
faU will be by the hands of the people who should have 
sustained them; and it must be remembered, that, 
while we have great liberties, there accompany them 
the gravest responsibilities. There will be a chance, 
this fall, for the people to change the administration of 
affairs, if they so will it. Until then, it is the mission 
of the Democracy to lay before the people facts con- 
cerning the two great parties to be considered in con- 
nection with the election. Is business in this great 
city prosperous? Have mechanics work? Are capi- 
talists willing to lend their money ? Do the mills teem 
with industry ? Do the foiges resound with the voice 
of the hammer? The knowledge and hearts of the 
people must answer this. If they are satisfied, then 
the party in power should reap the benefit. But he 
could only see the greatest cause of apprehension for 
mechanic and capitalist. Taxes increase on the capi- 
talist, and his rents decrease. He fears if he lends, 
that his money will return decreased in value, if re- 
turned at all. Everywhere was public debt, and private 
debt seems like a terrible ocean which has covered the 
land with mortgage. All this was a matter for Demo- 
crats and Republicans alike to consider. He denounced 
the Republican party for having governed on promises 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 269 

of economy, reform, and reconciliation that have not 
been performed. He did not believe that people wanted 
four years more of a departure from specie basis and 
resumption. When Gen. Grant became President, 
it was promised that bonds and notes would speedily 
be paid in gold, and yet to-day we are farther off from 
this than ever. The laboring man does not get what 
he should for what he gives, value for value ; and the 
workingman should never rest until a system of gov- 
ernment is inaugurated that will accomplish this. It is 
absurd to believe that a government or a people can get 
rich by prmting its own notes. 

EECONCILIATION. 

Reconciliation is a dear thing to the American peo- 
ple. This was promised. Like a leg badly set, that 
needs to be broken again to be set right, the Republi- 
cans had broken the fifteen Southern States. The man 
who had the effrontery, in order to catch votes, to say, 
** Let us have peace," had done every thing that could 
distress, annoy, and calumniate the Southern States, 
in order to tear the American people farther apart. 
The tariff laws were unfair and ill-advised, and were 
crippling the country ; and under all laid a system, a 
corner-stone of general official dishonesty, which robs 
the Treasury of one-half of what honest toil contrib- 
utes. The corruption of the last eight years is 
terrific. Where is the voluntary punishment of fraud 
by the President ? and where is any Republican, who 



270 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 

has unearthed fraud, who has retained his place and 
power in the party? Only during the present session 
of the House of Representatives has light been let in ; 
and where, in either House, was there a Republican 
who had not opposed when the ploughshare of investi- 
gation turned up fraud? When Heister Clymer 
exposed the fraud of the War Department, one would 
have been in doubt, to read the Republican newspapers, 
which was the rogue, Clymer or Belknap. Under aU 
this arraignment, if the American people again put 
this party in power, God help the people that have 
failed to distinguish between honesty and dishonesty, 
and forgotten the prayers learned at the knees of 
their mothers. The Republican majority in the Senate 
is responsible for the corrupt and obnoxious appoint- 
ments of the President. The speaker demanded 
whether Hayes and Wheeler will make the needed 
reform. What influences nominated them ? Personally 
they are respectable third-rate men. Would they not 
be governed by the influences that nominated them ? 
Both men are obscure and of no weight ; and it is very 
doubtful whether, if they wished, they could inaugurate 
reform. How little was known of them he had seen at 
a Republican meeting in Jackson, Miss., composed 
nineteen-twentieths of negroes, where cheers were 
given for "Wheeler and Wilson." Criticising the 
action of the Cincinnati Convention, the speaker asked 
whether Sherman and Cameron, who made the nomina- 
tions, could be called honest reformers. 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 271 



THE POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT 

has been turned over to the unscrupulous Morton, and 
all know what this means. The candidates of a party 
cannot rise above their party; and, if Hayes and 
Wheeler are elected, they will do precisely as Grant 
aiid Wilson. Tilden and Hendricks are known as hon- 
est Governors and profound Statesmen. By his reform 
measures in the administration as Governor of New 
York, Tilden has gained the confidence of the people ; 
and there was no spot on the character of Hendricks 
in any part of his career. As Vice-President he will be 
capable and dignified, and if Tilden should die his 
place wiU be worthily filled. In these nominations the 
Democracy have economy, ability, and statesmanship, 
against incompetency and insignificance. 

Speaking of the prospects of the Democrats carrying 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Bayard said that Philadelphia un- 
doubtedly contains a large Democratic majority, which 
is always counted out. He urged the Democrats to 
detect the scoundrels, and, if necessary, to hang them. 
The State is counted Republican because there is a 
corrupt system of scoundrelism in Philadelphia that 
always overcomes the Democratic majority in the State. 
He called on the people to amend this. All that is 
needed is to cast the vote, and keep an eye on those 
who count the votes, and this great State will without 
doubt be carried by Tilden and Hendricks. 



272 WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 



DELEGATES EETUENING FROM ST. LOUIS CALL ON 

GOV. HENDRICKS. 

Indianapous, Iin>., June 30. 

Several of tlie New York delegates, returning from 
St. Louis, remained over one train this evening, to call 
upon Gov. Hendricks, who met them at the Occidental 
Hotel, where the party were serenaded. Augustus 
Schell, John Kelly, William Roberts, W. H. Quincy, 
and others, addressed the audience from the balcony of 
the hotel, pledgiug hearty support to the ticket, and 
exhorting the Democracy of Indiana to renewed efforts 
for victory at the coming election. After these gentle- 
men had spoken, loud and persistent calls were made 
for Gov. Hendricks, who appeared on the balcony, and 
was received with the most vociferous and protracted 
cheering. Quiet being restored, he said, — 

REMARKS OF GOV. HENDRICKS. 

My Fellow Citizens, — It is impossible for me to 
make an address to you this evening. I am here to pay 
my respects to the distinguished citizens from other 
States, who are on their way home from one of the great- 
est political conventions that ever held a session in this 
country. These distinguished men sympathize with us 
in the interest which we intend to protect by the 
change which is to take place at the coming election. 
I believe at the next election that the people are going 
to express what is written in the platform adopted at 



WHAT FOLLOWED THE NOMINATIONS. 273 

St. Louis, and what is written in the history of the dis- 
tinguished man that leads the ticket, and what is 
thorough reform in public service. There is but one 
other thought that I will express to you. That the 
platform adopted at St. Louis declared that the 
resumption clause of the act adopted in 1875 shall be 
repealed ; and the repeal of that clause carries with it 
every feature of the law which is bringing about the 
contraction so hurtful to the interests of the country. 

I thank you for the compliment which you have paid 
me by this call. I repeat, I cannot undertake to make 
you an address. It is my duty to pay my attention 
and respects to the gentlemen who have addressed you. 
Again I thank you, gentlemen. 

After dining with the Governor, the party left in 
their special car for the East. 



CHAPTER XV. 

MB. TILDEK'S Am> MB. HENBBICKS'S LETTEBS OF 

AOOEPTANOB. 

Crov. Tilden indorses the St. Louis Platform. -^Befonn in Public 
Expense. — How to accomplish it. — The Condition of the South. — 
How to improve it. — Currency Beform. — Bank-note Besumption. 
— Legal-tender Besumption. — Necessary Currency. — Proper Time 
of Besumption. — Preparation for it. — Plan for Besumption. — 
Belief to Business Men. — Civil-Service Beform. — What he pur- 
poses to do if elected to the Presidency. 

New Torky Aug. 4.* — Gbv. Tilden's letter, accepting 
the Democratic nomination for President, is as follows : — 

AiAANY, N.Y., Jrdy 31, 187a 

Gentlemen, — When I had the honor to receive a 
personal delivery of your letter, on behalf of the Demo- 
cratic National Convention held on the 28th of June at 
St. Louis, advising nle of my nomination as the candi- 
date of the constituency represented by that body, for the 
office of President of the United States, I answered that 
at my earliest convenience, and in conformity with usage, 
I would prepare and transmit to you a formal acceptance. 
I now avail myself of the first interval in imavoidable 
occupations to fulfil that engagement. The Convention, 

274 



MR. TILDEN'S letter OF ACCEPTANCE, 27f 

before making its nominations, adopted a declaration 
of principles, which, as a whole, seems to me a wise 
exposition of the necessities of our country, and of the 
reforms needed to bring back the government to its 
true functions, restore purity of administration, and to 
renew the prosperity of the. people ; but some of these 
reforms are so urgent, that they claim more than a pass- 
ing approval. 

REFORM IN THE PUBUCO EXPENSE. 

The necessity of a reform in the scale of public expense, 
— Federal, State and municipal, — and in the modes 
of Federal taxation, justifies all the prominence given to 
it in the declaration of the St. Louis Convention. The 
present depression in all the business and industries of 
the people, which is depriving labor of its emplojonents, 
and carrying want into so many homes, has its princi- 
pal cause in excessive governmental consumption. 
Under the illusions of a specious prosperity, engendered 
by the false policies of the Federal government, a waste 
of capital has been going on ever since the peace of 
1865, which could only end in universal disaster. The 
Federal taxes of the last eleven years reach the gigantic 
sum of $4,500,000,000. Local taxation has amounted 
to two-thirds as much more. The vast aggregate is not 
less than $7,500,000,000. This enormous taxation 
followed a civil conflict that had greatly impaired oui 
aggregate wealth, and had made a prompt reduction of 
expenses indispensable. It was aggravated by the mosi 



276 MB. tilden's letter of acceptance. 

unscientific and ill-adjusted methods of taxation, that 
increased the sacrifices of the people far beyond the 
receipts of the treasury. It was aggravated, moreover, 
by a financial policy which tended to diminish the 
energy, skill, and economy of production and the 
frugality of private consumption, and induced miscal- 
culation in business and an unremunerative use of 
capital and labor. Even in prosperous times, the daily 
wants of industrious communities press closely upon 
their daily earnings. The maxgin of possible national 
savings is at least a small percentage of national earn- 
ings. Yet now for these eleven years governmental 
consumption has been a larger portion of the national 
earnings than the whole people can possibly save, even 
in prosperous times, for all new investments. The 
consequences of these errors are now a present public 
calamity. But they never were doubtful, never invisi- 
ble. They were necessary and inevitable, and were 
foreseen and depicted when the waves of that fictitious 
prosperity ran highest. In a speech made by me on the 
24th of September, 1869, it was said of these taxes, 
" They bear heavily upon every man's income, upon 
every industry and every business in the country ; and 
year by year they are destined to press still more 
heavily, unless we arrest the system that gives rise to 
them. It was comparatively easy, when values were 
doubling, under repeated issues of legal-tender paper 
money, to pay out of our growing and apparent wealth 
these taxes ; but when values recede, and sink toward 



MB. TILDEN'S letter OP ACCEPTANCE. 277 

their natural scale, the tax-gatherers take from us not 
only our income, not only our profits, but also a portion 
of our capital. I do not wish to exaggerate or alarm. 
I simply say that we camiot afford the costly and ruin* 
ous policy of the radical majority in Congress. We 
cannot afford that policy towards the South. We can- 
not afford the magnificent and oppressive centralism 
into which our government is being converted. We 
cannot afford the present magnificent scale of taxa- 
tion." To the Secretary of the Treasury I said, early 
in 1860, there is no royal road for a government more 
than for an individual or a corpomtion. What you 
want to do now is to cut down your expenses, and live 
within your income. I would give all the legerde- 
main of finance and financeering, I would give the 
whole of it, for the old honesty maxim, " Live within 
your income." This reform will be resisted at every 
step, but it must be pressed persistently. We see to- 
day the immediate representatives of the people in one 
branch of Congress, while struggling to reduce expen- 
ditures, compelled to confront the menace of the Senate 
and the Executive. Unless the objectionable appropria- 
tions be consented to, the operations of the government 
thereunder shall suffer detriment or cease. In my 
judgment, an amendment of the Constitution ought to 
be devised, separating into distinct bills the appropria- 
tions for the various departments of the public service, 
and excluding from each bill all appropriations for 
other objects and all independent legislation. In that 



278 MB. tilden's letter of aoobptancb. 

way alone can the revisory power of each of the two 
Houses and of the Executive be preserved and exempted 
from the moral duress which often compels assent to 
objectionable appropriations rather than stop the wheels 
of the government. 

