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Circa 1884 










Chacun de ses malheurs semble une meprise ou une 
enignie jusqiCa ce qu on prononce le nom deses ennemis 

ST. MARC GIRAEDIN. Art. " Arnaud " 


VOLUME II. 1877-1887 



Copyright, 1895, by JOHN BIGELOW. 
All rights reserved. 




Presidential canvass of 1876 Assailable points of Grant s administra 
tion Popular majority for Tilden and Hendricks Inception of 
the conspiracy to defeat the popular choice Senator Barnum, 
JohnC. Reid, and the "New York Times" William E. Chand 
ler s break-of-day despatches Troops ordered to Florida Presi 
dent Grant s despatch to General Sherman Foul operations of 
conspirators in Florida How rewarded by President Hayes 
General Barlow 1-32 


The conspirators operations in Louisiana William Pitt Kellogg 
Visiting statesmen in New Orleans The composition and opera 
tions of the Louisiana Returning Board Garfield Sherman 
Anderson Jewett Eliza Pinkston Fraudulent registration 
The reward of the conspirators 33-56 


The electoral count of 1877 Senator Morton s scheme Tilden s 
history of the presidential counts President Grant concedes 
Tilden s election Electoral commission created Disapproved 
of by Tilden Refuses to raffle for the presidency Horatio Sey 
mour s speech before the New York electors Dr. Franklin s 
advice to his son The Florida case The Louisiana case 
The Oregon case Conflicting decisions of the commission 
The commission for sale The forged certificates from Lou 
isiana Decision of the commission condemned by the House o$ 
Representatives Letter of Charles Francis Adams Tilden s 
reply Protest of the Democratic minority of the electoral com 
mission Thurman and Bayard James Russell Lowell . . 57-118 


Revisits Europe Blarney Castle St. Patrick s Cathedral Tom 
Moore s birthplace The cabman s criticism Lord Houghton s 




story General Grant s reception in London Tilden elected an 
honorary member of the Cobden Club Visits the home of his 
ancestry Arrives in Paris Attends the funeral of Thiers 
Talk with Gambetta Louis Blanc s account of his visit to Louis 
Napoleon when a prisoner at Ham, and of the loss and recovery of 
his voice in London The story of General Cavaignac s brother 
and mother Tilden s exposure in recrossing the channel Re 
turns to the United States The " Indian Corn Speech" . 119-144 


s The trials and temptations of a bachelor millionaire Proposals of 

marriage in verse and prose 145-167 


The cipher despatches Tilden s address to the people of the United 
States in regard to them His examination by a congressional 
committee A calumnious report corrected Letter to Senator 
Kernan 168-223 


Income-tax returns New persecutions by the administration The 
capitulation of the administration The ignominious end of seven 
years persecution Letters of Edwards Pierrepont, special coun 
sel for the government ; S. L. Woodford, United States District 
Attorney ; Green B. Raum, United States Commissioner of Inter 
nal Revenue ; Charles J. Folger, Secretary of the Treasury ; and 
Benjamin H. Brewster, Attorney-General of the United States, 224-260 


The purchase of Graystone Dinner to J. S. Morgan Mr. Tilden 
rebukes third-term candidates for the presidency Withdraws 
from public life Letter to Mr. Manning declining the presidential 
nomination in 1880 The Cincinnati convention Urged for a re- 
nomination in 1884 Second letter of declension .... 261-288 


Tilden s relations to the new President Senator Garland a suitor Let 
ters to Manning Tilden s and Jefferson s views of civil service 
Harbor defences Letter to Carlisle Tilden s friends proscribed 
at Washington Letter to Watterson George W. Julian 
Tilden discourages his nephew and namesake from embarking in 
politics R. B. Minturn Manning s illness and retirement from 
the treasury History of the Monroe Doctrine The Broadway 



railroad Advice to Governor Hill against the proposed enlarge 
ment of the Erie canal Favors the bill for an international park 
and for the protection of the Adirondack forests .... 289-34G 


Tilden s last days The books he read His death Whittier s ele 
giac verses The funeral Mr. Tilden s will The validity of 
the Tilden will contested The trustees of the Tilden Trust pur 
chase a half-interest in the estate James C. Carter s argument 
Provision made by the Legislature and afterwards withdrawn, for 
the Tilden Free Library 347-371 

Conclusion 372-394 


Address of the minority of the electoral commission of 1877 . 397-403 


Party sentiment in favor of Tilden s renomination for the presidency 

in 1884 404-410 


Miss Gould s list of the books read to Mr. Tilden during the last years 

of his life 411-419 


Last will and testament of Samuel Jones Tilden 420-431 

Act to Incorporate the Tilden Trust 432-433 

INDEX 435 



GRAYSTONE Facing p. 262 








Presidential canvass of 1876 Assailable points of Grant s administration 
Popular majority for Tilden and Hendricks Inception of the conspir 
acy to defeat the popular choice Senator Barnum, John C. Reid, and 
the "New York Times " William E. Chandler s break-of-day de 
spatches Troops ordered to Florida President Grant s despatch to 
General Sherman Foul operations of conspirators in Florida How 
rewarded by President Hayes General Barlow. 

THE presidential canvass of 1876 was one of exceptional 
bitterness. The public officers of the party in control of 
the federal government had been charged by the press and 
on the platform, by prominent and responsible Republicans 
as well as by the opposition, not only with gross neglect of 
official duty, but with official conduct for much of which 
the laws provided the most degrading penalties. They 
charged, among other things, that during the whole eight 
years of General Grant s administration the ordinary ex 
penses of the government, exclusive of pensions and inter 
est on the public debt, had been increased at the inordinate 
rate of $75,000,000 a year. 

That its influence had been exerted to procure its inser 
tion in the bill that was to double the President s salary, 
and, as an inducement for its passage, a provision that the 
increase of pay which Congress had already awarded the 
members should date back to the beginning of their term, 
by which means they were to receive about $1,000,000 of 
back pay. 

That in a single month in 1874 one million gallons of 

VOL. II. 1 


whiskey were sold in St. Louis which had not paid the law 
ful tax, amounting to $700,000, through the collusion of 
officials attached to the Treasury Department, who were 
tried and convicted of sharing in the plunder. As St. 
Louis was but one, and by no means the most considerable, 
of the cities in which large distilleries were in operation, it 
was estimated and charged that from these frauds alone, 
which had been going on for many years, the loss to the 
treasury had been not less than $15,000,000 a year. O. 
C. Babcock, the President s private secretary, and one 
Avery, the chief clerk of the treasury, were both indicted 
for participating in these robberies. Avery was convicted, 
but to save the President s private secretary from the State- 
prison, and for other reasons which it is too painful even 
to suggest, Mr. Henderson, the lawyer selected by the 
Attorney-General for the prosecution of these rogues, was 
displaced at the special instance of the President, as was 
publicly charged, and, so far as I know, never denied. 

That the financial agency of our government abroad was 
taken from the old and responsible banking-house of the 
Barings, of London, who had held it through a long suc 
cession of administrations, and was given to the house of 
Clews & Co., of which one partner was an Englishman, but 
then residing in New York, and the other a Swede, who at 
one time was Swedish consul in New York, from which 
position he had been relieved at the instance of our govern 
ment for blockade-running during the war. To secure 
their appointment it was charged that Clews & Co. agreed, 
in writing, to give a quarter, or some other portion, of 
their profits to one Cheever, a notorious familiar at the 
White House ; another quarter to one James A. Van 
Buren, which name subsequently proved to be a pseudo 
nym, and the appropriation to it was understood to repre 
sent a gratification to some personage too important to be 
named ; and an eighth to a brother-in-law of the Presi 
dent. It is not surprising that, with so many divisions, the 


dividends of Clews & Co. were disappointing, and that 
they soon failed and went into bankruptcy, debtors to the 
government for a large amount. 1 

That the soldiers of the United States were ordered to 
take possession of the legislative halls of Louisiana in 
1874, and drive from the House those Representatives who 
were opposed to the usurpation of the executive chair by 
William Pitt Kellogg, the Jonathan Wild of Louisiana pol 
itics, who had been placed in it by the aid of a drunken 
and corrupt judge of a federal court. 

That George William Curtis was compelled to retire 
from the Civil Service Commission, because " the circum 
stances under which several important appointments had 
been made seemed to him to show an abandonment both of 
the letter and the spirit of the civil service regulations," 
and because " he was unwilling to be held responsible for 
acts which he considered nothing more nor less than a dis 
regard of public pledges and a mockery of the public faith." 

That Mr. Bristow, the Secretary of the Treasury, and 
Mr. Cox, the Secretary of the Interior, who were the only 
friends of a reformed civil service in the cabinet, were ex 
pelled from it because they were its friends. 

That one vice-president, one speaker of the House of 
Representatives, three senators, and five chairmen of con 
gressional committees, all partisans of the executive, dis 
honored themselves, the government, and the nation by 
marketing their influence as legislators ; that a secretary of 
the treasury did the like by forcing balances in the public 
accounts ; that an attorney-general did the like by appro 
priating public funds to his own use ; that a secretary of 

1 The books of the State department show that the indebtedness to the 
government of Clews, Habicht, & Co., on the 24th of September, 1873, when 
they went into liquidation, amounted to $145,451.47. Up to November 29, 
1887, the company had paid off $38,718.77 of this indebtedness. In 1882 
the State department compromised with Henry Clews for his individual 
Bhare of the indebtedness for $12,500, leaving the sum of $94,232.70 still 
standing charged to Clews, Habicht, & Co. on the books of the Ilegister of 
the Treasury. 


the navy did the like by enriching himself and his confed 
erates out of percentages levied upon contractors with his 
department ; while a secretary of war was impeached for 
high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Then there was the Emma mine swindle, in which one of 
our ministers to England was understood to be implicated ; 
enormous frauds in the Indian and printing departments 
and in the New York custom-house ; extravagant and cor 
rupt expenditures for post-offices and public structures of 
various kinds, which, during fifteen years, had amounted 
to $51,164,978, while for the same purposes during the 
seventy-two previous years of our national existence the 
corresponding expenditures had been less than twenty-nine 
millions. Then there was the Venezuela scandal, the San 
Domingo scheme, the Credit Mobilier scandal, and defalca 
tions of public officers so numerous as almost to constitute 
the rule rather than the exception in the public service ; so 
numerous, indeed, that the Secretary of the Treasury per 
sistently refused to comply with the law which required him 
annually to report them to Congress. 

I will not swell these pages with more of these unsavory 
charges, which, to be complete and explicit, would alone fill 
a volume. It will be for the historian, in due time, to deal 
with this saturnalia of crime and political prostitution, 
which few Americans even now can recall without a blush. 

Most of these charges were established by congressional 
or by judicial inquiry, many by both. They of "course 
placed many thousand individuals indeed, it would be no 
exaggeration to say hundreds of thousands on the de 
fensive, who, if deprived of the protection of a sympathetic 
administration, would be personally as well as politically 
ruined. They naturally dreaded the accession of a Demo 
cratic administration, from which they could expect little 
indulgence ; but the prospect of having their operations re 
viewed by an administration with Tilden at its head made 
them desperate. His name had more terrors for them than 


that of any other man in the Kepublic, and when his nom 
ination with such practical unanimity by the St. Louis 
convention transpired, they realized at once that vce victis 
was to be the battle cry of the campaign, and that Tilden 
must be beaten or they be ruined. They were in the con 
dition of rats assailed in a room which offered no hole for 
escape. The situation gave them the courage and the 
recklessness of despair. They took up the cry of the furi 
ous goddess, maddened by the unsuccessfulness of her 
malice : 

" Flectere si nequeo superos 
Archeronta Movebo." * 

They did not undertake to defend themselves, for that, 
they knew, was useless. Their crimes were of record, and 
suspected, if not known, of all men. Their plan of battle 
was to assail Tilden with charges bred of their own foul 
imaginings ; in the language of Voltaire, fa ire la guerre des 
pots de chambre, in the hope of persuading the people that 
he was no better than they, and that nothing was to be 
gained by admitting him and his party to power. They 
denounced him as a railroad wrecker, because he had em 
ployed his extraordinary talents as a lawyer and an organ 
izer in rescuing a number of railways from bankruptcy and 
converting them into productive properties. They charged 
him with extorting excessive fees for his professional ser 
vices, though he had never had a bill for services success 
fully questioned, nor had he ever accepted a contingent fee 
in his life. They charged him with rebel sympathies dur 
ing the war, though he was one of the leaders of the revolt 
against the administration which was proposing to legalize 
slavery in the free Territories ; though he supported Van 
Buren and Adams for President in 1848-9 ; though he re 
fused his consent to the repeal of the Missouri Compromise 
in 1854 ; though he attended and his name figured in the 
list of officers of the Union meeting held in New York imuie- 


diately after the attack on Fort Sumter, and also attended 
another meeting of the bar, held for the same purpose ; and 
though he was during the war in more or less continuous 
consultation with every member of President Lincoln s 
cabinet, the only two surviving members of which were 
then on the stump advocating his election. 

They charged him with intending, if elected, to indemnify 
the South for their losses during the rebellion and to assume 
the rebel debt a charge for which there was only the flimsy 
foundation that the Southern States favored his nomination 
and were expected to vote for him at the election. Though 
the prospect of the payment of such losses had not been re 
garded of sufficient magnitude to deserve the notice of the 
nominating convention of either party, Mr. Tilden waived 
his right to disregard the charge, and in reply to a letter 
from the Hon. A. S. Hewitt, who then represented in Con 
gress the district in which Mr. Tilden resided, gave these 
charges a most explicit and satisfactory denial. Even the 
tf Tribune," which had already quite forgotten Mr. Tilden s 
oft-acknowledged claims to its respect as a man, and its ad 
miration as a statesman, confessed that the charge which 
it had not thought unworthy of the hospitality of its 
columns had been fully disposed of by this letter. 1 

It was further charged that his health was too feeble to 
endure the fatigues of the presidential office, especially 
when increased as they would be enormously by the resto 
ration of a party which had been excluded from the admin 
istration of the government for some fourteen years, and 
by such changes of men and measures as would be the 
inevitable consequences of such restoration. 

It was not the Governor s health about which they were 
solicitous. They could have borne his clinical sufferings and 
even his demise with Christian fortitude, and aided per 
haps in imposing the burden which would have contributed 
to it. 

1 " Tribune," Oct. 25, 1876. 


" If the assassination 

Could trammel up the consequence and catch 
With his surcease success." 

But there was Hendricks quite ready to leap into the sad 
dle. He was no "reformer," it is true, but he was before 
all things a thorough party man of the most unadulterated 
strain, who they knew full well would neglect no partisan 
advantage or leave one stone upon another of the adminis 
tration party that could be thrown down. There was no 
alternative left them but to defeat Tilden, and as it could 
not be done by fair means, it was too late for them to 
scruple about a resort to foul. 

The most unequivocal evidence of their having reached 
this stage of desperation was exhibited in the report put into 
circulation soon after the Governor s nomination, that he 
had failed to make full and fair returns of his income to the 
tax assessors. Because on one occasion he had received 
the sum of $20,000 as compensation for professional ser 
vice, which did not seem to correspond with his tax 
returns for that year, it was assumed that his return 
was false, concealing or ignoring the fact that the fee in 
question was his compensation for eight or nine successive 
years of severe professional toil. I shall have occasion to 
deal with this subject more at length later, when the aid of 
the federal judiciary was invoked to assist, with this weapon 
in its hands, in defeating his renomination to the presidency 
in 1880 and in 1884. 

But all their efforts proved unavailing. The Governor 
had lived too long in the public eye ; his service had been 
too considerable ; his character had sunk its roots too deep 
into the confidence of his countrymen, and its branches 
covered too large a territory to be seriously disturbed by 
such a storm as could be provoked by the recMess mis 
representations of a crowd of rogues whom the" people were 
bent on haling to judgment. 


At the election, on the 7th November, 1876, the total vote 
for Tilden electors in the United States was 4,300,316 
For Hayes 4,036,016 

Majority for Tilden 264,300 

Tilden s majority over Grant s majority in 1872, 703,574 
Tilden s majority over Grant s majority in 1868, 1,287,128 

He was the choice of the people, and with a larger major 
ity by some 700,000 than had ever been cast by the people 
of the United States for any other person. But all this 
majority did not make him President. The Constitution 
provides that the people of the several States shall choose 
electors whose votes are to decide who shall be President ; 
but how those votes are destined to be counted, or for which 
candidate, are problems which henceforth, as we shall now 
proceed to demonstrate, there is no calculus of variations 
that is competent to solve. 

As a necessary preliminary to this demonstration the 
reader is requested to imagine himself in the editorial 
rooms of the " New York Times," at ten o clock on the night 
of the 7th of November ; present, John Foord, then editor- 
in-chief; John C. Reid, editor of the news department ; and 
Charles H. Miller, the present editor of the "Times," but 
then occupying a subordinate position. Sufficient returns 
from the election had been received to extinguish all hope 
of electing Hayes, and to warrant the preparation of an edi 
torial article to that effect which appeared in the first edition 
of the " Times " of the 8th. The article commenced as 
follows : 


"At the time of going to press with our first edition, the 
result of the presidential election is still in doubt. Enough 
has been learned to show that the vote has been unprece- 
dentedly heavy ; that both parties have exhausted their full 
legitimate strength; that the peculiar Democratic policy for 



which such extensive preparations were made in the large 
registry in this city, and in the enormous registry in Brook 
lyn, has had its effect, and that in some of the States where 
the shotgun and rifle dub were relied upon to secure a Demo 
cratic victory, there is only too much reason to fear that it 
has been successful." 

The writer closes his article as follows : " The Democrats, 
in order to gain the election (New York being conceded), 
must have carried New Jersey, and in addition either 
Oregon or Florida. The returns from New Jersey leave 
the State in doubt. Oregon is not heard from. Florida is 
claimed by the Democrats." 

Between eleven and twelve o clock, and while the edito 
rial gentlemen above named were assembled together taking 
some refreshments, a note was received from the chair 
man of the Democratic National Committee, then United 
States Senator Barnum, of Connecticut, asking what news 
the " Times " people had from Louisiana, South Carolina, 
Oregon, and Florida. Mr. Reid, who was an intense parti 
san, and had been very much cast down by the returns, asked 
to see the note, read it over carefully, then sprang up 
and, with a volley of expletives suited to the message he had 
to deliver, exclaimed, " The Democrats are in doubt about 
Louisiana, and South Carolina, Florida, and Oregon : it s 
a close vote ; we must stop the press and claim them 
for Hayes ; we must claim as ours everything that the 
Democrats concede as doubtful." Mr. Reid s reading 
of Senator Barnum s mind, and his mode of turning its 
revelation to account, was approved by his colleagues ; and 
the following editorial, prepared without unnecessary delay, 
displaced the one which had already gone to press for the 
country edition. 

From the "New York Times," Nov. 8, 1876 (city edi 
tion) : 


" At the time of going to press the result of the presiden 
tial election is still in doubt. Enough has been learned to 



show that the vote has been unprecedentedly heavy. Both 
parties have exhaused their full legitimate strength, while 
the peculiar Democratic policy, for which such extensive 
preparations were made in the large registry of this city, 
and in the enormous registry in Brooklyn, has had its 

" Conceding New York to Mr. Tilden, he will receive the 
electoral votes of the following States : 

Alabama 10 

Arkansas 6 

Connecticut .... 6 

Delaware 3 

Georgia 11 

Indiana 15 

Kentucky 12 

Maryland 8 

Mississippi .... 8 

Total 184 

" General Hayes will receive the votes of the following 
States : 

Missouri 15 

New Jersey .... 9 

New York 35 

North Carolina . . .10 

Tennessee 12 

Texas 8 

Virginia 11 

West Virginia 5 

California 6 

Colorado 3 

Illinois . .21 

Kansas . 
Louisiana . 
Maine . 
Massachusetts . 






Michigan 11 

Minnesota . 5 

Nebraska 3 

Nevada . 3 

New Hampshire 
Ohio . . . 
Oregon . . . 
Pennsylvania . 
Rhode Island . 
South Carolina 






Vermont 5 

Wisconsin . , 10 

Total 181 

" This leaves Florida alone still in doubt. If the Re 
publicans have carried that State, as they claim, they will 
have 185 votes a majority of one." 

It will be observed that the desponding words which I 
have italicized in the first article are eliminated from 


the second, and all the doubtful States, including Florida, 
claimed for Hayes, assuring him a majority of one in the 
electoral college. 

What was in Mr. Reid s mind in setting up a formal 
claim to all these States, on receiving the impression from 
Senator Barn urn s inquiry that they were " close," we need 
not speculate about ; for we have his own testimony upon 
the subject. 

Not satisfied with the share which William E. Chandler 
had been appropriating to himself of the credit for securing 
the election of Hayes, Mr. Reid published in the "Times " 
of June 15, 1887, an account of what followed the oper 
ations in the " Times " office, which have already been 

Mr. Reid informs us that before daylight on the morning 
of the day succeeding that of the election, William E. 
Chandler, a personage who, as my readers of this genera 
tion at least are aware, was already renowned beyond the 
boundaries of his native State of New Hampshire for what 
the French call les petites politiques, arrived at the Fifth- 
avenue hotel in New York. Soon after his arrival, and 
between six and half-past six in the morning, Mr. Reid, 
who in this communication does not give his name, but 
uniformly describes himself as an editor of the " New York 
Times," also entered the Fifth-avenue hotel. He went 
at once to the rooms of the national committee, and found 
them occupied only by a number of servants of the hotel 
who were engaged in cleaning and setting the rooms to 
rights. He was informed that everybody had gone home 
or to bed a couple of hours before. He left the room and 
started for the clerk s desk to ascertain the number of Mr. 
Zachariah Chandler s room. 1 

" On his way to the office of the hotel he came in collision 

1 Mr. Zachariah Chandler was then a member of the United States 
Senate from Michigan, and also chairman of the Republican National 


with a small man wearing an immense pair of goggles, his 
hat drawn down over his ears, a greatcoat with a heavy 
military cloak, and carrying a gripsack and a newspaper in 
his hand. The newspaper was the New York Tribune. 
The stranger cried out, Why, Mr. Blank, is that you? 
The gentleman knew the voice and said, Is that you, Mr. 
Chandler? He answered, Yes, I have just arrived from 

New Hampshire by train. D n the men who have 

brought this disaster upon the Republican party ! The 
gentleman replied, The Republican party has sustained 
no disaster. If you tvitt only keep your heads up here, 
there is no question of the election of President Hayes. 
He has been fairly and honestly elected. 

Mr. Reid and Mr. Chandler then proceeded to the latter s 
room in the hotel. 

"The visitor went over the ground carefully, State by 
State, from Maine to Oregon, counting the electoral vote in 
each State, and showing the vote as it ivas finally counted 
for Hayes and Tilden. After he had finished, William E. 
Chandler said : 

Well, what do you think should be done ? The gen 
tleman replied : 

Telegraph immediately to leading Republicans, men 
in authority, in South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Cali 
fornia, Oregon, and Nevada. Mr. Chandler made no reply 
to this proposition, but said : 

We must go and see Zach. " 

After some difficulty, Mr. Reid and William E. Chand 
ler succeeded in finding Zach. Chandler s room. 

"The door was shortly opened, and Mr. Zachariah 
Chandler was discovered standing in his night-dress. 
William E. Chandler then said, closing the door, Here is 
a gentleman who has more news than you have, and he has 
some suggestions to make. To which Zach. Chandler 
replied: Yes, I know him. What is it? with which he 
seated himself on the edge of the bed. William E. Chand 
ler then said : The gentleman will tell you the story him 
self. He understands the case better than I do. 


" The gentleman then went over the details of the elec 
tion, and added the recommendations he had made to 
William E. Chandler. 

" The chairman of the national committee lay down and 
said : Very well, go ahead and do what you think neces 
sary. " 

Mr. Reid and William E. Chandler then rushed in com 
pany to the telegraph office in the hotel. It was not yet open 
for business. It would not be open for an hour or more. 

" The gentleman said : I ll have to take these messages 
to the main office of the Western Union. Chandler called 
a servant and directed him to have a carriage brought to 
the Twenty-third street entrance. Then Chandler said : 

Well, what do you want to do? The gentleman re 
plied : 

We ll first telegraph to Governor Chamberlain, of 
South Carolina. The gentleman dictated the despatch, as 
follows : 

"ToD. H. Chamberlain, Columbia, B.C.: 

"Hayes is elected if ive have carried South Carolina, 
Florida, and Louisiana. Can you hold your State 9 An 
swer immedia tely . 

" Mr. Chandler took the despatch in shorthand, as dic 

The following despatch was then dictated to S. B. Con- 
over, Tallahassee, Fla. : 

" The presidential election depends on the vote of Flor 
ida, and the Democrats will try to wrest it from us. Watch 
it and hasten returns. Answer immediately. Hayes de 
feated without Florida. Do not be cheated in returns. 
Answer when sure." 

To S. B. Packard, of Louisiana, the following despatch 
was sent : 


" The presidential election depends on the vote of Louis 
iana, and the Democrats will try and wrest it from you." 

Mr. Reid says despatches of like import were sent to 
Oreon and California. He then adds : 

"William E. Chandler signed with his .own name the de 
spatches to Oregon and to Gorman, of San Francisco. To 
the despatches sent to Conover, Packard, and Chamberlain, 
the narrator s recollection is he signed the name of Zacha- 
riah Chandler. William E. Chandler at once took tele 
graph blanks and wrote from his stenographic notes the 
despatches above printed, the gentleman standing by him 
taking every despatch as he finished, and carefully read 
ing it. When the last despatch was transcribed, Chandler 
handed it over tc the gentleman and said : Are they all 
right? He was informed that they were. 

" The gentleman jumped into the carriage waiting and 
told the driver to go to the main office of the Western 
Union with all possible speed. Probably the quickest time 
ever made by a carriage from the Fifth-avenue hotel to 
the Western Union was made that morning. Arriving at 
the Western Union office, the gentleman w r ent to the re 
ceiver s desk and handed in the despatches. The receiver, 
who knew the gentleman very well, said, ? Good morning. 
The gentleman said : 

: Get these despatches off as quickly as" possible, and 
charge the Republican National Committee. The receiver 
replied : 

" f The national committee has no account here, and we 
can t do it. Why not charge them to the "New York 
Times " account? 

" The gentleman replied, All right, and the receiver 
immediately handed them back to him to be countersigned. 
This was promptly done. The gentleman returned to his 
carriage and was driven back to the Fifth-avenue hotel. 
There was still nobody stirring connected with the national 

" The New York Times has never to this day [June 
15, 1887] been reimbursed by the national committee or 
William E. Chandler; nor has William E. Chandler, or any 
national committee ever offered to repay the Times for 


the telegraph tolls or for any of the expenses incurred on 
that morning." 

Here we have, upon the most authentic possible testimony, 
a quasi official account of the first stage in the erection of 
the complicated structure of fraud by which the choice of 
the American people was to be defeated and their executive 
government delivered over to a usurper. 

That the Tilden and Hendricks ticket was entitled to 
184 electoral votes was undisputed. That the Hayes and 
Wheeler ticket was entitled to 165 electoral votes was 
also undisputed. There were 369 electors in all. The 
Tilden ticket, therefore, with 184 votes, needed but one 
more to give it the majority required for an election. The 
Hayes ticket, having only 166 electoral votes assured, re 
quired 19 votes more to ensure its election. 

The four votes of Florida, the eight of Louisiana, and 
seven of South Carolina made just nineteen. To get one of 
these votes was sufficient to elect Tilden and Hendricks. 
To elect Hayes and Wheeler it w r as necessary to get the 
whole nineteen. 

The " Times " of the 9th followed up the operations 
initiated in its columns the previous morning by boldly 
claiming to have returns which gave the election to Hayes, 
though it could have had nothing of the kind. If it had 
any returns of such import they were of course simply the 
partisan reverberations of Chandler s despatches. 



"The despatches received since our last issue confirm 
the reports on which the Times yesterday claimed 181 
electoral votes for Governor Hayes. On Wednesday the 


following States were put down as surely Republican : Colo 
rado, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massa 
chusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Nebraska, New 
Hampshire, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and South Carolina. 
Some of these States were claimed by the Democrats ; but 
all intelligence, thus far received, not only shows that the 
above estimate was correct, but that Florida, which was 
left in doubt, has gone Republican by at least 1,500 
majority, our latest despatches say 2,000, and that the 
two Republican Congressmen are also elected. Encourag 
ing reports were received from Oregon early yesterday 
morning, and in the afternoon came the decisive news that 
the Democrats conceded the State, which had given a Re 
publican majority of over one thousand, and gained a 
Republican Congressman. In Nebraska the same condition 
of affairs was shown. There the Republican majority rose 
to 8,000. Despatches from Nevada made it certain that 
the State had gone for Hayes. The latest news from South 
Carolina shows a Republican victory, the Democrats con 
ceding the State to Hayes and the Republicans claiming 
5,000 majority. Louisiana is one of the States which the 
Democrats have claimed ; but our despatches, coming from 
various sources in the State, show that it has gone Repub 
lican. The latest intelligence points to the certain election 
of Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes to the presidency, and a 
Republican victory in the nation." 

In no other newspaper in New York city or elsewhere, I 
believe, w T as a serious doubt expressed of Tilden s election. 
It was conceded in the " Times " office, and but for the 
inquiry of Barnum I am assured, upon the best authority, 
that the question of his election would never have been 
raised. The evidence which that inquiry furnished of the 
closeness of the vote operated like an open basement 
window at night to a burglariously disposed passer-by. If 
the vote was so close as this inquiry warranted the sus 
picion that it was, what was easier for the administration, 
with its control of the army, of all the federal offices, 
including the judiciary, and with all the patronage of the 


federal government in reserve, to warp the Tilden vote 
sufficiently to give Hayes the nineteen votes which he 
lacked ; and how few are active in politics anywhere who 
are not ready to reason like the tyrant of Thebes : 

"Be just, unless a kingdom tempts to usurpation ; 
For that, sovereignty only is adequate temptation." 

The scheme of the Fifth-avenue conspirators spread 
through the party as rapidly as the poison from the bite of 
an adder. Republican leaders all over the country were 
signalled at once to claim all the disputed States and to per 
sist in claiming them. At the same time it was arranged to 
send men " who could be depended upon " to each of the 
States whose electoral vote was to be tampered with ; to 
provide ample means for such contingencies as might arise ; 
and finally to open communication with the President and 
the Secretary of War to secure for the Returning Boards 
such protection for the work expected of them as they 
might require. 

Senator Zachariah Chandler, chairman of the National 
Republican Committee, proposed to take charge of Florida, 
and a credit was opened for him at the Centennial Bank in 
Philadelphia, whose officers were his friends. William E. 
Chandler, the man with " the immense pair of goggles," 
also went to Florida, and the Department of Justice ordered 
its detectives to report to him at Tallahassee. Thomas J. 
Brady, with a force of special agents of the Post-Office 
Department, followed the Chandlers with money for imme 
diate use. William A. Cook, of Washington, was sent to 
Columbia, S.C. The election took place on Tuesday, the 
7th, and before Thursday night, the 9th, these men were 
all on their way to their posts. 

On the same day, or night rather, the following orders 
were issued to Gen. W. T. Sherman by J. D. Cameron, 
Secretary of War, all dated from Philadelphia : 

VOL. II. 2 


10 P.M. "Order four companies of soldiers to Talla 
hassee, Fla., at once. Take them from the nearest points, 
not from Louisiana or Mississippi, and direct that they be 
moved with as little delay as possible." 

11 P.M. "In addition to the four companies ordered to 
Tallahassee, order all troops in Florida to the same point, 
and if you haven t more than the companies named, draw 
from Alabama and South Carolina. Advise of the receipt 
of this and your action." 

11.15 P.M. "Telegraph General Ruger to proceed at 
once to Tallahassee, Fla., and upon his arrival there to 
communicate with Governor Stearns. Say to him to leave 
affairs in South Carolina in hands of an eminently discreet 
and reliable officer." 

General Grant, who evidently had not yet been let fully 
into the scheme mapped out in the early morn of the day 
after the election, and who was satisfied that Tilden had 
been duly elected, 1 did not quite comprehend the motive for 
all these military preparations for securing a fair election 
which had been held three days before. He evidently had 
suspicions that something was afoot, the nature and pur 
pose of which there was a manifest disposition to disguise, 
if not altogether to conceal, from him. He concluded, 
therefore, to do a little telegraphing on his own account 
and without the intermediation of his guileless Secretary 
of War. Persuaded in his own mind that Tilden and 
Hendricks were elected, he seems to have been getting 
suspicious that some of the people about him, with the 
connivance of Hayes, were plotting something for which 
he himself did not care to be responsible, and for that reason 
sent the following telegram to General Sherman, and gave 
it simultaneously to the press : 

1 George W. Childs in his Reminiscences reports that a Republican Sena 
tor and other leading Republicans were early at his office the day after the 
election to meet General Grant, who was then at Philadelphia attending the 
closing exercises of the Centennial Exposition, and the guest of Mr. and 
Mrs. Childs. These gentlemen insisted that Hayes was elected, " notwith 
standing the returns." Mr. Childs tells us that Grant did not agree with 
them, but contented himself with merely expressing a negative opinion. 


"PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10, 1876. 

To GEN. W. T. SHERMAN, Washington, D. C. : 

" Instruct General Augur, in Louisiana, and General 
Ruger, in Florida, to be vigilant with the force at their com 
mand to preserve peace and good order, and to see that the 
proper and legal Boards of Canvassers are unmolested in the 
performance of their duties. Should there be any grounds 
of suspicion of fraudulent counting on either side, it should 
be reported and denounced at once. No man worthy of the 
office of President would be willing to hold the office if 
counted in, placed there by fraud ; either party can afford 
to be disappointed in the result, but the country cannot 
afford to have the result tainted by the suspicion of illegal 
or false returns. 

"U. S. GRANT." 

Two weeks before the election the federal troops in 
South Carolina had been increased to thirty-three com 
panies, taking for that purpose every available soldier on 
the Atlantic seaboard from Fortress Monroe northward. 

The President s telegram, whatever the motive that in 
spired it, was not in accordance with the plans of the con 
spirators. The direction " to see that the proper and legal 
Boards of Canvassers are unmolested in the performance of 
their duties" was easy to execute, for there was no danger 
w r hatever of the Boards of Canvassers being molested in the 
performance of their duties ; and it was entirely within the 
scope of the executive authority, if lawfully invited, to direct 
the generals in command in the several States, in the event 
of an outbreak, to cooperate with the local authorities " to 
preserve peace and good order." No other interference of 
federal troops within a State was lawful, nor could even 
such an order be lawfully enforced until the governors of 
the respective States had reported that they were unable to 
preserve the peace, a condition of things which could not 
have been honestly affirmed to exist in any State of the 
Union at that time. But how were the commanding 
generals to comply with the second term of Grant s last 


telegram, and see whether there were any " grounds for 
suspicion of fraudulent counting on either side " ? And to 
whom were they to report and denounce it ? In Louisiana 
the canvassers all, without exception, were Republicans, 
and in Florida all but one were Republicans. Was it false 
counting by his own party the President wished his soldiers 
to guard against? If so, he did not send enough, or at 
least enough of the right kind. How, too, could the com 
manding generals ascertain whether there were any grounds 
of suspicion of fraudulent counting, unless they had been 
directed to supervise the reception, as well as the can 
vassing, of the returns? But this was equivalent to an 
impeachment of the integrity of the Returning Boards. 

Besides, "a fair count of the votes actually cast" was pre 
cisely what the conspirators did not want. Two days before 
President Grant stepped between his Secretary of War and 
the people, with those memorable despatches, the polls had 
been closed, and the returns " of the votes actually cast," save 
from remote counties and parishes in Florida and Louisiana, 
had been turned in. There was no possibility then of 
fraudulent counting, except by the Returning Boards. 
When President Grant sent those despatches of the 10th of 
November it is evident that if he really meant what he said 
he was not aiming his gun at any Democratic influences at 
work in the disputed States, but at the reckless crowd 
about him who were tampering with the Returning Boards. 

Believing, as we now know he did, that Tilden was 
elected, he might very naturally have suspected that all 
the forces of the federal government were being rallied by 
his political staff for the single purpose of defeating him. 
Grant, with all his limitations as a President, is generally 
believed to have been too direct a man to let fly the Parthian 
shaft with which he concluded his telegram to Sherman, if 
he were merely " playing to the galleries." 

The Returning Boards of South Carolina and Louisiana 
could be depended upon to return Republican electors, for 


the character of the Republican officials of those States 
were known to be equal to the emergency if properly " pro 
tected" and adequately "encouraged." The "encourage 
ment " was on its way, and the action of the Secretary of 
War left no doubt that the " protection " also was at hand. 
Of Florida the managers were not so certain, as there were 
doubts about the powers of the Returning Boards in that 
State, and also about the degree of dependence to be placed 
upon its members. W. E. Chandler telegraphed from 
Tallahassee in cipher on the 13th of November : " Send 
$2,000 to Centennial Bank of Philadelphia so I can draw for 
it." " Have Arthur send Republicans acting with Demo 
crats." On the 15th he telegraphed again : "Florida needs 
eminent counsel and help. Can you send $3,000 and $2,000, 
making $5,000? Danger great here." 

Which of these sums was used for " counsel " and which 
for " help " has never transpired. 

On the arrival of AY. E. Chandler in Tallahassee, the 
13th, telegrams were sent to the local Republican managers 
telling them that the " State is close and you must make 
effort to render every possible assistance," and that "funds 
from Washington would be on hand to meet every 

Chandler s promises that " counsel " and " protection " 
should not be wanting, and that the " funds " from Wash 
ington were on their way, were very well as far as they 
went; but Chandler was not the candidate for the presi 
dency, and there was no satisfactory evidence that Hayes, 
if elected, would feel under any obligation to take up 
Chandler s paper. In fact, the business he was engaged 
in, and the means by which he and his confederates were 
carrying it on, were not calculated to inspire the utmost 
confidence in his promises, nor indeed a sufficient degree 
of confidence to induce the average politician to disgrace 
himself for such an indefinite consideration. He felt too, 
probably, that for the security of his own share in the 


harvest for which he was ploughing, as well as to strengthen 
his credit with the Florida officials, he must be able to 
show the existence of more direct relations between him 
self and the candidate for whose election he was toiling. 
For this or some other reason he telegraphed to the private 
Secretary of Hayes " to send Stanley Matthews and others 
of high character." 

It so happened that when this note reached Columbus, 
Stanley Matthews, ex-Governor E. F. Noyes, and Attorney- 
General Little, all of Ohio, Senator John Sherman and 
James A. Garfield, had already left for New Orleans " to 
fix" the electors of Louisiana. Chandler s request was 
promptly forwarded to them, and in response Noyes, ac 
companied by John A. Kasson, of Iowa, and Lew Wallace, 
of Indiana, started forthwith for Tallahassee, where they 
arrived on the 20th. Now the magnetic circuit was com 
plete. Noyes came direct from Hayes, and whatever 
engagements he endorsed, it was correctly understood that 
Hayes in the fulness of time would execute. 1 Up to this 

1 Subsequently Samuel B. McLin, Secretary of State of Florida, and 
one of the members of the Returning Board, testified before a congressional 
committee to the prevalent opinion among the Florida Republicans that 
Mr. Noyes represented Hayes. He said : 

"Looking back now to that time [of the canvass] I feel that there was 
a combination of influences that must have operated most powerfully in 
blinding my judgment and swaying my action." What the " combination 
of influences " were he in part disclosed. " I Avas shown numerous tele 
grams addressed to Governor Stearns and others from the trusted leaders 
of the Republican party in the North, insisting that the salvation of the 
country depended upon the vote of Florida being cast for Hayes. These 
telegrams also gave assurances of the forthcoming of money and troops if 
necessary in securing the victory for Mr. Hayes. Following these tele 
grams trusted Northern Republicans, party leaders, and personal friends 
of Mr. Hayes arrived in Florida as rapidly as the railroads could bring 
them. I was surrounded by these men, who were ardent Republicans, and 
especially by friends of Governor Hayes. One gentleman particularly, 
Governor Noyes, of Ohio, was understood to represent him and speak with 
the authority of a warm personal friend, commissioned with power to act 
in his behalf. These men referred to the general destruction of the country 
should Mr. Tilden be elected, the intense anxiety of the Republican party 


time Chandler had received $15,000, besides what he took 
with him. In one of his despatches, November 28th, he 
asks for " $3,000 in large bills; probably shall not need it, 
majority about twenty, but be ready for any emergency." 

With a practically unlimited credit at Washington, and 
the prospective patronage of the federal government hy 
pothecated to the conspirators, the fate of the electoral vote 
of Florida was not difficult to forecast. 

Those who wish to know in ample detail to what foul 
uses all these vast and complex resources were devoted for 
the purpose of wresting from the State of Florida its right 
to a voice in the choice for the presidency, I must refer to 
the voluminous records of the forty-fourth and forty-fifth 
Congresses. Even a concise detail of it would occupy more 
space than I can venture to devote to the entire career of the 
most conspicuous individual victim of the conspiracy which 
is there laid bare. I must content myself with the briefest 
possible summary of some of the transactions to which the 
power and dignity of the federal government, and to a large 
extent the honor of the nation, were deliberately prostituted. 

The returns of the county canvassers in Florida when 
footed up showed a majority for the Tilden electors, 24,441 
votes for Tilden and Hendricks, and 24,350 for Hayes and 

of the North, and their full sympathy Avith us. I cannot say how far my 
action may have been influenced by the intense excitement that prevailed 
around me, or how far my partisan zeal may have led me into error ; 
neither can I say how far my course was influenced by the promises made 
by Governor Noyes, that if Mr. Hayes became President I should be re- 
Avarded. Certainly their influences must have had a strong control over 
my judgment and actions." 

L. G. Dennis, the Republican boss in Alaclma county, also testified that 
Noyes "often spoke of Mr. Hayes and referred to him as his intimate 
friend, and gave us assurances of Mr. Hayes fidelity to the Republican 
cause, and of his special desire to take care of Southern Republicans." 

When asked if Noyes Avas generally regarded by the people there as the 
personal representative of Hayes, Dennis ansAvered, " We regarded him as 
such. I cannot state by Avhat means I arrived at that conclusion, but he 
Avas regarded by the people there as the special representative of Mr. 
Hayes. It Avas generally understood that he Avas there at the request of 


Wheeler. By the law of Florida and by a decision of its 
Supreme Court the county returns were final, and the Can 
vassing Board had merely the ministerial duty of tabulating 
the votes and declaring the result. There was no resource 
for the conspirators but to disregard the law and doctor the 
returns to the extent necessary to meet the emergency. 
This they unhesitatingly proceeded to do. 

The votes of one precinct in Hamilton county, which 
gave the Tilden electors a majority of 31, were all 
thrown out on the affidavits of two Republican inspectors 
that they had absented themselves at different times during 
the day of election from the polls, and without any pretence 
of fraud or illegal voting. 

" The votes of another precinct of Jackson county, Florida, 
which gave the Tilden electors 291 votes and the Hayes 
electors 77, were thrown out because the inspectors went to 
dinner after locking the ballot-box in a secure place and 
leaving the key with f the Republican inspector, who cer 
tified to the returns and testified that there was no fraud 
nor wrong about the election. 

"The entire votes of Manatee county 262 for the Til 
den electors to 26 for the Hayes electors were thrown 
out on the ground that there had been no registration, when 
the fact was that Governor Stearns would not appoint a 
county clerk, that there might be no registration in this 
strong Democratic county. There was no pretence of 
fraud, or that any illegal vote had been cast. Governor 
Stearns was rewarded with the appointment of Commis 
sioner of Hot Springs, Arkansas, at $10 a day, within 
thirty days after Hayes inauguration. 

" The votes of Key West 401 for Tilden to 59 for Hayes 
were all rejected because the election officers failed to 
complete the certificate of their returns on the day of the 
election, without any imputation or pretence of fraudulent 
voting. The ballots had been counted after the close of 
the poll on the night of the election, the result announced, 


and the certificate partly made out, when a bottle of ink was 
upset and a new certificate had to be made. This was 
postponed until the following morning, when the ballots 
were recounted and found to tally exactly with the count of 
the previous day, except that one more ballot was found 
for the Republican electors. 

" While no pretext was too flimsy to procure the rejection 
of votes for a Democratic elector, no crime was so flagitious 
as to exclude a vote for a Republican elector. The negro 
clerk and negro inspector of Alachua county brought with 
them to L. G. Dennis, the Republican boss of that county, 
a blank for the returns of the election already signed and 
sealed, the figures not yet filled in. When asked by Den 
nis for the vote of their precinct, they said 178 Republican 
and 141 Democratic. At this Dennis expressed great in 
dignation and said the business had not been properly 
managed. The blacks expressed contrition and were sent 
to an upper room, supplied with a printed list of the voters 
of the county, and from this proceeded to add 219 
names to the poll list and as many votes for the Repub 
lican candidates. Notwithstanding that one of the inspect 
ors made an affidavit that the return was forged and false, 
it was counted and allowed by the State canvassers. Den 
nis procured one of the Democratic inspectors to corrobo 
rate the returns of the negro inspector and clerk by a bribe 
of $100, and another affidavit of the same character from one 
Floyd Dukes was procured at the price of $25." 

When the alter ego of Mr. Hayes, ex-Governor Noyes, 
to whom was assigned the defence of this fraud before the 
State canvassers, wanted Dennis subsequently to support 
the transaction by his testimony before a congressional 
committee, Dennis gave him to understand that he did not 
propose to do any swearing. His own testimony upon 
this point is worthy of reproduction. 

" Q. Did Mr. Noyes ask you to become a witness your 
self in regard to that precinct ? 


"A. Yes, sir. 

" Q. Were you a witness or had you made an affidavit 
with reference to box No. 2 of Archer precinct, which 
affidavit was to be used before the Returning Board? 

" A. No, sir ; I never made any statement whatever 
for that purpose. 

" Q. State the conversation which took place between 
you and Mr. Noyes in regard to your appearing as a 
witness before the Returning Board in reference to box No. 
2 at Archer precinct ? 

r A. He did express that desire several times. I do not 
know that he ever spoke of it but once as though he in 
tended to put me on the stand, and then I advised him not 
to do it. 

" Q> What did you say to him, and what did he say to 

"A. I do not recollect the exact words, but I think he 
said in a familiar sort of way that he should put me on the 
stand that day. I suggested to him that I should be a 
detriment to his case if he did, and that I thought he had 
better not do it. 

" Q. Can you repeat the exact words which you used in 
reference to your being a detriment to his case ? 

" A. I cannot, but I made it strong. I may have said 
that unless he was ready to abandon his case, he had better 
not put me on the stand. I may have made it as strong as 
that. I wanted to give him to understand that I did not 
want to go on the stand to make any statement under oath. 
I cannot repeat the exact words ; but it was said with suffi 
cient force to have the desired effect. 

" Q. Did Governor Noyes, after you told him in some 
form of words that it would be inconvenient to his case to 
put you on the stand, ever refer to that refusal on your 
part to go on the stand in any form of words ? 

n A. I think he jocosely said one day that I was not 
very forward about swearing, or something of that kind. 

" Q. Wasn t it something like this : You talk well 
enough, Dennis, but you don t swear ? 

" A. Something to that effect." 

For his services in maintaining the validity of this 
return, Noyes was rewarded, soon after Hayes inaugura 
tion, with the mission to France. 


" The county judge and clerk of the Election Board of 
the seventh precinct of Jefferson county stole a bundle of 
one hundred Democratic tickets, which the inspectors had 
tied up as they were counting the ballots, and left in their 
place one hundred Republican tickets. The clerk con 
fessed his crime and fled the State to avoid prosecution. 
Though the facts were all proven before the Returning 
Board, the return was accepted and counted. This county 
judge and clerk were rewarded with clerkships in the 
Land Office at Washington, with a salary of $1,200 each 
per annum. 

" In the Monticello precinct of Jefferson county all but 
five of the Democratic ballots were stolen and Republican 
ballots substituted and counted." 

Joseph Bowes, 1 who was inspector at Precinct No. 13, 
Leon county, " procured a lot of small Republican tickets 
to be printed in very fine type, and on thin paper. These 
tickets, spoken of in Florida as little jokers, he had 
printed at the official Republican printing-office. Before 
the election he showed them to Mr. McLin, and stated 
his purpose of using them. The plan was to fold them up 
inside the ballots that were voted, and have them surrepti 
tiously cast, or otherwise to smuggle them into the ballot 
boxes, which their small size easily admitted of. McLin 
advised Bowes not to use them. After the election Bowes 
stated that he had managed to smuggle seventy-three of 
them into the boxes of his precinct, and he told McLin, 
after the State had been awarded to the Democrats, and it 
was known Drew was to be governor, that he was in a 
scrape on this account, and that he had to clear out for 
stuffing the boxes. 2 

" The evidence establishing this fraud of ballot-box stuf 
fing was before the Returning Board, but the return for 
Precinct No. 13, Leon county, was accepted." 

1 H. B. Misc. Doc. No. 31, Part 2, 45th Cong. 3d Sess. pp. 79, 94-7, 
129, 152, 153. 

2 H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 31, 45th Cong. 3d Sess. p. 11. 


General Francis C. Barlow, ex-Attorney-General of 
New York, was one of the visiting statesmen who went to 
Florida at President Grant s request, "to witness a fair 
count of the ballots actually cast." Dennis and Chandler 
soon discovered that Barlow was not the sort of man they 
required to deal with the Alachua case, and Noyes was 
assigned in his place. Barlow continued, however, to 
take an active part in making up the Kepublican case ; but 
when the returns were all in, he became satisfied that, 
applying the same tests to the Republican votes as the Re 
publicans insisted upon applying to Democratic votes, the 
result would be a majority for Tilden. He endeavored to 
impress this view upon one of the State canvassers, Cow- 
gill by name, whom he believed to be an honest man. 
Why he did not lay it before the Board, unhappily for 
Barlow, if not for the country, does not appear. Barlow 
swears that after a full discussion of the case Cowgill said, 
" I agree with you. I cannot conscientiously vote the other 
way. I cannot conscientiously vote to give the State to 
the Hayes electors." 

Governor Stearns, learning that Cowgill was closeted 
with Barlow, joined them to learn what might be going 
on, and was, told by Barlow what he had been saying 
to Cowgill. Cowgill left with Stearns. Barlow and he 
never met again. Cowgill came to Washington soon after 
the inauguration, confident of recognition. He had been 
promised an auditorship in the treasury, but was tendered 
the position of special agent in the internal revenue ser 
vice. This did not accord with his estimate of his services, 
and he returned to Florida, a wiser if not a better man. 

When McLin, who was Secretary of State of Florida, 
and ex-officio member of the Returning Board, was subse 
quently asked by a congressional committee " what prom 
ises these visiting statesmen from the North made to the 


Republican leaders and the Returning Board, if the State 
should go for Mr. Hayes," he replied : 


" Well, General Wallace told me on several occasions 
that if Mr. Hayes should be elected, that the members of 
the Returning Board should be taken care of, and no doubt 
about that ; that Governor JS T oyes represented Mr. Hayes 
and spoke for him and was in favor of it. 1 Then on one 
occasion William E. Chandler came to me and stated that 
he didn t like to say it to me, but he would say it to me, 
and he spoke for General Wallace also, that if the State 
went and was canvassed for Mr. Hayes, that the members 
of the Returning Board, at least he referred to a majority 
of the board, Dr. Cowgill and myself, would be well 
taken care of, and there would be no doubt of it ; he said 
he was authorized to say that." 

McLin further testified that Dr. Cowgill told him that in 
March, 1877, he was in Washington and saw Hayes fre 
quently ; 2 " that he was received very kindly by the 
President, and given free admission to the White House 
at all times, and that he had expressed himself as being 
under great obligations to him and me in the canvass, and 
that he felt not only under political obligations, but per 
sonal obligations, that he would certainly pay at an early 

McLin was appointed justice of the Supreme Court of 
New Mexico ad interim, and failed of confirmation because 
Senator Conover, of Florida, opposed it. 

F. C. Humphreys, elector at large on the Republican 
ticket, was appointed collector of customs at Pensacola. 

Dennis Eagan, chairman of the Republican State Com 
mittee, was appointed collector of internal revenue. 

Governor Stearns was appointed commissioner of the 
Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

J. M. Howell, the deputy clerk of Baker county, who 
assisted the county judge Driggers in getting up the fraud 
ulent return from that county, was appointed collector of 
customs at Fernandina. 

1 H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 31, Part 2, 45th Cong. 3d Sess. pp. 100, 101. 

2 H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 31, Part 2, 45th Cong. 3d Sess. p. 118. 


Dennis was appointed to a sinecure position in the su 
pervising architect s office at Washington at a salary of seven 
dollars a day. 

One of the negroes who assisted Dennis in making up 
the spurious returns for Alachua county, and swore to 
affidavits for him, was appointed night inspector in the 
Philadelphia custom-house. 

The other negro who rendered Dennis the same service 
was appointed a clerk to the auditor of the treasury for 
the Post-Office Department. 

Joseph Bowes, who had the "little jokers" printed, and 
voted seventy-three of them himself, and who was one of the 
busiest manufacturers of affidavits, and who had to flee the 
State to escape the legal penalties of his iniquity, took 
refuge in Washington, where he was rewarded with a clerk 
ship in the Treasury Department, on a salary of $1,600 per 
annum . 

W. K. Cessna, county judge of Alachua county, who 
assisted Dennis in procuring Green R. Moore to make his 
$100 affidavit, was appointed postmaster at Gainesville, 

Lewis A. Barnes, another of Dennis assistants, was ap 
pointed register of the Land Office at Gainesville. 

Moses J. Taylor, the clerk of Jefferson county and in 
spector of one of the polls of the Monticello precinct, who 
got away with all but five of the Democratic tickets and 
substituted Republican tickets, was also made a clerk in 
the General Land Office at Washington. 

John Yarnum, an affidavit maker and assistant general, of 
militia, was appointed receiver of the United States Land 

Manuel Govin, postmaster at Jacksonville, and an assist 
ant affidavit manufacturer, was sent as consul to Leghorn. 

M. Martin, acting chairman of the Republican State 
Committee, was made surveyor-general of Florida. 

George H. DeLeon, secretary to Governor Stearns, was 


appointed a clerk in the Second Auditor s Office at Wash 

George D. Mills, telegrapher at Tallahassee and one of the 
clerks of the State canvassers, was appointed clerk in the 
Pension Office at Washington. 

John A. Kassori, who accompanied Noyes to Florida to 
vouch for Hayes gratitude for favors expected, was ap 
pointed envoy extraordinary to Austria. 

Lew Wallace, for like service, was appointed Governor 
of New Mexico, declining which, he was sent to Constanti 
nople as minister-resident. 

F. N. Wicker, the collector of customs at Key West, 
upon whose testimony the State canvassers rejected the poll 
No. 3 of that town, was continued in office. 

Thomas J. Brady, Second Assistant Postmaster-General, 
who carried the money to Chandler, accompanied by H. 
Clay Hopkins, agent of the postal division of New York 
city, William T. Henderson, L. L. Tilball, B. H. Camp, 
Alfred Morton, all post-office inspectors, were retained in 
office by President Hayes. Tilball was subsequently pro 
moted to the United States marshalship of Arizona. 

William E. Chandler, not receiving a prompt reward for 
his services, turned upon the chromo President he had hung 
up in the White House for deserting his Louisiana and 
South Carolina coefficients, and practically acknowledged^ 
that Hayes had never been elected President by the people. 

General Barlow, the only one of the visiting statesmen 
who seems to have believed that Grant and Hayes were in 
earnest in professing a desire for a fair count, was the only 
other one of the whole array whom Hayes failed to " recog 
nize." He was charged with disloyalty to the party, and 
put into Coventry, where it has since left him to chew the 
cud of sweet and bitter fancies. Had he the same duty 
committed to him again, I venture to doubt whether he 
would not, by a timely disclosure of his convictions, have 
assisted Tilden to take the office to which the people had 


chosen him, instead of permitting that great office to be 
sequestered to the base uses of a partisan conspiracy by his 
forbearance. 1 

1 It is but just to Mr. Barlow to say that his support of Hayes for Presi 
dent, in 1876, was not from any distrust of Mr. Tilden personally, nor from 
any doubt of his superior fitness for the duties of a chief magistrate, but 
from a distrust of the party which nominated him. 

The apprehensions here expressed may have had its weight in determin 
ing him to assume the passive attitude which he occupied after he had satis 
fied himself that the electoral vote of Florida was wrested from Tilden by 

The general here, as Mr. William C. Bryant and many other distin 
guished patriots had done before him, made the capital mistake of under 
estimating the numbers and power of the Democratic party who supported 
the Union during the war, and whose sacrifices in its behalf were not 
made nor to be estimated by any partisan measure. Mr. Lincoln in select 
ing for his cabinet advisers a majority of life-long Democrats, to say 
nothing of his generals, of whom by far the larger proportion who distin 
guished themselves were of the same party, displayed, in my judgment, a 
wiser appreciation of the political forces upon which he had to depend for 
the preservation of the Union. 






The conspirators operations in Louisiana William Pitt Kellogg Visit 
ing statesmen in New Orleans The composition and operations of 
the Louisiana Returning Board Garfield Sherman Anderson 
Jewett Eliza Pinkston Fraudulent registration The reward of 
the conspirators. 

THE methods by which Hayes electors were secured 
from Louisiana were, if possible, more shameless and inde 
fensible than those employed for the like purpose in 

William Pitt Kellogg, then Governor of Louisiana by 
virtue of an illegal order of Judge Durell of the United 
States District Court, enforced by federal troops under 
orders from President Grant, enjoys the credit of having 
concocted the measures by which the people of that State 
were deprived of their choice of presidential electors. 
His objective point was a seat in the United States Senate 
for himself. He had already managed to subject all the 
elective machinery of the State to his personal control. 
He had the appointment of the supervisors and assistant 
supervisors of registration for every parish and ward 
in the State ; he dictated the appointments of all the com 
missioners of election, the State register of voters and his 

Events subsequently disclosed a deliberate purpose on 
the part of Kellogg and his Kepublican confederates to in 
validate the election in seven parishes where they found 
they could not control the negro vote, and by fictitious 
registration of names to make up whatever number of 
votes might be needed to secure a majority. To under 
stand how this was to be accomplished it is necessary to 

VOL. II. 3 


notice some of the peculiarities of the Louisiana election 

The Returning Board in Louisiana had no power to 
reject the vote of any precinct unless the certificate from 
such precinct came to them accompanied by a sworn pro 
test signed by the supervisors, that intimidation had been 
practised. The Commissioners of Elections in each parish 
were required by law to make out their returns on the day 
of the election, and if anything happened to affect "the 
purity and freedom " of the election, they were to make a 
statement thereof under oath and have three citizens vouch 
for its truth, and forward this statement with their returns, 
the tally sheets, registration lists, all made out in duplicate, 
one to the supervisor and one to the clerk of the Parish 

These returns from the commissioners the supervisors 
were required by law to consolidate in duplicate ; have 
them certified as correct by the clerk of the District Court, 
according to the returns in his office ; to deposit one copy 
of the consolidated statement with the said clerk and for 
ward the other by mail, enclosed in an envelope of strong 
paper or cloth securely sealed" to the Returning Board, 
with all the returns made by the commissioners, including 
their statement, if any, in regard to occurrences affecting 
the " purity and freedom " of the voting. They had no 
authority to reject the returns from any poll or to refuse to 
compile them in their consolidated statements. 

When these consolidated returns reached the Returning 
Board, its duty was first to compile the vote from those 
polls where there was presented no evidence that there had 
not been "fair, free, and peaceable registration and election." 
That done, they were to take up the cases where the com 
missioners had reported that there had not been a fair, free, 
and peaceable registration and election. 

The law required this Returning Board to meet in Xew 
Orleans "within ten days after the closing of the election, 


to canvass and compile the statements of the votes made by 
the Commissioners of Election," and to continue in session 
till <f such returns have been compiled." The law also 
required that this board should consist of " five persons to 
be elected by the Senate from all political parties." The 
Senate pretended to have complied with this law by 
appointing four Republicans and one Democrat. The 
Democrat that was appointed resigned. The law provided 
that in case of any vacancy by death, resignation, or other 
wise, by either of the board, then the vacancy shall be 
filled by the residue of the returning officers." It was very 
certain that the presence of a Democrat to witness the work 
they had in hand would prove most inconvenient, and 
therefore they refused to fill the vacancy. 

The scheme upon which Kellogg finally settled for in 
validating the election was by alleging intimidation of 
voters, and upon that pretext throwing out enough Demo 
cratic votes to give the electoral vote of the State to 

During the two weeks succeeding the election, visiting 
statesmen of both the great political parties had flocked to 
New Orleans. Several of the more conspicuous repre 
sentatives of the Democratic party there lost no time in 
addressing a note to Stanley Matthews, James A. Garfield, 
John A. Logan, William D. Kelley, John A. Kasson, Will 
iam M. Evarts, E. W. Stoughton, and John A. Dix, each 
and all of whom claimed to represent either the President 
in esse or the President in posse, or both. In this note they 
stated that having understood that the gentlemen they 
addressed were there at the request of President Grant, to 
see that the Board of Convassers make a fair count of the 
votes actually cast, they invited a conference in order that 
such influence as they possessed might be " exerted in 
behalf of such a canvass of the votes actually cast as by its 
fairness and impartiality shall command the respect and 
acquiescence of the American people of all parties." 


This invitation was declined by the Republican " visiting 
statesmen " on the ground that they were indisposed to 
reduce the function of the Returning Board " to the mere 
clerical duty of counting the votes actually cast, irrespec 
tive of the question whether they were fraudulently and 
violently cast or otherwise vitiated." They further stated 
that "it is, in our judgment, vital to the preservation of 
constitutional liberty that the habit of obedience to the 
forms of law should be sedulously inculcated and culti 
vated, and that the resort to extra-constitutional modes of 
redress, for even actual grievances, should be avoided and 
condemned as revolutionary, disorganizing, and tending to 
disorder and anarchy." 

Such a plea in avoidance might be successfully demurred 
to in any court of justice of competent jurisdiction. How 
the habit of obedience to the forms of law was to be 
compromised by the proposed conference, even though at 
the worst it failed to secure concert of action, is not quite 
clear. Be that, however, as it may, if " obedience to the 
forms of law " was the motive of their long journey to New 
Orleans and their protracted detention there, it proved a 
singular waste of energy, for every one of the provisions 
of the election laws we have cited was systematically and 
repeatedly violated, not only with the knowledge of these 
political purists, but with the undisguised cooperation of 
most of them. We shall presently see that these travelling 
statesmen took a very different view of their duty when 
canvassing the votes of the States in the Electoral Com 

The election was entirely peaceable throughout the 
State. In the volumes of testimony subsequently taken by 
Congress there was not a particle of evidence that on the 
day of election there was any riot, tumult, or intimidation 
at a single polling place in the State. The election 
officers Avere all Republicans, and in accordance with the 
programme of the Fifth-avenue conspirators they had 


been all given to understand that their political future 
depended entirely upon their faithful execution of their 
party behests. 1 

There were fifty-six parishes, exclusive of New Orleans, 
in the entire State, and nearly one thousand polling places. 
There were seventy-four supervisors and assistant super 
visors of registration, and three commissioners of election 
for each poll, all selected by the Republican managers, 
practically by Governor Kellogg. 

And yet when the returns came to the supervisors, were 
consolidated, and made ready for transmission to the Re 
turning Board, only two supervisors had made any protests 
affecting the fairness of the registration or the peaceable 
and honest character of the election. In but one instance 
was intimidation alleged. The exception was in the elev 
enth ward of New Orleans, where two custom-house 
dependants refused to sign the returns, alleging intimida 
tion. This was a mere pretext for disfranchising four 

1 The nature of these assurances may be gathered from the following 
circular issued by the Secretary of the Republican State Committee : 


DEAR SIR : It is well known to this committee that, from examination 
of the census of 1875, the Republican vote in your parish is 2,200, and the 
Republican majority is 900. 

You are expected to register and vote the full strength of the Republi 
can party in your parish. 

Your recognition by the next State administration will depend upon your 
doing your full duty in the premises ; and you will not be held to have done 
your full duty unless the Republican registration in your parish reaches 
2,200, and the Republican vote is at least 2, 100. 

All local candidates and committees are directed to aid you to the 
utmost in obtaining the result, and every facility is and will be afforded 
you; but you must obtain the results called for herein without fail. Once 
obtained, your recognition will be ample and generous. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

D. J. M. A. JEWETT, 



hundred and twelve respectable citizens living in the best 
portion of the residence quarter of the city. The poll was 
surrounded all day by deputy marshals and metropolitan 
police, every one a Republican ; and the United States 
supervisor, also a Republican, was present in the room 
where the votes were received. 

Of the two instances in which the returns of the super 
visors stated objections to the votes of their parishes in 
conformity with the law, one affected only the votes for 
justices of the peace and constables, and the other was a 
case where the supervisor declined to incorporate the votes 
of two polls where he had established but one, and the 
commissioners without authority had established two. 

For one entire week after the election the Republican 
managers in New Orleans were confident that their plans 
had succeeded, and that they had carried the State. They 
so assured their friends at Washington. But to make as 
surance doubly sure, they instructed their supervisors of 
registration to send their returns to New Orleans by mail. 
The law required them to bring their returns in person. 
As they came in, the supervisors deposited them at the 
custom-house instead of delivering them, as the law re 
quired, to the returning officers. Only seventeen supervis 
ors of registration sent their packages, as the law required, 
by mail ; and the registered packages containing these re 
turns, instead of being delivered to the returning officers 
as the law required, w r ere stopped at the post-office, and 
retained there or handed over to the Republican managers. 

Had there been intimidation, of course it could only have 
been expected from the Democrats ; but what had the Demo 
crats to gain by intimidation ? They knew that the Return 
ing Board had been established expressly to " annul votes 
so secured and provide for votes so prevented." They 
knew, too, that the Returning Board in 1876 consisted of 
the same white members as in 1874, when in the parish of 
Rapids, where Wells, the president of the board resided, 


the whole vote of the parish was thrown out and four Re 
publican members of the Legislature seated, upon a secret 
affidavit of Wells as to occurrences in that parish on the 
day of the election, when he ivas not there. The members 
so seated had not claimed to have been elected, and subse 
quently, upon the recommendation of the congressional 
committee, were unseated, and the conduct of Wells was 
officially denounced. 

The most and the best the Democrats could hope for was 
to offer the Returning Board no pretext whatever for set 
ting aside the election because of intimidation, knowing as 
they did full well by experience that such pretext would 
be used against them without scruple or remorse. 

The Returning Board consisted of J. Madison Wells, 
chairman, Thomas C. Anderson, Louis M. Kenner, and G. 
Cassanave, the last two colored. 1 

The Returning Board should have begun their labors by 
the express terms of the law on the 17th of November, and 
should have remained in session until the returns had been 

1 Nine years before, General Sheridan had preferred charges against 
Wells, the president of the board, while he was provisional governor of 
Louisiana, for dishonesty, and subsequently in 1877 Wells was in 
dicted with his three colleagues by the grand jury of Louisiana for falsely 
and feloniously uttering and publishing as true a certain altered and forged 
and counterfeited public record ; to wit, the consolidated statement of votes 
of the parish of Vernon, made by the supervisor of registration for said 
parish, whereby falsely and feloniously 178 votes were added to the num 
ber of votes actually cast for the Republican electors, and 395 votes were 
deducted from the number of votes actually cast for the Democratic elec 
tors by the voters of said parish. 

Wells took refuge in the swamps north of New Orleans to escape arrest ; 
the two negroes were held to bail in $5,000 each; and Anderson was brought 
to trial, convicted, and sentenced to two years at hard labor in the peniten 
tiary, and to pay the costs of prosecution. An appeal was taken by his 
counsel to the Supreme Court, where he was finally acquitted ; not on the 
ground that he had not been guilty of all the forgeries and falsifications 
alleged, but on the technical ground that the consolidated statement " made, 
such as was required to be made, by a supervisor of registration, was not 
the election return " contemplated by the Constitution, and therefore its 
alteration was not the forgery and falsification of " a legal record." 


compiled. The first open meeting for business was not 
held until the 20th. The interval seems to have been 
industriously utilized in ascertaining how many votes were 
to be thrown out to save the Hayes electors, and from what 
parishes the votes should be taken. Hence the direction to 
the supervisors of registration to bring their returns in per 
son, instead of sending them, as the law required, by mail. 
The returns were opened and read by Anderson. What had 
been going on between their delivery and their opening 
may be inferred from the following incident which occurred 
at the session on the 25th : 

It had been remarked by the Democrats that very few of 
the returns came by mail, and it was also a subject of com 
plaint that the returns from many parishes had not yet 
been received. The returns from De Soto, however, had 
come by mail. Anderson in submitting them to the Re 
turning Board was quite emphatic in stating this fact. He 
read, "Consolidated statement of votes of the parish of 
De Soto," and, after a pause, adding, " with any quantity of 
affidavits attached." It happened that Mr. Burke and Mr. 
Gloin, members of the bar of Louisiana, and counsel for 
the Democrats, were in the room at this time, looking over 
some papers in parishes laid aside as contested. Mr. Burke 
asked, "When was that package mailed?" Anderson 
replied that it was mailed at Mansfield, La., and received 
on the 18th. "What is the date of the first affidavit?" 
asked Burke. Anderson, with some hesitation, replied 
"November 25th." "How does it happen," asked Mr. 
Gloin, "that affidavits made on the 25th were in a package 
mailed on the 18th?" After considerable confusion and 
hesitation, Abell, the secretary of the Returning Board, 
bethought him to suggest that there were two packages, 
one received on the 18th and the other that day ; that the 
first contained the consolidated statement and the other the 
affidavits. Visiting statesman Stoughton came to AbelFs 


S. "What return is this received to-day?" 

A. " The return before the board now. I also received 
a small package on the 18th, which I presume was a con 
solidated statement." 

S. "Was the evidence in the package you received 

A. "Yes, sir." 

S. "Oh, that settles it merely a clerical error." 

It did settle it, for it showed conclusively that the re 
turns had been tampered with ; that the package Anderson 
had opened, and which had been receipted for on the 
18th, was the one from which he took the consolidated 
statement " with any quantity of affidavits attached." The 
evening before this exposure occurred there had been a 
meeting of certain persons specially interested in the vote 
of De Soto and two or three other parishes. Among them 
were George L. Smith, the candidate for Congress from 
the De Soto district ; the supervisors of De Soto, Bossier, 
and Webster parishes ; and D. D. Smith, the cashier of the 
post-office; and D. J. M. A. Jewett, secretary of the Re 
publican committee, who had made himself conspicuous by 
recommending the Governor to appoint no supervisors of 
registration in New Orleans, and thus threw out the entire 
vote of the principal city of the State. At this gathering, 
the cashier, Smith, unlocked the post-office vault and took 
out the returns from De Soto, Bossier, Caddo, and Webster. 
Those from Bossier, Caddo, and Webster had been brought 
by the supervisors of the parishes respectively, or by some 
one selected by them for that purpose, and deposited at the 
post-office for safe keeping until they were " fixed " for the 
uses of the Returning Board. 

The returns from De Soto, though they had come by mail, 
instead of going to the Returning Board as they should 
have done, were also in the post-office vault and under the 
absolute control of the men most immediately interested in 
tampering with the vote of that parish. The purpose of 


this gathering is fully set forth in the following statement 
made by D. J. M. A. Jewett, one of the witnesses to its 
proceedings : 

" C. L. Ferguson, supervisor, mailed his returns per reg 
istered package to New Orleans from Mansfield, November 
14th ; he reached New Orleans in person about the 23d ; on 
the 24th I received from George L. Smith, in person, or 
from some person in his interest, a notice that my presence 
in the private office of the post-office would be desirable 
about 9 or 10 P.M. that night. On my arrival I found 
there George L. Smith, candidate for Congress, fourth dis 
trict; D. D. Smith, cashier post-office; C. L. Ferguson, 
supervisor De Soto parish ; T. H. Hutton, supervisor Bos 
sier parish ; John S. Morrow, supervisor; Fred E. Heath, 
candidate for House of Representatives ; and Samuel Gard 
ner, citizen of Webster parish, with one or two others, I 
think, whom I do not now remember. I had detailed Mr. 
McArdle to attend, and he was there, but on account of 
objections on the part of George L. Smith he was sent 
away. The fact whether protest had been made or not, 
etc., having been considered, D. D. Smith unlocked the 
post-office vault and produced therefrom the returns of 
De Soto, Bossier, Caddo, and Webster. Caddo, it was 
stated, he had brought down himself. Bossier and Webster 
he had, as I understood. On the De Soto package I noticed 
the post-mark of Mansfield and that it bore evidence of 
registration. It was, however, already open. It was un 
rolled and examined by Smith and myself. It icas not pos 
sible to create a Republican majority except by throwing out 
polls 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8. These were selected for protest, and 
Ferguson was asked for facts. I draughted a protest based 
on such facts as he had knowledge of, either personally or 
from information received, or as was suggested by George 
L. Smith, or by the well-known conditions of the parish. 
This Ferguson copied, and was directed to take the same 
before F. A. AYoolfley for administration of the oath. 

" It was suggested by me, that of course it was not pos 
sible to attach this protest and various affidavits in hand 
affecting the same parish (taken before Commissioner Le- 
vissee, in Shreveport) to the consolidated statement of 
votes, this having come forward by mail, and there being a 


disagreement of dates, but they should be handed or sent in 
under section 43, as per my circular letter of instructions. 
" NotAvithstanding, the unbounded stupidity of somebody 
rolled these up in the original package, which, restored ap 
parently to its original condition, went forward by carrier 
to the board, November 25." 

Such was Visiting Statesman Stoughton s notion of a cler 
ical error which deprived Tilden of his majorities at five 
different polls in a single parish. 

The returns from ten other parishes were doctored at the 
same time and in like manner. 

"The returns from Bossier," says Jewett, "were handed 
by Captain Hutton, the supervisor, to George L. Smith 
(the aforesaid candidate for Congress) for safe keeping, 
upon his, Button s, arrival in the city, and were by 
Smith placed in the vault of the post-office. 

" T. H. Hutton had, on November 13 (the day that he 
started from Bellevue for New Orleans), sworn his consoli 
dated statement of votes (popularly known as the returns) 
before George B. Abercrombie, clerk of court, and had 
deposited with said clerk a copy, as required by law, at the 
date named, and when the returns were examined by me in 
the post-office, this document bore in the space for remarks 
a protest of the Atkins Landing box (No. 1) and no other. 

"In my presence, in the private office of the post-office, 
the supervisor interpolated in the same space under the 
protest noted above, and above the jurat, a second protest, 
affecting the Red Land box (No. 3). There is no question 
in my mind but that the protest and exclusion of this box 
was an afterthought which first took shape at this time 
(November 24)."" 

F. M. Grant, who brought the returns from Morehouse 
parish about a week before the 25th of November, to which 
there was no protest attached, declined, says Jewett, " the 
solicitations of Blan chard to make one." 

Jewett proceeds : 


rf The evening of that or the following day, at the Gov 
ernor s request, Blanchard and myself drove him out to 
the Governor s residence, where we had a conference respect 
ing his parish and testimony. This being without effect, 
the Governor took him apart, into an adjoining room, and 
they conferred together some time. The next day he was 
again interviewed by Kellogg at the custom-house, and was 
(as I was informed) taken to see the visiting statesmen. 
Blanchard informed me that Grant was bulldozed by these 
and other parties for several days before he would make the 
protest which he made November 18. 

" At this time I purposely avoided even seeing the visiting 
statesmen except as I met them casually at Kellogg s, and 
it was arranged between myself and Mr. Blanchard that he 
should do everything which would require the slightest 
connection with them. 

" This was done because it was not proposed that Mr. 
Blanchard should testify before either committee of Con 
gress when they came, as was expected, and I desired 
to be, myself, incapable of answering any inconvenient 
questions which might be propounded to me touching these 
gentlemen and their connection with our affairs." 

Grady, the supervisor of Ouachita parish, was unwilling 
to protest the election. "lam informed by Blanchard," 
says Jewett, " that Mr. Grady was bulldozed by Kellogg, 
Sherman, Garfield, and others for a week before he would 
sign the protest. He admitted to myself that he could 
not stand the pressure. I do not charge or believe that 
any fact stated by Grady was untrue or unknown to him, 
at least by common report. The evidence was simply 
obtained in a manner which deprived it of any legal value." 

Clover, the supervisor of East Baton Rouge, refused to 
compile the statements of votes cast at six different polls, 
through a wilful disregard or ignorance of his duty. He 
was " sustained in his refusal," says Jewett, " by Kellogg, 
Campbell, and others, to whose advice he would have 
yielded. Mr. Clover undoubtedly did this with the 
promise or expectation of reward." 


" It may be said," Jewett continues, " that I ought to 
have corrected him. This it would have been useless for 
me to do against the influence of those named, and, while 
Mr. Blanchard and myself were practically in control of 
the State registrar s office, and while Governor Hahn 
would have undoubtedly signed an order (drawn by either 
of us) to Mr. Clover, the law has expressly excepted 
supervisors from obedience to the rulings or orders of the 
State registrar of voters, who is at the same time deemed 
their administrative chief." 

Similar refusals of the supervisors of Orleans and La- 
fourche were attended with similar results. 

How another " clerical error " in East Feliciana was 
corrected is thus stated by Jewett : 

"James E. Anderson, supervisor, refused, upon his arri 
val in New Orleans, to make any protest, alleging as a 
reason his fear of being murdered if he did so. This, in his 
case, I did not believe , having been convinced by his then 
secret conduct that he was a corrupt scoundrel, who would 
protest or not, betray one party or the other (he was un 
questionably in the employ of both) , as he might conceive 
to be for his interest. 

" As Governor Kellogg was responsible for his being in 
his parish to go through the farce of an election, I aban 
doned to Governor Kellogg the task of getting him to 
testify to notorious facts unquestionably within his knowl 
edge, and washed my hands of him and of his affairs. I 
was present on two occasions at Kellogg s house, when 
Anderson and the Governor were in conference respecting 
his testimony. 

"On the 10th of November, immediately after his arrival, 
Anderson had signed a protest drawn by Hugh J. Campbell, 
which the following day he distinctly repudiated, and which 
he stated to be at least in part untrue. This protest was 
not finally accepted by him again until, as I was informed, 
Anderson had been promised the position of deputy naval 
officer, or something that should be a full equivalent. An 
derson himself informed me while under the influence of 
liquor (about November 20) that he had got what he was 
after, by which remark and its context I understood that 


he had received pledges of reward for his testimony. I 
have also been informed that Messrs. Sherman and 
Garfield assisted in bringing Mr. Anderson to listen to 
reason. " 

Jewett says, in conclusion, that " protests and evidence, 
such as it was, which had been received and filed up to 
November 27, excluded votes for Packard 1,620 and for 
Nichols 9,700, leaving Mr. Packard elected by a clear 
majority, with a Republican majority in the Senate and 
House, and also elected three Hayes and five Tilden 

Jewett adds that, in pursuance of a " conspiracy to 
which he alleges that J. M. Wells, Thomas C. Anderson, 
John Sherman, and J. A. Garfield, and others, were parties, 
polls were excluded in the parishes of Caldwell, Natchito- 
ches, Richland, Catahoula, Iberia, Livingston, and Tangi- 
pahoa, with the result, and for the purpose, of returning as 
elected five Hayes electors who were otherwise defeated ; 
that the consideration of this conspiracy was the absolute 
control of the federal patronage within the State of Louisi 
ana by the said Wells and Anderson ; that the evidence 
used to effect the object of the conspiracy was manu 
factured without regard to actual facts and with the knowl 
edge of the several conspirators ; and that the consideration 
to be given to said Wells and Anderson had been delivered 
up to date." 

But the Returning Board did not rely entirely upon the 
flexible consciences of supervisors. On the 28th of 
November Eliza Pinkston, a disreputable negress, notori 
ous in three States for mendacity and beastliness, was 
borne into the presence of the board and of "the dis 
tinguished gentlemen of national reputation " who were 
there helping to cultivate and inculcate the sanctities of 
the law. She swore that her husband had been taken from 
his house in the night, shot seven times, run through and 
through with knives, and mutilated in various ways ; her 


child s throat cut while in her arms ; that she was twice shot 
and her person violated more times than she could remem 
ber ; and that all these outrages were committed by young 
white men of the neighborhood, many of whom she professed 
to know and identify one of them a well-known and highly 
respected physician. She also admitted that this medical 
monster came the day following all these outrages, when 
sent for, and dressed her wounds and ministered to her 

There were scores of reputable gentlemen present who 
could have exposed this preposterous story, but they were 
not allowed to testify. The story would answer the con- 
coctors of it better as it stood. Eliza Pinkston lived in 
Ouachita parish, which gave a large Democratic majority. 
The board Avanted a pretext for throwing it out, and here 
they had it in a dramatic and thrilling piece of evidence 
to which the telegraph and the press would delight in giv 
ing the widest circulation. Absurd as the story was, it 
was deemed of sufficient importance for a committee of 
the House of Representatives to be sent down to Louisiana 
to investigate it. It was ascertained that her statement 
that her husband had been shot or mutilated was a fabrica 
tion ; that the throat of her child had not been cut, and 
that there was no mark of violence on its body except a 
slight contusion on its head ; that the men whom she 
charged with these outrages could not possibly have been 
in her neighborhood on the night in question ; that she had 
made an affidavit in Monroe county for use before the Re 
turning Board, in which she charged the crime of murder 
and other outrages on other persons, which was sent by 
the supervisor of Ouachita to the Returning Board Novem 
ber 23, but it was suppressed and withdrawn, and another 
made in New Orleans, December 2, was substituted for it. 

It also was ascertained that the Returning Board had 
falsified its own record of the receipt of the returns from 
Ouachita. The secretary announced that they had been 


received November 24, but when opened, a letter was 
found addressed to Mr. Abell, saying : 

" Enclosed please find affidavit of Eliza Pinkston, which I 
received too late to file with my returns. Please see that 
it is brought in with the other evidence filed with my 

This letter was dated November 23. 

The character of this woman whose testimony was in 
voked " to inculcate and cultivate obedience to law " was 
thus summarized by the congressional committee : 

"The character of Eliza Pinkston, as developed before 
your sub-committee to the fullest extent, was such as to 
render her a fit instrument in the hands of designing men. 
She had been charged with the murder of the child of per 
sons with whom she had but recently quarrelled. The 
child died of poison. Eliza Pinkston, then known as Liz 
zie Finch, in Morehouse parish, was arrested, and acquitted 
only because the main witness to the crime was too young 
to understand the nature of an oath. The general impres 
sion was that she was guilty. When residing in Union 
parish, she had shamefully beaten an old woman living 
with her, death ensuing in a few days after. She had 
abandoned one of her young children, leaving it to starve 
to death in a fence corner. Another she made way with 
shortly after its birth. She was an habitual abortionist. 
She was in perpetual quarrel. Her testimony had been so 
effectually impeached in the courts of Morehouse parish 
that the Kepublican district attorney refused to call her as 
a witness. Everybody who knew her considered her a 
desperate character. Eye-witnesses proved that she lived 
with her husband on very bad terms. She was about to 
kill him at one time when she supposed him asleep. Upon 
another occasion she assaulted him with an axe, intending 
to kill him. He was in perpetual dread of harm, as wit 
nesses testified. She was ugly, vulgar, indecent, and lewd 
beyond the worst." 

The rest of this description I am obliged to suppress as 
too indecent for these pages. 1 

1 Report 156, Part 1, House of Rep. 44th Cong. 2d Sess. pp. 45-G. 


According to this poor wretch s story, which Sherman, 
Garfield, Stoughton, and Matthews professed to believe, a 
number of malefactors had been guilty of a series of hide 
ous crimes, not only against the laws of the State of Lou 
isiana, but against the laws of the United States. Why 
were not steps ever taken by either jurisdiction to arrest or 
punish any one of the alleged criminals? The arrest, trial, 
and hanging of a half-dozen of these murderers, if there 
were any, would have been an object-lesson far more effica 
cious for cultivating and inculcating obedience to law in 
Louisiana, than employing the testimony of such an out 
cast to compass the usurpation of the presidency. 

Towards the end of November the Returning Board 
thought they had rid themselves of enough Democratic 
votes, by the methods of which we have given only a com 
paratively few examples, to ensure the election of Hayes, of 
Packard for governor, and a Legislature that would be 
shameless enough to send Governor Kellogg to the United 
States Senate. But when they canie to figure up the re 
turns they found that they were still astray in their calcula 
tions and that the guillotine must again be set to work ; 
that they must throw out polls in nine other parishes, and 
the entire vote of East Feliciana and Grant parish. They 
threw out, in addition, sixty-nine polls from twenty-two 
other parishes, and refused to include the polls which the 
supervisors of East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lafourche, 
and the assistant supervisors of three wards in New Orleans 
had, without any warrant of law, wantonly refused to com 

In all, 13,214 Democratic electors were disfranchised and 
2,415 Republican. The highest number of votes " actually 
cast" for a Democratic elector was 83,817, and for a Re 
publican elector, 77,332. Five of the Republican electors 
ran behind the vote of their colleagues 1,141. The aver 
age majority for the Democratic electors was 7,116. 

1 H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 34, Part 2, 44th Cong. 2d Sess. pp. 790-794. 
VOL. II. 4 


The extent to which the people of Louisiana were de 
frauded by the Keturning Board and their accomplices can 
be determined by another and very simple test, which no 
amount of perjury nor partisanship can assail. 

We have seen that the pretext for throwing out the re 
turns from most of the disfranchised parishes was intimida 
tion of the negroes, by which they were prevented from 
registering and voting. The rejections from other causes 
were insignificant in number, and, in their influence upon 
the result, without importance. 

The names of registered voters for the entire State in 
1876, according to the statistics of the State register s 
office, were 207,622, of which there were of 

Colored 115,268 

White . . 92,354 

Majority of colored voters . . . . 23,914 

According to the census of 1870, the colored males of 
twenty-one years and upwards were 86,913, and white 
males of like ages, 87,066. 

The colored class included Chinese and Indians, who 
had no votes. 

In 1880 the white males of twenty-one years and over 

numbered 108,810 

Colored males of like age .... 107,970 
showing that both classes had increased in about the same 
proportion, and their relative proportion could not have ma 
terially varied in 1876. If from colored males the Chinese 
Indians, and foreign-born negroes are deducted, manifestly 
the colored voters could not have exceeded the white. 
Professor Chaille, who had made a special study of vital 
statistics in Louisiana, expressed the opinion that there was 
a small majority of white voters in the State. But, as we 
have seen, there were 22,914 more colored than white 
voters registered in the State in 1876. Five years after, 
and five years before, the white voters were in an undis- 


puted majority. Where did these 22,914 colored voters 
come from, and what had become of the army of negroes 
who were alleged to have been afraid to register? These 
figures prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the names of 
over 20,000 names were registered that had only this nomi 
nal existence. 

Again, by the census of 1870 the white population of 
the parish of New Orleans was . . . 140,923 
Of the negro 50,456 

Whites over negroes ..... 90,467 

By the census of 1880 the white population was 158,369 
The negro 57,619 

White over colored 100,750 

When the registration was completed in 1876, the 
57,619 negro population was found to yield 23,495 voters, 
and the 140,923 whites, only 34,913 voters. 

Again, the State census of 1875 gives an excess of 
7,210 colored females over colored males in the parish of 
New Orleans ; that is, in all, 36,013 females. Deducting 
these from the total of 57,619, there remained but 21,597 
colored voters in the whole State in 1880. The number 
was doubtless somewhat less in 1876, and yet here were 
at least 2,891 more colored names registered than there 
could have been colored voters in the parish. 

But not content with fraudulently registering nearly if 
not quite three thousand fictitious names, the Kellogg man 
agers deliberately struck off from the registration lists the 
names of 7,738 white voters. 1 And this was the way it 
was done : 

With the cooperation of Marshall, Pitkin, and the em 
ployees in the post-office, some 30,000 circulars were sent 
out by the letter-carriers, with instructions to return all 

1 H. R. Misc. Doc. No. 34, Part 2, 44th Cong. 2d Sess. pp. 1031, 1032, 


not personally served. About 11,000 were so returned. 
The registration lists were then secretly taken to the cus 
tom-house, where the supervisors were directed to strike 
off the names of all not personally served. 

Professor Chaille, after a careful study of all available 
data, has expressed his conviction that an honest and com 
plete registration of the voters of New Orleans would have 
given about 40,584 white and 13,500 negro voters, instead 
of 22,495 ; and, allowing for reasonable contingencies, such 
as absence, sickness, etc., there ought not to have been of 
these more than 12,000 registered. 

But why accumulate further evidence of the nefarious 
processes by which this foul conspiracy against the rights 
of a sovereign State were consummated? 

It is enough to have shown that the Tilden and Hendricks 
electors were chosen in Louisiana and Florida by large 
popular majorities. 

That many thousand Democratic voters were fraudu 
lently disfranchised. 

That in no single instance had the commissioners of elec 
tion shown or even alleged intimidation of voters. 

That there was not from a single polling-place in the State 
a statement of the vote returned in form required by law. 

That no one of the supervisors of registration had made 
objections to the registration of voters for a single voting- 
place in the form required by law, nor had any of them 
reported intimidation or violence. 

That four supervisors had assumed judicial powers, 
which the law conferred only upon the returning officers, 
and by refusing to compile had thus rejected the commis 
sioners returns from twelve polling-places 3 while three 
assistant supervisors for wards in New Orleans had illegally 
refused to consolidate returns from three polls. 1 

1 Those who may desire to probe this iniquity to its profoundest deep 
are referred to the investigations made by committees on the 43d, 44th, 
and 45th Congresses, and to the more convenient compendium of A. M. 
Gibson, entitled " A Political Crime," to which I have been greatly in 
debted in making this synopsis of the evidence submitted to Congress. 


The distinguished statesmen who had assisted at this 
carnival of lawlessness not only found nothing in the pro 
ceedings to rebuke, but did not scruple to share in the 
loot, presumably in proportion to the importance of their 
respective services in securing it. 

Senator Sherman was made Secretary of the Treasury, 
then quite the most important office in the President s 

Stanley Matthews was nominated to a seat on the bench 
of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate 
declined to confirm him. He was renominated, in 1881, 
by President Garfield, who had been one of his coadjutors 
in New Orleans, and through the influence common to all 
new administrations, with all its federal patronage in 
reserve, the opposition to him in the Senate was overcome, 
and he was confirmed. 

James A. Garfield, who had his headquarters in the 
custom-house, where the affidavits were manufactured dur 
ing the sessions of the Returning Board, was elected to the 
United States Senate by an arrangement with Stanley 
Matthews, and subsequently succeeded Hayes as the Re 
publican candidate for the presidency. 

William M. Evarts, who in 1875 had denounced the 
illegal organization of the Louisiana House of Representa 
tives with the aid of the military, and all the proceedings 
and acts of that body as well as of the Returning Board of 
1874, went to New Orleans in 1876, and lent the weight 
of his personal and professional influence to assist uncon 
sciously, I would fain believe the men who were harvest 
ing the crop of crime he had denounced the planting. He 
subsequently was the leading counsel for Hayes before the 
Electoral Commission. He received the office of Secretary 
of State. 

E. W. Stoughton, who prepared the report to the Presi 
dent justifying the conduct and fulsornely eulogizing the 
character of the worthless creatures who constituted the 


Returning Board, 1 was rewarded with the mission to 

It required the disfranchisement of a less number of the 
citizens of Louisiana to count in Packard as governor 
than to count in the Hayes electors ; but then a governor 
has less patronage than a president to bestow, and it be 
came necessary to abandon Packard to secure a sufficient 
number of Southern Democratic votes in the House of 
Representatives, to ensure the ratification of the decision 
of the Electoral Commission, of which I shall have to speak 
presently. Packard was reconciled to his fate by receiving 
the consulate at Liverpool, a place which, whether it was 
worth fifteen or thirty thousand dollars a year, depended 
mainly upon the character of the man who held it. 

Kellogg was rewarded for his services with a seat in the 
United States Senate, by what means may be inferred from 
the fact that of the members of the Legislature who voted 
for him, eight senators, three officers of the Senate, thirty- 
two members of the House, and four officers of the House, 
making forty-seven in all, received lucrative appointments 
from the federal government, and, curiously enough, all of 
these patriots received their appointments from the de 
partment of which John Sherman was the chief. 

Of the persons connected with the canvass, election, and 
negotiations in Louisiana, sixty-nine were appointed to 
offices, and all but sixteen of these were treasury appoint 

Wells, the president of the Returning Board, had one 
son appointed deputy surveyor at New Orleans ; another 
son and a son-in-law, to clerkships in the same institution, 
on salaries ranging from $1,400 to $1,600 per annum. 

Anderson, Wells white colleague on the Returning Board, 
was made deputy collector of the port of New Orleans ; his 
son, C. B. Anderson, was made a clerk in the custoni- 

1 This is known as the Sherman report, because his is the first name 


house, on a salary of $1,400; his son s father-in-law, 
auditor, on a salary of $2,500 ; and his son s brother-in-law, 
clerk, on a salary of $1,200. 

Kenner, one of the negroes on the Returning Board, was 
appointed deputy naval officer of the same port ; one of his 
brothers was appointed to a $1,600 clerkship, and another 
brother, a laborer, at a salary of $600. 

Cassanave, the other colored member of the board, had 
a brother who was an undertaker appointed to a place in 
the custom-house. His own expenses, incurred in defend 
ing himself and colleagues in New Orleans against criminal 
charges, were defrayed in part by President Hayes and 
Secretary Sherman. 

Woodward, clerk of the Returning Board, who assisted 
in falsifying the election returns, was appointed to a $1,400 
clerkship, and was subsequently promoted to an assistant 
deputy surveyorship, at a salary of $1,600. 

Abell, the secretary of the Returning Board, was ap 
pointed to a $1,600 clerkship in the custom-house. 

Judge G. B. Davis, a clerk of the Returning Board, 
and another man of equally easy virtue with any of his 
associates, also found an asylum in the custom-house. 

Green, a colored minute clerk of the board, in due time 
reached the same port, and afterwards was appointed an 
inspector, at $3 per day. 

Charles Hill, another clerk of the Returning Board, and 
therefore possessed of perilous secrets, was appointed store 
keeper, at a salary of $1,460. 

It is a fact not without significance that none of Presi 
dent Hayes cabinet ministers, save his Secretary of the 
Treasury, availed themselves of the privilege of rewarding 
any of the members of the Returning Board or of their 
zealous subordinates. 

Whether these dignities and emoluments were worth 
what they cost ; whether the honors for which they were 
beholden to the frauds and forgeries of the four pied and 


speckled knaves who constituted the Louisiana Returning 
Board in 1876 are such as their offspring and friends 
will take pride in; and whether their names will be 
cherished by their countrymen for their active and passive 
parts in placing a man in the presidential chair who was 
not elected to that office by the people, are questions 
which may be safely left to the final arbitrament of history. 
"How far," said the Hon. Clarkson N. Potter, 1 in his ad 
mirable and temperate report, the more admirable because 
so temperate, " the controlling visiting statesmen like Mr. 
Sherman really believed there was any justification for the 
rejection of Democratic votes by the Returning Board, men 
will never agree. We are apt to believe in the right of 
what we earnestly desire. Men who thought the welfare 
of the country depended upon the continuation in power of 
the Republican party would naturally have been disposed to 
consider almost anything justified to retain it there. To 
us it seems impossible that the flagrant and atrocious con 
duct of the Returning Board was not realized above all by 
the men of most political experience, or that the most dan 
gerous and outrageous political fraud of the age was not 
assisted and advised by those who next proceeded to take 
possession of its best fruits." 

1 Chairman of the select committee appointed by the House of Represent 
atives u to inquire into the alleged fraudulent canvass and return of votes 
at the last presidential election in the States of Louisiana and Florida." 


The electoral count of 1877 Senator Morton s scheme Tilden s history 
of the presidential counts President Grant concedes Tilden s election 
Electoral commission created Disapproved of by Tilden Re 
fuses to raffle for the presidency Horatio Seymour s speech before 
the New York electors Dr. Franklin s advice to his son The Florida 
case The Louisiana case The Oregon case Conflicting decisions 
of the commission The commission for sale The forged certificates 
from Louisiana Decision of the commission condemned by the House 
of Representatives Letter of Charles Francis Adams The Fraud 
Blazon Tilden s reply Protest of the Democratic minority of the 
electoral commission Thurman and Bayard James Russell Lowell. 

AT the meeting of Congress in December the absorbing 
question was the counting of the electoral vote. It had 
been usual for Congress to define in advance the manner 
in which this duty should be discharged. In the session of 
1864-5 Congress provided that no electoral vote objected 
to by either House of Congress should be counted except 
by the concurrent votes of both Houses. This became 
notorious as "the 22d rule." It was re-adopted at the 
three successive electoral counts of 1865, 1869, and 1873. 
This rule, after having been in force for three successive 
elections, was abandoned by a resolution of the Senate in 
December, 1875, on motion of Senator Edmunds, at whose 
instance the Senate adopted " the rules of that body and 
the joint rules of the two Houses except the 22d joint 
rule heretofore in use." The House of Representatives was 
at this time largely Democratic, and, had the 22d joint 
rule continued in force, any electoral votes which it re 
fused to count would have been rejected. The rule, which 
was of doubtful constitutionality, had been originally 
adopted, and subsequently renewed, for partisan ends ; for 
partisan ends it was now dispensed with by the Senate, 


thus leaving the two Houses without any rule to govern 
them for counting the electoral votes in February, 1877. 

Prior to 1865, and before the adoption of the 22d joint 
rule above referred to, it had been the practice of the two 
Houses of Congress, a little in advance of the day fixed by 
the Act of 1792 for counting the votes, the second 
Wednesday of February, to agree upon the place of meet 
ing for the discharge of this duty and the order of proced 
ure. Various efforts had been made from time to time, by 
one House or the other, previous to the adoption of the 22d 
rule, to appropriate to itself the power to determine the 
validity of electoral votes ; but all had, for one reason or 
another, proved abortive. The 22d joint rule, adopted by 
the Republicans in 1865, assumed for the first time the 
right to reject electoral votes, as the prerogative of either 

When the certificates of the electors of the several States 
came to be opened at Washington in 1877, it appeared 
that the certificates of thirty-four States were uncontested, 
but that the remaining four were to be contested. These 
were the certificates from the States of South Carolina, 
Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon. The electoral vote of the 
uncontested States was so distributed that the fate of the 
presidential candidates depended upon the electoral vote of 
the four contested States. 

Congress having failed to make any provision before 
hand, the mode of procedure in counting the electoral vote 
was the first question to be dealt with. 

The Republicans had the control of the Senate, the 
Democrats, of the House. The Constitution provided that 
"the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the 
Senate and the House of Representatives, open all the 
certificates, and the votes shall then be counted." Senator 
Morton took the ground that the President of the Senate 
should be invested with plenary authority " to determine 
all disputes relative to certificates of the electoral votes ; to 


count them and to declare the result, which declaration 
was to be accepted as final, conclusive, and irrevocable." 
The President of the Senate at that time, Thomas W. 
Ferry, of Michigan, owed that position to his party sub 
serviency rather than to his fame as a statesman. The 
adoption of such a rule would have been equivalent to 
pronouncing Hayes President and making the counting of 
the electoral vote an idle ceremony. To make it such was 
obviously the motive of those who advocated it. 

The Constitution assigned to the President of the Senate 
no other specific duty but to open the certificates. Beyond 
that he was but one of three coordinate bodies authorized 
to count the votes, settle controversies, and declare the 
result, as had been virtually the unbroken practice from 
the foundation of the government. A year had not elapsed 
since the same Senator Morton had introduced an electoral- 
count bill which required that the affirmative action of 
both Houses of Congress should be required to reject any 
certificate of electoral votes, and if more than one return 
was made, only that one should " be counted, which the 
two Houses, acting separately, shall decide to be the true 
and valid return." Nothing had occurred to the Constitu 
tion which in the spring of 1876 required the concurrence 
of the two Houses, acting separately, to count an electoral 
vote, the President of the Senate to the contrary notwith 
standing, that in the winter of the same year could transfer 
this power to the President of the Senate, the two Houses 
of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding. That is, 
nothing but a presidential election which begat the tempta 
tion to strike the House of Representatives with impotence 
for the purpose of ensuring the success of the Republican 
candidates. The inconsistency of these positions, and the 
absurdity of attempting to reconcile the Constitution with 
two modes of procedure so diametrically opposed to each 
other, did not prevent Morton s scheme finding favor with 
his partisans in Congress, who seemed to have reached the 


conviction that the end of defeating Tilden would sanctify 
any means necessary to accomplish it, and that the Con 
stitution itself should yield to such an exigency. Such 
threatening proportions did this scheme assume that Mr. 
Tilden devoted more than a month to the preparation of a 
complete history of the electoral counts from the foundation 
of the government, 1 to show it to have been the unbroken 
usage of Congress, not of the President of the Senate, to 
count the electoral votes. 2 

What influence, if any, this publication had upon the 
ultimate abandonment of Senator Morton s scheme it is 
difficult to say. Probably not much, for it taught the 
Senators nothing of which they were ignorant ; but about 
this time the leaders of that body became aware that Presi 
dent Grant did not believe that Hayes was elected, and 
several prominent Republican members of Congress, among 
them Senator Conkling, of New York, were under the same 
impression, and could not be relied upon to assist in up 
setting one of the most venerable traditions of the govern 
ment, nor in becoming accomplices in the fraud to which 
it was intended to be contributory. 

President Grant seems at no time to have had any doubt 
about the electoral vote of Louisiana belonging to Tilden 
and Hendricks, or of its being so ultimately decided. In 
some reminiscences of the late George "W. Childs, pub 
lished first in the " Philadelphia Ledger" in 1885, and 
subsequently in a volume, that gentleman said : 

" Just before General Grant started on his journey around 

1 The Presidential Counts ; a complete official record of the proceedings at 
the counting of the electoral votes in all the elections of President and Vice- 
President of the United States ; together with all congressional delates 
incident thereto or to proposed legislation on that subject ; with an analyti 
cal introduction. New York, D. Appleton $ Co., IS 77. 

2 The first election of George Washington, in 1789, was only an apparent 
exception. The election was unanimous, the procedure a formality and 
without debate or deliberation. See Presidential Counts ; also D. D. Fields, 
" The Electoral Vote of 76," p. 5. 


the world, he was spending some days with me, and at 
dinner with Mr. A. J. Drexel, Col. A. K. McClure, and 
myself, General Grant reviewed the contest for the creation 
of the Electoral Commission, and the contest before and in 
the commission, very fully and with rare candor ; and the 
chief significance of his view was in the fact, as he stated 
it, that he expected from the beginning, until the final 
judgment, that the electoral vote of Louisiana would be 
awarded to Tilden. He spoke of South Carolina and Ore 
gon as justly belonging to Hayes ; of Florida, as reasonably 
doubtful; and of Louisiana, as for Tilden." 

Col. A. K. McClure and the late A. J. Drexel, who were 
also guests of Mr. Childs on this occasion, have confirmed 
his report of this conversation. 

The plan, therefore, of gagging the House of Represent 
atives in the electoral college received no encouragement 
from President Grant. Whether he would have ever made 
any serious opposition to such a consummation, or whether 
the Senate would have deferred to him if he had, it is now 
idle to speculate. Another more plausible, if no less un 
constitutional, means of accomplishing the same result was 
devised for them, the authorship of which has been ascribed 
to President Grant. 

On the 14th of December, 1876, the House of Repre 
sentatives appointed a committee of seven of its members 
to act in conjunction with any similar committee of the 
Senate, "to prepare and report without delay a measure for 
the removal of differences of opinion as to the proper mode 
of counting the electoral votes for President and Vice-Pres- 
ident of the United States, and of determining questions 
which might arise as to the legality and validity of the re 
turns of such votes made by the several States, to the end 
that the votes should be counted and the result declared by 
a tribunal whose authority none can question and whose 
decision all will accept" 

Four days later, and on the eighteenth of the same month, 
the Senate created a special committee of seven Senators 


with power " to prepare and report without unnecessary de 
lay such a measure either of a legislative or other character 
as may in their judgment be best calculated to accomplish 
the lawful counting of the electoral votes and best dispo 
sition of all questions connected therewith, and the true 
declaration of the result," and also " to confer and act with 
the committee of the House of Representatives." 

This joint committee consisted of Senators George F. 
Edmunds, of Vermont; Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, of 
New Jersey ; Roscoe Conkling, of New York ; Allen G. 
Thurman, of Ohio ; Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware ; Mat 
thew W. Ransom, of North Carolina ; and Oliver P. 
Morton, of Indiana; and Representatives Henry B. Payne, 
of Ohio ; Eppa Hunton, of Virginia; Abram S. Hewitt, of 
New York ; William M. Springer, of Illinois ; George W. 
McCrary, of Iowa ; George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts ; and 
George Willard, of Michigan. On the 18th of January 
this committee almost unanimously Senator Morton only 
dissenting reported a bill providing for the creation of 
a tribunal to be composed of five Senators, five Represent 
atives, and five associate justices of the Supreme Court of 
the United States, four of the latter being designated by 
their districts in the bill itself, the fifth to be subsequently 
chosen by these four ; to which tribunal should be referred 
the conflicting certificates and accompanying documents 
from the contested States, and all questions relating to 
the powers of Congress in the premises, with the authority 
to exercise the same powers in ascertaining the legal vote 
of each of such States. The bill further provided that the 
decisions of such tribunal in every case should stand, 
unless rejected ~by the concurrent vote of both Houses. Also 
that objections which might be made to any votes from 
States not presenting double certificates should be con 
sidered, not by the commission, but by the Houses sepa 
rately, and unless sustained by both, should be of no effect. 

The bill, after a sharply contested debate in both Houses, 


passed the Senate January 25, and the House of Represent 
atives January 26. In the former the vote was 47 yeas to 
17 nays; the Republicans voting 24 yeas to 16 nays, and 
the Democrats, 23 yeas to 1 nay ; absent or not voting, 9 
Republicans and 1 Democrat. In the House there were 
191 yeas to 86 nays, the Democrats voting 158 yeas to 18 
nays, and the Republicans 33 yeas to 68 nays ; absent or 
not voting, 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats. 

How so large a number of the Democrats in Congress 
were induced to supersede the constitutional machinery 
for counting the electoral votes, for a device not only 
unknown to the Constitution, but in all its important 
bearings inconsistent with it, can only be explained as we 
explain most of the blunders which are woven into the web 
of every human life. Some yielded through ignorance, 
some for want of reflection, some to quiet a controversy 
about the result of which they were indifferent or appre 
hensive, some to serve personal ends at home that seemed 
more important to them than the presidential issue, while 
upon others, many, if not all, these considerations may have 
been not without their influence. 

Unfortunately for Mr. Tilden, the Senate swarmed with 
Democratic aspirants for the presidency; the two on 
the committee who negotiated the surrender having been 
strenuous competitors for that honor before the convention 
which nominated Mr. Tilden. Nor was the House of Rep 
resentatives lacking in Democratic candidates w r ho had not 
been able to regard with satisfaction the triumph of a can 
didate who had not been in the least indebted to Congress 
for his nomination, nor much for his success at the polls. 
Then again, there were perhaps no inconsiderable number 
who indulged the expectation that the proposed tribunal 
would elect their candidate, which was to them of more 
concern than the means by which it was accomplished. 
The latter class was recruited largely from among those 
who supposed Senator Davis, of Illinois, who then occupied 


a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court, would be selected 
as the fifth member from that bench, and of whose charac 
ter and moral authority with his colleagues enough was 
known to quench any suspicion of his lending support 
to the fraudulent and unconstitutional devices upon which 
he would have had to sit in judgment. 1 

Those who were seduced by this aleatory device were 
rewarded as they deserved. Just as the electoral commis 
sion bill became a law, the independent Republicans and 
the Democrats in the Illinois Legislature elected Judge 
Davis to the United States Senate. This afforded that 
gentleman an excuse, of which he naturally availed himself 
with a prompt alacrity, to decline the proffered place on 
the commission, and gave to the four judges, two selected 
from each party, the choice of the fifth, which resulted in 
the selection of Justice Bradley, a New Jersey Republican, 
and in leaving the rival candidates entirely at the mercy of 
the Republican party. By whatever motive they were gov 
erned, by whatever temptations seduced, it is now but too 
evident that the representatives of the people in the lower 
House inexcusably abandoned their coign of vantage and 
shirked the most solemn and momentous of all their official 
responsibilities, in a few short weeks to be marched through 
the Caudine forks and take their seats of humiliation before 
the inexorable tribunal of history. 

It is hardly necessary to say that Mr. Tilden was too 
large and experienced a statesman to approve of discharging 
any constitutional duty by any but constitutional methods. 
As soon as the action of the Returning Boards furnished a 

1 It was supposed by many that Morton and others engineered the 
selection of Davis with a full knowledge that he would not serve. It is 
difficult to see why Davis did not serve on the commission in spite of his 
election to the Senate, unless his absence from the commission was one of 
the conditions of his election. However this may be, his retreat from the 
field in the presence of the enemy effectually disposed of whatever ex 
pectations of preferment he might have entertained from the Democratic 


suitable provocation for his interference, he urged his 
friends in the leadership of the House to expose and com 
bat in full debate the threatened, unwarrantable usurpation 
by the President of the Senate of the right to count the 
votes, and to take no further step until in both Houses the 
great but pacific constitutional battle had been fought on 
that issue. He was ready to accept all responsibility for 
the outcome. He assured them that if properly resisted 
the conspiracy must break down ; that it must not be ^en 
couraged by the least symptom of concession, but fought 
inch by inch on the floors of Congress, until the real char 
acter of the proposed usurpation should become known 
throughout the country and the nation s opinion of it could 
reach Washington. Early in the session he prepared two 
resolutions which raised the issue upon which he wished 
the battle to be fought, and which, with some slight modi 
fications by the House committee on " the privileges, 
powers, and duties of the House of Representatives in 
counting the electoral votes " that received his approval, 
were adopted by that committee and reported to the 
House. 1 

1 This committee consisted of Sparks and Burchard, of Illinois ; Tucker, 
of Virginia; Marsh, of Pennsylvania; Seelye, of Massachusetts ; Monroe and 
Lawrence, of Ohio ; and D. D. Field, of New York. The resolutions were 
as follows : 

Resolved, First, That the Constitution does not confer upon the Pres 
ident of the Senate the power to examine and ascertain the votes to be 
counted as the electoral votes for President and Vice-President of the 
United States. 

Second, That the only power which the Constitution of the United 
States confers upon the President of the Senate in respect to the electoral 
votes for President and Vice-President of the United States is to receive 
the sealed lists transmitted to him by the several electoral colleges, to keep 
the same safely, and to open all the certificates, or those purporting to be 
such, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives. 

Third, That the Constitution of the United States does confer upon 
the Senate and the House of Representatives the power to examine and 
ascertain the votes to be counted as the electoral votes. 

Fourth, That in execution of their power in respect to the counting 
VOL. II. -5 


Had the course there traced been followed, it is now ap 
parent that the confirmation of Mr. Tilden s election would 
have been assured beyond a peradventure. The controlling 
voices of both parties in the Senate had over and over 
again, and within a few months, asserted and insisted upon 
the right of the two Houses to count the vote. They all 
knew, and many had repeatedly assisted in adding to, the 
imposing line of precedents under which a challenge of any 
electoral certificate by either House had sufficed to exclude 
its vote from the count. A challenge of a single one of 

O O 

the nineteen contested votes would have resulted in Tilden s 
election, either by the concurring vote of the two Houses, 
or, they failing to concur, in his election by the House of 
Representatives, to which the Constitution has confided the 
choice in such an emergency, and where the Democrats 
Avere in the majority, whether voting by themselves or by 
States. 1 

Happily we do not depend upon rumor nor oral tradition 
for our knowledge of Mr. Tilden s views of this crisis and 
the proper mode of dealing with it. They will be found 
most carefully and fully stated as early as the 1st of Jan 
uary, 1877, in the inaugural message of Governor Robin 
son, of which the portion which appears under the rubric 
of national affairs was written by Mr. Tilden. The 
forecast and wisdom of this statement, and its direct 

of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives is at least equal with 
the Senate. 

Fifth, That in the counting of the electoral votes, no vote can be counted 
against the judgment and determination of the House of Representatives. 

Sixth, That the committee have leave to sit again and report hereafter 
further matter for the consideration of the House. 

1 The Constitution of the United States, Art. 11, Sect. Ill, provides: 
" The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, 
if such number be the majority of the whole number of electors appointed; 
and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal 
number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately 
choose, by ballot, one of them for President ; and if no person have a 
majority, then from the highest on the list the said House shall in like 
manner choose the President. 


bearing upon what had occurred and upon what was to 
occur, time has only made more conspicuous. In the 
course of this statement he says : 


" The recent presidential election threatens to prove an 
epoch of solemn portent in our history. For the first time 
in the twenty-two elections which have been held for 
President and Vice-President of the United States, the 
result remains a subject of controversy after the canvass of 
the votes within the States has been made and announced. 
The two Houses of Congress have been heretofore repeat 
edly required to pass upon the authenticity and validity of 
electoral votes, but in no former instance has the election 
turned upon the questionable votes. In every former case 
the result has been determined by electoral votes which 
were not in controversy. In the present instance one 
candidate for President and one candidate for Vice-Pres 
ident have received 184 undisputed electoral votes, as well 
as a popular majority exceeding a quarter of a million. 
Another candidate for President and another candidate for 
Vice-President have received 165 undisputed electoral 
votes. All the votes of three States, four in Florida, 
eight in Louisiana, and seven in South Carolina, making 
nineteen in all, are still in dispute ; also one of the three 
votes in Oregon. In all these cases two sets of returns 
have been f transmitted to the seat of government, directed 
to the President of the Senate, to await the action of the 
two Houses of Congress, whose duty it is to verify, ascer 
tain, and count the electoral votes. 

" In a situation involving such momentous results as the 
chief magistracy of this republic, all the baser as well as 
the better forces of society are naturally embattled to 
secure the prize. It is in such crises of history that the 
controlling force of cardinal principles is liable to be 
weakened, dangerous concessions to be made, perilous 
precedents established, sacred traditions violated, and the 
most important bulwarks of constitutional freedom rendered 
less secure. 


" In Louisiana we have seen a State government imposed 
on the people by the military force of the federal executive 
under color of a pretended order of a federal judge, which 
order in itself was void, and which led to the resignation 
of the judge who made it, to escape impeachment. We 
have seen the government thus imposed by military force 
condemned as illegal and a mere usurpation, by both Houses 
of Congress, and the electoral votes given under its 
auspices rejected in the counting of the presidential votes 
in 1873 by the concurrent judgment of the same tribunal. 
We have seen the government so imposed create a Return 
ing Board practically vested with absolute power to 
revise and, if they please, to reverse the results of the 
election by the people of the State, and thus organize a 
political mechanism under which an oligarchy in temporary 
possession of the legislative power of a State might perpet 
uate their ascendency indefinitely. 

"I pause here in this statement to interpose, in behalf of 
the people of this great Commonwealth, a solemn denial of 
the power of any State government or of the federal gov 
ernment to vest such powers as are claimed by the Louisi 
ana Returning Board in any Canvassing Board whatever. 

" In the first place, such powers in respect to the choice 
of presidential electors are not warranted by, but are 
repugnant to, the Constitution of the United States. The 
provision of section 1 of article 2 of that instrument, that 
each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature 
thereof may direct, its presidential electors, does not 
confer on the Legislature of a State an unlimited power 
over the subject. No one will pretend that a temporary 
majority in the Legislature of a State could grant to an 
individual, or, to a set of individuals, the power to appoint 
presidential electors ; that it could make this grant for a 
period of years, or indefinitely, or to his or their heirs or 

" What it cannot do in form it cannot do in substance ; 
what it cannot do directly it cannot do indirectly. The choice 
which a Legislature is authorized to make for a State, 
in the mode of appointing presidential electors, is limited 
to a mere selection between certain known forms of action, 
recognized in the practice of popular government, and 
consistent with the nature of popular government. It 
is a choice of modes, but must not change or destroy the 


essential character of the thing itself. It is subject to the 
condition that the Slate shall appoint the presidential 
electors. The State, that is, the political community known 
in our jurisprudence and constitutional law by that name, 
must appoint, and in doing so it must act by and 
through its known and rightful organs. At the time this 
provision of the federal Constitution was adopted, it was 
contemplated that the Legislature of a State possessing all 
the governmental powers not withdrawn by the provisions 
of the State Constitution, or transferred to the government 
of the Union, might itself choose the electors. And, 
indeed, that was the mode at first generally practised by 
the States. The State Legislature at that time was regarded 
as the most natural and the legitimate organ of the State. 
The power to choose presidential electors might properly 
be conferred upon the people of the State by a general 
ticket, the voters throughout the State choosing all the 
electors ; or they might be chosen by the people of the 
State voting in districts, each district choosing one elector, 
These were methods consonant with the principles of our 
system of government, and by either of which it could be 
properly said that the State did, in fact, appoint* the 

" It is historically certain that these different modes were 
in the contemplation of the convention which formed the 
Constitution. Experiencing some difficulty, however, in 
imposing this duty upon all the States by any one uniform 
system, it devolved upon the Legislatures of each State the 
authority to choose from among these methods, one for the 
exercise of that power which it granted in declaring that 
each State shall appoint. 

" While the Legislature of a State may provide that presi 
dential electors shall be appointed by an election of the 
people, it cannot provide that that election shall not be a 
reality ; that it shall be a sham, and that the actual power 
of determining the choice shall be invested in a packed 
committee, whether it be called a Returning Board, or 
by any other name. 

" Neither can it invest a Board of Canvassers with indefinite 
or with arbitrary powers, nor with any authority which, by 
the principles and practice of our jurisprudence and the 
policy of our elective system, is not fairly incident to the 
function of ascertaining the vote of the people. This seems 


to me to be the obvious, the wise interpretation of the Con 
stitution of the United States and of its laws. Any other 
doctrine will open the way to abuses, frauds, and usurpa 
tions, which must end in destroying popular elections. 
The moment we depart from a strict construction of grants 
of power in derogation of the integrity and efficiency of the 
elective system, we shall be able to find no rule that will 
protect the rights of the people. We shall tempt transient 
majorities to seek to prolong their power by tampering 
with the machinery of elections, and the easiest, most con 
venient, and most effectual method for such a purpose is by 
the contrivance of Returning Boards, which shall be packed 
and equipped with powers hitherto unknown to our laws 
and practically subversive of the will of the people. 

" In the particular case of Louisiana, other equally grave 
illegalities are believed to exist. The powers vested in 
the Returning Board are inconsistent with the provision in 
the Constitution of that State, which guarantees the elective 
franchise to voters, and also with the provision which con 
fers the judicial power upon the courts. It is probable 
that the powers of this board, by the law of Louisiana, do 
not apply to presidential electors ; that the board itself was 
not constituted in accordance with the law under which it 
was created ; and finally, that a condition, without which 
the Returning Board could not get jurisdiction in the cases 
where it assumed to reject votes of whole districts, was not 
complied with. There is every reason to believe that the 
authority exercised by that Returning Board is void, as re 
pugnant to the Constitution of the United States, and also 
to the Constitution and laws of Louisiana. 

"In this state of the law, that Returning Board, according 
to public statements of conceded facts, by manipulations of 
the returns, have changed a majority for one set of presi 
dential electors of about 9,000 to a majority for another set 
of about 4,000, which would be equivalent to a change of 
over 80,000 votes in the State of New York. 

" In Florida we have seen a Board of State Canvassers, sol 
emnly adjudged by the highest court in the State to possess 
none but ministerial powers, assume the authority to re 
verse the choice of electors as shown on the face of the 
returns made by the officers who conducted the elec 
tions and received the votes ; and to do this in open dis 
obedience and cejritempt of the judicial tribunal having 


jurisdiction in such matters, and vested with the right of 
final judgment. 

" In South Carolina we have seen the Board of State Can 
vassers fabricating a canvass in like disobedience and con 
tempt of the Supreme Court having jurisdiction and the 
right of final judgment ; we have seen federal soldiery take 
possession of the capitol of the State, and a corporal at the 
door determining who were the elect of the people, and 
who were to be permitted to represent them as legisla 
tors. Notwithstanding some of these acts have been 
disavowed by the federal executive, no mark of dis 
approbation has been put upon the authors of the out 
rages ; the officer in command goes still unrebuked, and 
when the Returning Board were committed to prison for 
contempt, by the highest court in the State, a judge of the 
United States District Court is sent down to South Caro 
lina, and, without jurisdiction in the case, grants a writ of 
habeas corpus, and discharges the offenders. These pro 
ceedings are the more extraordinary and alarming when we 
consider that such violations of law and of right have been 
resorted to to overturn elections, all the officers conducting 
which were of the same political party with the candidates 
in whose favor these acts have been committed ; that the 
elections were held under the surveillance of troops of the 
United States, without any constitutional warrant for their 
presence, and that the judicial decisions thus set at naught 
cannot be suspected of any partisan bias, for they were 
rendered both in Florida and South Carolina by judges, all 
of whom were of the same political party with the Return 
ing Board. 

"These interferences of the military power have been 
committed in flagrant violation of the Constitution and 
laws. They were not provoked by domestic violence ; 
they were not invited in the only way that w r ould have 
made them constitutional, by the Legislature of the State ; 
and they were continued after the election was over and 
during all the subsequent proceedings of the Canvassing 
Board. Their tendency was to overawe the voters under 
the pretence of keeping the peace, though by measures in 
themselves unlawful, and to deliver dishonest officials from 
the natural sense of responsibility and the natural timidity 
in regard to the consequences of their acts, which are prov 
idential limitations to men s conceptions of the crimes upon 
which they may venture. 


" While these things were going on in the South a member 
of the cabinet at Washington was acting as chairman of a 
partisan national committee, and with the cooperation of 
some of his colleagues in the cabinet, counselling and sys 
tematically stimulating these desperate measures. 

" The result which these proceedings seem designed to 
accomplish cannot be secured without one further step in 
the processes of usurpation. The fabrication of electoral 
votes amounts to nothing unless they can be counted by the 
tribunal whose constitutional duty it is to verify and au 
thenticate them. That inexorable necessity has given birth 
to a new device for counting the votes, not only unknown 
to the Constitution, but in conflict with the construction 
hitherto always accepted, and with the invariable practice 
and precedents. That device is for the President of the 
Senate to usurp the power of determining what votes shall 
be counted, and what shall not be counted, and to exercise 
that power in disregard of the orders of the two Houses. 
It would not be credible that so monstrous a claim as this 
could be seriously asserted if leading Senators had not pub 
licly avowed it. 

" Nothing could be more abhorrent to the spirit of our 
system of government than such a one-man power. The 
President of the Senate is elected by the Senators, and 
they in turn are elected by the State legislators. He is, 
therefore, three removes from the people. If such a power 
were to have been vested in a single man, a depository 
would have been chosen not so far removed from popular 
accountability. But the people of this country will never 
vest such a power in any one man, however selected. They 
will never consent to a new construction of the Constitution 
and laws that bears such fruit. They will stand firmly in 
the ancient ways, and insist that the electoral votes in this 
emergency shall be counted as they have always been 
counted, by the two Houses of Congress, and by nobody 
else. They will look with just suspicion upon the purposes 
of any who would propose to depart from the precedents 
which have been hallowed by time, and the uniform prac 
tice of the Republic from its foundation. 

" The Constitution of the United States confers upon the 
President of the Senate no power whatever in respect to 
the counting of the electoral votes, except in presence of 
the Senate and House of Representatives, to open all 


the certificates which may be transmitted by the colleges 
to the seat of government, directed to him. 

" The Constitution confers upon the President of the Sen 
ate no power to determine the authenticity and validity of 
an electoral vote, or to interfere in any wise with any such 

" No President of the Senate has ever claimed or exer 
cised such a power at any of the twenty-one presidential 
elections that have occurred under our Constitution. 

" The mode of procedure for the counting of electoral 
votes has been invariably regulated by the two Houses 
of Congress, by concurrent resolution or standing rules 
adopted before the count. Those resolutions or rules have 
prescribed every step in the whole process ; every function 
of the tellers and of the President of the Senate, whenever 
any additional service, even of the most formal sort, has 
been required of him. 

" In every instance the counting has been conducted in 
conformity with the procedure thus prescribed by the two 
Houses ; by servants designated by the two Houses under 
instructions and in the presence of the two Houses, and 
with the entire concurrence and the implicit obedience of 
every President of the Senate who has participated in these 

" So often as any question has arisen as to the authentic 
ity or validity of an electoral vote, the two Houses have 
assumed and exercised the exclusive power to act upon and 
determine that question. They have, in contemplation of 
law, themselves made every count ; they have from the 
first assumed exclusive jurisdiction to regulate and govern 
the whole transaction by temporary concurrent orders ad 
opted for the occasion, by standing joint rules, and by the 
enactment of laws. Such has been the uniform and unin 
terrupted course of precedents, the invariable practice of 
the government, and the official exposition of the Constitu 
tion, which has been deliberately adopted, invariably acted 
upon, and unive-rsally accepted. 

"No fitter repository of all such powers as are vested in 
or must of necessity be exercised by the government can be 
found than the two Houses of Congress. They are not only 
the general agents of the people under our representative 
system, but in case of the failure of a choice of Presi 
dent and Vice- President by the electoral colleges, they are 


expressly charged by the Constitution with the duty of making 
the election. 

" The people of the United States will never consent to 
have their Representatives in Congress stripped of these 
powers, or tolerate this usurpation by a deputy of the Sen 
ate, or by any single person, and still less by an officer 
who is frequently interested as a candidate in the result of 
the count. 

" In this sentiment and purpose the State of New York 
cordially concurs. Foremost among all our American 
commonwealths in population, in the variety and extent of 
her industries and interests, she has in every vicissitude of 
public aifairs put forth all her strength, moral and physical, 
to maintain the existence and the just authorities of the 
Union, and she can never consent that the time-consecrated 
methods of constitutional government shall be supplanted 
or overthrown by revolutionary expedients." 

Why Mr. Tilden s advice, so simple, so wise, so logical, 
so sure sooner or later to enlist the sympathies and respect 
of every law-abiding citizen in the land, was not followed, 
is a question which I do not feel called to enter upon here. 
Besides, it involves the discussion of motives which can 
never be subjected to any undebatable test ; and if they 
could be, the profit of such a discussion now is more than 
questionable. I shall discharge my duty as his biographer 
in reporting what Mr. Tilden did to save his party, without 
dwelling more than is necessary for that purpose upon what 
others did to wreck it. 1 

The electoral commission scheme was not disclosed to 
Mr. Tilden until it was too late for any opposition on his 
part to be effective in prosecuting his method, which was 
the only constitutional method of settling the questions in 
dispute. How it was first brought to his attention was 

1 The late James G. Elaine, serving as one of the visitors at the West 
Point Military Academy, a year or two after the inauguration of Hayes, 
expressed himself to me as greatly surprised when the Democrats in Con 
gress assented to the plan of an electoral commission. He added that if 
the Democrats had been firm the Republicans had no alternative but to 
yield, and such was the result which he had anticipated. 


thus set down in a carefully considered communication 
addressed by Mr. Manton Marble to the "New York Sun," 
on the 5th of August, 1878. The tenor of this communica 
tion, as well as the circumstances under which it appeared, 
leave little doubt that before it was given to the public it 
passed under Mr. Tilden s eyes. 

"On the evening of Saturday, January 13, the under 
signed, calling upon Mr. Tilden, found him in receipt of 
the McCrary House bill with proposed amendments, and a 
letter from Mr. Hewitt advertising the Governor that his 
counsel thereon would be asked the next day. Mr. Tilden 
invited the undersigned to call on the morrow, when Mr. 
Hewitt should be there, to consider this bill the sup 
posed axis on which the deliberations of the House con 
ference committee were revolving. 

rf The undersigned thus came to be present January 14, 
the day and date when Mr. Tilden received from Mr. 
Hewitt s lips his first information that other measures had 
been abandoned ; that the Senate conference committee 
had just disclosed to the House conference committee an 
electoral commission bill it had been privately preparing ; 
that the House committee w r ere pressed to accept and 
adopt the same, and that the subject he wished to confer 
upon was that. 

" Mr. Hewitt explained as the Senate committee s reason 
for secrecy, that without it they could not carry the bill. 
It had been adopted by arrangement between the three 
Democratic and the four Republican members, and was so 
strictly observed that when Senator Kernan made inquiry 
of one of the former, he was told that nothing could be 
disclosed to him without violating an honorable under 
standing. So well was the secret kept, that Senator 
Barnum, now chairman of the national committee, passing 
through New York on Friday, the 12th, had expressed his 
conviction that a majority of the Senate, as Mr. Tilden s 
plan anticipated, would concur in denying the right of 
Ferry to make the count. 

" Before he read the new bill, Mr. Tilden was told by Mr. 
Hewitt that the Democratic members of the Senate com 
mittee were already absolutely committed to it, and would 
concur with their Eepublican associates in reporting it to 


the Senate, whether the House committee should concur or 
not, and whether Mr. Tilden approved it or not. 

r Is it not rather late, then, said Mr. Tilden, to con 
sult me? 

They do not consult you, replied Mr. Hewitt. f They 
are public men, and have their own duties and responsibili 
ties. I consult you. " 

In other words, as Mr. Tilden expressed himself to me 
at the time, the parents of this measure "have sent Mr. 
Hewitt, not to consult me about it, but to get my approval 
of it." This Mr. Tilden declined to give, and urged delay. 
When its friends pretended that time pressed, he told them, 
There is time enough. It is a month before the count. 
It had best be used, all of it, in making the people and 
their agents fully acquainted with their rights and duties." 

To the statement that the Senate committee would not 
delay for this to present their bill, with the unanimous ap 
proval of its three Democratic members, to the Eepublican 
Senate, Mr. Tilden replied : 

" It is a panic of pacificators. They will act in haste and 
repent at leisure." 

To representations of the danger of a collision of force 
with the executive, Mr. Tilden replied : 

" Nevertheless, this action is too precipitate. The fears of 
collision are exaggerated. And why surrender now? You 
can always surrender. That is all you have to do after 
being beaten. Why surrender before the battle for fear of 
having to surrender after the battle is over? " l 

1 This recalls the advice which Dr. Franklin gave to his son when Colo 
nial Governor of New Jersey : 

u Perhaps they may expect that your resentment of their treatment of me 
may induce you to resign and save them the shame of depriving you, when 
they ought to promote you. But this I would not advise you to do. Let 
them take your place if they want it, though in truth it is scarce worth 
your keeping, since it has not afforded you sufficient to prevent your run 
ning every year behindhand with me. One may make something of an 
injury, nothing of a resignation" Bigelow s u Life of Franklin," under 
date of Feb. 28, 1874. 


Unfortunately, the course of procedure which Mr. Tilden 
had traced out and urged upon the party was no longer 
possible. Their line of battle had been broken. The two 
controlling Democratic Senators on the committee, by their 
negotiations had practically surrendered the Democratic 
fortress. The plain, square issue made by Mr. Tilden could 
not be revived after a willingness to negotiate and make 
concessions had once been manifested. 

Even had it been still possible to defeat the proposed 
scheme of arbitration, that would not have restored the for 
tress ; it would not have made it any longer practicable to 
resume Mr. Tilclen s plan of battle. To that, as Mr. Mar 
ble justly remarks, 

" The conditions of success were an indomitable and 
united Democracy, and an unbroken favoring public opin 
ion. But the mere proposal of the electoral arbitrament, 
backed by great Democratic leaders, caused three illusions 
to prevail : the illusion that such an arbitrament was the 
only alternative to civil war ; the illusion that such a tri 
bunal must establish truth in its decision and the people in 
their rights ; the illusion of the business classes, oppressed 
by long-suifering under ruinous tariffs and fluctuating cur 
rencies, that it was the harbinger of new prosperity. So 
that the rank and file would have been resuming a contest 
abandoned by their familiar leaders as hopeless, and at 
tempting recurrence to the earlier issue amidst a public 
opinion now reversed and hostile." 

Instead, therefore, of wasting his energies in useless 
criticism of what had been done, Mr. Tilden directed his 
attention to such modifications in the structure of this 
projected court of arbitration as he thought essential. 

If an arbitration is to be adopted, he insisted that the 
members of the tribunal ought to be fixed in the bill it 
self, not left to chance or intrigue. 

That the duty of the arbitrators to investigate and decide 


the case on its merits should be made mandatory, not left 
to their discretion. 

"With both these vital points left at loose ends," he said, 
" you cannot succeed. You cannot afford to concede, and 
you can exact, first, the selection of good men to com 
pose the tribunal, which is the controlling point ; and, 
second, define the nature of the function to be performed 
by the tribunal, which is next in importance. 

" Fix these two points, good men ; explicit powers, - 
and you might possibly get through. Leave them doubtful, 
and it is happy-go-lucky, the shake of a dice-box." 

When pressed by suggestions of the improbability of the 
House insisting upon its independent constitutional rights 
without the support of the Democratic Senators w^ho were 
committed to a compromise, he said : 

" If you go into a conference with your adversary, and 
can t break off, because you feel you must agree to some 
thing, you cannot negotiate at all. Unless you are able to 
break off, you are not fit to negotiate. You will be beaten 
upon every detail." 

On the 15th of January Mr. Hewitt telegraphed from 
Washington to his brother-in-law, Edward Cooper, in New 

"The Senate committee will probably reject five and 
report six judge plan immediately. Our Senators feel 
committed to concur. House committee will not concur, 
and for present will probably not report." 

To this suggestion Mr. Tilden said, "I may lose the 
presidency, but I will not raffle for it." To Mr. Hewitt he 
telegraphed through Mr. Cooper : 

" Procrastinate to give few days for information and con 
sultation. The six-judge proposition inadmissible." 

The next day Mr. Hewitt telegraphed again to Mr. 
Cooper : 


"WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 1877. 

"After protracted negotiations Senate [committee] re 
ceded from six-judge [scheme], declined five-judge, and 
offered four senior associate justices, who are to choose 
the fifth judge, excluding chief justice. Our Senate 
friends earnestly favor acceptance, because they do not 
believe it possible to pass over. The Democrats on House 
committee believe this is the last chance of agreement. 
We cannot postpone beyond 11 to-morrow, and if we 
decline, Senate committee will report their original plan, 
to which our friends are committed. Telegraph your 

Mr. Tilden sent the followin answer : 

YORK, January 16. 
"Be firm and cool. Four-judge plan will not do. Per 
haps worse than six. Complaints likely to arise of haste 
and want of consultation with members, and embarrass 
ment in exercise of their judgment after plan is disclosed, 
by premature committal of their representatives. There 
should be more opportunity for deliberation and consultation. 
Secrecy dangerous. Probably mistake in itself, and if it 
results in disaster would involve great blame and infinite 

The ni^ht of the day that the foregoing telegram, was 

o / o o c? 

sent, the foregoing telegrams were canvassed by Mr. Tilden 
in the presence of several of his friends, at the conclusion 
of which he dictated the following telegram : 

"NEW YORK, January 16. 

" No need of hot haste, but much danger in it. Some 
days interval should be taken. The risk of publicity [is] 

"No information here, nor any opportunity to get infor 
mation which could justify abstinence from condemning 
such an abandonment of the Constitution and practice of 
the government, and of the rights of the two Houses and 
of the people. 

" Nothing but great and certain public danger, not to be 
escaped in any other way, could excuse such a measure. 


We are overpressed by exaggerated fears, and forget that 
the other side will have greater troubles than we, unless 
relieved by some agreement. 

" They have no way out but by usurpation ; [they] are 
bullying us with what they dare not do, or will break 
down in attempting. 

" So long as we stand on the Constitution and settled 
practice, we know where we are. Consequence of new 
expedient not enough considered. 

" Only way of getting accessions in the Senate is by 
House standing firm. And judicious friends believe in 
that case we will go safely through. Opportunity to con 
sult such friends should be given, before even tacit ac 
quiescence [by House committee] , if that is contemplated. 
Though details may be properly discussed, final committal 
by House committee should be firmly withheld." 

Before this telegram had reached, or at least been seen 
by, Mr. Hewitt, the surrender had been consummated. 

In no single particular from the beginning to the consum 
mation of the transaction had the advice of Mr. Tilden been 
acted upon. He advised the House of Representatives, with 
a majority in sympathy with the majority of the people, to 
stand upon its constitutional rights, and leave to the Senate, 
if it dared, the responsibility of violating those rights. 

Instead of which the House of Kepresentatives consented 
to be made of no account, and exchanged positive and in 
disputable powers, under the absolute control of friends, 
for the privilege of attempting the persuasion of enemies. 

Instead of exercising the rights and discharging the 
duties imposed upon it in the most unequivocal terms, it 
accepted a scheme for counting the votes which originated 
with a body having no corresponding contingent authority, 
and in political sympathy with the majority of a commis 
sion recruited from and controlled by a bench every mem 
ber of which had been appointed by Republican Presidents. 

Mr. Tilden had urged publicity and discussion, insisting 
that secrecy in respect to any plan involving the rights and 
interests of a whole people w^as unwise, dangerous, and 


essentially undemocratic. The scheme adopted was con 
ceived and begotten in a corner, and never exposed to the 
light of day until it had wrought irremediable mischief; 
still less was it submitted to such a discussion as befitted a 
measure involving the chief magistracy of fifty millions of 

Mr. Tilden advised against the betrayal of any symp 
toms of a possibility of concession. "You can surrender 
at any time," he said. " It will be time enough to surrender 
when you are beaten." They began their deliberations by 
concession, and surrendered without an engagement, fully 
a month before the time for discussion and for the arrival 
of reinforcements of public opinion from their constituen 
cies could have expired. They made indecent haste to 
precipitate themselves at the feet of their adversaries, as 
though they supposed their humiliation would be imputed 
to them for righteousness. 

Mr. Tilden advised them to trust the people, to stand by 
them and the Constitution ; and no one American statesman 
had ever a better right, from experience, to speak dogmati 
cally on that subject. 

Instead of trusting the people, they conducted all their 
negotiations in secret, and suppressed discussion until 
everything was surrendered worth saving, or that discus 
sion might have saved. 

When it was decided to submit the issue to arbitration, 
Mr. Tilden insisted that the law creating the arbitrators 
should require them to decide the issue on its merits, and 
not leave to them the determination of what were to be 
their duties. Firmness upon this point, to which the Re 
publicans of the Senate, sooner or later, must have yielded, 
would most certainly have resulted in confirming the elec 
tion of the candidate of the people s choice. 

This wise advice was rejected, and rejected, too, for 
clowns swords and Quaker guns. As the Hon. Henry 
Watterson most fitly said : 

VOL. II. 6 


"Mr. Tilden was the one man who took in the whole 
case and provided a plan to compass it. That plan was for 
the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional 
right to share in the count of the vote, no State to be 
counted except by the concurrence of both Houses, pre 
cisely as had been done in all preceding elections, each 
State lacking the concurrence of the two Houses to be thrown 
out ; in the event of a failure of either candidate by this 
process of throwing out to secure a majority of all the votes, 
the House to elect the President and the Senate to elect the 
Yice-President. That was Mr. Tilden s plan, pure and 
simple. It sprang directly from the Constitution, the law, 
and the practice. To overreach it, the conspirators must 
proceed openly to treason and usurpation. In that event, 
the House still had its right to elect, and, if it elect me, 
said Mr. Tilden at the time, I will go to Washington and 
take the oath if I am shot for it the next day. 

" Mr. Tilden s plan embraced no shilly-shallying or fool 
ishness. It meant business. He had to move either by 
force or by law. Force was out of the question. The 
country was not prepared for war, and the party would not 
follow him into war. All that a show of fight on his part 
could do would be to inflame a few excited spirits and play 
into the hands of the conspirators, who had the tools, and 
only wanted the pretext to come down upon the unorgan 
ized and helpless Democrats. Wisely he declined either to 
raffle or to bluff for the presidency. He proposed to pro 
ceed by law, the law of every preceding electoral count, 
and to force the Republicans, if bent upon their work of 
usurpation, to resort to violence and treason. He believed 
they would break down before they got through with it. 
Believing in the people, his idea was that the people 
needed only to be educated in their rights to maintain them. 
He presented a line of action. He prepared a magazine of 
instruction. These were set aside, and, in lieu of them, a 
bridge was constructed, over which the conspirators could, 
and did, walk in safety." 

On the 31st January the commission was elected, three 
Republicans and two Democrats being taken, by agreement, 
from the Senate, and three Democrats and two Republicans 
from the House. 



George F. Edmunds, of Vermont. 
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey. 
Oliver P. Morton, of Indiana. 


Allen G. Thurman, of Ohio. 
Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware. 


Josiah G. Abbott, of Massachusetts. 
Henry B. Payne, of Ohio. 
Eppa Hunton, of Virginia. 


James A. Garfield, of Ohio. 
George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts. 

The justices of the Supreme Court designated in the 
bill were : 


Nathan Clifford, of Maine. 
Stephen J. Field, of California. 


Samuel F. Miller, of Iowa. 
William Strong, of Pennsylvania. 

The fifth justice elected by these was Joseph P. Brad 
ley, of New Jersey. 

In all, seven Democrats and eight Republicans. 

It was determined by the Republicans in caucus to leave 
Senator Conkling off the Electoral Commission, though he 
had been more influential probably than any other Senator 
in securing the passage of the bill creating it. 1 

1 Mr. Childs says : " Grant was the originator of the plan. He sent for 
Mr. Conkling, and said with deep earnestness : k This matter is a serious 


Colliding was omitted because he was known to be in 
accord with the President in thinking that the vote of 
Louisiana rightfully belonged to Mr. Tilden. He was the 
only Republican Senator on the committee who was omit 
ted from the commission. Colliding had agreed to address 
the Electoral Commission in opposition to its counting 
the electoral vote of Louisiana for Hayes. Various explana 
tions of his failure to do so are in circulation. I have not 
been able to determine which of them all had the demerit 
of securing his silence. 

On the 6th of December the electors of the State of 
New York assembled at the capitol at Albany, organized 
by the election of Horatio Seymour, president of the col 
lege, and proceeded to cast the electoral vote of the State of 
Xew York for Tilden for President and Hendricks for Vice- 
President. 1 On taking the chair Mr. Seymour became 
the interpreter of the profound concern which had been 
awakened among the people of all parties in Mr. Tilden s 
native State by the rumors which were coming from the 
South. Time has given to Mr. Seymour s remarks a per 
tinence and an importance which was hardly accorded to 
them at the time of their utterance. After referring to the 
fact that the year in which they were about to participate 
in the election of a new President of the United States was 
the hundredth anniversary of our existence as an indepen 
dent people, he continued : 

" At this moment of general congratulation the people 
were startled by the assertion that there had been dis 
covered in remote Southern States the exact number of 

one, and the people feel it deeply. I think this Electoral Commission ought 
to be appointed. Conkling answered : l Mr. President, Senator Morton is 
opposed to it and to your efforts. But if you wish the commission carried, 
I can do it. He said, 1 1 wish it done. " 

1 Tilden s popular majority over Hayes in the State of New York was 
32,818, and the largest aggregate vote ever cast up to that time in that State. 
It exceeded Grant s vote in 1872 by 81,298, and Greeley s of the same year 
by 134,764. 


electoral votes which would be given to and would elect the 
presidential candidate who was not the choice of the ma 
jority of the American people. This surprise was greater 
because it was one of the charges made by the Republicans 
in the canvass to excite the minds of the men of the North, 
that the solid South would support the Democratic ticket. 
It was also urged that every Southern State had a deep 
interest in doing this, because they meant to make demands 
upon the national treasury. While this charge was unjust, 
no reason can be given why South Carolina, Florida, and 
Louisiana should not act in accord with the overwhelming 
majorities of the adjoining States. The public excitement 
reached the highest point when it was learned that the men 
who proposed to give these electoral votes to the candidate 
of the minority had been for years past charged with grave 
crimes, and that their personal security against legal pun 
ishment depended upon their success in falsifying the 
returns of their States. To them an honest count meant just 
punishment. I cannot be charged with partisan prejudice 
for any terms of reproach I may use in regard to the offi 
cials of Louisiana. I have no words strong enough to 
describe their unworthiness as set forth in official reports 
made by their political friends. I cannot, if I would, 
paint the aversion shown in the halls of the capitol by 
honest Republicans, who shunned them as leprous men 
whose touch and presence was polluting. Yet a few such 
men, acting solely in reference to their personal interests, 
and who believe that the blackness of their crimes strength 
ens their claims upon the gratitude of their party, have 
thus put in peril the interests, the honor, and the safety of 
the American people. We have not the poor satisfaction 
of feeling that the dangers that threaten us are even in- 

c> O 

vested with the ordinary diginity of danger. The pride 
of our citizens is humiliated, and their feelings of security 
under our laws and Constitution are lessened, when they 
see that the solemn verdict of eight million voters may be 
reversed by less than eight infamous men men who have 
been branded by the leading orators, statesmen, and journals 
of their own political party as vile and corrupt, in terms more 
vigorous than I can repeat. If, under our Constitution, the 
majority of the electoral votes of the States had been fairly 
given to the Republican candidates, although the popular 
majority is against them, all would have acquiesced in 


their election. Such results are to be regretted, as they 
do not give administrations the moral power they should 
have for their own dignity and the good of the country. 
To elect men to govern the Union against the will of the 
people by unfair methods is revolution. Such plots in 
volve anarchy, distress, and dishonor. Those who engage 
in them, when they have taken the first steps, must go on 
at all hazards. They have staked their political fortunes 
it may be their lives or liberties upon success. 
Fear goads them on to darker acts of treason. The first 
false steps forced a reluctant South into rebellion. In the 
same way they now impel desperate politicians who upheld 
usurpation in Louisiana in the past, to stand by them now, 
regardless of the honor and safety of the American Union. 
Will a free people trust such men with the reins of power ? 
Will they consent to be dragged into danger and dishonor 
by men who are goaded on by fears which always haunt the 

" The glory of this centennial year thus fades away and 
darkens into this national shame and reproach. Aroused 
patriotism can crush resistance to law, but corruption kills 
honor, virtue, and patriotism, saps the foundations of 
society, and brings down the structure of states and nations 
in ruin and dishonor. 

" While we implore all classes of citizens to enter upon 
the duty of deciding what shall be done to avert threatened 
evils, we respectfully appeal to the great Republican party 
to see if the heaviest responsibility for a just decision 
does not rest upon them. And we make this appeal with 
confidence that a great organization, which has its full share 
of virtue and patriotism, will not, when it calmly reviews 
the events of the day, fail to do justice to us, to them 
selves, and to the country. We do not complain that under 
the excitement of the canvass, or that before the heat of 
the election should have passed away, you may for a 
moment grasp eagerly at a victory without seeing that such 
a victory may prove a curse to you as well as to others. 
But we beg you will reflect, now that you have had exerted 
in your behalf, not only the whole power of the national 
administration with its hosts of officials, but that the exe 
cution of all the laws relating to the election of the officers 
of the general government was entirely in the hands of 
your partisans. If we look at the provisions of these 


laws, we find that they contain features of a startling 
character, as they were framed before the passions excited 
by civil war had been allayed, and with reference to States 
still looked upon as hostile to our Union. The judicial 
officers of every grade who interpret these laws, almost 
without exception, belong to your party. The marshals 
who execute them are heated politicians, the very tenure 
of whose offices depends upon the success of your ticket. 
They can summon a vast array of deputies, and all of these 
may make arrests, in some cases without process, and by 
express enactment are placed above the reach of the laws and 
of the judiciary of the States. At the late election Repub 
lican officials, at the expense of the general government, 
could examine every registry in the principal toAvns and 
cities. They could and did arrest men for accidental 
clerical errors of others in giving the name or the number 
of a house. In only one instance under these laws was 
there a recognition of the party opposed to the administra 
tion. They were entitled to one of the two supervisors of 
election at each polling-place, but these were to be selected 
by persons all of whom belonged to the party in power. 
We do not complain of the enforcement of these laws. On 
the contrary, we point with satisfaction to the fact that 
they furnished the proof made by their partisan opponents, 
that the Democratic vote was an honest one. If fraud is 
suspected, it must be the work of others, not of the Demo 
cratic party. Even if these election laws had been in all 
cases fairly enforced, they still made a vast array of parti 
san forces and power, supported by the common treasury, 
but exerted against the party that carried with it a majority 
of the American people. We hear much of coercion, in 
timidation, and undue influences, but nothing approaching 
this in power can exist in any part of our country. There 
is no organization which could for a moment contend with 
it, backed up as it has been by the American army. 

" We also appeal to the Republicans to see if it is not 
true that during the late election the officials at Washington 
overlooked the fact that they were the government of a 
country, and acted throughout merely as the administration 
of a party. Has one step been taken, or the army moved, 
save at the instance of their political friends ? Has there 
been a recognition of or a consultation with a single citizen 
who was not allied to them in interest and feeling ? 


"There is a darker phase of the last election. The ad 
ministration sent out a cabinet officer to take charge of the 
canvass on behalf of the Republican party. His very posi 
tion at the head of its managing committee made a forced 
loan upon nearly one hundred thousand official dependents. 
It proclaimed to them in louder tones than words, You 
must work. You must vote. You must pay to aid the 
election of a candidate who declares himself in favor of 
civil-service reform. It told them that if, believing and 
acting upon his assurance, they followed their own convic 
tions and voted for his opponents, they would be punished 
by the loss of their positions. They were forced, in thou 
sands of cases, to submit to extortion with smiling faces, 
but with heavy hearts. If a like intimidation had been 
used in a Southern State, it would have been seized upon by 
the administration as a reason for declaring martial law, for 
arresting and imprisoning every suspected citizen. 

"I have too much respect for the characters of Messrs. 
Hayes and Wheeler to think that they wish to be put at the 
head of this Union against the declared wishes of a ma 
jority of the American people. I do not doubt that if this 
is to be done by men in Louisiana, of whom they think as 
ill as we do, that they would feel that the highest offices of 
state would be for them not positions of honor and dignity, 
but political pillories, in which they would stand to N be 
pointed at, now and hereafter, as the representatives of a 
foul fraud. One thing all men see: The Republican party 
cannot decide its own case in its own favor against the ma 
jority of the American people, upon the certificate of branded 
men in Louisiana, without making the body of our citizens 
and the ivorld at large feel that it is a corrupt and partisan 
decision. Such judgment will not only destroy our honor 
and credit for the day, but will be a precedent for wrong 
doing in the future. We cannot have Mexican politics with 
out Mexican finances and Mexican disorders. The business 
men in all civilized countries have been taught by recent 
bankruptcies and disorders in governments, made unstable 
by agitations, to be watchful and distrustful when they see 
the slightest deviation from political honor, without which 
there can be no financial honor. On the other hand, let the 
party now in power yield to the popular will, demand 
honest returns in accordance with the Constitution, bow to 
the majesty of the law, and then every citizen will feel a 


renewed confidence in our institutions, and the whole world 
will hold us in higher respect and honor." 

The commission at Washington perfected its organiza 
tion on the first day of February, and on the same day 
received the contested certificates of the State of Florida. 

I shall be brief in dealing with the deliberations of the 
Electoral Commission, for the simple reason that the Re- 
publican members of that tribunal controlled it ; and upon 
every question, I believe without a single exception, bear 
ing upon the success of their candidate, voted with their 
party. Wherever his success depended upon going behind 
the returns, they went behind the returns ; when his suc 
cess depended upon treating the returns as sacred and 
conclusive, they were treated as sacred and conclusive ; 
and when his success depended upon counting the vote of 
a federal office-holder, though disqualified by the Consti 
tution from serving as an elector, his vote was counted. 
They adopted no rule of law or constitutional construction 
which was not compelled to yield promptly to party 

The Florida case involved two vital questions : 

First, The legality of the proceedings of the Return 
ing Board in returning as duly chosen, and the Governor 
of Florida in certifying, the appointment of Republican 
electors from that State ; and, 

Second, Was Frederick C. Humphreys, one of the 
electors so returned and certified, being at the time holder 
of an office under the federal government, eligible under 
the Constitution, which provides that no "person holding 
an office of trust or profit under the United States shall be 
appointed an elector " ? 

The commission disposed of the first question by decid 
ing by a strict party vote, eight to seven, "that it is not 
competent under the Constitution and the law as they ex 
isted at the passage of said act to go into evidence aliunde 
the papers opened by the President of the Senate in the 


presence of the two Houses, to prove that other persons 
than those regularly certified to by the Governor of the 
State of Florida, in and according to the determination and 
declaration of their appointment by the Board of State 
Canvassers of said State prior to the time required for the 
performance of their duties, had been appointed electors, 
or by counter-proof to show that they had not ; and that all 
proceedings of the courts or acts of the Legislature or of the 
executive of Florida, subsequent to the casting of the votes 
of the electors on the prescribed day, are inadmissible for 
any such purpose. 1 

Here the rule is formally laid down that the commission 
has no legal nor constitutional competence to go behind the 
electoral certificates delivered to and opened by the Presi 
dent of the Senate. 

This rule held good only so long as it served the purpose 
of the majority. 

"As to the objection made to the eligibility of Mr. 
Humphreys, the commission is of the opinion that, without 
reference to the question of the effect of the vote of an 
ineligible elector, the evidence does not show that he held 
the office of shipping commissioner on the day when the 
electors were appointed" 2 

Here is the distinct admission that they did take evidence 
aliunde the certificates, to prove that Mr. Humphreys was 
not ineligible. 

The reader is requested to note that this decision in 
Humphreys case is made " without reference to the ques 
tion of the effect of the vote of an ineligible elector." 
They declined to pronounce against the validity of such a 
vote, for they already had reasons for apprehending that 
other cases would come before them in which the electors 
would appear ineligible on the face of the certificates ; and 
as the loss of a single electoral vote would have been fatal 

1 " Electoral Count of 1877," p. 19G. 
8 " Electoral Count," p. 196. 


to their candidate, they did not mean to commit themselves 
against counting the vote of an ineligible elector if his vote 
should prove to be necessary. In other words, they had 
undertaken to count Mr. Tilden out and their candidate 
in, and they did not propose to deprive themselves of the 
liberty of so construing the Constitution as to accomplish 
their purpose. 

When the Louisiana case was reached, it appeared that 
two of the electors certified by the Returning Board were 
disqualified by the Constitution of the United States, and 
four others by the Constitution of Louisiana, which pro 
vides that " no person shall at any time hold more than one 
office." A. B. Levissee when elected was a United States 
commissioner, and O. H. Bre water was surveyor of the 
United States Land Office. They resigned their federal 
offices temporarily, were substituted for themselves by 
their colleagues, and voted for by Hayes and Wheeler. 
Both these men were promptly reappointed to their re 
spective federal offices and resumed their duties. 1 When 
their case was reached by the commission, it was manifest 
that the majority could not elect their candidate under the 
rule laid down in the Florida case. Accordingly they held 
" that it is not competent to prove that any of said persons 
so appointed electors as aforesaid held an office of trust or 
profit under the United States at the time when they were 
appointed, or that they were ineligible under the laws of 

1 During the count of the electoral votes in 1837 the question of the 
eligibility of electors was considered by a Senate committee composed of 
Henry Clay, Silas Wright, and Felix Grundy, who reported that " The 
committee are of opinion that the second section of the second article of 
the Constitution, which declares that 4 no Senator or Representative, or 
person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be 
appointed an elector, ought to be carried in its whole spirit into rigid exe 
cution. . . . This provision of the Constitution, it is believed, excludes 
and disqualifies deputy postmasters from the appointment of electors ; and 
the disqualification relates to the time of appointment, and that a resigna 
tion of the office of deputy postmaster after his appointment as elector 
would not entitle him to vote as elector, under the Constitution." 


the State, or any other matter offered to be proved aliunde 
the said certificate and papers." l 

The commission also decided " that the returning officers 
of elections who canvassed the votes at the election for 
electors in Louisiana were a legally constituted body, by 
virtue of a constitutional law, and that a vacancy in said 
body did not vitiate its proceedings." The constitution of 
Louisiana, article forty-eight, prescribes who the returning 
officers of elections shall be ; to wit, the officers of elec 
tions at the different polling-places throughout the State. 
Senator Edmunds, on the 16th of March, 1875, declared in 
the Senate in unequivocal language that the election law 
creating the Returning Board was in conflict with the con 
stitution of the State. And yet Mr. Commissioner Ed 
munds, on Feb. 16, 1877, voted that the election law of 
Louisiana creating the Returning Board was not in con 
flict with the constitution of the State. Representative 
George F. Hoar made a report to the House of Represent 
atives in 1875, in which he used the following language 
in regard to the Louisiana Returning Board s conduct in 
the election of 1874 : " We are all clearly of the opinion 
that the Returning Board had no right to do anything 

O t/ O 

except to canvass and compile the returns which were law 
fully made to them by the local officers, except in cases 
where they were accompanied by the certificates of the 
supervisor or commissioner provided in the third section." 
How much more grossly had the Returning Board violated 
the law in 1876 than in 1874 ; and yet Mr. Commissioner 
Hoar voted, Feb. 16, 1877, that the presidential electors 
returned as elected by that Returning Board were legally 

When the Oregon contested case came up before the 
commission, the electoral tribunal did not permit itself to 
be in the least embarrassed by its previous rulings. By 
the laws of Oregon its returning officers were the Governor 

1 " Electoral Count," p. 422. 


and the Secretary of State. One of the Republican elec 
tors was a postmaster, and consequently disqualified by the 
Constitution for serving as an elector. The Secretary of 
State, therefore, gave the certificate to his opponent, E. A. 
Cronin, a Democratic elector. Cronin voted for Tilden 
and Hendricks. One copy of a certificate of his vote as a 
Tilden elector in clue form was forwarded by mail to the 
President of the Senate, a second was filed with the United 
States District Judge, and the third was borne by Cronin 
himself to Washington and delivered to the President of 
the Senate. His vote, therefore, for Tilden and Hendricks 
was legally and regularly before the two Houses of Con- 
gress. Cronin had unnecessarily gone through the form 
of organizing an electoral college w^hich neither the laws 
nor the Constitution of the United States require, and for 
that purpose had appointed two persons to act with him. 
As one vote for Tilden in Oregon would be as fatal to 
Hayes as one in Louisiana or Florida would have been, 
this vote had to be rescued as a brand from the burning. 
But how ? Here was a Tilden elector regularly certified by 
the authorized returning officers. To reject him was to 
elect in his place a man certified to them to have been an 
officer of the federal government. Was it to be prepared 
for this emergency that they forbore in the Florida case to 
decide whether the holding of a federal office disqualified 
Humphreys as an elector? It was a very aggravating case 
for the Republican commissioners to deal with, but they 
rose to the level of the occasion ; " the hope was not drunk 
wherein they had dressed themselves ; " they did not 
weakly let "I dare not" wait upon "I would," but boldly 
decided " that the Secretary of State did canvass the returns 
in the case before us, and thereby ascertained that J. C. 
Cartwright, W. H. Odell, and J. W. Watts had a majority 
of the voles given for electors, and had the highest number 
of votes for that office, and by the express language of the 
statute are deemed elected." They further held "that 


the refusal or failure of the Governor of Oregon to sign 
the certificate of the election of the persons so elected does 
not have the effect of defeating their appointment as such 
electors." 1 

The commissioners made this decision in favor of "Watts, 
the Eepublican elector, solely upon the ground that he had 
" the highest number of votes." But if the highest number 
of votes was sufficient for an elector in Oregon, why was it 
not sufficient in Florida where the electoral ticket had an 
incontestable majority of ninety-one, and in Louisiana 
where it had an incontestable majority of over 7,000. 
They altogether suppress the supreme fact that the Sec 
retary of State had certified to the Governor that another 
person had been elected and that Watts had not been ; and 
the further fact that the Secretary of State and Governor, 
and no one else, by law constituted the returning officers 
of Oregon. This suppression was necessary because in 
Louisiana they had held that an elector is not appointed 
according to the terms of the Constitution until he has re 
ceived the certificate of such appointment from the return 
ing officers. Therefore the decision which elected Watts 
in Oregon should have admitted all the Tilden and Hen- 
dricks electors in Louisiana and Florida, and the decisions 
in Louisiana and Florida should have elected a Tilden 
elector in Oregon, had the commission attached any im 
portance to the virtue of consistency in their rulings, or 
felt that their appointment on that commission invested 
them with any other function or imposed upon them any 
other duty than to make Hayes President without violating 
any more nor any less of the ten commandments and the 
laws of their country than was necessary. Like Cassan 
dra s lover, they adapted the ethics of the Pagan instead 
of the Christian code for their purpose : 

" Muteraus clypeos, Danaumque insignia nobis 
Aptemus : dolus an Virtus, quis in hoste requirat ? " 

1 " Electoral Count of 1877," p. 640. 