THE SOUTH. 

An accessory cause, enhancing the distress in busi- 
ness, is to be found in the systematic and unsupport- 
able misgovemment imposed on the States of the 
South. Besides the ordinary effects of an ignorant and 
dishonest administration, it has inflicted upon them an 
enormous issue of fraudulent bonds, the scanty avails 
of which were wasted or stolen, and the existence of 
which is a public discredit, tending to bankruptcy or 
repudiation. Taxes, generaUy oppressive, in some in- 
stances have confiscated the entire income of property, 
and totally destroyed its marketable value. It is 
impossible that these evils should not re-act upon the 
prosperity of the whole country. The nobler motives 
of humanity concur with the material interests of all, 
in requiring that every obstacle be removed to a com- 
plete and durable reconciliation between kindred pop- 
ulations once lumationaUy estranged, on the basis 
recognized by the St. Louis platform of the *^ Consti- 
tution of the United States, with its amendments uni- 
versally accepted as a final settlement of the con- 
troversies which engendered civil war." But in aid 
of a result so beneficent, the moral influence of every 



MR. TILDEN'S letter OF ACCEPTANCE. 279 

good citizen, as well as every governmental authority, 
ought to be exerted, not alone to maintain their just 
equality before the law, but likewise to establish a cor- 
dial fraternity and good-will among citizens, whatever 
their race or color, who are now united in the one 
destiny of a common self-government. If the duty 
shall be assigned to me, I should not fail to exercise 
the powers with which the laws and the constitution of 
our country clothe its chief magistrate to protect all 
its citizens, whatever their former condition, in every 
political and personal right. 

CURRENCY REFORM. 

Reform is necessary, declares the St. Louis Conven- 
tion, to establish a sound currency, restore the public 
credit, and maintain the national honor ; and it goes 
on to demand a judicious system of preparation by 
public economies, by ofiQcial retrenchments, and by 
wise finance, which shall enable the nation soon to 
assure the whole world of its perfect ability and perfect 
readiness to meet any of its promises at the call of the 
creditors entitled to payment. The object demanded 
by the Convention is a resumption of specie payments 
on the legal-tender notes of the United States. That 
would not only restore the public credit and maintain 
the public honor, but it would establish a sound curren- 
cy for the people. The methods by which the object 
is to be pursued, and the means by which it is to be 
attained, are disclosed by what the Convention de- 



280 MB. tildbn's letter of acceptance. 

manded for the future and by what it denounced in 
the past. 

BANK-NOTE RESUMPTION. 

The resumption of specie payments by the govern- 
ment of the United States, on its legal-tender notes, 
would establish specie payments by all the banks on all 
their notes. The official statement made on the 12th 
of May shows that the amount of bank-notes was 
$300,000,000, less 120,000,000 by themselves. Against 
these $280,000,000 of notes the banks held $141,000,000 
of legal-tender notes, or a little more than fifty per cent 
of their amount. But they also held on deposit in the 
Federal treasury, as security for these notes, bonds of 
the United States worth in gold about $860,000,000, 
available and current in all the foreign money markets. 
In resuming, the banks, even if it were possible for all 
their notes to be presented for payment, would have 
$500,000,000 of specie funds to pay $280,000,000 of 
notes, without contracting their loans to their customers, 
or calling on any private debtor for payment, Sus- 
pended banks undertaking to resume have usually been 
obliged to collect from needy borrowers the means to 
redeem excessive issues and to provide reserves. A 
vague idea of distress is therefore often associated with 
the process of resumption ; but the conditions which 
caused distress in those former instances do not now 
exist. The government has only to make good its own 
promises, and the banks can take care of themselves 
without distressing anybody. The government is, 
therefore, the sole dehnquent. 



MB. TILDEN'S LETTEB OF ACCEPTANCE. 281 



LEGAL-TENDER RESUMPTION. 

The amount of the legal-tender notes of the United 
States now outstanding is less than $370,000,000, be- 
sides $34,000,000 of fractional currency. How shall the 
government make these notes at all times as good as 
specie? It has to provide, in reference to the mass 
which would be kept in use by the wants of business, 
a central reservoir of coin adequate to the adjustment 
of the temporary fluctuations of international balances, 
and as a guarantee against transient drains artificially 
created by panic or by speculations. It has also to 
provide for the payment in coin of such fractional 
currency as may be presented for redemption, and such 
inconsiderable portions of the legal-tenders as Individ- 
uals may, from time to time, desire to convert for special 
use, or in order to lay by in coin their little stores of 
money. To make the coin now in the treasury avail- 
able for the objects of this revenue, to gradually 
strengthen and enlarge that revenue, and to provide 
for such other exceptional demands for coin as may 
arise, does not seem to me a work of difficulty. If 
wisely planned and discreetly pursued, it ought not to 
cost any sacrifice to the business of the country. It 
should tend, on the contrary, to a revival of hope and 
confidence. The coin in the treasury on the 30th of 
June, including what is held against coin certificates, 
amounted to nearly $74,000,000. The current of pre- 
cious metals which has flowed out of our country for 



282 MB. tilden's letteb op acceptakcb. 

the eleven years from July 1, 1865, to June 30, 1876, 
averaging nearly $76,000,000 a year, was $832,000,000, 
in the whole period of which 1617,000,000 was the 
product of our own mines. To amass the requisite 
quantity by intercepting from the current flowing out 
of the country, and by acquiring from the stocks 
which exist abroad without disturbing the equilibrium 
of foreign money markets, is a result to be easily 
worked out by practical knowledge and judgment. 
With respect to whatever surplus of legal-tenders 
the wants of business may fail to keep in use, and 
which, in order to save interest, will be returned for 
redemption, they can either be paid, or they can be 
funded. Whether they continue as currency, or be 
absorbed into the vast mass of securities held as invest- 
ments, is merely a question of the rate of interest they 
draw. Even if they were to remain in their present 
form, and the government were to agree to pay on them 
a rate of interest making them desirable as investments, 
they would cease to circulate, and take their place with 
government. State, municipal, and other corporate and 
private bonds, of which thousands of millions exist 
among us. In the perfect ease with which they can 
be changed from currency into investments lies the 
only danger to be guarded against in the adoption of 
a general measure intended to remove a clearly ascer- 
tained surplus ; that is, the withdrawal of any which 
are not a permanent excess beyond the wants of busi- 
ness. Even now mischievous would be any measure 



MB. TILDEN's letter OP ACCEPTAKCB. 283 

whicli affects the public imagination with the fear of 
an apprehended scarcity in a community where credit 
is so much used. Fluctuations of values and vicissi-. 
tudes in business are largely caused by the temporary 
beliefs of men, even before those beliefs can conform to 
ascertained realities. 

THE AMOUNT OP NECESSABY CURRENCY 

at a given time cannot be determined arbitrarily, and 
should not be assumed on conjecture. That amount is 
subject to both permanent and temporary changes. 
An enlargement of it, which seemed to be durable, 
happened at the beginning of the civil war by a sub- 
stituted use of currency in place of individual credits. 
It varies with certain states of business ; it fluctuates 
with considerable regularity at different seasons of the 
year. In autumn, for instance, when buyers of grain 
and other agricultural products begin their operations, 
they usually need to borrow capital or circulating 
credits by which to make their purchases, and want 
these funds in currency, capable of being distributed 
in small sums among the numerous sellers. The addi- 
tional need of currency at such times is five or more 
per cent of the whole volume ; and if a surplus beyond 
what is required for ordinary use does not happen to 
have been on hand at the money centres, a scarcity of 
currency ensues, and also a stringency in the loan- 
market. It was in reference to such experiences, that, 
in a discussion of this subject in my annual message to 



284 MB. tildbn's lbtteb of acceptance. 

the New York Legislature of Jan. 5, 1875, the sugges- 
tion was made, that the Federal Government is bound 
to redeem every portion of its issues which the public 
do not wish to use. Having assumed to monopolize 
the supply of currency, and enacted exclusions against 
everybody else, it is bound to furnish all which the 
wants of business require. . . . The system should 
passively allow the volume of circulating credits to ebb 
and flow, according to the ever changing wants of 
business. It should imitate as closely as possible the 
natural laws of trade, which it has superseded by arti- 
ficial contrivances. And in a similar discussion, in my 
message of Jan. 4, 1876, it was said that resumption 
should be effected by such measures as would keep the 
aggregate amount of the currency self-adjusting during 
all the process, without creating at any time an 
artificial scarcity, and without exciting the public 
imagination with alarms, .which impair confidence, 
contract the whole large machinery of credit, and 
disturb the natural operations of business. Means of 
resumption, public economies, official retrenchment, 
and wise finance are the means which the St. Louis 
Convention indicates. As a provision for reserves and 
redemptions, the best resource is a reduction of the 
expense of the government below its income ; for that 
impdses no new charge on the people. If, however, 
the improvidence and waste which have conducted us 
to a period of falling revenues oblige us to supplement 
the results of economies and retrenchments by some 



MR. TILDEN'S letter OF ACCEPTANCE, 285 

resort to loans, we should not hesitate. The govern- 
ment ought not to speculate on its own dishonor, in 
order to save interests on its broken promises, which 
it still compels private dealers to accept at a fictitious 
par. The highest national honor is not only right, but 
would prove profitable. Of the public debt, $985,000,- 
000 bear interest at 5 per cent in gold, and $712,000,- 
000 at 6 per cent in gold. The average interest 
is 5.58 per cent. A financial policy which should 
secure the highest credit availed of ought gradually 
to obtain a reduction of 1 per cent in the interest on 
most of the loans. A saving of 1 per cent on the 
average would be $17,000,000 a year in gold. That 
saving, regularly invested at 4i per cent, would, in 
less than thirty-eight years, extinguish the principal. 
The whole $17,000^000 of the funded debt might be 
paid by this saving alone, without cost to the people. 