There were at least nine Republican electors who were 
disqualified by virtue of their holding offices under the 
federal government at the time of their election. Only 
in the cases of Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon, however, 
could the question of their eligibility be raised before the 
commission, and in no two of these cases were the decisions 
the same. And yet the members of this commission were 
severally sworn as the Holy Evangelists, " to impartially 
examine and consider all questions submitted," . 
" and a true judgment give thereon, agreeably to the Con 
stitution and the laws." 

It seems not inappropriate to insert here an entry which 
I made in my diary on the 9th of February, 1877 : 

" On Thursday (the 8th) Tilden told me a man had called 
to say that the commission was for sale. When I ex 
pressed an incredulous sort of astonishment, he said that 
one of the justices (Republican) was ready to give his vote 
for the Tilden electors for $200,000. I asked which one. 
He said he thought he would not tell me that at present. 
I told him it was improbable, for the judges were all w T ell 
paid and had life terms of their office. He said the jus 
tice in question is reported to be embarrassed from old 
engagements and obligations. . . . Tilden also told me 
that the Florida Returning Board was offered him, and for 
the same money. ( That, he said, r seems to be the stand 
ard figure. " 

In a notable debate in the House of Representatives in 
February, 1879, the Hon. A. S. Hewitt, replying to a scur 
rilous allusion to Mr. Tilden which Mr. Garfield, who had 
been a member of the Electoral Commission, had been 
betrayed into making, confirmed the report that the presi 
dency had been in the market. Time has only added 
significance and gravity to his manly expostulation. 

" I think, however, that I can account for this extraordi 
nary proceeding. During the progress of this debate, a 
gallant soldier, an able lawyer who has been attorney-gen 
eral of my State, and who is a stanch Republican, General 


Francis C. Barlow, of New York, had given evidence on 
the lower floor of this capitol that the vote of the State 
of Florida had been unjustly counted for Mr. Hayes ; the 
conclusion being that if it had been counted for Mr. Tilden, 
he to-day would have been occupying the White House 
instead of its present de facto and not dejtire tenant. This 
evidence must have touched the gentleman from Ohio to 
the quick ; it must have revived the memories of eight to 
seven ; it must have reminded him how, when the electoral 
bill was pending in this House, for one whole evening 
he devoted himself to proving that the law creating the 
commission was unconstitutional, but that if it should be 
passed, it would be the duty of the commission to take 
evidence of fraud and to go behind the returns. And yet 
when he was made a judge, acting under a law which he 
had declared to be unconstitutional, and which, as he had 
affirmed, required evidence to be taken, he consented to 
violate the Constitution and to deny the admission of the 
evidence which was necessary to arrive at the truth. When 
the great w T rong thus done by the vote of the gentleman 
from Ohio for it was his casting vote in every case that 
excluded evidence was thus made manifest by the testi 
mony of General Barlow, did that feeling of remorse which 
is the attribute of great minds force him to attempt to 
drown the reproaches of conscience by alleging that the 
man who to-day is of right President of the United States 
was the author and finisher of frauds, and therefore 
should be excluded from the high office to which he had 
been elected by the people ? 

" High minds of native pride and force 
Must deeply feel thy pangs, remorse ! 
Fear for their scourge mean villains have ; 
Thou art the torturer of the brave. 

" Gentlemen on the other side realize fully that a great 
wrong cannot be committed in this country without being 
finally redressed by the voice of the people, for they re 
member what took place in General Jackson s case in 1828, 
and they know that the voice of the people is the voice of 
God, who has declared, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, 
saith the Lord. They see no refuge from the coming 
judgment but in destroying the character of the man whom 
they have robbed. For months an uninterrupted stream 


of abuse, misrepresentation, and calumny has been poured 
out upon his devoted head, but the testimony of the last 
few days has justified the assertion which I have never 
failed to make when Mr. Tilden s character and integrity 
have been attacked, that not one particle of dishonest action 
can be traced to him, but, on the contrary, it is now mani 
fest to all men that he scorned to purchase the presidency 
which found a ready market elseiuhere" 

Mr. Hewitt has more recently stated at a public meeting 
in New York that the electoral vote of one of the contested 
States had been offered to him for a price. 

There is one more chapter in the history of this extraor 
dinary tribunal, without which it would be incomplete. 

. " Long a est injuria, longae ambiges" 

When Anderson was selected to bring the certificates 
of the Louisiana Returning Board to Washington, he 
handed the package to Ferry, the President of the Senate, 
on the 24th of December. Instead of accepting it as he 
should have done, for better or for worse, Ferry called 
Anderson s attention to the fact that the endorsement on 
the outside, setting forth the contents of each envelope, had 
not been signed by the electors as the law required, and 
recommended Anderson to examine the law and see whether 
the certificate had been made in accordance with it. 

It was the duty of the President of the Senate to receive 
the package, to open it only in the presence of both Houses 
of Congress, and leave them to decide what to do with it. 
He had previously received the duplicate of the package 
handed him by Anderson ; and he knew that the electors 
were functus officii and no more competent to repair any 
defect of omission or commission in their returns, weeks 
after their legal existence had ceased, than to recall the 
cloud which had shaded them the preceding day. Con 
trary to the Constitution, which required that the elec 
toral return should be opened by the President of the 

VOL. II. 7 


Senate in the presence of both Houses of Congress, Ander 
son s package was opened in Washington by parties whose 
names have not officially transpired, when, to the conster 
nation of the Hayes engineers, it was discovered that the 
lack of the electors signatures on the envelope was by no 
means the only, nor the most serious, defect of the return ; 
that instead of voting separate ballots for President and 
Vice-President, as required by the Constitution, they had 
voted for both on one ballot, and had failed to make their 
return of the votes cast for each candidate on distinct 
lists with separate certificates, also express requirements 
of the Constitution. 

There was but one course left for them to save their candi 
date. The certificates made out and signed by the electors 
in triplicate on the 6th of December must be suppressed, 
and false ones, purporting to comply with the provisions of 
the Constitution, must be substituted for them. Anderson 
left Washington the night of the day he reached there, 
arrived in New Orleans on the morning of December 28th, 
and repaired at once to the quarters of Governor Kellogg. 
The Governor sent for his private secretary, Clark, who at 
once set about the preparation of new certificates. There 
was no time to waste. The forged certificates must be on 
their way to Washington at 5.20 P.M. of the next day, 
one set by the hand of a messenger, and another set by the 
mail, in order to reach Washington within the time fixed 
by law for their reception, the 3d of January, 1877. 

Kellogg and Clark, however, with the aid of Anderson, 
proved equal to the occasion. They had certificates printed 
to correspond paper and impression with the certifi 
cates of December 6th. The new certificates were spread 
out on a large table in the third floor of the State House, 
where they were to be signed. Such of the electors as 
could be found were taken up to this room, one at a time, 
in the order in which they had signed the original certifi 
cates. Two, Levisee and Joffroin, were away fully three 


days journey from New Orleans. Their autograph signa 
tures, therefore, could not be had. But when the electors 
who had originally signed below the signatures of these 
absentees, went up to affix their names to the new certifi 
cate, they found the names of the absentee electors in their 
place. Who forged these names is a question now of sec 
ondary importance. The accomplices in the fraud did not 
agree in their testimony as to the actual perpetrator of the 
forgery, though none pretended that the names had not 
been forged. It would have been idle to have done so, as 
the impossibility of either of the two electors being in New 
Orleans either on the 28th or 29th of December was a 
matter of common notoriety. 

These forged certificates were not sent to Washington 
this time by Anderson, who had taken the former certificates, 
but by a clerk in the State auditor s office, named Hill, 
who on his arrival went first to Zachariah Chandler, the 
secretary of the treasury, and chairman of the Republican 
national committee, to whom he bore a letter also from 
Governor Kellogg. Chandler read Kellogg s letter, and 
then directed Hill to go to the capitol and deliver the forged 
electoral certificates to Mr. Ferry, the President of the 
Senate. Senator Sherman was invited by Mr. Ferry to 
come in and witness the delivery and receipt of the 
package. That ceremony over, Sherman took Hill into 
the room of the finance committee, and wrote a letter to 
Kellogg, which he delivered sealed to the messenger to be 
delivered to Kellogg in person. 

Thus far it seemed as though this crevasse, which at first 
threatened all their elaborate fabric of iniquity, had been 
closed up, or at least gotten under control. 

It was still necessary, however, to obtain from the United 
States district judge in New Orleans the electoral certifi 
cate which, in accordance with the requirements of law, 
had been deposited with him on the 6th of December and 
replace it with one of the certificates forged on the 29th of 


December. The district judge declined to grant the appli 
cation for this substitution, on the ground that he was the 
custodian of the package merely, and without authority to 
deliver it to any one except upon a requisition from the 
Speaker of the House. This respect for the law on the 
part of the judge seemed puerile to the Kellogg "combine," 
but it was none the less awkward. 

When the two Houses of Congress in their call of the 
States reached Louisiana, Mr. Ferry, the presiding officer, 
first handed to the tellers the genuine Kellogg certificate, 
which had come to him by mail. Next the McEnery 
certificate, which had come to him in duplicate, one copy 
by mail and the other by messenger ; and next the forged 
Kellogg certificate, of which two copies one by mail and 
the other by the messenger Hill had reached him ; and 
finally a certificate signed by John Smith, declaring that 
the vote of Louisiana had been cast for Peter Cooper. 

This burlesque certificate was read as the others had been, 
but the convention unanimously ordered it to be suppressed 
and no mention made of it in the record. 

It is now generally understood that this burlesque certif 
icate was sent in to create such a diversion of the attention 
of the convention as to enable the irregularity of the other 
certificates to escape observation. If so it was a complete 
success, for not one of the Democratic lawyers, managers, 
Senators, or Representatives remarked that there was one 
certificate made by the Republican electors of Louisiana 
which did not comply with the requirements of the Consti 
tution, and duplicates of another, from the same electors, 
which were in proper form, though forged, a circumstance 
which could hardly have been possible but for the con 
fusion and distraction which resulted from the reading of this 
Peter Cooper certificate and the discussion which it pro 

No trace of this paper remained after the recess of the 
joint convention on the day it was read. It was probably 


carried off by its author, who no doubt had more serious 
motives for sending it than to perpetrate a practical joke, 
and equally good motives for having it disappear when its 
purpose was accomplished. The papers in the contested 
case went to the Electoral Commission immediately after the 
joint convention adjourned. When the secretary began to 
read them, and before there had been an opportunity for 
any one to inspect them, one of the Democratic commis 
sioners moved that the reading be dispensed with and the 
papers printed. The motion was not opposed. Thereupon 
the Hon. Nathan Clifford marked the certificates severally 
for identification as follows : 

The first certificate of the Kellogg electors which did 
not meet the constitutional requirements was marked "No. 
1, N. C. ;"the Democratic certificate which was all right 
was marked "No. 2, N. C. ;" and the forged certificate was 
marked "No. 3, N. C." With these marks on -the certifi 
cates, they were sent to the printer ; but not to the public 
printer, not to the congressional printer, not to the gov 
ernment printer, in accordance with the invariable rule be 
fore and after this, but to a private job printer. When 
they came back printed the distinguishing marks put on 
them by Judge Clifford were found to have been omitted ; 
and what is even more extraordinary, this job printer, in 
stead of sending back the originals with the printed copies 
to the secretary of the commission, who was their respon 
sible custodian, sent only the originals to the secretary, 
and had two of his press boys distribute the printed copies 
among the members of the commission and the counsel. 

It is no longer susceptible of demonstration that this job 
printer did not distribute copies of the genuine certificate 
marked " No. 1, N. C. ; " but if they were distributed, it 
seems unaccountable that neither of the Democratic com 
missioners, neither of the Democratic lawyers, some of 
them the ablest in the country, nor any one of the two 
hundred Democratic members of Congress, each and every 


one of whom was already sufficiently familiar with the 
means by which Republican electors had been returned in 
Louisiana to be misled by no presumptions in favor of any 
thing they did, it seems, I repeat, unaccountable that 
none of these gentlemen should have observed that the 
copies of certificate No. 1 did not correspond with the 
copies of the forged certificate No. 3. 

Had printed copies of the genuine certificate No. 1, 
N. C.," been distributed, it was practically impossible that 
its defective form should have escaped detection. Its com 
parison with the other forged certificate "No. 3, N. C.," 
must have been made, and the difference between them have 
exploded the whole plot. Nothing of this kind happened, 
however, and we are driven to the conclusion that two 
copies of the forged certificate were distributed by this job 
printer, instead of one copy of the genuine and defective 
certificate, and one copy of the formally correct but forged 

This curious sequence of strange and unforeseen con 
traries which beset the final action of the Louisiana Re 
turning Board from the day that action was reduced to 
writing, was destined to acquire additional proportion and 
consequence at the hands of Senator Morton. When the 
Electoral Commission had decided, by a strictly party vote 
of eight to seven, to count the electoral vote of Louisiana 
for Hayes and Wheeler, the Senator from Indiana was 
careful in his motion to that effect to specify " the electoral 
votes in the certificate No. 1, N. C., " the genuine but 
constitutionally defective one. This was done, so far as 
Mr. Morton was concerned, with full knowledge that the 
other set of electoral certificates from Louisiana, and the 
only ones made out in the form required by the Constitu 
tion, " were not to be depended on." 

When later the record of the proceedings in Congress 
and of the Electoral Commission came to be made up, it 
was made to appear that there were before Congress and 


the commission the certificate of the Democratic electors 
and the genuine but defective certificate of the Republican 
electors, and no others; whereas there is every reason to 
believe that Congress and the commission had before them 


and considered only two copies of the forged certificates 
and no other Republican certificates, and that they never 
had an opportunity of considering the defects of the gen 
uine certificate which was put unchallenged upon their 

The decision of the Electoral Commission in the case of 
Oregon, the last disputed State, was communicated to the 
joint convention of the Houses of Congress on Thursday, 
the first day of March. The convention then proceeded 
with the count, which it prosecuted to its completion on the 
following Friday morning at ten minutes past four, at which 
hour the President of the Senate, Thomas W. Ferry, of 
Michigan, announced that Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, had 
received 185 electoral votes, a majority of the whole num 
ber, and had been duly elected President of the United 
States ; and that William A. Wheeler, of New York, had 
received a like majority, and had been duly elected Vice- 
Preside nt of the United States. 

There was a ghastly sort of fitness in selecting " hang 
man s clay " on which to stain the annals of the great Re 
public with this ignominious record. 

" Exciclat ilia dies aevo, neo postera credant 
Saecula ; nos certe taceamus, et obruta multa 
Nocte tegi nostrae patiamur criminis gentis." l 

Republican institutions have never received a more seri 
ous blow, nor one from which they will be so long in re 
covering. If we do these things in the green tree, what 
may we be expected to do in the dry ? We may go on for a 

1 u May that foul day be blotted in time s flight 
And buried in oblivion s gloom of night. 
We will at least forbear the deed to name, 
Nor let posterity believe our shame." 


while, perhaps indefinitely, " grinding on the gudgeons," but 
how restore the faith in our institutions, once delivered to 
the fathers? 

" I comprehend perfectly," said an eminent French jour 
nalist, with as much wit as justice, "how we may depan- 
theonize Marat, but I cannot conceive how you will ever 
be able to demaratize the Pantheon." l 

I here dismiss the story of this the most ignominious 
conspiracy of which modern history has preserved any rec 
ord. I regret, for the reader s sake as well as my own, 
to have felt compelled to dwell upon it at such length, 
though I have given only an imperfect summary, far from a 
complete list of the varieties of crime by which it was con 
summated. If there be any who care to pursue the investi 
gation further, they are referred to the congressional record 
of the investigations which those crimes provoked. I have 
deemed it my duty to penetrate so far only into these 

1 On the day previous to the 3d of March the House of Representatives, 
by a vote of 137 to 88, adopted a series of preambles introductory to the 
following resolution : 

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the United States, u That it 
is the duty of the House to declare, and this House does hereby solemnly 
declare, that Samuel J. Tilden, of the State of New York, received 196 
electoral votes for the office of President of the United States, all of which 
votes were cast and lists thereof signed, certified, and transmitted to the 
seat of government, directed to the President of the Senate, in conformity 
with the Constitution and laws of the United States, by electors legally 
eligible and qualified as such electors, each of whom had been duly ap 
pointed and elected in the manner directed by the Legislature of the State 
in and for which he cast his vote as aforesaid ; and that said Samuel J. 
Tilden having thus received the votes of a majority of the electors ap 
pointed as aforesaid, he was thereby duly elected President of the United 
States of America for the term of four years commencing on the 4th day 
of March, A. D. 1877; and this House further declares that Thomas A. 
Hendricks, having received the same number of electoral votes for the 
office of Vice-President of the United States that were cast for Samuel J. 
Tilden for President as aforesaid, and at the same time and in the same 
manner, it is the opinion of this House that the said Thomas A. Hendricks, 
of the State of Indiana, was duly elected Vice-President of the United 
States for the term of four years commencing on the 4th day of March, 
A.D. 1877." 


" corners of nastiness " as to satisfy all who may take the 
trouble to glance through these pages, that electors favora 
ble to Tilden for President were chosen by the people of 
the United States in 1876, and that by a cumulative series 
of frauds and crimes, in which leading national statesmen, 
cabinet ministers, and persons occupying seats in the 
highest judicial tribunal in the land were, some in a 
greater, some in a Iqsser degree accomplices, that choice 
was defeated and a usurper put in his place. It is due to 
the memory of Mr. Tilden that these facts should be so 
stated that future historians shall have neither difficulty nor 
hesitation in taking note of them. 1 

AVhy men occupying the most exalted and responsible 
positions in the country should have ventured to compro 
mise their reputations by this deliberate consummation of 
a series of crimes which struck at the very foundations of 
the Kepublic, is a question which still puzzles many of all 
parties who have no charity for the crimes themselves. I 
have already referred to the terrors and desperation with 
which the prospect of Tilden s election inspired the great 
army of office-holders at the close of Grant s administration. 
That army, numerous and formidable as it was, was com 
paratively limited. There was a much larger and justly 
influential class who were apprehensive that the return of 
the Democratic party to power threatened a reactionary 

1 The Democratic minority of the Electoral Commission directed the 
Hon. Josiah Gardner Abbott, one of their colleagues from Massachusetts, to 
prepare an address to the American people, protesting against the decisions 
of the majority, in which he was to set forth the reasons for their action 
which, under the laws establishing the commission, they had no opportunity 
of reporting to Congress. This address is a vigorous and compact state 
ment of the wrongs Avhich they and the country had sustained at the hands 
of the majority, but, for reasons which have not transpired, was never pro 
mulgated. It is understood, however, that the result would not have been 
changed by protesting, and the minority did not wish to further weaken the 
respect for the government from which there was no refuge but in revolu 
tion. For a copy of this protest, which is an essential part of the history 
of the Electoral Commission, see Appendix A. 


policy at Washington, to the undoing of some or all the 
important results of the war. These apprehensions were 
inflamed by the party press until they were confined to no 
class, but more or less pervaded all the Northern States. 
The electoral tribunal, consisting mainly of men appointed 
to their positions by Republican Presidents or elected from 
strong Republican States, felt the pressure of this feeling, 
and from motives compounded in more or less varying pro 
portions of dread of the Democrats, personal ambition, zeal 
for their party, and respect for their constituents, reached 
the conclusion that the exclusion of Tilden from the White 
House was an end which justified whatever means were 
necessary to accomplish it. They regarded it like the 
emancipation of the slaves as a war measure. In that way 
they quieted their consciences for a time at least, and found 
a peace which passeth all understanding, by virtue of a 
course of reasoning which they might be suspected of hav 
ing borrowed from one of Mr. Dickens amiable heroes : 

I am glad to see you have so high a sense of your 
duties as a son, Sam/ said Mr. Pickwick. f I always had, 
sir, replied Mr. Weller. That s a very gratifying reflec 
tion, Sam, said Mr. Pickwick approvingly. r Worry, sir, 
replied Mr. Weller. ? If ever I wanted anything o my 
father, I always asked for it in a werry spectful and 
obligin manner. If he didn t give it me, I took: it for fear 
I should be led to do anythin wrong through not havin it. 
I saved him a world o trouble in that vay, sir. 

" That s not precisely what I meant, Sam, said Mr. 
Pickwick, shaking his head with a slight smile. All good 
feelin , sir, the werry best intentions, as the gen lm n said 
ven he run away from his wife cos she seemed unhappy 
with him, replied Mr. Weller." 

The President and Yice-President declared by the Elec 
toral Commission to have been the choice of the electors 
were inaugurated on Sunday, the 4th of March. On the 
following day the Hon. Charles Francis Adams addressed 
to Mr. Tilden a letter which, though brief, produced a na 
tional sensation. It ran as follows : 


"BOSTON, March 5, 1877. 
"Hox. S. J. TILDEN, New York: 

" MY DEAR SIR : On this day, when you ought to have 
been the President of these United States, I seize the oppor 
tunity to bear my testimony to the calm and dignified man 
ner in which you have passed through this great trial. 

" It is many years since I ceased to be a party man. 
Hence I have endeavored to judge of public affairs and men 
rather by their merits than by the names they take. It is a 
source of gratification to me to think that I made the right 
choice in the late election. I could never have been recon 
ciled to the elevation, by the smallest aid of mine, of a 
person, however respectable in private life, who must for 
ever carry upon his brow the stamp of fraud, first tri 
umphant in American history. No subsequent action, 
however meritorious, can wash away the letters of that 

" Very respectfully yours, 


The formal and public charge from the son of one Presi 
dent, the grandson of another President, himself in one 
important national crisis a candidate for the vice-presi 
dency, and in another and yet graver national crisis our 
minister to England, that the man who only the day previ 
ous had been formally clothed with the chief magistracy of 
the nation " must forever carry upon his brow the stamp of 
fraud," conveyed with it throughout the land something 
of the shock of the fire-bell rung in the night. Had such 
a letter from such a source appeared the day following the 
inauguration of any previous President of the United 
States, its author could hardly have expected immunity 
from personal outrage. The truth of the charge, however, 
was so indisputable, that, so far as I am aware, no one 
of Mr. Hayes friends or partisans ever attempted to deal 
with its author, as would have been natural had it been 

Among Mr. Tilden s papers the following fragment of 
what purports to have been intended as a reply to Mr. 


Adams letter has been found. Though only a fragment 
and never communicated to Mr. Adams, it is interesting 
as a revelation of the state of feeling which the letter 
had awakened, and of Mr. Tilden s deliberate view of the 
frauds by which the rights of the nation had been violated. 

"NEW YORK, April , 1877. 

" MY DEAR SIR : The approving judgment expressed in 
your letter of March 5th is esteemed by me as the best of 
testimonies. The circumstances you mention, which char 
acterize it as a mere judgment, free from the bias of par 
tisanship, passion, or interest, enhance its value. So do 
also, I may be allowed to add, the large experience, long 
familiarity with and habitual thoughtfulness concerning 
public affairs, and the high standards of right and duty, 
in the lights of which that conclusion has been deduced. 

I should have had little excuse for any want of the 
qualities of personal demeanor which you commend ; for 
I have not been conscious, in the vicissitudes of what you 
speak of as c the great trial, of any feeling of desire or 
regret, separate from the public cause I have represented. 

" That cause I do regard as the greatest that can interest 
the attention of this generation of Americans. 

" In advocating the creation of the Union, our wise an 
cestors often predicted that intestine wars if unhappily 
we should fall into them would end in a subversion of 
constitutional government and civil liberty. Those who 
thought, as you and I did, that the federal government 
should be maintained and carried through the armed con 
flicts in which it had become inevitably involved, did not 
shut our eyes to the peril that in the process our institu 
tions, in their spirit and practical working, might be 
greatly and injuriously affected. Changes in the ideal 
standards that govern men administering the government 
and limit what they dare or do, and limit also what the 
people will tolerate ; changes in the unwritten laws es 
tablished by tradition and habit, often more controlling 
than constitutions and statutes ; changes in the enormous 
recent growth of perverting, abusive, and corrupting influ 
ences, these were evil tendencies, full of danger to every 
thing really valuable in our political system. 

" To curb and correct these evil tendencies ; to restore 


to the barren forms of government a spirit and substance 
and practice in accord with the best ideals and original 
models which had been formed under the fortunate circum 
stances of our early history ; to remove the fungus over 
growths engendered by civil war, while preserving what 
ever of good it had saved or gained, this was the first 
of objects. A general reform of administration, reducing 
burdens upon the people and facilitating a revival of 
industries, would attend as incidents. A complete and 
cordial reconciliation between estranged populations and 
classes, the removal of unfounded distrust and fear of each 
other, the inspiration of mutual confidence, was a neces 
sary condition. 

" Such was the work most needful to our country in its 
present condition, the most beneficent that could engage 
the efforts of patriotism or humanity, such was that work 
as it appeared previous to the late election. The events 
which have happened since and to which you allude have 
added a new element to that work. Or, perhaps, they 
have disclosed how far we have drifted away in practice 
from the theory of our government, and shown that we 
have a more difficult task to get back than had been 
apparent. The immense power which the corrupt influence 
of the government has to perpetuate itself was never so 
developed as in the late canvass. I was accustomed to say 
that it was necessary to start in August with a public 
opinion which would naturally give you two-thirds of the 
votes in order to receive a majority in November. The 
civil service was never so audaciously and so unscrupulously 
used for electioneering purposes as in the late canvass. 
The whole body of 100,000 office-holders were made to feel 
their accountability for partisan service, and a large part 
of them brought into great activity. The money contri 
butions systematically exacted, and the sums drawn from 
contractors, jobbers, and persons having business relations 
with the general government, aggregated a large fund, 
while the machine was openly worked by a cabinet minister 
acting as the head of a partisan committee. 

" The army, likewise, was used as an electioneering in 
strument. In Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina the 
carpet-bag governments their robberies, oppressions, and 
crimes had so repelled public opinion, had so antagonized 
all taxpayers, all men of business, property, social weight, 


and personal influence, that the element that remained was 
incapable of any cohesion, or of any action on its own 
motion. The real object of the military display was not 
to keep up a police, which was unnecessary and was no part 
of the function of the federal army, but was to act on the 
imaginations of the ignorant, disintegrated social atoms 
and enable the agents of the administration to organize 
and lead them. It was as true then as it is confessed now 
that without its aid added to the other support of the gov 
ernment, no Republican party could exist in those States. 

" But all these odds were overcome by the mere moral 
force of public opinion demanding better government ; and 
a popular majority of 260,000 votes and an electoral ma 
jority of twenty-three votes resulted. 

"This was notwithstanding that California was carried 
by fraud now ascertained, and several of the new States 
by corrupt means. 

" Then came the after frauds : the change of the actual 
result declared at the polls, by governmental influence 
falsifying the returns of two States and falsifying the 
count of the electoral votes." C cetera desunt. 

I was at Mr. Tilden s house when the news of his exclu 
sion from the presidency was announced to him, and also 
on the 4th of March, when Mr. Hayes was inaugurated. 
I venture to quote the following contemporaneous entry 
from my diary, relating to his bearing on that occasion : 

" It was impossible to remark any change in his manner 
except, perhaps, that he was less absorbed than usual and 
more interested in current affairs. I spent a week at this 
time a guest in his house, and I could not see that he was 
as much disappointed as most of the people about him. 
He has not been so cheerful at any time in the last three 
years as since the 4th inst. My explanation of this is sat 
isfactory to me. His notion of being President meant a 
life of care, responsibility, and effort such as none of his 
predecessors ever encountered. He never contemplated 
the presidency except as a fearful struggle. When his 
election was out of the question he was naturally more 
sensible of his escape from the giants which he had seen in 


his path than of the honors which might have been his, but 
were to be worn by another. This sense of relief and the 
opportunity it oifers of looking after his health, which is 
daily improving in consequence, have rather made him 
happier than otherwise. When the giants shall have en 
tirely disappeared, and his freedom from care and anxiety 
become familiar to him, it is probable that he will feel 
more keenly the loss he has sustained. He regards Thur- 
man and Bayard as chiefly responsible for his miscarriage." 

There have been occasional criticisms of Mr. Tilden, not 
only by those who wished an excuse for their own dis 
loyalty to their party or for their personal pusillanimity, 
but also by some of his faithful friends, that he did not 
take the oath of office and go on to Washington and claim 

~ O 

the presidency at all hazard and regardless of the title con 
ferred by congressional authority upon another. I believe 
Mr. Charles O Conor was one of these friends, and I also 
remember how signally I failed in an effort in 1877 to 
make Victor Hugo comprehend Mr. Tilden s submission 
to the decision of the electoral tribunal. He shook his 
head at the close of my exposition, as if to say, "That is 
not the way we do things here in France," which was very 
true. But Charles O Conor, with all his prodigious abilities 
as a jurist, was never successful in forming or leading a 
political party that embraced more than one person ; and 
Victor Hugo resigned his seat in the only deliberative 
political assembly to which he was ever chosen by his 
countrymen, from sheer reluctance to prolong the exhibition 
to the world of his utter impotence and insignificance in a 
council of statesmen. Mr. Tilden had frequent applica 
tions from all parts of the country, mainly from friends, for 
information about his plans ; what he had done, what he 
proposed to do, and what he expected his friends to do 
towards reclaiming the office which had been wrongfully 
wrested from him. These letters were, I believe, uniformly 
referred to me, and I answered such as seemed entitled to 


an answer. A few days before the fourth of March, when 
the new President was to be inaugurated, a communication 
appeared in one of the morning papers, " The World," I 
believe, affirming, upon the alleged authority of General 
Woodford, the United States District Attorney for the 
Southern District of New York, that Mr. Tilden was about 
to take the oath of office as President in New York, and 
then to proclaim himself President of the United States. 
A representative of one of the daily journals called upon 
me to ascertain the truth of that statement. As the criti 
cisms of Mr. Tilden s behavior, after the members of his 
own party had, with comparative unanimity and against 
his judgment, consented to refer the counting of the 
electoral vote to a special commission, still occasionally 
reappear where they can be made to palliate or excuse 
other people s shortcomings, I will here cite flie substance 
of my reply to the inquiries of the reporter, in which 
is embraced all, I think, that needs further to be said on 
that subject. After disposing of a few topics no longer 
pertinent, I said : 

" There were two contingencies in which it would have 
been lawful and obligatory for Mr. Tilden to have taken 
the official oath as President. 

" First, If Congress had performed its constitutional duty 
of counting the electoral votes and had declared that Mr. 
Tilden was chosen by the electoral colleges. 

" The two Houses of Congress have all the powers for 
verifying the electoral votes which the Constitution or the 
laws confer or allow. Nobody else in the federal gov 
ernment has any such powers. This exclusive jurisdiction 
of the two Houses has been exercised without interruption 
from the beginning of the government. It is known to all 
those w r ho came in contact with Mr. Tilden at this period 
that he concurred in this view of the powers and duties of 
the two Houses of Congress exclusively to count the elec 
toral vote. He was perfectly free and unreserved in the 
expression of his opinions on this subject. 

" This contingency, however, never presented itself. Con 
gress, before the time fixed by the law for counting the 


electoral votes, passed the electoral bill, wherein it substan 
tially abdicated its powers and enacted that the Electoral 
Commission should, in the first instance, make a count, and 
that its count should stand unless overruled by the concurrent 
action of the two Houses. The electoral tribunal counted 
Mr. Tilden out, and counted in a man who was not elected. 
Congress did not overrule their count ; consequently the 
false count stood as law under the act of Congress. 

"/Secondly, The other contingency, in which it would 
have been lawful and obligatory on Mr. Tilden to have 
taken the oath of office, was that the House of Representa 
tives on the failure of a choice of President by the electoral 
colleges had itself proceeded to make the election, voting 
by States in the manner prescribed by the Constitution. 

"This contingency, like the first one, never occurred. 

" The House of Representatives is required, by the express 
language of the Constitution, to elect the President when 
neither of the candidates can command a majority of the 
electoral votes. 

"The right of the two Houses to count the electoral votes 
and to declare that any person has a majority is a matter 
of implication, precedent, and practice. But the right of 
the House of Representatives to supply the failure of a 
choice is a positive constitutional command. It is not only 
a right, but a duty. The provision is mandatory. The 
House is a witness at the opening of the certificates ; it is 
an actor in counting the votes by its own tellers and in its 
own presence. 

"Having such and the best means of knowing whether a 
choice has been made by the electoral colleges, it is also 
expressly vested with a power and duty to act exclusively 
and conclusively in the event that no person proves to 
have been chosen by a majority of the votes of those 
colleges. The House acquires jurisdiction by that fact. 
The assent of the Senate to the existence of that fact is no 
where prescribed or required. No judgment, certification, 
or act of any official body is interposed as a condition to 
the assuming of jurisdiction by the House. When the 
House has once acted in such a case, no review of its action 
nor any appeal from its decision is provided for in the Con 
stitution. It is difficult to see why the House in such a 
case, like all tribunals of original jurisdiction and subject 
to no appeal, did not insist upon its rights as the exclusive 

VOL. II. - 8 


judge of the fact and the law from which it acquired juris 
diction. It was, I am told, a fear that the Senate might lead 
a resistance to the rightful judgment of the House, and that 
General Grant would sustain such a revolutionary policy 
with the army and navy and the militia of the great States 
in which the Republicans had possession of the governments, 
that deterred the House of Representatives from the assertion 
of its rights and induced it to abdicate in favor of the Elec 
toral Commission. 

"But without speculating upon causes or motives, one 
thing is certain : the House of Representatives did not 
elect Mr. Tilden in the manner prescribed by the Constitu 
tion. On the other hand, it did concur with the Senate in 
anticipating and preventing the contingency in which it 
might have been compelled to act, thus providing an ex 
pedient which disarmed it. It adopted the electoral law 
and went through all the forms required for the execution 
of the electoral scheme. True, it afterwards passed a de 
claratory resolution condemning the action of that tribunal 
and asserting that Mr. Tilden had been duly elected ; but 
the Constitution had not provided that a man should or 
could take office as President on a declaratory resolution 
of the House of Representatives merely. If that resolution 
could have had full eifect to abrogate the electoral law 
which the House had assisted to enact, it would have 
created no warrant of authority to Mr. Tilden to take the 
oath of office. A vote by States that he should be the next 
President of the United States was still necessary to give 
Mr. Tilden any more title to the succession than General 
Grant, and that vote the House of Representatives never 
gave him. 

"I might have disposed of your question more briefly by 
simply saying that no contingency provided by the Consti 
tution ever existed in which Mr. Tilden could lawfully or 
properly take the oath of office as President. I have dwelt 
upon the matter at some length because of its future 
as well as past importance. The idea that Mr. Tilden 
ever thought of taking the oath of office illegally is in my 
judgment quite as preposterous as is the other idea that he 
would have omitted to take it if any contingency had 
arisen in which it was his right or duty to take it, or that 
any menace would have had the slightest influence in pre 
venting his performing his whole obligation to the people. 


I will venture to say that if it had been his right and 
duty to take the oath he would not have done so at the City 
Hall in New York, surrounded by the forces which, accord 
ing to Mr. Mines, General "Woodford pictured to his imagi 
nation, but at the federal capitol, even though he had 
known that he would be kidnapped or subjected to a drum 
head court-martial five minutes afterwards. It is doubtless 
true that revolutionary ideas were entertained by the 
hierarchy of office-holders in possession of the government. 
General Grant did utter menaces in published interviews 
and did make a display of military force in Washington 
to overawe Congress. I presume this was a part of the 
system of intimidation for which he allowed himself to be 
used by the office-holders, and which was intended to act 
upon public opinion through the fear of disturbance, as 
well as upon Congress. But it is safe to say that whatever 
the effects they produced, they did not prevent Mr. Tilden 
from taking the oath of office. The fear that he would 
do so, w r hich induced the Republicans to swear their 
candidate into office privately on the Saturday previous to 
the commencement of his term of office, besides repeating 
the ceremony at the inauguration, was born of that con 
sciousness which causes the wicked to flee when no man 
pursueth. I was aware that about that time Mr. Tilden s 
house was besieged by emissaries of the press and the 
telegraph to know if the rumors to that effect which pre 
vailed in Washington were true. This was a species of 
curiosity which I believe Mr. Tilden did not consider it any 
part of his duty to relieve." 

The following lines from the austere muse of J. Russell 
Lowell in a satire entitled " Tenipora Mutantur " were 
widely quoted in the columns of the Massachusetts press 
during the campaign of 1876 : 

** The ten commandments had a meaning then, 
Felt in their bones by least considerate men, 
Because behind them public conscience stood, 
And without wincing made their mandates good. 
But now that statesmanship is just a way 
To dodge the primal curse, and make it pay; 


Since office means a kind of patent drill 

To force an entrance to the nation s till ; 

And peculation something rather less 

Risky than if you spelt it with an S ; 

Now that to steal by law is grown an art, 

Whom rogues our sires, their milder sons call smart. 

The public servant who has stolen or lied, 
If called on may resign with honest pride. 
As unjust favor put him in, why doubt 
Disfavor as unjust has put him out ? 
Even if indicted, what is that but fudge, 
To him who counted-in the election judge? l 
Whitewashed, he quits the politician s strife, 
At ease in mind, with pockets filled for life." 

Mr. Lowell was one of the Republican presidential elec 
tors of Massachusetts, and from the lofty moral standard 
by which he had been in the habit of judging public men, 
the suspicion obtained currency among his friends in the 
press that he would refuse to cast his vote for Hayes, 2 
which would have resulted in electing Tilden. 

The frauds disclosed after the election, by which a 
majority of the electors was secured for Hayes, did not, 
however, prevent Mr. Lowell s acceptance of the mission 

1 u President " would not rhyme with u fudge." 

2 In a letter to Leslie Stephen, written December 4, and nearly a month 
after the presidential election, Mr. Lowell thus excuses himself for casting 
his electoral vote for Hayes. 

" There was a rumor, it seems, that I was going to vote for Tilden. But 
in my own judgment I have no choice, and am bound in honor to vote for 
Hayes, as the people who chose me expected me to do. They did not 
choose me because they had confidence in my judgment, but because they 
thought they knew what that judgment would be. If I had told them that 
I should vote for Tilden they would never have nominated me. It is a 
plain question of trust. The provoking part of it is that I tried to escape 
nomination all I could, and only did not decline because I thought it would 
be making too much fuss over a trifle." u Letters of James Russell 
Lowell," Vol. II. p. 185. 


to Spain at the hand of President Hayes ; to prove, per 
haps, that the allegation of his muse, 

" That statesmanship is just a way 
To dodge the primal curse, and make it pay," 

has its honorable exceptions. 

In further justice to Mr. Lowell it deserves to he 
recorded that he had a very respectable precedent for 
lending his name and reputation to bolster the administra 
tion of the only spurious President in our annals. 

In an old life of Charles James Fox I have read the 
following written entry : 

" 1781, June 20. Sold by auction, the library of Charles 
James Fox, which had been taken in execution. Amongst 
the books was Mr. Gibbon s first volume of Roman history, 
which appeared, by the title-page, to have been given by 
the author to Mr. Fox, who had written in it the following 
anecdote : 

The author (Gibbon), at Brooke s, said there was no 
salvation for this country till six heads of the principal 
persons in the administration were laid on the table. 
Eleven days after, this gentleman accepted the place of 
Lord of Trade under those very ministers, and has acted 
with them ever since. 

If fame for its own sake, if to live long in the memory 
of man, be an end in itself worth toiling for, Tilden was to 
be congratulated upon the decision of the Electoral Commis 
sion, for it was the means of conferring upon him an historic 
prominence which the most successful administration of the 
presidential office could not have assured him. The poet 
Martial tells us that the name of Mucius Scaevola, who 
thrust his right arm in the fire to punish it for having taken 
the life of another by mistake for that of the royal invader 
of his country, would have found its way to the " wallet in 
which Time carries, on his back, alms for oblivion," had 
the avenging dagger reached the heart of King Porsenna, 
for whom it was intended. 


" Major cleceptce fama est et gloria dextrae 
Si non errasset, fecerat ilia minus." 1 

So the action of the Electoral Commission has conferred 
upon Mr. Tilden the unique distinction of being the first 
let us hope the last President-elect of the United States 
feloniously excluded from the chief magistracy ; a dis 
tinction which, like the banishment of Aristides, the 
assassinations of Caesar, of Henry IY. of France, of Lin 
coln, and of Carnot, makes it one of the conspicuous and 
indestructible landmarks of history. 

1 u Greater the glory and eke the fame 
Of Scaevola s hand deceived, 
Had it not missed its patriot aim, 
The less had it achieved." 


Revisits Europe Blarney Castle St. Patrick s Cathedral Tom Moore s 
birthplace The cabman s criticism Lord Houghton s story General 
Grant s reception in London Elected an honorary member of the Cob- 
den Club Visits the home of his ancestry Arrives in Paris 
Attends the funeral of Thiers Talk with Gambetta Louis Blanc s 
account of his visit to Louis Napoleon when a prisoner at Ham, and of 
the loss and recovery of his voice in London The story of General 
Cavaignac s brother and mother Tilden s exposure in recrossing the 
channel Returns to the United States The "Indian Corn Speech." 

DURING the spring of 77 Mr. Tilden began to feel 
serious concern about his health. The continued strain to 
which his energies had been subjected for five or six years, 
and especially during the preceding six or eight months, 
had told severely upon his constitution. Arthritic symp 
toms had begun to manifest themselves to such an extent 
as to deprive him almost entirely of the use of his left 
hand, and already slight indications were exhibited of the 
paralysis agitans, popularly known as numb palsy, which 
was destined to afflict him increasingly for the remainder of 
his days. His medical advisers counselled abstinence from 
all serious cares, with rest and recreation. As it was 
practically impossible to secure either of these advantages 
in his own country, after much deliberation he decided to 
try the efficacy of a sea- voyage and a few months sojourn 
in Europe. 

He made it one of the conditions of his going that I 
should accompany him. 

We sailed in the steamer w Scythia " on Wednesday, the 
18th of July, landed at Queenstown on the morning of the 
27th, and slept that night at the Imperial Hotel in Cork, 
but not until we had visited the castle and groves of 


Blarney. The following day we left for Killarney. On 
our way we passed near to what, for Ireland, was some 
thing of a mountain, the top of which was capped with 
a cloud or mist, apropos of which a young Scotchman, 
riding in the same car with us, quoted the following lines 
which he said were current in his country : 

" On Tinto s top there is a mist, 
And in that mist there is a kist, 
And in that kist there is a drap. 
And every one must taste of that." 

" Tinto " was the name of a mountain ; " kist," of a chest ; 
" drap," a tear-drop, a sorrow. 

The moral that we extracted from these lines, in which 
Tilden might have found some consolation, was that there 
is no position in this world so exalted as to be exempt 
from tribulation and sorrow, and the higher the elevation 
the greater was apt to be the tribulation. 

We reached Killarney about noon. After lunch we 
started for Dunlo gap and the lakes. As we approached 
the gap we were obliged to do homage to a saucy creature 
who claimed to be a granddaughter of the famous Kate 
Kearney, whose charms were sung so sweetly by Tom 
Moore. Whatever had been the charms of the original 
Kate, it was very clear that none of them had descended to 
the granddaughter. 

Our carriage was equipped with a guide, whom they called 
a "bugler." Soon after entering the pass he got down and 
played two or three airs to awaken the echoes in which 
Moore found the presage in " The answering future " of his 
own enduring fame. 

" Twas one of those dreams that by music are brought, 
Like a bright summer haze, o er the poet s warm thought. 


" He listened while high o er the eagle s rude nest 
The lingering sounds on their way loved to rest ; 
And the echoes sung back from their full mountain quire, 
As if loath to let song so enchanting expire. 

" It seemed as if every sweet note that died here 
Was again brought to light in some airier sphere, 
Some heav n in those hills, where the soul of the strain 
That had ceased upon earth was awaking again ! 

" Oh, forgive, if, while listening to music whose breath 
Seem d to circle his name with a charm against death 
He should feel a proud spirit within him proclaim, 
4 Even so shalt thou live in the echoes of fame. 

" * Even so, tho thy mem ry should now die away, 
Twill be caught up again in some happier day, 
And the hearts and the voices of Erin prolong, 
Through the answering future, thy name and thy song. 1 " 

It was while passing through the pass of Dunlo that our 
attention was directed to a lake about one hundred and fifty 
yards long, into which, we were assured by our bugler (as 
I suppose thousands had been assured before), St. Patrick 
had drowned all the snakes in Ireland, and did his work so 
thoroughly, that " divil a snake had been seen in the coun 
try since." 

We were left to infer that the water-snake had not been 
evolved in St. Patrick s time, for there is no tradition, I 
believe, of a water-snake being drowned. 

We passed two other points which Moore s verse has 
made familiar and famous. One was " The meeting of the 
waters," where for a hundred feet or so the water falls 
from one lake into another, through a narrow channel 
beautifully shaded, and deep enough to admit of the pas 
sage of a large boat. The other was " The fairy isle of 

We arrived in Dublin in the afternoon of Monday, the 
30th of July. 

On the following morning we sallied forth at an early 


hour to see what we could of the metropolis of Ireland in 
a single day, for social engagements, already contracted 
by telegraph, required us to set our faces towards London 
the day following. Our first visit, of course, was to St. 
Patrick s Cathedral which proved, in some sense, a dis 
appointment. We were expecting to see a venerable, 
mediaeval pile, eloquent of age and historic suggestion. 
Instead of which we found, it is true, a fine structure ; but 
to all appearance it might have been finished the day before 
we visited it. The stones were freshly cut. To our ex 
pressions of surprise at its modern appearance, the verger 
informed us that the cathedral had been entirely renovated 
recently by Guinness, the world-renowned brewer of Dub 
lin, at an expense to him, personally, of over 150,000. 
He had left scarcely a trace, inside or out, to remind one 
of the church commenced A.D. 1190, in which Dr. Swift 
used to preach to his " dearly beloved Roger." Even the 
places in which the mortal remains of the dean and Stella 
reposed, had succumbed to the fiend of renovation. The 
verger pointed to the place where he said their remains 
were laid, but it is possible that to the next visitor he 
named some other place. There was no mark or sign to 
limit his choice. A stone pavement covered the entire 
floor of the cathedral, bearing no record whatever of any 
thing that lay beneath it. When asked how this came 
about, the verger said, with a shrug of the shoulders : " Oh, 
great folks will have their own way." No marks were al 
lowed anywhere on the floor to show where people have 
been buried. 

Upon the walls, but so high that the inscriptions were 
scarcely legible, were cenotaphs to Swift and Stella placed 
side by side. While the verger was enlarging to us upon 
the extent of the renovations, Tilden remarked to me, "It is 
the old story of the jack-knife : it has had two new blades 
and three new handles, but it is the same old jack-knife." 

From the cathedral we drove to No. 12 Angier street, 


near by, the birthplace of Tom Moore. It was a plain, 
three-story brick building. As we descended from our 
carriage a young man, apparently about thirty years of age, 
came to the door and said, with a smile, "I suppose you 
would like to look at the chamber in which Tom Moore 
was born." We gave him to understand that such was our 
errand. We saw at once that we were about to enter a 
drinking saloon, or what is more commonly and fitly de 
nominated a gin-mill. In the course of our visit we learned 
from our cicerone that such was the business which had 
been carried on there by Moore s father, and that such was 
the business which had been carried on there ever since. 

The young man conducted us through the front room, 
which was disorderly and dirty, into and through a middle 
room, to which there was an entrance from a side street or 
alley. This room was divided by partitions into stalls like 
a stable, so that a person could approach the bar, and get 
what he or she could pay for, in comparative privacy. 
There were two or three haggish-looking women availing 
themselves of the privileges of these pens as we passed. 
They were covered with rags, filthy, and in the last stages 
of brutal degradation. 

We were then conducted upstairs and into the front 
room of the third story, where we were told the poet was 
born, and thence to the attic, where he began his career as 
a writer. It was a low, dark room about eleven by four 
teen feet in size, with one window. There was no part of 
the house, save the front rooms in the second and third 
stories, that was not reeking with dirt and suspicious odors. 

The proprietor was neatly enough dressed, which 
made the filth, confusion, and disorder around him seem to 
us the more surprising. We did not ask him for an expla 
nation, but I incline to suspect that it was not to be found 
in mere carelessness or indifference to order and neatness. 
Would not neatness and order have affected his patrons 
unfavorably, and driven them to places more in harmony 


with their own condition? Outwardly the house looked 
well and was in good condition ; but inwardly it seemed 
to be full of dead men s bones. We could with difficulty 
realize that a poet of Moore s genius and refinement could 
have been reared in such a hell as this. And yet, was 
not the poet s career a more or less logical sequence of 
his youthful environment? He was not responsible for 
his father s-dram shop, but did he not become the con- 
cocter and dispenser of more subtle and more destructive 

Our driver affected not to know where the poet was born, 
and, when mildly rebuked for his ignorance, said that 
"Irish people do not care where Moore was born. English 
and Americans go to see the house ; we Irish never take 
the trouble." When asked for the cause of this indiffer 
ence he said, "Moore never wrote anything for the people. 
He liked to live with and to please the great people in 
England. He did not, like Burns, write for his own 
country people." 

Manifestly the poet s popularity in England was his real 
offence in the eyes of our Jehu, who probably did not 
know how to read at all ; and if he did, the fact that Moore 
was as much the national bard of Ireland as Burns was the 
national bard of Scotland, or Beranger of France, would 
not in the least have extenuated his crime of trying to please 
and l)e popular on the other side of the channel. Be this 
as it may, it was very clear that here was one at least of the 
voices of Erin not disposed to prolong 

" Through the answering future Moore s name and his song." 

On the front wall of the house, between the first and 
second story, a piece of white marble was let into the wall, 
upon which was this inscription : 

"In this house, on the 28th of May, 
1778, was born the poet 


Some two weeks after our visit in Dublin, Mr. Tilden 
and I were guests of the late Lord Houghton one evening 
at the Cosmopolitan Club, in London. While most of the 
guests were gone to the refreshment-room, Houghton sat 
down by my side on a sofa and made a few inquiries about 
what we had been doing. I spoke casually of my visit to 
the birthplace of Tom Moore ; he interrupted me, " Let me 
tell you something." He then went on to say that in the 
early part of this century one of the most eminent sur 
geons in Dublin was sent for to come in great haste to 
attend a young woman who was supposed to be dying. 
Putting everything aside, he jumped into a cab and hastened 
to the place, of which the address had been given him. 
Beside the young woman for whose injuries he had been 
called stood a young man with a face expressing the great 
est anxiety and distress. He was alternately denouncing 
himself for what had occurred, loudly invoking the Divine 
forgiveness, and begging the doctor to spare no effort or 
expense to save the young woman s life. The doctor found, 
upon examination, that though somewhat bruised she was 
not dangerously injured. After doing for her what seemed 
in his judgment to be required, he turned to the young man 
to know what had occurred, and why he held himself 
responsible for it. The young man proceeded at once to 
confide to him the story. In brief, the young woman was 
an actress, then playing minor parts at one of the Dublin 
theatres ; he became enamored of her, and in a moment 
of passionate recklessness presumed upon her amiability 
to solicit favors which a lady cannot and she would not 
grant. He pressed his suit so pertinaciously that at last 
she threatened that if he did not desist she would throw 
herself out of the window. 

The very extravagance of her threat rather encouraged 
than discouraged her admirer, for it never entered his 
mind that she could be so rash as to execute it, and to 


threaten it implied to him that she was not more than half 
in earnest in her resistance. 

He persisted with his importunities. True to her word, 
she sprang through the window, and was soon taken up 
senseless from the pavement. 

Thus far to the doctor. Lord Houghton went on to say 
that the young man was so shocked by the immediate 
consequences of his misconduct, and so impressed by the 
virtuous firmness of the young girl, that as soon as she 
was sufficiently recovered to entertain such proposals, he 
asked her hand in marriage and was accepted. They were 
shortly after married, and the young woman became Mrs. 
Tom Moore. 

I asked Lord Houghton if he considered that story as 
entirely authentic. He said, " Certainly, the facts are well 
known to many people still living in Dublin." 

We afterwards visited the whilom residence of Daniel 
O Connell, the birthplace of the Duke of Wellington, and 
the old Parliament House the part in which the Commons 
sat being then occupied as a banking-house. The Lords 
sat in a smaller room, the furniture of which we found sub 
stantially unchanged. A remarkably fine bust of Curran 
in this room specially engaged Mr. Tilden s attention. 

We left Dublin early on the morning of the 1st of 
August for England, and after a flying visit to Eton Hall 
and the Chester Cathedral, pushed on to London, where 
on the 3d we found ourselves comfortably installed at the 
Buckingham Palace Hotel. Here for the succeeding eight 
or ten days we were obliged to devote ourselves pretty 
constantly to social engagements, most of which had been 
contracted for us before our arrival. We, of course, cm- 
braced the earliest convenient opportunity of waiting upon 
Mr. Pierrepoint, then our representative at the English 
court. In the course of our visit he found occasion to give 
us at some length the history of the measures he took to 
secure for General Grant a reception in England such as 


had never before been aceorded to any American. He 
said that he remembered being in London in 1854 or 1855 
when ex-President Van Buren was there and Mr. McLane 
was minister. Both were invited to a dinner at Lord Clar 
endon s, then prime-minister. When Van Buren arrived, 
Clarendon occupied himself with other guests, overlooking 
Van Buren, who, when dinner was announced, found him 
self relegated to the foot of the table. McLane complained 
of this in official quarters on the following day, and the 
reply was, " You give your ex-Presidents no official rank : 
how can we?" Van Buren declined all further invi 

Remembering this incident, Pierrepont said that when he 
received from Grant the letter announcing his intention to 
visit England, he promptly sought an interview with Lord 
Derby, then minister of foreign affairs, to ascertain how 
the ex-President would be received by the English author 
ities. He received substantially the same reply that was 
given to the expostulation of McLane. Pierrepont quoted 
the case of the ex-Emperor Napoleon III., who had then 
recently come to England without rank or title, but had 
been received as a member of a royal or imperial family. 
The like courtesy was extended to his son. Lord Derby 
said there might be something in that, and asked Pierrepont 
to put his wishes in writing, and meantime promised to con 
fer with some of his colleagues. Pierrepont did as requested, 
and in a day or two waited upon Lord Derby with his pro 
gramme. Derby said there would be no difficulty so far as 
the cabinet was concerned, but intimated that he might 
have difficulty in persuading the ambassadors to yield their 
precedence to a man without any official character or rank. 
Pierrepont invited three or four of the ambassadors to meet 
with him to consider the matter. Count Munster, the Ger 
man ambassador, insisted that he had no right or power, 
whatever might be his disposition, to yield precedence to 
General Grant. Pierrepont argued the question at length ; 


said that he should yield the precedence himself, and he 
hoped they would see no impropriety in yielding it to an 
ex-President. The first state dinner to which Grant was 
invited in London was given by the Duke of Wellington. 
Count Minister suggested that Pierrepont should make out a 
plan of the table and the arrangement of the guests, which 
was done. The programme was accepted substantially as 
made ; precisely how, he did not make entirely intelligible. 
He said that he also insisted that Grant should not make 
any calls except upon the royal family, and at all entertain 
ments should rank next the Prince of Wales, his precedence 
being conceded, however, as a courtesy, rather than as a 

Two or three days after this conversation with Pierrepont, 
we joined the Right Hon. W. E. Forster at lunch, when 
Grant s reception became the subject of conversation. He 
said quite openly, and in the hearing of the whole table, 
that he did not think Pierrepont had accomplished any desir 
able result by his stand for Grant; that it was a rather 
undignified strife on the part of an American ex-President 
who stood in no need of any homage from the English 
people which would not have been cordially accorded. He 
also remarked that the Duke of Wellington was not the 
kind of man at whose table either Grant or Pierrepont could 
afford to strive for precedence. Forster at the same time 
recited a letter which he heard had been received by Pierre 
pont from the duke, and which ran substantially as follows : 
" That it would gratify him if the greatest general of the 
United States would give the son of the Duke of Welling 
ton the privilege of entertaining him first at dinner in 
London." Forster laughed over this as if he thought it 
the invention of a wag ; others regarded it as genuine. 

I heard the opinion expressed, by some whose opinions 
were entitled to respect, that the " London Times " had a 
great deal more to do with the attentions paid to General 
Grant than Mr. Pierrepont had ; a desire to repair some of 


the unpleasant impressions made in America by the English 
government during the war being its ruling motive. I 
presume the honors were easy. 

Though Mr. Tilden s health had apparently been im 
proved by his voyage and practical release from political 
cares, he was still condemned to a very regular and almost 
ascetic life, and compelled to decline all hospitalities which 
were showered upon him, except such as were tendered by 
old friends and acquaintances. It was impossible for him to 
accommodate his hours of eating and rest to those of London 
society. His admirers in England who were thus deprived 
of the privileges of meeting him socially testified their 
respect for him by extending to him promptly upon his 
arrival the privileges of the Athenaeum and Keforrn Clubs, 
for which, however, he had little use. The desire to avoid 
attentions, which it became occasionally difficult to decline, 
induced Mr. Tilden to leave London for Scotland somewhat 

We reached Edinburgh on the 12th of August. We 
spent ten days visiting scenes and places of greatest in 
terest to us in Scotland, returning to London on the 22d. 

Among the letters awaiting him at his hotel was one 
advising him of his election as an honorary member of the 
Cobden Club, to which he sent the following reply : 


" DEAR SIR : On my return from Scotland yesterday I had 
the honor to receive your favor of the 8th inst. advising 
me of my election as an honorary member of the Cobden 
Club. I hasten to assure you that I highly appreciate this 
courtesy, and that I am most happy to have my name asso 
ciated in any way with that of the illustrious statesman, 
the usefulness of whose life it is the worthy purpose of your 
club to prolong. 

" Yours very respectfully, 

" S. J. TILDEN. 

"Honorary Secretary of the Cobden Club." 

VOL. II.-9 


On the 23d we left for Canterbury, where Mr. Tilden spent 
a few days making the acquaintance of his kindred, whose 
names figure conspicuously in most of the parish registers 
of that county for many centuries. From the beginning the 
family appeared to have made its career in the army or in 
the church ; and of the descendants of whom he made the 
acquaintance while here, pretty much all had followed the 
traditions of the elders. They were all cultivated and re 
fined people with moderate incomes, but enjoying in a high 
degree the respect and confidence of the community to 
which they belonged. 

I am glad to be able to give here extracts from some of 
the very few letters which Mr. Tilden wrote to his family 
during his stay in Europe. Never much given to letter- 
writing, the difficulty and discomfort which he already ex 
perienced in handling a pen prevented his writing at all to 
any but his family, and rarely to them. 

To Mrs. Augusta Pelton, the wife of his nephew, he wrote 
from Canterbury, Aug. 8, 1877 : 

tf We came here Friday evening. On Saturday we passed 
the morning in the cathedral, which is in many respects 
the most interesting of any in England. In the afternoon 
we went out six miles to call on a Mrs. Tylden, the widow 
of the late Vicar of Chilham. She had two weeks ago 
written inviting me to call, and lunch at her house. Her 
husband was by right the head of the Milsted branch of 
the family, about which you will read in Burke s " Landed 
Gentry," under that name. By some arrangement of the 
grandfather, with the consent of the eldest son, the 
landed estate had gone to the second son by a later 
marriage, Sir John Maxwell Tylden ; a result no doubt in 
duced by the imprudence of the father. Her son of nine 
teen has just entered the artillery as a lieutenant. Her 
daughter of twenty-one is the flower of the Tyldens here ; 
that is to say, a girl of nice manners, and by much the 
fairest complexion we have seen. Yesterday in their com 
pany we went to Milsted, and saw several members of the 
familv which succeeded to that place, though not living 


there at present. Gen. William Burton Tilden, who died 
in the Crimean war, and who was the third brother, left 
three sons. The youngest, now in Oxford University, 
Itichard by name, came to meet us with his step-mother, 
the widow of the general. As the place was rented, we 
met at the residence of the Vicar of Milsted. He is a Mr. 
Hilton, a genial and cultivated person, with a wife and three 
maiden daughters, who, with one of his four sons, were at 
home. And we all sat down to a very nice lunch ; vis 
ited the manor-house and the church, and then went to a 
neighboring church at Worm s Hill, which was an earlier 
seat of the same family. 

" A special interest was added to this occasion by the cir 
cumstance that Milsted is off from all railroads, and in a 
purely rural district. We saw the form of English life in 
the middle class, well to do and cultivated, and in the depths 
of the country. 

"I must break off, for it is growing late, and we start early 
in the morning for Tenterden. I am conscious that I am 
writing too hastily to do justice to the picture as it exists in 
our minds, and as I would paint it to yours." 

Mr. Tilden returned to London on the 30th of August, 
and on the 31st left for Lowestoft, on the east coast of 
England, for the purpose of consulting Dr. Garrod, who had 
been recommended to him as specially qualified to deal 
with troubles like those with which he was contending. 

The following letter was addressed to his sister, Mrs. 
Pelton, from Lowestoft : 

" LOWESTOFT, Sept. 3, 1877. 

"DEAR MARY: This is a sea-shore place, on the eastern 
coast of England, washed by what is called the German 
ocean. It is rather a select spot, ten miles south of the 
larger town, Yarmouth. The house in which I am is within 
two hundred feet of the water, and my room, a little one in 
the fourth story, fronts upon the sea. Of course, the ful 
ness of the house has elevated me to such a place. We left 
Canterbury on the evening of Friday, slept in London, and 
at twelve the next morning I started for this place, one hun 
dred and seventeen miles from London. 

w Mr. Bigelow went the same afternoon to see some friends 


in Surrey, and is expected here this evening, for it is 
now six, of a rainy day, and I can scarcely see to write. 

" The motive of my coming here is not for the public, but 
may be mentioned to the family. Dr. Garrod, who is, no 
doubt, the best man on gout, rheumatism, and the peculiar 
malady (arthritis) which affects a joint of my first and 
second fingers of the left hand, whom I had one consulta 
tion with in London, has come here for two months of recre 
ation, extending to October 1. It is difficult to see much of 
him in London, but he consented to see me here, where he 
is perfectly at leisure. It was a special opportunity for 
him to learn all possible of my case, and for me to draw 
from him the results of all the knowledge, reflection, and 
experience he is capable of applying to it. So I thought 
at this stage of my journey ings, to discard everything else 
and come here, and stay as long as I can to contribute to 
that object. 

"He has a nice family, with whom I have become quite 
well acquainted. He appears to take a special and personal 
interest in me, and I have come to a clear conclusion that he 
has more knowledge, experience, reflection, and judgment 
on such cases very far more than any man I have known. 
As I have the opinion that the malady, though specially 
affecting only two small joints, is, in all probability, the 
result of a general cause, and the improvement would affect 
the general health, and the deterioration would be likely to 
touch other joints and probably many, besides injuring 
the general constitution, if I can get real benefit from this 
gentleman, it is the most important thing that concerns 
me altogether out of the dimensions of mere ordinary 

" So I have thought it best to come here now, and stay a"s 
long as seems useful, and then go on my way, returning to 
London early in October, say a week or ten days before 
I sail, to take a final observation of the condition of 

"This statement is very long, and seems tedious, but per 
haps you may like to know all about the matter. 

"My general health is improving all the time. I can take 
more exercise, and am growing stronger. The tendency is 
for the physical discomforts which attend such a malady, 
and which, between us, I don t say that except to very 
few, rob existence of almost every recreation and capacity 


of a pleasurable nature, to diminish slowly, by irregular 
steps, in which you sometimes doubt all real improvement, 
but which yet, measured at intervals, show some decided 
progress. The opinion has been growing upon me that I 
shall find it expedient to keep from everything which inter 
feres, and to continue the process for a year or more. I 
must remember that it is now but two months since I began 
the measures which looked to bettering my condition at 
Sea Girt. 

"Resuming my letter this morning (September 4), I have 
crowded the rest of the topic on the last sheet and begin 

" I gave in a letter to Augusta, I think some account, 
hurried and imperfect, of our visit to Milsted, and of the 
people we saw there. I intended to make a better sketch, 
but it is not easy to return to a topic once passed, or to turn 
from what follows it in the current of events. 

" On Wednesday, I believe it was, we made an excursion 
to Tenterden, Mr. Bigelow, Mrs. Tylden, and her son, 
the young lieutenant of the artillery. The young lady was 
detained at home by some visitors. 

" Passing from Canterbury to Ashford, some sixteen miles, 
by rail, we took a landau at the latter place for Tenterden. 
Our ride was through a beautiful country, perfectly rural, 
and having in it all the elements of picturesque loveliness. 

"The fields, as you know, are generally separated by 
hedges ; the moisture of the climate preserves and renews 
the verdure, and the cloudy film that nearly always veils the 
sun, and softens the light, lends an aspect to nature like 
that you will see in twilights under our skies or in objects 
under shadow. 

" We stopped at the White Lion, a quaint old tavern, that 
would be at once pulled down in our country as being a 
century or two behind the times, but which was interesting 
as a relic of the past. A\ r e visited the church and its yard 
before lunch. Mr. Bigelow reclined upon the grass and 
read, while the rest of us ascended the narrow, spiral, stone 
staircase of the steeple. I will hear record that the plat 
form is reached at one hundred and twenty-two feet by 
one hundred and forty steps. From it, the view on every 
side was fine. 

" The town is antique, mostly in one street, the houses of 
brick and the roofs of tiles, with everywhere an appear- 


ance of age. It is in a sequestered, agricultural region, not 
much invaded by modern inventions. 

" By the aid of the ordnance map, which is on a very large 
scale (twenty-four inches to the mile), I was able to 
select the place most worthy of being looked at ; and went 
to see a large and ancient farm-house close to what is called 
on the map Tilden s Gill. That is a depression on which 
water runs, except when the period is dry. It is wooded in 
a narrow strip. The farm is called the Belgar farm, and 
was sold in 1873 or 4. It contains about one hundred and 
forty acres. The portions of the land sold are described 
in the advertisement and conveyances as Tilden s Gill, and 
embrace the most opulent part of the area called by that 
name. The farm-house also seems to have a geographical 
relation to the Gill, to make it more probable than any other 
place that it was the residence of the man from whom the Gill 
took its designation. The house is a large and old structure, 
of an apparent age corresponding with this theory. It is of 
brick, or mainly so, with some accessories of plaster. My 
recollection is that the will of Nathaniel Tilden in 1641, 
an extract from which is found in Dean s " History of Scitu- 
ate," speaks of the house as stone ; but it is said that brick 
houses are sometimes in the local usage spoken of as stone, 
and that there are, strictly speaking, no stone houses, that 
material not being used. 

"In the main room of the house, in which we were most 
of the time, the beams stood out from the ceiling and were 
numerous and uncased, and at the large windows were 
propped by an iron standard. A part of the house was 
neat and comfortable, while some was used for inferior pur 
poses. There is a nice garden and flowers, and a pear-tree 
trained against one of the walls, large, full of fruit, and 
vines were abundant. The house is quite a distance from 
the public road, being reached by a lane. 

" The occupant is Thomas Coveney, who is recently upon 
the place a respectable, middle-aged farmer. 

" He had quite a hunt for a map on which the names of the 
tracts composing the farm were expected to be found, and 
at length discovered the advertisement and the accompany 
ing map for the recent sale of the property. That map he 
insisted on leaving out and giving me, negating my in 
quiry whether it might not sometime be found useful to 


" I will add that the farm of which I have been writing was 
bought at the recent sale by F. T. Carey, Esq., Stanbrook 
Villa, Gravesend, Kent. 

" On the whole it is probable, but not certain, the house I 
saw was the house of our family before 1634, or two hundred 
and forty-three years ago. 

" I must now close, for I have scribbled over the last of 
the six sheets to which the varieties of the Canterbury im 
prints are limited. Much affectionate regards for Willie, 
Gussie, Laura, yourself, and all. 

"I am truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

While at Lowestoft, and on the 5th of September, the 
news reached us of the death of M. Thiers. On the fol 
lowing day we left for London, and on the 7th for Paris, 
where we took rooms at the Westminster Hotel in the Rue 
de la Paix. Early on the following morning, and while we 
were breakfasting, my old and valued friend, the late Will 
iam H. Huntington, called to say that Mr. Snialley, the Lon 
don representative of the " Tribune," was in town and had 
secured a capacious carriage for the purpose of witnessing 
the funeral solemnities of the illustrious French statesman 
of the Place St. George, and if it would be agreeable to 
us, he would be glad to have us join him. Mr. Smalley 
was good enough to call for us about eleven. Our party 
was fortunate in being promptly recognized by one of the 
gentlemen who during our Civil war had been, and still 
continued to be, attached to the ministry of foreign affairs. 
He gave us tickets which entitled us to all the privileges of 
the Diplomatic Corps. 

After the religious ceremonies at the church we resumed 
our seats in our carriage ; and when the cortege began to 
move were rather surprised to find ourselves placed among 
the chief mourners, and our carriage next but one to the 
hearse where by virtue of our position we became objects 
of the sympathy of the largest crowd of people I ever saw 
in any one day. For several miles on our journey to Pere 


la Chaise, every window, balcony, roof, pavement, indeed 
every standing place commanding a view of the procession, 
was beaming with faces; even the street was solid with 
people almost up to the wheels of our carriage, leaving 
scant room for the police to walk their patrol. We could 
not get within fifty feet of the tomb, and of course heard 
little of the discourses, which were delivered in conversa 
tional tones by speakers invisible to any who were more 
than twenty feet distant. 

The question whether the mortal remains of the wily old 
politician belonged to the Eepublicans or to the McMahon 
administration was settled by the demonstration we had 
witnessed. There could be no mistaking the political signif 
icance of the vast but orderly, respectful, and sympathetic 
crowd which lined the way of the dead statesman on his 
last journey, and which had been gathered without the aid 
or apparent sympathy of a single government drum or 
place man. It was a spontaneous and eloquent admission 
that in his death France had lost what Paris at least re 
garded as her most important, if not her most illustrious, 

On the 12th of September Mr. Tilden and I called upon 
Mr. Ganibetta, with whom I had a slight acquaintance, 
contracted before he had become one of the controlling 
forces in French politics. He had been condemned, only 
the day before our visit, by one of the tribunals, to fine or 
imprisonment for some act of omission or commission, the 
nature of which I cannot recall. In reply to our inquiries 
about it he gave us to understand that there was more pol 
itics than law in the judgment ; that it gave him the least 
possible concern ; that "judicial delays" would throw the 
final decision of the questions at issue over the election, 
then close at hand, when his parliamentary privileges would 
protect him from arrest. He took his election for granted, 
which, as events proved, he was entitled to do. To the 
question whether the new assembly would meet soon 


enough to clothe him with parliamentary privileges, he 
replied that the legislative bodies would meet immediately 
after the election under a new law, enacted since the organ 
ization of the provisional government and for the sole pur 
pose of embarrassing the Republicans, but which seemed 
destined, he said, to be useful to the Republicans only. 

In reply to an inquiry of Mr. Tilden, Mr. Gambetta 
said that the Republican voters in France numbered a little 
less than five millions, and their opponents a little less than 
two millions ; that the Republicans consisted, in a large 
proportion, of the ouvriers, or wage-earning class, and of 
the very large and more intelligent class of people with 
their ptcule or small capital who work on their own 
account that is, are not salaried, but to a great extent 
independent of masters or of capitalists. This class he 
regarded as made up of the most independent voters in 
France. He described them as palentts, or men who had 
licenses to pursue their respective trades or business on 
their own account. The third quotum were acquisitions, 
not very numerous, from other parties. The whole number 
of registered voters was about eleven millions. The officers 
of the civil service, exclusive of the army and navy, he 
estimated at about three hundred thousand; the mayors 
of cantons numbered about thirty thousand, who, until 
recently, had been named by the government. They were 
now, he said, elected by the cantons, but the necessity of 
having men for these places possessed of some official 
experience and cultivation forbade rapid changes ; conse 
quently popular influence was not yet much felt by them, 
though it was gradually penetrating their circle. He 
thought there were many Democrats among the lower 

As our interview was in the editorial rooms of the 
journal, of which he was editor and proprietor, our con 
versation naturally drifted toward the press. Among other 
things he said that the circulation of the newspaper press 


in France had decupled in ten years. This extraordinary 
statement, which there is no reason to suppose exaggerated, 
is rather an illustration of the restriction and oppression 
which weighed upon the press under the Empire, than of 
the multiplication of readers, though their numbers, of 
course, had been steadily on the increase. 

Mr. Gambetta professed to have no apprehension of the 
army ; he said it was now thoroughly national in its feelings 
and sympathies ; it understood and kept posted on the various 
political problems of the day, and he was persuaded that it 
could not be used for mischief. In this respect he said the 
army now is very much changed from what it was under the 
Empire : it is animated by fresh and more elevated purposes. 
He exhibited the utmost confidence in the future of the 
Republic, and made light of the opposition, from whatever 
source it came. 

Such was the substance of an interview which lasted about 
an hour. Gambetta had become quite fleshy, and I was 
told could not be persuaded to take exercise. It was mani 
fest even then, though riches and honor might be, length 
of days was not in store for him. 

On the 17th Louis Blanc was one of our guests at din 
ner, in the course of which he gave an interesting account 
of his acquaintance with Louis Napoleon, which, as I have 
never seen it in print, I am sure I need make no apology 
for setting down here. He said that in consequence of 
Louis attempt to escape from his prison at Boulogne, he 
was tried and condemned to imprisonment at Ham. On 
this occasion he was treated, not only by the press, but by 
the senators or peers of France who tried him, with great 
severity ; the vilest epithets and grossest indignities were 
showered upon him. Louis Blanc, who was then pro 
prietor of a journal in Paris, wrote an article expostulating 
with his uncharitable colleagues, closing with the remark, 
in substance, "That many of those who now abused the 
prisoner would, had he been successful, have cheerfully 


licked his boots." Napoleon, who was allowed every com 
fort and even luxury at Ham, addressed a letter to Louis 
Blanc, thanking him for the article, and asking him to come 
and spend a few days with him at Ham. Louis Blanc 
wrote in reply that he could not associate himself in any 
way or degree with the august prisoner s schemes of ambi 
tion, past or future, but he would come to him with pleas 
ure as to a fellow-citizen in trouble. He went accordingly 
and spent three days, shut up with him in the prison, where 
they had no resource but conversation, which Louis Blanc 
spoke of as something of a hardship, inasmuch as Napoleon 
was not at all fluent of speech. " He seemed ever to be 
seeking the word to express his idea, that did not come. 
This made conversation with him tedious." 

Napoleon spoke at great length of his political plans, and 
while he professed to be a friend of universal suffrage, and 
ready to do whatever the people of France desired their 
ruler to do, when asked by Louis Blanc in what direction 
and to what ends he would use his influence to bend or 
direct the national will, whether he would strive to give it 
a Democratic or a despotic tendency, Louis Blanc said he 
could never get from him a reply. He repeatedly tried 
him on this subject, but always without success. 

Louis Blanc had been addressing some of his constituents 
during the afternoon, and he amused us by enumerating 
some of the points of his speech which had proved most 
successful. The one he made upon President McMahon, he 
said, was applauded with frenzy. He told the story of one of 
the first Napoleon s generals addressing his soldiers on the 
eve of an election. " Soldiers," he said, "you will vote as 
you please ; you are perfectly free to act according to your 
convictions ; but if any man does not vote this ticket, I will 
run my sabre through him." The story had at least the merit 
of antiquity, and with the audience he was addressing his 
version probably did not seriously compromise his credit as 
an historian. 


During his exile in London, after the fall of the govern 
ment in 48, and after he had acquired a tolerable command 
of the English language, Louis Blanc said he was invited 
to deliver a lecture for the first time in English. He was 


to dine that day with Edward Dixon, then editor of the 
" London Athenaeum." The prospect of meeting a distin 
guished London audience, and attempting to talk to them in 
what to him was a foreign tongue, made him very nervous ; 
and the more he heard about the audience, the more nervous 
he became. During the dinner he suddenly lost his voice, 
and found himself incapable of uttering a word in a tone 
above a whisper. He was in despair. What was to be done ? 
Who was to do it ? There seemed to be but one course to 
pursue, and that was to tell the truth and dismiss the audi 
ence ; but it was well known that the audience was to 
consist of everything most distinguished in London society, 
where Louis Blanc had become already a great favorite. 
The more they told him of the audience, the worse he felt 
and the more feeble became his voice. Finally it was 
decided that he and Dixon should show themselves on the 
stage and let the audience see, if they could not hear, that 
he was unable to speak audibly. They accordingly ascended 
the stage together. Dixon proceeded to make Louis Blanc s 
excuses, and, when he had done, Louis Blanc stepped for 
ward to verify his friend s statements. Dixon s remarks 
had been received with sympathetic applause by the entire 
audience, but when Louis Blanc appeared, the applause 
was deafening. When it had subsided suificiently, he 
attempted to say a few words, mainly for the purpose of 
showing his dephonetized condition, when to his utter 
surprise his voice sounded clearer and louder than ever 
before in a public assembly. He said he was never able to 
speak more effectively, and went on for two whole hours 
without the slightest inconvenience. Evidently the applause 
with which he was received cured the nervousness which 
alone was responsible for his temporary aphony. 


Of the mode in which the Church influenced the politics 
of France in those days Louis Blanc told a curious story. 
The brother of General Cavaignac was a libre-penseur , as 
well as a very intimate friend of Louis Blanc, in whose 
arms, in fact, he died. He came one day to consult Louis 
Blanc about what he characterized, properly enough, as a 
most delicate matter. He said that his mother for the past 
two weeks had been pressing him every day to go to the 
priest and confess himself. It was no use to tell her, he 
said, that he did not believe in a priest pardoning sins ; that 
he did not wish to act like a hypocrite by pretending to. 
These protestations only redoubled her pertinacity and 
anxiety. She asked if he was willing to embitter her 
remaining days, not only by refusing her request and the 
assurance of his salvation, but was intent upon persisting 
in a course which assured hor of his damnation. This, 
with sobs and weeping and tearing of hair and getting 
upon the knees to him, had been his daily discipline for 
more than a fortnight. He begged his friend to tell him 
what he ought to do. Louis Blanc replied to him that the 
question he had asked him was one which he must decide 
for himself, and declined to accept the responsibility of 
advising him. Two days later Louis Blanc heard that he 
had been to the confessional ; and the clerical journals 
immediately after his decease had a general glorification 
over his "conversion," and his experiences in the presence 
of death,, especially of the consolation which the Church 
only could provide, and of which Cavaignac had till then 
always made light. It is in this way, he said, that the 
priests retain their power through the women, through the 
mothers and the sisters of the men, that no man had 
more often dwelt upon this fact than Cavaignac himself. 

We left Paris, and returned to London on the 8th of 
October. In crossing the channel we found the sea very 
rough. When about half the way over, a sea struck our 
steamer with such violence as to carry away one of the 


davits and the boat suspended on it, and deluged the deck 
and Mr. Tilden as well. He was obliged to sit in his wet 
clothes, not only until we arrived at Dover, but in the cars 
during the rest of our journey to London ; in all more than 
four hours. It was a fearful exposure for a person in his 
condition, and filled me w r ith alarm. He arrived at his 
hotel in London chilled through and almost insensible. 
After a warm bath and some supper he felt somewhat re 
freshed ; about half-past ten, however, and immediately 
after he retired to his bed, he had a chill, which was soon 
followed by a fever. I sent for Dr. Garrod, who was then 
in London, and who prescribed for him. He said the lower 
tips of Mr. Tilden s lungs were slightly congested, and that 
he must remain in bed for a day or two. For two days 
we were in doubt whether he would be well enough to sail 
for home in the " Scythia," in which we had taken passage 
for the 12th. Happily, however, he continued to im 
prove, and we were enabled to reach Liverpool in time to 
sail as had been arranged, arriving in New York on the 

On the evening of the 27th Mr. Tilden was serenaded 
at his residence in Gramercy park by the Young Men s 
Democratic Club, whose presence, of course, attracted a 
crowd. In reply to a few words of welcome from the late 
Augustus Schell, Mr. Tilden made a short speech which, 
because of his allusions to our great national staple, came 
to be known as the Indian Corn Speech. In the course 
of it he said : 

" I predict a great increase in the consumption of our 
corn by Great Britain over the 60,000,000 bushels which 
it reached last year. It is the most natural and sponta 
neous of our cereal products. Our present crop ouo-ht to 
be 1,500,000,000 bushels against 300,000,000 of wheat. 
It is but little inferior to wheat in nutritive power. It 
costs less than one-half on the seaboard, and much less 
than one-half on the farm. It can be cooked, by those 


who consent to learn how, into many delicious forms of 
human food. Why should not the British workmen have 
cheaper food ? Why should not our farmers have a great 
market ? Why should not our carriers have the transpor 
tation ? 

"Let us remember that commercial exchanges must have 
some element of mutuality. Whoever obstructs the means 
of payment, obstructs also the facilities of sale. We must 
relax our barbarous revenue system so as not unnecessarily 
to retard the natural processes of trade. We must no 
longer legislate against the wants of humanity and the 
beneficence of God." [Applause.] 

He also referred to what he termed " the greatest po 
litical crime in our history " in impressive terms. 

"In the canvass of 1876 the federal government em 
barked in the contest with unscrupulous activity. A mem 
ber of the cabinet was the head of a partisan committee. 
Agents stood at the doors of the pay ofiices to exact con 
tributions from official subordinates. The whole office-hold 
ing class were made to exhaust their power. Even the 
army, for the first time, to the disgust of the soldiers and 
many of the officers, was moved about the country as an 
electioneering instrument. All this was done under the 
eye of the beneficiary of it, who was making the air vocal 
with professions of civil service reform, to be begun after 
he had himself exhausted all the immoral advantages of 
civil service abuses. 

" The step from an extreme degree of corrupt abuses in 
the elections to a subversion of the elective system itself is 
natural. No sooner was the election over than the whole 
power of the office-holding class, led by a cabinet min 
ister, was exerted to procure, and did procure, from the 
State canvassers of two States, illegal and fraudulent certifi 
cates which were made a pretext for a false count of the 
electoral votes. To enable these officers to exercise the 
immoral courage necessary to the parts assigned to them, 
and to relieve them from the timidity which God has im 
planted in the human bosom as a limit to a criminal au 
dacity, detachments of the army were sent to afford them 


"The expedients by which the votes of the electors 
chosen by the people of these two States were rejected, 
and the votes of the electors having the illegal and fraudu 
lent certificates were counted, and the menace of usurpation 
by the President of the Senate of dictatorial power over all 
the questions in controversy, and the menaced enforce 
ment of his pretended authority by the army and navy, the 
terrorism of the business classes, and the kindred measures 
by which the false count was consummated, are known. 

" The magnitude of a political crime must be measured by 
its natural and necessary consequences. Our great Repub 
lic has been the only example in the world of a regular and 
orderly transfer of governmental succession by the elective 
system. To destroy the habit of traditionary respect for 
the will of the people, as declared through the electoral 
forms, and to exhibit our institutions as a failure, is the 
greatest possible wrong to our own country. The Ameri 
can people will not condone it under any pretext or for any 
purpose. 1 

" Young men, in the order of nature we who have 
guarded the sacred traditions of our free government will 
soon leave that work to you. Within the life of most who 
hear me our Republic will embrace a hundred millions of 
people. Whether its institutions shall be preserved in sub 
stance and in spirit, as well as in barren forms, and will 
continue to be a blessing to the toiling millions here and 
a good example to mankind, now everywhere seeking a 
larger share in the management of their own affairs, will 
depend on you. 

" I avail myself of the occasion to thank you, and to thank 
all in our State and country who have accorded to me their 
support, not personal to myself, but for the cause I have 
represented, and which has embraced the largest and 
holiest interests of humanity." 

Writings and Speeches," Vol. II. p. 488. 


The trials and temptations of a bachelor millionaire Proposals of 
marriage in verse and prose. 

MR. TILDEN S political opponents gave an involuntary 
but unequivocal recognition of his singularly unassailable 
public and private character by their exaggeration of his 
wealth, and by their misrepresentations of the use he made 
of it. Failing to find any political doctrine that could be 
successfully challenged on moral grounds, or any personal 
infirmities or delinquencies upon which they could make 
a combined attack, they condescended to appeal to one of 
the basest sentiments of our unregenerate nature by making 
a party shibboleth of " Old Tilden s barrell." This gave 
great notoriety to his wealth and a proportionate annoyance 
to himself, for every mail brought him proffers of assistance 
in distributing it, not only from all parts of his own coun 
try, but, not infrequently, from foreign lands. 

Of the number and variety of these communications only 
men of large wealth are apt to have any idea, nor they, 
unless their stores have had the factitious advertising which 
the Eepublican press and touters gave to Mr. Tilden s ac 
cumulations. Churches wanted their debts paid ; parents 
wanted children adopted, or educated, or established in 
business ; debtors wanted their farms cleared of mortgages ; 
unsuccessful speculators wished help to try their luck again ; 
inventors appealed to him to buy an interest in their 
patents ; mothers invited him to marry their daughters ; 
gentle maidens of marriageable age asked for his photograph 
in exchange for their own, and the honor of a correspond 
ence with him ; cranks wished him to let them cure him ; 
promoters wanted, some to have him join them in great 

VOL. II. -10 


mining enterprises, others in draining swamps, and others 
in cornering the timber of the country. The largest number 
of applications came from men and women wishing to mar 
ket their political influence for his. 

The late George Bancroft is reported to have said that his 
experience in teaching the Round Hill Academy at North 
ampton removed whatever doubt he had ever entertained of 
the total depravity of human nature. But neither priest nor 
pedagogue are often, if ever, forced into such a disgusting 
familiarity with the morbid anatomy of human society as 
a notoriously wealthy and successful candidate for popular 
favor. In this respect Mr. Tilden s experience was unique, 
for he was the first candidate for the chief magistracy of the 
United States whose wealth was sufficient to attract public 
attention, and whose heart and hand were unappropri 
ated. There were times when, had Mr. Tilden listened 
to all the appeals that were made to him, with all his wealth, 
he would have been himself a beggar at the end of any week. 
To comprehend the nature and extent of this species of 
annoyance, I will give a few specimens of such appeals as 
were made by post, and were most readily disposed of; 
though personal appeals were nearly as numerous, and, 
unless made by absolute strangers, usually consumed 
more time and therefore proved more serious interrup 
tions. The names and addresses of the writers are of 
course suppressed. 

A Kentuckian, who, though blessed with a large family, 
thought he was poor, wrote : 

" I am a poor man with a large family and am not able 
to bring them up as I would like. My three youngest are 
girls aged respectively about thirteen (13), ten (10), and 
eight (8) years old ; and I am anxious that they be decently 
brought up and respectably educated. How would you 
like to take charge of the education and rearing ? and if you 
should be so disposed, I will give you full charge of them. 
. I know this proposition sounds cruel and un- 
parental, but, sir, it is my overpowering anxiety about 


them and their future that induces me thus to write to 
you." . . . 

One of the F. F. V s wrote : 

" HONORED SIR : In these times of unusual exigency 
unusual expediency suggests itself, and the train runs not 
with the extremity. Your own high and unquestionable 
position is such as to bear the light of a mid-day sun, but 
the same elevation weakens, sometimes, your best purposes 
by exposing to your adversary the very movement made 
with the best intent. To meet this emergency, do you not 
want a secret emissary who can go from point to point at 
a moment s notice to convey and secure information, one 
who can accomplish diplomatic interviews without being 
suspected as your representative, and who can contrive 
movements without their being heralded to the reading and 
gossiping world? I am a woman old enough to be dis 
creet, ugly enough not to be noticed, intelligent enough 
to sift, compare, and reason, wit enough to evade, wise 
enough to be silent, and ready enough to report, and if 
you can or will employ me in this official capacity, you will 
find IRQ faithful, trustworthy, and efficient. I can give you 
the best reference in the city and in any part of the country, 
especially in the South. I am a Southern-born woman, 
familiar with all Southern influences, especially acquainted 
with carpet-bag rule, having been a victim of their oppres 
sion in taxation. I am personally acquainted with politi 
cians of both parties ; and, having the entrance to all 
circles, I have an advantage not usual. I have lived in a 
political atmosphere all my life, but have now no family 
ties to restrict my movements, or to give my confidence. 
My large landed estate in the South is now almost worth 
less ruins, owing to the working of the new regime ; con 
sequently I would seek employment of a remunerative kind, 
not extravagantly so, but sufficient to my simple needs. 
The employment I suggest would be congenial to my taste ; 
and in peace or war I am sure that I can be useful. The 
times are portentous of discord ; and if strife should prevail, 
such service as I could render I know will be in demand. 
If you will entertain the proposition, I will call to see you 
at any time. The very proposition is a secret with my self \ 


and I hope you will also respect it in any event. I only 
purpose to be in town a day or two." 

A widow from Illinois, with four children, two boys and 
two girls, wrote : 

"I cannot keep my children in school and give them 
food and clothing; therefore I write. I beg you to 
adopt one of my fatherless children, a boy thirteen years 
of age, the oldest boy, change his name to Samuel J. 
Tilden, place him in one of the best schools, watch his 
progress in his studies, and your generosity shall be re 
membered for years and years. Please write me when you 
can come or send to this city for the boy." 

A hoosier from Indiana wrote : 

" . . . If you will send me some money ill help you 
along with a grate many more votes as there is a grate 
maney around here that will sell there votes fore anything 
then if you send; Express to Brownsville Union Co. 

Another hoosier, who may be presumed to have passed 
the early part of his life in the land o cakes, wrote : 

" i have written you three letters and i think you election 
is very dootful in the Western States i have traveled threw 
indiana illinois, niasura, iway cansas peter cooper and 
hayes and you name is scarcely mentien and you haf to do 
something soon or you air beet i can sell you twenty eighty 
hondred votse for eight hundred dolars myself if you air 
willen to hep you self i Will hep you i have pledge myself 
to the people that i Woold give four hundred dolars por- 
vided you would give me four hondred dolars i think that 
is the best i cando for you now jus send me the for hun 
dred dollars if you think best to do so and if you send it i 
Will use it fur your lection, if you send it you had better 
send it in a register letter they air all watching me at the 
expres ofis and Peter Cooper friends has ofered me a thou 
sand dolars to throw my influence to him and I wouldent 
noy axsept it." 


A man who was not at all proud wrote from Yankee- 
town : 

" As you are a man that goes in the best and highest of 
society you must have a great many old clothes that is 
good but out of fashion and you cant ware them in High 
Society, i wish that you would send them to me as im 
have a hard time to git along and winter is adrawing neare 
. all the way that i can pay you is at the November 
election that is the ticket i have voted the last 20 years." 

An assiduous member of a Tilden and Hendricks club 
wrote : 

" I have been out every night and I am out of work and 
cannot get any. my shoes are all worn out carrying the 
Tilden banner and I cannot carry it any longer unless you 
will send me a new pair." 

A Kentuckian who adds Rev. to his name, but whose 
early education had hardly been what it should have been 
for one of his profession, wrote : 

" As i antisipate a Short tower through the mountains of 
Ky and should like to have from five to seven hundred 
dollars more than i have i will therefore ask you to send 
it to me forthwith By adams express and if i dont make a 
show of the same i will double the same five times, if 
convenient Send Silver fore it looks Quite pleasant all is 
Rite here, you shall hear from me Soon after the elec 
tion, your. O.B.T." 

A Pennsylvania!! who was " anxious to free our govern 
ment from a mass of corruption," and " is foreman of a 
factory of 37 men of which 11 are Republicans," wrote : 

"I am prepared to buy their votes at $5. each. If you 
can remit me the required amount my influence is at your 
command and the rights of our country." 

A Jersey patriot of a frugal mind, but trusting he was 
honest, and who believed in fighting fire with fire, knew 


" of over one hundred persons in Trenton who will vote for 
Hays because they will get 1 dollar a piece for doing so. 
there never was a time when such a little money could get 
so many votes. I am a poor man, yet I trust I am honest, 
yet, I cannot see ware it is wrong to give a man a dollar 
to vote for the one he wishes to get in Avhen if he dose not 
do so, the other party will give him the money and get 
his vote." 

" A friend and a brother " of the negro wrote : 

" Mr. TILDEN : 

"SiR : I wish you to send mez as much as $5. to Buye 
Whiskey to get all the colored votes I can for you." 

A friend of the laboring man from New York writes that 
he " is president of a secret society which cast more than 
13,000 votes in 1874, and almost 17,000 in 1875." He re 
bukes Mr. Tilden for not having responded to his applica 
tion for $2,395.20 to save himself and party from defeat. 

"Our votes," he says, " will be cast in view of resulting 
benefits to labor and to securing legislation in that direction 
rather than from the ordinary motives of party men. If in 
the end you and the party which has put up your nomina 
tion are defeated by us, you must remember that the work 
was entirely your own, and that we gave you a fair oppor 
tunity to have avoided that result." 

A patriot from Minnesota wrote : 

" I feel very confident that with $10,000 I can get seven 
thousand votes." 

Another patriot from Ohio informs Mr. Tilden that two 
of the " electoral commissioners " are relations of his, one a 
school-mate, and all three Republicans ; that he asked them 
privately what they would take to throw their influence for 
Mr. Tilden ; that they answered him confidentially if he 
would give them $5,000 each they would give their vote all 
the time for his man. Mr. proposes to give $5,000 


out of his own pocket if Mr. Tilden would give the other 
$10,000 in greenbacks, not in checks, as they might create 

An editor writes that he publishes a religious paper in 
Virginia, which is burdened with a debt of $500. " It 
did all a religious paper could do to promote Mr. Tilden s 

A gentleman who had spent $100 on the election asks 
Mr. Tilden "to palliate his temporary difficulties with a 
remittance, which he promises to return in six months." 

A Xew Yorker asks for the loan of some money with 
which to purchase bees from Brazil. 

A modest mamma from Missouri named her third daugh 
ter, who was born in 1870, Maggie Tilden . "You 

would admire her," she writes ; "she is an interesting child 
and in possession of more than ordinary talent ; and in order 
to cultivate her mind, I make a special request of you, and 
that is to make her a present. You will confer a very great 
favor upon our little daughter. You are in possession of 
millions of dollars and would never miss, say, $10,000 ; in 
fact any sum you may wish to give. You are a bachelor 
and should render assistance." 

Another Missourian, a confederate, but with more zeal 
than discretion, says he met with a man in Douglass county 
who claimed that Hayes was elected President. The con 
federate claimed that Tilden was elected. The Douglass 
county man said, " The Republicans have had the reins of 
govt. too long in their hands to give it up to a Rebel 
like you. So," adds the confederate, "Igiv him a billet 
of wood ; he soon recovered and come at me for a tussel 
and the result was I was left a blind man forever. 

"You can see from my picture which I send you in this 
letter, the condition my eyes are in. If you are willing to 
help me I would be very glad." 

His statements were fortified by four certificates as to 
their truth, all apparently in the same handwriting. 


A man from Alabama, of literary aspirations, desires to 
dramatize " The Great Crime " by which Mr. Tilden was 
defrauded of the presidency, and asks him " if not too 
inconvenient" to furnish a history of the whole aifair, as 
well as the names of the conspirators, for that purpose. 

A political enthusiast wrote, "Fifty thousand dollars will 
carry the State of New York for Mr. Tilden," and asks to 
have the money sent " with a wrapper round it as you would 
a newspaper, roll up the ends." 

A New Yorker, who admired a cheerful giver, wrote : 

" If you would give of the millions of which God has made 
you the Steward, but two to the cause, New York and Vic 
tory would be ours, and Right would prevail. . . . I have a 
right I repeat to ask this when one poor man draws $56. his 
all from the Savings Bank and sends it ; when one family 
are going without tea and coffee for a year, to help that 
much to the right ; when my sister and I give what was to 
have given us a long dreamed of pleasure-trip ; when my 
brothers go shabby and are pinched and poor but give far 
more than they can spare to help Hancock. I know you 
will give most freely but I want you to give as we poor 
people have, so as it will hurt. Can you see those pitiful 
sums published and still keep back that hand that is grow 
ing old and can hold what the Lord has given it bit a few 
years longer." 

A Missourian damsel, whose moral development seemed 
to have hardly kept pace with her physical, having received 
a circular in regard to the Royal Havanna lottery, invites 
Mr. Tilden to procure one of the circulars, and see if there 
would be any chance for one of the prizes, and if so to se 
lect for her " a ticket that will be sure to draw a prize," and 
send it to her, and she will send him the money. She 
kindly adds : " If I draw a good prize they can use my 
name. It might be, if they knew my condition that they 
would sell you a ticket that they knew would draw a good 

Another Missourian informs Mr. Tilden that his " letter 


declining a renomination has been read by thousands in the 
West with sorrow," and that he has several valuable inven 
tions in which he will give Mr. Tilden a half interest if he 
will aid him in putting them on the market. 

A New Yorker " knows how the third party in the field 
could be withdrawn, and will meet Mr. T. s agent to make 
a satisfactory arrangement." 

Another New Yorker asks Mr. Tilden to return to him 
the axe which he presented to him in the canvass of 76, that 
he might present it to General Hancock, as Mr. Tilden had 
retired to private life. The writer of this letter was notified 
that he could have the axe by calling for it. 

" Joanne of Arc " sends Mr. Tilden a magic ring. " Put it 
on your finger immediately, and do not remove it. It con 
veys to you a healing power from God. When taking it 
from my finger I saw a bright star over it." 

A West Virginia lady desires to open an acquaintance by 
correspondence ; has three relatives in Congress, and " will 
patiently look forward with expectations of receiving a 
little < billet-doux. " 

M. M., of Ohio, informs Mr. Tilden that with $1,500 or 
$2,000 he can secure the votes of 3,000 miners in his 

A Republican from Ohio, having lost $1,000 through the 
failure of a friend, will give Mr. Tilden his influence this 
fall if he will accommodate him with a loan of $1,000. 

Another Ohioan will work for Mr. Tilden if he will give 
him a land warrant for sixty acres of land. 

A lumber man from Michigan wrote : 

w SIR, If you want to doo anney thing in the pine woods 
of Michigan you will have to send some money. This 
stump specking dos for some folks but not for the Boys in 
the whoods. They whant a more excitement then that. I 
have no money and we air all poor but we have a vote just 
the same. I can do more on the day of election with some 
monney then all the stumping your great men can do in a 


Another man from Michigan informed Mr. Tilden that 
if he will be so kind as to give him a deed of a quarter 
section of land in the North-west he will vote for him. 
" I have always voted the Demicratic ticket ; now, if you 
can t give me that lot, I cant vote for you ; but if you will 
give me the lot I will send you a certificate from the Co. 
Clerk that I cast my vote for you." 

A Tennesseean informs Mr. Tilden that he is working 
hard for his election and would be pleased to receive a suit 
of clothes as a birthday present. 

A friend of Senator Voorhees, of Indiana, informs Mr. 
Tilden that the certainty of his being President of the 
United States is greatly due to the untiring determination 
of his friends, and therefore he says, " As I am very fond of 
a good horse and one that can trot some, I ask you to say 
you will present me with one of that kind after you are 
declared elected. To-morrow we make a grand rally to 
hear Hon. Daniel Voorhees." 

U. U., of Missouri, says : " I have bet everything I have 
in this world on your being elected. Beat thini if you can 
is my best wishes." 

A New Yorker wrote : 

" MR. TILDEN, DEAR SIR, I thought I would Rite to you 
to let you know How we are situated. On this Canipain 
we have used up all our money in working for you and we 
Have mad promises that we can t foolfil on this campaign 
and hope that you Will Oblige us by sending us some 
money We want to use some on Musick Band and also we 
have promised six cags of Bear after the closing of the 
Pols, allso other items that we want Paid this time also 
We Have Never asked anything of you before and am 
sorry to ask you know But the way we are fixed we cant 
Help it. We are doing all that Lays in Our Power for 
you in Our town we Have Brought over Three Hundred 
persons On our side and we can get more by working hard 
for them and Our money Has give out and we Hope that 
you will oblige us By sending us some. This is from 


and and also we are well known Through this county 


" PLease answer this as soon as you receive this 

"With Out fail" 

A fire-insurance agent wrote : 

" TILDEX, Will you please give me your opinion as to 
your prospects for election ? this state being pretty well 
supplied with Rads and some of them anxious to bet on 
Hayes. I want to make some paupers among them if there 
is a strong probability of your election. I need some of 
their money in my biz. and can get it, provided I will put 

" Assuring you that I am an ardent supporter of yours, 
hope you will w T rite me opinion." 

A patriot from Ohio informs Mr. Tilden that 

what is needed now is not the speaking to influence 
public sentiment, but the almighty dollar to draw the mass 
of voters with us. 

" In this free country it is not expected to carry the day, 
per-vim to drag men to the election house, but to persuade 
their minds, and this can be done with them by simply buy 
ing them. Send us money to the amount at least 2, 000 and 
we will see wiiat we can do." 

A New York Republican, " but not a bigoted one," in 
forms Mr. Tilden that he and nine of his comrades had 
always voted the Republican ticket, but this year, he 
writes, " If you think worth while to buy our votes we 
will go Democratic, $50 apiece is the price. If you will 
send to my address before election $500 you will receive in 
return ten sound votes." 

A laborer in Ohio, who thought he was worthy of his 
hire, wrote that : 

"the lawyers and doctors get paid mighty big for mak 
ing speeches and i think i can make as many votes as 


some of them and get nothing for it i think i ort to have 
something for my work i have worked every election yet 
and i never got anything i think i am working for a good 
cause and i would like to here from you i think i ort to 
have something." 

Such are types of a class of letters which reached Mr. 
Tilden by every mail, from his own sex mostly. The imag 
inations of the other sex seem to have been equally, if not 
more, inflamed by the report of Mr. Tilden s great wealth, 
with neither wife nor chick to help him spend or enjoy it. 

Mr. Tilden had never married. His early associations 
and delicate health seem to have conspired together to ded 
icate him to the public service, which became the most 
constant and engrossing subject of his study and of his 
meditations from early youth to the very close of his life. 
He occasionally laid himself open to the suspicion of enter 
taining matrimonial intentions, by the frequency of his 
visits to houses where the attractions were such as to war 
rant such suspicions ; but on the occasions of his visits he 
usually became so much absorbed in talking politics with 
the senior members of the family that the neglected juniors 
were apt to retire to rest long before their turn had come. 
He cared less for the society of women than any gentleman 
possessed of anything like corresponding powers of enter 
tainment I have ever known, and he never seemed to miss 
such companionship until during the later years of his life, 
when his infirmities had rendered him comparatively help 
less. His sister, Mrs. Pelton, presided over his household 
until her granddaughter married, when he provided them 
with an elegant home in New York and an income suited 
to their needs and station. In his sister s place he invited 
two of his maiden nieces, daughters of his brother Henry, 
to live with him, which they continued to do until his 

When Mr. Tilden was nominated for the presidency he was 
sixty-two years of age, a period of life when bachelors 


have generally abandoned all thoughts of matrimony. His 
wealth and rank and prospects, however, caused him to be 
regarded by the other sex more than ever in the lisrht of 

o *J ~ 

a matrimonial speculation. There were multitudes of the 
daughters of Eve who would cheerfully and, alas ! in 
many instances might advantageously have accepted the 
hand and shared the society of a man of his wealth and 
position, to whatever extent he might be weighed down by 
age or infirmity. At least Tilden could hardly have failed 
to reach this conclusion. Nor will the reader be surprised 
if he did, when he reads a few of the letters which I propose 
to cite as specimens of the weapons by which his domestic 
solitude was assailed. 

A widow from Michigan wrote : 

" DEAR SIR : I trust you will excuse me for writing to 
you, a stranger, but having been so greatly interested in 
your success a few years ago, I have so often thought of 
you since, that to me you seem more like a dear friend and 
acquaintance, though I have never had the pleasure of meet 
ing you. I wish you (not your secretary) would write to 
me just once in answer to this request. I should like to 
make my home in New York or near there, in the capacity 
of book-keeper or private secretary, where, if agreeable to 
my employer, I could remain several years, having little 
ones to educate. I cannot marry again, but must work if I 
can. My little boy is a bright little fellow of nine years. 
I wish him to enjoy the advantages of good schools and 
training. That he may have these with kind treatment, I 
have decided to remain single the rest of my life, though 
now but twenty-nine, that I may earn the means to accom 
plish this purpose. Now that I have confided to you my 
greatest wish, will you do this for me? If not in need of 
such services yourself, will you tell me of some one that is, 
or give me directions that will enable me to obtain per 
manent work of this kind in a place suitable for a lady? 
I cannot give references for competency, having never 
worked, but think I can prove it by trying. Can give best 
of reference in regards to respectability and honesty, and I 
will try to improve in writing." 


A Virginian writes : 

"I see from the Cincinnati Gazette you are a bachelor 
and one most anxious to marry, and will give to your wife 
the amount of $500 in money per week. I write, not to 
make a proposition of marriage, but one which will no 
doubt meet with much greater favor in your kind and 
generous heart ; which, if acceded to, will procure for you 
the love, not only of all the single ladies, but the love of all 
the married ladies as well, of congregation." 

The way all this was to be accomplished was to give five 
or six hundred dollars of his pin-money to pay off the debts 
of the church. The writer adds : 

" If you should visit 1 promise you shall see many 

of its fair beauties. You might gain the affection of some 
beauty for a wife, and you know the Virginia girls make 
noted wives." 

A damsel from California writes, on a sheet illustrated 
with the portrait of a dove carrying a billet-doux in its 
mouth : 

" MY DEAR SIR : Allthough in the past the pleasure and 
honor of your personal acquaintance have been denied to 
Mama and I, yet we have heard of your noble qualities of 
mind and heart, and I can assure you, Mr. Tilden, the only 
wish of my heart is to see you. I would highly appreciate 
your visit and warmly Thank you for it. The magnificent 
and beautiful residence which you have erected and which 
would be an ornament to any city in the w^orld, so success 
fully brought to completion by means the most commenda 
ble, stand forth as enduring energy and indefatigable zeal, 
will perpetuate your memory and transmit your name to 
generations to come. 

"Mr. Tilden, in regard to my reputation Avould respect 
fully refer you to Bishop , Ex-Governor , Senator 

. Mr. Tilden, I would dearly love to be able to see 
you, though distance separated us ; yet in my prayers I 
always think of you. Accept these slight expressions of 
regard, and be assured of our good wishes and Prayers that 


your years may be many Peaceful, and happy. I cannot 
allow this Christmas to pass without wishing you a very 
merry Christmas and many Happy New Years. Hoping you 
will receive this with the same intention that I have in 
tended, I shall feel grateful for any kindly consideration 
you may be pleased to accord to this, my letter. Accept 
this with my highest regards and everlasting friendship." 

A young lady from Michigan pours forth her soul in 
verse. Her communication was accompanied with the 
photograph of a face of rare beauty. 

" IIox. SIR: 

" Inclosed please find a photograph 
Of one who comes to make you laugh. 
For this is the year accorded by law 
For maids to propose in, and baches to jaw. 
Now, when the great question rose over the nation 
And shook the stout hearts of the Lords of Creation, 
And claimed, in spite of money s sway, 
The Democrats would gain the day, 

" * Xo, no, I cried, * it can t be true ; 
For during my life, one score and two, 
There s not been a Democrat president ; 
But we ve bent to Republicans quite content. 
And when it was said, In spite of pelf 
Cleveland will get it, I said to myself, 
* If Cleveland gets this fall s election, 
I ll propose to S. Tilclen and meet with rejection. 

" Wouldn t it be a joke to the nation ? 
Wouldn t it cause a great sensation ? 
When I think of it, sir, I almost wish 
I had not set to fry so big a fish. 
It is one thing to talk and another to do, 
And I almost lack courage to carry it through. 
I live so much within myself, 
That none would believe it, except yourself. 

" I only can offer my heart and my hand. 
A heart, none more tender in the land. 
A hand that ne er lifted itself to do wrong ; 
But has done all it could to help mankind along. 
Only these, yet a man like yourself 
Would look more to virtue than worldly pelf. 
I refer you to any one here you may find, 
Who will say aught about me, cept which is kind. 

" I trust you, sir, as a Democrat, 
That you ll not take advantage of that ; 


But my letter and picture never will show, 
So no one but you and I shall know. 
Now ponder well and study my face. 
Can you not every bit of my character trace ? 
Would it not be bliss, by your fireside 
To claim its original as your bride ? 

" Sweet pleasure to me to be the wife 
Of a noble man in the eve of his life, 
All passions subdued, at peace with the world, 
Obliged not to be into politics hurled. 
Has not this life seemed vacant to you 
With no loving wife, and no fond children too ? 
O what would you give, had you only a son 
To bear your own name when your work here is done ? 
This world indeed is bleak and drear, 
If we have none to us most dear, 
Whom we know love us for our very self, 
And not what we have of paltry pelf." 

" I hold the respect of all who know me ; am a worthy 
graduate, and pride myself on my good character; so, 
though you would not get a wealthy bride, you would get 
one who cares not for the world, who is not tainted witli 
the vices of society, and whose whole soul will be wrapt up 
in the interests of her husband and home. I anxiously 
wait the issues of my strong fancy. Should you favor it, 
let me know, and I will send my right name, and any cre 
dentials you desire. If you decline, I trust you will send 
back my letter and picture, with your best wishes for a 
simple girl." 

A Pennsylvania maiden wrote : 

"Mr DEAR SIR: I am making a silk quilt (where is the 
lady who is not?) and write to solicit a piece of your neck 
tie. It matters not if it is plain and black (I fancy that s 
the kind you wear), so it comes from you. 

" Each lady thinks her quilt, like each mother her baby, is 
the prettiest in existence. I am no exception to that rule. 
My aim is to make my quilt as rich in its associations as I 
am trying to make it beautiful in design. This being my 
object, you will, I trust, excuse my request. 

" I want a piece of your tie, not because you are a million 
aire, not because you excelled as a corporation lawyer, not 
because you stand deservedly high as a political leader, nor 
yet because you were elected President of these United 


States, but because, though a bachelor, you have always, 
both in private (so I am informed) and in public utterances, 
paid woman the tribute she ought to have. A man who 
does that has a clean mind. 

" I am, my dear sir, etc." 

A lady of a certain age proffers marriage, in a letter with 
a postage stamp enclosed, presumably to encourage a 
prompt and favorable reply. 

" DEAR SIR : I take the liberty of addressing you on a 
delicate subject, though one of the utmost importance, as it 
engrosses the mind and attention of the majority of the 
human race, at some time, either in youth, middle age, or 
later in life. This subject is matrimony. I think we may 
find, by observation, that marriages contracted later in life 
are often a source of greater happiness and usefulness 
than those entered into earlier in life. We know that it is 
the rule for the ladies to wait for the gentlemen to make 
the first advances, though it is merely a matter of custom, 
sanctioned by the usages of society. If it were the custom 
for ladies to make the first advances, it would seem just as 
proper, and any candid mind will concede that it is per 
fectly right and proper for a true, virtuous woman to offer 
a proposition of marriage to an honorable man. There are 
many who have done this. For instance, we have the ex 
ample of Queen Victoria, who proposed to Prince Albert, 
and lived a very happy matrimonial life. I suppose it will 
l>e necessary for me to give you a description of myself. I 
have dark-brown hair and eyes, dark complexion, good 
features, am considered good-looking. Medium height, 
good form neither thin nor too fleshy. Thirty- three years 
of age, though look much younger; am taken to be not 
over twenty-five. Am even-tempered, warm-hearted, and 
affectionate. I am a lady of refinement and education. 
Am of a good family, and well connected. Have a sister, 

married to a lawyer in , whose father is one of the 

wealthiest men in . Also have a brother in , 

who is also a wealthy man. I can give the best of refer 
ences and letters of introduction from the most respected, 
influential citizens. I have had good offers of marriage, 
but prefer to choose my own husband. The young men 

VOL. II. 11 


have too many wild oats to sow, and are apt to be un 
settled. There are exceptions to this, as well as to every 
other rule. Still I would much rather marry an elderly 
gentleman, one who is true and honorable. I am naturally 
intelligent and well-informed, especially in regard to politics 
and business matters. As a wife, I feel that I could be a 
great help to a husband, by making his interest my own, in 
regard to any thing or object he most desired to accomplish. 
As you are a gentleman in public life, I have heard and read 
so much about you that I have almost felt acquainted ; at 
least have felt that you were perfectly upright and honor 
able ; a gentleman in every sense of the word, and one who 
would be a loyal husband. I have felt that I could love 
such a character with a true devotion, so have thought that 
I would take advantage of leap year by following Queen 
Victoria s example and say, Will you marry me? Now, 
a housekeeper, or relations, however desirable, cannot fill 
the place of a wife. There is no relationship so close or so 
endearing as that of wife. And in sickness and old age, 
who will care for a husband so tenderly as a loving, de 
voted wife? The Bible says, It is not good for man to be 
alone, and Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing, 
and obtaineth favor of the Lord. Now, in regard to my 
self, you do not need to take my word alone, but you 
have the privilege of becoming acquainted with me, and of 
judging for yourself. As I wish to visit my sister in 
Chicago you can meet me there if you choose, or any other 
place you might name. And now I am perfectly sincere 
and in earnest about this matter. I submit this matter to 
you for your perusal and thoughtful attention. Hoping 
my suit will meet with favor, and a reply, 

" I remain yours very respectfully." 

A young lady from Indiana who weighs about one hun 
dred and twenty-five pounds, and is a detester of dudes, 
wrote : 

" DEAR SIR : You are, I ve no doubt, surprised to get a 
letter from a village in the Hoosier State. 

" As it is Leap Year, and the ladies have the privilege of 
proposing marriage, I have come to you. Unmaidenly : 
did I hear you say : Well, I suppose it is, but when I tell 


you it is unsophisticated love that prompts me to write this 
I hope for your forgiveness. 

" Since quite a child I have been a great admirer of yours. 
During the time that you were candidate for President I 
was very anxious that you would be elected. 

" I have never seen you, but having heard such glowing 
accounts of your generosity and good worth, how can I 
help but admire you ? Please be generous to me and give 
me a favorable reply. 

"I do not want a husband I cannot admire and be 
proud of; if there is any one thing I do detest it is a Dude. 
It has always been my ambition to marry some great states 
man or a man of unusual intellect and culture. Now, my 
dear Mr. Tilden, will you be my husband? I assure you, 
you will never regret it, for I will do everything in my 
power to make you perfectly happy. 

" You, perhaps, would like to know who and what I am. 

My name is . I weigh about about one hundred and 

twenty-five pounds, have dark-blue eyes, fair complexion, 
and dark-brown hair. I suppose I am a brunette. I do 
not know just exactly how tall I am, but a little below the 
medium height, and was twenty years old last March. 
Don t say too young for me : you know it is better to be 
petted by a young girl, than to be fussed at by an old 
woman, or worse, a society belle. 

" If I had a photograph of myself I w r ould send it to you, 

but if you get a good profile of , the actress, that will 

do as well, for every one says I am her perfect facsimile. 

So if you are an admirer of that will be a great 

deal in my favor. 

" My family are highly respectable. My Papa and Mama 
are both living and I am an only child. 

" If you are favorably impressed with this letter please let 
me know as soon as possible as it is a matter of great im 
portance to me." 

A young lady from Missouri asks for his hand and 

" MY DEAR FRIEND : I send you a few lines as it affords 
me pleasure in doing so and at the same time hoping to 
find you enjoying the fruits of health and Happiness I am a 
young lady of twenty-two summers and hearing so much 


talk about you and to see if it is all true I thought I would 
write and see if it was as the parties stated will you please 
state if you ever engaged yourself to some St. Louis Belles 
and they refused you may think it very impudent but they tell 
every body that and if it is not so I would let them know 
about it. Dear Sir, as I am an admirer of beautiful pictures 
will you please do me the honor of presenting me with one 
of your pfotos. as I am going to the store, I will bring this 
note to the Post Office. Hoping this will reach you and 
hoping to get an answer I remain, 

"P.S. Direct my answer to the Post Office or to 

Street, if directed to the P.O. the full name and if at 

the first name. 

Yours Respect? 

"Please answer as soon as possible. 

" Were you a flower, 

And I a bee ; 
A honied kiss 

I d steal from thee. 
Fresh as the morn 

Bright as the sun 
To me you are 

The sweetest one." 

A stanch little Democrat from Georgia wrote : 

" DEAR SIR : If you pardon the liberty I take in so 
addressing you, you will pardon one among many of human 

" This letter is from one of the stanchest little democrats 
in dresses in the land. A southern girl, who during the 
eventful time of your candidacy for the President, almost 
r laid down her arms and dug for you. I was but a child, 
and last year it so happened that I wrote for a juvenile 
paper here, in which I mentioned my wild and eventful 
Tilden days, which were much enjoyed. 

" In my own heart today you are the same dear Mr. 
Tilden, who grew dearer to me, as I grew older, and read 
of your noble qualties. 

" I was disappointed that you did not come south. Mr. 
Hendricks came, and I enjoyed a most delightful chat with 
him. He still has a sacred spot in all our hearts. I told 


him my love for Tilden and Hendricks only ripened as they 
grew older. 

" Ah well, I doubt your patience with girls, especially 
left handed ones, whose writing one cannot readily decipher. 

" My request is simple. (Please give your Sec ty a 
few moments recess) I only ask you to send me something 
that you consider trivial, for a souvenir of one I love and 
admire most dearly. I care not what it may be, so it be 
longs to you. Enclose within a word or two so that I may 
know my missive is not in vain. 

" It s awful for a democrat to feel badly, and as I am such 
a persistent one, I shall feel like poor Elaine (?) if I do 
not hear from you. Trusting all reporters are at Salt Lake 
and cannot spy this 

"Yours in all respect and sincerity." 

A miss from Kentucky, with a red head, and weighing 
136 pounds, wrote : 

" MR. TILDEX : While sitting all alone this evening, hav 
ing just written to all my friends, I concluded to write to 
you. I heard that you said the first lady that addressed 
you, you would send her a present. I hope the present 
will be a photograph, as I would like to see it very much. 
Pap came from Virginia, and he has often told me what a 
clever man you was. I heard that you was a batchelor 
and intended to live a different life ; I thought you nient 
a married life ; I would like to correspond with you very 
much. I have fair complexion, black eyes, and a red 
head. I am 18 years old, and I weigh 136 pounds. 

"If my letter is accepted write me a answer in return. 
I am tired of writing so I will close by saying give my love 
to your sister. 

" Remember me when far away and thinking of the past, 
remember I am a friend of yours that will last forever. 
Write soon." 

A young lady from Illinois sent Mr. Tilden a proffer of 
marriage, with a lock of her hair and an eloquent analysis 
of her charms. She handed her letter to her younger sister 
to enclose in an envelope and post. The younger sister, 
thinking Mr. Tilden might perhaps prefer a younger bride 


she was about nineteen, and the elder twenty-three 
or prefer a lighter shade of hair, enclosed a lock of her own 
hair, with a note imparting her willingness to share his bed 
and board in case her sister could not. 

Another wrote that her parents had been unfortunate, 
had lost their money, and requested Mr. Tilden to send 
them $25,000 to reestablish themselves. 

Another, from North Carolina, sent a bedspread, the 
work of her own hands, and warranted to last thirty 

Another, from Michigan, proposes he should adopt the 
child of a virtuous widow in the neighborhood, and marry 
her when she is fifteen years old. Meantime employing 
the mother at monthly wages, who is to die after four 
years of a broken heart. 

Another had heard of a generous wedding present Mr. 
Tilden had made one of her cousins, and wishes him to buy 
of her a silver salver and goblets to match, which, if she 
were wealthy, she would not take $2,000 for, but which 
Mr. Tilden might have for $1,000. She adds: 

" You go out of town every summer. It would give me 
pleasure to invite you to spend three or four weeks or 
more with me, but I cannot afford it. If you will come and 
give me a remuneration sufficient to cover expenses, I will 
do everything in my power to make your stay enjoyable. 
Shall I bring the silver salver to you or send it by express, 

She proposes also to invite several young ladies to meet 
him if he visits her, and gives him a catalogue of their 

Mr. Tilden rarely paid any attention to missives of the 
character here cited never unless he chanced to know 
something of the writer or of her kindred. Those who 
called in person as many did who had failed to get satis 
factory responses to their communications were pretty 


uniformly disappointed. The pleasure of receiving them 
was generally given to one of his clerks or attendants. He 
had the least possible taste for gallantries with any class ; 
but he was far too wise and prudent to give to any woman 
a pretext for speculating upon her intimacy with him. 

The volume of this kind of predatory correspondence was 
almost incredible. That he passed through this epoch of 
peculiar temptation without provoking a breath of scandal 
was a distinction which, unfortunately, can be claimed for 
few men in public life of equal eminence, in this or any 
other country. 


The cipher despatches Tilden s address to the people of the United 
States in regard to them His examination by a congressional commit 
tee A calumnious report corrected Repudiates a reported arrange 
ment between the Senate and House committees to exempt his bank 
account from examination Letter to Senator Kernan. 

MR. TILDEN did not realize all the advantages to his 


health from his European trip that he had hoped for. His 
adventures in crossing the English channel undid much of 
the very considerable benefit which he seemed to have 
derived from it. While his general condition was im 
proved, he could not disguise from himself the fact that 
his tremulousness was increasing, that his vocal organs 
were losing their flexibility, and that his left arm and hand 
were less useful to him than when he left his home. 
Though his health had now become a somewhat more 
serious preoccupation than formerly, he did not yet regard 
it as entitled to interfere materially with his future plans 
or customary occupations. His renomination for the presi 
dency in 1880 was regarded as a matter of course by both 
parties, not only because he was immeasurably the most 
capable and popular candidate his party could present, but 
because he was the only candidate through whose election 
the nation could properly resent the wrong it had sustained 
at the hands of the Electoral Commission in 1877. He was 
now regarded by the administration, not only as a more 
formidable candidate than in 1876, but the consequences 
of his election now were regarded as more alarming than in 
1876, especially to those who had participated in the frauds 
which put Hayes into the presidency. He was treated, 
therefore, from the very beginning of the Hayes adminis 
tration as the one man in the nation who, at all hazards, 


must be destroyed. This could not be accomplished by 
assailing his public life, his opinions, or his public teach 
ings. That had already been tried pretty faithfully and 
had proved unsuccessful. A second attempt was certain 
to prove even less successful. There was one course left. 
The Potter investigation had satisfied the nation that Hayes 
had not been elected by the people, and that the majority 
of electors for him had been secured by fraud. To this 
there was no longer any defence, not even the benefit of 
a doubt. The only thing to do under those circumstances 
was, not to attempt to justify the installation of Hayes, but 
to persist in efforts to leave upon the public mind an im 
pression which should stay there until after the next elec 
tion at least, that Tilden and his party were just as bad 
as Hayes and his party, plus the risk of Tilden s being 
overruled by his party, and that the people had nothing to 
gain by a change of dynasty. As the administration had 
control of all the judicial, civil, and military forces of the 
government, and necessarily exerted a prodigious influ 
ence over all the organs of public opinion, this did not 
seem at the time a hopeless endeavor. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the administration used 
all these forces with the energy and recklessness of despair. 

I am aware that this is a grave allegation, quite too 
grave to rest upon the unsupported dictum of any individ 
ual. I do not propose to leave it thus unsupported, but to 
produce such evidence as will, I think, bear conviction to 
any unprejudiced reader, that during the whole four years 
of Hayes administration, and regardless of Mr. Tilden s 
age, his physical infirmities, his priceless public services, 
and the place which he occupied in the hearts of his coun 
trymen, he was pursued by the agents of that administra 
tion with a cruelty, a vindictiveness, an insensibility to all 
the promptings of Christian charity, which men are rarely 
accustomed to exhibit except in their dealing with wild 


Early in the month of October of 1878 a series of tele 
graphic despatches in cipher, purporting to have been 
addressed to well-known partisans of Mr. Tilden during 
the electoral crisis of November and December, 1876, ap 
peared with translations in the "New York Tribune." 
These despatches conveyed the impression that persons 
holding more or less familiar, not to say confidential, re 
lations with Mr. Tilden had been entertaining propositions 
for the purchase of the electoral vote of one or more 
of the contested States. The fact that the votes of many 
of the electors were notoriously in the market at prices 
which would scarcely have been a month s income to Mr. 
Tilden, and that he needed but a single one of them to 
secure the presidency, helped to give currency to this 
abominable suspicion, which received additional aliment 
from the appearance of the name of his sister s son, who 
with his wife and child was a guest with her in Tilden s 
house at the time, among the alleged negotiators. 

To show the motive which animated the parties through 
whose agency these despatches legally as well as morally, 
in the strictest sense of the word, confidential came to be 
public property, it is necessary to go back about two years 
and trace their history from the time their hallowed privacy 
was first violated, until they were spread out in the columns 
of an intensely partisan journal. 

On the 23d and 24th of January, 1877, certain tele 
graphic despatches relating to the election in Louisiana 
were delivered to a committee of the House of Representa 
tives, of which Mr. Morrison, a Democrat, was chairman, 
and certain other telegraphic despatches relating to the 
election in Oregon were delivered to a committee of the 
Senate, of which Mr. Morton, a Republican, was chairman. 

Pursuant to the direction of Mr. Sargent, chairman of the 
sub-committee of the Morton committee, on the 25th day 
of January, about thirty thousand telegraphic despatches, 
purporting to be all the residue of the despatches relating 


to the election in the possession of the Western Union Tele 
graph Company, were delivered to Mr. Burbank, a brother- 
in-law of Mr. Morton, and also the clerk of his committee, 
or to his temporary substitute. 

Mr. Orton, the president of the Western Union Company, 
whom Mr. Tilden did not hesitate to characterize as an un 
scrupulous Republican partisan, had previously permitted 
his party friends to withdraw some of the despatches, and 
appears to have facilitated the surrender of the rest to the 
control of the chairman of the Republican senatorial com 
mittee, thereby practically excluding everybody else from 
the privilege of inspecting them. The particular de 
spatches, sent to the Morrison committee, were returned. 
The other despatches were retained by the officers of the 
Morton committee until some time after the inauguration of 
Mr. Hayes, and were then, except such as in the meantime 
had been abstracted, returned to the telegraph company, 
and afterwards burned by its order. 

Some of the despatches which had been abstracted were, 
more than a year afterwards, in the possession of one 
George Edward Bullock, of Indiana, who had been a mes 
senger of the senatorial committee, and was a protege of 
its chairman, Mr. Morton. This Mr. Bullock obtained 
from Mr. Hayes the appointment of consul at Cologne, 
upon the recommendation, among others, of Thomas J. 
Brady, of Indiana, the Second Assistant Postmaster-Gen 
eral, afterwards so notorious as the head of the fraudulent 
Star Route ring. Upon the eve of his departure, and after 
the appointment by the House of Representatives of a com 
mittee of investigation into the election frauds in Louisiana 
and Florida, of which Mr. Clarkson N. Potter was chairman, 
Mr. Bullock passed over to Mr. Brady who, while 
Second Assistant Postmaster-General, had, with three 
special agents of the Post Office Department, attended the 
canvass in Florida, and must have been acquainted with 
everything done there such of the abstracted despatches 


as had not been destroyed, and such others as they did not 
prefer to suppress. 

The facts developed subsequently to the inauguration of 
Mr. Hayes viz. : 1st, The acknowledgment by the ad 
ministration of Mr. Hayes that the Democratic State officers 
in Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina had been legally 
elected, although in the two former States they received 
fewer votes than were given to the electoral ticket of Tilden 
and Hendricks ; 2d, The appointment by Mr. Hayes, to 
most important offices, of the members of the Returning 
Boards of Louisiana and Florida, and of all the persons who 
had been actors and instruments in the frauds perpetrated 
by those boards, including the two electors whose names 
were forged in the corrected electoral votes of Louisiana, 
and the persons who were privy to those forgeries led to 
a new investigation by a committee of the House of Repre 
sentatives, of which Mr. Clarkson N. Potter, of New York, 
was chairman. 

After this committee had been some six months pursu 
ing its investigation, and had developed facts which carried 
conviction to the minds of fair men of all parties as to the 
gross nature of the frauds which were made the basis of 
a false count by the Electoral Commission, it was manifest 
that something had to be done, and at once, to counteract 
the moral effect upon the country of these disclosures. The 
publication of some and the suppression of the rest of these 
despatches proved to be the only weapon within their reach, 
and ignominious and lawless as they knew such a violation 
of private correspondence to be, they did not shrink from 
resorting to it. 

The despatches that were published show, what was con 
firmed by the uncontradicted testimony of the witnesses 
examined before the Potter committee, that unequivocal 
offers were made by persons representing, with every 
appearance of authority, the Returning Board of South 
Carolina, and a majority of the State canvassers of Florida, 


to give to the Democratic candidates for presidential elect 
ors, official certificates that they were duly appointed, for 
money considerations to be paid after the delivery of such 
certificates. It was proved that the agent of the South 
Carolina Returning Board, after his offer was rejected, went 
to the city of New York to repeat and press his offer, and 
stayed there several days in the vain endeavor to have his 
offer accepted. It was also proved, by unimpeachable tes 
timony, that the offer in behalf of certain of the State can 
vassers of Florida was repeatedly made through various 
persons. It was further proved that similar offers in behalf 
of the Returning Board of Louisiana were made to Mr. 
Hewitt, chairman of the National Democratic Committee, 
and to others. These offers were prefaced by statements 
that, if not accepted, pending transactions with the Repub 
licans would be consummated, although involving more 
risk, because in that case the certificates would be contrary 
to truth. 

All the powers of the Hayes administration, vainly 
struggling to justify its own existence, and all its means of 
influencing the press, were exerted to create a suspicion 
against Mr. Tilden that in some instance he had entertained 
or given countenance, directly or indirectly, to such nego 

These efforts totally failed. They were not only desti 
tute of the slightest foundation, but they were so contra 
dicted by every intrinsic probability as to be absurd. 
Besides, they were disproved by the concurrent testimony 
of every witness who was examined. Their only pretext 
was, that the South Carolina and Florida offers had been 
communicated to one of the nephews of Mr. Tilden, though 
the fact had been kept secret from Mr. Tilden. 

How far that gentleman was led into this indiscretion by 
a desire to learn the tactics of the adversary, or to gain 
time and means to prove and to defeat their strategy when 
it should be completely developed, or to secure the oppor- 


tunity of submitting the matter to members of the Demo 
cratic National Committee, whenever it should assume a 
definite form, does not clearly appear. It is certain, how 
ever, that he took no second step, and all negotiations of 
this character were rejected and abandoned. 

The great controlling fact stands, that none of these 
offers were accepted, nor their conditions complied with, by 
any of Mr. Tilden s friends, nor were the certificates of any 
of the Returning Boards or State canvassers given to the 
Democratic electors, to whom they rightfully belonged. 
On the other hand, those certificates were all given to the 
Republican electors, although at the expense of numerous 
frauds in the canvasses, false authentications by the gover 
nors of three States, and the forging of the signatures of 
two electors. 

Whether for these felonious transactions bribes in money 
were paid according to the offers which the actors in them 
professed to have received, has not been proved. But that 
bribes in the more effectual form of appointments to lucra 
tive offices were actually given to all the felons is now a 
matter of authentic history. Mr. Potter, in his report, 
makes the following sagacious remarks : " If a man be 
bribed by a sum down, he may lose it or waste it, and 
then the control it gave over him will be gone. But in an 
office which he holds at the pleasure of the person who 
appointed him, he is under continuing control." 

When the first publication was made, about October 7, 
I went to see Mr. Til den. I found him very much affected. 
He was very indignant that the existence of such compro 
mising communications should have been kept from him so 
long. He begged me to stay with him a few days. He was 
more completely overcome than I had ever seen him before. 

He regarded these despatches as I did, as the reply of 
the administration at Washington to the Potter invesfea- 

o o 

tion. It having been established by the Potter committee 
to the conviction of the whole nation that Hayes was not 


elected, the administration, instead of continuing the de 
fence of Hayes title, determined to show, if they could, that 
Tilden was bad enough to have been elected by the same 
means that Hayes had been. Fortunately, facts that were 
no longer in dispute protected Tilden s character. 

1. Only one vote was required to elect Tilden. It was 
in proof that the votes of three States were in the market, 
and at a price which would have been but a trifle to Tilden. 

2. Tilden did not get that vote. Nor was there a parti 
cle of evidence that any money was ever furnished to any 
one by Tilden, or any one else on his account, to secure the 
one needed vote. 

3. Hayes needed all the votes of three States. All 
were for sale. Hayes got them all and was elected, and 
within six months after his inauguration every person 
known to have been concerned in securing or giving those 

o o O 

notes, from the highest to the lowest, received an office or 
the offer of one. 

The position in which Mr. Tilden found himself placed 
by the publication of these telegrams subjected him to the 
humiliating necessity, for the first time in his life, of mak 
ing a public defence of his personal character. He lost no 
time in preparing and sending the following statement to 
the press : 

" NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 1878. 

" SIR : I have read the publications in the r Tribune of 
the 8th instant, purporting to be translations of cipher 
telegrams relating to the canvass of votes in Florida at the 
presidential election of 1876, and have looked over those 
printed in the Tribune of this morning relating to the 
canvass in South Carolina. I have no knowledge of the 
existence of these telegrams, nor any information about 
them, except what has been derived from or since the pub 
lications of the r Tribune. 

" So much for these telegrams generally. I shall speak 
yet more specifically as to some of them. 


" 1. Those which relate to an offer purporting to have 
been made in behalf of some member of the State Board 
of Canvassers of Florida, to give, for a pecuniary compen 
sation, certificates to the Democratic electors who had been 
actually chosen. 

"None of these telegrams, nor any telegram communicat 
ing such an offer, or answering such an offer, or relating to 
such an offer, was seen by me, translated to me, or the 
contents of it in any manner made known to me. I had no 
knowledge of the existence or purport of any telegram re 
lating to that subject. Nor did I learn the fact that such 
an offer of the Florida certificates had been made until 
long after the 6th of December, at which time the certifi 
cates were delivered and the electoral votes cast ; and when 
the information casually reached me, as of a past event, it 
was accompanied by the statement that the offer had been 

" 2. As to the publications in the Tribune of this morn 
ing, purporting to be translations of cipher telegrams relat 
ing to the canvass of votes in South Carolina in 1876, which 
I have seen since I wrote the foregoing, I can speak of 
them no less definitely and positively. No one of such 
telegrams, either in cipher or translated, was ever shown 
to or its contents made known to me. No offer or negotia 
tion in behalf of the State canvassers of South Carolina, or 
of any of them, or any dealing with any of them in respect 
to the certificates to the electors, was ever authorized or 
sanctioned in any manner by me directly or through any 
other person. 

" I will add that no offer to give the certificates of 
any returning board or State canvassers of any State to 
the Democratic electors in consideration of office or 
money or property ; no negotiation of that nature in behalf 
of any member of such board or with any such member ; 
no attempt to influence the action of any such member, 
or to influence the action of any elector of President 
and Vice-President by such motives, was ever enter 
tained, considered, or tolerated by me or by anybody 
within my influence by my consent, or with my knowledge 
or acquiescence. No such contemplated transaction could 
at any time have come within the range of my power with 
out that power being instantly exerted to crush it out. 

" A belief was doubtless current that certificates from the 


State of Florida conforming to the actual vote of the peo 
ple, were in the market. I have not the slightest doubt 
in the world, said Mr. Saltonstall, who was in Florida at 
the time, in a recent interview with the Herald corre 
spondent, that that [Florida] vote could have been bought, 
if Mr. Tilden had been dishonorable enough to desire it done, 
for a great deal less than fifty thousand dollars or twenty 
thousand dollars/ It was known that either one of the 
two members who composed a majority of the Florida 
State canvassers could control its action and give the cer 
tificates to the Democrats. Either one of them could settle 
the presidential controversy in favor of the Democratic 
candidates, who lacked but one vote. 

" How accessible to venal inducements they were, is shown 
by the testimony of McLin, the chairman of the Board of 
State Canvassers, in his examination before the Potter 
committee in June last. He admitted that the true vote 
of the people of Florida was in favor of the Democratic 
electors, and that the fact even appeared on the face of the 
county returns, including among them the true return from 
Baker county, notwithstanding the great frauds against 
the Democrats in some of the county returns. He also 
confessed that in voting to give the certificates to the 
Republican electors he acted under the influence of prom 
ises that he should be rewarded in case Mr. Hayes be 
came President ; adding that * certainly these promises 
must have had a strong control over my judgment and 

" After the certificates of the Louisiana Returning Board 
had been repeatedly offered to Mr. Hewitt and others for 
money, they were given in favor of the Republican electors, 
who had been rejected by a large majority of the voters ; 
and the members of this Returning Board now possess the 
most important federal offices in that State. The pregnant 
fact always remains that none of these corrupt boards gave 
their certificates to the Democratic electors, but they all 
did give them to the Republican electors. 

"I had a perfectly fixed purpose, from which I never de 
viated in word or act, a purpose which was known to or 
assumed by all with whom I was in habitual communica 
tion, if the presidency of the United States was to be 
disposed of by certificates to be won from corrupt return 
ing boards by any form of venal inducements, whether of 

VOL. II. -12 


offices or money, I was resolved to take no part in the 
shameful competition, and I took none. 

" The main interest of the victory which resulted in my 
election was the expectation that through the chief magis 
tracy a system of reforms, similar to that which had been 
accomplished in our metropolis and in our State adminis 
tration, would be achieved in the federal government. 
For this object it was necessary that I should be untram 
melled by any commitment in the choice of men to execute 
the official trusts of the government, and untrammelled by 
any obligations to special interests. I had been nominated 
and I was elected without one limitation of my perfect 
independence. To have surrendered or compromised the 
advantages of this position by a degrading competition for 
returning-board certificates would have been to abandon all 
that made victory desirable, everything which could have 
sustained me in the larger struggle that victory would have 
imposed upon me. I was resolved to go into the presidential 
chair in full command of all my resources for usefulness, or 
not at all. 

" While thus abstaining from an ignominious competition 
for such certificates, I saw these certificates obtained for the 
Republican electors, who had not been chosen by the people, 
and denied to the Democratic electors, who had been chosen 
by the people. These false and fraudulent certificates, now 
confessed and proved to have been obtained by corrupt 
inducements, were afterward made the pretexts for taking 
from the people their rightful choice for the presidency and 
vice-presidency. These certificates were declared by the 
tribunal to which Congress had abdicated the function of 
deciding the count of disputed electoral votes to be the 
absolute and indisputable conveyance of title to the chief 
magistracy of the nation. 

" The State of Florida, which had united all her execu 
tive, legislative, and judicial powers to testify to Congress, 
long before the count, who were her genuine agents, which 
had by statute caused a re-canvass, the issue of new certifi 
cates, and a formal sovereign authentication of the right of 
the true electors to deposit the votes entitled to be counted, 
was held to be incapable of communicating to Congress a 
fact which everybody then knew and which cannot now be 

" Congress, though vested by the Constitution with the 


authority to count the electoral votes ; though unrestricted 
either as to time when it should receive evidence, or as 
to the nature of that evidence ; and though subject to no 
appeal from its decision, was declared to have no 
power to guide its own count by any information it could 
obtain, or by any authority which it might accept from 
the wronged and betrayed State whose vote was about to 
be falsified. 

" The monstrous conclusion was thus reached that the act 
of one man, holding the deciding vote in a board of State 
canvassers (for without his concurrence the frauds of the 
other returning boards would have failed), in giving cer 
tificates known at the time, and now by himself confessed, 
to be false and fraudulent, and confessed to have been ob 
tained by the promise of office, certificates whose char 
acter was known months before Congress could begin the 
count, must prevail over all the remedial powers of the 
State of Florida and of the Congress of the United States 
combined, and must dispose of the chief magistracy of this 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

Not content with this formal disavowal of any knowledge 
of or participation in any negotiations for the exercise of 
any improper influence over the Returning Boards, Mr. 
Tilden addressed a sub-committee of the Potter committee, 
then sitting in New York, the following note : 

"15 GRAMERCY PARK, Feb. 7, 1879. 

" DEAR SIR : I learn from the public press that it is the 
desire of your committee to terminate its session in this 
city during the current week. I take the liberty of re 
questing that before you leave an opportunity be permitted 
me to appear before you to submit some testimony which I 
deem pertinent to the inquiry with which you are charged. 

" Very respectfully, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

The sub-committee consisted of Hunton, of Virginia, the 
chairman; Springer, of Illinois; Stenger, of Pennsylvania ; 


Hiscock, of New York ; and Eeed, of Maine, the first three 
Democrats and the last two Republicans. On Saturday, 
the 9th of February, by special arrangement Mr. Tilden 
appeared before the committee. 

It was a fearful ordeal. He was very feeble. His voice 
was scarcely audible above a whisper. By the treachery of 
political foes and the folly of political allies he had been 
suddenly cast down from a popular eminence rarely attained 
by any American, to the degrading abyss of a quarter ses 
sions criminal, with the popular sentiment of the nation 
more or less infected by the poisonous breath of a hostile 
partisan press. The situation was enough to have paralyzed 
and crushed a man of less nerve, less conscious of his 
ability to demonstrate the factious motives which had 
placed him in that position, and with less faith than his in 
the ultimate triumph of innocence and justice. The audi 
ence chamber was crowded almost to suffocation. Since 
the examination of Dr. Franklin by the Privy Council in 
London, in 1774, there has been no public hearing, I 
believe, in which there have been such vast and grave inter 
ests at stake upon the testimony of a single individual. The 
occasion was one of unusual inipressiveness, especially when 
the cross-examination commenced. It soon became ap 
parent that the Republican examiners were in the hands of 
their master. Before they had finished, Tilden had changed 
places with them, and put them on the stand in defence of 
the administration. The following graphic account of the 
scene appeared in the " New York Herald " of the following 

"At half-past eleven o clock Mr. Tilden appeared, in com 
pany with his brother, Henry A. Tilden, and ex-Secretary 
of State Bigelow. Mr. Tilden was dressed in black, and 
had an air of great solemnity on his face, which looked as 
imperturbable and sphinx-like as ever. Since his last public 
appearance he seemed to have aged considerably, and yes 
terday he looked quite ill and feeble. As he afterward 


explained, ho was suffering from a severe cold. It was, 
indeed, quite a painful spectacle to see the slow, halting, 
lame walk with which he passed the table and reached his 
seat. His figure was stiffly drawn up and seemed incapable 
of bending, as though he were suffering from a paralytic 
contraction of the limbs. As he entered, every e} r e was 
curiously turned upon him. Not a muscle of his face 
relaxed with animation or expression as he stiffly extended 
his hand to Mr. Reed, of Maine, who received the saluta 
tion with something like a profound bow. Then Mr. 
Tilden gave his hand to Mr. Hiscock, the other Repub 
lican cross-examiner, and after saluting the Democratic 
members took off his elegant, silk-lined overcoat, stiffly 
turned round and seated himself at the table, while set 
tling at the same time a large handkerchief in his breast 

"Ex-Governor Tilden sat erect in his chair for over two 
hours and a half, and during the greater portion of thi$ 
time he gave his testimony in that calm, quiet, imperturb 
able manner peculiar to him, and without hardly moving a 
muscle or changing the expression of his countenance. His 
voice, which was hoarse, started very feebly, almost inau- 
dibly. But as Mr. Tilden came to the corrupt negotiations 
alluded to in the cipher despatches, his hoarse voice rose sud 
denly to a pitch of loudness, vehemence, and dramatic inten 
sity hardly ever observed in the ex-Governor during the most 
exciting periods of his life. During these portions of Mr. 
Tilden s evidence there was a flush of deep feeling over his 
face, and the mental excitement had such mastery over him 
that his lips twitched, and one of his hands, said to be 
smitten with paralysis, trembled in a most painful manner. 

" And when Governor Tilden dramatically called on 
heaven and earth to witness the protestation of his innocence 
of all knowledge of the ciphers, bringing his clenched fist 
heavily down upon the table, there was a sympathizing 
outburst of applause. There was only one relieving 
glimpse of humor during his entire examination, lasting 
over two hours and a half; namely, when Mr. Reed, of 
Maine, questioned him about corrupt attempts, and the 
Governor returned dryly, Attempts to sell or to buy, 
which? at which there was some laughter. When the 
cross-examination had been concluded Governor Tilden 
held quite a, whispered conversation with Mr. Hiscock. 


The moment Mr. Tilden withdrew, which he did in the 
same slow, halting, imperturbable manner in which he 
entered, the interest of the day seemed to have ended, and 
the audience thinned out within a few minutes." 

The official report of his examination was as follows : 


"After Mr. Tilden had been sworn, the chairman of the 
committee said : Governor Tilden, we received your note 
requesting permission to appear before this committee and 
testify, and we shall be glad to hear anything you have to 
say upon the subject of these cipher telegrams, subject to 
cross-examination when you are through. 

"Mr. TILDEN. I have not had an opportunity to see the 
lithographic copies of the cipher telegrams. 

" The CHAIRMAN. Will you be kind enough, Governor 
Tilden, to speak a little louder ? 

"The WITNESS. If you will excuse me, I have a slight 
cold ; but I will speak as loud as I can. Upon the publi 
cation of the cipher telegrams in the New York Tribune 

those relating to South Carolina, on the 16th of October, 
1878 ; those relating to Florida on the 8th of October, 1878 

I read those translations ; I did not recognize among 
them a single one that I had ever seen in cipher or transla 
tion, or the contents of which had in any way been made 
known to me. With respect to those of them that relate 
to negotiations to induce members of the Canvassing 
Boards of South Carolina and Florida to give the Demo 
cratic electors their certificates, I swear positively that 
I never saw one of those telegrams, either in cipher or 
translation ; the contents of no one of them, nor the pur 
port of any one of them, was communicated to me in any 
manner whatever. 

"I had no knowledge, no information, no suspicion that 
such a correspondence, or any similar correspondence, had 
existed until their publication was announced in the New 
York Tribune, followed by the publication a few days 
later. No offer, no negotiation in behalf of any member of 
the Returning Board of South Carolina, of the Board of 


State Canvassers of Florida, or of any other State, was ever 
entertained by me or by my authority or with my sanction ; 
no negotiations with them, no dealing with them, no deal 
ing with any one of them was ever authorized or sanctioned 
by me in any manner whatsoever. 

" The first information I ever received that any such nego 
tiations had ever existed between any Democrat and any 
member of the Board of State Canvassers of South Carolina 
to give their certificates to the Democratic electors was on 
the 20th day of November, 1876. I am not able to fix that 
day positively by my own recollection, but I fix it by cir 
cumstances. It was the day that Colonel Pelton was in 
Baltimore. I remember the fact, and fix the date from the 
circumstances that have appeared during this investigation. 
On the morning of the 20th of November, 1876, Mrs. Colo 
nel Pelton mentioned in my presence that her husband had 
gone to Philadelphia. It was a casual mention. I did not 
know that he was going to leave the city, or that he had 
left the city until she mentioned it ; and her mention of it 
was so casual as not to attract any attention. A little later 
in the morning 

" The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean Philadelphia ? 

"The WITNESS. Philadelphia. A little later in the 
same morning I was called on by the treasurer of the 
National Democratic Committee, Mr. Edward Cooper, ap 
parently on his way down town. He told me that Colonel 
Pelton was in Baltimore. He told me that Colonel Pelton 
had received, or was receiving, an offer in behalf of some 
body representing, or claiming to represent, the canvassers 
of the State of South Carolina to give their certificates to 
the Democratic electors for a sum of money. I immedi 
ately said that no such offer should be entertained ; that no 
negotiations of that nature should be tolerated ; that not a 
cent of money should be furnished for any such purpose ; 
and that Colonel Pelton must be immediately telegraphed 
to return to New York. 

" I did not at that time know that Mr. Smith M. Weed 
had gone to South Carolina, or that he was there, or that 
he had been there at any time. I had not seen him after the 
election, and had no information of his whereabouts at that 

"The conversation with Mr. Cooper was very brief. The 
whole matter was disposed of within five to ten minutes. 


I made no inquiry into details, and there was no discussion 
between us. Mr. Cooper concurred with me entirely in the 
measures to be taken ; and although I took it for granted 
that he would make every necessary communication on that 
subject, I did not leave it to that. I obtained from him 
Colonel Pelton s address in Baltimore, and caused him to 
be immediately telegraphed to in a peremptory manner 
to return to New York. My despatch was in ordinary 
language. I had no cipher; I could not read a cipher; I 
could not translate into a cipher. It never occurred to me 
that there was any reason for any concealment. My belief 
is that the despatch was sent in my own name. I think it 
was sent within ten minutes after Mr. Cooper s communica 
tion to me. Colonel Pelton returned that night to New 

" With respect to Florida, I never saw any one of the 
Florida telegrams either in cipher or in translation. The 
contents of no one of them, so far as I know, were ever 
communicated to me, I mean the telegrams relating to 
this subject ; and I do not think that the contents of those 
relating to the course of the controversy down there were 
communicated to me. I am not able, in looking them over, 
to recall any one of them that I have ever seen. I did not 
know I was not informed that there had been any offer 
from anybody claiming to represent the Florida board or 
any member of it to give their certificates to the Democratic 
electors, until after the certificates had been delivered and 
a vote of the electors deposited for transmission to Wash 

" My first information on the subject was subsequent to 
that after the 6th day of December, 1876. Sometime 
after Mr. Marble returned I do not know when, whether 
it was before I went to England or not he mentioned to me 
one day, as a bygone affair, that the vote of Florida was 
offered, or rather the certificates that would yield us the 
vote ; but he said that the offer had* been declined . Some 
time last summer, about the time that the letter of Mr. 
Marble on the Electoral Commission appeared, I made a 
remark about the matter I spoke to Colonel Pelton about 
this offer from Florida. He answered in a single sentence, 
that all offers had been declined. That is all the knowl 
edge I had on the subject until the publication of these 


" With respect to Oregon, I never saw any one of those 
despatches. I now refer to despatches that are contained 
in the Tribune Extra, No. 44. 

"Mr. SPRINGER. This pamphlet? 

" Governor TILDEN. Yes, sir. I never saw any one of 
those despatches in cipher or in translation. The substance 
of no one of them was ever communicated to me, except a 
despatch from Governor Grover stating that he would give 
the certificate to the Democratic electors. The substance of 
that despatch was communicated to me by somebody. I did 
not know that it canie in cipher until after it appeared in 
the examination by Mr. Morton s committee ; and in what 
form that communication was made, I cannot now state, but 
I was aware of the fact. 

" Some of the telegrams appear to have been addressed to 
Colonel Pelton at No. 15 Gramercy park, which is my 
residence. I asked one of my young men to look them over 
and tell me how many there were. I think he told me there 
were fifteen of the Florida despatches so addressed, chiefly 
sent from Mr. Marble. So far as I know or believe, none 
of those despatches were ever delivered at my house. 

" Mr. STENGER. Do you say chiefly sent to Mr. Marble ? 

" The CHAIRMAN. He says chiefly sent from Mr. Marble. 

r The WITNESS. Chiefly sent by Mr. Marble. So far as 
I know, no ne of these were ever delivered at my house. 
Colonel Pelton s habits and hours and my own were entirely 
different. I was still Governor of New York, and had 
many executive duties to perform. I was burdened by the 
daily reception of people coming from all parts of the 
United States. From three to five hours a day w^ere, I 
think, usually devoted to these receptions by me. Colonel 
Pelton seldom came into the house until after I had been 
long in bed. He was very busy at the committee-rooms, 
and I saw very little of him. I think if any considerable 
number of telegrams had come to the house, I should have 
found it out in some way. I do not believe that any of 
these cipher telegrams ever came into my house. At any 
rate, they never met my eye or came within my knowledge. 

ft Now, one word as to the gentlemen who went to the 
South, to the disputed States, to watch and guard the can 
vass in behalf of the Democratic party. That measure 
originated with either Mr. Hewitt or General Grant. 
Within a day or two after the election, I think, General 


Grant wrote a letter in which he proposed such an expe 
dient. Mr. Hewitt either had started it before, or embraced 
it immediately after. I did not select or send the gentlemen 
who went to those States. With few exceptions, they were 
not selected or sent after consultation with me. I did not 
attempt to supervise their action. I did not communicate 
with them. In no instance during the whole of that time 
did I ever communicate, directly or indirectly, with any 
gentleman who was in the South on that business ; I never 
received any communication from them or any of them, 
except one, signed by Mr. Randall, Mr. Ottendorfer, Mr. 
Lamar, and Mr. Watterson, suggesting that some kind of 
a proposition should be made by me to Mr. Hayes. I never 
answered that despatch except verbally to Mr. Ottendorfer, 
after he returned and called on me. I was very busy all 
that time. I took it for granted that these gentlemen un- 

O c> 

derstood their business, and I did not undertake to direct 
them. The idea that they were my personal agents in any 
sense has no foundation in fact. They were the repre 
sentatives and delegates of the Democratic partv, chosen 
generally by its organization. No man, so far as I know, 
ever went to any of those States with any commission, 
authority, or any contemplation to do anything that a gen 
tleman ought not to do, or to do anything but defend the 
interests of the Democratic party, and to watch and guard 
those interests against apprehended fraud. 

" During the whole time, from the 7th day of November, 
1876, which was the day of the election, until the 6th clay 
of December of the same year, which was the day on which 
the electors met and deposited their votes for transmission 
to Washington, I maintained a uniform attitude. My pur 
pose was under no circumstances to enter any competition 
to obtain the votes, the certificates of the Canvassing Boards 
of the disputed States, even those to which I believed we 
were entitled, except by discussion, argument, reason, truth, 
justice. There never was a time not a moment, not an 
instant in which I ever entertained any idea of seeking 
to obtain those certificates by any venal inducements, any 
promise of money or of office to the men who had them to 
grant or dispose of. My purpose on that subject was per 
fectly distinct, invariable ; and it was generally assumed 
by all my friends without discussion. It may have been 
sometimes expressed, and whenever the slightest occasion 


arose for it to be discussed it was expressed. It was never 
deviated from in word or act. 

"To the people who, as I believe, elected me President 
of the United States, to the four millions and a quarter of 
citizens who gave me their suffrages, I owed duty, service, 
and every honorable sacrifice ; but not a surrender of one 
jot or tittle of my sense of right or personal self-respect. 

" Whatever the disappointment to those who voted for 
me ; whatever the public consequences of suffering a sub 
version of the elective system, by which alone free govern 
ment self-government can be carried on ; by whatever 
casuistry a different course might have been advocated or 
defended, I was resolved that if there was to be an 
auction of the chief magistracy of my country, I would 
not be among the bidders. [Applause.] 

" The CHAIRMAN. The room will be cleared if this ap 
plause does not cease. It is expressly understood that 
there is to be no manifestation of approbation or disappro 
bation on either side. 

" The WITNESS (continuing) . I was determined in 
such an event, or in the apprehension of such an event, 
that I would meet such a degraded condition of public af 
fairs, not by sharing it in any degree, not by acquiescence, 
not by toleration, but by an unqualified and perpetual pro 
test, appealing to the people to reassert and reestablish 
their great right the greatest of their rights, the right 
without which all others are worthless their right to elec 
tive self-government. I have done so. 

" The Cross-examination. 

"The CHAIRMAN (to Messrs. Eeed and Hiscock). Will 
you ask Governor Tilden any questions ? 

" The cross-examination was begun by Mr. Reed. 

"Mr. REED. Governor Tilden, who was your private 
secretary at the time of these transactions? A. George 
W. Smith. Do you mean my private secretary personally, 
or as governor? 

" Q. Personally. A. George W. Smith. 

" Q. I find among these telegrams in the f Tribune, one, 
No. 40, addressed to George W. Smith, No. 15 Gramercy 
park, in the cipher which was used in these incriminating 
despatches. It relates to a suggestion in regard to Oregon, 


and was transmitted by Mr. Manton Marble to George W. 
Smith, No. 15 Gramercy park. Did you ever see that de 
spatch? A. I do remember having seen it. 

". Have you any impression in regard to it whether 
you did receive it or not? Will you kindly look at the 
translation of the original? A. I have no doubt Mr. 
Smith can tell. He is here. He has been summoned by 
the committee. 

"Q. Well, sir, can you? A. I have no recollection of it. 

"Q. None whatever? 

" The WITNESS (reading) . The Governor suggested 

" Mr. KEED. The translation follows it. Will you 
look over the translation and see if that recalls to your 
mind having received that despatch? A. Mr. Smith 
may have shown it to me. He will no doubt tell himself; 
but I have no recollection of it. 

". Doesn t that suggestion in it about O Conor s opinion 
recall anything to your mind? A. I do not remember that 
Mr. O Conor was ever applied to for an opinion on that 

"$. Or that any suggestion was made that Mr. O Conor s 
opinion should be obtained on the subject? A. I do not 
remember; it might have been made. 

"Q. You have read these various publications in reference 
to these despatches? A. I read them immediately on their 

". Do you recollect one despatch in this same cipher 
from Louisiana which began, Bigler to Russia, and was 
translated Bigler to Tilden do you recollect that ? A. I 
do not remember it. 

" Q. Do you remember that which was also sent to George 
W. Smith, your private secretary do you remember if 
that despatch was submitted to you? A. I should think it 
likely that if Mr. Smith received the despatch, he would 
have submitted it to me. 

" Q. He was your private secretary, and if he had received 
either of these despatches, it would have been his duty to 
submit them to you ? A. I think so. 

". Have you any doubt that he did? A. He was my 
personal secretary. 

"Q. Your personal secretary, precisely; that is what I 
mean. A. Mr. Charles Stebbens was my secretary as 


"Q. It would have been Mr. Smith s duty to have sub 
mitted them to you. Have you any doubt that he did sub 
mit them? A. I do not know anything about the existence 
of such a despatch ; I have no recollection about it. 

". It would seem, Governor Tilden, that your personal 
secretary had this cipher. Do you know whether he did or 
did not have it, of your own knowledge? A. I do not 
think that he did have it. 

". How, then, were these despatches translated if he did 
not have the cipher. A. He may not have been able to 
translate them. He may have had to get somebody else to 
do it. 

"$. What do you know about this cipher? A. I do not 
know anything about it. 

"Q. You never had it? A. I never had it. 

" Q. And you do not know what it was? A. I could not 
have put any message into cipher if I had tried ; I could 
not have got any one out of it. 

". I am merely suggesting that these despatches seem to 
indicate that your personal private secretary had this same 
cipher which has been used in these incriminating de 
spatches in order to give you an opportunity to state any 
facts in connection with them which will throw light upon 
that circumstance which seems to be indicated by these 
despatches. Have you any facts with which you can assist 
us? A. He is here. He has been summoned by the com 
mittee. 1 

"Q. Well, I want to know whether you ever knew that he 
had it? A. I do not think he had the cipher at all the 
cipher that was used at the Everett House. 

". When Colonel Pelton returned from Baltimore, did 
you have an interview with him? A. I suppose I did. 