« 

PROPER TIME FOR RESUMPTION. 

The proper time for resumption is the time when 
wise preparations shall have ripened into a perfect 
ability to accomplish the object with a certainty and 
ease that will inspire confidence and encourage the 
reviving of business. The earliest time in which such 
a result can be brought about is the best. Even when 
the preparations shall have been matured, the exact 
time would have to be chosen with reference to the 
then existing state of trade and credit operations in our 
own country, the course of foreign commerce, and the 



286 MB. tilden's letter of acceptance. 

condition of the exchanges with other nations. The 
specific measures and the actual date are matters of 
detail, having reference to ever-changing conditions. 
They belong to the domain of practical administrative 
statesmanship. The captain of a steamer about starting 
from New York to Liverpool does not assemble a coun- 
cil over his ocean-chart, and fix an angle by which to 
lash the rudder the whole of the voyage. A human 
intelligence must be at the helm to discern the shifting 
forces of the water and the winds. A human hand 
must be on the helm to feel the elements day by day, 
and guide to a mastery over them. 

PEEPABATIONS FOB BESUMPTION. 

Such preparations are every thing. Without them 
a legislative command fixing a day, an official promise 
fixing a day, are shams. They are worse : they are a 
isnare and a delusion to all who trust them. They 
destroy all confidence among thoughtful men, whose 
judgment will at last sway public opinion. An attempt 
to act on such a command or such a promise, without 
preparation, would end in a new suspension. It would 
be a fresh calamity, prolific of confusion, distrust, and 
distress. IJJie act of Congress of the 14th of January, 
1875, exacted that on and after the first of January, 
1879, the Secretary, of the Treasury shall redeem in coin 
the legal-tender notes of the United States on presenta- 
tion at the office of the Assistant Treasurer in the city 
of New York. It authorized the Secretary to prepare 



ME. TILDEN'S LETTEB OF ACCEPTANCE. 287 

and provide for such resumption of specie payments, by 
the use of any surplus revenue not otherwise appropri- 
ated, and by issuing, in his discretion, certain classes 
of bonds. More than one and a half of the four years 
have passed, and Congress and the President have con- 
tinued ever since to unite in acts which have legislated 
out of existence every possible surplus applicable to 
this purpose. The coin in the treasury, claimed to 
belong to the government, had, on the 30th of June, 
fallen to less than $45,000,000, as against $59,000,000 
on the 1st of January, 1875 ; and the availability of a 
part of that sum is said to be questionable. The reve- 
nues are falling faster than the appropriations and the 
expenditures are reduced, leaving the treasury with 
diminishing resources. The Secretary has done nothing 
under his power to issue bonds. The legislative • com- 
mand and the ofl&cial promise fixing a day for resump- 
tion have thus far been barren. No practical prepara- 
tions toward resumption have been made. There has 
been no progress. There have been steps backward. 
There is no necromancy in the operations of the 
government. The homely maxims of every-day life 
are the best standards of its conduct. A debtor who 
should promise to pay a loan out of his surplus income, 
yet to be seen every day spending all he could lay his 
hands on in riotous living, would lose all character for 
honesty and veracity. His offer of a new promise, or 
his profession as to the value of the old promise, would 
alike provoke derision. . 



288 ME. tilden's letter op acceptance. 



THE RESUMPTION PLAN OP THE ST. LOUIS PLATFORM. 

The St. Louis platform denounces the failure for 
eleven years to make good the promise of the legal- 
tender notes. It denounces the omission to accumulate 
any reserve for their redemption. It denounces the 
conduct, " which during eleven years of peace has 
made no advances towards resumption, no preparations 
for resumption ; but, instead, has obstructed resumption 
by wasting our resources and exhausting all our sur- 
plus income, and, while professing to intend a speedy 
return to specie payments, has annually enacted fresh 
hinderances thereto ; " and, having first denounced the 
barrenness of the promise of a diay of resumption, it 
next denounces that barren promise as a hinderance to 
resumption. It then demands its repeal, and also 
demands the establishment of a judicious system of 
preparation for resumption. It cannot be doubted that 
the substitution of a system of preparation without the 
promise of a day, for the worthless promise of a day 
without a system of preparation, would be the gain of 
the substance of resumption in exchange for its shadow ; 
nor is the denunciation unmerited of that improvidence 
which in the eleven years since the peace has consumed 
forty-five hundred millions of dollars, and yet could 
not afford to give the people a sound and stable curren- 
rency. Two and a half per cent on the expenditure of 
these eleven years, or even less, would have provided 
all the additional coin needful to resumption. 



ME. TILDEN'S letter OF ACCEPTANCE. 289 



RELIEF TO BUSINESS DISTRESS. 

The distress now felt by the people in aU their busi- 
ness and industries, though it has its principal cause in 
the enormous waste of capital occasioned by the false 
policies of our government, has been greatly aggravated 
by the mismanagement of the currency. Uncertainty 
is the prolific parent of • mischief in all business. 
Never were its evils more felt than now. ' Men do noth- 
ing, because they are unable to make any calculations 
on which they can safely rely. They undertake noth- 
ing, because they fear a loss in every thing they would 
attempt : they stop and wait. The merchant dares not 
buy for the future consumption of his customers ; the 
manufacturer dares not make fabrics which may not 
refund his outlay : he shuts his factory, and discharges 
his workmen. Capitalists cannot lend on security they 
consider safe, and their funds lie almost without inter- 
est. Men of enterprise, who have credit or securities to 
pledge, will not borrow. Consumption has fallen be- 
low the natural limits of a reasonable economy. Prices 
of many things are under their range in frugal, specie- 
paying times before the war. Vast masses of currency 
lie in the banks unused. A year and a half ago, the 
legal tenders were at their largest volume, and the 
twelve millions since retired have been replaced by 
fresh issues of fifteen millions of bankruotes. In the 
meantime, the banks have been surrendering about fowr 
millions a month, because they cannot find a profitable 



290 MB. tilden's lbtteb of acceptance. 

use for so many of their notes. The public mind will 
not longer accept shams. It has suffered enough from 
illusions. An insincere policy increases distrust ; an 
unstable policy increases uncertainty. The people 
need to know that the government is moving in the 
direction of ultimate safety and prosperity, and that it 
is doing so through prudent, safe, and conservative 
methods, which will be sure to inflict no new sacrifice 
on the business of the country ; then the inspiration of 
new hope and well-founded confidence will hasten the 
restoring processes of nature, and prosperity will begin 
to return. The St. Louis Convention concludes its 
expression in regard to the currency by a declaration 
of its convictions as to the practical results of the sys- 
tem of preparations it demands. It says, — 

" We believe such a system, well devised, and, above 
all, intrusted to competent hands for execution, creating 
at no time, an artificial scarcity of currency, and at no 
time alarming the public mind into a withdrawal of 
that vaster machinery of credit, by which ninety-five 
per cent of all business transactions are performed, a 
system open, public, and inspiring general confidence, 
would, from the day of its adoption, bring healing on 
its wings to all our harassed industries ; set in motion 
the wheels of commerce, manufactures, and the me- 
chanic arts ; restore employment to labor ; and renew in 
all its natural sources the prosperity of the people." 

The government of the United States, in my opinion, 
can advance to a resumption of specie payments on its 



MB. TILDEN'S letter OP ACCEPTANCE. 291 

• 

legal-tender notes by gradual and safe processes, tending 
to relieve the present business distress. If charged by 
the people with the administration of the executive 
office, I should deem it a duty so to exercise the powers 
vnth which it has been, or may be, invested by Congress, 
as best and soonest to conduct the coimtry to that bene- 
ficent result. 

CIVTL-SERVICB REPOBM. 

The Convention justly affirms that reform is necessary 
in the civil service ; necessary to its purification ; neces- 
sary to its economy and its efficiency ; necessary in 
order that the ordinary employment of the public busi- 
ness may not be a prize fought for at the ballot-box, a 
brief reward of party zeal, instead of posts of honor, 
assigned for proved competency, and held for fidelity in 
the public employ. The Convention wisely added that 
reform is necessary even more in the higher grades of 
the public seiTice. The President, Vice-President, 
judges, senators, representatives, cabinet officers, these, 
and all others in authority, are the people's servants, 
their officers. They are not a private perquisite. They 
are a public trust. Two evils infest the official service 
of the Federal government. One is the prevalent and 
demoralizing notion, that the public service exists, not 
for the business and benefit of the whole people, but 
for the interest of the office-holders, who are in truth 
but the servants of the people. Under the influence 
of this pernicious error, public employments have been 
multiplied, the number of those gathered into the ranks 



292 ME. TILDEN^S LBTTEE OP ACCEPTANCE. 

of office-holders Have been steadily increased beyond 
any possible requirements of the public business, while 
inefficiency, peculation, fraud, and malversation of the 
public funds, from the high places of power to the 
lowest, have overspread the whole service like a leprosy. 
The other evil is the organization of the official class 
into a body of political mercenaries, governing the 
caucuses and dictating the nominations of their own 
party, and attempting to carry the elections of the 
people by undue influence and by immense corruption 
funds, systematically collected from the salaries or fees 
of office-holders. The official class in other countries, 
sometimes, by its own weight, and sometimes in alliance 
with the army, has been able to rule the unorganized 
masses, even under universal suffrage. Here it has 
already grown into a gigantic power, capable of stifling 
the inspirations of a sound public opinion, and of 
resisting an easy change of administration, until mis- 
government becomes intolerable, and public spirit has 
been stung to the pitch of a civic revolution. The 
first step in reform is the elevation of the standard by 
which the appointing power selects agents to execute 
official trusts. Next in importance is a conscientious 
fidelity in the exercise of the authority to hold to 
account and displace untrustworthy or incapable subor- 
dinates. The public interest in an honest, skilful 
performance of official trust must not be sacrificed to 
the personal interests of the incumbents. After these 
immediate steps, which will insure the exhibition of 



MR. TILDEN's letter OF ACCEPTANCE. 293 

better examples, we may wisely go on to the abolition 
of unnecessary offices, and finally to the patient, careful 
organization of a better civil-service system, under the 
tests, wherever practicable, of proved competency and 
fidelity. WhUe much may be accomplished by these 
methods, it might encourage delusive expectations if I 
withheld here the expression of my conviction that no 
reform of the civil service in this country will be com- 
plete and permanent until its chief is constitutionally 
disqualified for re-election, experience having repeatedly 
exposed the fallacy of self-imposed restrictions by can- 
didates or incumbents. Through this solemnity only 
can he be effectually delivered from his greatest tempta- 
tion to misuse the power and patronage with which the 
Executive is necessarily charged. 

POLITICAL PROMISES. 