". Do you recollect whether you did or not ? A. No 
doubt I did. 

". Will you be kind enough to state what that inter 
view was? A. I cannot recall it in detail. I have no 
doubt I expressed impatience. 

" Q. Will you give your best recollection as to the sub 
stance of that interview? Of course I am not expecting 

1 Mr. George W. Smith afterwards testified that he never received this 
despatch ; that he never knew of its existence, or anything about it, except 
that he had seen it in the publication in the hands of the committee, and 
in the regular issue of the " New York Tribune." 


you to repeat words, because none of us can do that ; but 
will you give us the substance of what you said to him, and 
what he said to you? A. I do not think he said any 
thing to me. I think it was a mere outburst of impatience 
and displeasure that he had had anything to do with the 
Baltimore transaction. 

". To which he made no reply? A. I think he made 
no reply. 

" Mr. SPRINGER. I did not hear what you said, Mr. Til- 
den. A. I said my impression was that it was a mere 
outburst of displeasure and impatience on my part that he 
had had anything to do with the transaction. 

"Mr. REED. You knew, Governor Tilclen, the position 
which Colonel Pelton occupied in relation to the Democratic 
National Committee? A. I suppose so; yes, sir. 

"Q. You knew he was acting secretary, and that these 
telegrams in large numbers were coming to him, did you 
not? A. I knew that a great many telegrams were com 
ing to him. 

". He was residing then at your house? A. He was. 

"Q. Did you, after this Baltimore transaction came to 
your knowledge, make any effort or suggestion that he 
should be removed from the position in which you knew he 
was? A. I don t think I did. 

". Why not? A. In the first place, I did not know 
of the Baltimore transaction, except to this extent, that he 
had been receiving an offer there. I did not know that he had 
made any negotiations or given any encouragement. I did 
not acquire any knowledge that these despatches had passed 
backward and forward until their publication. In the con 
versation with Mr. Cooper I did not acquire any informa 
tion on the subject, except in a general way. I thought the 
best way to deal with the thing was to stop it ; and I did 
stop it, and stopped it effectually. I did not believe it pos 
sible that any such transactions could be afterward renewed. 
Besides, I knew that Colonel Pelton had no power. He 
was sometimes called acting secretary, but he had command 
of no money. He had no actual power ; he was not able 
to do anything without the concurrence of other men. I 
did not imagine he would attempt to do anything of the 
sort again. 

". Did not the fact that he had once attempted to do 
it give you an idea that he would be likely to do it again ? 


A. I did not suppose that he had attempted to do any 
thing ; I simply supposed he had received an offer. 

". Will you be kind enough to give us the conversa 
tion which you had with Mr. Edward Cooper, as nearly as 
you can recall it? A. I have given it to you in a general 

"Q. I should like to press the question. I should like 
to have it as fully as you can give it ; and if you will be 
kind enough to put it in the form of what he said, and 
what you said, I shall be obliged. A. The conversation 
with Mr. Cooper did not occupy more than five or ten 

"y. Did he begin the conversation? A. He began the 

". What did he say? or if you cannot give that, what 
was the substance of his opening remark? A. He commu 
nicated to me the fact that Colonel Pelton was in Balti 
more ; the fact that Colonel Pelton was receiving an offer 
of this nature. 

". Did he tell you the amount of the proposition? A. 
I think he probably gave it. 

". Did he tell you that he had received a telegram 
from Colonel Pelton asking for money? A. I do not know 
whether he told me that or not ; he may have done so. 

" . What further conversation took place? A. The 
substance of the conversation was that Pelton was in Balti 
more, and that the certificates of the canvassers of the State 
of South Carolina were offered, and that he was down there 
doing something, dealing with them, or looking into it in 
some way. 

"Q. Did he tell you anything about Colonel Pelton s 
having cautioned him not to tell you? A. No. 

". Nothing of that sort was mentioned? A. No; he 
did not mention that he had seen him the night before. 

"Q. Where were you the night before? A. I don t re 

". Do you remember whether you were in New York 
or not? A. I think I was; I did not know that Colonel 
Pelton was going away. 

"Q. When did you next hear of corrupt attempts, after 
this, in any of the States? A. What do you mean by 
corrupt attempts? 

". I mean these corrupt transactions that are depicted 


here. A. Do you mean attempts to sell, or attempts to 

". Both, Governor, or either. A. I never heard of 
any attempt on the part of our people to buy ; the atmos 
phere was full of rumors. 

". Have you not read these Smith- Weed despatches, 
and the whole account which your nephew gives of them ? 
And after that do you say that you never heard of any at 
tempt to buy? Do you mean to say that? A. I mean to 
say that I did not hear at that time. 

"$. Will you say that you have never heard of any 
attempts to buy? A. I meant up to the time of the pub 
lication of these despatches. 

". But since then you have heard of it? A. I regard 
those as attempts to sell rather than attempts to buy. 

". It is a distinction which you, of course, have a 
right to make. With regard to these attempts to sell, when 
did you first hear of corrupt attempts to sell, subsequent to 
this Baltimore transaction ? A. I cannot say ; the atmos 
phere was full of rumors. 

". At what time did you become conscious of this ful 
ness of the atmosphere, Governor Tilden? A. There 
were rumors at the investigation before Field s committee 
about cases of that kind. I met, last summer, a gentleman 
in the cars 

"Q. Well, I am not after this. I think I expressed it 
clearly these criminal attempts either to buy or to sell, 
which are mentioned here in the Tribune Extra ; when 
did you first hear of them after the Baltimore experience ? 
A . I did not hear anything more about Baltimore or about 
South Carolina. That was the end of that. I did not hear 
anything about Florida till after the vote was given. 

" Q- Who first told you of the Florida performance ? I 
will use a neutral term. A. I cannot remember; I first 
heard of it after the gentleman that went to Florida had 

Q. Did Mr. Marble tell you? A. Mr. Marble told me 
some time ; I think it was later. 

". Are you aware that Mr. Marble has testified that he 
never told you of it ? 

"Mr. STENGER. He cannot be aware of that, because 
Mr. Marble did not so testify. 

"Mr. REED. I understood him so. 


" Mr. STENGER. I think you are mistaken. 

"Mr. TILDEN. I said I do not know whether it was 
before I went to England or not. Mr. Marble mentioned 
to me, some time, that the certificate of Florida was offered. 

"Mr. REED. Was it before what is called the Ark and 
Shekinah letter ? A. Yes, sir. 

"Q. Did he tell you the particulars of the transmission 
of those despatches? A. He did not. 

". Did he make any talk to you about this being a 
danger-signal that he transmitted? A. He did not. 

"(). He never alluded to it in those words or anything 
like it? A. He merely mentioned the circumstance. 

"$. How did he mention it? A. He mentioned it as a 
past transaction. 

"Q. In what terms, as nearly as you can recollect? Will 
you give us the conversation? A. He said the Florida 
certificates were for sale. I did not inquire into particulars, 
for several reasons. In the first place, it was long past, and 
he mentioned it like any other fact in bygone history. 

"$. He did not give you the details, and you did not ask 
for them? A. I did not make any inquiry. 

* Q. Did you make any inquiries of your nephew as to the 
particulars of this South Carolina matter? A. I did not. 

* Q. Why not? A. I did not think it was necessary. 

f *Q. Did you not feel any interest in it? A. I only felt 
an interest in stopping it. 

"Q. Then you did not regard that as a danger-signal? 
A. Regard what as a danger-signal? 

"Q. The transmission of the propositions in any way? 
A. You are speaking of South Carolina? 

"(?. Yes, sir. 

"Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Marble s despatch was with refer 
ence to Florida. 

The WITNESS. I do not know what you mean by 

". It would not occur to you that the transmission of a 
proposition to sell would be a danger-signal ? A. I should 
think that a man who had the power to sell, and made the 
proposition, wanted to sell. 

" Q. And the man who transmitted it would transmit it 
rather for the purpose of purchase than as a danger-signal ? 
A. That would depend on the motives of the man who 
transmitted it. 

VOL. IL - 13 


". Colonel Pelton is a nephew of yours? A. Yes, sir. 

" Q. When did he first begin to reside in your house ? 
A. About nine years ago, I think. 

tf Q. When did he cease his residence there? A. About 
the 1st of July. 

" Q. He had been your military secretary while you were 
governor, and was at the time of these transactions your 
military secretary? A. He was. 

" Q. And with your knowledge and consent was the acting 
secretary of the Democratic National Committee? A. He 
was not with my consent, though he was with my knowledge. 

". You knew it? A. I knew he called himself acting 

"$. You knew he was really acting secretary? A. I 
knew he was very active in the business. 

"Q. And that he was really acting secretary? A. I 
came down from Albany in the latter part the third or 
fourth week of September. The canvass was two-thirds 
or three-fourths completed while I was in Albany. When 
I came down here I found Colonel Pelton acting as sec 

"Q. Did you make any objection to his acting as secre 
tary? A. I did. 

"Q. To whom? A. To several gentlemen of the com 

"(J). Will you kindly name them ? A. I cannot now. 

"Q. Cannot you name any of them? A. No. 

"Q. Did you make any objection to him, and request 
him to cease acting in that capacity? A. I did not request 
him to cease, but I was not pleased with it, for several 

"Q. Did you manifest your displeasure to him? A. I 
manifested my regret. 

"Q. To whom? A. To him. 

"$. What did he say? A. I cannot tell you. 

"Q. But you did not go to the extent of insisting on his 
ceasing to act in that capacity? A. I did not. I have no 
hesitation in stating to you all about it. 

" Q. Of course I cannot go into the whole matter ; I 
only want to go into certain aspects of it. Did you know 
Mr. Smith M. Weed? A. Yes, sir. 

" Q. How long have you known him ? A. I cannot say ; 
some years. 


"Q. Has he been in confidential relations with you ? A. 
No more than many prominent Democrats. 

"Q. But as much as other prominent Democrats ? A. 
As much as some and less than others. 

" Q. When did you first know he was in South Carolina ? 
A. Not till after he came back. 

"Q. Was it concealed from you? A. I do not know. 
No, I guess not. 

". How did it happen that you did not know he was 
there? A. Because I did not undertake to know all that 
was being done by the committee. 

" Q. Did you not undertake to keep the general run of 
it, and of what was going on in the South? A. Not a 
very close run. 

"Q. Well, you undertook to keep the run of it, didn t 
you? A. When the legal proceedings in Florida were in 
agitation I gave particular attention to them. I did not 
undertake to keep much run of these visiting statesmen. 

* ( Q. Not even to know their names? A. I knew their 
names when I heard them through the public journals. 

"Q. And you say now you knew nothing of Mr. Smith 
Weed s presence in South Carolina until after his return? 
A. I say so positively. 

"Q. Did you have any talk with Mr. Weed about his 
transmittal of this proposition? A. I presume I did. 

"Q. What was that conversation? A. It was a very 
brief conversation. 

". Well, sir, state it. A. In which I took him to 
task for taking part in such transactions ? I did not feel 
particularly responsible for Mr. Weed. 

"Q. At what time was the Oregon affair published, 
Governor Tilden? A. Published as the result of an in 
vestigation by a sub-committee of the Senate. 

"Q. About what time? A. I cannot tell you the date. 

". About what time? Tell as nearly as you can. 
A. In the winter of 1877. 

"Q. Mr. Pelton remained in your house during that 
time until July, after the publication of the Oregon de 
spatches? A. He did. 

"<J. Mr. Manton Marble occupied confidential relations 
with you, did he? A. He occupied relations with me 
which to a certain extent were confidential. 

". He stopped to bid you good-by before he started 


to Florida. Do you remember that interview? A. I 
recollect seeing him before he went to Florida. 

". What transpired at that interview ? A. Nothing 
more than leave-taking. I gave him no instructions as to 
what he should do, no suggestions. 

"Q. You say you did not keep a very close run, and 
did not pay much attention to what the visiting statesmen 
were doing there, if I understand you right, in South 
Carolina and Florida. Do I? A. Yes. 

". Did you have any purpose in not doing that? A. 
I had not ; I supposed they had been selected by the com 
mittee of the Democratic party to do a particular duty, and 
were competent to do it, and I did not undertake to super 
vise or direct them. I did not give any human being any 
advice or instructions in that connection. 

". Did Mr. Edward Cooper, when he told you of that 
South Carolina proposition, inform you that he had given 
your nephew any encouragement that he would furnish the 
money? A. He did not. 

". Did he make any suggestion of any kind which 
conveyed that idea in any way to your mind? A. He 
did not. As I before said, the conversation was very brief. 
It opened by a mere statement of facts, and I responded so 
quickly that there was no chance for any discussion. I was 
irritated at the idea of Pelton mixing himself up in any 
such transaction. If I had felt disposed to engage in such 
a transaction, Pelton would have been the last man in the 
United States that I would have commissioned to have any 
thing to do with it, or allowed to have anything to do with 
it. I considered his interference to be a piece of officious 

". You published a card on or about October 18, relat 
ing to these despatches, did you not? A. I did. 

" Q. In that card you made no allusion to these particu 
lars of your knowledge of the transaction which failed at 
Baltimore, did you? A. I did not. 

". Why not? A. There was no occasion to do it. 

" Q. I ask the question why you did not state in this 
card of explanation to the public, the particulars that you 
did know of this Baltimore transaction? A. Because it 
was not pertinent to what I was stating. 

". In one paragraph in the letter you say, f I have no 
knowledge of the existence of these telegrams, nor any 


information about them, except what has been derived from 
or since the publications of the "Tribune." 5 A. That is 

". Yes, sir; but were you not aware at the time that 
that would convey, and did you not intend it to convey, the 
impression to the public that you knew nothing about these 
transactions until the publication of the despatches in the 
Tribune ? A. I did not intend to convey anything of 
the kind. 

"Q. Do not you see that it does convey that? A. No; I 
do not. 

". I mean to a reader who does not know as much as 
you do? A. Read the phraseology, and you will find it as 
I say. 

"(^. I have no knowledge of the existence of these 
telegrams, nor any information about them, except what 
has been derived from or since the publications of the 
" Tribune." That is literally true, you say ? A . Certainly. 

"Q. You say it is literally true ; but don t you see that it 
conveys, and did you not intend it to convey, to the public, 
at the time, the impression that you knew absolutely noth 
ing about the transactions themselves? A. No ; I did not. 

" Q. You at least concealed the fact, or at least you did not 
make public the fact, that you had information with regard 
to the transactions themselves? A. Will you be good 
enough to read the next sentence ? 

"Q. So much of these telegrams generally but then 
you proceed to speak of Florida ; I am confining myself to 
the South Carolina ones. You can see the letter; I want 
to be perfectly frank with you. A. You will observe that 
the two States of Florida and South Carolina are treated 
separately in this publication . The paragraph immediately 
following deals in detail with South Carolina. 

". Oh, no; it deals with the Board of Canvassers of 
Florida. A. No; it deals with South Carolina. 

". It does in the copy I have. A. Read the next para 
graph under * secondly. 

". Very well, I will call your attention to that. You 
say : Secondly, as to the publications in the " Tribune " 
purporting to be translations of cipher telegrams relating 
to the canvass of votes in South Carolina, I can speak of 
them no less definitely and positively. None of such tele 
grams, either in cipher or translated, was ever shown to me, 


or its contents made known to me. There you confine 
your denial that you knew anything about it to the tele 
grams, and do not deny the fact that you knew of the 
transaction. A. Well? 

"$. Well, now, does it not strike you, and did it not at 
the time, that that was calculated to convey to the public 
the impression that you not only knew nothing of the tele 
grams, and their contents as such, but also that you knew 
nothing of the transaction ? A.. No. 

". Will you look at it and see if that would not l)e the 
natural conclusion from that? A. The question was what I 
knew about these telegrams. I knew nothing about them. 

". Was not the ultimate question what you knew about 
the transaction ? A. That was a separate question. 

"(J). Was not that the question which you were replying 
to before the public ? A. I will deal with that in a moment. 
If you observe, my language is different in the case of South 
Carolina, and of Florida. 

". But it is a difference that one would not notice until 
after this discussion ? A. I cannot help your understanding 
of the language. The language is used with perfect accu 
racy and perfect truth. The proposition was this : I could 
not say I knew nothing about any negotiation in South 
Carolina, for I knew a very little. I knew nothing that 
was contained in any of these telegrams ; I knew no details 
of any of these negotiations ; but I did know there had 
been an offer, and I knew the offer had been refused 
through my intervention. That is all I knew. I did not 
know that there had been any further negotiations than to 
receive the offer and finally to refuse it. I did not know 
that there had been any offer in Florida ; so the language of 
the statement had to be different. 

". That is, you were avoiding a misstatement on 
account of certain facts which you knew, and which at the 
same time you knew the public did not know. Isn t that 
true? A. Certainly. 

f( Q. And so you made your denial in such shape and 
form that it would avoid this fact when it became known, 
did you? A. I made my denial 

*Q. (Interrupting.) Consistent with this fact when it 
should become known? A. Strictly consistent with the 

". But you say, No one of such telegrams, either in 


cipher or translated, was ever shown to me, or its contents 
made known to me. Were you not conscious, then, at 
that time, that that matter which you were explaining to 
the public was not the telegrams after all, but the negotia 
tions? A. I cover that in my next sentence. 

"Q. But you don t cover it in this? A. I did not do 
everything in one sentence. Be good enough to read the 
next sentence. 

". Yes, I am very familiar with it. Why did not you, 
Governor Tilden, when you came to make this answer to 
the public, say frankly that you knew of the transaction, 
so far as you did know of it, and that you then stamped it 
out instead of using language which, as you see, might con 
vey to the public the impression that you not only knew 
nothing about the telegrams, but nothing about the trans 
action itself? A. I do not see anything of the kind. On 
the contrary, any intelligent man who understands the 
English language would understand that. 

" Q. In the light of the present testimony, do you mean ? 
A. Without reference to that. 

"Q. Would anybody infer from this letter that you had 
any information with regard to the transaction at all? A. 
No man would infer that I had no knowledge of the offers. 
There might have been a thousand offers made without my 

" Q. Did you intend to convey the impression that no 
offers had been made to you? A. I did not; I intended to 
avoid that assumption. 

". Then why did you not frankly state what was the 
fact? A. Because, if there had been a hundred men talk 
ing to me about such transactions, suggesting and advising 
them, I was under no obligation, and had no occasion, to 
state it to the public. 

" Q. But there were not a hundred men ; there was one 
particular transaction to which your attention had been di 
rected by these Tribune disclosures. Why did not you 
mention that one transaction? If you intended to deal 
frankly with the public, why did you not mention that one 
transaction ? A. I had not seen any of these parties, and 
did not know whether the despatches were true or not. I 
did not know anything about them. When I drew this card 
I had not seen a human being with regard to them. I had 
not seen Mr. Weed ; I had not seen Mr. Pelton. I was 


not going to inculpate them on subjects which I did not 
know anything about. 

". But at that time you did not know that Mr. Pelton 
had gone to Baltimore to engage in a transaction of that 
kind? A. I did not say that. 

". Why did you conceal from the public your knowl 
edge of that fact? A. I knew only that Mr. Pelton had 
gone there to receive a proposition. 

". Why did you keep that fact from the public? That 
would not incriminate anybody except those whom you 
knew deserved to be incriminated. A. I did not know 

"Q. Why did you not state that? A. It was not neces 
sary ; it was not pertinent. 

"$. Was it not necessary for the information of the 
community? You undertook to inform the community as 
to what you knew about this matter. Now, undertaking to 
inform them by sitting down and writing that letter on the 
subject, how did it happen that you omitted this fact, of 
which you knew? That is what I want to get at. A. 
Because that fact was not pertinent to my discussion. 

"Q. Was it not pertinent to the information which you 
were giving to the public as to your knowledge of this sub 
ject? A. It was not pertinent to the things I undertook 
to state. 

". That is, among the things you undertook to state 
this was not? A. No. 

" Q. You say that the transaction of the Board of Caiv 
vassers to Florida was mentioned to you casually, as a past 
event, accompanied by the statement that the oifer had 
been rejected? A. Yes. 

"Q. By whom was that made ? A. By Mr. Marble. 

"Q. Why did you not, in your card, inform the public 
who stated that to you? A. It was not necessary. 

"(J). Did the non-necessity of withholding that informa 
tion arise from the fact that on the face of those despatches 
Mr. Marble was very severely incriminated, and your own 
statement that he had mentioned it to you would tend to 
confirm the public impression of that transaction? A. 
Not in the least; I should not have hesitated to put his 
name in. 

"Q. You cannot state why you did not ? A. No. 

" Q. Why was it omitted ? It looks to me as if it had 


been studiously omitted. What have you to say with re 
gard to that? A. It was not. 

"$. You did not keep it out on purpose, or in further 
ance of any design that you then had in your own mind ? 
A. No. 

(f Q. Nor did you keep out this Baltimore transaction 
in furtherance of any design that you had in your own 
mind? A. The Baltimore transaction stands on a different 
basis, and it was not consummated. 

". That you did intentionally keep out? A. I did not 
intentionally keep it out ; I had no intention of putting it in. 

". Did you not very carefully draw these sentences 
so as to avoid coming in conflict with that fact after it came 
out, if it should come out? A. No; I drew these sen 
tences very carefully so as to conform to the exact truth. 

". Not only to the exact truth so far as the public 
knew it, but also to the exact truth as far as you knew it? 
A. Yes. 

". Did you have any interview with Mr. Weed before 
he left for South Carolina? A. I did not; I never saw 
him after the election until after he got back from South 

". Do you remember having an interview with him at 
any bank? A. I do not. 

". Nor any conversation with him at any bank? A. 
I do not. 

". Do you recollect the bank that was named in con 
nection with the Oregon affair? A. The Third National? 

" Q. I think that is it ; Mr. Jordan s bank ; the bank that 
kindly advanced, on the suggestion of Colonel Pelton, or 
of somebody else, eight thousand dollars for legitimate 
legal expenses in Oregon. Did you have an interview 
with him at that bank ? A. I do not think I did ; I do 
not remember any. 

* ( Q. Can you tell us whether you did or did not? 
A. You mean at what time? 

". With Mr. Smith Weed, prior to his departure to 
Florida, after the election. A. I do not think I did. 

"Q. Can you not put it any stronger than that you do 
not think you did? A. I do not believe that I did. 

"Q. Don t you know whether you did or not? Be 
frank with us. A. I am perfectly frank with you, sir; I 
have no recollection or belief of any such interview. 


". Did you ever see him there? A. I do not recol 
lect ; I may have seen him there. 

". Do I understand you to say that you have no recol 
lection, distinct and positive, of meeting him there at any 
time ? A. I do not remember meeting him there at any 
particular time. 

"Q. Do you remember meeting him there at all, at any 
time? A. I have no distinct recollection of it, though 
very possibly I may have met him there at some time. 

". Did you not have a long conversation with him prior 
to his departure for Florida, at the Third National Bank? 
A. Florida? 

"Q. North Carolina or South Carolina? A. I don t 
think I did. 

". Can you not state it any more positively than that? 
A. I feel sure that I did not see him at all. 

" Q. You feel sure that you did not see him and did not 
have the conversation with him to which I alluded? A. 

" Q. Did I understand you to say that as to Florida you 
did not know that there had been an offer? A. Until 
after the Gth of December. 

" Q. About what time was it that Mr. Marble communi 
cated this fact to you? A. I cannot state definitely. 

"Q. But I understood you to say that it was before the 
publication of his Ark and Shekinah letter? A. Yes. 

"$. Did Mr. Marble consult you with regard to the 
publication of that celebrated piece of rhetoric? A. He 
probably talked to me on the subject. 

". Did he read to you any of the sentences in it? 
A. I think very likely he may have done so. 

"Q. The publication was with your assent? A. Not 
with my assent, nor with my disapproval. 

"Q. Nor with your disapproval ? A. No. 

*Q. Did you make any comments, after your knowledge 
of the Baltimore transaction, that it was rather a harsh 
sort of letter for him to write? A. I did not. 

"Q. Nor any suggestion that there was anything hypo 
critical about it? A. No, sir; there was not, so far as I 

"$. You had not then arrived at that full knowledge 
which you possess since the publication of the Tribune 
despatches? A. No. 




" Mr. HISCOCK. Do I understand you to say that you 
saw the telegram to George W. Smith, dated November 27, 
from Tallahassee? A. I do not remember anything about 

". Have you any doubt that you did see it, it having 
been addresed to your private secretary at Gramercy park ? 
A. I do not know that any such telegram existed or was 
ever received ; I don t remember anything about it. 

" Q. Do you remember the contents of it as it has been 
read to you here by Mr. Reed? A. I remember seeing it 

" Mr. HISCOCK (reading) . It has been suggested from 
here to Governor of Oregon to refrain from issuing cer 
tificate in favor of ineligible elector until advised thereon. 
Why not obtain and telegraph him O Conor s opinion? 
See my despatch to Spain. Have you no recollections of 
seeing that at all? A. I have not; I may have seen it. 

* Q. Have you any doubt that a despatch of that kind, 
addressed to your private secretary, was shown to you? 
A. I think if he received it he probably showed it to me. 

". In that despatch occurs this phrase: r See my 
despatch to Spain. If you saw that despatch, would not 
the phrase have attracted your attention? A. It might. 

"Q. Have you any doubt that it would? A. It may 
have done so. 

". I ask you whether the phrase in that despatch, 
See my despatch to Spain, would not have attracted 
your attention? A. Perhaps it would, and perhaps it 
would not. 

"Q. You felt intensely interested over the result in 
Florida? A. I felt interested, of course ; not intensely. 

"Q. You felt interested as a presidential candidate, and 
as the representative of your party, did you not? A. I did. 

"Q. And you were watching the proceedings in those 
States with very great interest? A. I was watching the 
proceedings with a certain amount of interest. 

". Do I infer from that that you were watching the 
proceedings with indifference ? A . Not absolute indiffer 

"Q. Did not you keep yourself advised, so far as you 
were able, as to the steps that we re being taken there? A. 
I did not occupy myself about things which I knew I could 
not control. 


"Q. Were you not sufficiently interested to keep your 
self advised as to what was going on and the steps that 
were being taken there? A. Not very fully. 

" Q. If a despatch were shown you containing the phrase, 
f See my despatch to Spain, would not the very language 
of the phrase and the words that were employed in con 
nection with it, one of them being a cipher word, have 
attracted your attention? A. It might have done so. 

"Q. And especially a despatch of that kind, coming 
from such a discreet, trusted, and influential member of the 
party as Manton Marble. Have you any doubt that it 
would have attracted you* attention, coming from him? 
A. I do not think it at all certain I should have paid much 
attention to it. 

"Q. Now, preceding that despatch and the one to which 
it must refer is this despatch : You are imperilling result 
here by causing divided counsels and neglecting to answer 
telegrams. I advise that you find one person to trust, and 
then trust him for at least one calendar week, possibly 
two. I will stand in nobody s way, and do my best to 
transfer to him authority. About one hundred majority on 
certified copies ; Republicans claim same upon returns. 
Rome needless now ; should be recalled. 

" Mr. TILDEN. Whom does Rome mean ? 

" Mr. HISCOCK. I do not know. 

"Mr. TILDEN. You ought to know. 

" Mr. HISCOCK continued reading : r Rome needless now ; 
should be recalled. Parris and detectives always useless ; 
ditto Woolley, here as in Lousiana a nuisance and imped 
iment, trusted by nobody. I decline to commit Tilden with 
men so indiscreet. Smith concurs in all aforesaid. Ses 
sion begun. 

"Q. Have you any recollection of having ever seen that 
despatch? A. I know that I never did. 

". Have you at anytime during the progress of the 
contest in Florida understood that upon certified copies of 
the returns the Democrats had, or that you had, one hun 
dred majority for your election? A. Ninety-three or 

" Q. Then you did understand at one time that upon cer 
tified copies of the returns the Democrats had the majority 
on the Tilden electoral ticket of from ninety-three to one 
hundred? A. Including Baker county, undoubtedly. 


". Do you know how that information was conveyed 
here? A. I do not; I think I saw it in the newspapers. 

" Q. Do you mean to say that you had no earlier informa 
tion than that which appeared in the newspapers upon that 
subject? A. I do not believe that I had. 

". And this despatch you are entirely confident that 
you never saw, although it was a despatch sent to Gramercy 
park? A. I know that I never saw it. 

"Q. And do you believe that any such despatch as that 
was ever received at Gramercy park ? A. I do not. 

"(J). And you believe that none of your friends at that 
time would have taken the liberty of intercepting any de 
spatches which were sent to Gramercy park, and upon a 
subject on which you were certainly as vitally interested 
as any one else? A. The despatch was not addressed 
to me. 

"Q. No, it was not addressed to you; but it, or one 
other, is the despatch which is referred to in the despatch 
of November 27, which was addressed to George W. Smith. 
A. I understand that the despatches addressed to Colonel 
Pelton, at the house in Gramercy park, were delivered by 
the telegraph people, by standing order, at the committee- 

". I understand that either this or a subsequent de 
spatch, which I will soon read, is the one referred to in the 
phrase, f See my despatch to Spain. This is the one. 
There is a despatch, which I have been calling your atten 
tion to, addressed to George W. Smith, which has in it the 
phrase, See my despatch to Spain. A. What despatch 
is that? 

"Q. The one which I have been reading, or one other 
which I will read, must be that despatch. I will now read 
the second one to which that phrase may refer : 

" To COLONEL PELTON, No. 25 Gramercy Park, New York : 

"Please yourself about economies suggested; Coyle exceedingly useful 
hitherto. You did not answer my inquiry about Parris, and only mention 
him at this late date; that promotes unity of action, I suppose. Mention 
names of Florida friends when you wish to learn how much weight their 
several requests deserve. Fox impedes daily; it is no relief that you 
assume responsibility for difficulties he makes. Do not fail to read mes 
sage to Smith, 15 and 20 cipher. M. M. 

". Did you see that despatch ? A. I did not. 
"Q. You never saw that despatch? A. No, sir. 


"Q. Then, if I understand you, you took no steps to see 
the despatch which is described in this phrase, See my 
despatch to Spain, and you have no recollection of its 
ever having been shown to you, although the despatch re 
ferring to it was directed to your own private secretary? 
A. I have no recollection of taking any steps to see any 
of these other despatches, if I saw this one. 

"Q. How old a person was George W. Smith? A. 
About twenty-five or thirty. 

". You have no idea that he would have taken the 
responsibility of intercepting or failing to exhibit to you 
any despatch which he received? A. No. 

"Q. You have no idea of that kind ? A. No. 

"$. You have no idea but that a despatch which was 
sent to him in cipher, and which he could not understand, 
or which he could not read, if he had procured it to be 
translated, that he would have furnished you the transla 
tion? A. I should think he would. 

"Q. He resides here in New York city at this time, as 
I understand? A. Yes ; he was my personal secretary. 

"Q. Is he now? A. He is now, at this time. 

" Q. Do I understand you to say that the first intimation 
that you had of the closeness of the contest in Florida was 
through the newspapers? A. I do not remember what 
my first information was. 

"$. You have no recollection upon that subject? A. I 
think if you will look at the newspapers of the same date 
as the despatch, you will find the same information. The 
newspapers generally get ahead of private despatches. 

"Q. I find this despatch sent from New York to both 
Colonel Woolley and Mr. Manton Marble, directed to them 
both at Tallahassee : f Reported here that board have given 
us one vote. Do you remember hearing that? A. I do 

" Q. Do you remember hearing any rumor of that kind ? 
A. I do not. 

". This is a despatch which was sent by Colonel 
Pelton to both of these gentlemen as to a rumor which had 
reached New York, and which they had received, that your 
electoral ticket had received one vote ; and you never 
heard that? that one of your electors was elected? A. I 
do not remember ever hearing that. 

". Do you remember ever having heard it even sug- 


fested? A. No. You mention Mr. Woolley; I had no 
nowledge or information of his having been there. 
"Q. I am only examining you now upon the question 
of whether so important a fact as that contained in a de 
spatch requiring an answer, addressed to two gentlemen in 
Florida, that it was rumored here in New York that one of 
Mr. Tilden s electors was elected whether you did not 
learn that? A. I think I did not, as far as I remember. 

". Can you say that you did not learn it, or do you 
say that it is very likely that you have forgotten it, if you 
did not know it? A. I say that I have not the slightest 
recollection of ever hearing it. 

". There was this despatch, dated December 4, of 
which I have only read a part. I will read the whole de 
spatch : 

" Reported here that board have given us one vote. If so, you will not 
need to use acceptance. Advise fully. 

You never heard of any such despatch as that having been 
sent to these men? A. I never did. 

". During this canvass, who here in New York did 
you understand were in consultation with these gentlemen 
in South Carolina and Florida by telegraph? A. I sup 
pose the committee or some of their agents. 

" Q. Didn t you advise yourself on the subject ? A. I did 
not particularly. 

". Did you not learn the fact was it not communi 
cated to you who it was at this end of the line that was in 
consultation with the gentlemen who were sent to South 
Carolina and Florida ? A. I did not consider that anybody 
was there especially in consultation. 

". What Democratic gentlemen were there here in New 
York that you understood that the visiting statesmen in 
South Carolina and Florida were in communication with ? 
A. I assumed that they were in communication with the 
National Democratic Committee, or with their subordinates. 

". That is, you assumed that the Democratic National 
Committee, or some members of it, were here in New York, 
and in consultation with and being advised of the steps 
which were being taken by these gentlemen in South 
Carolina? A. I supposed that some consultations and 
communications existed ; I did not suppose an extensive 
consultation did exist or could exist. 


"Q. Did you understand at any time that legal proceed 
ings were being taken in South Carolina to restrain the 
Returning Board in South Carolina? A. I did. 

f( Q. Who communicated that fact to you? A. I do not 

" Q. Do you remember whether it was communicated in 
cipher? A. Not to me in cipher. Nothing was ever com 
municated to me in cipher. 

" Q. Did you understand during the progress of this can 
vass that proceedings were being instituted (and success 
fully instituted), restraining the Governor of Florida from 
undertaking this canvass ? A. I had general information on 
that subject ; I do not know that I had anything more than 
I got from the newspapers. That proceeding was not dic 
tated from New York, so far as I know; certainly not 
by me. 

". Did you understand that that was advised by the 
visiting statesmen to the South, who were in Florida at 
that time? A. I think it was very likely done by local 

" Q. Did you not understand that there was a strong array 
of counsel from the North in the South? A. Yes. 

". On both sides? A. Yes, sir. 

"Q. From whom did you understand that fact? Who 
were they? A. I understood that Mr. George W. Biddle, 
one of the first lawyers in the United States, was there ; and 
Mr. David Sellers, of Philadelphia, Mr. Malcolm Hay, 
and others. 

" Q. Did you not understand that there was a large array 
of counsel from outside of the State who were in charge of 
the scheme of procuring returns from the different canvass 
ing boards scattered throughout the State of Florida ; and 
that there was some confusion existing with reference to 
Louisiana and South Carolina ; and that these three Southern 
States at that time were supposed to be very poor indeed, 
and the Democratic party very poor ; and did you not under 
stand that there was somebody here in New York who was 
looking after the expenses of the gentlemen who were sent 
there, and after the expense of sending out gentlemen to 

fet in these returns ? A. I understood nothing about it; 
supposed that the committee would take care of their 

". But you did not trouble yourself to inquire what 


members of the committee, if any, were here ? A. I did 
not ; they changed from day to day. 

" Q. Did you understand at that time that substantially 
the responsible head of the committee that is, the one 
who seemed to act for the committee was Colonel 
Pelton? A. No, I did not, and it was not the fact. 

"Q. Is it not the fact that substantially all of the de 
spatches which passed between these visiting statesmen in 
these several States and New York were addressed to 
Colonel Pelton? A. I do not know how that is. 

". Did you ever investigate that question? A. I 
never did. 

"Q. So far as Mr. Marble was concerned, instead of 
communicating with Mr. Hewitt or Mr. Cooper, he ad 
dressed his despatches to Colonel Pelton ? A. Mr. Marble 
is one man. 

" Q. Did you not understand that all the gentlemen in 
Florida addressed their despatches to Colonel I 3 elton? A. 
I never knew to whom they addressed their despatches. 

" Q. Did you not understand the fact to be that all the 
despatches sent by them from South Carolina were sent to 
Colonel Pelton? A. I knew nothing about it until their 

"Q. Does it not strike you now as singular, with the 
light you now have, as a remarkable circumstance, that all 
of these visiting statesmen held communication with New 
York through despatches addressed to Colonel Pelton, and 
to him only? A. I do not know that that is the fact. 

"$. Do you know that that is not the fact? A. I do 
not ; Mr. Hewitt was the chairman of the committee, and 
they had an executive committee, and some of the members 
of the committee were there almost every day. 

"Q. Do you know that fact, or is that simply what you 
understood? A. That is simply what I understood. 

". Did you make inquiry? A. I don t believe I did ; 
I think the information came to me casually. 

"Q. When Colonel Pelton returned from Baltimore I 
suppose that you saw him immediately? A. I saw him 
the next day. 

"Q. He had been to some extent dependent upon you, I 
suppose ; that is, as a member of your family, and to some 
extent provided with a position for the support and main 
tenance of himself? In other words, you were a patron of 

VOL. II.-ll 


his? A. Tosome extent; he had a business of his own, 
but was unfortunate in it. 

". You learned from Mr. Cooper, and you could have 
learned from Colonel Pelton, that he had been to Baltimore 
for the purpose of consummating a plan for a purchase, by 
the action of the Canvassing Board of South Carolina, 
which would ensure the election of the Tilden electors in 
that State. Did it not occur to you, upon that being com 
municated to you, that you ought immediately to find out 
in what relation he stood to the Democratic National Ex 
ecutive Committee? A. Your question assumes more than 
is true. I did not hear that he had gone to consummate 
an arrangement ; I only heard that he had gone there to 
receive an offer. 

". Is there any difference between the way that you 
state it and the way that I stated it? A. Considerable. 

" Q. Would you not infer from his having communicated 
to Mr. Edward Cooper that he would probably draw upon 
him the next day for from sixty thousand to eighty thou 
sand dollars, and that he had gone to Baltimore to meet Mr. 
Smith M. Weed and another gentleman, who had come 
from South Carolina to meet him there, would you not 
fairly infer from that that he had gone there to consummate 
a purchase? A. I did not understand that he said he 
would draw. 

". Did you understand from Mr. Cooper the sum of 
money which he stated? A. I presume I did. 

". Do you recollect the amount? A. I do not know 
that I do ; I understood that he had gone there in order to 
receive or to look into a proposition. 

". Now, understanding that he had been indiscreet 
enough to go to Baltimore even to look into a proposition 
for the sale of the certificate to the electors of that State, 
did you not think that you were called upon to ascertain 
his relations to the national committee, and to ascertain 
how far he was committing that body, and how far he was 
committing himself? A. I thought the best way to deal 
with such a transaction was to stop it ; not only to have 
nothing to do with it myself, but to stop everybody else 
from having anything to do with it. I think the same 
thing in Florida would have been better than what was 
done. I think instead of appointing Mr. Xoyes, who did 
not stop it, minister to France, and McLin who did it 


". Don t let vis go off on to that question. A. Let me 
illustrate it. [After a pause.] Mr. Hiscock is evidently 
trying to probe and search my moral standard. 

" Q. No, I am not addressing myself to that at all ; I am 
only investigating the relations which existed between you 
and Colonel Pelton, so far as you were committed by his 
action. A. The object is to impute to me some failure of 
duty. If I answer that question, I propose to answer it 
fully ; I propose to raise the standard as high as I can, and 
we will see whether the other gentlemen adopt it. 

". It seems to me that, in this examination, the true 
way to answer a question is to answer it, so far as you can, 
directly, and not to seek to answer it by assailing any ono 
else. A. I do not desire to assail anybody; but when a 
sublimated standard of morals is set up, I propose to 
analyze it, and to see whether the party that set it up stands 
up to it. 

". Well, now I will call your attention to another an 
swer you have made here. You have said that if you had 
entertained any idea I am giving your idea as conveyed 
by your answer, and not your words that if you had con 
ceived the idea of influencing these boards venally, or by 
venal considerations, the last person in the world that you 
would have chosen for that mission would have been 
Colonel Pelton. Xow I ask you to bear that answer in 
your mind for a moment, and then to state why, after you 
learned of his visit to Baltimore, you did not deem it 
proper, and perhaps your duty, to call the attention of Mr. 
Edward Cooper or of Mr. Hewitt (both of them distin 
guished and very able men) to the fact that they must take 
charge of this matter ; that Colonel Pelton must be left out 
of the correspondence ; and that they must give it their 
personal attention, lest you and the Democratic party 
should be embarrassed, and perhaps scandalized, by the 
action of Colonel Pelton. A. In the first place, I supposed 
that those gentlemen were giving it their personal attention. 
Those gentlemen had the real power, and Pelton had not ; 
they Avere able to supervise and control it whenever they 
chose. Mr. Cooper, in particular, had custody of the 
money, without which Pelton could not involve the com 
mittee in the expenditure of a cent. In the next place, Mr. 
Cooper was the gentleman from whom I derived my in 
formation of what was done in Baltimore, and from him 


exclusively. Mr. Hewitt was his brother-in-law. I did not 
think that they needed any warning on the subject. In the 
third place, I regarded the Baltimore thing as very foolish 
and very wrong, but still as an inchoate transaction. By 
my intervention it was stopped while there was a locus 
pemtenlice. Now, the civil law does not recognize purposes 
until they embody themselves in action ; the church pun 
ishes those purposes merely as sinful thoughts. Pelton 
had not, so far as I knew, done anything except to receive 
a proposition from a set of Republican electors to sell the 
certificates. There was no consummation of the plan ; the 
thing perished in embryo ; and it did not strike me as being 
of such enormous importance as it would, had there been 
any possibility of the thing succeeding, or of any similar 
transaction succeeding. I say this without meaning in the 
least to excuse Pelton. for I do not mean to excuse him. 
The atmosphere at that time was filled with rumors and as 
sertions of the venality and fraud of these returning boards 
in those three States and of their offers. I declare before 
God and my country that it is my entire belief that the votes 
and certificates of Florida and Louisiana were bought, and 
that the presidency was controlled by their purchase. 
Pelton, seeing that condition of things, committed a fault; 
he committed an error ; he committed a wrong ; he adopted 
the idea that it was justifiable to fight fire with fire ; he 
adopted the idea, when he saw the presidency being taken 
away from the man who had been elected by the people and 
according to the law and the fact, that it was legitimate to 
defeat the crime by the means he took ; he was inexcusable. 

" I adopted an entirely different system an entirely dif 
ferent code of ethics. I scorned to defend my righteous 
title by such means as were employed to acquire a felonious 

" Pelton did not act rightly. He may be tried ; he may 
be condemned ; public opinion may punish him. At the 
same time, even that fault is to be judged of according to 
the facts, according to the times, according to what was 
being done and what was done. His act was an inchoate 
offence. On the other side, the act that was done was a 
completed and consummated offence ; it built up a posses 
sion of the presidency of the United States in the man who 
was not elected. And the representatives and champions 
of that condition of things are the men whose consciences 


are troubled with the inchoate wrong-doing of Pelton, which 
I stopped and crushed out in the bud ! 

" Q. Now, Governor, you will state upon what informa 
tion you based that belief; and in giving your information 
you will please give the name of the party communicating 
it to you. A. I have no private information on the sub 
ject; I believe it on evidence before this committee, which 
is accessible to the public. 

"Q. Do you mean to say that there is any evidence 
before this committee that either of these returning boards 


was bought? A. I think so. 

* Q. Will you do me the kindness to point out the wit 
nesses who testified to it, and the evidence to that effect? 
A. McLin testified that he held the casting vote of the 
State of Florida ; he testified that he gave a false certificate, 
contrary to fact, and contrary to law. The whole matter is 
in a nutshell and easily discovered. 

" Q. You are mistaken ; McLin has sworn to nothing of 
the kind. A. I think I am not mistaken. McLin said 
further that his mind was probably influenced by the 
promise of office. He was immediately afterward appointed 
to a judgeship in New Mexico ; and Mr. Noyes, who was 
down there, but did not stop the transaction, was appointed 
minister to Paris. 

". Are you entirely clear that McLin swore that he was 
influenced by the hope of being appointed to office? A. I 
think he said so. 

" Q. Do you swear that he said so ? A. I swear that it is 
my recollection that he substantially said so. Have you the 
record? that will show. [The committee refer to the 
record.] Now, gentlemen, I believe that I am competent 
to be the custodian of my own honor. I do not think that 
my virtue is of so delicate a texture that it needs that I 
should practise any brutality toward anybody. I may err 
in judgment or in conduct ; but I think that in all my deal 
ings with Mr. Pelton I have been able, and shall be able, to 
do about what is right, to protect everybody from any 
wrong so far as I have any control ; and at the same time to 
be just. You have been pursuing a course of examination, 
the object of which was to ascribe to me some failure of 
duty, and you have intruded yourself into my domestic 
and family relations. 

"Q. If you had any information at that time that either 


the Returning Board of South Carolina or the Returning 
Board of Florida was being corrupted by the Republicans, 
or being influenced in their official action by venal consider 
ations, you will state from whom you received that infor 
mation. A. I had no personal information. 

" Q. You cannot give me the name of any man ? A. No ; 
I stated my belief, and I state it on evidence ; that, in my 
judgment, would convict anybody before a common jury. 

"Q. You state it upon evidence, as I understand you, 
that would convict any one before a common jury. Will 
you give me now again the name of the person who con 
veyed that evidence to you? A. The evidence is public. 

". Oh, it is public ! Then you mean to say that you 
have made that serious charge against these returning 
boards upon what you saw in the papers and upon public 
rumor? A. No, not upon public rumor. 

"$. Upon what you saw in the papers? A. I make 
that charge upon the fact and evidence before your com 
mittee and other committees. 

"Q. Now I ask you again to give me any evidence which 
you had that those boards were being corrupted by the 
Republicans, outside of rumors that you heard on the 
street or assertions which you saw in the newspapers? A. 
Those two boards did not act until two weeks afterward. 

"$. No, they did not; but I said about the time. A. 
They had not made their decision or given their cer 

" Q. Very well ; I will accept that as the fact. I will make 
my question more specific than that. Up to the time of the 
final announcement of the decision by those two boards re 
spectively, please communicate to this board any evidence 
which you have that they were corruptly influenced by 
Republicans, besides the rumors which you heard in the 
streets and the facts which you saw alleged in the news- 

/ O 

papers. A. You will find in the Field committee 

"Q. I am not speaking of that time ; I am not speaking 
of so late a period as the Field committee. I am limiting 
you to the time of their final action. A. That is, up to the 
6th of December? 

"Q. Yes; we are not after any congressional investiga 
tion. That will speak for itself. A. I have no proof up 
to that time. 

"Q. You have no evidence up to December 6, 1876. 


Have you any evidence except what you saw in the news 
papers ? Did you see any evidence except what you saw 
in the newspapers? A. I did not personally. 

" Q. Do you know of anybody who did have at that time 
any evidence ? and if so, give his name. A. The testi 
mony before the Field committee discloses. 

". So that all that you know of it you subsequently 
learned by the investigation before the Field committee? 
Then, as I understand it, at the time when Colonel Pclton 
went to Baltimore for the purpose of hearing a proposition 
on the part of the Returning Board of South Carolina to 
sell themselves or to give a certificate to the Tilden elec 
tors of that State, up to that time you had no informa 
tion except the rumors which you saw in the newspapers 
that they were being venally influenced by Republicans? 
A. I had no proof. 

" Q. You had no evidence except what you saw in the 
newspapers ? that is my question. Did you have anything 
except what you saw in the newspapers? A. Up to the 
6th of December? 

"Mr. HISCOCK. Yes, sir. A. I do not think that I 

". Then you had nothing except newspaper reports at 
the time when Mr. Pelt on went there for that purpose ? 
Then in your mind you must withdraw, as a justification 
for Pelton s conduct at that time, the statement that he was 
ransoming goods from thieves, or that he was fighting fire 
with fire? A. I did not say that he was justified, but that 
he thought he was. 

". And that was predicated upon rumors in the news 
papers? A. He was perhaps acting upon a belief in his 
own mind which subsequently proved to be true. I did 
not say that I defended his position. 

" Q. I did not understand you to say that you defended 
his position, but I understood in part your answer to be an 
apology for his position? A. No; an alleviation. 

" Mr. HISCOCK. My word was f apology. 

" Mr. HUNTOX. The only difference about that is that 
he is testifying and you are not. 

"The WITNESS (continuing). The danger of tolerat 
ing a wrong on either side is its tendency to grow. One 
man does a thing because another man does it. By action 
and reaction abuses and wrongs grow until they become a 


common practice. That was one of the reasons that im 
pelled me to put my foot down against every approach to 
anything of this kind. 

"Mr. HISCOCK. Now I desire to call your attention to 
one other despatch in this case, which came from Mr. 
Marble. It is on page 17, No. 34, addressed to Colonel 
Pelton, No. 15 Gramercy park. 

" Woolley asks me to say, Let forces be got together immediately, in 
readiness for contingencies either here or in Louisiana. Why do you not 

Did you ever see that despatch before it was published ? 
A. I never did. 

". Of that you are clear ? A. Positive. 

"Q. If you had seen it, the phrase f let forces be got 
together immediately for contingencies either here or in 
Louisiana would have attracted your attention? A. It 
might have done so. 

". Have you any doubt that it would? A. I do not 
now understand what it means. 

"$. I will ask you this question in that connection, 
If you know or have heard that about that time any con 
siderable sum of money was raised by anybody connected 
with the National Democratic Committee? A. I have not. 

". Have you known, or have you learned since, that 
at any time after the election any considerable sum of 
money was raised by any Democratic parties here in the 
city of New York or elsewhere which might be used in 
those States for political purposes? A. Of that I have no 
personal knowledge. 

". Have you ever heard so? A. I cannot say that I 

"Q. Has any communication of that kind been made to 
you ever, that any considerable sum of money was raised 
by Democratic parties which might be used for political 
purposes ? I am now speaking of the time after the election 
was over. 

"Mr. SPRINGER. Are you referring to the despatches 
developed in the f Tribune ? 

"Mr. HISCOCK. I have said distinctly, after the election 
was over. A. I cannot undertake to say, because the com 
mittee may have been in debt. 

" Q. I speak with reference to money which was raised 


by any one. A. I think the committee was pretty largely 
in debt. 

" Q. You think it was in debt ? Is that what I under 
stand you to say ? A. Yes ; I think it was more or less in 
debt for a year. 

"Q. My question was, whether you knew of any moneys 
having been raised which might have been used in those 
States"? A. I do not. 

". Or of any moneys having been raised during the 
period of time when this correspondence was going on? 
A. I cannot say whether that was so or not; I cannot tell 

" Q. Does that mean to imply that you have heard some 
thing of the kind? A. It means I did not keep track of 
the committee. 

"Q. Will you be kind enough to look on page 28 of the 
* Tribune Extra, No. 44? The last telegram here you will 
see is from f Denmark [Pelton] to Smith Weed : 

" Last telegram here. There is undoubtedly good ground, upon which 
favorable decision could be had; but to be consistent and sustainable, it 
would and should involve electing Hampton, or else it would be involved in 
inconsistencies impossible to sustain. 

M. Well? 

"Q. Did you ever see that telegram? A. I never did. 

" Q. That sentence that I have read to you is rather in 
the nature of a legal opinion, is it not ? A. It appears to be. 

n Q. Did you ever communicate that legal opinion to 
Colonel Pelton? A. I don t think I did. 

w Q. Do you not think you did ? Is that as strong as you 
want to put it ? I call your attention to the fact that you 
simply say, I don t think I did. A. I have no recollec 
tion or belief that I did. 

" Q. Do you know with whom Colonel Pelton did advise 
as to legal questions of that sort? A. I do not. 

w Q. Did he ever advise with you as to these legal ques 
tions? A. I have no recollection of his ever doing it. 

"Q. You knew all this time that Colonel Pelton was in 
direct communication with these gentlemen, did you not? 
A. What time? What gentlemen ? 

"Q. At the time with these gentlemen in Florida and 
South Carolina. A. I do not think that I knew he was in 
any special communication with them. 


"Q. Did you not know he was receiving numerous tele 
grams from the visiting statesmen? A. I did not. 

"Q. Not when he was living at your house, and they are 
directed to your house? A. They were not directed to my 
house ; no, sir. 

"Q. They were directed to your house. A. No, sir; 
only the fifteen Florida ones. 

" Q. Did you not know that others were sent there ? A. 
Sent where? 

". Sent to your house ? A. I do not think they were 
ever sent there. 

"Q. What makes you think they were not ? A. I think 
I should have heard of it if they had been. I have already 
told you those telegrams were not delivered to my house, 
according to the best of my knowledge and belief. 

n Q. How do you know? A. I live there, and it would 
sometimes happen that a telegram would have come within 
my knowledge. 

" Q. But none of them ever did ? A. None of them ever 
did, so far as I recollect or believe. 

"Q. Does it not impair your certainty on that subject 
that you cannot tell whether or not certain telegrams were 
received by your private secretary which obviously came 
there ? Might not you have had a similar lapse of mem 
ory as to these as to those directed to your private secre 
tary? A. It might have been so as to one telegram; but 
I do not think a large number of telegrams could have come 
there without my knowing it. 

"Q. What were Colonel Pelton s hours? What time did 
he spend at your house? A. He generally came in after I 
was abed and asleep, and generally went out before seeing 
me in the morning. 

"Q. Generally before ? A. Not always before. 

"Q. Late to bed, and early to rise? A. Not always be 
fore ; he was hardly ever at breakfast. 

" Question by Mr. REED. I will ask one other question : 
Did there a great many telegrams come to your house, 
Governor Tilden? A. I cannot say. 

". Did a great many telegrams come to your house at 
Gramercy park during these days? A. My impression 
would be there were not a great many. 

". Do not you know there were a great many messen 
gers arriving constantly from the Western Union Company 


at your house? A. I cannot remember. My impression 
is there did not a great many arrive. Messages to me 
would generally come there ; messages to Pelton were not 
delivered there, but went to the national committee room. 
Of course I cannot undertake to say none came to him 
there. I should think on election night there came a good 

" Mr. HUNTON. I should like to ask Governor Tilden a 
question. Telegram 34, on page 17, purports to be from 
Marble to Colonel Pelton. According to the f Tribune 
translation this telegram is : 

lt Woolley asks me to say, Let forces be got together immediately in 
readiness for contingencies either here or Louisiana. Why do you not 


" Do you know of any forces, in the sense of military 
forces or otherwise, that were being used, or that were 
ready to be used, or that there was any intention at that 
time to use? A. No, sir; I do not. 

". You knew nothing about forces in that sense? A. 
No, sir; I thought it meant influence, friends. 

" Q. You state your belief that the returning boards in 
one or more States were purchased. You had information 
that led you to believe, and if true would convince you, 
that at least one of those boards offered itself for sale to 
the Democratic side. A. It was not sold to the Demo 
cratic side ; and is not the conclusion legitimate and proper 
that if not purchased by one side it was by the other ? 

" Mr. REED. Oh ! oh ! oh ! Ill ask for the ruling of the 
chairman on that question. 

"Mr. TILDEN. That is a matter of logic. 

" The CHAIRMAN (laughingly to Mr. Reed) . Do you 
expect the Chair to rule out a question he has himself 
asked ? 

"Mr. REED. Yes, sir; that one, with confidence. 

" The CHAIRMAN. Well, he said it is a question of logic ; 
and as that is not a matter of investigation, I will rule out 
both question and answer. That is all, Governor Tilden." 

At the conclusion of Mr. Tilden s examination, the com 
mittee went into executive session, when they decided to 
adjourn and return that evening to Washington. 


This proved to be practically the end of the cipher de 
spatch explosion. The men who plotted it had succeeded 
in disturbing the peace and domestic relations of an infirm 
old man for several months ; they had sent forth reports 
vitally compromising the private as well as public character 
of the most eminent statesman of the country, which reports 
would leave their impression upon the minds of millions, 
of whom the evidence of his innocence would reach only 
thousands and an impartial posterity, to whose judgment, 
however, they were indifferent. Their object was accom 
plished. They had impaired Mr. Tilden s health ; they had 
persuaded many that he was as unscrupulous in his political 
methods as Mr. Hayes had been, and to that extent fancied 
they had rendered him less formidable as a candidate for 
the presidency. 

Dante, who had been one of the priori or six first men 
of Florence, was summoned to answer a malicious charge 
of peculation ; he was not allowed sufficient time to ap 
pear and defend himself; was condemned, as contumacious, 
to a heavy fine, and banished forever from his native city 
upon which he had conferred its greatest glory. In such 
company political persecution confers distinction. 

I will venture to close what it has seemed proper for me 
to say of this barbarous effort to degrade Mr. Tilden in 
the estimation of the world, with an entry made in my 
diary on Thursday the 13th of February, and four days after 
the examination of the Fifth-avenue hotel. 

" Went around yesterday to Tilden s and found him in a 
state of unusual irritability. He had heard that Ellis, the 
president of the Third National Bank, had said that Tilden 
and Smith Weed passed an hour in close conversation at 
their bank between ten and one o clock of the day previous 
to Weed s departure for the South. This, if true, would 
convict both Tilden and Weed of perjury, for both had 
sworn that they did not see each other between the day be 
fore the election and some time after Weed s return from 
the South. Weed was sent for, and this morning I met 


him there. Meantime the papers of the day in question 
were looked over and both the World and Herald show 
that Tilden did not go down town that day, by accounting 
for all his time elsewhere. Weed also has documents to 
show that it was impossible for Ellis to be correct. After 
getting these proofs arranged and the papers marked, 
Tilden got into his coupe and went down to the bank. He 
returned about 4.30 P.M. to get me to go with him to an 
art reception given by the late William H. Vanderbilt, and 
on our way told me that if he had been a half-hour later 
Ellis would have been gone ; that when shown the papers, 
Ellis decided to write Cox that he had been mistaken, and 
that he had since been satisfied that neither Mr. Tilden nor 
Mr. Weed were in the bank that day. Tilden saw that 
letter and then came off. 

"It is curious what devices are resorted to, to destroy 
this poor man s character. I was thinking this morning 
that no one but a man of large fortune ought to think of 
running for the presidency as an independent man. Had 
Tilden been a man of moderate means he would have 
been ruined in character long ago. But for his having 
files of all the daily papers for years back, and clerks to 
assist in searching them, he would not have been able to 
collect the proofs of his whereabouts on the day in question 
in time to stop Ellis going on to Washington ; still less the 
wider range of proof requisite to undo Ellis erroneous 
testimony after it had been given. 

"The whole of Tilden s time, and the services of several 
eminent and costly lawyers and a number of clerks, have 
been constantly required by him since the election to defend 
him against the prosecutions and the persecutions of the 
administration. There is no prominent candidate for the 
presidency at present, nor ever was there one, whose in 
come is or ever was sufficient to provide for these expenses 

"The men who will run with the machine, who will 
form combinations with rings and treat with the baser ele 
ments of society, have no such friction to contend with. 
Those baser elements stand ready to provide all the means 
necessary for their instruments. But when a man antago 
nizes rings, refuses to make bargains or to give promises, 
provokes the hostility of all the selfish interests which 
thrive under a corrupt government only, he has to contend 


with an amount of feebleness and acquiescence on the part 
of the class who profess to desire good government and a 
hostility from those who prefer a bad one, which will crush 
any one who cannot at a moment s notice put his hand upon 
almost unlimited resources." 

Early in 1877 a report was put into circulation in 
Washington that Mr. Tilden or his friends had been ne- 


gotiating for the exemption of his bank account from 
inspection by the Investigating Committee of Congress. 
Justly indignant at such an imputation, he addressed the 
following letter to Senator Kernan, the last sentence of 
which betrays the perfidious origin of the report : 


"NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 1877. 
"THE HON. FRANCIS KERNAN, Washington, D.C.: 

"A telegram to the Associated Press, published this 
morning, states that a harmonious agreement has been 
brought about between the Senate committee, of which you 
are a member, and a committee of the House, by which it 
has been decided not to go into an examination of my bank 
account on the one hand, or the accounts of the chairman 
of the Republican National Committee on the other hand. 

" I repudiate any such agreement, and disclaim any such 
immunity, protection, or benefit from it. I reject the 
utterly false imputation that my private bank account con 
tains anything whatever that needs to be concealed. Under 
the pretence of looking for a payment in December, the 
demand was for all payments after May and all deposits 
during nine months. 

" The bank was repeatedly menaced with the removal of 
its officers and books to Washington. 

"A transcript of entries of private business, trusts, and 
charities, containing everything but w T hat the committee 
was commissioned to investigate, but nothing which it was 
commissioned to investigate, because nothing of that sort 
existed, has been taken, with my knowledge, to Washington. 
Of course there is no item in it relating to anything in 


Oregon, for I never made, authorized, or knew of any ex 
penditure in relation to the election in that State or the 
resulting controversies, or any promise or obligation on the 

" Mr. Ellis, the acting president of the bank, himself a 
Republican, some time ago told the chairman of the com 
mittee and several of its members, that there is nothing in 
the account capable of furthering any just object of the 
investigation. I am also informed that a resolution was 
passed to summon me as a witness, but have received no 
subpoena. 1 had written before this telegram appeared, re 
questing you to say to the committee that it would be more 
agreeable to me not to visit Washington if the committee 
would send a sub-committee or hold a session here, but 
that otherwise I should attend under the subpoena. As to 
this arrangement now reported, I have only to say that I can 
accept decorum and decency, but not a fictitious equivalent 
for a mantle of secrecy to anybody else. 

"S. J. TILDEN." 


Income-tax returns New persecutions by the administration The capit 
ulation of the administration The ignominious end of seven years 
persecution Letters of Edwards Pierrepont, special counsel for the 
government; S. L. Woodford, United States District Attorney; Green 
13. Raum, United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue; Charles J. 
Folger, Secretary of the Treasury; and Benjamin H. Brewster, Attorney- 
General of the United States. 


THE administration at Washington, not content with 
violating the sanctity of private correspondence for material 
with which to discredit the candidate of the Democratic 
party, did not scruple to avail itself of other resources 
exclusively within its own control, and with despotic reck 

In the latter part of August, 1876, an article appeared 
in the "New York Times," the favorite New York organ of 
the administration, charging Mr. Tilden with having sworn 
to false returns of his income ; and giving various specious 
statements of his sources of income purporting to show a 
substantial discrepancy between its amount and the amount 
which Mr. Tilden returned. The time selected for this 
assault betrayed the unworthy motives which inspired it. 
It was in the high noon of the presidential canvass, in 
which, of course, all of Mr. Tilden s energies were enlisted ; 
his brother Moses was lying on what in a week or two 
proved to be his death-bed ; Mr. Tilden had not found time 
to complete his letter accepting the nomination of the St. 
Louis convention, to which his spare moments, usually 
taken from hours that should have been given to repose, 
were devoted. It was under these peculiarly trying condi- 


tions that he was suddenly and altogether unexpectedly 
called upon to review the history of transactions already 
fourteen years old, of which he had preserved scarcely a 
scrap of memoranda. More than six years had elapsed 
since he had retired from the active practice of his pro 
fession, subsequently to which he had rarely visited his 
office even formatters of private concern. Add to all these 
embarrassments, the ruthless hand of one of the same cab 
inet ministers who subsequently engineered the electoral 
frauds in Florida and Louisiana was here visibly directing 
the blow that was aimed at his honor through the columns 
of the "Times." 

Of course such a charge with what appeared to be official 
specifications, including a facsimile of Mr. Tilden s income- 
tax return, which could only have come from the Depart 
ment of the Interior, of which Zachariah Chandler was the 
official head, produced a profound sensation throughout the 
country. Mr. Tilden s character was of more importance 
to him than the presidency, and inconvenient and laborious 
as it was, he felt himself compelled to devote several weeks, 
with the aid of three or four clerks, to evoke from the 
scattered records of the past, evidence of the false and 
malicious character of these imputations. With the aid 
of Judge Sinnott, who had been his confidential law clerk 
during the period covered by the " Times," he prepared a 
statement which was published on the 20th of September. 
The "Nation" of the 28th of that month summoned up 
the whole case, so far as the main charge of making a false 
return, perjury, etc., was concerned, in the following 
table : 




1. Fee $5,000 

2. Fees, etc 2,000 

3. Fee 5,000 

4. Fee 2,500 

5. Fees 4,500 

6. Fee 5,000 

7. Fee 5,000 

8. Fee.. 

9, Fee.. 

10. Fees. 

11. Fees. 

, .20,000 

12. Share of bonds 
for services .25,000 

13. Salary 1,000 

Total.... $108,000 

14. "Obviously false" 

return for 1863. 

15. Omission to make 

returns in subse 
quent years. 

1. No such fee ever received. 

2. No such charge ever made. 

Work done by another 

( No such charge ever 
3-6. < made. Services end- 

( ed before 186-2. 
7. No services in 1862. 

10. " " 

11. Never received; the com 

pany not a client of Mr. 
Tilden s. 

12. No bonds retained for ser 

vices in 1862. Services 
rendered included in re 

13. Correct except as to date. 

14. No answer. 

15. Permitted by kn 



f No proof. Items declared 
to have been made up by 
affixing to the titles of 
" certain instruments " 
certain charges " believed 
to have been approxi 
mately correct." No. 2 
" withdrawn." 
7. No" proof; defence irrelevant, 
because offered by a man 
" well disposed to take refuge 
in a suggested falsehood." 
c Q ( No proof; one item of 
J - I $10,000 " withdrawn." 

10. No proof. 

11. No proof; answer admitted to 

be conclusive; charge " with 

12. No proof. Charge " reiterated 

with renewed emphasis." 

13. No proof. Charge repeated. 

Whole answer pronounced 
" disingenuous " and " char 
acteristic of its author," but 
total amount of " true in 
come " cut down to $76,000, 
or $5,882 less than the amount 
originally said to be " fraudu 
lently concealed." 

14. No proof. 

15. No proof of illegality. 

For the period subsequent to that covered by this table 
the " Times " had charged Mr. Tilden with allowing the in 
come-tax assessor to assess his income at less than its value. 
The absurdity of this charge leaped to the eyes of every 
reader. In the first place, not only in New York, but in 
every State of the Union, property is assessed for taxation 
by an official assessor, and the taxpayer is never required 
to make a statement of the amount or value of his property 
except in pleading for a reduction of his assessment. In 
the second place, the income-tax law expressly provided 
that in case the taxpayer omitted to make a return of his 
income, it should be assessed by the assessor. It was so 
assessed and paid. The terms of the law had been com 
plied with, and, as Mr. Tilden confidently affirmed, he paid 
more those years than would have been required had he 
made his own returns, which he neglected to do only 


because the difference was not worth the time and trouble 
it would have cost him, to apportion to each year the 
precise amount saved during that period, in litigations 
covering a series of years. 

Mr. Tilden s answer effectually disposed, for the time 
being, of these charges, which in the somewhat emphatic 
language of a journal of the period " can be characterized 
in no milder terms than a vicious lie, a base slander, and a 
diabolical calumny." The assault had utterly failed of its 
purpose so far as any effect upon the election was con 
cerned, upon which, if it had any, it seems to have been 
a favorable one ; but the extra toil and worry to which it 
subjected Mr. Tilden for several weeks during the hottest 
season of the year, told seriously upon his health and no 
doubt contributed to shorten his days, in that respect 
serving the purpose of his tormentors by contributing to 
disqualify him for the duties of the chief magistracy four 
years later, to which, had his health permitted, he would 
unquestionably have been chosen. 

Unhappily for Mr. Tilden s peace, he was still too for 
midable apolitical force to be neglected. He was regarded 
by his party, with practical unanimity, as its inevitable 
candidate for the presidency in 1880. Though the assault 
upon his character had thus far ignominiously failed, the 
resources of the administration s arsenal of defamation had 
not yet been exhausted. It had charged Mr. Tilden with 
making false returns of his income. He had denied it, and 
the public had accepted his denial, but the administration 
had prosecuting attorneys and a judiciary all of its own 
appointment ; why not institute proceedings for the money 
of which it was alleged the government had been defrauded ? 
That course would at least vindicate in a measure the part 
which the administration had had in promulgating the orig 
inal calumnies ; it would keep the question of Mr. Tilden s 
innocence measurably open for partisan uses ; it would 
worry and wear upon their victim, who had no health to 


spare for litigation ; it would induce some who wished to 
be confirmed in their fanatical hostility to the Democratic 
party, to believe that where there was so much smoke there 
must be some fire, and that by wily procrastination, of 
which the law officers of the federal government have 
almost unlimited control, the innocence of Mr. Tilden 
could not be established until after the suspicions thus 
propagated of his guilt might have accomplished their per 
fect work. Accordingly a suit was instituted at the instiga 
tion of the Hayes government against Mr. Tilden, shortly 
after the election in 1876, to establish what subsequently was 
admitted to have been a purely imaginary liability for un 
paid income tax. The commencement of this suit was duly 
heralded through the press. Several months elapsed before 
Mr. Tilden was furnished with any statement of the grounds 
of the government s claim. No serious attempt was ever 
made to bring the case to a hearing, but it was nursed 
along to be used as a convenient means of presenting Mr. 
Tilden to the country from time to time in the attitude of 
a culprit. These knavish tactics were pursued throughout 
the term of the Hayes administration. When the suit had 
been pending for a year or more the government was 
forced to admit that it was not in possession of any evi 
dence upon which to sustain its suit, and then had the 
effrontery to file a bill of discovery to compel Mr. Tilden 
himself to furnish evidence upon which their prosecu 
tion could be sustained. To this Mr. Tilden of course 
demurred, regarding it as practically an admission that the 
government had no cause of action. Judge Blatchford, 
who was sometimes a judge and always a politician, decided 
against the demurrer. 

Pending the litigation over these proceedings, President 
Hayes and his associate beneficiaries of the frauds by which 
he had been installed in the presidency were dismissed 
from the public service, and a new government replaced 
them. Meantime Mr. Tilden s health had been steadily 


declining. He had ceased to be regarded as a candidate 
for the presidency, and there was no longer, therefore, any 
motive, if there had been any disposition on the part of the 
new administration, to persecute or defame him. The ques 
tion now was how to get rid of the suit without compro 
mising those who instituted it. That story may be best 
told in the language of the parties who conducted the 
retreat. We will commence with the following memoran 
dum of facts prepared for the counsel by Mr. Tilden 
himself : 


" In compliance with your request a memorandum of 
certain facts involved in the income-tax case, discussed in 
our recent conversation, is furnished. 

" 1. The action against me is, so far as is known or can 
be ascertained, the only suit of this nature which has been 
instituted and prosecuted. 

" The suit against Mr. Hazard was for taxes accruing 
during a portion of the period when the income tax ex 
isted. The amount claimed was over one hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars, and the interest enlarged the claim 
to at least two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. In the 
settlement, the United States amended its declaration so as 
to embrace the whole ten years of the income tax, and to 
fix the judgment, including principal and interest, at one 
thousand dollars. Judgment was taken by consent, and 
the appeal was waived. Mr. Hazard told me that he 
settled it because it was cheaper to pay such a judgment 
than the cost of counsel fees. 

" (See letter of Hon. Charles Bradley, Mr. Hazard s coun 
sel, Points for Defendant, page 21.) 

rr The allegation on which the United States rely in the 
action against me is merely that the assessor did not make 
the assessment large enough. That naked proposition is 
aided by no other statement whatsoever. 

The claim as stated in the declaration applies equally 
in the years in which I made a return and in the years in 
which I omitted to make a return. No distinction is inti 
mated whether the taxpayer makes a return or leaves the 
ascertainment exclusively to the assessor. 


" The consequence is that the pretensions in behalf of the 
United States, to review by a court and jury the action of 
the assessor, extends to every case in which an assessment 
was made during the whole ten years. Mr. Harland, who 
is familiar with such subjects, estimates that there were some 
four or five millions of assessments. In every one of them, 
on the theory of this suit, an action could be brought, 
treating the assessment as a nullity, and making a new 
assessment by a court and jury. 

" As there is no limitation against the United States of 
the time for bringing an action, every citizen once liable to 
the income tax remains exposed to such an action as long 
as he lives, and his property remains subject to it as long 
as anything of his estate can be traced. 

" Other grave questions arise. For instance, the Statute 
of 1864 expressly declares that the amount due shall be 
a lien in favor of the United States from the time it was 
due until paid, and the lien follows the property into and 
through the hands of innocent third persons. 

"3. By section 3214 of the United States Eevised 
Statutes such an action could not be commenced unless 
the commissioner of internal revenue authorized or sanc 
tioned the proceedings. 

"The letter of Commissioner Eauni, giving his formal 
approval of the action against me, was dated Jan. 25, 1877. 
The capias, unaccompanied by any declaration, was issued 
elan. 22, 1877, and served on the 27th. 

" It is noteworthy in this connection that under date of 
Jan. 3, 1877, Commissioner Eauni had addressed to Mark 
Bangs, United States District Attorney at Chicago, in 
answer to a letter dated October 27th previous, an elabo 
rate opinion that the decision of the assessor, when an 
assessment is in the scope of his jurisdiction, cannot be 
questioned collaterally. 

"You will find the whole opinion on pages 17-22 of 
Defendant s Points. 

"The commissioner thus appears as having authorized 
this suit nineteen days after he had given a formal official 
opinion that such a suit is not maintainable in law. His 
opinion is published in the Internal Revenue Record of 
elan. 8, 1877, and was accessible to the district attorney 
more than two weeks before the suit was commenced. 

" 4. Not only did the district attorney who brought the 


action, and the commissioner of internal revenue who au 
thorized the action, know at the time, by such high and, to 
them, conclusive authority, that there was no basis in law 
for the action, but they were equally destitute of any evi 
dence in their possession to constitute a basis of fact on 
which to justify the action if it had been maintainable in 
law. They had nothing but newspaper fabrications, got up 
in August, September, and October, 1876, during the presi 
dential canvass, every item of which on being analyzed 
fails to be probable cause or was disproved at the time. 

" I will not go over these in detail. One illustration will 
suffice. The main attack was made on my return for 1862. 
The only tangible fact alleged was that in one case I had 
collected during that year sums for compensation and dis 
bursements which had accrued wholly, or almost wholly, 
during previous years beginning as far back as 1857. Now, 
I happen to have in my possession the identical copy of 
BoutwelFs Manual, used by my managing clerk in making 
out the return for 1862, and it contains an express decision 
of the commissioner of internal revenue, announced in 
May, 1863, that the earnings of a lawyer during the pre 
vious years are to be excluded from the return, although 
collected during the year for which the return was made. 

" Mr. Harland, at the time he put in a plea forming an 
issue of law in the case, mentioned to me that Mr. Sherman 
said to him that if he had had the management of the 
defence, he should have waived the issue of law and gone 
to trial, because the district attorney s office had no evidence 
to sustain the action. 

" 5. The capias was issued by District Attorney Bliss 
two days before his successor, District Attorney Woodford, 
was sworn in. It was served on the 27th. It claimed the 
round and exact sum of one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars as taxes and penalties ; it was unaccompanied by 
any declaration specifying details of which the claim was 
composed. The complaint was filed on the 14th of April, 
or about three months later. It aimed to make up the 
gross claim stated in the capias, by alleging an income 
sufficient to produce the tax. It alleged $2,703,600 of in 
come over and above all on which taxes had been paid, and 
over and above all lawful deductions. It distributed this 
immense sum over the ten years, except $100,000, which it 
claimed for 1861 when there was no tax. It made this 


distribution on conjecture or arbitrarily. To 1865, which 
was a year of universal disaster, following the fall of gold 
and collapse of values resulting from the close of the war, 
and a year in which unquestionably my income was less 
than the sum I paid on, it absurdly assigned $333,000 of 
the excess of income. 

" This immense pretended excess of income is a mere 
myth. For 1862 and 1863 I submitted returns. They 
were carefully made out by my chief managing clerk, who 
was a counsellor-at-law, and the habitual expert of the office 
on questions under the revenue laws. He had access to 
every source and means of information, and no instructions 
except a caution against assuming any doubtful question for 
me to verify. He has now no doubt that the returns were 
correct, except that they leaned towards the government. 
Nor have I. 

" In the years when no return was made, I do not feel 
responsible for the assessment of the assessor. It is the 
universal practice in the State of New York for State, 
county, and city taxes to be computed on assessments made 
by the public officers on their own information and judg 
ment. The citizen has a statutory privilege to interfere for 
the purpose of obtaining a reduction of the assessment ; but 
never interferes for any other purpose. I never heard it 
suggested, even if the assessment were less than the real 
value of the subject of taxation (such assessment being 
made by the assessor on his own information and judgment 
without interference by the taxpayer), that the taxpayer 
would be held to be morally culpable. I never heard it 
suggested that the State, county, or city could afterwards 
sue the taxpayer for a larger sum than that which it had 
so assessed and collected by its own officers. The United 
States income law expressly provided the alternative for the 
taxpayer, if he chose to leave the assessment to the pub 
lic officers, and to accept the enhancement of the assess 
ment as a consequence of making no return. It was the 
policy of the revenue laws to make the discretion of the 
assessor supreme and conclusive. Even if returns were 
made, the assessor had the power to add to return or to 
disregard it, and generally to make his own assessment from 
such information as he might choose to rely on, and to be 
governed absolutely by his own judgment. 

"I discontinued making returns in 1864 because of the 


total impossibility of solving questions of law which they 
involved, and at a time when I believed I would pay, and 
did pay, under the fiat of the assessor, a larger tax than I 
was properly liable to pay. 

" In point of fact, however, I generally paid a larger tax 
than I ought, and probably did so in every year, unless that 
result should be changed by eccentric constructions of the 

" It is my belief that during every one of the ten years I 
was holding railroad bonds and stocks and other securi 
ties, on which the tax was deducted from the interest and 
withheld before the income reached me, to so large an 
amount that the income thus taxed was a greater sum than 
my whole real income from investments. 

" In other words, the interest paid out by me was always 
larger than the income from that portion of my investments 
on which the tax was not collected by the government 
through the corporation that issued the securities. 

"During the eight years, 1864 to 1871 inclusive, the aver 
age amount imposed by the assessor, including his additions 
for the omission to return, was about $27,000. I estimate 
the aggregate amount of office expenses which come out of 
the gross receipts before the net income is ascertained, and 
of taxes and interest paid out, which are lawful deductions 
from income, could not be less than $30,000 a year. I 
estimate that the amount of income on which the tax was 
collected through corporations issuing securities ranged 
between $20,000 and $100,000, and could not be less on 
the average than something between $40,000 and $50,000 
a year. That would make the gross receipts over $100,000 
a year, and the income-paying tax between $70,000 and 
$75,000 a year. 

" Growth of values of property not sold, whether real or 
personal, is not income. Gains from real estate converted, 
unless the real estate has been purchased within two years, 
were excluded by statutory definition. Accretions from the 
conversions of bonds and stocks, unless they were bought 
within the same year, were deemed not to be taxable by the 
Supreme Court of the United States in Gray v. Darlington, 
15 Wallace. Excluding those three classes alone (and there 
are other classes of exemptions from the tax), I believe the 
growth of all my property during the eight years did not 
make good the actual realized losses incident to the unsound 


finance of the time, and furnished the amount on which I 
paid the income tax, less the cost of living. 

"The Parthian arrow of the retiring district attorney 
was aimed at his successor, and was so understood by Mr. 
Woodford. It had the additional purpose of lending an 
appearance of reality and consistency to the electioneering 
devices used during the canvass of 1876. 

" 6. As early as the last of August, 1876, the then dis 
trict attorney indulged in an interview menacing the suit, 
and later during the canvass he published a report to the 
commissioner of internal revenue on the subject. Those 
officers freely used and abused their official characters and 
official functions to give credit to the electioneering false 
hoods of the canvass. 

" 7. After the amazing decision of Judge Blatchford was 
rendered, that in every case whatsoever where there was 
a return and where there was no return the United States 
may at any indefinite time afterwards impeach the quasi 
judicial decision of its own assessor, set it aside on the 
naked allegation that the assessment was not large enough, 
and re-try the questions of the amount of a man s income 
by a court and jury, involving countless issues of fact and 
of law, my counsel sought the speediest review of his 
decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The 
technical difficulty was interposed that an appeal could not 
be had except after a judgment. To obviate that, niy 
counsel offered the district attorney to let judgment be 
taken on the last count, which was for one hundred thousand 
dollars of income that never existed ; providing by stipula 
tion that the action might be renewed as to the other counts, 
and that the United States might take testimony de bene 
esse at its option. 

" They were not able to obtain this arrangement or any 
arrangement without allowing a judgment to be taken on 
an enormous amount of fictitious income. The government 
and defendant are therefore brought to confront a hypothet 
ical trial in a case where it is believed that there is no legal 
ground of action, even if the government could prove its 
allegations of fact. That hypothetical trial involves every 
transaction during a period often years, every item of in 
come, and every item of deduction for expenses, for taxes, 
for interest, for losses by bad debts, by bad investments. It 
is claimed that such an impalpable element as the increased 


value of the assets of a company which never made a 
dividend during the ten years, nor was ever able to make 
a dividend during that time, or able to collect enough of its 
means to pay its debts till the last year, is to be counted as 
income of an individual stockholder, estimating his share in 
the ratio of his stock. That item alone would involve all 
the transactions of a mining company for eight years. I 
mention this as an illustration to what interminable collat 
eral inquiries and controversies such a suit so carried on 
may lead if the plaintiff chooses to give it that character. 

"8. It is impossible to conceive of a case in which every 
reasonable consideration is more urgent than in the present, 
in favor of settling the questions of law in advance of the 
trial of the questions of fact. 

"In the first place, it must be admitted that there is an 
extreme improbability that the Supreme Court of the United 
States would sustain the decision of Judge Blatchford, and 
overrule the immense series of cases in the courts of the 
United States, of the different States, and of England, 
establishing the principle that the quasi judicial decision of 
the assessors and similar officers is conclusive. I cannot sup 
pose that the attorney-general, still less that such a jurist 
as Mr. Evarts, would have any doubt upon the subject. 

"In the second place, a rule which subjects every citizen 
of the United States liable to the income tax in any one of 
the ten years to have his tax reopened by a suit, which 
continues that exposure indefinitely, cannot but be con 
sidered a question of great public importance to the mass 
of taxpayers as well as of great interest to the government. 
Such a question ought to be settled at the earliest moment 
by the highest tribunal, and put forever at rest. The 
offer of my counsel was immediately to carry a judgment 
to that tribunal, and to unite with the attorney-general in 
an application for an immediate argument, which would no 
doubt be granted on motion of the attorney-general. As 
the United States were not ready at the December term, 
and recently intimated in court that they would probably 
not be ready for the February term, no loss of time would 

" In the third place, there would be a great convenience to 
the United States and the court in avoiding a hypothetical 
trial. The case has uniformly been spoken of by the dis 
trict attorney and by Judge Choate as a long case. How 


long it will be will depend on the district attorney. It is 
quite capable of being ramified to take a whole term or 
a great many terms. The pretension was set up by the 
Marquette testimony that the defendant s income should 
involve, not the dividends declared, not the profits ascer 
tained or adjudged by a corporate act, but the unrealized 
constructive profits of a company that had at no time been 
able to pay dividends. That one item would bring into the 
case all the corporate books for eight years, and more is 
sues of fact than would be comprised in fifty ordinary law 
suits. On such a system, a case which includes all the 
transactions of ten years ought to take a lifetime. The 
very existence of such a case illustrates the utter absurdity 
of the notion that assessment of income is a thing fit to be 
done by a court and jury. 

"In the fourth place, to insist on a hypothetical trial 
because of the technical difficulty of appeal, or to impose 
onerous or impracticable conditions not necessary to the 
interests of the United States, indicates a purpose to con 
duct the suit merely in such a manner as to harass, oppress, 
and defame the defendant. The case has been suspended 
over the defendant for two years. It is noticed for each 
successive term, but the United States is never ready. The 
defendant returned from Europe in October, 1877, influ 
enced largely by necessity of attending to and the expec 
tation of disposing of this case. He will some time or 
other Avant to be liberated from the necessity of being in 
attendance at each successive term. The expenses and 
other burdens of such a controversy, with roaming commis 
sions such as those at Boston, Pittsburg, Chicago, and 
Marquette, ought not to be imposed upon a citizen unless 
the action is sustainable in law. 

"9. The attorney-general, in section 362, United States 
Revised Statutes, is commanded to exercise a general 
superintendence and direction over the district attorney. 
The function of the commissioner of internal revenue is 
limited to an assent to the bringing of a suit. After the 
suit is brought, the power and responsibility belong to the 
attorney-general. Nor can it be doubted that all ques 
tions as to the legal rights of the government and its 
public policy are within the domain of the attorney-general. 

" 10. Such a case ought to be acted on with reference to 
general considerations of public policy. If the millions of 


cases in which an income tax was paid are all open to 
review as a matter of law, and it is wise and right and 
conformable to public policy to undertake a revision of 
them, there ought to be a systematic inquiry by a competent 
machinery applying alike to all citizens. The whole action 
of the government ought not to descend into a mere raid 
on one citizen." 

A few days before the meeting of the first Congress after 
the accession of Garfield to the presidency, the following 
letter was addressed by Vanderpoel, Green, and Cuining, 
of counsel for Mr. Tilden, to the Hon. Edwards Pierrepont, 
special counsel of the United States : 


YORK, Dec. 3, 1881. 
" HON. EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Special Counsel: 

"Sm: In reference to the case of the United States 
against Tilden, while believing that the action must result 
unfavorably to the United States, upon the law, if ever the 
case can reach the Supreme Court, and upon the facts, 
whenever a trial shall be had, I recently expressed to you 
my conviction that the United States ought now to be will 
ing to discontinue the action on their own motion, but that 
I could yet understand that some embarrassment might 
exist by reason of expenses for whic % h the United States 
may have become liable relating to the future as well as 
past conduct of the case. 

" I have considered the very great burden to both parties 
of a futile trial, in a case which theoretically involves an 
inquiry into every transaction of an active professional and 
business life, during the ten years, beginning twenty years 
ago, a futile trial which would swamp a court and jury 
for an indefinite period, unless the controversy should be 
limited by the inability of the United States to produce 
evidence except as to a very small fraction of the things 
they draw in question by their claims, as asserted in their 

" I have considered, also, that next month it will be five 
years since this action was commenced ; that, as I suppose, 


at no time have the United States been really ready for 
trial ; that when the present district attorney inherited 
this action, he found in his office no facts or evidence by 
which to frame a complaint ; that two years later the United 
States, in a bill of discovery, placed on the files of the court 
an avowal that they then had no evidence on which they 
could safely proceed to trial ; that at the present time, I 
believe, the United States have not at all improved their 
condition in this respect ; that, nevertheless, the defendant 
may be subjected, for years to come, to the necessity of 
preparation for each successive term, while totally unable to 
obtain a final termination of the trial ; and that the defend 
ant has been frequently compelled, at great expense and 
inconvenience, to send counsel five hundred or a thousand 
or fifteen hundred miles to attend upon fishing excursions 
in the form of commissions to take testimony de bene esse, 
in which extended investigations have been made into the 
affairs of corporations and masses of testimony taken which 
the commissioners could not exclude, but which are not 
admissible as evidence in the case. 

" I have also considered that, notwithstanding the inex 
pediency of subjecting either party or the court to the 
trouble or costs of a hypothetical trial, in a case in which 
there is every probability the Supreme Court will hold 
as matter of law that there is no cause of action, every 
expedient for first presenting the question of law to that 
tribunal has failed ; that, notwithstanding the concurrence 
of all the leading cases in England, in the several States 
and in the United States, that the quasi judicial judgment 
of a taxing officer fixing the amount of the tax is conclusive 
upon the government, as well as upon the citizen, and an 
elaborate opinion of the commissioner of internal revenue, 
dated Jan. 3, 1877, to the same effect, the interlocutory 
ruling of the district judge on the demurrer in the case 
debars an appeal to the Supreme Court until after final 
judgment at the trial ; that, in the ordinary course of things, 
it would probably take from three to five years to obtain a 
decision of the Supreme Court on the case, and that 
could be obtained only in the contingency that a judgment 
should be rendered for the United States. 

"Considering all these matters, I repeat the suggestion 
made to you that the United States proceed to discontinue 
their action, and that they be relieved, by arrangement with 


me, from the expenses, including counsel fees, which the 
United States have incurred or become liable for; the 
amount of such expenses, whatever they are, cannot but 
be small compared with those which each party must here 
after incur, if the case goes on. 

"Very respectfully yours, etc., 
"(Signed) A. J. VANDERFOEL." 

The successive stages of the government s capitulation 
will be found set forth with sufficient detail in the several 
communications following : 

Edwards Pierrepont, Special Counsel for the United 
States, to the acting Attorney- General of the United 


"To THE HON. SAMUEL F. PHILLIPS, Acting Attorney- 
General of the United States: 

"In the suit of the United States against Samuel J. 
Tilden to recover income tax, I have the honor to report 
that after my retainer, on the 8th of March, 1880, 1 devoted 
most of my time for an entire month to the investigation 
of the statutes, the judicial decisions, the very long dep 
ositions, the examination of witnesses, the laws relating 
to the admission of evidence in the case, and to very many 
consultations with the United States attorney, General 
Woodford, and his assistant, Mr. Clarke, aided by Mr. 
Arnoux, who is especially retained, and by Mr. Webster, of 
the internal revenue service, to whose intelligent activity 
and zeal is largely due the discovery of the more valuable 
evidence in the case. 

" The matter is complicated, and the difficulties of reach 
ing a satisfactory conclusion are increased by the great 
lapse of time. 

"Mr. Tilden s first return is for the year 1862. 

" After Mr. Tilden was nominated for the presidency by 
the Democratic convention in June, 1876, this action was 
commenced. Up to that time no charge had been made by 
any officer of the government that the defendant was in 


" The summons was served under the order of the late 
district attorney just before he went out of office, and the 
suit came by inheritance to General Woodford, the present 
district attorney, who prepared the complaint. 

:f The complaint contains twelve counts, and demands 
judgment against the defendant for $128,442, besides 
interest for many years, and costs of the action. 

"Prior to my retainer in the case, in March, 1880, the 
district attorney, General Woodford, having collected and 
examined all the evidence within his reach to warrant him 
in proceeding to trial, accordingly filed a very long bill 
of discovery against the defendant, as the only means 
left by which " sufficient evidence could be obtained. 
The bill specifically states that there is not sufficient evi 
dence to be had without resort to a bill of discovery. 
To this bill a demurrer was interposed, and the ques 
tions raised by the demurrer are now pending before the 
Supreme Court. 

"In the bill filed for discovery, the plaintiff avers that for 
the years 1862 and 1863 the defendant made returns of his 
income, but that the same were not true returns ; and that 
for the years 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 
and 1871 the defendant neglected to make any returns, 
and that in default of such returns the proper officers 
estimated the amount of the defendant s income for said 
years, and assessed the tax thereon, together with the addi 
tional penalties prescribed by law, ivhich tax, additions, and 
penalties so assessed, the defendant paid to the officers 
authorized, etc. 

"The Act of 1864, as amended by the Act of March 3, 
1865 (13 Statutes at Large, 480), provides, That it shall 
be the duty of all persons of lawful age to make and render 
a list or return of the amount of their income, gains, etc. 
. and in case any person shall neglect or refuse to 
make and render such list or return, or shall render a false 
or fraudulent list or return, it shall be the duty of the 
assessor to make such list, according to the best informa 
tion he can obtain, by examination o/ such person, and 
his books and accounts, or any other evidence, and to add 
twenty-five per cent, as a penalty to the amount of the duty 
on such list, in all cases of wilful neglect, or refusal to make 
and render a list or return ; and in all cases of a false or 
fraudulent return, to add one hundred per cent, as a penalty: 


" The penalty for neglect to make returns was increased 
to fifty per cent, by the Act of March 2, 1867 (14 U.S. 
Statutes at Large, page 479). 

" There is no charge that the returns made were false and 
fraudulent for the years 1862 and 1863, when under oath 
the returns were made, and I find no evidence that they 
were not correct ; and if the case rested on those years 
alone, I am clearly of opinion that the government would 
dismiss the suit. I, therefore, consider the question only 
which relate to the years 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 
1869, 1870, and 1871, when the plaintiff alleges that the 
defendant neglected to make returns and f paid the tax and 
penalties prescribed by the statutes. 

" The act above cited prescribes in definite terms f the 
duty of the citizen relating to returns of income ; and in 
case of neglect imposes a penalty, and specifically directs 
how the assessor shall make a list for return and imposition 
of the penalties. 

" The defendant denies all the material allegations con 
tained in the various counts of the complaint, and (as a 
specimen) adds : And for a further and separate defence 
to the seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth causes 
of action contained in the complaint, the defendant alleges 
that he neglected to make a list or return, and that after 
said neglect for each of said years the assessor made a list 
of defendant s annual income, and did assess the duty 
thereon, and did add fifty per cent, as a penalty, all of 
which tax and penalties the defendant paid to the col 

"To these pleas the plaintiff demurred, and Judge 
Blatchford, in a very elaborate opinion, sustained the 
demurrer, thus holding that the payment of the tax as 
sessed, and the penalties imposed, did not discharge 
the defendant from further liabilities, notwithstanding 
the lapse of time and the absence of any charge that the 
assessor had been deceived or misled by any concealment 
or other act on the part of the defendant. 

" I am not aware that this direct question has ever been 
decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, and 
until it is thus passed upon, there is likely to be much 
difference of opinion as to the law of this case. 

" The question will of course arise on the trial, and its 
discussion in presence of the jury will (however irregular 

VOL. II. - 16 


it may be) tend to bias their minds in favor of the defend 
ant, on the ground that when the citizen had paid all the 
tax that the law seemed to require, with heavy penalties 
for his neglect, added exactly as the statute directed, and 
no charge of fraud, deception, or concealment is made, and 
the money is received and the receipt given, and years had 
been allowed to pass without any suggestion of the assess 
ment or penalty being too low, it would not be equitable 
or just, so long after the repeal of the law, to impose a new 
burden. Of course, as this is a pure question of law, the 
jury would have no right to consider it, except as directed 
by the court ; but I have had too much experience with 
juries not to be aware that they will consider it, and that 
it may be an excuse in some of their minds for refusing to 
find facts necessary to a recovery by the plaintiff. 

" If it be decided that the payment of the tax and penalty 
is no bar to the action, then a legal question will arise as 
to the burden of the proof. 

"As a sample of the counts take the sixth. The com 
plaint avers that the defendant in the year 1865 had gains, 
profits, and income from various sources, amounting to 
three hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars, in excess 
of the sum of six hundred dollars, and in excess of the 
sum which was subject by law to a duty at a lower rate 
than ten per centum, and also in excess of the sums w r hich 
he was entitled by law to deduct from his said gains, 
profits, and income in estimating the amount thereof upon 
which he was required by law to pay a duty, and also in 
excess of the amount of gains, profits, and income upon 
which said defendant paid a duty for said year, and also 
over and above the sum paid within said year, by said 
defendant, for national, State, county, and municipal taxes 
upon his property or other sources of income, and also above 
the sum paid by said defendant for the rent of the home 
stead used or occupied by himself or his family, and above 
losses sustained by the defendant upon sales of real estate 
purchased by him within said " year." 

"The defendant takes issue. If the plaintiff must prove 
the charge as laid before we can get judgment, then the 
chance of success is not encouraging. If we prove that the 
income of the defendant for a given year was fifty thousand 
dollars, and there rest, and the defendant says nothing, for 
what sum can we demand judgment? We sue for a sum 


over and above the statutory deductions, which is all that 
the law allows. We should be in difficulty unless the court 
held that the burden of proving deductions was thrown 
upon the defendant. Would the court so hold after the 
taxes and penalties imposed by the proper officers had all 
been paid? 

"After this great lapse of time there is much difficulty in 
getting at such evidence as the court will receive. Every 
witness who knows anything of value is unwilling ; some 
fear exposure of their own delinquencies, others profess 
forgetfulness, and the difficulty in reaching legal and relia 
ble testimony is nearly insuperable, and it is quite certain 
that the tendency of the jury will be against overhauling 
stale claims for taxes when the defendant has paid all that 
assessors impose, with heavy penalties added, and especially 
as no charge is made of deceptive concealment ; and since 
the suit was not commenced, and no fault found until so 
many years after, when Mr. Tilden was nominated for 
President, political considerations will be likely to enter 
into the trial of the cause and may influence the verdict. 

" The report of Mr. Webster, an officer of the internal 
revenue service, upon whom we rely to furnish the only 
valuable evidence, was strongly against risking a trial in 
April, 1880, as his report on file shows ; and after a very 
careful examination of all the evidence which w r e can now 
produce, our case is in no respect stronger, but rather 
weaker than in 1880. 

" The district attorney, General Woodford, in a late 
communication to the President, is of opinion, in which I 
concur, that the action ought to be dismissed ; which com 
munication of the district attorney to the President, and 
which is referred to the attorney-general, I ask leave to 
make a part of this report. 

" We had hoped to elicit very valuable, though most un 
willing, testimony from Mr. Lanier, a banker of New York, 
and on account of his infirm health we tried repeatedly to 
take his testimony conditionally, but we failed by reason 
of his feeble condition of health. Last July we obtained 
an order for his examination, but he was still too ill to be 
examined, and soon after he died. We had expected to 
obtain valuable evidence from a cross-examination of the 
defendant, but his physical condition makes success in that 
way quite improbable. 


" If the action is to be tried, a laborious preparation is 
essential and should begin forthwith. The trial will take 
from six weeks to two months and will be attended with 
very large expenses to the government. If the case is to 
be dismissed, the terms of dismissal will require your con 

" The defendant offers to reimburse the government its 
expenses. It has been suggested that the government 
should dismiss the action without costs. I should be of 
that mind if convinced that there was no reasonable ground 
for commencing it ; but I do not entertain that view. 

" I regard this as a case where for various causes we fail 
to obtain the legal evidence to maintain the action, and I 
think it would be just for the government to exact as a con 
dition the payment of expenses incurred. 

" In the suit against Hazzard, in Rhode Island, the govern 
ment claimed over $150,000, which with interest amounted 
to some $250,000. It was settled for just $1,000. 

" So far as I can learn, this suit is the only one in the 
entire United States which has been prosecuted, except the 
Hazzard suit above mentioned. 

" My opinion is that the suit ought to be dismissed on 
the terms proposed. 

"I have the honor to remain, etc., 

" Special Counsel for the United States. 

" NOTE : There seems to be evidence that for the year 
1868 Mr. Tilden made returns, but neither the complaint, 
answer, or the bill of discovery so treat it." 

United States District Attorney to the Commissioner of 
Internal Revenue. 



"NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 1881. 
"TiiE HON. GREEN B. RAUM, Commissioner of Internal 

Revenue : 

" GENERAL : Enclosed please find (1) original proposition 
by Mr. Vanderpoel, of counsel for Mr. Tilden, for settle 
ment of the income-tax suit against the latter on payment 
of the expenses which the United States have incurred or 


become liable for in bringing and preparing this case, and 
(2) copy of letter from Mr. Pierrepont enclosing such 
proposition to me for transmittal to you. 1 

"In Mr. Pierrepont s report to the acting attorney-gen 
eral, dated November 27 ultimo, and referred to in the 
enclosed letter from him to me, Mr. Pierrepont advises 
that this action be dismissed on condition of payment of 
expenses incurred. I suppose that a copy of that report has 
been or will be sent to you from the attorney-general s 
office, with copy of my letter to the President, of Novem 
ber 19 ultimo, in which I agreed with Mr. Pierrepont in 
advising discontinuance of this suit. 

"I advise the acceptance of this proposition of settle 
ment, and beg to accompany this recommendation with the 
following statement : 

"On Jan. 24, 1877, I entered on the duties of this office. 
On Jan. 22, 1877, two days before that date, the capias 
was issued by my predecessor, and this suit was then 
formally commenced. The complaint was subsequently 
drawn. Then the defendant answered, both denying any 
indebtedness and setting up as an affirmative defence that 
as to all the years during which income taxes were due, 
except 1862 and 1863, he had made no returns, but had 
been assessed and had paid the taxes so found due by the 
United States assessors, with added penalties, and claiming 
that such assessment and payment satisfied the claim of the 
government. To that defence I demurred. That demurrer 
was argued and sustained. This left the cause at issue on 
the allegations of the complaint and the denials of the 
answer. Subsequently, after full examination of what 
details of evidence were then within my reach, and after 
full consultation with the then attorney-general, I filed a 
bill of discovery in May, 1879. To that Mr. Tilden de 
murred. He was again unsuccessful and appealed to the 
Supreme Court. That appeal is now pending unheard. 

"Meanwhile the spring of 1880 had come. Special 

1 1 was assured by Mr. Tilden that the letter containing what is here 
designated as a proposition originating with Mr. Vanderpoel, of counsel for 
Mr. Tilden, for settling the income-tax suit, by his paying the expenses 
incurred in prosecuting the suit to date, so far from originating with him, 
was actually propounded to Mr. Vanderpoel by the government s counsel. 
When the proposition was submitted to Mr. Tilden he said, u I can afford 
to settle this suit upon these terms, but Mr. Folger [the Secretary of the 
Treasury] cannot. He cannot afford to make me pay the expense of insti 
tuting the suit for which he admits that he had no cause of action." J. J3. 


Agent E. D. Webster had, about Aug. 1, 1879, been 
assigned by you to ascertain as far as possible the real facts 
in the case and to assist in preparing for trial. Although 
sufficient evidence was not in our possession when we filed 
the bill of discovery in May, 1879, 1 thought in the spring 
of 1880, with the additional help of being then able to put 
Mr. Tilden on the stand and examine him in person, w T e 
could try the case as well as w^e ever could. Mr. Webster, 
who had worked with great energy and skill, and to whom 
I owed most that I really knew about the probable facts, 
did not think the government ready for trial on the facts, 
and strongly advised against trial at that time. On my 
application for special counsel to assist in preparing the 
case and in the trial, Mr. Pierrepont and Mr. Arnoux were 
retained for the government. 

" There seemed to me then an additional reason for the 
trial of the case then. Mr. Tilden had been candidate of 
one of the great political parties of the country for the 
presidency in 1876. During that canvass the allegations 
were made, out of which this suit grew. In January, 1877, 
after that election had occurred, the suit was commenced. 

" In the spring of 1880 his name was again frequently 
mentioned in connection with a presidential nomination in 
the following summer. It seemed to me that the case 
should then be tried and Mr. Tilden relieved from its im 
putations, or the claim of the government established in 
court. Mr. Tilden, however, himself applied for post 
ponement until the autumn. 

" That postponement was granted by direction of the gov 
ernment, communicated to me through Mr. Pierrepont on the 
29th day of March, 1880, on which day I accordingly con 
sented to the adjournment for which Mr. Tilden had applied. 

" Since then there has been no term of the court at 
which this case could be tried consistently with the engage 
ments of our judges and the condition of our calendars. 

" It can now be put on the calendar for the next February 
term of the District Court, and possibly can then be tried. 

" Its trial will occupy from four to eight weeks. 

" Mr. Lanier, who was living in spring of 1880, and 
whom we thought a valuable witness for the government, 
is dead. Others, and important witnesses, whom I then 
thought willing and available, now remember nothing and 
are not available. 


" The appeal at Washington on the bill of discovery is 
still pending unheard. Whether Mr. Tilden s health is 
such as to enable him now to be examined for continuous 
days, and in matters going into minute details running 
over many years long past, I do not know. I am told he 
is not. At all events, I doubt our practical ability to 
secure or compel his attendance for such examination ; I 
seriously doubt our ability to succeed. 

"As to all the years except 1862, 1863, and 1868, we 
must confront the fact that our assessors fixed what tax 
Mr. Tilden should pay, and he paid it. As to 1862 and 
1863 and 1868, he made returns. As to 1862 and 1863 
we have no proof. As to 1868, we can perhaps show that 
his taxable income exceeded what he stated it to be in his 
return, by $48,405.59. Tax on this is $2,420.26. 

" If Mr. Tilden is right in his view of the law, shared 
by many, and even accepted, I think, by your bureau in 
1877, as to the years when he made no returns, but al 
lowed the assessors to fix his income and then paid his tax 
as fixed by them, then the year 1868 is the only one on 
which we can recover. If the view as argued by me and 
sustained by the opinion of Judge Blatchford is the correct 
one, then we are left to prove his income for the years 
1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1869, 1870, and 1871. Of course, 
on the trial in the District Court here, Judge Blatchford s 
decision will control, but I fully agree with Judge Pierre- 
pont in thinking that arguments and references in the 
presence of the jury to the assessments by government 
officers, and payments thereon by the defendant, will affect 
the opinion and the verdict of the jury. 

rt Our case is not as strong as it was in the spring of 
1880. The passage of time steadily weakens it. It should 
be dismissed or tried. 

" I believe that the pecuniary interests of the government 
will be best served by accepting the offer of Mr. Tilden s 
counsel to have the case dismissed, on repayment to the 
government of all expenses incurred, or for which the 
government is liable in bringing and preparing the case 
for trial. 

"Very respectfully, etc., 
" (Signed) S. L. WOODFOED, 

" United States Attorney. 

" (Two enclosures.)" 


Green 13. Raum, United Slates Commissioner of Internal 
Revenue, to Stewart L. Wbodford, United States 
District Attorney. 


"WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 1881, 

" HON. STEWART L. WOODFORD, United States Attorney, 
JVeiv York : 

" SIR : I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 
10th instant, enclosing copy of letter of Hon. Edwards 
Pierrepont, of December 6th, and the letter of A. J. Van- 
derpoel, Esq., of December 3d, in regard to the case of 
the United States against Samuel J. Tilden. 

" The suit against Mr. Tilden was instituted because of a 
belief founded upon the recognized fact of his great wealth, 
much of which was understood to have been accumulated 
during the tax period ; that he was largely indebted to the 
United States for taxes upon income. 1 This suit was not 
instituted until after one of the justices of the Supreme 
Court of the United States had held in a similar case that 
the United States had a right to sue for the recovery of 
unpaid income tax. 

"If an investigation into this case has developed the fact 
to the attorneys of the government that there is no cause 
of action against Mr. Tilden, then the suit should be 
dismissed at the cost of the United States. If the at 
torneys for the United States are satisfied that a good 
cause of action exists, but in consequence of the death 
of some of the witnesses and the difficulty of establish 
ing the facts in the case, are of opinion that the govern 
ment cannot recover, then a compromise for costs and 

1 Here we have an official admission that the most prominent individual 
in the nation had been summoned by its government to answer to charges 
of perjury and fraudulent accounting, not upon any evidence in its posses 
sion of any such specific crime having been committed, but solely "upon 
the recognized fact of his great wealth, much of which was understood to 
have been accumulated during the tax period." 

By whom was the fact of his great wealth recognized in 1867? By 
whom was much of it understood to have been accumulated during the tax 
period? And how much? On these crucial matters not a ray of light for 
court or country. 

It is shocking to think that the vast inquisitorial powers of the judiciary 
of such a nation as ours should by any possibility ever lapse into the hands 
of men who ought to be cutting stone or picking oakum with felons. 


expenses would seem admissible. If, upon the other hand, 
the district attorney and his associates are satisfied that 
Mr. Tilden is indebted to the United States, and if put 
upon the witness stand by the government that he would 
disclose such facts as would secure to the government a 
verdict, then, in my opinion, if a compromise is effected, 
it should be upon the basis of the payment of a considera 
ble sum of money in satisfaction of the claim for taxes. 

" If the case could be brought to trial, it seems to me 
that Mr. Tilden should be made the first witness, and if 
his testimony failed to make out a case for the govern 
ment I would dismiss the suit. I respectfully submit 
whether this would not be the best plan to pursue. It 
certainly would be no hardship to Mr. Tilden to have him 
spend two or three hours in the witness box to testify, in 
regard to his income for which the government claims. 
He could be given ample notice of your intention to call 
him as a witness, so that he could prepare the necessary 
memoranda in advance. My impression is that should you 
pursue this course you could get through with Mr. Tilden 
as a witness in thirty minutes, and test before the court 
and the country the question as to his liability for taxes. 

" Very respectfully, 
" (Signed) GREEN B. RAUM, 

" Commissioner." 

Edwards Pierrepont, Special Counsel of the United States, 
to the District Attorney of the United States. 

"NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 1882. 

"GEN. STEWART L. WOODFORD, United States Attorney, 
etc. : 

" SIR : I returned from Washington a week ago this 
day, having seen General Raum the day before I left. I 
promptly saw Mr. Yanderpoel, Mr. Tilden s counsel, and 
he assured me that Mr. Tilden is in a very feeble condition 
of health ; but at Mr. Tilden s house Mr. Yanderpoel has 

discussed the matter thoroughly, as he last night at my 

& j > & j 

house assured me. 

"Mr. Tilden asserts, and will swear, if he is ever able 
to take the stand, that it is utterly impossible for him, or 


for any one else, to find out whether or not he paid all 
the tax which the law might have exacted; that he had 
no partners, and was not obliged to, and did not, keep 
regular books ; that when he was regularly assessed, and 
paid, with full penalty, all that the officers of the govern 
ment demanded, for which they gave receipts, he supposed 
that he had paid all that any law could require, and gave 
himself no further trouble about it; that his first return 
was twenty years ago, and that lapse of time, if nothing 
else, would make it impossible, without books, for any 
human ingenuity to discover what gains, profits, and in 
come he had, in the three years mentioned in the com 
plaint, r in excess of the sum of six hundred dollars, and in 
excess of the sum which was subject by law to a duty at a 
lower rate than ten per cent., and also in excess of the sum 
which he was entitled by law to deduct from his gains, 
profits, and income in estimating the amount thereof, upon 
which he was required by law to pay a duty ; and also in 
excess of the amount of gain, profits, and income upon which 
he paid a duty for those years, and also over and above the 
sum paid within said year, by said defendant, for national, 
State, county, and municipal taxes upon his property or 
other sources of income, and also above the sum paid 
by said defendant for the rent of the homestead used or 
occupied by himself or his family, and above losses sus 
tained by the defendant upon sales of real estate purchased 
by him within said years. 

" He further states that he did not make returns, because 
it was impossible from the nature of his transactions to 
make such returns as he could swear to, and because (like 
many others) he was not willing to disclose his affairs to 
all persons, some of whom would be likely to make un 
reasonable claims upon his bounty ; that he cannot tell 
whether, even under the decision of Judge Blatchford, he 
would be liable for anything or not, if all the facts could be 
ascertained ; but that he is willing to pay, as proposed, if 
that will end the matter. 

" I append a copy of an elaborate report which I made to 
the attorney-general, in which I fully discussed the difficul 
ties of the case, which report I beg that you will send to 
General Raum. 

" I Avrote that report after full consideration of the ques 
tion whether the case ought to be dismissed without costs. 


" I think that the commissioner of internal revenue will 
feel it due to us, either to take the responsibility himself 
of ordering the case to be dismissed without costs, or to 
accept the compromise offered, or to direct the cause to be 
tried, or to throw the responsibility upon us. 

"I am very truly yours, 

" Special Counsel for the United States." 

The Secretary of the Treasury to the Commissioner of 
Internal Revenue. 

" (Copy.) 

"WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 1882. 
"HoN. GREEN B. EAUM, Commissioner Internal Revenue: 

" SIR : You have placed before me a letter from Hon. 
Edwards Pierrepont, and one from the United States 
attorney at New York city, in the matter of the suit of 
the United States v. Samuel J. Tilden. It is a case that 
should not be brought to trial without a reasonable prospect 
of success. It is one also in which, if there is no reason 
able prospect of success, there should be no attempt to try 
it ; nor should any terms be insisted upon, or sought, upon 
throwing it up. Of course I intend to place upon the 
counsel for the government the responsibility of advising 
as to the prospect of success, or rather, I intend to leave 
that responsibility upon them, as of right it belongs there. 
I suppose that you have given to counsel all the facts that 
you are able to supply. It is for counsel to determine and 
advise whether they are enough to warrant the trial of the 
suit. If they furnish a fair prospect of success on a trial, 
it should be had at once. If they do not, the case should 
be discontinued. It is due to the citizen that he be brought 
to trial, or that he be freed from the expectation of it. 
And if there is not enough in the facts to refuse him the 
latter, it does not seem to me just or worthy of the govern 
ment that it exact or take from him a price for the privilege. 

"Respectfully, etc., 
" (Signed) CHARLES J. FOLGER, 

" Secretary Treasury." 


The Attorney- General to the Secretary of the Treasury. 

" (COPY.) 


"WASHINGTON, July 21, 1882. 

"Sm: On the 21st of June were sent to me the papers 
pertaining to the suit of the United States against Samuel 
J. Tilden for my further examination. With this I return 
those papers to you, having given the subject my consider 
ation. Among the papers I found your letter of May 23, 
1882, to Hon. Green B. Eaum, Commissioner of Internal 
Revenue. I will not undertake to review the subject, as I 
cannot express in more plain and direct terms the convic 
tions that I entertain and the conclusions I have arrived at 
than you have expressed them in that letter. I concur in 
all you say. You explain the true policy and principle 
that should regulate the proceedings on behalf of the gov 
ernment against Mr. Tilden. The last sentence of your 
letter propounds the rule by which the case should be 
regulated. You say : It is due to the citizen that he be 
brought to trial, or that he be freed from the expectation of 
it. And if there is not enough in the facts to make it proper 
to refuse him the latter, it does not seem to me just or 
worthy of the government that it exact or take from him a 
price for the privilege. 

" I am positively opposed, as a point of principle and in 
tegrity of governmental action, in cases like these, to have 
them pursued when they should not be, and to surrender 
them only on condition of receiving from the defendant 
compensation to pay the counsel of the government. It is 
beneath the dignity of the government to stoop to such a 
settlement of any such case. It would result in corrupt 
practices of the most frightful kind if the legal officers of 
the government could institute suits which they could not 
maintain, and then compound them by exacting large sums 
of money from the defendants ; selling their peace to them 
as a purchasable commodity. The mere thought of such 
things is odious. 

"Your letter is addressed to Mr. Raum. As the district 
attorney is directly under my control, is it your desire 
that I shall communicate these views to him? Mr. Raum 
may hesitate to do so. It seems there have been private 


counsel employed upon behalf of the government. To 
that gentleman Mr. Raum may have conveyed your ideas. 
If he has not, I will do it if you so instruct me. 

"I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedi 
ent servant, 


" Attorney- General. 

" Secretary of the Treasury." 

Secretary of the Treasury to the Attorney- General. 

Department of Justice: 

" SIR : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 21st instant, in which you are pleased to 
express your concurrence in all that was said in my letter 
of the 23d of May last to Commissioner Eaum, in regard 
to the true policy and principle that should regulate the 
proceedings on behalf of the government, in the suit 
pending against Samuel J. Tilden. 

" In reply to your inquiry as to communicating those 
views to the United States attorney, and to the private 
counsel employed by the government in this case, I have 
the honor to say that my letter to Commissioner Rauni 
has been made known to Judge Pierrepont ; and, there 
fore, all that is now needed, in my judgment, is for the 
attorney-general to inform the United States attorney at 
New York, and Judge Pierrepont, that the Department of 
Justice and the Treasury Department concur in the views 
put forth in my letter to Commissioner Raum, and that 
it is for counsel and the court to say what shall be done 
with the case, according to the rules and practice of the 

" Very respectfully, 

" (Signed) CHAS. J. FOLGER, 



United States Attorney Stuart L. Woodford to Green B. 
Raum, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. 



"NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 1882. 

" THE HON. GREEN B. RAUM, Commissioner of Internal 
Revenue : 

" GENERAL : Having determined as to the final disposition 
of the income-tax case against Mr. Tilden, I beg to present 
this report of the case. 

"It was commenced by my immediate predecessor in 
office, the Hon. George Bliss, by filing a prcecipe in our 
District Court on Jan. 22, 1877, two days before he went 
out of office. 

" The case continued through various stages of intricate 
litigation until Aug. 1, 1879, when Revenue Agent E. D. 
Webster reported to me by your direction to investigate 
the facts and procure necessary evidence. 

"He was engaged on this duty until the spring of 1880, 
when I came to the conclusion that the case was as well 
prepared as was within our then power, and should be 
tried at the April term, 1880. Witnesses were subpoenaed 
and arrangements made for the trial. 

" There seemed to me an additional reason for the trial 

"Mr. Tilden had been candidate for the presidency in 
1876. During that canvass the allegations were made, out 
of which this suit grew. In January, 1877, after that can 
vass had closed, the suit was begun. 

" In the spring of 1880 his name was again frequently 
mentioned for a like candidacy. I thought the case should 
be tried then and decided. This seemed to me most dig 
nified for the government, and most just to Mr. Tilden. 

" Mr. Webster, however, reported that we were not then 
ready on the facts. Of the special counsel for the govern 
ment, Judge Pierrepont did not think we could safely go 
to trial, while our other associate, Judge Arnoux, advised 
trial. The then attorney-general, Mr. Devens, agreed 
with Judge Pierrepont. 

" Meanwhile, Mr. Tilden s counsel applied for postpone 
ment on ground of his poor health. Then, against my 


judgment, and on the direction of the attorney-general, 
communicated through Judge Pierrepont, the case was 
postponed, on March 29, 1880, to the November term of 
that year. 

" Since then there has been no term of our District 
Court at which this case could be tried, consistently with 
the engagements of our judges and the condition of the 
calendar, until February, 1882. 

"In September, 1881, President Garfield died. 

"In the preceding July, after he had been shot, and 
while the entire country was forgetting old differences and 
uniting in sympathy, I felt and advised Judge Pierrepont 
that it would be wise for President Garfield, on his expected 
recovery, to stop this suit himself. 

" On the accession of President Arthur it seemed to me 
still more wise, as matter of public policy, to discontinue 
this litigation, and to do this without exacting any costs or 
conditions, but simply as an act of grace from the govern 
ment to a citizen. 

"After full consultation with Judge Pierrepont, he 
came to the further decision, that owing to lapse of time, 
death of witnesses, payment by Mr. Tilden of such taxes as 
the government officers had assessed against him, and for 
other reasons fully set forth in his subsequent report to the 
attorney-general, dated Nov. 27, 1881, it would be unwise 
to try the case. 

"These two methods of discontinuance were open. One 
was to discontinue without costs. This I then advised. 
The other was to accept an offer which was about that time 
made by Mr. Vanderpoel to Judge Pierrepont, that Mr. 
Tilden would pay all the costs and expenses incurred by 
the government in bringing and preparing the suit for trial. 
Judge Pierrepont favored accepting this proposition because 
he feared that if we dismissed the case without taking the 
costs which were voluntarily offered to be paid, we should 
run the risk of rendering Mr. Bliss and the government, 
which he represented, liable to the suspicion of having 
threatened a groundless action against Mr. Tilden during 
the canvass of 1876, and which suit was in fact commenced 
two days before Mr. Bliss left office. Both Judge Pierre 
pont and I thought, as lawyers, that there had been proba 
ble cause for bringing the suit, and were unwilling to do so, 
to allow anything to be done that should be in any manner 


professionally unjust to Mr. Bliss who began, or myself 
who had continued, the case which I had found in the office 
so begun. 

"But I did not share in this fear. The case was here. 
I was responsible for its conduct, and was willing to face 
whatever just criticism my management of it might in 
volve . 

" Thus differing in opinion as to what we should advise, 
and feeling that at the outset of a new administration the 
President should be himself consulted (as Mr. MacVeagh 
had resigned as attorney-general), I wrote the President, 
on Nov. 19, 1881, stating that for reasons fully dis 
cussed between Judge Pierrepont and myself, and which he 
would fully present to the President, I agreed in advising 
the discontinuance of the suit against Mr. Tilden in such 
manner and on such terms as the President might think 

" Judge Pierrepont presented that letter to the President, 
had full consultation with him, and was by him referred to 
the then acting attorney-general, Mr. Phillips. The latter 
considered the entire subject, having before him the full 
report made by Judge Pierrepont on Nov. 27, 1881, 
and then, under date of Nov. 29, 1881, he wrote me 
officially that the case should be submitted to the commis 
sioner of internal revenue with my opinion and that of 
Mr. Pierrepont as to the chances of recovery, and also with 
any proposition of arrangement suggested by the defend 
ant. The acting attorney-general added that this was a 
suit for money, the recovery of which had been obstructed 
by accident, and that the preponderance of reasons appeared 
to favor such arrangement as should be attended with least 


pecuniary loss. 

" Such were my instructions from my official chief. 

"The case and the desired opinions, with Mr. Tilden s 
proposition to pay the expenses of the suit, were subse 
quently submitted to you. You expressed your disinclina 
tion to exact costs or terms if the case was to be discon 

"The papers subsequently went to the Secretary of the 
Treasury. He returned them to you with a note dated May 
2, 1882, of which you sent me a copy on May 18, 1882. 

" This note stated that the proposition was to pay the 
costs and expenses of the suit and have it discontinued ; 


that the government recovers nothing ; that if there is any 
proof on which the government has an expectation of re 
covering, it ought to go on with the suit ; that if it has no 
proof upon which it expects to recover, it ought to discon 
tinue the suit ; that in either case it seemed to the secretary 
solely a question for the counsel for the government ; that 
they should decide whether to go on or whether to discon 
tinue or ask leave of the court to discontinue ; that there is 
nothing for the Treasury Department to pass upon in such 
a proposition as this. 

" On May 20, 1882, I wrote you, acknowledging receipt 
of the foregoing and asking whether I was to understand 
that if after consultation with Mr. Pierrepont we both 
agree that this action cannot now be prosecuted with any 
reasonable prospect of success, we are authorized to discon 
tinue it without costs. I added that as we construed the 
secretary s note this was his decision. I wrote you thus, 
because under the printed regulations of your bureau I 
could not legally discontinue this suit without your express 

" On May 23, 1882, you again wrote me, enclosing 
copy of a second letter from the secretary, in which you 
gave me the express authority required. This letter of the 
secretary also stated that the case should not be tried with 
out a reasonable prospect of success. 

"These letters were received on May 24, 1882. They 
were submitted to Judge Pierrepont at once. Almost im 
mediately afterward, on the same day, I received a telegram 
from you directing me to take no action upon your letter of 
the day before in the Tilden case until I should hear further 
from your office and asking me to answer. Accordingly I 
telegraphed you in reply that day, acknowledging receipt 
of your order and promising to obey your instructions and 
take no action until I heard further from your office. 

" The next day, May 25th, I received a letter from 
Secretary Folger, dated May 20th, but evidently written 
May 24th, stating that he would probably be in New York 
city the next week, when he would try to see me on the 
matter of the Tilden case. He added that there were con 
siderations which had come to him since writing his letter 
of the day before to General Raum which he desired to 
confer with me upon. He also stated that you (General 
Raum) had just shown him my telegraphic message in 

VOL. II.-17 


answer to your message sent to me that morning, which 
latter was sent at his suggestion. 

"Although Secretary Folger came to New York soon 
afterward, we did not meet. He never stated to me the con 
siderations on which he had ordered me, through you, to 
take no further action on your letter of May 23d, in regard 
to the Tilden case until I should hear further from your 
office. Nor have I ever had the advantage of the confer 
ence with him that he so considerately suggested. 

" After the receipt of your telegram of May 24, and the 
secretary s said letter, I did not hear further from your 
office until July 27th last, when I received your letter of 
July 26th, covering copies of letters from Attorney-General 
Brewster to Secretary Folger, dated July 21, 1882, and from 
the secretary to the attorney-general, dated July 25, 1882. 
These letters were of the same general tenor as the secre 
tary s letter of May 23d last, and left the matter to my 
final decision after consultation with Judge Pierrepont. 

"I ought here to say that as Judge Arnoux, the other 
special counsel, went on the bench of our Superior Court 
on Jan. 1, 1882, I have not consulted with him as to this 
case since that date. 

" As the secretary arrested the operation of his instruc 
tions of May 23d last from May 24th to July 25th, for 
considerations that must have seemed to him serious and 
weighty, I feel that I ought to reexamine the case care 
fully, and I asked Judge Pierrepont to do the same. 

" Yesterday I received his carefully reconsidered opinion, 
in which he adheres to his former advice that the case 
ought now to be discontinued. 

" After thinking the whole matter over I have decided 
that there is not a sufficient prospect of success to justify 
the long, expensive, and difficult trial which will be neces 
sary to present this complicated case fully to the court. 
The trial would necessarily occupy from four to eight 
weeks, and the result would be very doubtful. 

" I accordingly have this day sent to Mr. Tilden s coun 
sel a consent to discontinue without costs. 

" Very respectfully, 

"United States Attorney." 



"At a stated term of the Circuit Court of the United 
States for the Southern District of New York, held at the 
United States Court Koonis in the Post-Office Building, on 
the twenty-third day of October, 1882. 

" Present : 


" Judge. 




" The original action of the District Court of the United 
States for the Southern District of New York between the 
same parties having been discontinued, and the appeal 
heretofore taken from the decree entered in this action 
having been dismissed and the proceedings remitted to this 
court, now, on reading and filing the consent of the 
United States attorney, it is 

" Ordered, That this action be and the same is hereby 
discontinued without costs to either party as against the 


Thus ended a vexatious litigation instituted solely for 
the purpose of defaming and discrediting the most em 
inent statesman in the countiy; instituted, too, without 
any evidence, at the instigation of a painfully notorious 
public officer, " because of a belief founded upon the recog 
nized fact of Mr. Tilden s great wealth, much of which 
was understood to have been accumulated during the tax 

For six long years Mr. Tilden was subjected to the 
expense of employing counsel and holding himself con 
stantly ready for a trial of a suit, on the admission of 
its own officers, the government never had any evidence 


upon which it could be prosecuted with any prospect of 

A Republican form of government has always the power, 
and sometimes the disposition, to be despotic and oppres 
sive. Of this a more flagrant illustration than the one just 
recited had rarely occurred. 


The purchase of Gray stone Dinner to J. S. Morgan Mr. Tilden rebukes 
third-term candidates for the presidency Withdraws from public 
life Letter to Mr. Manning declaring the presidential nomination 
in 1880 The Cincinnati convention Urged for a renomination 
in 1884 Second letter of declension. 

IN the summer of 1879 Mr. Tilden thought to benefit his 
health by establishing a home, for at least a portion of the 
year, in the country. He leased for the summer, and be 
fore the expiration of the lease purchased, the noble estate 
since widely known as Gray stone at Yonkers, on the Hud 
son, then about three miles beyond the northernmost limit 
of New York city. The property consisted of sixty-three 
and one-third acres of land, and a palatial stone dwelling 
which had been recently finished, on the highest ground on 
the river s bank south of the Highlands. To this estate 
he subsequently added forty-eight adjoining acres. The 
structure, the view, the air, the facilities of access to the 
city, everything about the place, was suited to his taste 
and his needs. If he had not by this time abandoned all 
thought of returning to public life, he had ceased to regard 
such a prospect with pleasure. He found all the employ 
ment and recreation he required in improving and stocking 
his new home. Thither he transported a portion of his 
library, in the seclusion of which he now enjoyed a wel 
come exemption from the incessant interruptions to which 
he was exposed in Gramercy park. Gray stone soon be 
came, to a far greater extent than he had anticipated, his 
home. Here he received his friends with a generous 
hospitality. Though ceasing to take any responsibility for 
the leadership of the party, his views of public matters 
continued to be sought and his judgment deferred to as 


much as ever. He appeared rarely before the public, 
though scarcely an editor in the land ventured to send his 
paper to press without some allusion to him. 

In the fall of 1877 he consented to preside at a dinner 
given to the late J. S. Morgan, then head of the banking 

t3 O 7 O 

house of J. S. Morgan and Company, of London. In the 
course of the speech, in which he proposed the health of 
Mr. Morgan, he referred, in a humorous way, to the very 
small share that the proprietors of colossal fortunes can 
appropriate to their personal use. It is the only instance, 
I believe, of his ever alluding in a public discourse or paper 
to the burdens or perquisites of wealth. 

"I remember, when I was quite a young man, being sent 
for by one of the ablest men I have ever known, a great 
statesman and a great thinker, Martin Van Buren, who 
wanted to consult me about his will. Well, I walked with 
him all over his farm one afternoon, and I heard what he 
had to say, with the previous knowledge (not from him) 
that I was trustee under his will. The next morning, as I 
stood before his broad and large wood-fire, I stated the 
result of my reflections. I said : It is not well to be wiser 
than events ; to attempt to control the far future, which no 
man can foresee ; to trust one s grandchildren, whom one 
does not know, out of distrust, without special cause, of 
one s children, whom one does know. I came home, and 
after a week I received a letter from him stating that he 
had thought much about the suggestion as to attempting 
to be wiser than events, and had abandoned all the com 
plicated trusts by which he had proposed tying up his 
property ; and he submitted to me a simple form accord 
ing to the laws of the land and the laws of nature, which 
was approved and adopted. 

" I went down to Roehampton last summer to see the 
beautiful country home of my friend Mr. Morgan, a few 
miles out of London. He was well pleased to show me 
about everywhere. No man could help being delighted 
with what I saw, and he was curious to know what were 
my impressions. Well, I had, while inspecting with pleas 
ure the appliances of comfort and luxury, been thinking 
how much, after all, he got for himself out of his great 


wealth and great business ; how much he was able to 
apply to his own use ; what sort of wages he got for 
managing the great establishment at No. 22 Old Broad 
street, in London ; and I said to him : I don t see but 
what you are a trustee here : you get only your food, your 
clothing, your shelter. Of course a man may have some 
delight in a sense of power, in a sense of consequence ; but 
I rather thought his coachman beat him in that particular. 
And, on the whole, I thought aloud I could not help it. 
I told him he was a trustee with a very handsome salary, 
doing very well ; but I could not see that he got much 
more than any of the rest of the people about the place. 
Well, I did hear, when, soon after, I went down to 22 
Old Broad street, that he was rather late to business the 
next morning. But I will do him the justice to say that he 
faithfully applied himself to his duties as trustee, and that 
he was as diligent as though he had some personal interest 
in the great aifairs he is managing." 

Mr. Tilden was invited to dine with the Democratic 
Association of Massachusetts, on the anniversary of Wash 
ington s birthday in 1880. General Grant was still a 
candidate for the presidency for a third term, and was 
warmly supported by the Kepublicans of Massachusetts. 
In his letter excusing his absence, Mr. Tilden took an 
opportunity of repeating his views of third-term candidates 
for the presidency. He said : 

" Nothing could be more fit at the present time than to 
commemorate that day. It was the Father of his Country, 
first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his 
countrymen, who set the original example against a third 
term in the presidential office. He made that memorable 
precedent as a guide to all his successors, and as an un 
written law of the American people. He did so in the light 
of a prevalent fear in the minds of the most ardent of the 
patriots who have achieved our national independence, and 
created our system of free government, that indefinite re- 
eligibility would degenerate into a practical life-tenure. 

"The vast power acquired by the federal government 
over the elections by its office-holders, its patronage, the 
money it levies, and its various forms of corrupt influence, 


have developed this danger, until it darkens the whole 
future of our country. 

" In the choice between the republic and the empire, we 
must believe that the people will be true to their ancestry 
and to mankind." 

Mr. Tilden continued to be regarded as the necessary 
and inevitable candidate of his party for the presidency in 
1880. The name of no other candidate was seriously dis 
cussed. He was persecuted with unrelenting virulence by 
the administration, and the Republican press neglected no 
opportunity of refreshing the memory of its readers in 
regard to his imputed capacities for wickedness, and the 
wholly imaginary value of his public services. The Dem 
ocratic press and politicians, on the other hand, continued 
to speak of his nomination as a matter of course, though 
without any authority from Mr. Tilden that he desired, or 
even would accept, a renomination if tendered. They 
knew, of course, that he would accept a renomination if 
his health would permit ; and the evidences of unimpaired 
mental power and political resource he was constantly 
displaying caused his health to be regarded by the public 
as a very insignificant factor in the case. It was not so with 
Mr. Tilden, however. He wished a renomination and an 
opportunity of proving, by his reelection, that the country 
had been fraudulently deprived of its choice for the presi 
dency in 1876. He was slow in making up his mind that 
he was unequal to the worries of a candidate, or for the 
more serious responsibilities of a chief magistrate. But 
however blind his partisans and friends were or pretended 
to be about his health, he had no longer any illusions upon 
the subject himself. He was fully conscious, in the winter 
of 1879-80, that his health had been steadily failing since 
1876, and that the most his medical advisers had done or 
hoped to do was to retard a little the ravages of the 
disease which was held by the profession generally to be 
an incurable though usually a lingering one. 


I had been trying to assist him one day, early in the 
spring of 1880, in one of his vexatious litigations. I ob 
served that he did not seem to have the full command of 
his resources. At last he rose from his seat, and with an 
air of discouragement on his face as well as in the tone of 
his voice, said, "Let us go and take a ride." As we rode 
up the avenue and after a protracted silence he spoke of the 
decline of force and intellectual endurance, of which he 
had just experienced such unequivocal evidence, and then 
added in a rather querulous tone, as if responding to some 
unwelcome pressure from without, " If I am no longer fit 
to prepare a case for trial, I am not fit to be President of 
the United States." He then turned and looked at me as 
if I was his persecutor and he expected me to tell him what 
I had to say in my defence. " Governor, " I replied, "I am 
the last person in the world to urge you to run for the 
presidency. No one has a right to ask you to accept such 
a burden at the risk of your life, and there is no use in 
trying to disguise the fact that there is nothing which 
would more imperil your health than the inevitable excite 
ment of a canvass for the presidency and the first six 
months service to which an election would expose you." 

I think that from this day forth he had satisfied himself 
that he did not wish to be a candidate for the presidency, 
and was determined not to be a party to any proceedings 
designed to make him President. He said to me on 
another occasion, "It takes all my time to live," so numer 
ous were the hygienic precautions he found it necessary to 
take to meet the inevitable demands upon his strength even 
as a private citizen. His farm and his library were now to 
him what the muse was to Pope, his chief reliance in 
helping him through "that long disease, his life." 

Though conscious that it was as much as his life was 


worth to accept a renomination, the consequences to the 
party of refusing to run put on every day a more serious 
and perplexing aspect. Friends from every part of the 


country were telling him that he was the only one who 
could keep the party together. The Democratic press, with 
practical unanimity, refused to consider the chances of any 
other candidate ; while the defeat of Robinson for gover 
nor in New York, at the fall election, had made the success 
of any new candidate extremely doubtful. But what at 
that time weighed more, perhaps, than any of these con 
siderations with Mr. Tilden was the apprehension that if 
he withdrew, the friends of Mr. Hendricks might profit by 
the vis inertia of the old ticket, and insist upon his being 
placed at its head, which could only have resulted in 
disaster if the electoral vote of New York State should 
prove necessary to success, and that it would prove nec 
essary at that time no practical politician entertained a 
doubt. It was a profounder sense of the difficulties of 
either course running or withdrawing than was pos 
sessed, perhaps, by any other statesman in the country 
that led him to defer until the meeting of the convention 
in June the promulgation of his desire not to be regarded 
as a candidate for a renomination. His letter, addressed to 
the delegates of New York on this occasion, is in some 
respects one of the most impressive papers that ever came 
from the pen of any American statesman. 


"NEW YORK, June 18, 1880. 

" To the Delegates from the State of New York to the 
Democratic National Convention : 

"Your first assembling is an occasion on which it is 
proper for me to state to you my relations to the nomina 
tion for the presidency, which you and your associates are 
commissioned to make in behalf of the Democratic party 
of the United States. 

" Having passed my early years in an atmosphere filled 
with traditions of the war which secured our national 
independence, and of the struggles which made our con- 


stitutional system a government for the people, by the 
people, I learned to idealize the institutions of my country, 
and was educated to believe it the duty of a citizen of the 
Republic to take his fair allotment of care and trouble 
in public affairs. I fulfilled that duty to the best of my 
ability for forty years as a private citizen. Although, 
during all my life, giving at least as much thought and 
effort to public affairs as to all other objects, I have never 
accepted official service except for a brief period, for a 
special purpose, and only when the occasion seemed to 
require of me that sacrifice of private preferences to public 
interests. My life has been substantially that of a private 

"It was, I presume, the success of efforts, in which as a 
private citizen I had shared, to overthrow a corrupt com 
bination then holding dominion in our metropolis, and to 
purify the judiciary which had become its tool, that induced 
the Democracy of the State in 1874 to nominate me for 
governor. This was done in spite of the protests of a 
minority, that the part I had borne in those reforms had 
created antagonisms fatal to me as a candidate. I felt con 
strained to accept the nomination as the most certain means 
of putting the power of the gubernatorial office on the side 
of reform, and of removing the impression, wherever it 
prevailed, that the faithful discharge of one s duty as a 
citizen is fatal to his usefulness as a public servant. 

" The breaking up of the canal ring, the better manage 
ment of our public works, the large reduction of taxes, and 
other reforms accomplished during my administration, 
doubtless occasioned my nomination for the presidency by 
the Democracy of the Union, in the hope that similar pro 
cesses would be applied to the federal government. From 
the responsibilities of such an undertaking, appalling as it 
seemed to me, I did not feel at liberty to shrink. 

"In the canvass which ensued, the Democratic party 
represented reform in the administration of the federal gov 
ernment, and a restoration of our complex political system 
to the pure ideals of its founders. Upon these issues the 
people of the United States, by a majority of more than a 
quarter of a million, chose a majority of the electors to 
cast their votes for the Democratic candidates for President 
and Vice-President. It is my right and privilege here to 
say that I was nominated and elected to the presidency 


absolutely free from any engagement in respect to the 
exercise of its powers or the disposal of its patronage. 
Through the whole period of my relation to the presidency 
I did everything in my power to elevate and nothing to 
lower moral standards in the competition of parties. 

" By what nefarious means the basis of a false count was 
laid in several of the States, I need not recite. These are 
now matters of history, about which, whatever diversity of 
opinion may have existed in either of the great parties of 
the country at the time of their consummation, has since 
practically disappeared. 

"I refused to ransom from the Eeturning Boards of 
Southern States the documentary evidence, by the suppres 
sion of which, and by the substitution of fraudulent and 
forged papers, a pretext was made for the perpetration of 
a false count. 

" The constitutional duty of the two Houses of Congress 
to count the electoral votes as cast, and give effect to the 
will of the people as expressed by their suffrages, w^as 
never fulfilled. An Electoral Commission, for the existence 
of which I have no responsibility, was formed, and to it 
the two Houses of Congress abdicated their duty to make 
the count, by a law enacting that the count of the commis 
sion should stand as lawful unless overruled by the concur 
rent action of the two Houses. Its false count was not 
overruled, owing to the complicity of a Kepublican Senate 
with the Republican majority of the commission. 

" Controlled by its Republican majority of eight to seven, 
the Electoral Commission counted out the men elected by 
the people, and counted in the men not elected by the 

"That subversion of the election created a new issue 
for the decision of the people of the United States, tran 
scending in importance all questions of administration. It 
involved the vital principle of self-government through 
elections by the people. 

" The immense growth of the means of corrupt influence 
over the ballot-box, which is at the disposal of the party 
having possession of the executive administration, had 
already become a present evil and a great danger, tending 
to make elections irresponsive to public opinion, hampering 
the power of the people to change their rulers, and enabling 
the men holding the machinery of government to continue 


and perpetuate their power. It was my opinion in 1876 that 
the opposition attempting to change the administration 
needed to include at least two-thirds of the voters at the 
opening of the canvass in order to retain a majority at the 

" If after such obstacles had been overcome, and a ma 
jority of the people had voted to change the administration 
of their government, the men in office could still procure a 
false count founded upon frauds, perjuries, and forgeries 
furnishing a pretext of documentary evidence on which to 
base that false count, and if such a transaction were not 
only successful, but if, after allotment of its benefits were 
made to its contrivers, abettors, and apologists by the chief 
beneficiary of the transaction, it were condoned by the 
people, a practical destruction of elections by the people 
would have been accomplished. 

"The failure to install the candidates chosen by the 
people, a contingency consequent upon no act or omission 
of mine, and beyond my control, has left me for the last 
three years, and until now, when the Democratic party by 
its delegates in national convention assembled shall choose 
a new leader, the involuntary but necessary representative 
of this momentous issue. 

"As such, denied the immunities of private life, without 
the powers conferred by public station, subject to unceasing 
falsehoods and calumnies from the partisans of an admin 
istration laboring in vain to justify its existence, I have, 
nevertheless, steadfastly endeavored to preserve to the 
Democratic party of the United States the supreme issue 
before the people for their decision next November, whether 
this shall be a government by the sovereign people through 
elections, or a government by discarded servants holding 
over by force and fraud. And I have withheld no sacrifice 
and neglected no opportunity to uphold, organize, and con 
solidate against the enemies of representative institutions, 
the great party which alone under God can effectually 
resist their overthrow. 

" Having now borne faithfully my full share of labor and 
care in the public service, and wearing the marks of its 
burdens, I desire nothing so much as an honorable dis 
charge. I wish to lay down the honors and toils of even 
quasi party leadership, and to seek the repose of private 


" In renouncing renomination for the presidency, I do so 
with no doubt in my mind as to the vote of the State of 
New York, or of the United States, but because I believe 
that it is a renunciation of reelection to the presidency. 

" To those who think my renomination and reelection in 
dispensable to an effectual vindication of the right of the 
people to elect their rulers, violated in my person, I 
have accorded as long a reserve of my decision as possible, 
but I cannot overcome my repugnance to enter into a new 
engagement which involves four years of ceaseless toil. 

" The dignity of the presidential office is above a merely 
personal ambition, but it creates in me no illusion. Its 
value is as a great power for good to the country. I said 
four years ago in accepting nomination : 

"Knowing as I do, therefore, from fresh experience, 
how great the difference is between gliding through an 
official routine and working out a reform of systems and 
policies, 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 
summoned 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. 

" Such a work of renovation after many years of misrule, 
such a reform of systems and policies, to which I would 
cheerfully have sacrificed all that remained to me of health 
and life, is now, I fear, beyond my strength. 

"With unfeigned thanks for the honors bestowed upon 
me ; with a heart swelling with emotions of gratitude to the 
Democratic masses for the support which they have given 
to the cause I represented, and for their steadfast confi 
dence in every emergency, I remain, 

" Your fellow-citizen, 


This was not such a letter as Mr. Tilden would probably 
have written had he desired to render his renomination im 
possible. He was too accomplished a politician not to 
know that it was not only the true, but the only wise, policy 
for the Democratic party to renominate the old ticket and 
to give the loyal men of all parties an opportunity of 


administering a national rebuke to those who had partici 
pated in or connived at the usurpation of the chief magis 
tracy. Failure to renominate the old ticket was to deprive 
the party of a vital issue which had already been made, 
which could not be shirked ; which, not bravely to meet, 
was equivalent to a capitulation, and would in all prob 
ability prove fatal to any other candidate that could be 

That Mr. Tilden would have accepted the nomination if 
tendered to him, no one is competent to affirm or deny. 
He probably did not know himself. I was under the im 
pression, derived rather from the operations of my own 
mind than from anything he disclosed of his, that he 
wished the nomination to be offered him to save the 
fr fraud " issue for his party, intending, if offered, to decline 
it, a course which, had I been consulted, I should certainly 
have advised. As I was driving with him one day near 
the close of December in 1879, he said to me, " I must talk 
with some one, but what I am going to say you must not 
allow to influence your conduct." He then said, referring 
to the condition of his health, that he did not see how it was 
possible for him to go through the excitement of another 
political canvass. 

I felt that the idea then in his mind was, that for the 
sake of the party he must not act as though he were not 
to run, but he did not wish me to labor under a false im 
pression in regard to his purposes or expectations. 

Had the convention nominated him it would probably 
have paid no attention to his declension, presuming from 
his character that he would do nothing unnecessarily em 
barrassing to his party. Had he promptly declined a re- 
nomination, as I believe he would have done, there is little 
doubt that the gallant soldier who was nominated, had he in 
that emergency been called to take his place on the ticket, 
would have been elected by a larger majority than Tilden 
himself had in 1876. 


There were too many candidates for the presidency 
among the members of the convention, however, and too 
little time for reflection, to permit this, which was so obvi 
ously the true policy, to prevail. For this Mr. Manning, 
the chairman of the delegation, was partly responsible. He 
telegraphed Mr. Tilden to know if he might yield to the 
pressure for his renomination which had been stimulated 
by the publication of his letter. To this Mr. Tilden could 
make but one reply, and unless such a reply was desired, 
it was very indiscreet to ask the question. It ran as fol 
lows : 

" JUNE 24, 1880. 
" HON. DANIEL MANNING, Grand Hotel, Cincinnati, 0. : 

" Received your telegrams and many others containing 
like information. My action was well considered and is 
irrevocable. No friends must be allowed to cast a doubt 
on my motives or my sincerity. 

ft f~r\ ?j 

This, of course, rendered his renomination impossible. 
The convention finally, and after much confusion, united 
upon Major-General Hancock, who, in point of fact, was 
the preference or first choice of but a very small proportion 
of the convention. 

The committee appointed to wait upon and notify the 
candidates of their nomination called upon Mr. Tilden to 
present to him an engrossed copy of the resolutions adopted 
by the convention. On this occasion Governor Stevenson, 
of Virginia, the chairman of the committee, read to him 
the ninth, which ran as follows : 

" Itesolved, That the resolution of Samuel J. Tilden not 
again to be a candidate for the exalted position to which 
he was elected by a majority of his countrymen, and from 
which he was excluded by the leaders of the Republican 
party, is received by the Democracy of the United States 
with deep sensibility, and they declare their confidence in 
his wisdom, patriotism, and integrity unshaken by the 
assaults of the common enemy; and we further assure 


him he is followed into the retirement he has chosen for 
himself by the sympathy and respect of his fellow-country 
men, who regard him as one who, by elevating the standard 
of public morality, and adorning and purifying the public 
service, merits the lasting gratitude of his country and his 

Then, handing a copy of the resolution to Mr. Tilden, 
Governor Stevenson continued : 

:r That resolution embodies the true sentiment toward 
you of every Democrat in our land. Take it, as a memo 
rial of their affectionate regard and confidence in your wis 
dom, statesmanship, and unsullied purity. In conclusion, 
I beg you, Mr. Tilden, to accept the best wishes of the 
committee and of myself for your future happiness and 

Mr. Tilden s reply was neither elaborate nor effusive. 
He could not have added a word that would have made it 
a more significant commentary upon the blunder of the 
convention. He said : 

NATIONAL CONVENTION : I thank you for the kind terms in 
which you have expressed the communication you make to 
me. A solution which enables the Democratic party of the 
United States to vindicate effectively the right of the people 
to choose their chief magistrate, a right violated in 1876, 
and, at the same time, relieves me from the burden of a 
canvass and four years of administration, is most agreeable 
to me. My sincere good wishes and cordial cooperation as 
a private citizen attend the illustrious soldier whom the 
Democracy have designated as their standard-bearer in the 
presidential canvass. I congratulate you on the favorable 
prospects with which that canvass has been commenced, 
and the promise it affords of complete and final success." 

In the winter of 1881 Mr. Tilden received from Mr. 
Hammers, of Gettysburg, a letter announcing the decease 
of the Hon. Isaac Hereter, a member of the State Senate 

VOL. II. 18 


of Pennsylvania, and a devoted friend of Mr. Tilden, 
whom, during the presidential canvass, Mr. Hammers rep 
resents as going with him from house to house in the 
mountain district canvassing for the Tilden and Hendricks 
ticket, and bursting into tears when the decision of the 
Electoral Commission reached him. 

To this touching letter Mr. Tilden sent the following 
reply : 


" GRAYSTONE, June 23, 1882. 

" DEAR SIR : It was not because I was not interested by 
your letter advising me of the decease of your lamented 
friend, the Hon. Isaac Hereter, that I have not sooner 
answered it ; for the purpose has been all the while in my 
mind to write to you as soon as other more pressing duties 
would permit. 

:f The incidents you relate are very touching. 

" The cause which triumphed by the votes of the people 
in the great national contest of 1876, but which was foully 
lost in the count of those votes, was the cause of the sons 
of toil, who, on their farms and in their workshops, ex 
pect no special advantages from the government, and only 
ask that the sunshine of its favors may fall equally upon all. 
These isolated atoms of human society are not easily com 
bined, and not often truly represented; while the more 
selfish, active, and intriguing classes are all the while 
wresting the government from its true functions, and 
making it a machine to enrich the few at the expense of 
the many, and then corrupting the administrative service, 
the legislation, and the elections, in order to hold and 
enlarge their unjust advantage. 

" The meaning of the people in the election of 1876 was 
to restore the government to the pure, simple, and just 
system which the founders of the Republic intended, and 
which Jefferson exemplified in practice. 

"How deeply the best interests and the most sacred 
rights of humanity were involved, I doubt not your de 
ceased friend realized, when with you he went from house 
to house through the mountains of Pennsylvania during 
the canvass, and when he wept over the destruction, by 


frauds, perjuries, and the forgery of electoral votes, of the 
fruits of the victory he had helped to achieve. 

"With my best wishes for your health, prosperity, and 
happiness, I remain, 

r Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TiLDEN." 


"Gettysburg, Pa." 

The results of the election in the defeat of Hancock and 
the triumph of the Republican candidate revealed to the 
party the mistake it had made, and revived the clamor for 
the renornination of Mr. Tilden in 1884, a clamor which, 
despite the private and public protestations of Mr. Tilden 
and of several of his most intimate friends, practically ex 
cluded the consideration of any other candidates. With 
the abundant evidence which from time to time reached the 
public from his seclusion at Graystone, of the unimpaired 
mental force and sagacity of its proprietor, the zeal of the 
party for his renomination seemed to have received a new 
and accumulative impulse from the defeat in 1880. Con 
flicting reports of the condition of his health, adapted to the 
uses of the respective parties, were eagerly sought for and 
published, and he continued to be treated by the Republi 
can press as the only formidable candidate of his party up 
to the very day that another candidate was renominated. 

Reports were put in circulation by the Republican press, 
in 1881, that Mr. Tilden proposed to be a candidate for 
governor again the following year. Ex-Governor Seymour, 
who had not been able to contemplate with entire satisfac 
tion the precedence which the party had been giving of late 
years to Mr. Tilden, seems to have been not indisposed to 
countenance these rumors. In reply to a letter from 
Seymour, Mr. Tilden sent the following reply : 

"GRAYSTONE, Oct. 3, 1881. 

" MY DEAR SIR : I have received your letter stating you 
intended to call on me, and your inability to do so. 


" I should have written to you earlier, except for an ill 
ness and the pressure of claims upon my attention during 
my convalescence. 

" It would have been agreeable to me to have seen you 
and to have treated you with that frankness and courtesy 
you have always experienced from me. 

"In respect to your assurance that you would not be 
a candidate for nomination, if your nomination would 
be disagreeable to me, and be discountenanced by me, 
I have to say that I cannot assume any such position. I 
have neither the right nor the wish to exclude you from 
a legitimate and honorable competition for any public 
trust. My practice, when I was at the head of the party 
organization, was not to become a partisan of any par 
ticular candidate, but to confine myself to such advis 
ory suggestions as might seem fit and useful during the 
deliberations of the convention ; to defer largely to the 
judgment of the best men of the counties found at the con 
vention, in view of the immediate action on the complex 
considerations which enter into the formation of a collec 
tive ticket. I need not say that I have not undertaken 
any such function on the present occasion, and have not 
possessed myself of the information to make me competent 
to such a work. I assume that you have not given credit 
to the idle fictions of Kepublican and other newspapers, 
which ascribe to me a desire to control the nominations and 
canvass for the present year, with a view to becoming a 
candidate for governor next year. The truth is I ran for 
governor in 1874, simply for the purpose of sustaining the 
reform movement to which I had given the three preceding 
years; and I should not have continued in the office for a 
second term in any possible event, nor would I now enter 
tain the idea of returning to it, even if I flattered myself 
that I would receive a unanimous vote of the people. 

" All I desire for the Democratic party in the coming 
canvass is that it shall make the best possible choice of 
candidates, and do everything to advance the principles 
of administration, to which I have devoted so many efforts 
and sacrifices. With cordial good wishes, 

"Very truly yours, 

r S. J. TILDEN." 


Faithful to the declaration made in this letter, Mr. 
Tilden took no active part in the election of the candidate 
for governor, though his preference may have been inferred 
by his friends who were in control of the nominating con 
vention, from the fact that one of his nephews, and his 
namesake, who was a delegate from Columbia county, at a 
critical moment voted for Grover Cleveland. This vote, 
supposed to reflect Mr. Tilden s preferences, no doubt 
exerted a controlling influence over the convention and 
secured Mr. Cleveland s nomination. A few days before 
the election Mr. Tilden addressed to Mr. Manning, the 
chairman of the State committee, the following letter com 
mending the nomination : 

"GRAYSTONE, Oct. 20, 1882. 

w MY DEAR SIR : I have received your letter and in reply 
I hasten to say that, in my opinion, the excellent ticket 
nominated at Syracuse is auspicious of a reform adminis 
tration in the executive government of the State. The 
large classes of independent voters who, during my ad 
ministration as governor, honored me with their support 
included many citizens who were then first attracted to 
take an interest in public affairs ; many others who had 
not been before classified as partisans, and a large num 
ber who broke away from their party ties and gave their 
adhesion to a system of politics which promised to purify 
administration and to elevate the standard of official 
morality. They were numerous enough and powerful 
enough to hold the balance of power in every successive 
contest. They can now much more easily determine the 
result in the approaching election. To all these classes, 
as well as to all others who are in general accord with me 
as to the principles on which the State ought to be gov 
erned, I cordially commend the support of Grover Cleve 
land and his associate candidates. 

" Very truly yours, 

" S. J. TILDEN. 


The following letter to Mr. Henry Adams, in acknowl 
edgment of his admirable biographies of John Eandolph 


and of Albert Gallatin, betrays the change of interest and 
occupation to which Mr. Tilden was gradually habituating 
himself in his new home : 

"GRAYSTONE, Jan. 12, 1883. 

" DEAR Mr. ADAMS : I was lately reading your very in 
teresting book concerning John Randolph, and it suggested 
a desire to look over your work on the New England Fed 
eralists. I sent to my library in the city for that book. 
When I came to look at it, I noticed that it was a presen 
tation copy sent by you to me. 

" I have no recollection of ever before having seen that 
entry, or of having ever acknowledged your courtesy. 

" I write now to repair the seeming want of attention, 
and to beg you to accept my thanks, not only for the vol 
ume you were so kind as to send me, but for the great 
services which you have rendered to the history of our 

" I consider your Life of Albert Gallatin as the most 
valuable contribution which has been made to this depart 
ment of our literature. I agree with your very high esti 
mate of Mr. Gallatin as a practical statesman. 

" There is a story told of Mr. Choate. It is that at a 
dinner party in Pennsylvania, where his wit was ruffled 
by a competition in the exhibition of great men, he gave as 
a toast, The two really great men of Pennsylvania : Albert 
Gallatin, of Geneva, and Benjamin Franklin, of Boston. 

"John Randolph s epigrams, which were famous in their 
day, were as laboriously wrought as the impromptus of 
Sheridan are shown by Moore to have been. 

" Mr. Van Buren told me that Randolph said to him, 
1 When I get a good thing, I boil it down, and boil it down, 
and boil it down, until I can put it into the apple of my 
eye, and then I lay it away for use. 

" I hope your father s health has improved. 

" With my best wishes for the health, prosperity, and 
happiness of yourself and the other members of your 
father s family, I remain, 

"Very truly yours, 


"Boston, Mass." 


As the time approached for the nomination of a candi 
date for President in 1884 the purpose of his party to 
renominate Mr. Tilden threatened to be irresistible. He 
alone of all the prominent statesmen of his party had 
seemed, day by day, to expand and to assume continually 
enlarging proportions in popular estimation. The convic 
tion that he alone could assure the party s success made 
them deaf to the protestations of Tilden or of his friends 
that he would not accept the nomination. 

This feeling was instinctive and universal. It may have 
been in part founded on the knowledge of the special de 
votion to him of the working-classes, to whose interests he 
had been faithful for fifty years ; the confidence of the busi 
ness men, who trusted, to his wise and safe policy; and to 
the peculiar support which the adopted citizens of German 
origin had uniformly given to him, including large numbers 
of Republicans as well as Democrats. 

But a still more potential influence was the fact, at 
length conceded substantially by all parties, that he had 
been elected in 1876, but fraudulently deprived of the office. 

Each one of the four millions of voters who had given 
him their suffrages felt a sense of personal injury, and an 
intense desire to punish and to rectify that wrong. This 
feeling converted each man from being a comparatively 
indifferent voter, into a proselyting canvasser. 

In behalf of the man who had been the victim of a great 
public crime, there was also a widespread disposition 
among many Republicans who loved fair play, to give their 
votes on the first opportunity in such a manner as to redress 
the wrong of 1876. Instances of this kind came within the 
knowledge of almost every Democratic voter, and the pur 
pose was communicated, in many cases, to Mr. Tilden and 
to his friends. Accessions from this cause were believed 
to be very numerous, and were estimated to count by 
many thousands. 1 

important evidence on this subject, the reader is referred to 
Appendix B. 


So strong was the popular sentiment in favor of Mr. 
Tilden s renomination in his own State that when the time 
arrived for the selection of delegates to the State conven 
tion which was to choose the delegation to the national 
convention those Democrats who were hostile to Governor 
Cleveland s nomination to the presidency, and who knew 
that Mr. Tilden did not mean to accept a nomination, 
began to intrigue for the election of delegates whose 
first choice was understood to be Mr. Tilden, but were 
secretly opposed to Cleveland. Several delegates had been 
elected in this shape, when Mr. Manning called upon me 
one day early in June, 1884, and expressed the wish that I 
would accompany him to Graystone. After briefly refer 
ring to the political situation, he said that on the Sunday 
previous he had called upon Governor Cleveland, laid the 
whole case before him ; pressed upon his attention the 
necessity of doing something at once, to prevent the friends 
of Mr. Tilden getting heedlessly pledged to other candidates 
as their second choice, a danger which was imminent so 
long as a hope of Mr. Tilden s yielding to the wishes of the 
party was indulged ; and finally, that the only way of defeat 
ing such a scheme was for Mr. Tilden to signify, before the 
election of any more delegates, most of whom were to be 
chosen within the next eight or ten days, that he would 
not be a candidate. Mr. Manning then went on to say that 
Governor Cleveland promptly expressed the desire that Mr. 
Manning would go down to Graystone, represent the situa 
tion to Mr. Tilden, and consider himself authorized to give 
Mr. Tilden any assurances he required in regard to the 
naming of Mr. Cleveland s cabinet should he be elected, and 
in regard to the conduct of his administration upon the 
lines of reform which had been traced by Mr. Tilden dur 
ing and since his election as governor. Mr. Manning said 
his object in coming to me was to ask me to accom 
pany him to Graystone and assist him in persuading Mr. 
Tilden if persuasion should be necessary to no longer 


delay a formal announcement of his intentions, already 
well known to Mr. Manning and myself, not to accept a 

I said that I approved entirely of an early publication by 
Mr. Tilden of his intention not to accept a renomination ; 
that some two weeks previous I had written him at length, 
urging upon him the inconveniences of permitting the dele 
gates to be elected to the nominating convention in the 
expectation of making him their candidate ; that such a 
letter had already been written, but the utterance of it had 
been delayed, partly out of deference to the wishes of 
friends in Washington, and partly for what seemed the more 
obvious and appropriate occasion for such a communication, 
the meeting of the State convention that was to choose 
the delegates to the national convention. 

I accompanied Mr. Manning to Gray stone, where he 
stated his errand to Mr. Tilden. 