Educated in the belief that it is the first duty of a 
citizen of the Republic to take Jiis fair allotment of 
the care and trouble in pubhc affairs, I have, for twenty 
years as a private citizen, fulfilled that duty. Though 
occupied in an unusual degree, during all that period, 
with the concerns of government, I have never acquired 
the habit of official life. When a year and a half ago 
I entered upon my present trust, it was in order to 
consummate reform, to which I had already devoted 
several of the last years of my life. Knowing as I do, 
therefore, from fresh experience, how great the differ- 
ence is between gliding through an official routine, and 



294 GOV. HENDEIOKS'S LETTER OP ACCEPTANCE. 

working out a reform of systems and politics, it is 
impossible for me to contemplate what needs to be 
done in the Federal administration without an anxious 
sense of the difficulties of the undertaking. If sum- 
moned by the suffrages of my countrymen to attempt 
this work, I shall endeavor, with God's help, to be the 
efficient instrument of their will. 

Samuel J. Tilden. 

To Gen. John A. McClernand, Chairman; Gen. W. B. Franklin, 
Hon. J. G Abbott, Hon. H. J. Spannhorst, Hon. H. J. Redfield, 
Hon. N. S. Lyon, and others, committee, &c. 

GOV. hendeicks's LETTEE. 

The following is Gov. Hendricks's letter accepting 
the nomination for Vice-President : — 

Indianapolis, July 24, 1876. 

Gentlemen, — I have the honor to acknowledge the 
receipt of your communication, in which you have for- 
mally notified me of my nomination by the National 
Democratic Convention at St. Louis, as their candidate 
for the ofl&ce of Vice-President of the United States. 
It is a nomination which I had neither expected nor 
desired, and yet I recognize and appreciate the high 
honor done me by the Convention. The choice of 
such a body, pronounced with such unusual unanimity, 
and accompanied with so generous expression of esteem 
and confidence, ought to outweigh all merely personal 
desires and preferences of my own. It is with this 
feeling, and, I trust also, from a deep sense of public 



GOV. ElENDRICKS'S LETTER OP ACCEPTANCE. 296 

duty, that I accept the nomination, and shall abide the 
judgment of my countrymen. It would have been 
impossible for me to accept the nomination if I could 
not heartily indorse the platform of the Convention. 
I am gratified, therefore, to be able, unequivocally, to 
declare that I agree in the principles, approve the 
poUcies, and sympathize with the purposes enunciated 
in that platform. The institutions of our country have 
been secretly tried by the exigencies of civil war ; and, 
since the peace, by a selfish and corrupt management 
of public affairs which has shamed us before civilized 
mankind. By unwise and partial legislation, every 
industry and interest of the people have been made to 
suffer; and, in the executive departments of the 
government, dishonesty, rapacity, and venality have 
debauched the public service. Men known to be 
unworthy have been promoted, whilst others have 
been degraded for fidelity to ofl&cial duty. Public 
office has been made the means of private profit ; and 
the country has been offended to see a class of men 
who boast the friendship of the sworn protectors of 
the State amassing fortunes by defrauding the public 
treasury, and by corrupting the servants of the people. 
In such a crisis of the history of the country, I rejoice 
that the Convention at St. Louis has so nobly raised 
the standard of reform. Nothing can be well with us 
or with our affairs until the public conscience, shocked 
by the enormous evils and abuses which prevail, shall 
have demanded and compelled an unsparing reforma- 



296 GOV. HBNDEICKS'S LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE. 

tion of our national administration, in its head and in 
its members. In such a reformation the removal of a 
single officer, even the President, is comparatively a 
trifling matter if the system which he represents and 
which has fostered him is suffered to remain. The 
President alone must not be made the scapegoat for 
the enormities of the system which infects the public 
service, and threatens the destruction of our institu- 
tions. In some respects I hold that the present Execu- 
tive has been the victim rather than the author of that 
vicious system. Congressional and party leaders have 
been stronger than the President. No one man could 
have created it, and the removal of no one man can 
amend it. It is thoroughly corrupt, and must be swept 
remorselessly away by the selection of* a government 
composed of elements entirely new, and pledged to 
radical reform. The first work of reform must evi- 
dently be the restoration of the normal operation of 
the Constitution of the United States, with all its 
amendments. The necessities of war cannot be pleaded 
in a time of peace. The right of local self-government, 
as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Union, must be 
everywhere restored, and the centralized (almost per- 
onal) imperialism which has been practised must be 
done away with, or the first principles of the Republic 
will be lost. 

THE FINANCIAL PEOBLEM. 

Our financial system of expedients must be re- 
formed. Gold and silver are the real standard of 



GOV. HENDEICKS'S LETTEE OP ACCEPTANCE. 297 

values ; and our national currency will not be a perfect 
medium of exchange until it' shall be convertible at 
the pleasure of the holder. As I have heretofore said, 
no one desires a return to specie payments more ear- 
nestly than I do ; but I do not believe that it will or 
can be reached in harmony with the interests of the 
people by artificial measures for the contraction of the 
currency, any more than •! believe that wealth or per- 
manent prosperity can be created by an inflation of the 
currency. 

The laws of finance cannot be disregarded with 
impunity. The financial policy of the Government, 
if, indeed, it deserves the name of policy at all, has 
been in disregard of those laws, and therefore has dis- 
turbed commercial and business confidence, as well as 
hindered a return to specie payments. One feature of 
that policy was the resumption clause of the Act of 
1875, which has embarrassed the country by the antici- 
pation of a compulsory resumption, for which, no 
preparation has been made, and without any assurance 
that it would be practicable. The repeal of that clause 
is necessary, that the natural operation of the financial 
laws may be restored, that the business of the country 
may be relieved from its disturbing and depressing 
influences, and that a return to specie paynjents may 
be facilitated by the substitution of wise and more 
prudent legislation, which shall mainly rely on a judi- 
cious system of public economies and efficient re- 
trenchments, and, above all, on the promotion of 



298 GOV. HENDRICKS'S LETTEB OF ACCEPTANCE. 

prosperity in all the industries of the people. I do not 
understand the repealof the resumption clause of 
the Act of 1875 to be a backward step in our return 
to specie payments, but the recovery of a false step ; 
and, though the repeal may for a time be prevented, 
yet the determination of the Democratic party on this 
subject has now been distinctly declared. There 
should be no hinderances put in the way of a return 
to specie payments. " As such a hinderance," says the 
platform of the St. Louis Convention, "we denounce 
the resumption clauses of the Act of 1875, and 
demand its repeal." I thoroughly believe that by 
public economy, by official retrenchment, and by wise 
finance, enabling us to accumulate the precious metals, 
resumption at an early period is possible, without pro- 
ducing an artificial scarcity of currency, or disturbing 
public or commercial credit ; and that these reforms, 
together with the restoration of pure government, will 
restore general confidence, encourage the useful invest- 
ment of capital, furnish employment to labor, and 
relieve the country from the paralysis of hard times. 
With the industries of the people there have been 
frequent interferences. Our platform truly says that 
many industries have been impoverished to subsidize a 
few. Our commerce has been degraded to an inferior 
position on the high seas ; manufactures have been 
diminished, agriculture has been embarrassed ; and the 
distress of the industrial classes demand that these 
things shall be reformed. The burdens of the people 



GOV. Hendricks's lettee of acceptance. 299 

must also be lightened by a great change in our system 
of public expenses. The profligate expenditures, 
which increased taxation, from five dollars per capita 
in 1860 to eighteen dollars in 1870, tells its own story 
of our need of reform. 

FOEEIGN affairs. — THE COOLY TEADE. 

Our treaties with foreign powers shouid also be 
revised and amended, in so far as they leave citizens of 
foreign birth in any particular less secure in any coun- 
try on earth than they would be if they had been 
born upon our own soil. And the iniquitous cooly 
system, which, through the agency of wealthy compa- 
nies, imports Chinese bondsmen, and establishes a spe- 
cies of slavery, and interferes with the just rewards of 
labor on our Pacific coast, should be utterly abolished. 

CIVIIi-SERVICE EEFOEM. 

In the reform of our civil service, I most heartily 
indorse that section of the platform which declares 
that the civil service ought not to "be subject to 
change at every election," and that it ought not be 
made the " brief reward of party zeal," but ought to 
be a reward for proved competency, and held for 
fidelity in the public employ. I hope never again to 
see the cruel and remorseless proscription for political 
opinions which has disgraced the administration of 
the la^t eight years. Bad as the civil service now is, 
as all men know, it has some men of tried integrity 



300 GOV. Hendricks's letter of acceptance. 

and proved ability. Such men, and such men only, 
should be retained in office; but no man should be 
retained, on any consideration, who has prostituted his 
office to the purposes of partisan intimidation or cor- 
pulsion, or who has furnished money to corrupt the 
elections. This is done, and has been done, in almost 
every county of the land. It is a blight upon the 
morals of the country, and ought to be reformed. 

the schools. — SECTIONAL CONTENTIONS. 

Of sectional contentions, and in respect to our com- 
mon schools, I have only this to say: That, in my 
judgment, the man or party that would involve our 
schools in political or sectarian controversy is an enemy 
to the schools. The common schools are safer under 
the protecting care of all the people than under the 
control of any party or sect. There must be neither 
division nor misappropriation of the funds for their 
support. Likewise I regard the man who would arouse 
or foster sectional animosities and antagonisms among 
his countrymen 'as a dangerous enemy to his country. 
All the people must be made to feel arid know that 
once more there is established a purpose and policy 
under which all the citizens, of every condition, race, 
and color, will be secure in the enjoyment of whatever 
rights the Constitution and laws declare or recognize ; 
and that, in any controversy that may arise, the gov- 
ernment is not a partisan, but, within its constitutional 
authority, the just and powerful guardian of the rights 



GOV. HENDEICKS'S LETTER OP ACCEPTANCE. 801 

and safety of all. The strife between the sections and 
between races will cease as soon as the power for evil 
is taken away from a party that makes political gain 
out of scenes of violence and bloodshed, and the con- 
stitutional authority is placed in the hands of men 
whose political welfare requires that peace and good 
order shall be preserved everywhere. 



GOVERNOR TILDEN COMMENDED'. 

It will be seen, gentlemen, that I am in entire accord 
with the platform of the Convention by which I have 
been nominated as a candidate for the office of Vice- 
President of the United States. Permit me, in con- 
clusion, to express my satisfaction at being associated 
with a candidate for the Presidency who is first among 
his equals as a representative of the spirit and of the 
achievements of reform. In his official career, or as 
the executive of the great State of New York, he has, 
in a comparatively short period, reformed the public 
service, and reduced the public burdens. so as to have 
earned at once the gratitude of his State, and the 
admiration of the country. The people know him to 
be strongly in earnest. He has shown himself to be 
possessed of powers and qualities which fit him in an 
eminent degree for the great work of reformation which 
this country now needs ; and, if he shall be chosen by 
the people to the high office of President of the United 
States, I believe the day of his inauguration will be 



802 GOV. HENDBICKS'S LETTEB OP AOOBPTANCE. 

the beginning of a new era of peace, purity, and 
prosperity in all departments of our government. 
I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant, 

Thomas A. Hendbiges. 