Mr. Tilden hesitated a little, partly, perhaps, from a 
natural reluctance to pursue a course which might be con 
strued into an unbecoming interference in behalf of a par 
ticular candidate, partly from delicacy about declining a 
nomination before the State convention had furnished him 
a suitable pretext for such a step, and partly from a pro 
found sense of the risk the people would run in selecting a 
man of such limited administrative experience to conduct 
the government of sixty millions of people. He finally, 
however, gave Mr. Manning to understand that the State 
committee would probably hear from him in a day or two. 
A letter of declension was sent to Mr. Manning the follow 
ing day, and appeared in the morning papers of the 12th 
of June, 1884. 

After referring briefly to the terms in which he declined 
a renomination in 1880, he said that nothing had occurred 
in the four years which had since elapsed to weaken, 
but everything to strengthen, the considerations which 
then induced him to withdraw from public life ; that the 


occasion now to consider the question was an event for 
which he had no responsibility ; that he had never accepted 
official service except for a brief period, for a special pur 
pose, and only when the occasion seemed to require of him 
that sacrifice of his personal preferences for the public wel 
fare ; that he accepted the nomination for the presidency in 
1876 because of the general conviction that his candidacy 
would best present the issue of reform which the Demo 
cratic majority of the people desired to have worked out in 
the federal government as it had been in that of the State of 
New York ; that the canvass he was desired to undertake 
would embrace a period of nearly five years, the burdens 
of which admitted of no illusions. The close of his letter 
was conspicuous for its eloquence, pathos, and dignity. 

"At the present time the considerations which induced 
my action in 1880 have become imperative. I ought not to 
assume a task which I have not the physical strength to 
carry through. To reform the administration of the fed 
eral government, to realize my own ideal, and to fulfil 
the just expectations of the people, would indeed warrant, 
as they could alone compensate, the sacrifices which the 
undertaking would involve. But, in my condition of ad 
vancing years and declining strength, I feel no assurance 
of my ability to accomplish those objects. I am, therefore, 
constrained to say, definitely, that I cannot now assume the 
labors of an administration or of a canvass. 

"Undervaluing in nowise that best gift of heaven, the 
occasion and the power sometimes bestowed upon a mere 
individual to communicate an impulse for good ; grateful 
beyond all words to my fellow-countrymen who would 
assign such a beneficent function to me, I am consoled by 
the reflection that neither the Democratic party, nor the 
Republic for whose future that party is the best guarantee, 
is now or ever can be dependent upon any one man for 
their successful progress in the path of a noble destiny. 

" Having given to their welfare whatever of health and 
strength I possessed, or could borrow from the future, and 
having reached the term of my capacity for such labors as 
their welfare now demands, I but submit to the will of 
God in deeming my public career forever closed." 


This letter was like a rainbow set in the political horizon, 
the harbinger of comparative peace for Mr. Tilden. It 
served nobody s purpose longer to assail him, and those who 
had assailed him most virulently seemed disposed to profit 
by the appearance of this letter to do what they could, and 
as fast as possible, to assist the public in forgetting their 
past injustice. Even the "New York Times," which for 
the previous eight years had blinded itself to all of Mr. 
Tilden s virtues in its intemperate search for pretexts to 
revile him, resumed at once the tone of decorous respect 
to which it had been habituated while laboring with Mr. 
Tilden some dozen years before for municipal reform. 

Said the " Times " of the 12th, in which Mr. Tilden s letter 
appeared : 

" The vital point in what Mr. Tilden writes is his asser 
tion that he cannot now assume the labors of an adminis 
tration or of a canvass/ 

" The assertion is made, it is fair to say, in full knowl 
edge of the fact that in many States of the Union the 
Democratic party, without preliminary inquiry as to Mr. 
Tilden s wishes or Mr. Tilden s strength, had spoken almost 
without a dissenting voice in favor of his nomination at 
Chicago. He puts away a presidential nomination he 
might have had, an act which has few precedents in the 
history of parties in this country. That act is extremely 
creditable to the good sense and to the clear perception of 
Mr. Tilden. He is the best judge of his own strength, and 
his judgment is blinded by none of those dazzling illusions 
to which so many men are subject whenever and as often 
as the presidency comes even remotely within the range of 
their vision. Nor has his decision been in any way in 
fluenced by recent Republican action, for it is now more 
than a year since Mr. Tilden gave an intimation, in a quar 
ter which left no doubt or question as to his entire earnest 
ness, of his fixed purpose to adhere to the conclusion stated 
in his letter of June 18, 1880. 

"It would be but a slight recognition of Mr. Tilden s 
motives and of the circumstances under which his letter is 
written to say that his act is an unselfish one. It is more 


than unselfish. In the present divided condition of the 
Republican party it is an act of great moment and 

It is a curious illustration of the extraordinary hold which 
Tilden s name had upon his party that but for the belief 
that the time chosen for the publication of his letter sig 
nified a desire for the nomination of Mr. Cleveland, the 
chances were even that he would have been nominated in 
spite of it. i Of twenty-two States which held their conven 
tions before the publication of the letter, twenty either 
instructed their delegates to vote for him, or by resolution 
declared him to be their preference, or appointed delegates 
known to favor his nomination. One of the remaining two, 
although nominally favoring a State candidate in the belief 
that Mr. Tilden did not mean to run, was really favorable 
to his nomination. Of fourteen States which held their 
conventions after the appearance of the letter, five either 
declared for his nomination or expressed their continued 
preference for him, while nine others appointed delegates, 
of whom he was their first choice. 

New York State held its convention on the 18th of June, 
six days after the publication of his letter, and after dele 
gates had been appointed from all the counties favorable 
to his renomination. The remaining one of the thirty-eight 
States then composing the Union, and which held its con 
vention on the 17th of June, accepted Mr. Tilden s letter 
as final, and appointed delegates favorable to its State 
candidates. 2 

I think Mr. Tilden resisted the importunities of his 
friends as much through fear of the consequences of a 
canvass to himself as to the party. His health would have 

1 Shortly after Mr. Cleveland s nomination I was assured by one of the 
more prominent delegates to the national convention from a Southern 
State that but for the impression prevailing in the convention that Mr. 
Cleveland was Mr. Tilden s choice for the nomination, he would not have 
"received a single vote. 2 Appendix B. 


become the controlling issue in the contest. His feebleness 
would have been exaggerated by his opponents. This 
would have compelled his appearance in public places, and 
his exposure at inconvenient times and to imprudent 
fatigues, the results of which might have left the party in 
the midst of the battle without a leader. Only a few 
months after the election he told me that he thought he 
should live about two years longer. He overestimated 
his longevity by a few months. 

It was therefore from no selfish consideration, from no 
lack of deference for the judgment of others, from no mis 
trust of his popularity in the country, that he did not allow 
himself to be moved by the importunities of his partisans. 
He knew better than any one else the risks that would be 
incurred by his renomination, and he was too wise a man 
to assume that his party was lacking in men abundantly 
competent to lead it with success. 

Mr. Elaine had already been nominated for the presi 
dency by the Republican party, and Governor Cleveland was 
finally nominated by the Democratic party, and elected. 

The convention which nominated Mr. Cleveland signal 
ized its deliberations by inserting in its declaration of 
principles the following tribute to its retired leader : 

" With profound regret we have been apprised by the 
venerable statesman, through whose person was struck that 
blow at the vital principle of republics (acquiescence in the 
will of the majority), that he cannot permit us again to 
place in his hands the leadership of the Democratic hosts, 
for the reason that the achievement of reform in the 
administration of the federal government is an undertak 
ing now too heavy for his age and failing strength. Re 
joicing that his life has been prolonged until the general 
judgment of our fellow-countrymen is united in the wish 
that that wrong were righted in his person, for the Democ 
racy of the United States, we offer to him in his with 
drawal from public cares not only our respectful sympathy 
and esteem, but also that best homage of freemen, the 
pledge of our devotion to the principles and the cause now 


inseparable in the history of this Kepublic from the labors 
and the name of Samuel J. Tilden." 

The convention also unanimously adopted the following 
resolutions : 

" Resolved, That this convention has read with profound 
regret and intense admiration the statesmanlike and patriotic 
letter of Samuel J. Tilden expressing the overpowering and 
providential necessity which constrains him to decline a 
nomination for the highest office in the gift of the American 

"Resolved, That, though fraud, force, and violence 
deprived Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks of 
the offices conferred upon them by the Democratic party 
of the nation in 1876, they yet live, and ever will, first in 
the hearts of the Democracy of the country. 

" Resolved, That this convention expresses a nation s 
regret that this same lofty patriotism and splendid execu 
tive and administrative ability which cleansed and purified 
the city and State governments of the great Empire State 
cannot now be turned upon the Augean stable of national 
fraud and corruption so long and successfully maintained 
by the Republican party at the national capital. 

" Resolved, That copies of these resolutions be suitably 
engrossed, and that the chairman of the convention appoint 
a committee whose duty it shall be, in the name of the con 
vention, to forward or present the same to the Hon. Samuel 
J. Tilden and the Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks." 

The chairman of the convention in compliance with its 
instructions appointed a committee consisting of one dele 
gate from each State to wait upon Mr. Tilden and present 
him with an engrossed copy of these resolutions. 

The committee assembled in New York on the third day 
of September, whence they were conveyed to Yonkers in 
Mr. Tilden s steam-yacht, the " Viking," which had been 
placed at their disposal. 

The resolutions were communicated to Mr. Tilden, with 
a few appropriate remarks by the Hon. R. R. Henry, of 
Mississippi, chairman of the committee. Mr. Tilden 


briefly expressed his thanks, and said that the state of his 
health compelled him to ask of the committee the indul 
gence of a few days for a more formal reply. 

On the 6th of October he addressed the committee a 
letter the burden of which was the characteristics by which 
the Democratic party had been distinguished from the 
Republican party from their foundations respectively. Of 
the latter his view is substantially presented in the follow 
ing paragraphs : 

" The Democratic party had its origin in the efforts of the 
more advanced patriots of the Revolution to resist the per 
version of our government from the ideal contemplated by 
the people. Among its conspicuous founders are Benjamin 
Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams and John 
Hancock, of Massachusetts ; George Clinton and Robert R. 
Livingston, of New York ; and George Wythe and James 
Madison, of Virginia. From the election of Mr. Jefferson 
as President in 1800, for sixty years the Democratic party 
mainly directed our national policy. It extended the 
boundaries of the Republic, and laid the foundations of 
all our national greatness, while it preserved the limitations 
imposed by the Constitution and maintained a simple and 
pure system of domestic administration. 

" On the other hand, the Republican party has always 
been dominated by principles which favor legislation for 
the benefit of particular classes at the expense of the body 
of the people. It has become deeply tainted with the 
abuses which naturally grow up during a long possession 
of unchecked power, especially in a period of civil war 
and false finance. The patriotic and virtuous elements in it 
are now unable to emancipate it from the sway of selfish 
interests which subordinate public duty to personal gain. 
The most hopeful of the best citizens it contains, despair of 
its amendment except through its temporary expulsion 
from power. 

" It has been boastingly asserted by a modern Massachu 
setts statesman, struggling to reconcile himself and his 
followers to their presidential candidate, that the Republi 
can party contains a disproportionate share of the wealth, 
the culture, and the intelligence of the country. The 


unprincipled Grafton, when taunted by James the Second 
with his personal want of conscience, answered, That is 
true, but I belong to a party that has a great deal of con 
science. 9 

" Such reasoners forget that the same claim has been made 
in all ages and countries by the defenders of old wrongs 
against new reforms. It was alleged by the Tories of the 
American Kevolution against the Patriots of that day. It 
was repeated against Jefferson and afterwards against Jack 
son. It is alleged by the Conservatives against those who, 
in England, are now endeavoring to enlarge the popular 
suffrage . 

" All history shows that reforms in government must not 
be expected from those who sit serenely on the social 
mountain-tops enjoying the benefits of the existing order of 
things. Even the Divine Author of our religion found his 
followers, not among the self-complacent Pharisees, but 
among lowly minded fishermen." 1 

Of all American statesmen who have risen to eminence 
Mr. Tilden was probably the least given to sarcastic or per 
sonally offensive allusions of any kind to a political oppo 
nent. I am not aware that in all his long public life he ever 
had an unpleasant personal controversy about any words 
that fell from his lips or pen. No one knew better than he, 
nor acted more uniformly upon the knowledge, that "whoso 
keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from 
troubles." He would not, therefore, have made the reflec 
tions upon some of the unfortunate events in the congres 
sional career of the Kepublican candidate which is disguised 
in this paragraph had not Mr. Elaine stimulated the mali 
cious persecutions with which the administration had pur 
sued him so relentlessly from the dawn to the close of his 
candidature for the presidency, and merely, as Mr. Tilden 
believed, because Mr. Elaine regarded him as his most 
formidable rival. 

1 " Writings and Speeches," Vol. II. p. 533. 


Tilden s relations to the new President Senator Garland a suitor Let 
ters to Manning Tilden s and Jefferson s views of civil service Harbor 
defences Letter to Carlisle Tilden s friends proscribed at Wash 
ington Letter to Watterson George W. Julian Tilden dis 
courages his nephew and namesake from embarking in politics 
R. D. Minturn Manning s illness and retirement from the treasury 
History of the Monroe Doctrine The Broadway railroad 
Advice to Governor Hill against the proposed enlargement of the 
Erie canal Favors the bills for an international park and for the 
protection of the Adirondack forests. 

MR. CLEVELAND S election was generally and very natu 
rally regarded as a continuation of the Tilden dynasty, and 
as a consequence his supposed influence with the new 
President was very extensively solicited by candidates for 
place under the new administration from all parts of the 
country. Among the earlier applications of this character 
was one from Senator Garland, of Arkansas, who desired 
the position of attorney-general. To him Mr. Tilden sent 
a letter evidently intended not entirely to conceal his mis 
trust that whatever value Mr. Cleveland had professed to 
attach to his advice in the previous June, the election had 
seriously impaired. It would have been fortunate for Mr. 
Garland had he followed the advice which Mr. Tilden, with 
so much delicacy, tried to convey to him. He left a place 
where his manifold limitations escaped observation, for one 
in which they alone were conspicuous. 


" (Confidential.) 

"GRAYSTONE, Dec. 5, 1884. 

" DEAR SENATOR GARLAND : I have received your let 
ter. I appreciate all the consideration which it so frankly 

VOL. II. 19 


suggests. Although I have had less personal acquaintance 
with you since 1868 than I could have wished, I have not 
been left without the means to form a just estimate of your 
acquirements as a lawyer, your rank as a Senator, and your 
high personal character. 

"I do not know to what extent, or in what cases, if any, 
I shall be consulted by Mr. Cleveland in respect to the 
constitution of his cabinet. I do not intend to intrude 
upon him any advice unasked, or to volunteer any recom 
mendations or requests. If consulted, I shall not act as a 
partisan of any of my numerous friends who Avould like to 
enter his cabinet, but shall endeavor, with judicial impartial 
ity, to canvass the personal merits and other considerations 
which ought to influence the choice. I am anxious that he 
should do the best thing possible for the country and for 
his administration, and shall desire rather to help him in 
his difficult task than to add to his embarrassments. 

" The formation of a cabinet is a piece of mosaic in which 
each element may be affected by the size, texture, and 
color of the others entering into the combination ; and it is 
impossible to foresee how much an individual element may 
be affected by the cast of the whole. 

" Impressed as I am with your adaptation to the trust 
which you have indicated as most agreeable to you, I 
should feel some regret at your leaving the Senate, both on 
account of the public interest and the personal distinction 
and growth which you would surrender. An intelligent 
and judicious friend, who reads all the reported debates, 
tells me that you appear to great advantage in the senato 
rial discussions. The role as the confidential representative 
of the administration in the Senate is greater than any 
cabinet office. I remember how Thomas H. Benton and 
Silas Wright felt on that subject. While occupying that 
relation, Mr. Wright grew to greater prominence than any 
other Democrat in the country. In 1844 he was nominated 
against his will for the vice-presidency, and, I happen to 
know, was informally offered the presidential nomination 
before it was conferred on Mr. Polk. His transcendant 
hold upon the country carried the presidential election for 
the Democracy. 

" If it should fall to the lot of Mr. Cleveland to fill sev 
eral appointments in the Supreme Court, I hope that he 
will select men, not only of eminent legal capacities and of 


pure personal character, and of sounder constitutional ideas 
than have lately been found in that body, but have some 
thing more to give to the country than the dregs of life. 
Most of the great judges have been taken young, and their 
character formed on the bench. 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TiLDEN. 


"Washington, D.C" 

In point of fact Mr. Tilden was not consulted about his 
cabinet by President Cleveland until nearly or quite every 
place but one had been filled, when his advice about a sec 
retary of the treasury was invited. He recommended Mr. 
Daniel Manning, of New York. Mr. Manning was reluct 
antly appointed to that position, but never welcomed to it 
nor in it. 

Whether Mr. Cleveland underrated the value of Mr. Til- 
den s judgment, or overrated his own, it is quite certain that 
Mr. Manning did neither, for he appears to have rarely, if 
ever, taken any important step while he continued in the 
cabinet without trying to secure Mr. Tilden s approval of 
it. Some of Mr. Tilden s letters on public questions sub 
mitted to him for his views have not yet lost their value. 
On the 1st of March, and only three days before Manning 
was to take office, Mr. Tilden wrote to him : 


"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 1, 1885. 
" DEAR Mr. MANNING : The first thing to be done in the 
treasury is to ascertain how far the redemption fund, as it is 
called, which is the stock of gold kept in reserve to redeem 
the greenbacks, has been impaired. I suspect the deficiency 
is not less than thirty or forty millions. The construc 
tion of the laws adopted by Mr. Sherman, late secretary ; 
by Mr. McCulloch, present secretary ; and by Mr. Wey- 
man, treasurer, is that there is express legal authority 
to make good, by sale of United States bonds, such defi 
ciency as may be found from time to time to assist in the 


redemption fund. Mr. McCulloch in his letter to me 
claimed the right to check out, in the discretion of the sec 
retary, from the existing mass of gold in the treasury, if 
thereby a deficiency was created in the redemption fund, 
and then to make good that deficiency by the sale of bonds. 

" If the government pay the interest on the public debt in 
gold, as it ought, it will take somewhat over four millions 
a month, beside payments for the sinking-fund and for 
called bonds, and beside keeping the reserve for the re 
demption of the greenbacks. If there is no financial alarm, 
and no export demand for gold, the sale of bonds of twenty 
to forty millions might, as many think, maintain the gold 
basis for all the government payments, and lose two mil 
lions a month through the rest of the year. That is to say, 
it would make good the deterioration in the financial condi 
tion of the government consequent upon paying two mil 
lions a month for silver bullion. 

" If the government should be compelled to use silver in its 
payments, it would have to be considered whether it should 
not pay the interest on the bonds, the sinking-fund, and 
the called bonds in gold, and maintain the gold fund 
for the redemption of greenbacks, and use the silver in 
common with such surplus of gold as may remain, in the 
payment of the other expenditures of the government. 
This would perfectly protect the public honor and faith ; but 
you might have some clamor against two currencies. It 
could scarcely be said that that made one currency for the 
government and another for the people, because the 
greenbacks are really the people s currency. I write in 
great haste, because there is no time, and can but make im 
perfect suggestions. 

" Mr. Jordan has submitted this morning four statements, 
of which I send one, as containing some suggestions of de 

tail which might be useful. 

"Yours truly, 

"S. J. T." 

The financial crisis of 1883, which compelled an extra 
session of Congress, and the repeal of the law requiring 
large monthly purchases of silver by the treasury, lend a 
special interest to the following prescient letter to Mr. 
Manning : 



"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 14, 1885. 

" DEAR MR. MANNING : I enclose a small pamphlet 
written by Mr. Coe. His theory is to depend upon the 
policy of not calling in any bonds, as a means for carry 
ing the additional quantity of silver which the law compels 
you to buy, until some time after the next session of Con 
gress, and until there is another opportunity of trying to 
get Congress to suspend the silver purchases. If the 
making or withholding of calls is in the discretion of the 
secretary, which I am inclined to think it is, having as 
yet found no compulsory mandate, I think it will be 
highly inexpedient to exhaust the treasury, if you mean 
to continue all the gold payments on the gold basis. 

" Mr. Jordan has sent me a series of statements which 
show that about $33,000,000 of the gold fund reserved for 
the redemption of the legal tenders have been consumed in 
the ordinary payments of the treasury. According to the 
construction adopted by your predecessors, United States 
4 per cent, bonds can lawfully be sold to make good that 
deficiency. Mr. Jordan s figures cover some other topics. 
Having partially examined them, I have given them to Mr. 
Marble for a few days, as he can verify the references to 
the authorities more conveniently than I can. 

" I think that between these two resources you can tide 
yourself along until the opportunity arises to make the 
issue in Congress, without resorting to any silver pay 

" I expect to write to you again within a few days. 
"Very truly yours, 

"3. J. TILDEN. 

"Secretary of the Treasury " 

Mr. Jordan, to whom the following letter was addressed, 
had been selected by Mr. Manning for the position of 
treasurer of the United States. It is quoted here partly 
for its intrinsic value and partly to show the active interest 
which Mr. Tilden took in the administration of the national 
finances at a time when the roar of the breakers towards 


which the ship of state was drifting seemed more audible at 
Graystone than elsewhere. 


" (Confidential.) 
"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., May 15, 1885. 

f? DEAR MR. JORDAN : The memorandum for the solution 
of the silver question enclosed in your letter appears to 
me to have elements from which to devise a measure. It 
would need some modification and require to be perfected. 
The law will put the proposition in more definite shape 
and will be a better basis to act on than so brief and gen 
eral a proposition. When General Warner shall have 
written it out please send me a copy. The advantage of 
bringing up the coin in fineness and weight to the market 
value of the silver it contains is very great. It would 
widen the market for silver and so benefit the producers. 
It should apply to the half and quarter dollars. Can you 
inform me what per cent, the cost of coinage is on the 
dollar? also on the halves and quarters taken together? 
You will remember that when it was proposed to resume 
specie payment nearly everybody thought that the prelim 
inary step was to contract the currency. I maintained the 
opposite views. I said that nobody could tell how much 
currency the wants of business would require ; that to as 
sume an arbitrary amount was the heiglit of quackery ; 
that the only true way was to leave that matter to adjust 
itself under a free system. I apply the same principle to 
silver. I am willing to take all that the business of the 
country can absorb : it is impossible to do anything more. 
To force the quantity of the currency above its natural 
level is as idle an attempt as was Dame Partington s effort 
with her mop to keep back the Atlantic ocean. The 
measure should be carefully guarded to avoid any such 
folly. It would be necessary to invest the treasury with a 
discretion which would enable it to follow and not to force 

f "It will give me pleasure to see General Warner at 
Graystone. I know him very well, and think well of him. 

"Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 


Application having been made to Mr. Tilden for his views 
of a draught of some resolutions designed to be presented 
for the adoption of the State convention of the Democratic 
party of New York State in the fall of 1885, he sent the 
following reply : 

" Sect. VI., relating to the silver question, is well enough 
in substance. 

"Sect. I., relating to the civil service, is free from objec 

" Sect. II. is right and well expressed. 

" Sect. III., proposing a repeal of certain laws of 1869 re 
lating to the tenure of office. That is right. It restores to 
the President his power of appointment, which by those laws 
has been in part usurped by the Senate. But a question 
arises as to the expediency of making this declaration at the 
present time. That question will be considered in connec 
tion with Sect. IV. 

ff Sect. IV. proposes a repeal of the laws of May 15, 1820, 
which fixes the term of four years to a large number of 
important offices. Without deciding the question whether 
if that stood alone the extinction of fixed terms for these 
offices is expedient, which is not free from doubt, in prac 
tice at the present time the proposition involves insurmount 
able mischiefs. 

" The Senate will not consent to a repeal of the laws of 
1867 and 1869. The Senate will be glad to obtain the 
repeal of the law of May 15, 1820. If the President 
and the House of Representatives make a Democratic 
party question in favor of repealing the law of May 15, 1820, 
the measure will be passed. The practical effect will be to 
put all the offices which now have fixed tenures under the 
laws of 1867 and 1869. That result would strip the Presi 
dent of the only independent power of appointment which 
he now has, and place him completely under the tutelage of 
the Senate. It would sweep away from the Democrats any 
chance of obtaining any participation in the government of 
the country. If a declaration in favor of repealing the laws 
of 1867 and 1869, which declaration will be wholly nugatory 
and useless, involves also the declaration in favor of the 
repeal of the law of May 15, 1820, which would be effect 
ual, both ought to be omitted. 


"The repeal of the law of May 15, 1820, even if proper, 
as part of the system in which the repeal of the laws of 1867 
and 1869 should be also a part, it should never be done sepa 
rately or in advance. The effect on the Democratic party 
of such a piece of Democratic insanity it is easy to foresee. 
It probably would be a collapse of the Democratic party, 
and of the present Democratic administration. 

" On the whole, in my judgment Sections III. and IV. are 
too abstruse, and involve topics which not one man in fifty 
in the convention will have any knowledge of. 

" They are unfit for planks in the platform. They had 
better be omitted, even apart from the objection above 

" Sect. V. The authority of Washington, cited in this sec 
tion, involves a doubt. Washington s language seems to 
imply that all office-holders should be in political accord 
with the President. That means a clean sweep. That 
greatly exceeded the claim of Mr. Jefferson for his party. 
He only asked that they should have a fair participation in 
the public trusts of the country. He said, when he came 
into the presidency, if he had found the Democrats in pos 
session of even a moderate share, he would have waited for 
time and circumstances to have remedied the injustice ; but, 
having found a complete monopoly of the offices in the 
hands of the minority, who had been discarded by the 
people, he was compelled to apply a prompter corrective. 

" You can study Mr. Jefferson s principles and views of 
this subject with great advantage." 

In March of the year in which this criticism was 
despatched to Mr. Manning, Mr. Tilden made a careful 
analysis of President Jefferson s views of the tenure of 
office of the civil officers of the federal government, with a 
commentary thereon which reflected his own vieAVS, and 
the principles upon which, if clothed with the responsibil 
ities of a chief magistrate, he would have endeavored to 
regulate that service. It will be found to illustrate the 
difference in the ways this problem is dealt with by states 
men and by cranks. 



" Thomas Jefferson was one of the greatest reformers that 
this country has produced perhaps the greatest. When 
he became President the country was first divided politically 
according to the two fundamental interpretations of the 
Constitution, the Federalist and the Democratic. Under 
the presidency of John Adams, as it had been previously 
under Washington, the tendency of the administration was 
strongly toward the establishment of an overmastering 
Federal government, and the whole government machinery 
was solidly organized in harmony with that tendency. 
None but Federalists were in office. The Federalist idea 
had gained a great hold upon the people. If such weapons 
as the alien and sedition laws had not been furnished to the 
Democrats by the administration, it is scarcely possible 
that they could have beaten their opponents ; and, instead 
of the establishment of the Democracy in power at that 
time, the Federalists might have retained their control of 
the country, and so strengthened it that the complexion of 
our politics might now have been materially different, and 
perhaps lacking in some features that we to-day regard as 
essential to Eepublicanism. It was Jefferson s mission to 
arrest the inclination toward a more highly centralized 
system of Federal control, and formally to lay the founda 
tion on which our Democracy has rested since his time, and 
must continue to rest so long as the Democratic idea shall 
endure . 

" Upon Jefferson s accession to office he found all national 
posts filled by members of the Federal party. Men of 
Democratic views of politics had been entirely proscribed. 
There was scarcely a Republican so the Democrats were 
then called enjoying a place of honor or trust under the 
government. In short, the party that had just carried the 
election and demonstrated its supremacy among the people 
had absolutely no participation whatsoever in the govern 
ment beyond its representatives on the national ticket and 
its members of Congress. The votes of the majority had 
changed the elective officers only. That was all they could 
change. What remained to be done in order to carry out 
their wishes was to be done by the executive. To do this, 
to correct the existing abuses, and to restore a political 
equilibrium, was regarded by the new President as kindred 


in importance to the firm establishment of Democratic prin 
ciples. Indeed, such a reform was implied and rendered 
necessary by those principles, not only for the sake of a 
more equal and Democratic distribution of responsibility, 
but because the spirit of Democracy is opposed to the end 
less continuation of one party in power, and to the institu 
tion of a class of bureaucrats. 

"Notwithstanding the immensity of the labor, and in 
spite of vigorous remonstrances from the defeated Federal 
ists, as well as the feeble and petulant protests of impartial 
idlers who were remote from politics, and whose souls 
revolted at any form of upheaval or of progress, Mr. Jeffer 
son began his task and carried it to a successful completion. 
But it was not done without difficulty, nor without reluc 
tance, nor without appreciation of the disadvantages and 
imperfections attached to the work. An occasion for the 
expression of Mr. Jefferson s views upon the subject of 
official changes, and of the principles and motives under 
which he exercised the power conferred upon him for mak 
ing them, came but a few months after his inauguration. 
It was brought about by a protest of Elias Shipman and 
others, a committee of the merchants of New Haven, 
against two appointments of the President ; and his views 
on the subject are explained in the following letter : 

WASHINGTON, July 12, 1801. 

" GENTLEMEN: I have received the remonstrance you were pleased 
to address to me on the appointment of Samuel Bishop to the office of 
collector of New Haven, lately vacated by the death of David Austin. 
The right of our fellow-citizens to represent to the public functionaries 
their opinion on proceedings interesting to them is unquestionably a 
constitutional right, often useful, sometimes necessary, and will al 
ways be respectfully acknowledged by me. 

" Of the various executive duties, no one excites more anxious con 
cern than that of placing the interests of our fellow-citizens in the 
hands of honest men, with understandings sufficient for their stations. 
No duty, at the same time, is more difficult to fulfil. The knowledge 
of character possessed by a single individual is, of necessity, limited. 
To seek out the best through the whole Union, we must resort to other 
information, which, from the best of men, acting disinterestedly and 
with the purest motives, is sometimes incorrect. In the case of 
Samuel Bishop, however, the subject of your remonstrance, time was 
taken, information was sought, and such obtained as could leave no 
room for doubt of his fitness. From private sources it was learned 
that his understanding was sound, his integrity pure, his character un 
stained. And the offices confided to him within his own State are 
public evidences of the estimation in which he is held by the State in 


general and the city and township particularly in which he lives. He 
is said to be the town clerk, a justice of the peace, mayor of the 
city of New Haven, an office held at the will of the Legislature; 
chief judge of the Court of Common Pleas for New Haven county, a 
court of high criminal and civil jurisdiction, wherein most causes are 
decided without the right of appeal or review; and sole judge of the 
Court of Probates, wherein he singly decides all questions of wills, 
settlement of estates, testate and intestate, appoints guardians, settles 
their accounts, and, in fact, has under his jurisdiction and care all 
the property, real and personal, of persons dying. The two last 
offices in the annual gift of the Legislature were given to him in May 
last. Is it possible that the man to whom the Legislature of Connecti 
cut has so recently committed trusts of such difficulty and magnitude 
is unfit to be the Collector of the District of New Haven, though 
acknowledged in the same writing to have obtained all this confidence 
* by a long life of usefulness 1 ? It is objected, indeed, in the remon 
strance, that he is seventy-seven years of age ; but at a much more ad 
vanced age our Franklin was the ornament of human nature. He may 
not be able to perform in person all the details of his office ; but if he 
gives us the benefit of his understanding, his integrity, his watchful 
ness, and takes care that all the details are well performed by himself 
or his necessary assistants, all public purposes will be answered. The 
remonstrance, indeed, does not allege that the office has been illy con 
ducted, but only apprehends that it will be so. Should this happen, in 
any event, be assured I will do in it what shall be just and necessary 
for the public service. In the meantime, he should be tried without 
bein^ prejudged. 

" The removal, as it is called, of Mr. Goodrich forms another sub 
ject of complaint. Declarations by myself in favor of political toler 
ance, exhortations to harmony and affection in social intercourse, and 
to respect for the equal rights of the minority, have, on certain occa 
sions, been quoted and misconstrued into assurances that the tenure of 
offices was to be undisturbed. But could candor apply to such a con 
struction? It is not, indeed, in the remonstrance that we find it; but 
it leads to the explanations which that calls for. When it is con 
sidered that during the late administration those who were not of a 
political sect of politics were excluded from all office; when, by a 
steady pursuit of this measure, nearly the whole offices of the United 
States were monopolized by that sect ; when the public sentiment at 
length declared itself, and burst open the doors of honor and confi 
dence to those whose opinions they more approved, was it to be 
imagined that this monopoly of office was still to be continued in the 
hands of the minority? Does it violate their equal rights to assert 
some rights in the majority also ? Is it political intolerance to claim 
a proportionate share in the direction of the public affairs? Can they 
not harmonize in society unless they have everything in their own 
hands ? If the will of the nation, manifested by their various elections, 
calls for an administration of government according with the opinions 
of those elected; if, for the fulfilment of that will, displacements are 
necessary, with whom can they so justly begin as with persons ap 
pointed in the last moments of an administration, not for its own aid, 
but to begin a career at the same time with their successors, by whom 
they had never been approved, and who could scarcely expect from 
them a cordial cooperation? Mr. Goodrich was one of these. Was it 
proper for him to place himself in office without knowing whether 


those whose agent he was to be would have confidence in his agency? 
Can the preference of another as the successor to Mr. Austin be can 
didly called a removal of Mr. Goodrich ? If a due participation of 
office is a matter of right, how are vacancies to be obtained ? Those 
by death are few ; by resignation, none. 

" Can any other mode than that of removal be proposed ? This is 
a painful office ; but it is made my duty, and I meet it as such. I pro 
ceed in the operation with deliberation and inquiry, that it may injure 
the best men least, and effect the purposes of justice and public utility 
with the least private distress ; that it may be thrown, as much as pos 
sible, on delinquency, on oppression, on intolerance, on ante-revolu 
tionary adherence to our enemies. 

" The remonstrance laments * that a change in the administration 
must produce a change in the subordinate officers ; in other words, that 
it should be deemed necessary for all officers to think with their prin 
cipal. But on whom does this imputation bear? On those who have 
excluded from office every shade of opinon which was not theirs? 
Or on those who have been so excluded? I lament sincerely that un 
essential differences of opinion should ever have been deemed sufficient 
to interdict half the society from the rights and the blessings of self- 
government ; to proscribe them as unworthy of every trust. It would 
have been to me a circumstance of great relief had I found a mod 
erate participation of office in the hands of the majority. I would 
gladly have left to time and accident to raise them to their just share. 
But their total exclusion calls for prompter corrections. I shall cor 
rect the procedure ; but that done, return with joy to that state of 
things when the only questions concerning a candidate shall be, Is he 
honest ? Is he capable ? Is he faithful to the Constitution ? 

" I tender you the homage of my high respect. 


rt This was not all of Mr. Jefferson s correspondence on 
this matter. On August 26, a little more than one month 
after the letter to the New Haven merchants, the President 
wrote as follows from Monticello to Mr. Levi Lincoln, of 
Massachusetts, the attorney-general in his cabinet : 

" DEAR SIR : . . . I am glad to learn from you that the answer 
to New Haven had a good effect in Massachusetts on the Republicans, 
and no ill-effects on the sincere Federalists. 1 had foreseen, years 
ago, that the first Republican President who should come into office 
after all the places in the government had become exclusively occu 
pied by Federalists, would have a dreadful operation to perform. 
That the Republicans would consent to a continuation of everything 
in Federal hands was not to be expected, because neither just nor 
politic. On him, then, was to devolve the office of an executioner, 
that of lopping off. I cannot say that it has worked harder than 1 
expected. You know the moderation of our views in this business, 
and that we all concurred in them. We determined to proceed with 
deliberation. This produced impatience in the Republicans, and a 
belief we meant to do nothing. Some occasion of public explanation 
was eagerly desired, when the New Haven remonstrance offered us 


that occasion. The answer was meant as an explanation to our 
friends. It has had on them, everywhere, the most wholesome effect. 
Appearances of schismatizing from us have been entirely done away. 

"It will be particularly interesting to those who now 
expect changes in offices with anxiety, to read such high 
testimony as that of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Lincoln, that 
such changes can be accomplished with benefit to the 
public service, and with the acquiescence of such of the 
withdrawing party as have a right to be heard in the po 
litical world, those who take part in its contests, and 
understand its obligations. The action of Mr. Jefferson 
in these instances had a good effect on the Republicans, 
and no ill effects on the sincere Federalists. But a third 
letter from the President to Mr. Lincoln, dated at Wash 
ington on Oct. 25, 1802, gives a still clearer elucidation of 
the ideas which guided him in his administration, with 
some additional comments, which are peculiarly pertinent 
to the situation of to-day : 

"DEAR SIR: . . . I still think our original idea as to office is 
best; this is to depend, for the obtaining a just participation, on 
deaths, resignations, and delinquencies. This will least affect the 
tranquillity of the people, and prevent their giving in to the sugges 
tion of our enemies, that ours has been a contest for office, not for 
principle. This is rather a slow operation, but it is sure, if we 
pursue it steadily, which, however, has not been done witli the un- 
deviating resolution 1 could have wished. To these means of obtain 
ing a just share in the transaction of the public business shall be 
added one other, to wit, removal for electioneering activity, or open 
and industrious opposition to the principles of the present govern 
ment, legislative and executive. Every officer of the government 
may vote at elections according to his conscience; but we should 
betray the cause committed to our care were we to permit the influ 
ence of official patronage to be used to overthrow that cause. 

Here, then, in these three short epistles of the founder 
of the Democracy, is his theory upon which a party suc 
ceeding to the management of the national machinery 
after it has been under the hostile control of an uncom 
promising partisan organization, should address itself to 
the task of obliterating the most objectionable elements 
of partisan rule, and instituting in their stead a purer 
and more Democratic system. 

"But these arguments of Mr. Jefferson are concerned 
merely with the principle that when a party succeeds to 


the management of federal affairs, and finds the govern 
mental functions wholly in the hands of its opponents, it 
has the right, and it is its duty, to establish its own power 
by turning its opponents out of office ; even if for no other 
reason than that it wants to put its own adherents in 
their places. Other cases, where changes are confessedly 
necessary, are not referred to by Mr. Jefferson. 

" Confidential offices, which powerfully affect the action 
of the chief executive, must be filled by persons in cordial 
harmony with the executive. Under any other supposi 
tion the election of a partisan President would be a farce, 
and government by party would be impossible. More 
over, offices that have been filled in violation of modern 
civil service principles may be changed without violating 
those principles. So, also, offices conferred on the spoils 
system, without reference to the competency or fitness of 
the incumbents, are not required by civil service principles 
to remain with the abuses uncorrected. 

" Besides, experience has shown that in all trusts where 
the abuse is not restrained by the vigilant and firm super 
vision of the superior, directly interested in maintaining 
economy, there is a tendency to the useless multiplication 
of assistants. Every officer, after a little while, wants a 
waiter, and by and by that waiter himself wants a waiter. 
Everybody deputes his duties to a subordinate, and with 
draws himself into a mere superintendence of the under 
ling. Moreover, while subordinates are appointed to 
oblige members of Congress or other prominent persons, 
the whole drift is to a creation of more offices. The dis- 
tention to which the public service has now grown from 
these and other causes is enormous and incredible. A 
glance at the Blue Book will amaze any one who is not 
acquainted with that astonishing record. Removals may 
therefore be necessary, not only on the other grounds we 
have mentioned, but also for the purpose of promoting 
economy in the public service. 

" The state of the government is now worse by many fold 
- more in need of a change, more in need of regenera 
tion, by retrenchment as well as by removals than it 
was when the Democracy began its career in 1801. The 
defeated party retires after a term of power twice as long 
as that which the Federalists had enjoyed when they were 
overthrown. The perversion of the government from the 


standard to which government in this country should con 
form is proportionately far greater than it had been when 
Mr. Jefferson s administration began. By just so much is 
the present work of reform more arduous, and its necessity 
more imperative. 

" Thus the principles enunciated by President Jefferson 
eighty-four years ago are as true to-day as they were then, 
and they will operate as beneficently now as they did when 
first brought into practice by that great Democratic states- 

In the following letter we have an opportunity of seeing 
something of the directions in which he helped to shape 
Mr. Manning s first report to Congress : 



"Nov. 14, 1885. 

" DEAR MR. MANNING : I have been so much troubled by 
a derangement of my digestion that I could not find an 
opportunity to put in shape suggestions for you. But yes 
terday having notice from Mr. Marble that he would call in 
the afternoon for consultation I dictated, notwithstanding 
the suffering I was undergoing, the paper which I now 

" I notice that you make the surplus for the present year 
to be $70,000,000. Mr. Jordan told me a few days ago it 
would not exceed $40,000,000, of which $24,000,000 would 
be consumed by purchasers of silver, leaving only $16,000,- 
000 of real surplus. I ought to know the true amount. 
In my judgment the passage of the harbor defences ought 
to precede all other discussions about the surplus revenue. 
What Mi\ Marble is preparing relates to the silver question. 

" If anything is said about revenue reform or the tariff, 
that topic should come third. I incline to doubt whether 
you can discuss the latter topic with any advantage. Cer 
tainly you cannot submit a specific plan in your annual 
report. The subject is too complicated and extensive to be 
disposed of incidentally in the general finance report. 

"I am clear that the discussion about harbor defence 
properly belongs to your department. The reason is stated 


in the beginning of the paper I send you. No doubt 
either the War or the Navy Department would be glad to 
occupy that ground. But not to them, but to you alone, 
belong the general survey of the financial policy of the 

"Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

The defence of our sea-coast, to which allusions are 
made in the foregoing paper, had been occupying no in 
considerable portion of Mr. Tilden s thought and study 
during the greater part of the year 1885, and he was 
anxious that the subject should be pressed upon the atten 
tion of Congress and of the country with all the authority 
of a new administration. Having no encouragement to 
submit his opinions upon this or any other subject to the 
President directly, and anxious to give Mr. Manning some 
thing for his report calculated, as he correctly believed, to 
produce upon the country a favorable impression of their 
new and inexperienced minister of finance, Mr. Tilden 
sent him a letter setting forth in a general way the results 
of his reflections upon the subject of harbor defences. 
In due time he received from the secretary the follow 
ing humiliating reply, humiliating to Mr. Tilden only 
because it disclosed a situation so humiliating to Mr. 
Manning : 


"WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 1, 1885. 
" MY DEAR GOVERNOR : I find that I cannot do what I 
wish to do with the Sea-Coast Defences paper, and I 
am in great distress about it. I had intended to begin my 
first report with that paper, but I am now reluctantly 
forced to the conclusion that it will be impracticable. My 
report has not been read or discussed by any of the people 
here, but during the past few days I have been called upon 
to listen to several public documents, and the conclusion I 
have been driven to is, that if I were to submit my report 
(as I must, sooner or later) to like reading and criticism, 


with the Sea-Coast Defences, paragraphs therein could 
not be retained. 

" I am certain that if I were to publish the report without 
conference with any one, it would immediately and seriously 
embroil my personal relations in two or three cases. More 
over, as I now know what recommendations are to be 
made, I should put myself in a most invidious position. 
Such publication would be fatal to carrying through the 
plan. If there is no publication, I can be of much service 
in pressing forward the policy so powerfully recommended 
in the paper, and 1 judge that you will prefer that to any 
form of stating it. I have arrived at this decision after 
deliberate thought, and I regret that I cannot give you my 
reasons more fully ; but I have talked them over with Mr. 
Marble, and I hope to hear, after he has explained the case 
to you in all its bearings, that you approve my judgment. 

" Anxiously hoping that this may not carry disappoint 
ment, I am, 

" Sincerely your friend, 


By return mail Mr. Manning received the following 
reply from Mr. Tilden : 


"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 3, 1885. 

" DEAR MR. MANNING : You need not concern your 
self for the omission to use the discussion on our Sea-Coast 
Defences which I sent you. My purpose was to advance 
a public object, and to help you to take a position not only 
wise and patriotic, but embracing many elements of public 
satisfaction and popularity. 

" If it would excite the jealousy of any one of your 
colleagues, or be regarded by them as trenching upon their 
peculiar domain, although I should not agree that they 
would have any cause for discontent, it may be best to 
sacrifice something to appease them. No explanation to 
me is necessary. Perhaps, to save the waste of a morning s 
dictation at a time when I was not fit to work, I may think 
it expedient to use the material some other way. 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

VOL. II. 20 


It had by this time become manifest to Mr. Tilden, not 
only that he was not a persona grata to the President, which 
he more than suspected before, but that it was anything but 
a recommendation in the President s eyes to be a friend of 
his. It was no doubt a conviction of this sort which im 
pelled Mr. Tilden to address a copy of his rejected views 
about sea-coast defences in the following letter to the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, by whom it was 
immediately given to the press : 


"GRAYSTOXE, YONKERS, N.Y., Dec. 1, 1885. 

" DEAR MR. CARLISLE : As public opinion points to 
you as the Speaker of the next House of Representatives, I 
desire to submit a suggestion as to one of the public objects 
for which an appropriation ought to be prompt and liberal. 

" In considering the state and management of the public 
revenues, the subject involves the questions whether we 
shall extinguish the surplus by reducing the revenue, or 
whether we shall apply the surplus to payments on the 
public debt, or whether we shall seize the occasion to pro 
vide for our sea-coast defences, which have been long 
neglected. I am of the opinion that the latter is a para 
mount necessity which ought to precede the reduction of 
the revenue, and ought also to precede an excessive rapidity 
in the payment of the public debt. 

ct The property exposed to destruction in the twelve 
seaports Portland, Portsmouth, Boston, Newport, New 
York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, New 
Orleans, Galveston, and San Francisco cannot be less in 
value than five thousand millions of dollars. To this must 
be added a vast amount of property dependent for its use 
on these seaports. Nor does this statement afford a true 
measure of the damage which might be caused to the 
property and business of the country by a failure to protect 
these seaports from hostile naval attacks. 

"They are the centres, not only of foreign commerce, but. 
of most of the internal trade and exchanges of domestic 
productions. To this state of things the machinery of 
transportation of the whole country has become adapted. 


The interruption of the currents of traffic by the occupation 
of one or more of our principal seaports by a foreign 
enemy, or the destruction of them by bombardment, or the 
holding over them the menace of destruction for the pur 
pose of exacting contribution or ransom, would inflict upon 
the property and business of the country an injury which 
can neither be foreseen nor measured. The elaborate and 
costly fortifications, which were constructed with the 
greatest engineering skill, are now practically useless. 
They are not capable of resisting the attacks of modern 

"A still greater defect exists in our coast defences. The 
range of the best modern artillery has become so extended 
that our present fortifications, designed to protect the 
harbor of New York, where two-thirds of the import trade 
and more than one-half of the export trade of the whole 
United States is carried on, are too near to the great 
populations of New York city, Jersey City, and Brooklyn 
to be of any value as a protection. 

"To provide effectual defences would be the work of 
years. It would take much time to construct permanent 
fortifications. A small provision of the best modern guns 
would take several years. Neither of these works can be 
extemporized in presence of emergent danger. A million 
of soldiers, with the best equipments, on the heights sur 
rounding the harbor of New York, in our present state of 
preparation, or rather in our total want of preparation, 
would be powerless to resist a small squadron of war 
steamers. This state of things is discreditable to our fore 
sight and to our prudence. The best guarantee against 
aggression, the best assurance that our diplomacy will 
be successful and pacific, and that our rights and honor will 
be respected by other nations, is in their knowledge that 
we are in a situation to vindicate our reputation and inter 
ests. While we may afford to be deficient in the means of 
offence, we cannot afford to be defenceless. The notoriety 
of the fact that we have neglected the ordinary precautions 
of defence invites want of consideration in our diplomacy, 
injustice, arrogance, and insult at the hand of nations. It 
is now more than sixty years since we announced to the 
world that we should resist any attempts, from whatever 
quarter they might come, to make any new colonizations on 
any part of the American continent ; that while we should 


respect the status quo we should protect the people of the 
different nations inhabiting this continent from every 
attempt to subject them to the dominion of any European 
power, or to interfere with their undisturbed exercise of 
the rights of self-government. This announcement Avas 
formally made by President Monroe, after consultation with 
Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson. It was formulated by John 
Quincy Adams. Our government has firmly adhered to 
the Monroe Doctrine, and even so late as 1865 it warned 
Napoleon III. out of Mexico. It is impossible to foresee, 
in the recent scramble of the European powers for acquisi 
tion of colonies, how soon an occasion may arise for our 
putting in practice the Monroe Doctrine. It is clear that 
there ought to be some relation between our assertion of 
that doctrine and our preparation to maintain it. It is not 
intended to recommend any attempt to rival the great 
European powers in the creation of a powerful navy. The 
changes which have rapidly occurred by the diminution of 
the relative resisting power of the defensive armor of iron 
clads, and by the increased efficiency of modern artillery, 
which on the whole has gained in the competition, suggest 
that we should not at present enter largely into the creation 
of armored vessels. In the questions that beset this subject 
until they shall have reached a solution, we can content 
ourselves with adding but sparingly to our navy. But what 
we do add should be the very best that science and experi 
ence can indicate. This prudential view is ree nforced by 
the consideration that the annual charge of maintaining a 
war vessel bears an important proportion to the original cost 
of construction. 

"In constructing permanent fortifications, and in provid 
ing an ample supply of the best modern artillery, the 
annual cost of maintenance is inconsiderable. Nearly the 
whole expenditure is in the original outlay for construction. 
If we do not make the expenditure necessary to provide for 
our sea-coast defences when we have a surplus, and have 
no need to levy new taxes, we certainly will not make 
those expenditures when we have no longer a surplus in 
the treasury. To leave our vast interests defenceless in 
order to reduce the cost of whiskey to its consumers would 
be a solecism. The present time is peculiarly favorable 
for providing for this great national necessity too long 
neglected. Not only does the surplus in the treasury 


supply ample means to meet this great public want with 
out laying new burdens upon the people, but the work 
can now be done at a much lower cost than has ever 
before been possible. The defensive works would consist 
almost entirely of steel and iron. These materials can now 
be had at an unprecedentedly low price. A vast supply of 
machinery and of labor called into existence by a great vicis 
situde in the steel and iron industries offers itself to our 
service. We should have the satisfaction of knowing that 
while we were availing ourselves of the supplies which 
would ordinarily be unattainable, we were setting in motion 
important industries and giving employment to labor in a 
period of depression. With encouragement by the guaran 
tee of work, or perhaps by the government itself furnish 
ing the plant, the inventive genius of our people would 
be applied to the creation of new means and improved ma 
chinery, and establishments would spring into existence 
capable of supplying all of the national wants, and render 
ing us completely independent of all other countries in 
respect to the means of national defence. I endeavored to 
impress these ideas upon Mr. Randall the last time I had 
the pleasure of seeing him. 

" With my highest regards to Mrs. Carlisle and yourself, 
I remain, 

" Very truly yours, 

" S. J. TILDES. 

The appearance of this communication a few days before 
the submission of the President s first annual message to 
Congress was regarded with anything but satisfaction at the 
White House, and all the less because the recommendations 
it contained received not only more attention from the 
public than any made by the President in his message, but 
exerted an important influence upon the legislation of the 
country, which hardly could be said, with truth, of any 
recommendation in the message. The liberal appropria 
tions for our " wooden walls " during the succeeding five 
or six years were, I believe, in a large degree attributable to 
the impression left upon Congress and the country by this 


When announcing Mr. Tilden s death, the " New York 
World " said : 

< f Only eight months ago to-day Mr. Tilden wrote his let 
ter to Mr. Carlisle on the subject of coast defences. The 
letter had more weight with the people than a presidential 
message. It was recognized as the thoughtful plea of a 
patriotic citizen and statesman for what he believed was for 
the safety and honor of the nation. Later still, less than 
two months ago, this impressive document was followed 
by a letter to Senator Hawley regretting the apathy of 
Congress on the subject, and stating that seven hundred 
papers from all parts of the country and representing all 
political parties had been sent to the writer endorsing his 
suggestions for strengthening our sea-coast defences. Mr. 
Tilden may be truly said to have died at the post of duty." 

Mr. Tilden s communication would probably not have 
appeared just when it did, had he not been willing to unde 
ceive all who were under the impression that he was in any 
respect responsible for the acts or omissions of the Presi 
dent ; and this had become important for his own peace, so 
general was the impression that his voice was potential at 
the White House. 

Mr. Tilden was reluctant to belie ve that Mr. Cleveland 
had deliberately determined to proscribe his friends, and 
in spite of the apparent discrepancy between his reported 
declarations to Mr. Manning in the fall of 1884, and his 
action in the construction of his cabinet in 1885, had, till 
now, affected to believe that the novelty of Mr. Cleveland s 
position, his inexperience, his extremely limited acquaint 
ance with the prominent figures in the arena of federal 
politics, and the intoxication of an unexpected and inex 
plicable elevation, were all transient conditions, and might 
safely be left to the remedial influences of time. To his 
friend Watterson, who had inferred that he or his friends 
were not sharing in fair proportions the results of Mr. Til 
den s presumed influence with the President, he wrote the 


following letter, designed apparently to apologize for or 
extenuate the conduct of .the President. It will be observed 
that this letter was written within a month after the inaugu 
ration, and eight months before the appearance of his letter 
to Mr. Carlisle, and that it reveals to some extent the 
change which his relations with the President were already 
undergoing : 


"GRAYSTOXE, YOXKERS, N.Y., March 26, 1885. 

"DEAR MR. WATTERSOX : Your vision of the triumphant 
set you mention is an illusion. Mr. Green is less jubi 
lant than you. Mr. Weed expects nothing and desires 
nothing. Neither of them is excited with a sense of influ 
ence. Mr. Manning was coerced info the treasury. Mr. 
Whitney alone, of all your New York friends whom you 
imagine in power and forgetting you, can be considered as 
successful ; others who might be regarded as more partic 
ular friends of yours have sought nothing, and no search- 
warrant has been issued to find them out and install them 
in illustrious positions. On the whole, your momentary 
sense of neglect by old friends passed away because it had 
no basis in fact. 

" As to your conduct at the convention in respect to the 
formation of the platform, my information is that it was as 
meritorious as you state it to have been. 

" I do not doubt that practical men tending to the view r s 
of both sides could sit down in a corner and agree upon a 
reasonable measure for revenue reform w T hich would satisfy 
you, and in which you would especially aid in the con 

:r The administration has a difficult, if not an impossible, 
task in respect to appointments. Mr. Cleveland cannot be 
expected to know men in all parts of the country. He 
ought to try to deal impartially and equitably by every 
class. I do not doubt that he is desirous to do so. It is a 
very different matter to stand before the country as the re 
sponsible author of an appointment, or to ask that appoint 
ment under the dictation of personal or local feeling. Some 
allowance ought, therefore, to be made for disappointments. 
And the appointing power, when asked to do what it cannot, 


should soften a refusal by patient hearing, by frank and 
friendly explanation, and by seeking occasion to do some 
equivalent act denoting a disposition to be considerate of 
the interest disappointed. It is not every hand that has the 
sleight, even if the requisite knowledge of men and access 
to the best sources of information be possessed. It is 
related of two famous New York governors that a man 
applied to Governor Tompkins for an executive favor, who 
in his own gracious manner refused it, and afterwards to 
Governor Clinton, who granted it, and that he came away 
much better pleased with Tompkins than with Clinton. 

" Besides, it must be recollected that the Democratic party 
has now been twenty-four years out of power, and has had 
no means of educating trained party leaders. 

"In England the government is carried on by parlia 
mentary leaders, and the oratorical or debating faculty is 
of great consequence. In this country the government 
must be carried on by popular leaders, and a capacity for 
party leadership is essential. In both, government has to 
be carried on through human beings, a fact too often for 
gotten by theorists. 

" I depended on ideas as a political force more liberally 
and less on party machinery than anybody else has done. 
What is called patronage I never had to any appreciable 
extent, and yet I held my ascendency with the Democratic 
masses of this State when I had to confront the adverse 
influence of the executive, of the heads of departments, of 
the judiciary, and of the majority of both branches of the 
Legislature, and of one-third of the county leaders. I held 
also a majority of the voters of this State against at least 
twenty thousand office-holders. I carried on politics upon 
a plane which approached to the impracticable. I do not 
exact of anybody else to encounter the risks I ran , or to 
imitate so adventurous a policy. For there was no moment 
in which I was not willing to be consigned to private life. 
It seems to me sometimes remarkable to hear men called 
great leaders who, while swaying all the patronage of the 
country, federal, State, and local, failed to hold their 
own party, or to hold a majority of the people. 

" The Republican mischief-makers of the press must be 
expected to try to array the Democratic party into con 
tending factions, as, for instance, the friends of Carlisle 
and the friends of Randall, and they sometimes classify me 


in these divisions. I am sure you know me too well to 
think that there is any truth in such representations so far 
as concerns me. 

" If I were really exercising the power of the govern 
ment, I should dispel such fables. I do not think the 
administration means to give any occasion for such gossip. 
For my part, I substantially pursue the policy of non 
interference in the distribution of appointments by the 
national administration. Aside from other consider 
ations which require this reserve from me, the totally 
unfounded gossip of the journals, that Mr. Tilden s hand 
is seen in this or in that, already swells my mail to dimen 
sions impossible to answer or even to read. If I were 
really to take an active part in appointments, it would 
impose upon me a burden of correspondence which I could 
not endure. 

"I began to write you a short letter, but have been 
thinking aloud until my letter has outgrown my inten 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TlLDEN." 

Soon after Mr. Cleveland s inauguration Mr. Tilden had 
written Mr. Manning advising the appointment of Hon. 
George W. Julian, of Indiana, as Commissioner of the 
General Land Office, and suggesting that his letter be 
shown to the President and to Mr. Lamar, the new 
Secretary of the Interior. After enumerating the evi 
dences of his abundant qualifications for this office, he 
said : 

"I think it would be a most admirable appointment. 
Considering that he was an original anti-slavery man, it 
would be a graceful act in Mr. Laniar to favor him. It 
would show how completely the lion and the lamb had 
laid down together, and would tend to conciliate a pow 
erful class in the Northern States." 

If the lion had laid down with the lamb, it appeared, in 
this case, that one had laid down inside of the other, for 
Mr. Julian did not get the appointment. In reply to a 


letter from Mr. Julian, thanking Mr. Tilden for his effort, 
and announcing his own disappointment, Mr. Tilden said : 


"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 24, 1885. 
" DEAR MR. JULIAN : I am extremely sorry to learn that 
you are not to be Commissioner of the Land Office. My 
letter presented your case as strongly as possible, and I 
presume was communicated according to the request it 
contained ; although I have not heard from Mr. Manning 
since. But I do not ascribe so much potentiality to it as 
you seem inclined to do. Men in power generally have 
their plans, and take views which they prefer to the 
wishes of those who have ceased to have power. I hope 
that there may something else be opened to you in respect 
to which you may have better success. 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

In point of fact, no one who had taken any active interest 
in establishing Mr. Tilden s claims to the presidency before 
the Electoral Commission, or in securing the testimony 
establishing the fraudulent character of the votes which were 
made the pretext for electing Hayes, ever received any rec 
ognition from Mr. Cleveland ; not even those in whose 
fortunes Mr. Tilden took the trouble, which ought to have 
been unnecessary, to express to the President his personal 
interest. And as if to leave the friends of Mr. Tilden in no 
doubt as to the significance of this policy, he appointed to 
an important office Mr. E. H. Noyes, of Ohio, who had been 
one of the visiting statesmen selected by Chandler to " hold 
Florida," and whose defence of the Alachua fraud was of 
so gross and scandalous a character that nothing less than 
the mission to France was deemed by the principal bene 
ficiary of that fraud a sufficient compensation. 

In the Ml of this year the rumor reached Mr. Tilden 
that one of his nephews was talked of for a place on the 
State ticket in New York. The following letter which he 


addressed to his nephew shows that, as early as September, 
1885, he was no longer under any illusions in regard to the 
attitude of the administration towards him : 


"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., Sept. 1, 1885. 

" MY DEAR XEPIIEW : In my judgment you should not 
entertain the slightest doubt in respect to going on the State 
ticket this fall, if that is within your power. Both your 
interest and your duty require that you should refuse any 
such opportunity if it should open to you. I should look 
upon your embarking upon a political career as total ruin 
to your business interests, to your independence, and to 
your whole future. You cannot afford the expense of such 
a career. You cannot afford to pay even the first assess 
ment. You cannot afford to withdraw your attention from 
your business, to do so would be unjust to your brother 
and to your creditors. 

w I have felt much concern in respect to your growing 
taste for politics. You have now reached a fork in the road 
when you must choose whether you will aim at pecuniary 
independence, safety, and comfort ; or whether you will con 
sent to become a mere hanger-on to the uncertain chances 
of politics. Besides, if you were to enter upon apolitical 
career, you could not select a worse time in which to do it 
than this fall. The elements were never more uncertain. 
You would be foolish to take the chances now, even if you 
should do so hereafter. 

" I write strongly, because I see clearly the complications 
which your becoming a candidate now would involve. If 
you wish to see me on the subject, / can tell you things 
which I cannot write. 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TILDEN." 

Nor were the relations between Mr. Manning and the 
President much less, if at all less, strained before the close 
of their first official year than with Mr. Tilden. In reply to 
some complimentary lines from the latter about the secre 
tary s first report, and congratulations upon the manner in 


which it had been received by the public, Mr. Manning 
wrote : 


"WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 21, 1885. 

" MY DEAR GOVERNOR : Your note of the 19th instant 
came to me yesterday. 

" Words of commendation from you have always been 
most welcome, but are more so now than ever, feeling, as I 
do, that I am living in an atmosphere that is full of mis 
chief, and where the whirl is so great that one is inclined 
sometimes to doubt whether he comprehends his associates, 
or fully understands anything of what he is about. 

" I think of you every day and of your delicate health, and 
often wish that you were here to guide us with your advice. 
" Faithfully yours, 


" Grcnjstone." 

From this time forth Mr. Tilden refused to compromise 
the chances of any candidates for public employment under 
the federal government by yielding to their appeals for his 
recommendation. To his friend, the late Eobert B. Min- 
turn, he wrote : 


" YONKERS, N.Y., Jan. 2, 1885. 

" DEAR MR. MINTURN : It would be at any time a pleas 
ure to see you ; but I am not in communication with 
Governor Cleveland in respect to his appointments, and 
think it would be better for you to say what you wish 
directly to him or through Mr. Manning. 

" Very truly yours, 


Mr. Manning, the only member of the executive branch 
of the government with whom Mr. Tilden was in corre- 


spondencej was prostrated by apoplexy as he was returning 
to his office from a cabinet meeting in the following May, 
and as soon as he was well enough to do so, left Washing 
ton never to revisit it. After a few months vacation in 
search of health, on the 26th of July he wrote Mr. Tilden 
from Watch Hill, where he was staying at the time : 

" I want to see you very much to talk about my proposed 
communication to the President. I feel more and more, 
daily, that I need your assistance. Have you thought over 
the matter ? Have you prepared a form for me ? . 
I do not know when I can get to see you. It occupies a 
day to go from Watch Hill to New York or Yonkers, and 
for me the trip will be a long one. Kindly clear my mind 
on this point. I do so want to decide on my action before 
the occasion closes. That done, I should feel comparatively 
free. My health is improving daily. My physician talks 
encouragingly, and I feel that I am better and stronger than 
when I left Gray stone." 

To this letter Mr. Tilden sent the following reply : 


"GRAYSTONE, July 27, 1886. 

"DEAR MR. MANNING: Your letter of the 26th is re 
ceived. I have thought much of the nature of the commu 
nication which you wish to make, but have written nothing. 
Do you wish to say anything further than to announce 
your linal purpose and your reasons for it ? The letter, it 
seems to me, will be short. 

"I will try my hand on a draft and send it to you. 
"]S T o further intelligence has been received from our 
friends in Europe. 

"I have been busy all the morning answering a letter 
from Mr. Fairchild. 

" Yours truly, 

" S. J. TILDEN." 

The Hon. Charles S. Fairchild, who had been assistant 
secretary of the treasury, was at this time acting secretary 


of the treasury. The letter referred to here and Mr. 
Tilden s reply seem to have closed his relations with the 
administration at Washington. 



" MY DEAR MR. TILDEN : You have by this time re 
ceived a little pamphlet containing a copy of Mr. Morri 
son s surplus resolutions, a few remarks upon it by 
myself, and a number of tables prepared by Mr. Jordan. 
I wish to ask a favor of you, and that is to give me your 
views as to the probable effect of that resolution if it be 
comes law ; if the effects may, in your judgment, be evil, 
the nature of the evil, and how it will manifest itself. If 
it causes silver mono-metallism in this country, what will be 
the evil of that? When is this likely to be felt? Would 
all the gold be driven from use, and, if not, what will be 
the difference in value between a gold and silver dollar? 

" I wish to get all the information that I can upon this 
subject for immediate use. I do not wish to take an ex^ 
aggerated view of the evils which may come, but, on the 
contrary, prefer for present purposes to under rather than 
over state them. I know that you will be glad to help me 
in this, and hope that it may not be too much trouble to 
you to do so. 

" Very respectfully yours, 




" {Personal and confidential.} 

"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., July 27, 1886. 

" DEAR MR. FAIRCHILD : Your letter of July 24th 
reached me yesterday afternoon. I hasten to acknowledge 
and answer it. You are right in supposing that I would be 
glad to help you in your difficult and responsible duty. 

" You mention that you desire to get all the information 
you can upon the subject of your letter, for immediate 
use. Congress is stated by the public journals as likely to 


adjourn within a few days. These circumstances do not 
allow room for much discussion of the complicated topics 
adverted to in your letter. 

" It cannot be doubted that the resolution adopted by the 
House, if it should become a law, would embarrass the 
effort of the Treasury Department to maintain the equality 
in the market value of the different elements which com 
pose our circulating medium. The United States notes, 
or legal-tenders, as they are commonly called, and the 
silver certificates are kept at par with gold simply because 
they are received and paid out by the treasury as equal to 
gold coin ; because the known policy of the treasury is 
to maintain that equality ; and because the treasury is kept 
in possession, at all times, of a sufficient amount of gold to 
pay off any surplus of legal tenders and silver certificates 
beyond the amount which the uses of business can absorb ; 
and because the public confidence that the treasury has the 
ability to carry out its declared policy is thereby assured. 
Of course every measure which impairs the resources of 
the treasury, or its discretion in the use of those resources, 
weakens its power to maintain the equality between the 
various elements of our present currency. But as the 
House resolution seems likely to be materially altered by 
the Senate, it is not useful to discuss hypothetical meas 

"The present fallacy w r hich infests the minds of many 
members of Congress is in counting large amounts of 
purely trust funds and large amounts of other unavailable 
funds as if they were resources of the treasury. 

" As to what would be the premium on gold if the treas 
ury should conie to a silver basis in its receipts and pay 
ments, that is a matter of conjecture. In present market 
value, gold measured by silver is thirty-five per cent, 
higher than silver. I do not think that if gold and silver 
were to r part company the premium on gold would at once 
be nearly as large as that. Much would depend on the 
general opinion as to when the equality in market value 
between the two metals could or would be restored, and 
something upon the future cost of producing silver. Of 
course, gold would cease to circulate as currency and would 
take its place among commodities, and be bought and sold 
like iron and wheat. The deficiency in the currency 
would probably be supplied by paper issues. But these 


questions are too speculative to be discussed or even stated 
with exactness in this hasty letter. 

"It would be very desirable to bring both silver and 
gold into use as reserves for the basis of the currency, and 
as means of international exchanges, thereby doubling the 
quantity of the precious metals available for those purposes ; 
but that object cannot be effected by the action of the 
United States alone. 

" Very truly yours, 

" S. J. TlLDEX. 


" Acting /Secretary of the Treasury." 


Though Mr. Tilden had no occasion to waste any more 
advice upon the administration at Washington, he con 
tinued to take an undiminished interest in public affairs, of 
which to the close of his life his private as well as public 
correspondence bears testimony. His physical disabilities 
were gradually multiplying, and engrossed a corresponding 
proportion of his thought and time. His own apprecia 
tion of this progressive decay is given in the following 
letters : 


"GRAYSTOXE, YOXKERS, N.Y., Sept. 22, 1885. 

" DEAR SIR : I have received your letter of September, 
1885, enclosing a slip cut from the Rochester I 3 ost Ex 
press, criticising Mr. Bigelow s republication of my 
speeches, and f speaking of my action in regard to canal 
matters ; and also saying that you had written to him 
to correct the errors. 

"I am much obliged to you for the trouble you have 
taken in the matter. I apprehend, however, that it may be 
safely left to the public or posterity to discredit or confute 
the writer s misrepresentations. 

" I regret to hear that your health is so unsatisfactory. 
You have my cordial sympathies and my best wishes for 
the comfort and happiness of your declining years. 

" I am myself, although somewhat your junior, subject 
to some infirmities which annoy me and create inconvenient 
disabilities. My eyes, happily, are strong, and enable me 


to read as much as ever ; and my hearing also is very acute 
in both ears ; but I have a trouble of my vocal cords 
which makes my voice weak and sometimes reduces me to 
a whisper. Some of my nerves of motion, too, are tremu 
lous. Fatigue aggravates this so much that I do not 
travel, which I believe you are generally able to do. 

" I should hope to see you if you should be able to visit 
me, were it not, as I understand, your hearing is impaired, 
and if we met social intercourse would be very imperfect 
between a dumb man and a deaf one. 

"With my earnest good wishes, 
"Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TlLDEN. 


A few weeks later he gives some further and more inter 
esting particulars about his physical condition in a letter to 
an old friend in Rochester. 


"GRAYSTONE, Feb. 27, 1886. 

" DEAR MR. SIBLEY : I have received your interesting 
letter. The newspapers are correct in saying that the 9th 
of February is my birthday, but some of them are quite 
astray in saying that I am seventy-nine years old. I was 
born the 9th of February, 1814, and was seventy-two years 
old on my last birthday. Although seven years younger 
than you are, I can readily believe that you are practically 
younger than I. You have not done so much as I to 
exhaust the vital powers, and have not so large a debt to 
pay for strength borrowed and consumed in advance. My 
eyes are extremely good and enable me to pass most of 
my time in reading ; my ears are both of them much more 
acute than those of most people. The doctors tell me that 
every vital organ is in strong and sound condition. But I 
have been for some years greatly annoyed by a mysterious 
malady of some of the nerves of motion, which imparts a 
tremor to my hands and impairs my voice so that I lose 
most of the pleasure of conversation. 

" I have also read the brief biography of your life and 

VOL. II. 21 


doings which you were kind enough to send me. It illus 
trates an example of an active, useful, and successful 

"Wishing you every blessing of continued health, and 
prolonged years of happiness and prosperity, 
" I am very truly yours, 1 

" S. J. TlLDEX." 

I A few months only prior to the date of this letter, and while engaged 
in a revision of his will, Mr. Tilden held a consultation with an eminent 
physician not in regular attendance upon him, at which I was invited to be 
present. I deemed the occasion of sufficient importance to warrant me in 
making a note of the diagnosis as it transpired. I quote the principal 
features of it. 

u Troubled all his life with a delicate stomach. If he went out to dine 
and the dinner was served a little later than usual, he suffered from it. 

".Used to surmount this trouble by horseback riding. Used to ride in 
Albany in 75 when the thermometer was fourteen degrees below zero. 

II Now cannot ride a horse, can only walk around the house and ride in a 

u The shaking commenced two or three years ago. 

u Some shaking in the legs, aggravated by fatigue or excitement, with 
pulsations in back of the head. 

"Feels that he is growing more feeble and his grip less firm. Has had 
a cold about three weeks. Not usually susceptible to colds. Has not had 
one for two years before. 

u It began with a slight cough and catarrh. Drinking makes him cough 
sometimes. He wakes occasionally during the night. 

u Sleeps about an hour and a half, three or four times a night, say, 
five hours at night and two in the daytime. 

tl Never had a pain in his head in his life. 

"Eats four times a day. Takes a great deal of mutton broth; beef, 
bread, and a little, but not much, vegetables. 
. " Inclined to be costive. 

u Uses enema of tepid water. 

"About once a week he takes a cathartic of Carlsbad water, sprudel, 
or rhubarb and aloes. Takes stewed prunes meantime. 

" Takes now four grains of quinine three times a day twelve grains 
a day. This is his regular habit. 

u The doctors advised more, but he held off, but was afraid to leave off 
altogether. Is not conscious of any effect of it except more strength ; no 
effect on his head or chest. 

u Had been taking, until a few weeks back, hyoscyamus, one tablet of 
2 -Jo of a grain, four times a day. Sometimes of j-^- . The highest he ever 
took 4^-. Stopped five or six weeks ago against the doctor s advice. Has 
less strength since and more tremor. Took quinine at the same time that 
he took hyoscyamus. Thinks he was worse when he left it off than when 
he commenced taking it. While he took it, was troubled with dryness of 
the mouth and corrugated tongue. Less of that since discontinuance. Doc 
tors advised diminution, but not discontinuance. Somatimes feels that he 
must resume it as a palliative. 

u Has twice stopped the use of quinine altogether, when he was living in 


Mr. Tilden neglected no suitable opportunity for pressing 
upon his friends in Congress his views of the importance 
of strengthening our coast defences. In a letter to the 
Hon. Samuel Randall, of March 2, 1886, he dwelt upon the 
expediency of the government s purchasing Captain Erics 
son s " Destroyer " as a means of testing the efficiency of 
his theory of submarine .guns. 

"It is a special measure of economy, "he wrote, "for if it 
should turn out that a machine costing about a hundred 
thousand dollars should be capable of destroying a first- 
class ironclad costing from three to five millions, the result 
would be to cheapen some of the necessary defences. 

" I wish you would send me the names of the gentlemen 
composing the committee or sub-committee whose province 
it will be to investigate and decide upon the appropriation 
necessary to purchase the f Destroyer. " 

The increasing gravity of the principle involved in what 
is popularly known as the Monroe Doctrine, in consequence 
of the increasing complication of the relations of our sister 
republics with foreign nations, furnished a special motive 
for strengthening our sea-coast defences which was not re- 

O O 

ceiving the attention from the authorities at Washington, 
still less from the public, which Mr. Tilden thought it de 
served. To assist in arousing a livelier sensibility to the 
dangers which were to be apprehended from this quarter of 
the horizon, Mr. Tilden prepared a compact history of the 
origin of the Monroe Doctrine, and some of the responsi 
bilities involved in maintaining it, to reenforce his plea for 
strengthening our sea-coast defences. I give here the 
material portions of it as it appeared in the columns of the 
"New York Sun." 

the country. Resumed it in consequence of a cold and painless diarrhoea 
which weakened him very much. 

"The doctors report his liver and lungs all right. Four yearg ago, 
when he went to live in the country, could ride six hours. The next year 
he trembled, but could walk a good deal. The first winter he tried elec 
tricity, but it did him no good he thought harm, rather. " 


" After the final fall of Napoleon and his second abdica 
tion, the Emperor Alexander I. of Russia, the Emperor 
Francis of Austria, and King William III. of Prussia, 
formed a league. Alexander drew up the agreement, 
which was signed at Paris by these monarchs, Sept. 
26, 1815 ; and they christened the league the Holy 
Alliance. Its professed purpose was to regulate the States 
of Christendom on principles of Christian amity. Its real 
aim was to maintain existing dynasties and to suppress all 
revolutionary or popular movements. To secure the coop 
eration of the people, some of these sovereigns, especially 
Frederick William III., had promised to give to their sub 
jects a liberal charter, allowing them practical self-govern 
ment. But all such promises were violated. To this 
alliance most of the European powers except the Holy See 
and England acceded. 

"The Holy Alliance held frequent congresses, and its 
policy was to intervene with military force in the internal 
affairs of any country which should attempt to establish less 
despotic government. At its instance the revolutionary 
movements in Naples and in Piedmont were suppressed in 
1821. At its instance, in 1823, France marched an army, 
nominally of 100,000 men, into Spain, and restored ab 
solutism in that country. Alexander of Russia assured 
France of his support, offering to march an army to the 

" It was known that the Holy Alliance meditated ena 
bling Spain to reconquer the States of South America and 
Mexico. It was arranged that the Holy Alliance should 
have a consultation on the subject. The policy was avowed 
to Mr. Canning by Prince Polignac, Ambassador of France 
to England, of ensuring, by concert between the European 
powers, the establishment of monarchical governments over 
the revolted colonies of Spain. 

" Under Castlereagh England had refused to be a party 
to the engagements of the Holy Alliance. Under the lead 
of his successor as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
George Canning, she took a position of more pronounced 
dissent and opposition. She threw her moral weight in the 
scale of condemnation of the intervention of France in 
the domestic affairs of Spain. 


"In the meantime the United States had recognized the 
independence of the revolted colonies of Spain. President 
Monroe, by his special message of March 8, 1822, recom 
mended the measure. Congress, by an act approved May 
4, 1822, made an appropriation to defray the expenses of 
such missions as the President might institute to the inde 
pendent nations on the American continents. 

"In 1823 Mr. Canning proposed to Mr. Rush, the 
American Minister to Great Britain, that the United States 
should unite with England in a joint declaration condemn 
ing any attempt of the Holy Alliance to help Spain to 
reconquer its revolted colonies in South America and 
Mexico. In reply Mr. Rush urged the immediate recogni 
tion by England of the independence of the South Ameri 
can States. If that were done he offered to unite in the 
joint declaration proposed by Mr. Canning. The cor 
respondence was transmitted to John Quincy Adams, 
Secretary of State. President Monroe submitted that 
correspondence to Mr. Jefferson, and through him to Mr. 

" President Monroe, after consulting Mr. Jefferson and 
Mr. Madison, availed himself of his annual message of 
Dec. 2, 1823, to state the position of the American 
government upon the subject. The two passages of the 
message relating to this subject are here given in full : 


"At the proposal of the Russian imperial government, made 
through the Minister of the Emperor residing here, a full power and 
instructions have been transmitted to the Minister of the United States 
at St. Petersburg to arrange, by amicable negotiation, the respective 
rights and interests of the t\vo nations on the north-west coast of this 
continent. A similar proposal had been made by His Imperial Majesty 
to the government of Great Britain, which has likewise been acceded 
to. The government of the United States has been desirous, by this 
friendly proceeding, of manifesting the great value which they have 
invariably attached to the friendship of the Emperor, and their solici 
tude to cultivate the best understanding with his government. In the 
discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrange 
ments by which they may terminate, the occasion has been judged 
proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of 
the United States are involved, that the American continents , by the free 
and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are 
henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any 
European powers. 



"It was stated at the commencement of the last session that a 
great effort was then making in Spain and Portugal to improve the 
condition of the people of those countries, and that it appears to be 
conducted with extraordinary moderation. It need scarcely be re 
marked that the result has been so far very different from what was 
then anticipated. Of events in that quarter of the globe, with which 
we have so much intercourse, and from which we derive our origin, 
we have always been anxious and interested spectators. The citizens 
of the United States cherish sentiments the most friendly in favor of 
the liberty and happiness of their fellow-men on that side of the Atlan 
tic. In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to 
themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with 
our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seri 
ously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our de 
fence. With the movements in this hemisphere we are of necessity 
more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to 
all enlightened and impartial observers. 

* The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in 
this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that 
which exists in their respective governments. And to the defence of 
our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and 
treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citi 
zens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this 
whole nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the 
amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers 
to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend 
their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our 
peace and safety. With the existing colonies or dependencies of any 
European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But 
with the governments who have declared their independence and 
maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great considera 
tion and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any in 
terposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any 
other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light 
than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the 
United States. In the war between those new governments and Spain 
we declared our neutrality at the time of their recognition, and to this 
we have adhered, and shall continue to adhere, provided no change 
shall occur which, in the judgment of the competent authorities of this 
government, shall make a corresponding change on the part of the 
United States indispensable to their security. 