To the Hon. John A. McGlernaxd, Chairman^ and others of 
of the Gommittee of the National Democratic Gonvention. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE PBESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE OF 
MESSBS. TILDEN AND HENDRICKS. 

Kew York Express. — Brooklyn Eagle. — St Louis Republican.— 
Philadelphia Times. — Albany Argus. — Eagle again. — Boston 
Sunday Times. — Courier. — Traveller. — New York Times. — 
New York Herald. — Saturday Evening Express. — New Haven 
Begister. — Springfield Bepublican. — Baltimore Gazette. — Chica- 
go Times. — Cincinnati Enquirer. — New York Journal of Com- 
merce. — Detroit Free Press. — Portland Argus. — Bangor Com- 
mercial. — Manchester Union. 

It has been seen that the news of their nomination 
was received with rejoicing : so it may be well to look 
at the reception of their letters of acceptance. 

[From the New York Express.] 

The coast is now clear. Candidates, platforms, 
acceptances, and arguments are all before the country ; 
and the electors must prepare to make their choice. If 
made wisely, the people will be greatly blessed in their 
Government and in their business ; and, if unwisely, 
then again we shall be doomed to the terrible repeti- 
tions of the past. The letter of Mr. Tilden is marked 
with all the peculiarities of the man. It is instructive, 
terse, timely, and complete in the discussion of topics 

803 



804 THE PBESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE. 

which now interest the public. Withal, too, it is full 
of faith and hope as to the capabilities of the country 
and people to be brought out of their present Slough of 
Despond ; and the way is pointed out by making such 
changes of administration and of principles as will 
insure the desired end. . . . The letter of Gov. Hen- 
dricks generalizes where Gov. Tilden condenses upon 
an enlargement of the topics discussed. Both are in 
hearty accord with the platform. Both agree as to the 
need of repealing the act defining the date of resump- 
tion. Both are clear as to the right private and public 
remedies for great public diseases. It is folly, or worse, 
to attempt to point out any great difference of opinion 
between the two men, as to conclusions. The style in 
the letters is the only difference, and Mr. Tilden has 
weighed his^ words, perhaps, with more care than his 
associate ; but in both letters there is the plainest 
honesty of purpose, the most sincere love of country, 
and a healthful desire to save the country from further 
inflictions of evil. 

[From the Brooklyn Eagle.] 

Reform is the keynote, watchword, and basis, the 
Alpha and the Omega, of Mr. Tilden's letter. His 
treatment of the subject is characteristic. He is noth- 
ing, if not practical ; he is nothing, if not intrepid, 
cogent, and candid. The reader will find no gushing, 
and no schoolboy twaddle, in his letter. It is crammed 
with statements of facts and propositions. He does not 



THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE. 805 

try to tickle the ear: he goes straight to the under- 
standing. He reposes on truth, and borrows nothing 
from rhetoric. He makes out a case for the people, not 
as an attorney for one side, but he delivers a judicial 
summary that is just in its views, complete in its nar- 
rative, profound, simple, and practical in all its recom- 
mendations. Mr. Tilden does not pen half a column of 
jejune and pretty small-talk, nice with genteel hopes 
and innocuous observations. He tells what is the mat- 
ter with the country ; and he exhibits definitely what 
•would be the way out of our distresses if the guidance 
were left to him. A President with a policy has been 
the longing of the nation for years. A candidate with 
a policy is presented by the Democrats ; and he himself 
discloses his policy to-day with a detail, a largeness, a 
clearness and learning, that are excellent. We merely 
want that letter read ; and we will risk the effect of it 
on any mind that discovers for itself just what the 
letter is. 

[From the St. Louis Republican.] 

No abler exposition of the currency question is 
extant. Of that portion of the letter which refers to 
reform, " The Republican " says, " It is drawn in terras 
that must arouse every reader to a realizing sense of 
the truly perilous condition of the country. The 
whole document is couched in very vigorous, plain, and 
simple language. K longer than such letters usually 
are, it may be said that the occasion and the oppor- 
tunity justify an elaborate presentation of views and 



806 THE PBESS OK THE LBTTBBS OF ACCEPTANCE. 

sentiments. The letter is such a one as could emanate 
only from a statesman worthy to be President of a 
Great Republic." In connection with Mr. Hendricks 
and his letter, " The Republican " remarks, " Those 
who have been woriying themselves, as to any disagree- 
ment of the views of Gov. Hendricks with the senti- 
ments expressed by the St. Louis Convention, will find 
in his letter accepting the nomination for Vice-Presi- 
dent that there is no such disagreement. Mr. Hen- 
dricks starts out with a full, unequivocal, and emphatic 
indorsement of the Democratic platform in its entirety ; 
and in all its parts this document is a most admirable 
one." 

[From the Philadelphia Times.] 

As all expected from Samuel J. Tilden, his letter is 
replete with rare good sense and sound conclusions; 
and it will be difficult for carping criticism to find good 
foothold for its work. It is somewhat circumlocutary 
and stubbornly mathematical in reaching its conclu- 
sions on the financial issue ; but men of diverse theo- 
ries as to resumption will read it, and wonder why they 
find so little in it to dissent from. Both Tilden and 
Hendricks, although presumed to represent antagonistic 
convictions on the financial question, plod on smoothly 
and pleasantly, each in his own way, until they find 
themselves as " two souls with but a single thought " 
on the vexatious issue of specie payments. . . • On 
but a single other point does Mr. Tilden depart from 
the plain lines of the St. Louis platform. His brief 



THE PBESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE* 807 

but cogent argument in favor of a single Presidential 
term is one of his happieiSt and strongest declarations, 
and bears upon its face the impress of sincere con- 
viction. On the true relations of the North and South 
to each other, he utters the views of every patriot ; on 
the question of civil-service reform, his positive and 
practical pledges contrast sublimely with the high- 
sounding word-painting of Gov. Hayes ; and his con- 
eluding paragraph, which of itself would have made 
a complete and appropriate letter, has the ring of an 
earnest man whose terse sentences are inspired by an 
earnest purpose. 

[From the Albany Argas.] 

Gov. Tilden's letter, accepting the nomination of the 
St. Louis Convention for the office of President of 
the United States, will attract universal attention, and 
cannot fail to win the hearty approval of every Ameri- 
can patriot. In this admirable State paper, the subject 
of the currency is exhaustively discussed, and in a 
style so clear and simple as to readily and permanently 
familiarize the mind of every reader with all the bear- 
ings of the question. All sections have a common 
interest in a staple policy such as shall insure general 
confidence, and work the earliest return to specie pay- 
ments. Gov. Tilden shows the way out of the present 
depression, and conclusively demonstrates that specie 
payments can be speedily resumed, not only without 
embarrassment to business, but in such a manner as to 
afford it great and permanent relief. 



808 THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCTB. 

No subject upon which the public welfare depends is 
overlooked by the Governor ; nor is there an evasive 
or doubtful phrase in its whole composition. In it the 
wisdom of the statesman and the candid simplicity of 
private citizenship are blended. 

The letter of Gov. Hendiicks, accepting the nomina- 
tion of Vice-President, is a cogent and convincing 
enforcement of the principles and purposes enunciated 
by the Convention. His cordial and emphatic approval 
of the platform was to be expected ; for it is in entire 
harmony with all his public utterances and official acts. 

[From the Brooklyn Eagle.] 

Earnest, manly, hearty, and courtly Thomas A. Hen- 
drfcks writes a letter which, in one act, raises the states- 
man of the West above the misrepresentation of the 
homoncules of the East. Read it through, and then 
read it again. He shows even Grant to be better than 
the system he is hemmed in by. How much more 
would Hayes, the merely petty man of politics, be mal- 
formed by that which has wrought mayhem of charac- 
ter to the grim and stolid Grant ! Every line of Mr. 
Hendricks is worth a dollar in specie, so hard money 
are liis words. His review of our case as a people fits 
the fame of the leader of the Senate, in times when 
sciolism and hate could outvote him, but could not 
reply to him. The campaign is now open. Room for 
th» reformers, the patriots, and the statesmen, who have 
been selected by the party of the people, to head the 



THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OF ACCEPTANCE. 809 

crusade against the intrenched plunderers, a libel on 
the term Republicanism, a scandal on the name Ameri- 
can! 

[From the Boston Sunday Times.] 

The difference is about this : The letter of Gov. 
Hayes is the enunciation of an ideal statesman ; that 
of Gov. Tilden, the giving-tut of a practical reformer. 
Both men mean well ; but the question is, which can 
perform best ? The nation is wandering in a financial 
wilderness; but, before it engages a guide to get it out, it 
wants some assurance of his ability. So the case simply 
resolves itself into this : Who is the mcjt capable of 
being the American Moses, Hayes or Tilden ? Viewed 
simply in the light of their letters of acceptance, we 
should say, most decidedly. Gov. Tilden, as his epistle 
shows him to be one of the most consummate masters of 
finance, and political economists, which the country has 
produced. Both he and Hayes are thoroughly honest 
men, and both promise to bring every thing all right 
if elected. So the country has not to choose between 
their desire to accomplish th^ needed reforms, but, 
rather, between their abilities. Judged by this standard, 
with all possible respect for the capacity of Gov. Hayes, 
we hadly think he can compare with Samuel J. Tilden. 
The first has expressed his preference for honest govern- 
ment, and no one doubts it ; but the second has smitten 
thieves right and left, wherever he found them, and not 
only injured his popularity in his native State, but even 
imperilled his Presidential nomination. 



810 THE PBESS ON THS TJCTTTCKB OF ACGEFTAKCE. 

[From the Boston Sunday Courier.] 

There has been a good deal of unnecessary and irrel- 
evant talk about the delay in the appearance of the 
Hon. Samuel J. Tilden's letter of acceptance of the 
Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Mr. Tilden 
is not a gentleman of leisure, but the Governor of the 
most important Commonwealth in the Union ; and the 
duties of that office, if properly performed, naturally 
occupy every hour that a man of Mr. Tilden's years 
and habits can devote to business. He has simply 
taken proper and necessary time in which to frame an 
epistle whose importance he recognizes by the time he 
has taken in preparing it for the public ; and no unpre- 
judiced person will believe that the so-called delay has 
been a misappropriation of time. 

The two following selections, one from the " Boston 
Traveller," the other from " The New York Times," 
show through what different glasses people see, or 
think they see. 

[From the Boston Traveller.] 

This letter has much that is good ; but its good recom- 
mendations can be found in the messages of Pres. Grant, 
in the Republican platform, and in the letter of Gov. 
Hayes. He makes no new suggestions ; and after read- 
ing it the country will know no more of his financial 
views, no more of his opinions in relation to practical 
measures for the pacification of the South, no more of 
what he would recommend to restore activity and pros- 



THE PBESS ON THE LETTERS OF ACCEPTANCE. 311 

perity to business, than it did before. He is definite 
enough when describing evils that every one is aware 
of, and in recommending measures that everybody is in 
favor of, and he is enthusiastic when describing himself 
as a reformer ; but, on all questions upon which there 
are differences of opinion, he is wordy, non-committal, 
and unsatisfactory to those who seek to know what his 
opinions are. 

[From the New York Times.] 

Gov. Tilden's letter of acceptance, so far as it relates 
to finance and ^'reform,'* is a mere rehash of his last 
Annual Message. The St. Louis platform was also a 
rehash of the same document by the same hand. Here 
we have three documents, all from the same pen, all 
containing the same barren ideas, and overflowing with 
cant about reform, and exaggerated and untruthful 
charges against the Republican party. For that organi- 
zation, as our readers well know, we do not claim per- 
fection ; but we are ready to defend it from slander, and 
slander is the weapon with which Gov, Tilden assails 
its financial record and policy. 

[From the New York Herald.] 

On the currency question, Gov. Tilden and Gov. 
Hendricks are in accord. If any thing, the expressions 
of Gov. Hendricks on this subject are stronger than 
those of his colleague, because they are more intelli- 
gible. He desires the repeal of the Resumption Act, as 
the retracing of a false step. Gov. Tilden virtually 



812 THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OF ACCEPTANCE. 

takes the same ground, although at some length and 
with consummate ability he points out the blunders in 
our whole financial legislation since the close of the 
war. This part of Gov. Tilden's letter will bear careful 
study, and should be read over and over again by those 
who care to comprehend his scheme for a reform in our 
currency. First, the Governor would repeal the Resump- 
tion Act, because it means nothing ; then he would save 
enough money to redeem the legal-tenders ; and, when 
we had that " central reservoir of coin," he would resume. 
He indicates no time when this resumption will take 
place, although he thinks the sooner the better. He 
has no faith in statutes fixing certain days for resump- 
tion, because they are not respected. This whole busi- 
ness, he proceeds to say, " belongs to the domain of 
practical administrative statesmanship. The captain 
of a steamer about starting from New York to Liverpool 
does not assemble a council over his ocean-chart, and fix 
an angle by which to lash the rudder for the whole 
voyage : a human intelligence must be at the helm to 
discern the shifting forces of the waters and the winds." 
This figure of rhetoric expresses the position of the two 
statesmen, and it may be thus expressed: "Repeal 
resumption, save your money, and allow the President 
to resume when he is ready." The clear and gratify- 
ing fact, however, is, that Mr. Tilden, if elected, will, 
whether the Resumption Act is repealed or not, use all 
the powers of the administration to secure resumption. 
He is for hard money and paying the national debt. 



THE PBESS ON THE LBTTBB8 OF ACCEPTANCE. 313 
[From the Boston Saturday Evening Express.] 

As documents, they are marked by remarkable 
statesmanship, high-toned sentiment, lofty principles, 
and unanswerable logic. We doubt if any similar 
papers that ever emanated from public men in the 
country, since the organization of our Government, 
have been more admirable in statement, more sound 
in argument, or more true and philosophical in their 
conclusions. They have already met, and will continue 
to meet, the heartiest welcome and approval of not 
only the entire Democracy of the country, but of thou- 
sands of honest, independent men, who have hitherto 
acted with another political organization. The letter 
and the platform constitute a ground upon which all 
men who desire to have, and can assuredly get, a good 
administration of affairs, may stand shoulder to shoul- 
der, and go forward in a common and glorious cause, — 
the re-organization and restoration of the Government. 
On for Tilden and Hendricks I 

[From the New Haven Begister.] 

No American citizen should lay down his paper, 
until he has perused carefully the grand letters of 
acceptance of Messrs. Tilden and Hendricks. To say 
they are what every Democrat expected, would not 
be expressive of the satisfaction which all feel at 
marching to victory under a banner that so fully em- 
blazons the cardinal doctrines of the Constitution, and 
under a leader who boldly rides at the head of his 



314 THE PBESS OK THE LBTTEBS OP ACOEPTAKCE. 

attacking columns. It is seldom, in a century's time, 
that such a forcible document as Mr. Tilden's letter 
bursts upon a people, putting to flight all the foul 
birds that have built their nests under the cornices 
of the American Capitol, and defiled its interior with 
a corruption unimaginable to the great body of the 
people. 

[From the Springfield Bepublican.] 

Mr, Tilden illustrates his just sense of proportion in 
devoting so large a part of his letter to the economical 
questions now pressing so urgently for solution, — to the 
problem of specific resumption, and the cognate topics 
of public expenditure, taxation, and revenue. These 
questions are not new to him. They have occupied 
his thoughts for years. In treating them, he is on 
familiar and favorite ground. He brings to their dis- 
cussion a well-trained and well-stored mind. At once 
a student, and a man of affairs, he discusses these 
questions in a practical, impressive, illuminating way, 
which the plain people, at all events, will appreciate. 
Even those who dissent, in whole or part, from his 
conclusions, will recognize the intelligence and cogency 
of his reasoning. ... The vigorous sentences in which 
Mr. Tilden discusses the abuses of our partisanized 
civil service, points out the plain and accepted reme- 
dies, avows his purpose to use them, and commits 
himself definitely to the policy of embedding the one- 
term principle in the organic law, are full of the intelli- 
gence, as well as the spirit, of reform. Hardly less 



THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OF ACCEPTANCE. 815 

satisfactory is his brief but explicit and strong treat- 
ment of the Southern question. The pledge, that, if 
elected, he will use all his Constitutional powers to 
protect every citizen, white or black, in the enjoyment 
of his political and personal rights, seems to cover the 
ground. . . . Taken together, the letters undoubtedly 
increase the chances of their writers. They are letters 
for independent voters to rejoice in, and " edify by." 
They give occasion for general congratulation and 
encouragement. 

[From the Baltimore Gazette.] 

The letter of acceptance, which has been so eagerly 
awaited, has come at last, in a form that repays us for 
all delay. It is clear, earnest, and forcible, and carries 
with it a weight of conviction that will sink into the 
minds of the people. Its style is somewhat cumbrous, 
but it is not in the least ambiguous. It has a hearty 
ring, a statesmanlike breadth, a fulness of detail, an 
aggressive tone, and a decided and definite policy, in all 
of which respects it differs from the timid and faltering 
letter of Mr. Hayes. 

[From the Chicago Times.] 

So clear, cogent, and masterful a condensation of the 
financial question has never been presented in so small 
a space. Never since the foundation of this Govern- 
ment has there been a man selected for the great 
station to which Tilden is nominated, who has had so 
accurate a knowledge of the fimctions of the ofiice ; 



816 THE PBESS ON THE LETTBES OF ACCEPTANCE. 

never, sinee Jefferson, a man who could embody, with 
such irresistible cogency, the very essence of practical 
administration. Of the South, he speaks with thorough 
manliness and discretion. He will administer the law 
in behalf of white and black, irrespective of color, and 
enforce penalties for murder with swift and heavy 
stroke. He speaks throughout Uke a man impressed 
with the weight of the wx)rk that is slowly descending 
upon him. There are none of the fine phrases of 
the ordinary candidates. Ruggedness, force, intensity, 
work, stand out in every line and syllable. If Franklin 
or Jefferson, or any of the more eminent of the frugal 
fathers, were called upon, they would have written just 
about such a letter as Mr. Tilden sends out to his 
countrymen, invoking their confidence, and revealing 
his desires. As a campaign production, the letter pre- 
sents all the issues with a cogency of argument, a com- 
pactness of statement, a brilliancy of illustration, which 
take it far out of the literature of its class, and stamp its 
author a statesman. The position of Hendricks on the 
currency question may be accepted as a sign of im- 
provement in the political condition, since it virtually 
removes the head and front, and disrupts the whole 
regimen, of inflationism. Hendricks does no discredit, 
in this utterance, to the company he is in. Substan- 
tially in accord with the hard-money men, and greatly 
in advance of Hayes on civil-service reform, he should 
no longer be an impediment to the overpowering per- 
sonality of our Uncle Samuel. 



THE PBESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE. 317 

[From the Cincinnati Enquirer.] 

The keynote of the letter of Mr. Tilden is, as was 
expected, a demand for reform, giving the reasons why. 
It is a potent plea for economy, for the lessening of 
taxation, for sunplicity in government, for reHef. . . . 
We opposed the nomination of Mr. Tilden. When 
nominated, we gave him support. With his letter 
before us, we cordially call upon our friends everywhere 
to give him an earnest support. He has left no excuse 
for a third party. He has left no excuse for rebellion 
or " bolting " among Democratic ranks. He has made 
noble and statesmanlike concessions to the Democracy 
of the West, by reason of which he deserves their 
support. 

[From the New York Journal of Commerce.] 

Gov. TUden, if elected President, could not hope by 
his influence to control or sensibly shape the course of 
Congress in most matters ; but he has exhibited great 
cleverness at Albany in impressing the necessity of 
certain reforms on an adverse majority in the State 
Senate, and might perhaps do the same at Washington. 
A Republican Senate voted with a Democratic House, 
in 1876, all the resolutions and bills for ferreting out 
and punishing the canal thieves. The Governor's 
recommendations to the Legislature were so wise and 
good that neither party dared to refuse them. All of 
his reform projects of that year passed the Legislature, 
not necessarily because both parties liked them, but 
because they feared to vote them down, and face the 



818 THE PRESS ON THE LETTBBS OP ACCEPTANCE. 

public wrath. Mr. Tilden's tact in this line might be 
operative on the larger scale at Washington, and the 
two branches be morally compelled to agree in support- 
ing him in some reforms. ... It is now in the power of 
the people, by the election of Mr. Tilden for President, 
to realize and enjoy some of those reforms for which 
they so eagerly long. Nothing but a change of admin- 
istration can do the good work. 

[From the Detroit Free Press.] 

The letter speaks for itself ; and it is clear, bold, and 
refreshing in its utterances. It touches upon the vital 
questions before the people, with a directness that must 
convince every reader of the downright earnestness of 
the writer, and, as we believe, confirm a large majority 
of the people in the judgment they had already formed, 
that Samuel J. Tilden is pre-eminently the man to be 
placed at the helm of the Ship of State. Gov. Hen- 
dricks's letter is an admirable companion-piece to that 
of Gov. Tilden. It is not so elaborate ; but it is. inci- 
sive, pertinent, and statesmanlike, and in every way 
worthy of the pure and able Governor of Indiana. 

[From the Portland (Me.) Argus.] 

The letters speak for themselves, and will richly 
repay careful perusal by every citizen. That of Gov. 
Tilden presents the causes of the present palsy of busi- 
ness, and the methods of certain and complete recupera- 
tion, in a masterly manner. Gov. Tilden is a statesman. 
He is endowed by Nature for that r81e, and he has 



THE PEESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE. 319 

improved well his extraordinary natural gifts. The 
financial policy of the Government, at every step, has 
received his careful study, making plain its errors and 
the consequences, as well as the true methods from 
which there has been so wide a departure. The letter 
of Gov. Hendricks is able, frank, and sound, — fit com- 
panion for that of Gov. Tilden. Both will receive the 
unhesitating approbation of eveiy true Democrat, 
while fair-minded Republicans will concede to both a 
breadth and elevation of statesmanship of which any 
party might well be proud. 

pBVom the Hartford Times.] 

This letter is a text-book of truthful and wise 
sentiments ; and it will be accepted as the letter of a 
statesman, ranking with the writings of the " Fathers " 
whose wisdom and foresight are so universally 
applauded in this centennial year. The letter needs no 
review or praise. Nothing can be said to strengthen 
its impregnable positions, or its broad and wise propo- 
sitions. We can only most earnestly commend it to 
the careful perusal of every reader, with the assurance 
that it is not too lengthy, for in all its parts it is richly 
laden with the truths and sentiments for which the 
whole country is thirsting. 

[From the Bangor Commercial.] 

No better, no more refreshing, no more statesmanlike 
document, has been laid before the American people 



820 THE PRESS ON THE LETTERS OP ACCEPTANCE. 

since their drooping hopes were revived by the first 
inaugural address of Thomas Jefferson, seventy-five 
years ago. 

[From the Manchester (N.H.) TTnion.] 

These letters will be read with lively interest by the 
people. They show the Democratic candidates to be 
thoroughly and earnestly enlisted in the reforms de- 
manded by the people. Their election by a good 
majority — as now appears probable — would give the 
work of reform a start that would soon change the 
present sad state of affairs for the better. The people 
must look to their interests in this matter. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

MB. TILBEN ON A NATIONAL BANK IN 1840. — HIS 

MESSAGE IN 1875. 

Causes of Fluctuation in Prices. — Previous Crises and Failures. — 
United States Bank and Expansion of Currency the Causes. — From 
Mr. Tilden's Speech in 1868. — Conclusion. 

Of the United States Bank, teclinically called " Nick 
Biddle's Bank," which Gen. Jackson strangled, and of 
the " deposits " which he removed, the present genera- 
tion know nothing but what they have leai^ned from 
history, or from a few of us old fellows who remain, 
and whom it is as imcommon' to see as a mole above 
ground. Mr. Tilden has always been a " hard-money " 
man. Even Thomas H. Benton, whom the country 
named " Old Bullion," was scarcely more so. I quote 
the following from Mr. TUden's speech at New Leba- 
non, Oct. 30, 1840 : — 

CAUSES OF THE RECENT FLUCTUATION IN PRICES. 

The first and chief cause is a fluctuation in the 
currency. The price of an article is the amount of 
money for which it will exchange. If, with the same 
articles in the market, the amount of money to purchase 

321 



822 SPEECHES OF MB. TILDEN. 

them be increased, they will exchange for more money ; 
in other words, their prices wiU rise. Or, if the amount 
of money be decreased, they will be exchanged for less 
money ; in other words, their prices will fall. I do not 
mean that the price of each article will vary just 
according to variations in the amount of money ; for 
circumstances will always exist, peculiar to particular 
articles or classes of articles, to make them rise and fall 
more or less than the average. But, in regard to the 
mass of articles taken together, the principle is not only 
obviously true, but is verified by all experience. 



HOW A NATIONAL BANK BBGULATED THE CUB- 

BENCY. 

How could a large bank, constituted on essentially 
the same principles, be expected to regulate beneficially 
the lesser banks ? Has enlarged power been found to 
be less liable to abuse than Umited power ? Has con- 
centrated power been found less liable to abuse than 
distributed power ? 

If any entertained an exception so contrary to all 
human experience, the experience ought to satisfy them 
of its fallacy. 

The United States Bank commenced its operations in 
January, 1817. Although a nominal resumption of 
specie payments by the State banks took place, the 
currency was dangerously extended. The bank urged 
its notes into circulation with unprecedented rapidity ; 



SPEECHES OP MR. TILDBN. 823 

and, the excess causing a constant exportation of specie, 
it sought to counteract that effect, not by reducing the 
currency to its proper amount, but by forced importa- 
tions of specie, which it made to the extent of seven 
millions, and at a great loss. It continued these opera- 
tions till July, 1818, when its circulation amounted to 
nine millions, and its loans to forty-nine millions. A 
revulsion then commenced; and the bank began a 
rapid contraction. But its affairs grew every day 
worse. In February, 1819, Mr. Jones, its president, 
resigned; and Mr. Cheves of South Carolina was 
appointed in his place. In ai;^ exposition made several 
years after to the stockholders, that gentleman states, 
that, as he was about to commence his journey to Phila- 
delphia, he was apprised that the bank would soon be 
obliged to stop payment; and, when he "reached 
Washington, he received hourly proofe of the probabil- 
ity of this event ; " that " in Philadelphia it was gener- 
ally expected." He also states that on the 1st of April 
the specie in its vaults was reduced to aeventy^ne 
thou%and dollars, while its balances to the Philadelphia 
banks were one hundred and twenty^aix thousand dol- 
lars. By a rigorous contraction of its issues, and the 
cutting-off of all its exchange business, by the whole 
aid of the Government, and a loan in Europe, it barely 
weathered the storm, but was for years in a sickly con- 
dition. The prostration of business and prices during 
this period was without a parallel ; and the bank was 
universally regarded as the main agent of the mischief. 



824 SPEEGHBS OF MB. TILDEN. 

The reduction of the whole currency from the height 
of the expansion to the Ist of January, 1820, was one- 
third; that of the circulation of the bank was nearly 
two'thirda. 

The next great crisis was in the fall of 1825. Mr. 
Biddle, in his testimony before a committee of Congress, 
describes it as " the most disastrous period in the finan- 
cial history of England," when the " wild speculations 
in American mines, and wilder speculations in Ameri- 
can cotton, recoiled upon England, and spread over it 
extensive ruin ; " and says that " the very same storm 
passed over this counti^ a few weeks before," and 
"was on the eve of producmg precisely the same 
results." He also states, that this " panic, which would 
have been fatal to the country," was averted by his 
hurrying to New York, and prevailing on a gentleman 
to accept drafts, " who was preparing to 'draw specie 
from the banks of Philadelphia," to establish a bank in 
New Orleans. It has been intimated that Mr. Biddle's 
private night-journey was occasioned by an emergency 
more peculiar to his own institution than he would 
have the public suppose ; but he admits enough. He 
shows how near, even on the most favorable account 
of the matter, the whole system of currency, with its 
regulator, came to a total overthrow, and by how slight 
and common a circumstance it was alternately jeop- 
arded and saved. Turn now from the account of this 
hair's-breadth escape, to what Mr. Biddle did not so 
frankly relate, — the source of the peril. The returns 



SPEECHES OF MB. TILDEN. 325 



» 



of the bank show that its circulation increased in the 
tTfo years previous to July, 1825, more than a hundred ' 
and five per cent ; and, in the six months previous to 
that time, more than fifty-seven per cent. I have not 
the means of ascertaining the increase in the circula- 
tion of the State banks during this period ; but there is 
abundant reason to believe that it was in nothing like 
the same proportion. The subsequent reduction fell 
mainly upon them ; the United States Bank succeeding 
in substituting, to a considerable extent, its notes for 
theirs. Its success, however, in the competition for 
private profit, was a poor consolation to the public, who 
were victims to the process. Mr. McCulloch states 
that, during the same two years, the country banks of 
England extended their circulation fifty per cent; and 
he exclaims against such an increase as ^^ extravagant 
and unprincipled," — an increase less than half as great 
as that of our " regulator." 

A revulsion rather less severe occurred in the com- 
mencement of 1832. The United States Bank was 
greatly embarrassed. It procured the payment of the 
three per cents, for which the Government had pro- 
vided the means, to be postponed ; and, when the time 
to which it had been postponed approached, it sent a 
confidential director abroad to make an arrangement 
with the holders of the stocks, not to present them for 
payment, while it held and used the money Govern- 
ment had provided for their redemption. The form in 
which the transaction was first attempted, the bank 



826 SPEECHES OP MB. TILDEN. 

was obliged to disavow as constituting a violation of 
its charter, that in which it was consummated being 
merely a breach of trust. The increase of its circula- 
tion during the two yeai*s previous to the 1st of Janu- 
ary, 1832, was sixty-four per cent ; and its reduction in 
the summer after, about twenty per cent. The circula- 
tion of the New York banks increased, during the same 
period, twenty-nine per cent ; that X)f the Pennsylvania 
banks, from February, 1829, to November, 1831, about 
twenty-one per cent. It is difficult to procure returns 
from the banks sufficiently near the dates to afford a 
just comparison ; but such as are procured show that 
the average increase, even if it were larger than that 
of the New York banks, was very far short of that of 
the United States Bank. 

In the fall of 1833 the removal of the deposits was 
made ; and the panic of 1834 followed. The bank, by 
October, 1834, had contracted its circulation nearly 
twenty per cent, and its loans more than fourteen 
millions, as it alleged, in consequence of that measure. 
When its attempt to coerce a restoration of the de- 
posits and a renewal of its charter failed, it commenced 
an expansion ; and by July, 1835, extended its circula- 
tion sixty-two per cent, and its loans nineteen millions, 
or five millions more than all the reduction which it 
pretended it had been forced to make by the removal 
of the deposits ; and that when its charter had but 
eight months longer to run. The great expansion 
which produced the disastrous excesses of 1835 and 



SPEECHES OF ME. TILDEN. 327 

1836 occurred mainly in the former year; and the 
whole enlargement of the currency during that year 
was thirty-four per cent, or, if we take the net circula- 
tion, thirty-one per cent ; and during that year and the 
next, less than forty-four, and, if we take the net cir- 
culation, thirty-six per cent. The ratio of expansion 
of its net circulation by the United States Bank, to 
July, 1835, was from November, 1834, sixty-two per 
cent ; from January, 1835, when the currency had 
reached at least a level, forty-six per cent ; and, from 
its last return previous to the removal of the deposits, 
thirty-seven per cent. The bank is justly responsible 
for the whole amount of its expansion from the lowest 
point of contraction in 1834 ; for it had made that con- 
traction under the pretence that such a diminution of 
its business was rendered'^necessary by the removal of 
the deposits ; and the vacuum in the circulation, being 
created under favorable exchanges, was necessarily 
filled by the notes of other institutions ; and the sub- 
sequent addition to the currency was as inexcusable as 
it was dangerous. Such an addition could not fail to 
create a most injurious excitement in banking and 
trade, and, with a tithe of the power which its friends 
claimed for this bank over the smaller institutions, to 
stimulate them to the utmost extravagance. And, 
when the time of this expansion is considered, no fair- 
minded man can doubt that it communicated the main 
impulse to the disastrous excesses which followed. 
We have thus seen this institution, which was 



328 SPEECHES OF MB. TILDEN. 

established to " regulate *V the others, twice, according 
to the statements of its own presidents, on the very 
verge of bankruptcy, and a third time extricating 
itself from its embarrassments by a breach of trust 
which would subject an individual to a criminal punish- 
ment ; and, looking at its returns, we find each of these 
occasions preceded by an extension of its business, 
unparalleled in any similar institution. We have seen 
that, in every great expansion of the currency which 
has occurred during the whole period of its -existence, 
it increased its circulation in a far larger ratio than 
the expansion of the whole currency. And these suc- 
cessive expansions, and the revulsions which followed 
them with short intervening seasons of quietude, have 
filled the whole history of business during that period. 
The extraordinary powers of this bank, and its freedom 
from competition, while organized on the same prin- 
ciples and therefore subject to the same impulses as 
other institutions, have only encouraged it to embark 
on the most hazardous adventures to extend the profits 
of its business ; from which it has been repeatedly 
extricated only by the credit of the Government, or the 
direct assistance of the Treasury. 

Such was ^he manner in which the United States 
Bank " regulated " the currency while it was a national 
institution. For the benefit of those who think the 
loss of such services the cause of the recent commer- 
cial disorders, and their restoration by the estabKsh- 
ment of a similar institution the sovereign panacea, I 
pursue its subsequent history. 



SPEECHES OF MR. TILDEN. 329 

On the 20th February, 1836, Mr. Biddle presented 
a meeting of the stockholders with the new charter 
from the State of Pennsylvania, congratulating them on 
the dissolution of their connection with the General 
Government, which he pronounced to be an unnatural 
connection, beneficial neither to " the bank nor the Cf-ovem- 
ment^^^ and declaring that " the bank was now SAFEB, 
STBONGEB, and more prosperous than it ever was." 

On the 11th November, 1836, in a letter to Mr. Adams, 
Mr. Biddle declared that the revulsion, which had then 
become severe, was owing to the " mere mismanage- 
ment " of the Government ; denied " that the country 
has over-traded, that the banks have over-issued, and 
that the purchasers of public lands have been very 
extravagant;" and concluded his long argument to 
sustain these positions thus triumphantly : ^^ Exchange 
with all the world is in favor of New York : how, then, 
can New York be an over-trader ? Her merchants have 
sold goods to the merchants of the interior, who are 
willing to pay, and, under ordinary circumstances, able 
to pay; but by the mere fault of the Q-ovemment^ as 
obvious as if an earthquake had swallowed them up, 
their debtors are disabled from making immediate pay- 
ment. It is not that the Atlantic merchants 
HAVE SOLD too MANY GOODS, but that the Q-ovemment 
prevents their receiving pay for anyT 

And this in the face of sales of public lands during 
that year, to the amount of twenty-four millions of 
dollars, and an excess of imports over exports of sixty^ 



880 SPEECHES OF MB. TILDEN. 

one millions 1 But even this great financier, who was 
competent of himself to regulate all the business of the 
country, could at last be made to learn what every man 
of common-sense had known long before. 

On the 13th May, 1887, two days after his bank had 
suspended, in a second letter to Mr. Adams, Mr. Biddle 
said : " We owe a debt to foreigners by no means large 
for our resources, but disproportioned to our present 
means of payment. We have worn and eaten and drunk 
the produce of their industry ^ — too much of all^ perhaps; 
hut that is our faulty not theirs^ No doubt. But when 
had we done so ? Even Mr. Biddle would not say that 
it was after the writing of his previous letter. 

He also said that, ^' had the bank consulted merely 
its own strength, it would have continued its payments 
without reserve." Certainly. He suspended for the 
sake of the other banks, just as he made his night-jour- 
ney in 1825, and his fraudulent arrangement as to the 
three per cents in 1882, for their sake. These facts all 
rest upon the same testimony. He promised also to 
" take the lead in an early resumption of specie pay- 
ments." 

In the fall of 1887, when a convention was proposed 
to bring about a general resumption, the United States 
Bank at first refused to join in it ; and afterwards sent 
delegates, who opposed resumption, and succeeded in 
voting down the measure through its associates and 
dependants. And when the New York banks were 
about to resume alone, on the 5th of April, 1888, in a 



SPEECHES OF MR. TILDEN. 331 

third letter to Mr. Adams, Mr. Biddle argued at great 
length that the resumption then was " premature," 
threatened them in an insolent tone with the conse- 
quences of the attempt, and told them to appeal to the 
legislature " to rectify their mistake," and legalize a 
further suspension. The New York banks resumed 
about the 1st of May; but the United States Bank 
remained suspended until the latter part of the year, 
when it nominally resumed by substituting post-notes 
for its ordinary circulation ; or, in other words, notes 
bearing on their face a promise of payment a year after 
date, for notes bearing on their face a promise of pay- 
ment on demand. 

In the spring of 1839, Mr. Biddle resigned the presi- 
dency of the bank, announcing, that having brought it* 
safely through all the difficulties, and leaving it in a 
sound and prosperous condition, he could now retire 
from its management. Through the summer, it strug- 
gled with the embarrassments daily thickening upon it ; 
and in October it failed, inflicting upon the commercial 
affairs of the country the extensive mischief under 
which they have been suffering for the year past, but 
from which, thanks to the beneficent regulation of the 
laws of trade, they are now rapidly recovering. 

FROM SPEECH OF HON. SAMUEL J. TH-DEN AT CHAT- 
HAM, N.Y., ON THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 1868. ^ 

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, it is with a high 
pleasure, not untinged with something of sadness, that. 



332 SPEECHES OP MB. TELDEN. 

after a long interval, I stand once more among the 
assembled Democracy of the county of Columbia. 
I feel like a man revisiting the spot where cluster 
the dear and tender associations of home, and looking 
about him to see his friends and his kindred. It 
was here, in one of the loveliest of your beautiful 
valleys, that my eyes first opened upon the light 
of heaven; and here, after a period of many years 
of various experiences, come back upon my heart all 
those interesting and never-to-be-forgotten associations 
which belong to our youth. I am here to-day in 
response to the appeal of my young friend [Mr. E. X. 
Gaul], himself a son of my long-esteemed friend, 
that you had a right to claim my obedience to your 
'call. I recognize your Chairman [Mr. Van Schaack], 
a friend of my boyhood, whom I am glad to meet here, 
though I can scarcely do it without emotions that over- 
whelm me. It was here that I first learned to take an 
interest in the great concerns of our common country ; 
and was taught, in precept and example, — by him to 
whom I owed my existence, and largely whatever 
endowments of intellect I possess, — that it is the first 
of social duties for a citizen of a republic to take his 
fair allotment of care and trouble in all public affairs. 
It was amid these scenes that I formed an acquaintance, 
at the house of my father, with the great statesmen of 
the Jacksonian era, who did so much, so wisely and so 
well, for our country, in their day and generation. At 
his house I met Martin Van Bur en, Silas Wright, 



SPEECHES OF MR. TILDEN. 833 

William L. Marcy, Azariah C. Flagg, and many others 
whose names are familiar to you all. I also saw in his 
society Edward Livingston, an ornament of this coun- 
ty, in which he was born, as was also his great brother 
Chancellor Livingston ; and I saw here also Albert 
Gallatin, who, although of foreign birth, was an Ameri- 
can in all his ideas and tastes. Gentlemen, I have 
come back among you to-day to plead for those institu- 
tions which here in my childhood I learned to revere, 
— which are the great traditions of American free gov- 
ernment, and which I fondly hoped in my early years 
would prevail everywhere upon this continent, and 
secure prosperity and happiness to our people evermore. 
These are times that give concern to us all. They are 
times that create anxiety and disquietude as to the 
future of our country ; and it is because, when most of 
the illusions of life are past, my mind still clings to that 
illusion, if it be (I would fondly believe that it is no 
illusion), of the greatness and glory of my country as 
the home of a prosperous and happy people, and as 
the promised land of the toiling millions, that I have 
come again among you to present to you the views 
which I entertained when I left you, and which I still 
cherish, as to what are our duties in respect to the 
public affairs of our country. I am glad to see that so 
many of you have gathered on this occasion. I am 
glad to be informed that in this audience there are so 
many farmers. It was among the farmers in Columbia 
that I took my first lessons in politics. It was in the 



834 coNCLtrsiON. 

dmple habits, moderate tastes, and honest purposes of 
the rural community, that I was accustomed in my 
youth — and I have not got over that habit — to trust 
for the welfare of our country. I am glad once more 
to address an audience composed of farmers. It is 
from these populations that we must largely hope for 
whatever of future is reserved to our country ; and I 
am rejoiced that I have to-day the pleasure of meeting 
so imposing a representation of them. 

CONCLUSION. 

I have now given the record of Messrs. Tilden and 
Hendricks, the candidates of the Democracy for the 
offices of President and Vice-President of the United 
States. I followed out the record of both these gen- 
tlemen as sketched by others, and also, in part, by 
themselves. That they are men of education and 
talent must be conceded by all. That they are of some 
account in the States in which they severally reside 
seems to be evident from the fact that each of them is 
now Governor of one of these States, which by no 
means are small among our " tribes " of States. That 
each of them has held other offices of trust and high 
responsibility is also true ; and, further, that they have 
filled these offices with fidelity to the public and credit 
to themselves, no man saith to the contrary. 

Now, I have given, also, the opinions of some of our 
most prominent men of them ; and more especially of 
him who is nominated for the first place in the gift of 



CONCLUSION. 835 

this great nation, Charles Francis Adams, George 
Ticknor Curtis, Parke Godwin, and others. 

Of the religious proclivities of these candidates I 
have had no personal knowledge ; and, as the Consti- 
tution of the United States does not specify that the 
President and Vice-President must be either Methodists, 
Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, or something else, 
I have not felt called upon to enter into any minute 
inquiry as to their religious creeds. I may, however, 
close with the following quotation from a New York 
Presbyterian journal, — 

" Some of our Methodist contemporaries are making 
more than is meet of Gov. Hayes's relation — by the 
membership of his wife — to their church. Perhaps 
they see in it a continuation of sundry consulships and 
other special favors, touching which they have not been 
too engaged about the Master's business to make known 
their wishes and claims. Gov. Hayes is rather of 
Presbyterian than of Methodist antecedents. His 
mother was at the time of her death a member of the 
Westminster Presbyterian Church, of Columbus, O. 
We may add, while on the subject, that our respected 
townsman, Gov. Tilden, is an exemplary attendant 
upon the services of the Madison Square Presbyterian 
Church, when at his home in New York ; and what is 
more, he is fairly well seasoned against the perverted 
wiles which have led his opponent astray. Reverting 
to the *next in rank,' we are told that Gov. Hen- 
dricks, of Indiana, is the son of a Presbyterian elder ; 



886 CONCLUSION. 

but there is a woman in the case again, and she has led 
him into the Episcopal Church. The Hon. William A. 
Wheeler, however, is a worthy elder of the Presbyte- 
rian Church of Malone, N. Y. He stands firm ; and it 
thus falls out, that he and Gov. Tilden are about right 
as to their ecclesiastical relations ; while the other two 
baptized children of our church have been beguiled, 
as was their father Adam years ago." 

It would seem, then, that Gov. Tilden, not being 
specially under the influence of any one of Eve's 
daughters, should he be elected President, may be ex- 
pected to stand firmly against temptation. 






14 DAY USE 

RBTUEN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

This book u due on the last date stamped below, Ot 

on the date to which lenewed. 

Renewed books are subjea to inunediate lecalL 




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