" The late events in Spain and Portugal show that Europe is still 
unsettled. Of this important fact no stronger proof can be adduced 
than that the allied powers should have thought it proper, on a princi 
ple satisfactory to themselves, to have interposed by force in the 
internal concerns of Spain. To what extent such interposition may be 
carried on the same principle is a question to which all independent 
powers whose governments differ from theirs are interested, even 
those most remote, and surely none more so than the United States. 
Our policy in regard to Europe, which was adopted at an early stage 
of the wars which have so long agitated that quarter of the globe, 
nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to interfere in the internal 
concerns of any of its powers; to consider the government de facto as 


the legitimate government for us; to cultivate friendly relations with 
it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy; 
meeting, in all instances, the just claims of every power, submitting to 
injuries from none. But in regard to these continents, circumstances 
are eminently and conspicuously different. It is impossible that the 
allied powers should extend their political system to any portion of 
either continent without endangering our peace and happiness; nor 
can any one believe that our Southern brethren, if left to themselves, 
would adopt it of their own accord. It is equally impossible, there 
fore, that we should behold such interposition, in any form, with 
indifference. If we look to the comparative strength and resources of 
Spain and those new governments, and their distance from each other, 
it must be obvious that she can never subdue them. It is still the true 
policy of the United States to leave the parties to themselves, in the 
hope that other powers will pursue the same course. 

"These passages were undoubtedly written by John 
Quincy Adams, and assented to and adopted by President 
Monroe . 

" President Monroe had previously written to Mr. Jeffer 
son asking his advice upon the subject, and requesting him 
to consult Mr. Madison. He had also sent to Mr. Jefferson 
a correspondence between Richard Rush, United States 
Minister at London, and George Canning, Foreign Secre 
tary of State for Great Britain. 

rr Mr. Jefferson s reply was as follows : 

"MONTICEI.LO, Oct. 24r, 1823. 

"DEAR SIR: The question presented by the letters you have sent 
me is the most momentous which has ever been offered to my con 
templation since that of independence. That made us a nation ; this 
sets our compass and points the course which we are to steer through 
the ocean of time opening on us. And never could we embark upon 
it under circumstances more auspicious. Our first and fundamental 
maxim should be, never to tangle ourselves in the broils of Europe. 
Our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with cis-Atlantic 
affairs. America, North and South, has a set of interests distinct from 
those of Europe, and peculiarly her own. She should, therefore, have 
a system of her own, separate and apart from that of Europe. While 
the last is laboring to become the domicile of despotism, our endeavor 
should surely be to make our hemisphere that of freedom. 

" One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit; she now 
offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it. By acceding to her propo 
sition we detach her from the bands, bring her mighty weight into the 
scale of free government, and emancipate a continent at one stroke, 
which might otherwise linger long in doubt and difficulty. Great 
Britain is the nation which can do us the most harm of any one of all 
on earth, and with heron our side we need not fear the whole world. 
With her, then, we should sedulously cherish a cordial friendship, and 
nothing would tend more to knit our affections than to be fighting once 
more side by side in the same cause. Not that I would purchase even 
her amity at the price of taking part in her wars. 


"But the war in which the present proposition might engage us, 
should that be its consequence, is not her war, but ours. Its object is 
to introduce and establish the American system of keeping out of our 
land all foreign powers, of never permitting those of Europe to inter 
meddle with the affairs of our nations. It is to maintain our own 
principle, not to depart from it. And if,to facilitate this, we can effect 
a division in the body of the European powers, and draw over to our 
side its most powerful member, surely we should do it. But I am 
clearly of Mr. Canning s opinion that it will prevent instead of provoke 
war. With Great Britain withdrawn from their scale and shifted into 
that of our two continents, all Europe combined would not undertake 
such a war. For how would they propose to get at either enemy 
without superior fleets ? Nor is the occasion to be slighted which this 
proposition offers, of declaring our protest against the atrocious viola 
tions of the rights of nations, by the interference of any one in the 
internal affairs of another, so flagitiously begun by Bonaparte, and now 
continued by the equally lawless alliance, calling itself holy. 

" But we have first to ask ourselves a question : Do we wish to ac 
quire to our own confederacy any one or more of the Spanish prov 
inces ? I candidly confess that 1 have ever looked on Cuba as the most 
interesting addition which could ever be made to our system of States. 
The control which, with Florida Point, this island would give us over 
the Gulf of Mexico and the countries and isthmus bordering on it, as 
well as all those whose waters flow into it, would fill up the measure 
of our political well-being. Yet, as I am sensible that this can never 
be obtained, even with her own consent, but by war, and its independ 
ence, which is our second interest (and especially its independence of 
England), can be secured without it, I have no hesitation in abandoning 
my first wish to future chances, and accepting its independence, with 
peace and the friendship of England, rather than its association at the 
expense of war and her enmity. 

"I could honestly, therefore, join in the declaration proposed, that 
we aim not at the acquisition of any of those possessions, that we will 
not stand in the way of any amicable arrangement between them and 
the mother country; but that we will oppose with all our means the 
forcible interposition of any other power, as auxiliary, stipendiary, or 
under any other form or pretext, and most especially their transfer to 
any power by conquest, cession, or acquisition in any other way. I 
should think it, therefore, advisable that the Executive should encour 
age the British government to a continuance in the dispositions ex 
pressed in these letters by an assurance of his concurrence with them 
as far as his authority goes ; and that as it may lead to war, the decla 
ration of which requires an act of Congress, the case shall be laid 
before them for consideration at their first meeting and under the 
reasonable aspect in which it is seen by himself. 

" I have been so long weaned from political subjects, and have so 
long ceased to take any interest in them, that I am sensible I am not 
qualified to offer opinions on them worthy of any attention. But the 
question now proposed involves consequences so lasting and effects so 
decisive of our future destinies as to rekindle all the interest I have 
heretofore felt on such occasions, and to induce me to the hazard of 
opinions which will prove only my wish to contribute still my mite 
toward anything which may be useful to our country. And, praying 
you to accept it at only what it is worth, I add the assurance of my 
constant and affectionate friendship and respect. 


"The general idea of keeping ourselves disentangled 
from the controversies and wars of European States was 
also contained in Washington s Farewell Address. 

"The germ of the Monroe Doctrine will be found in 
several letters of Jefferson, one to Thomas Paine, dated 
March 18, 1801 ; another to William Short, dated Oct. 3, 

"Still later, a letter of Jefferson, dated Oct. 29, 1808, 
said : c We consider their interests and ours as the same, 
and that the object of both must be to exclude all European 
influence in this hemisphere. 

"Mr. Gallatin, the American Minister to France, wrote 
to J. Q. Adams, Secretary of State, June 24, 1823, that 
before leaving Paris he had said to M. Chateaubriand, 
the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, on May 13 : * The 
United States would undoubtedly preserve their neutrality, 
provided it were respected, and avoid every interference 
with the politics of Europe. ... On the other hand, they 
would not suffer others to interfere against the emancipation 
of America. 

" Mr. John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, in his 
diary, under date of July 17, 1823, says that, in a conver 
sation with Baron Tuyl, the Russian Minister, he told him 
that r we should contest the right of Russia to any terri 
torial establishment on this continent, and that we should 
assume distinctly the principle that the American conti 
nents are no longer subjects for any new European colonial 

" The reply of Mr. Madison was as follows : 

"To President Monroe. 

"OCT. 30, 1823. 

" DEAR SIR: I have just received from Mr. Jefferson your letter to 
him, with the correspondence between Mr. Canning and Mr. Rush, 
sent for his and my perusal, and our opinions on the subject of it. 

"From the disclosures of Mr. Canning it appears, as was otherwise 
to be inferred, that the success of France against Spain would be fol 
lowed by an attempt of the holy allies to reduce the revolutionized 
colonies of the latter to their former dependence. 

" The professions we have made to these neighbors, our sympathies 
with their liberties and independence, the deep interest we have in the 
most friendly relations with them, and the consequences threatened by 
a command of their resources by the great powers, confederated 
against the rights and reforms of which we have given so conspicuous 
and persuasive an example, all unite in calling for our efforts to de 
feat the meditated crusade. It is particularly fortunate that the policy 


of Great Britain, though guarded by calculations different from ours, 
has presented a cooperation for an object the same with ours. With 
the cooperation we have nothing to fear from the rest of Europe, and 
with it the best assurance of success to our laudable views. There 
ought not, therefore, to be any backwardness, I think, in meeting her 
in the way she has proposed; keeping in view, of course, the spirit 
and forms of the Constitution in every step taken in the road to war, 
which must be the last step if those short of war should be without 

"It cannot be doubted that Mr. Canning : s proposal, though made 
with the air of consultation as well as concert, was founded on a pre 
determination to take the course marked out, whatever might be the 
reception given here to his invitation. But this consideration ought 
not to divert us from what is just and proper in itself. Our coopera 
tion is due to ourselves and to the world, and while it must ensure 
success in the event of an appeal to force, it doubles the chance of 
success without that appeal. Jt is not improbable that Great Britain 
would like best to have the merit of being the sole champion of her 
new friends, notwithstanding the greater difficulty to be encountered, 
but for the dilemma in which she would be placed. She must, in that 
case, either leave us as neutrals, to extend our commerce and naviga 
tion at the expense of hers, or make us enemies by renewing her 
paper blockades and other arbitrary proceedings on the ocean. It may 
be hoped that such a dilemma will not be without a permanent ten 
dency to check her proneness to unnecessary wars. 

" Why the British cabinet should have scrupled to arrest the calamity 
it now apprehends, by applying to the threats of France against Spain 
the small effort which it scruples not to employ in behalf of Spanish 
America, is best known to itself. It is difficult to find any other ex 
planation than that interest in the one case has more weight in its 
casuistry than principle had in the other. 

" Will it not be honorable to our country, and possibly not altogether 
in vain, to invite the British government to extend the avowed 
disapprobation 1 of the project against the Spanish colonies to the enter 
prise of France against Spain herself, and even to join in some declara 
tory act in behalf of the Greeks? On the supposition that no form 
could be given to the act clearing it of a pledge to follow it up by 
war, we ought to compare the good to be done with the little injury to 
be apprehended to the United States, shielded as their interests would 
be by the power and the fleets of Great Britain united with their own. 
These are questions, however, which may require more information 
than I possess, and more reflection than I can now give them. 

** What is the extent of Mr. Canning s disclaimer as to the 
remaining possessions of Spain in America ? Does it exclude future 
views of acquiring Porto Rico, etc., as well as Cuba? It leaves Great 
Britain free, as I understand it, in relation to other quarters of the 

" I return the correspondence of Mr. Rush and Mr. Canning, with 
assurances, etc. 

"J. M. 
" To Thomas Jefferson. 

" MOXTPELIER, Nov. 1, 1823. 

" DEAR SIR: I return the letter of the President. The correspond 
ence from abroad has gone back to him as you desired. I have 


expressed to him my concurrence in the policy of meeting the ad 
vances of the British government, having an eye to the forms of our 
Constitution in every step in the road to war. With the British power 
and navy combined with our own, we have nothing to fear from the 
rest of the world, and in the great struggle of the epoch between 
liberty and despotism, we owe it to ourselves to sustain the former, in 
this hemisphere at least. I have even suggested an invitation to the 
British government to join in applying the small effort for so much 
good to the French invasion of Spain, and to make Greece an object 
of some such favorable attention. Why Mr. Canning and his col 
league did not sooner interpose against the calamity, which could not 
have escaped foresight, cannot be otherwise explained but by the 
different aspect of the question when it related to liberty in Spain, and 
to the extension of British commerce to her former colonies. 

" Mr. Canning was glad of the cooperation of the United 
States, but was too much devoted to the aggrandizement of 
England to accept President Monroe s declaration against 
the colonization of any portion of America by any Euro 
pean power. France and Russia likewise objected to that 

"The position taken by England, and especially the 
announcement by Mr. Canning that any attempt by France 
to aid Spain in the reconquest of her revolted colonies 
would be followed by the immediate acknowledgment by 
England of their independence, undoubtedly had great 
effect in defeating the plans of the Holy Alliance, and, 
indeed, of- all schemes by European powers to appropriate 
to themselves any part of the former colonial dominions of 

" But it was not until January, 1825, that England 
formally acknowledged the independence of the South 
American States. In announcing that event Mr. Canning 
gave way to his celebrated burst of oratory : I sought 
materials for compensation in another hemisphere. Con 
templating Spain such as our ancestors had known her, I 
resolved that, if France had Spain, it should not be Spain 
with the Indies. I called the New World into existence 
to redress the balance of the Old. Thus the English states 
man claimed credit for a result largely due to the assertion 
by the United States of the principle which has become so 
well known as the Monroe Doctrine." 

In the year 1884 Jacob Sharp, of New York city, suc 
ceeded in procuring from the Legislature a charter for the 


construction of a surface railway through Broadway, then 
the most considerable and popular thoroughfare in New 
York city. It soon became notorious that the charter was 
obtained by the rankest corruption, and that the aldermen 
of New York city who gave effect to the charter were, with 
a few exceptions, paid largely for their votes. Mr. Tilden, 
through the press and through his private correspondence, 
urged upon the Legislature its duty to repeal the charter 
at once. It was largely due to his exertions that the rail 
road committee of the Senate, early in March, reported 
unanimously that the charter was obtained by fraud ; that 
the organization was a sham, and concealed a scheme to 
appropriate to the personal benefit of a few desperate 
speculators " the most valuable street railroad in the world 
without legal authority, without the consent of the prop 
erty-holders on Broadway, and without any adequate com 
pensation to the city." Most of the articles which appeared 
in the leading New York journals during the latter days of 
the session of the Legislature in 1886, urging the repeal of 
this charter, were dictated by Mr. Tilden. He also urged 
Governor Hill to support him in his efforts. The two 
letters which follow were written mainly to press this duty 
upon the Governor. 


" (Personal and confidential ) 

"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 20, 1886. 

" DEAR GOVERNOR HILL : I send you a series of papers. 

"1. The first is on the accountability of corporations, 
which shows the authority for a legislative repeal of the 
Broadway Railroad charter. It is the same which I handed 
to you when you were at Graystone. I send it in connection 
with the papers which are now added. 

" 2. The second paper is an authority from the Supreme 
Court of the United States showing the repeatability of a 
street-railroad charter, and its effect not only to vacate the 
charter, but also to vacate the franchise in a public street. 


"3. Papers 3, 4, 5, and 6 elicited by Mr. Carter s argu 
ment in behalf of the Seventh Avenue Railroad Company, 
showing how the great organs of public opinion deal with 
the pretext of those who claim to be innocent holders, and 
as such entitled to indulgence and protection. 

" The truth is, that on the facts as now disclosed there 
are no innocent holders, nor any holders who had not suffi 
cient information to put them on their guard against the 
stock and bonds tainted with fraud and corruption. 

" Least of all can the Seventh Avenue Company set up 
any such pretence. 

"In the first place, the notoriety of the grounds of sus 
picion and fraud and corruption which has attended the 
transaction from its beginning, and which carried moral 
conviction to the whole public, is sufficient to deprive any 
purchaser of the character of an innocent investor, and to 
convict him of engaging in the transaction at his voluntary 

* In the second place, the omission of a compliance with 
the legal conditions necessary to a valid organization of the 
Broadway Railroad Company ; and the legal conditions 
necessary to the existence of the right to construct the 
railroad ; the failure to give adequate notice of the meeting 
of the aldermen at which the grant was carried over the 
Mayor s veto, which rendered the action of the Board of 
Alclermen giving their consent totally void, and other legal 
irregularities, were all things which the purchaser of 
stock and bonds was bound to inquire into. 

" The Seventh Avenue Company, so far from being an 
innocent holder, was the active principal in the whole 
transaction. It controlled the disposal of the stock and 
bonds, and guaranteed the bonds, and leased in perpetuity 
the Broadway Railroad. If any other party afterwards 
bought stock or bonds, he would acquire no better title 
than the Seventh Avenue Railroad Company had, and could 
communicate. If he has been cheated, his remedy lies on 
the guarantee of the Seventh Avenue Railroad Company, 
or otherwise against that company. He has no equity 
against the defrauded city to indemnify him against his 
own laches. 

" The interests of public morality require that the holders 
of the booty, whether at first or second hand, should not be 
allowed to carry it off triumphantly. 


ff You are the representative of the Democratic party of 
the State of New York. It is necessary that the purpose 
to defeat this conspiracy of fraud, corruption, and public 
robbery should be conspicuously manifested by you. 

" The more effectual and the more swift the measures of 
redress are, the greater will be the popular approval. An 
accessory measure would be to take away from the aldermen 
the power to pass any grant over the Mayor s veto. A sin 
gle man standing up before the face of the community 
would never make such a grant. The Cantor bill, as 
amended, ought to pass ; but it is imperfect, and additional 
legislation ought to be applied. It can be added to, or its 
operation limited, hereafter. 

" Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TlLDEX." 


" (Personal and confidential.} 

"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 24, 1886. 

" DEAR GOVERNOR HILL : Your special message is ad 
mirable. Such action is the best answer to those who 
depreciated you in the last canvass. I was not mistaken 
in thinking it would be received with general popular 
applause. But you have now to follow up the issue which 
you have so well made, and, if possible, conduct your side 
of it to complete success. 

I have always regarded President Cleveland s advertise 
ment that he did not desire to influence the action of 
Congress as a great mistake. A public man must show 
not only that he is individually (though impotently) right, 
but that he can lead his party- followers and make them, 
and be himself, to the largest practicable extent, a power for 
good. Otherwise, when he comes to be judged it will be 
said that he is better than his party, but must be discarded 
because he cannot effect results. I hope, therefore, you 
will exert all the moral influence you possess to induce the 
Legislature to pass such legislation as you recommend. I 
think a law ought to be enacted that the consent of the 
local authorities of the city of New York to the laying 
down of a railroad track in any street of the said city shall 
not be made effectual by the vote of any aldermen if the 


resolution giving such consent shall have been vetoed by 
the Mayor of the said city, or without the assent of a 
majority in interest of owners of property abutting on the 
said street. The streets in the city of New York are 
already well provided with north and south railroads, so 
that a man need walk but one block, and generally but half 
a block, in order to reach one of these railroads, and very 
little room is left for the convenience of vehicles other than 
railroad cars. Additional lines should only be granted 
after great deliberation and the fullest public discussion. 
The Fifth avenue should be kept clear as an access to 
the Central park. On the east side of it, Madison, Fourth, 
Third, and Second avenues have each a horse railroad, 
and the Third and Second have elevated railroads. On the 
west side the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth avenues 
and Broadway have each a horse railroad ; and the Sixth 
and Ninth avenues have each an elevated railroad. Noth 
ing is left except Fifth avenue, most of Lexington avenue, 
and Broadway below Fourteenth street. 

" The cable railroad would take Lexington avenue, cut 
ting through Graniercy park, which is maintained by the 
adjacent owners without cost to the city. 

"These facts are sufficient to show that no harm can 
come from imposing the restraints suggested. The abuse 
of the power of the aldermen to give the consent of the 
local authorities against the veto of the Mayor shows that 
such power ought to be taken away. The improvidence 
attending the appointment of commissioners by the General 
Term empowered to dispense with the consent of the abut 
ting property-owners shows that such authority ought to 
be taken away. 

"But, of course, the great measure is to repeal the 
Broadway Kailroad charter and the franchise of that com 
pany, if it has in reality acquired that franchise to run a 
street railroad in Broadway. I do not know that you will 
be able to accomplish all that is desirable, but there is no 
harm in submitting the foregoing suggestions for your 

" Since writing the above, I have received the printed 
copy of the message. 

" Very truly yours, 



Learning that I was expecting to meet Mr. Koscoe 
Conkling, then acting as counsel for the Broadway prop 
erty-holders for the repeal of the charter, Mr. Tilden 
addressed rne the following letter: 


(Personal and confidential.) 

"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., March 21, 1886. 

" DEAR MB. BIGELOW : If you see Mr. Conkling I 
wish you would suggest to him, in case he frames remedial 
bills for the Senate committee, the high expediency of a 
bill taking away the power of the Board of Aldermen to 
pass an act over the Mayor s veto, giving the consent of 
the local authorities to the laying down of railroad tracks 
in any street in the city of New York. The bill should 
also impose the condition requiring the consent of a ma 
jority in interest of the owners of property abutting on 
every street in which such tracks are proposed to be laid 

" The bill should also require that the franchise of run 
ning such railroad should be sold at auction, for a gross 
sum, to l)e paid in cash for the benefit of the sinking-fund 
of the city of New York. 

" The necessity of the provision taking away the power 
of the Board of Aldermen to pass a grant over the Mayor s 
veto is quite obvious. The requiring the separate consent 
of the Mayor will be effectual. No Mayor will defy the 
general public opinion, or consent to an improvident or 
corrupt act. 

* The propriety of taking away the power of the General 
Term by appointing commissioners and confirming their ac 
tion, to overcome the restraint created by the disapproval or 
antagonism of the property-owners, is shown by the evidence 
taken by the Senate committee, illustrating the improvi 
dence, favoritism, or collusion which attended the recent 
appointment of improper persons as commissioners. 

rf The sale of the franchise for a gross sum instead of a 
percentage on the gross or net income of the railroad will 
be alone effectual to secure the city a just compensation. 
In one contest the city may triumph ; but in a continuing 


contest for annual payments, to be annually ascertained and 
collected, the city will sooner or later be beaten. 

"If any credit should be given, that should be only on 
first-mortgage bonds deposited in the sinking-fund. Even 
that is not altogether safe. If the grant is valuable, the 
grantee may as well raise the money and pay it into the 
sinking-fund. That system will be free from after-claps. 

" One word in respect to the Broadway Railroad grant. 
The interest of public morality and official fidelity and 
honor cannot afford to have Mr. Conkling beaten in his 
present professional crusade. It is of great importance 
that the present case should be an example of public jus 
tice, and not of successful villainy. 

" Mr. Conkling s professional reputation will be greatly 
enhanced by his success in defeating the conspiracy of 
plunder. This cannot be done by paltering in half meas 
ures. The exercise of the indubitable power of the Legis 
lature to repeal the Broadway charter (which would carry 
with it the annulment of the franchise to run the road, but 
which had better be expressed in the bill) is the only 
proper measure. 

" Public opinion strongly and unanimously demands this 
remedy. The sham of pretended innocent holders deceives 

" Very truly yours, 


Mr. Tilde n shared the sympathy generally felt in this 
country for the cause of Home Rule, which in 1886 was 
passing into one of its most discouraging phases. He had, 
however, more faith than was then generally felt in Glad 
stone as the Moses to whom the task of leading the people 
of Ireland out of bondage seemed to have been confided. 
In reply to an invitation to address a mass meeting of the 
friends of the cause in JSTew York city, Mr. Tilden sent 
the following reply : 

"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., May 6, 188G. 
"DEAR SIR: I am honored by your invitation to attend 
and address the grand mass meeting at the Academy of 
Music, on Friday evening, May 7th. 

VOL. II. 22 


" The delicate state of my health will prevent me from 
complying with your invitation. 

"I cordially and earnestly concur with you in desiring 
to give the most imposing expression of the approval, 
admiration, and applause with which America regards the 
magnificent effort of the Premier of Great Britain to con 
summate and crown his career of illustrious services to 
mankind, by 2fivin^ the blessings of Home Rule to the lon<? 

7 O O O 

misgoverned people of Ireland. 

" The voice of America speaks in the place of the voice 
of posterity. It is inspired by the best hopes of a genuine 
human progress which may redeem past errors of England 
towards Ireland, and the false policy towards other peoples 
which has cost England so dear. 

" Next to the renowned Gladstone the need of gratitude 
is due to Farnell for so signal an advance of the cause of 
local self-government among mankind. 
"Your fellow-citizen, 

"Hox. JOHN Fox, 

" Chairman Sub-Committee? 

There were two bills being pressed on the Legislature in 
the interest of rogues at the session of 1885-1886, both of 
which Mr. Tilden exerted all his influence, and with success, 
to defeat. Their character and his view of them will 
appear in the following letter to the Governor : 

" (Confidential.) 

"GEAYSTONE, June 16, 1886. 

" DEAR GOVERNOR HILL : I infer from what Mr. Green 
tells me that you feel the burden of resisting the pressure 
of the advocates of the bill pretending to complete the 
abolition of imprisonment for debt, and of the bill appro 
priating two hundred thousand dollars for doubling the 
length of the locks on the Erie canal. 

"In respect to the first of these bills, in my judgment, 
the clamor in its favor is confined to a very few persons 
who have been imposed upon by scoundrels seeking to get 
a legislative pardon for their offences. It is superficial 


and will not endure discussion. The bill is artfully worded 
so as to destroy what Mr. O Conor and myself thought to 
be the most valuable instrument which the laws afford for 
the punishment of great acts of public robbery. If the 
existing law needs to be made more lenient in some cases, 
that should be done by a carefully framed bill which should 
do no general mischief. If you veto this bill you will be 
successfully defended, and will add to your reputation as a 
watchful guardian of the public interests. 

" In respect to the other bill, its immediate effect will be 
the waste of two hundred thousand dollars of the public 
money ; but its ultimate effect will be to enter upon an im 
mense expenditure and the creation of new canal rings. 
You will have, sooner or later, to arrest the system or dis 
credit your administration. 

" I think a pitched battle on the subject would in the 
long run do you good instead of harm ; but I admit that a 
considerable . . . public opinion has been artificially 
created in its favor. 

"I have twice destroyed a similar scheme. But if you 
think it expedient to defer the contest until the public mind 
can be better educated (though if it were my case I should 
make it now), you can let this bill pass with less permanent 
harm than the first-mentioned bill would produce. 

"If the State has already borrowed or authorized the 
borrowing of a million of dollars for the Niagara Falls park, 
or for that and other purposes, amounting in the aggregate 
to a million of dollars, this act would be a violation of Sec 
tion 10 of Article 7 of the Constitution. 

" Perhaps a simple statement of this objection, if it exist, 
would be the easiest way to dispose of this bill and of ad 
journing the discussion. 

" I would not trouble myself if I had not a sincere and 
deep solicitude for the welfare of your administration. 
Very truly yours, 


Among Mr. Tilden s papers was found a document en 
dorsed " Copy of Notes on the Canals, written by Mr. 
Tilden on Sept. 4 and 5, 1885, in answer to queries ad 
dressed to him." I presume the original was sent to some 


one in the Legislature who was conducting the war upon 
the canal-enlarging scheme referred to in the preceding 
letter. There is probably no American now living who 
knows as much about the New York canal system or about 
interior water-way economics of all kinds as Mr. Tilden 
did. The questions to which these notes reply are as vital 
to-day as they ever were, for the constitutional conven 
tion of New York in 1894 rashly broke down the barriers 
wisely erected by the Convention of 1846, and successfully 
guarded by Tilden as legislator, governor, and counsellor 
for forty years, and has placed the people once more at 
the mercy of a new canal ring, which is rapidly taking 
shape again under its auspices. 1 

I may here remark incidentally that I have reason to be 
lieve that it was largely in deference to Mr. Tilden s advice 
that Governor Hill gave his approval also to the bill for 
the protection of the Adirondack forests and the Interna 
tional Park bill. 

"NOTES ox THE CANALS, i884-s. 

" I. Would not the expense of deepening the canal, so as 
to add two feet to the depth of water, be very great ? I 
understand that now for a great part of its course the bottom 
of the canal is composed for about a foot of day and 
hydraulic cement, packed closely, so as to prevent breakage, 
and would not the expense of taking this up, and replacing 
it after the bottom was dug up, be more serious than any 
calculation has yet allowed 9 

" The idea of increasing the depth of the canal two feet is 
a gross exaggeration of what is possible or proper to do. 

"To build up the banks two feet would necessitate build 
ing up the locks. To excavate the bottom two feet would 
be impracticable. 

1 The following is the provision which opens the door of the public 
treasury to the new canal ring : 

Art. vii., Section 10. The canals may be improved in such manner as 
the Legislature shall provide by law. A debt may be authorized for that 
purpose in the mode prescribed by section four of this article, or the cost 
of such improvement may be defrayed by tht, appropriation of funds from 
the State treasury, or by equitable annual tax. 


"At page 23 of my message for 1875, it was stated: 
The water-way was practically never excavated in every 
part to its proper dimensions. Time, the action of the ele 
ments, and neglect of administration, all tend to fill it by 

" There is no doubt that the sides of the water-way have 
been changed and the slope filled in with silt, narrowing 
the bottom of the canal so that it is only in the middle that 
the proper depth is approached, and inconvenience is felt in 
one boat passing another. 

" My suggestion was to bring up the canal to an honest 
seven feet. All the structures of the canal were adapted to 
that. Bring it up to seven feet, honest seven feet, and 
on all the levels, wherever you can, bottom it out; throw 
the excavation upon the banks ; increase that seven feet 
toward eight feet, as you can do so progressively and eco 
nomically ; you may also take out the bench walls. This 
suggestion looked to gaining on the long levels, when it 
was found practicable, some inches increasing seven feet 
toward eight feet. The suggestion was carefully limited, 
because in many places you cannot change the bottom with 
out interfering with culverts or carrying the excavation 
below the mitre sills of the locks. 

" As to the capacity of the Erie. 

* The lockages at Frankfort during the season of 1884 
were 20,800. 

"The lockages in 1873 were stated, on page 22 of my 
message of 1875, to have been 24,960. 

r The theoretical capacity of the canal will be three or 
four times the largest tonnage it has reached. There is no 
doubt it can conveniently and easily do double the business 
which has ever existed, even though the locks be not manned 
and worked with the highest efficiency. 

" If that was true when the lockages were 25,000, how 
much more so is it when the lockages have fallen to 20,800, 
as in 1884? 

" II. How far does the fact that the lake transportation 
has almost entirely passed into the hands of railroad people 
effect the probability of increasing the business of the canal, 
in case it should be deepened? 

"III. Can the canal be maintained in the face of the 
increasing railroad competition? 


" Total tons of each class of articles which came to the 
Hudson river from Erie and Champlain canal : 

" (Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Works upon the Trade 
and Tonnage of the Canals for the Year 1884, page 100.} 

1874. 1884. 

Products of the forest . . . 1,192,681 1,097,450 

Agriculture 1,470,872 1,054,041 

Manufacture 49,426 56,899 

Merchandise 12,905 45,538 

Other articles 497,228 377,259 

Total 3,223,112 2,631,190 

" Tonnage of the canal and of the Central and Erie Bail- 
roads : 

tl (From the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Works upon 
Trade and Tonnage of the Canals for the Year 1880, pages 94-95.) 

1874. 1884. 

New York canals 5,804,588 5,009,488 

New York Central Eailroad . . 6,114,678 10,212,418 
Erie Kailway 6,364,276 1 16,219,598 

Total 18,283,542 31,441,504 

" The railroads have competed successfully with the Erie 
canal and have carried off all the increase in the tonnage. 
Notwithstanding the State has ceased to charge tolls, and 
has imposed an annual tax of $700,000 upon the taxpayers 
to maintain the canals, the Erie canal has failed to keep up 
its business. It holds on to a portion of the lumber and of 
the grain. 

" There seems to be no probability that the Erie canal 
will regain any portion of the business it has lost. 

Xone of the grand schemes by which it is proposed to 
enlarge or improve it can to any appreciable extent cheapen 
the transportation. They will simply waste the money of 
the taxpayer and revive the system of contracting, jobbery, 
and fraud. 

" The advantage of lengthening the locks so as to pass 

1 Of this amount 5,147,660 tons is the tonnage for twelve months of 
the N.Y., P., & O. R.B. Co. leased by the Erie. 


two boats at once, when there is plenty of time to pass four 
times the boats which the tonnage requires, is doubtful and 
is at best inconsiderable. It can only pretend to save five 
minutes in a lockage if, in fact, it will save any time. 

"Unless some effectual expedient be adopted to prevent 
the waste of water in locking through a single boat, it 
would consume three times as much water in the long lock 
as in the short lock. I understand that the superintendent 
thinks that ruinous mischief can be avoided, but I have 
had no means of testing how the thing would work in 

"In 1867, when I examined the subject, I found that on 
the Delaware and Karitan they used boats of about the 
same dimensions as the boats in use on the Erie, notwith 
standing the locks were capable of passing two boats at a 

" I send my message of 1875, my speech in the constitu 
tional convention of 1867, which contains a fuller discussion 
of the subject. 

"I send also the last report of the Superintendent of 
Public Works on the canals. 

" The statistical tables are so changed from the ancient 
forms that it is difficult to get the materials for a satisfac 
tory comparison of the present with the former business. 
A certain portion of the business naturally belongs to the 
railroads. The principles which govern this division are 
set forth in the beginning of my speech in 1867. 

:t The business would naturally be divided and the share 
of the railroads would be increased as the net-work of the 
railroads is perfected and more and more points are 
touched. Besides, the railroads will compete for addi 
tional business at less than cost, charging the loss upon the 
paying portion of their traffic. 

" On the whole it must be observed within the last ten 
years the cost of transportation by railroads has been 
reduced one-half. All the improvements tending to 
cheapen transportation are made by the railroads. 

" As to the clamor about diverting traffic to the Canadian 
lines, it is senseless. The great mass of grain brought from 
the West is for local consumption. Two millions and a 
half of people residing in the city of New York and its 
suburbs are not going to bring the grain for their own con 
sumption by way of Montreal. A large share of the flour 


and grain carried by the New York Central is for local con 
sumption in New England. Formerly it came to NeAV 
York city and was distributed from that point. It is now 
carried direct. For instance, flour and grain for con 
sumption at Springfield and Worcester are carried from 
the point of shipment in the West direct to those places 
without change of cars. They cannot be diverted. 

: The Erie canal still has a certain utility. It should be 
nursed along, but without any expectation of regaining 
the place it once occupied in the transportation of the 

" The taxpayer of this State will not always consent to 
pay a bonus of seven hundred thousand dollars per year in 
order to get tonnage for the Erie canal." 

In the year 1886 the "Albany Argus" proposed to cele 
brate its bi-centennial birthday. Mr. James H. Manning, 
the son of his old friend the late Secretary of the Treasury, 
and representative of his interest in the paper, asked Mr. 
Tilden to make a contribution to its bi-centennial number. 
In response to this appeal Mr. Tilden sent the following 
letter : 

"GRAYSTONE, June 30, 1886. 

fr DEAR MR. JAMES H. MANNING : I have received your 
note asking me to contribute to the bi-centennial number 
of the Argus. You are about to publish something con 
cerning the old city of Albany and the days I spent there. 

" I was in Albany between nine and ten months of the 
year 1846 as a member of the Assembly, and member of 
the constitutional convention held in that year ; and again 
most of the summer of 1867 as a member of the constitu 
tional convention held in that year ; and again most of the 
winter of 1872 as a member of the Assembly ; and again the 
two years of 1875 and 1876 as Governor. On all these 
occasions life in Albany was characterized by the polite 
and liberal hospitality which it has ever maintained, and 
which I have sometimes heard ascribed to inheritance from 
the good old Dutch customs and manners. I was occasion 
ally in Albany during the ten years preceding 1846, so 
that I have some recollections extending back at least 
fifty years. 


"The city has greatly changed during that time. I used 
often to walk through the part of Albany called "The 
Colonie " to see the old Dutch houses, of which many speci 
mens then existed. Their gables fronted on the street, 
the edges of their roofs ascending by notches like saw-teeth, 
and their entrances being in the corner through doors hori 
zontally cut into two parts. 

" My father lived in New Lebanon, about twenty-three 
miles east of Albany, and was in frequent communication 
and correspondence with the political notabilities of Albany 
on the Democratic side from the days of Governor Tonip- 
kins to more recent times. 

" In my youth, at my father s house I saw most of the 
leaders of the Democratic party of the State and some of 
the leaders of the nation. 

" But as I am contributing to the bi-centennial number of 
the Argus, I must not forget the journalists. 

" I distinctly remember seeing at my father s house Solo 
mon Southwick, Jesse Buel, and often Edwin Crosswell, all 
famous journalists in their day. 

" As I am dictating on the last day when you can receive 
the contribution you ask, and doing it in great haste, I will 
conclude with a reminiscence touching a part of Albany 
county, which went for independence before July 4, 

"The locality in which I was born, now in the town of 
New Lebanon, Columbia county, New York, was at the 
time of my birth embraced in the town of Canaan, which 
until 1788 was a part of Kings District, a subdivision 
created in 1772, of the county of Albany. 

" The people of Kings District before and during the 
Revolution acted as a little republic. The town meeting 
was its organ. 

" The records of the town contain the following proceed 
ings : At a meeting of the inhabitants of the county of 
Albany, legally warned by the committee of said county at 
the house of William Warner, innkeeper, in said district, 
on Monday the 24th day of June, 1776, for the purpose of 
electing twelve delegates to represent said county in the 
Provincial Congress, be voted : First, that Daniel Buck be 
moderator of this meeting ; second, that the present com 
mittee s clerk l)e clerk of this meeting ; third, that the 
district s books be delivered to the care of said committee s 


clerk until the next district meeting ; fourth, that a com 
mittee be chosen by this meeting for the purpose of draw 
ing up instructions for a new form of government to be 
introduced by said delegates. 

The question being put, whether the said district chooses 
to have the United American colonies independent of Great 
Britain, voted unanimously in the affirmative. ( History of 
Columbia County, p. 322.) 

"Kings District was mainly settled by emigrants from 
Connecticut, and its settlers fought for their country during 
the Revolution by levies en masse. 

" ( Signed) S. J. TILDEN." 


Tilden s last days The books he read His death Whittier s elegiac 
verses The funeral Mr>Tilden s will The validity of the Tilden 
will contested The trustees of the Tilden Trust purchase a half-in 
terest in the estate James C. Carter s argument Provision made by 
the Legislature and afterwards withdrawn for the Tilden Free Library. 

the winter and spring of 1886 Mr. Tilden s in 
firmities had been gaining so rapidly upon him that when 
the warm weather arrived he was capable of scarcely more 
physical exertion than an infant. He could not endure the 
jar of the carriage which bore him to his yacht, and even 
went so far as to have plans drawn for a railway from his 
house to the river that he might reach his yacht without 
exertion. He had a carnage made expressly with extra 
springs and cushions in which to take the air with the least 
possible fatigue. He had not been to his city home for 
many months, and had abandoned all expectation of see 
ing it or the city again. He spent most of his waking hours 
and many of nearly every night after vainly courting 
sleep extended upon a couch reading, or rather in being 
read to, for his hands had long ceased, to retain sufficient 
prehensile power to hold a volume, nor could he, without 
great difficulty, even turn its leaves. The luxury of con 
versation was practically denied to him, for his articulation, 
for many months never rising above a whisper, had become 
so indistinct that none but those in pretty constant attend 
ance upon him could understand much, if anything, he said. 
He felt this privation intensely, for it compelled him to 
refuse himself to many visitors whose conversation he would 
have greatly enjoyed, and destroyed much of the pleasure 
he felt entitled to from those he did receive. Thus cut off 
from intercourse with the living, he indemnified himself as 


well as he could by cultivating a more familiar intercourse 
with the dead. In the earlier and active portions of his 
life he had not been a wide reader. He had been in the 
habit of educating himself and fixing his opinions more 
from conversation than from books. But as his infirmities 
grew upon him, his library became his substitute for con 
versation and his principal resource. He devoured books 
by the hecatomb, as much to distract his attention from his 
physical troubles as to increase his stock of knowledge. 
The books he most affected were of a biographical and his 
torical character. He did not care for poetry, nor much 
for fiction, still less for books of metaphysics or natural 
science. During the last six or seven years of his life, 
when not otherwise engaged, it was his habit to have John 
Cahill, one of his clerks, or Miss Gould, a sister of his 
brother Henry s widow, who had become a member of his 
family, to read to him more or less every day, and not un- 
frequently at night after he had retired. Miss Gould, who 
kept a careful list, informs me that she herself had read to 
him during the last four years of his life the contents of 
eight hundred volumes, besides magazines and newspapers. 1 
Though not a book collector in the ordinary sense, Mr. 
Tilden had a very fastidious taste for books, which he in 
dulged without much regard to expense. His library num 
bered some fifteen thousand volumes . Though the larger part 
of them were of the class " which no gentleman s library is 
complete without," there were also among them a very con 
siderable number of the most rare and costly publications 
of the world, now in commerce. He bought books for his 
immediate use and enjoyment, and apparently with no 

1 1 am indebted to Miss Gould for a list of these books and a note ac 
companying it, which will be found in Appendix C. Mr. Cahill informs 
me that he read to Mr. Tilden a number of books not noted on Miss Gould s 
list, among which he remembers Burns u Prose Writings," Irving s u Life of 
Washington," which greatly interested him, and Gibbon s " Decline and Fall 
of the Roman Empire," for the style of which he frequently expressed 


thought of collecting a library that should be complete in 
any department, always excepting his law library, which 
was one of the most complete in the country up to the time 
of his withdrawal from the active practice of his profession. 
His illustrated and extra-illustrated books, upon which he 
lavished money without stint, would add distinction to any 
private library in this country, perhaps in any other. He 
was for many years one of the most valuable clients of M. 
3. W. Bouton, an accomplished bibliopole of New York, 
through whom he purchased the greater part of his more 
rare and costly works. 1 

1 The titles of some of these acquisitions will give the reader an idea of 
the value and character of the collection. 

1. Baron Taylor s u Voyages Pittoresques et Romantiques dans 1 An- 
cienne France." The copy is complete and perfect in every respect, 
and comprises 27 large folio volumes, containing about 5,000 plates 
executed in lithography after original sketches by the best artists of 
France. All the great buildings and monuments of the different depart 
ments of France are represented here, with details and sections. Much of 
the text is printed with elaborate ornamental borders adorned with medal 
lion portraits of celebrated personages, arms and armor, figures, views, etc. 
Baron Taylor, who projected this work, was the man who brought the obe 
lisk of Luxor from Egypt to Paris and erected it on the Place de la Con 
corde. He was also for many years at the head of the Theatre Fran9ais. 
The publication was commenced in 1820, and continued through the ensuing 
years till its completion in 1878. It was issued to subscribers in parts, of 
which there were in all 1,000, at twelve and a half francs apiece, making the 
price of the whole 12,500 francs. The complete sets of this work in this 
country can be counted on one man s fingers, very few of the original sub 
scribers having outlived the six decades taken for its publication, and but 
few of the original subscription sets have ever been offered for sale. 

2. Piranesi s works illustrating the antiquities, monuments, architecture, 
etc., of the Romans. This splendid set, comprising 35 volumes, is bound 
in 23 large folio volumes, containing nearly a thousand large etched plates. 
Some of the folding plates open out ten feet in length. 

3. Gillray s Drawings and Caricatures," nearly if not quite the only 
complete collection in existence. It comprises a series of 831 caricatures, 
all original issues and the larger portion in colors, 156 original drawings, 
19 miscellaneous engravings, and 4 autograph letters ; the whole in 8 folio 
volumes, sumptuously bound in crimson morocco by Riviere. Upwards of 
250 of the subjects have never been catalogued or indexed in any work. 
The collection was formed by an English gentleman who spent five years in 
its formation. In 1866 he obtained the collection of Gillray s belonging to 


One of his few subsidiary .diversions during the winter 
of 1885-86 was the compilation of the genealogical notes 
of the Tilden family, to which reference is made in the 
early part of this work. It was the fruit of considerable 
labor, covering, as it did, the history of a family life on two 
continents, and a period of over three centuries. It was 
finished during the week in which he died. Not to speak 
of the considerable expense necessarily incurred for the 
printed and manuscript records which had to be acquired 
and consulted, these notes are another striking illustration 
of the thoroughness with which he executed everything he 
undertook, and which no degree of physical weakness could 

the Marquis of Bath, and subsequently added to it that of Lord Farnham 
and another private collection. To these three collections were added from 
time to time, as opportunity offered, many other rare prints. Gillray s are 
among the scarcest of autographs. There are four in this collection. 

4. Audubon s " Birds," the great folio edition. This was bought of Mr. 
Bouton from the family of one of the original subscribers, in the original 
parts, unbound. It contains 435 very large copper-plates, colored by hand, 
including about 1,000 figures of birds, from drawings made by Audubon 
from nature during many years sojourn in the wilds of America. The set 
was then bound to order for Mr. Tilden in half morocco, uncut edges, and 
is unquestionably one of the finest copies in existence. The plate depict 
ing the turkey, which Dr. Franklin recommended instead of the eagle 
as our national emblem, one of the largest in the work, and usually 
found with half the head cut off, is in this copy perfect. 

5. Audubon s "Quadrupeds," 3 volumes, folio, also an original sub 
scriber s copy, and bound to order for Mr. Tilden from the original parts. 
This is almost equal in rarity to the " Birds." It consists of 150 very large 
and beautifully colored engravings, depicting the animals mostly in their 
natural sizes, male and female, with their young, prey, and views of their 
favorite haunts and localities. This collection also contains a copy of the 
original octavo edition of Audubon s u Birds," in seven volumes, together 
with the three volumes octavo of "Quadrupeds" issued by Audubon in 
conjunction with Dr. Bachman. 

G. The first folio "Shakespeare" (London, 1G23), bound in full red 
morocco extra by De Coverley. 

7. The second folio "Shakespeare" (London, 1632), also bound in 
full morocco by De Coverley. 

8. A fine copy of the third folio "Shakespeare" (London, 1GG4), 
handsomely bound in full red morocco extra by Francis Bedford. 

9. A set of Ashbee s "Facsimiles" of the Shakespeare quartos, traced 


ever make him relax. He now rarely saw strangers. He 
had long ceased to join his family at table, taking his meals 
alone in his library. Requiring to be fed by an attendant, 
he naturally was averse to having witnesses to the cere 
mony. He had lost almost entirely the use of one arm ; 
he rarely walked alone more than four or five rods at a 
time, and then with a shuffling gait which betrayed an im 
paired control of his lower limbs. 

I visited Graystoneon the 17th of July, 1886, and spent 
the Sabbath with him. We rode out together in the after 
noon. I had to do most of the talking, for the effort to 
make himself intelligible was painful and rarely successful. 

letter by letter from original copies to ensure accuracy, something -which 
it is asserted has not been altogether secured in the Grigg s u Photolitho 
graphic Facsimiles " more recently published. Of this series there were 
but 50 sets, and of these sets 19 were destroyed, only 31 sets being pre 
served as satisfactory in every respect. Each copy is certified to by the 
signatures of E. W. Ashbee and J. O. Halliwell. 

10. A copy of Halliwell s " Shakespeare," in 16 folio volumes, contain 
ing in addition to the great playwright s works the literary sources to which 
the great dramatist was supposed to be under obligation, each play being 
accompanied by useful literary and antiquarian illustrations, copious philo 
logical notes, complete reprints of all novels, tales, or dramas on which it 
is founded, including many other documents of a strictly illustrative charac 
ter. There are besides numerous wood engravings and facsimiles. But 
150 copies were printed. 

11. Purchas " Pilgrims," 5 volumes, folio; a fine tall copy of this old 
collection of voyages, dated 1625, the best edition, clean and perfect, with 
a fine impression of the rare frontispiece, and good margins. Mr. Tiklen 
had also previously obtained a copy of the second edition of the first 
volume of Purchas, printed in 1614. 

12. An early copy of Dr. Robertson s u Historical Works," large paper, 
12 volumes, quarto, in contemporary old red morocco, with a large number 
of rare old prints inserted, and most of which at this day it would be diffi 
cult, if not impossible, to duplicate. This is one of the earliest specimens of 
extra illustrations. 

13. " Hudibras," the best edition, edited by Dr. Nash, 3 volumes, 
quarto, large paper, with India proof of the plates, numerous extra plates 
inserted, substantially bound in full red morocco. 

14. A magnificent copy of u Cromwelliana," the folio volume extended 
and inlaid to 5 volumes, imperial folio, and about 1,000 extra portraits and 
engravings inserted, many of which are of extreme rarity, including, 





He frequently called my attention to the scenery, for he 
had a lively sensibility for the beauties of nature. I had 
recently returned from Philadelphia, where I had been 
inspecting the collection of Franklin manuscripts in the 
Pennsylvania Historical Society for a new edition of the 
works of Franklin, upon which I was engaged. We dis 
cussed a scheme, to which he had already given some 
attention, for procuring copies of valuable manuscripts for 
his library. Before we separated on Monday he said that 
if I would organize such a work he would not mind the 
expense of it. I promised him when I returned to town 
with my family to discuss the matter further with him. 

among others, an extraordinary assemblage of portraits of Cromwell, of 
his family, of Charles I., and of James I. and James II. 

15. A sumptuous copy of Mrs. Bray s " Life of Thomas Stothard, 
R.A." (her father), the little quarto inlaid to folio size and extended to 
3 volumes by the insertion of several hundred plates, handsomely bound in 
full red morocco extra. 

16. A copy of Thompson s u Seasons," Bentley s fine edition in large 
type, imperial folio, with exquisite engravings by Bertolozzi, full green 
morocco. This copy has a large number of extra plates inserted. 

17. A collection of caricatures got together by Horace Walpole, com 
prising 137 plates of Gillray and others, relating to Walpole and his times, 
bound in full blue morocco, elephant folio in size. 

18. A select collection of humorous caricatures of a miscellaneous 
character collected by Thomas McLean, comprising several hundred large 
plates colored by hand ; unique. Elephant folio, bound in full morocco. 

19. A copy of the first edition of Milton s " Paradise Lost," small quarto, 
calf, gilt, London, 1669. It is a perfect copy, with what Lowndes terms a 
seventh title-page. This copy formerly belonged to Blakeway, the histo 
rian of Shrewsbury, and bears 1 his autograph. 

20. A copy of the third edition (1678) of tl Paradise Lost," bound up 
with a copy of the first edition of u Paradise Regained " (1680). 

21. A small quarto volume of Milton s " Plagiarisms," a highly inter 
esting volume, containing Lauder s two tracts on Milton s " Plagiarisms," 
1650-51; Dr. Douglass u Expose of Lauder," 1756; Lauder s u Recantation 
and Confession" (drawn up by Dr. Johnson), with an original autograph 
letter of Lauder to Dr. Mead (never published), two original autograph 
letters of Salmasius, portraits, etc. The volume came from the library of 
Mr. Dillon. An account of this controversy is to be found in Boswell s 
u Johnson." 

22. The Milton u Memorial," consisting of a collection of early tracts, 


On Monday morning before I left he read me the fol 
lowing letter which he had been writing in reply to an 
invitation to attend the celebration of the two hundredth 
anniversary of the granting of a charter to the city of 
Albany : 


"GRAYSTOXE, YOXKEKS, N. Y., July 19, 1886. 

" GENTLEMEN : I have to thank you for your invitation 
to assist in commemorating the two hundredth anniver 
sary of the granting of a charter to the city of Albany. 

"I regret that I cannot be personally present at cere 
monies so worthy of your ancient and renowned munici 

proof portraits of Milton, with autograph letters of his various editions, 

23. An elaborately illustrated copy of Keysler s u Travels through 
Germany," etc., the 4 volumes, quarto, extended to 8 thick volumes, royal 
folio, 2,000 rare and curious plates, portraits, views, maps, etc., and bound 
in half Russia, uncut edges. 

24. A superb set of the Abbotsford edition of the Waverley novels, the 
12 royal octavo volumes extended to 44 by the insertion of several thousand 
fine plates illustrative of these works, and several autograph letters of 
Scott, Lockhart, and other contemporary notabilities. The copy was illus 
trated by a gentleman of wealth and taste for his own amusement, and oc 
cupied his leisure hours for many years. Sudden business reverses forced 
him to sell, and Mr. Bouton became its purchaser. From him it passed 
into Mr. Tilden s collection. The set is probably the richest and finest ever 
made. The 44 volumes are handsomely bound in dark-blue crushed levant 
morocco, elegantly tooled, by Mathews. 

25. The Boydell edition of Milton s works, 3 volumes, folio, extended 
to 8 volumes by the addition of several thousand engravings, handsomely 
bound in morocco extra by R. W. Smith. This set is without doubt the 
most elaborately extra-illustrated copy of Milton s works in the world. 

26. Doran s "Annals of the Stage," a large-paper copy of Middleton s 
handsome edition in 2 volumes, imperial octavo, extended to 4 volumes by 
the addition of portraits of celebrated actors and actresses. The volumes 
are handsomely bound in dark-blue morocco by Mathews. 

27. Moore s " Life, Letters, and Journals of Lord Byron," 2 volumes, 
quarto, extended to 4 by the insertion of choice plates. 

28. Bos well s " Johnson," Murray s royal octavo edition, extended to 6 
volumes by the addition of a profusion of beautiful engravings illustrating 
the life and time of the famous lexicographer. 

29. u Wulpoliana," in 5 volumes, folio, bound in half red morocco, with 

VOL. IF. 23 


"Albany is a historic city, and has long occupied a 
prominent place in the annals of the State and nation. It 
was the scene of the early struggles which determined 
whether the colonization of the vast country tributary to it 
should be of a Dutch or English type. 

" Albany formed a centre of the great natural highways, 
connecting on the south by the majestic and placid Hudson 
with the Atlantic ocean ; on the north by Lake Champlain 
with the w r aters of the St. Lawrence ; and on the west by 
the great plateau that stretches to Lake Erie. It thus 
became the objective point in military operations during 
the protracted contests for supremacy upon this continent 
between England and France, and afterwards between 
England and the rising Republic of the United States. 

a large number of portraits, views, facsimiles, etc., relating to Horace 
Walpole and his contemporaries. 

30. The old quarto edition of " Hudibras," edited by Dr. Nash, of 
which but 200 copies were printed, extended from 3 to 6 volumes by the 
addition of a host of fine engravings extracted from other editions. 

31. Duyckinck s u Cyclopaedia of American Literature," the large-paper 
edition printed on a hand press by William Alvord, with special view to the 
needs of extra illustrators, and increased in thickness as much again by 
the insertion of portraits, views, etc., of celebrated authors, and localities 
connected with them. 

32. The New Testament (in French), issued by Hachette & Co., of 
Paris, illustrated by a series of beautiful etchings done by Bida after 
sketches made by himself in the Holy Land, in 2 volumes folio. 

33. " Musee Napoleon," in 11 volumes, quarto, a large-paper copy, 
with proofs before letters, with the scarce supplementary volume, which is 
uniform in size, and not inlaid as is usually the case. This fine work is the 
only one containing reproductions of all the pictures selected and appro 
priated by Napoleon from the principal art galleries of Europe, and trans 
ferred to Paris, where they were engraved by his command. 

34. Layard s " Monuments of Nineveh," comprising 170 large and curi 
ous outlines, tinted plates, on large paper, both series, in 2 imperial folio 
volumes, bound in half morocco. 

35. "II Vaticano," by Pistolesi, 8 volumes, large folio, containing over 
800 fine outline engravings. 

36. " Rejected Addresses," fourth edition, inlaid, folio size, and extra 
illustrated, and bound in maroon morocco. 

37. Mathias "Pursuits of Literature," 1812, a copy on largest paper, 
with about 100 fine portraits of celebrities inserted, folio, half morocco. 

38. Ticknor s "Life of Prescott," quarto, 186G, large paper, extended 
to 3 volumes by the addition of engravings. 


"The same geographical configuration which caused it to 
be a strategical point of such importance made it after 
wards the gateway of a continental commerce. 

" It was Albany which, twenty years before the Declara 
tion of Independence, was the seat of the first conference 
looking to the formation of a union between what after 
wards became the independent States of America. 

" It is eminently fit that by such a celebration as you 
propose, the momentous events with which Albany has 
been associated should be kept in the memory of the pres 
ent generation and of posterity. 

"S. J. TlLDEN. 

" To Robert Lenox Banks, James H. Manning, John C. 
Xott, Lewis Boss, Archibald McClure, Samuel B. Town- 
er, William Bayard Van Eensselaer, Augustus Whitman, 
John Zimmerman, James Otis Woodward, 

" Reception Committee" 

39. Parton s " Life of Franklin," 2 volumes, imperial octavo, large 
paper, extended to 4 by the insertion of plates, bound in green morocco. 

40. Hogarth s " Engravings," in 3 volumes, folio, containing a fine early 
impression of the plates. 

41. A choice collection of " Cruikshankiana," formed by a friend of 
Cruikshank who enjoyed unusual opportunities for collecting in this line. 
It forms 6 volumes, folio, bound in half morocco. 

42. A large-paper copy of a beautiful edition of u Don Quixote," printed 
throughout on Whatman paper, with etchings by Lalauze, in three states, 
of which but 50 copies were printed, published by William Patterson, of 
Edinburgh, in 1879. This is the handsomest edition of this celebrated book 
yet published. 

43. Charles Blanc s " Catalogue of Rembrandt s Etchings," last edition ; 
one of the 20 copies printed on Whatman paper, with the plates in three 

44. Maximilian s u Travels in the Interior of North America," a folio 
volume, containing 80 fine tinted plates after original drawings, with a 
quarto volume of text in English. 

45. A proof edition of u L Art," printed on Holland paper, with dupli 
cate proofs on Japanese paper, from its commencement in 1875, the 
etchings being of the best French artists. There were 4 volumes to the 
year, folio size, each year containing 52 full-page etchings. Thanks to 
Mr. Bouton, Mr. Tilden was one of the early subscribers to this precious 

4G. A proof copy of the u Musee Fran9aise," in 5 volumes, folio, with 
about 400 fine, large copper-plate engravings of the masterpieces of the 


When I took leave of him he showed unusual emotion, 
and expressed some disappointment. He spoke of several 
things of which he would like to talk with me when I 
returned. Had not my duty to my family imperatively 
required it, I should not then have left him. 

Just two weeks and two days from the day we parted at 
Graystone, and on the 4th of August, I received the follow 
ing telegram from Mr. G. "W. Smith, his secretary : 

"Mr. Tilden died this morning at 8." 

In spite of the fact that Mr. Tilden had been an invalid 

great painters, the finest collection of pictures ever got together; a pres 
entation copy to one of Napoleon s marshals. 

47. The " Musee Borbonico," in 16 quarto volumes, containing about 
1,000 beautiful engravings of ancient paintings, statuary, bas-reliefs, vases, 
etc., representing the remains of ancient art unearthed at Pompeii, Hercu- 
laneum, etc. 

48. " Dramatic Biographies," 24 volumes, octavo, with numerous 
plates inserted. 

49. u Oratory and Gesture," by J. Sheridan Knowles, privately printed 
for the late James McHenry, by whom it was presented to Mr. Tilden. It 
is an imperial quarto, bound in red crimped morocco by Riviere. The date 
is 1873. 

50. " Actors and Actresses," a magnificent volume, enriched with the 
choicest portraits in the finest possible state, nearly all open-letter or India- 
proof impressions, collected, without regard to expense, by Sir Charles 
Price. The volume is superbly bound in full morroco by Hayday. 

51. Pilkington s " Dictionary of Engravers," old edition, 1805, a unique 
copy, copiously illustrated with many hundred fine and rare prints, etchings, 
original drawings, etc., bound in pale old Russia, the 2 volumes, quarto, 
extended to 4. 

52. A remarkable collection of books of scenery, 33 volumes, quarto, 
1816-1835, issued in parts by subscription, illustrated with fine engravings 
on steel. 

53. A large-paper copy of Lodge s u Portraits," 12 volumes bound in 
6, quarto, India proofs of the portraits, bound in full morocco. 

54. Pickering s beautiful edition of " Isaac Walton," 1836, edited by 
Sir Harris Nicolas, with fine steel engravings, India-proof copy; also a copy 
of Zouch s u Life of Walton," 1823, large paper, with some extra plates in 
serted, mostly India proof, quarto, bound in green morocco extra by Chaselin. 

55. A remarkable collection of works on u Folk Lore," 46 volumes in 
all, including many works now rare. 


for many years, and his death at any moment not improba 
ble, the intelligence was a surprise and a shock to the 
nation. So long a time had elapsed since his physical 
infirmities had become notorious, that they had come to be 
regarded as one of the conditions of life with him. Besides, 
his feebleness, which was physical only, was not apparent 
to the public, while his unimpaired intellectual activity 
and his active solicitude about public affairs gave no pre 
monitions of decay. 

His death was equally unexpected by his physicians, two 
of whom were present at his bedside when his great spirit 
went its way. As soon as the news reached the city, the 

56. Speeches of celebrated parliamentary orators, in all 49 volumes. 

57. Jesse s works, in 23 volumes, handsomely bound in tree calf. 

58. The works of Charles Dickens, printed at the Riverside press, large 
paper, the handsomest edition ever printed in this country. 

59. Large-paper copies of Massinger s Dramatic Works," in 4 vol 
umes, 1813; of Middleton s "Dramatic Works," in 5 volumes, 1840; 
and of Ford s u Dramatic Works," in 3 volumes, 1869. 

60. Owen Jones " Grammar of Ornament," the fine folio edition of 
1856, containing 100 superb colored plates. 

61. A large-paper set of the " Galerie de Versailles," in 19 imperial 
folio volumes, illustrating the history of France to the time of Louis 

62. The "Florence Gallery," 4 volumes, folio, 1739; proofs before 
letters of the superb plates. 

63. The "Galerie du Palais Royal," 3 volumes, folio, half morocco, 
containing 355 copper-plate engravings of the pictures of the celebrated 
collection of the Duke of Orleans. 

64. A colored copy of the " Stafford Gallery," 4 volumes, imperial folio, 
bound in full red morocco. 

65. Finden s u Royal Gallery," India proofs of the plates, folio, full 

66. A large-paper copy of the u Turner Gallery," containing 60 exquisite 
engravings on steel of the masterpiece of England s greatest painter. 

67. A proof copy of the u Logia of Raphael," imperial folio, Meulo- 
mester, half red morocco. 

68. u Tableaux Historiques," original issue, 3 volumes, royal folio, 
red morocco. 

69. One volume of the personal-expense accounts of President Jeffer- 
gon, a detailed description of which appeared in the " Century Magazine " a 
few years prior to Mr. Tilden s death. 


flags on all the public buildings and most of the newspaper 
offices were displayed at half-mast. Governor Hill promptly 
issued a proclamation in which, among other things, he 
said : 

" The country loses one of its ablest statesmen and the 
State of New York one of its foremost citizens. He was 
twice a representative in the State Legislature, a member 
of two constitutional conventions, Governor of the State 
for two years, and in 1876 was the candidate of one of the 
greater parties of the country for the presidency, and re 
ceived therefor the electoral vote of his native State, and 
upon the popular vote was declared the choice of a majority 
of the voters of the United States. As a private citizen 
and in every public station he was pure and upright, and 
discharged every trust with conspicuous fidelity. His last 
public utterance, which attracted universal attention, exhib 
ited the same spirit of unselfish patriotism which character 
ized his whole career, and was in behalf of strengthening 
the defences of his country that he loved so well." . 

The Governor then ordered the flags upon the capitol 
and upon all the public buildings of the State, including 
arsenals of the national guard, to be displayed at half-mast 
until and including the day of the funeral, and the citizens 
of the State, for a like period, were requested to unite in 
appropriate tokens of respect. 

President Cleveland telegraphed to the family his " indi 
vidual sorrow in an event by which the State of New York 
had lost her most distinguished son, and the nation one of 
its wisest and most patriotic counsellors." 

The funeral was solemnized at Graystone, on the 7th of 
August, and the same day the remains of the deceased 
statesman were conveyed to New Lebanon, where, after a 
supplementary funeral service in the Presbyterian church 
of that village, they were interred near those of his deceased 

Whittier, the poet, found in Mr. Tilden s death a theme 
for the following noble lines : 


" Once more, O all-adjusting Death, 

The nation s Pantheon opens wide ; 
Once more a common sorrow saith, 
A strong, wise man has died. 

"JTaults doubtless had he. Had we not 

Our own, to question and asperse 
The worth we doubted or forgot 
Until we stood beside his hearse? 

" Ambitious, cautious, yet the man 

To strike down fraud with resolute hand ; 
A patriot, if a partisan, 
He loved his native land. 

" So let the mourning bells be rung, 

The banner droop its folds half-way, 
And let the public pen and tongue 
Their fitting tribute pay. 

" Then let us vow above his bier 
To set our feet on party lies, 
And wound no more a living ear 
With words that death denies." 

On the Monday following the funeral Mr. Tilden s will, 
which had been executed on the 23d of April, 1884, was 
opened and read in the presence of the heirs and the exec 
utors, by James C. Carter, Esq., of the law firm of Carter 
and Ledyard, and it was admitted to probate by the Sur 
rogate of Westehester county, in October of the year 1886. 

The testator, never having married, had no direct de 
scendants. His surviving next of kin consisted of his sister, 
Mrs. Mary B. Pelton, and the two sons and four daughters 
of his brother Henry. His estate consisted chiefly of per 
sonal property ; about one-tenth in houses and lands, and 
another tenth in iron mines in New York and Michigan. 
The estate was appraised by experts at a little over five 
millions. Of this about one million was appropriated to 
legacies and to the constitution of trust funds for relatives 
and other beneficiaries. His will provided for the estab 
lishment of free libraries at New Lebanon and Yonkers, at 
a cost of somewhat beyond $100,000 ; and set apart $10,000 
for " keeping in repairs, improving, and adorning the ceme 
tery in the town of New Lebanon." 


The substantial residue of his estate, amounting to about 
$4,000,000, he disposed of as follows : l 

" XXXV. I request my said Executors and Trustees to 
obtain as speedily as possible from the Legislature, an Act of 
Incorporation of an institution to be known as the Tilden 
Trust, with capacity to establish and maintain a Free Library 
and Reading-Boom in the city of New York, and to promote 
such scientific and educational objects as my said Executors 
and Trustees may more particularly designate. Such cor 
poration shall have not less than five Trustees, with power 
to fill vacancies in their number, and in case said institu 
tion shall be incorporated in a form and manner satisfactory 
to my said Executors and Trustees during the lifetime of 
the survivor of the two lives in being upon which the 
Trust of my general estate herein created is limited, to 
wit : the lives of Euby S. Tilden and Susie Whittlesey, 
I hereby authorize my said Executors and Trustees to 
organize the said corporation, designate the first Trustees 
thereof, and to convey to or apply to the use of the same, 
the rest, residue, and remainder of all my real and personal 
estate not specifically disposed of by this instrument, or so 
much thereof as they may deem expedient, but subject 
nevertheless to the special Trusts herein directed to be con 
stituted for particular persons, and to the obligations to 
make and keep good the said special Trusts, provided that 
the said corporation shall be authorized by law to assume 
such obligation. But in case such institution shall not be 
so incorporated, during the lifetime of the survivor of the 
said Ruby S. Tilden and Susie Whittlesey, or if for any 
cause or reason my said Executors and Trustees shall deem 
it inexpedient to convey said rest, residue, and remainder 
or any part thereof, or to apply the same or any part thereof 
to the said institution, I authorize my said Executors and 
Trustees to apply the rest, residue, and remainder of my 
property, real and personal, after making good the said 
special Trusts herein directed to be constituted, or such 
portions thereof as they may not deem it expedient to 
apply to its use, to such charitable, educational, and scien 
tific purposes as in the judgment of my said Executors 
and Trustees will render the said rest, residue, and re- 

1 For a copy of the will, see Appendix D. 


mainder of my property most widely and substantially 
beneficial to the interests of mankind." 

The executors and trustees named in the will were John 
Bigelow, Andrew H. Green, and George W. Smith. In 
pursuance of the directions contained in the foregoing 
clause the executors applied to the Legislature of the State 
of New York for an act of incorporation of an institution 
to be known as the Tilden Trust, and on the 26th day of 
March, 1877, the Legislature passed " an act to incorporate 
the Tilden Trust for the establishment and maintenance of 
a Free Library and Reading-Room in the city of New 
York." l 

In pursuance of the terms of their charter the executors 
"designated and appointed in writing " Alexander E. Orr 
and Stephen A. Walker as the two other trustees of such 
corporation, on the 26th day of April, 1887. 2 

The establishment of a free library in the city of New 
York, with an endowment of between three and four mil 
lions of dollars, was regarded as a most becoming crown 
to a life of which so large a portion had been consecrated 
to public uses. 

The hopes, however, which had been awakened through 
out the nation by the publication of the will, were destined 
to be only partially realized. The nephews of Mr. Tilden, 
who were largely in debt, were pressed by their creditors 
to contest the validity of the above-cited thirty-fifth clause 
of the will, and proceedings were instituted for that pur 
pose in the Supreme Court of New York on the very day 
the will was admitted to probate. The ground taken by 
Messrs. Vanderpool, Green, and Cuniing, of counsel for 
the heirs, was that the thirty-fifth clause was invalid for 
indefiniteness of subject, in failing to specify with suffi- 

1 Appendix E. 

2 On the 25th day of April, 1893, Lewis Cass Ledyard was elected as a 
trustee of the Tilden Trust, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the decease 
of Mr. Walker. 


cient precision the portions of that residuary estate to be 
appropriated to the several objects of his bounty. The 
case carne on for trial before Justice Lawrence at special 
term, Joseph H. Choate and Delos McCurdy, of counsel 
for the heirs ; and James C. Carter, Lewis Cass Ledyard, 
and Daniel Rollins, of counsel for the executors, in 
November, 1888. 

At the January special term of the Supreme Court in 
1889 Mr. Justice Lawrence rendered a decision sustain 
ing the validity of the contested clause. The plaintiffs 
appealed to the general term of the Supreme Court, where 
Chief- Justice Van Brunt and Associate- Justices Brady and 
Daniels reversed the decision of Judge Lawrence by a 
vote of two. to one ; Judge Daniels voting and writing an 
opinion in defence of it, and Judges Van Brunt and Brady 
writing opinions for reversal. 1 Judge Brady s opinion 
is so unique a specimen of juridical literature, that no one 
will think the space it will occupy in these pages dispro- 
portioned to its value. 

" The questions discussed by the presiding justice and 
Justice Daniels are not free from difficulty or doubt, but I 
think, on authority and proper judicial interpretation, the 
solution of them by the presiding justice is the most 
acceptable. I concur with him, therefore." 2 

The case was taken to the Court of Appeals, where it 
came on for argument before the second division, consist 
ing of seven judges of the Supreme Court temporarily 

1 The opinion of Judge Van Brunt, who at this time had become chief jus 
tice, lends a melancholy interest to the circumstance that it was at the special 
instance and request of Aaron J. Vanderpool, of the firm of Vanderpool, 
Green, & Cuming, the counsel for the contestants of the will, that Judge 
Van Brunt, while a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was detailed by 
Governor Tilden to act as a supplementary judge of the Supreme Court in 
1874, a detail which was continued for six out of the eight succeeding 
years, when he was elected one of the justices of that court. 

2 It was this opinion, perhaps, which inspired the wags of the bar to 
exclaim, when Judge Brady entered the court-room : 

" Lo, the con-curring hero comes ! " 


designated by Governor Hill, to assist the appellate court 
in disposing of business in arrear. It was argued by 
Carter and Rollins for the appellants, and by Choate and 
McCurdy for the heirs, at the June term in 1891. 

Mr. Carter s argument closed with the following impres 
sive appeal : 

" Now, then, if your Honors please, I have gone over, 
so far as I have had strength, the principal grounds upon 
which the validity of this devise has been contested. They 
are, to my mind, unsubstantial in the extreme. Nothing 
but the circumstance, that it seems to be impossible nowa 
days for a man to make any considerable disposition of 
property outside of the range of those who claim to be 
kindred by blood ; nothing but the disposition to question 
bequests given to publio objects, to take the chances of 
litigation, because so many of those contests have been 
successful ; nothing, I say, but this practice, which has 
become too universal, would have ever induced any one to 
question the simple provisions of this will. If I could 
persuade myself that this munificent bequest of Governor 
Tilden, this beneficent design so constantly associated with 
his thoughts in the closing years of his life, stood in any 
sort of hazard, I should be affected with the deepest anxiety. 
The idea that a man cannot, when he comes to step from 
this mortal scene, or make his preparations for stepping 
from it, look about him and see what he can do with the wealth 
which fortune has been pleased to grant him ; that he cannot 
do that without apprehension that somebody who has some 
connection with him, near or remote, by blood, will come 
into a court of justice and defeat all his beneficent intentions, 
is to me a circumstance of a most melancholy nature. And 
that these people who contest this will, of all others, should 
be permitted to grasp this property ; no near relations of 
the testator ; with no near ties, either of blood or affection ; 
living upon his bounty while he was alive ; taking a mil 
lion from him when he died ; and all without a word of 
gratitude. And even then they would not let him rear 
that monument to his name, which was the dearest wish 
of his closing hours. I take it that there is to be no 
decision here which will prevent, I am glad to believe that 
there is no doctrine of law which prevents, the full accom- 


plishment of his benevolent purpose. I rejoice to believe 
that he will be permitted to crown a life of usefulness, 
although a life of contention which excited many animos 
ities, with an act of beneficence as to which none of his 
fellow-citizens would feel any other sentiment than praise 
and applause." 

On the 28th of October the Court of Appeals sustained 
the decision of the Supreme Court in bane, holding that the 
thirty-fifth clause of the will was invalid, and that all the 
residuary estate covered by that clause vested in the heirs- 
at-law on the death of the testator, Judge Brown writing 
the opinion of the court, in which Chief-Judge Follet and 
Judges Haight and Parker concurred. Judge Bradley 
wrote an opinion sustaining the validity of the thirty-fifth 
clause, in which Judges Potter and Vann concurred. 

In his opinion Judge Brown rested the decision of the 
court upon a point which had not been taken by the counsel 
for the heirs, and which, therefore, the counsel for the 
appellants had had no occasion to discuss. As that ground 
was deemed entirely indefensible by Mr. Carter; as the 
case had been decided, not by the regular judges of the 
Court of Appeals, but by judges of the Supreme Court 
set apart by the Governor temporarily to hear appeals ; as 
two of the judges in the courts below were for sustaining 
the will, and two for invalidating the thirty-fifth clause ; and 
as three of the members of the court above were in favor of 
sustaining the will to four against it ; in other w r ords, as the 
case in the three hearings had been heard only by Supreme 
Court judges, five of which were for sustaining the will and 
only six opposed, Mr. Carter felt that he was entitled to an 
opportunity of rearguing the case for the purpose of dis 
cussing the new point raised by Mr. Justice Brown. In 
this view the executors and the trustees of the Tilden Trust 

This motion, than which none could have been more 
reasonable, if a reargument is ever reasonable in any case, 


and though not frequent there is no lack of precedents 
for them, the court promptly denied, the same members 
voting against the reargument as had voted to invalidate 
the thirty-fifth clause, and those who had voted to sustain 
the will, with the exception of Judge Potter, who had ceased 
to be a member of the court, voting in favor of a reargu 

Whatever may be the merits or the demerits of the deci 
sion of the court or of the opinion of Judge Brown, the 
majority of that body laid itself open to just criticism for 
refusing the application of Mr. Carter. It may be reason 
ably questioned whether any decision of a bench of seven 
judges ought to stand that is reached by a majority of only 
one. There are only two conditions upon which such a 
result can occur : either the members of the court do not 
equally comprehend the questions upon which their opin 
ions are divided, or some members of the court are yield 
ing to influences which are extra-judicial. For centuries 
the English-speaking people have required a unanimous 
verdict from their juries of twelve men sitting in judgment 
on questions of fact; and when the twelve do not agree, the 
presiding judge may, in his discretion, send them back to 
the jury-room for further deliberation to secure unanimity. 
It is assumed that with further discussion and reflection 
their comprehension of the question at issue will be equal 
ized. If this policy, so venerable and so cherished wher 
ever it has prevailed, is a sound one, why should it not 
have its weight with a bench of judges ? why should not the 
majority be required to convince at least a considerable 
proportion of the minority, or be convinced by them ? Can 
any case be deemed to have been fully discussed by counsel 
or adequately considered by a court of seven judges, all 
having precisely the same law to apply, precisely the same 
state of facts to apply the law to, and presumably the same 
degree of concern to interpret that law correctly, when 
three members of the court, after only a single hearing of 


counsel, take views precisely the opposite of those enter 
tained by the other four ? There is no attribute or function 
of the judiciary more important than its ability to inspire 
the public with respect for its decisions. But it is idle to 
expect that a court of seven judges can retain the respect 
of the public which declines an application to review a 
decision reached by the meagre majority of one upon 
grounds not raised, and therefore, of course, not discussed, 
by counsel on either side. 

To those who are skilled in interpreting the mystic prop 
erties of numbers, I commend the problem presented by 
the prominent part which the number one has played in the 
career of Mr. Tilden. 

At the election of 1876 it was conceded that he lacked 
but one disputed electoral vote to make him President. 

When the Electoral Commission was appointed to count 
the electoral vote, every vital question raised during the 
deliberations of the commission was decided by a vote of 
eight to seven, or one majority. 

When the count of the electoral vote was made final, 
Rutherford B. Hayes was declared elected, and as a conse 
quence Samuel J. Tilden declared to have been defeated 
on an electoral vote of 185 to 184, or by a majority of one. 

At the special term of the Supreme Court, the clause of 
the will by which he disposed of about a third of his large 
estate was sustained by one judge. On appeal to the Su 
preme Court in bane, that disposition was declared invalid by 
a majority of one. On the appeal to the court of last resort, 
their decision was confirmed again by a majority of one ; and 
finally a reargument was refused by the same vote as that 
which had pronounced the thirty-fifth clause invalid ; and 
all these decisions in the face of a provision in the will re 
voking any devise or legacy made in it to any one who 
should institute any proceedings to invalidate its provisions. 

Though by the decision of the Court of Appeals none of 
Mr. Tilden s estate could be claimed by his trustees for the 


great library which he had so much at heart, measures were 
taken by the trustees of the Tilden Trust, by which they 
may reasonably expect to acccomplish in a satisfactory way, 
if not to the extent contemplated by Mr. Tilden, the mu 
nificent purpose to which he had tried to consecrate the 
bulk of his fortune. In view of the uncertainties, expense, 
and delays incident to litigation of this character, the ex 
ecutors of Mr. Tilden and the trustees of the Tilden Trust 
deemed it prudent, shortly before the final argument in the 
Court of Appeals, and about six months before its decision 
was rendered, to accept the terms of a settlement proffered 
by Mrs. Laura P. Hazard, a grand-niece of Mr. Tilden, 
who was a party to the suit for the invalidation of the will, 
and who upon the death of her grandmother, Mr. Tilden s 
sister, and under her will became entitled to one-half of all 
that part of the estate that had been intended for the Tilden 

During the five and a half years occupied by this liti 
gation, the executors, by judicious investments and rein 
vestments, and by careful attention to doubtful assets, were 
fortunate enough, not only to protect the estate from any 
losses, but to add to it about two millions in income and 
profit, so that at the time of the settlement with the heirs 
in March, 1892, the general estate, apart from the special 
trusts, legacies, etc., already referred to, had increased 
from four millions to six millions of dollars, one-half of 
which, under the arrangement with Mrs. Hazard, came to 
the Tilden Trust, less the sum of $975,000, which she re 
ceived for her interest while it was yet subject to the risks 
of litigation. Of the personal estate something over five 
and a half millions were distributed in March, 1892. The 
real estate is still undivided. 

On the 16th of November, 1886, a few weeks after the 
probate of the will, Mr. L. V. F. Randolph, who had 
been for many years a director and treasurer of the Illi 
nois Central Railroad, was appointed the secretary of the 


executors and trustees under the will, to the duties of 
which position were subsequently added those of secretary 
to the Tilden Trust. 1 

On the 23d day of January, 1893, the trustees of the 
Tilden Trust, learning that it was contemplated by the 
municipal government of New York city to remove the old 
city hall to make place for a larger and more commo 
dious edifice on its site, addressed the following commu 
nication to the Municipal Building Committee : 

"15 GRAMERCY PARK, Jan. 23, 1893. 

" GENTLEMEN : On the 22d day of October last I had 
the honor to submit to the Mayor and commonalty of the 
city of New York, on behalf of the trustees of the Tilden 
Trust, a communication, of which the annexed is a copy, 
and to which your attention is respectfully invited. 

" It is now rumored that legislation is in contemplation 
for the removal of the reservoir from Bryant park, and 
also for the removal of the old city hall to make place 
for more spacious and adequate accommodations for the 
municipal offices. Much as we regret the necessity of 
disturbing a structure consecrated to us like our city hall 
by so many precious historical and forensic associations, 
should such a necessity be found to exist, we respectfully 
suggest that that admirable structure be transferred to the 
site now occupied by the reservoir in Bryant park and ap 
propriated to the uses of the Tilden Trust upon the 
conditions set forth in the annexed communication. 

" By order of the Trustees of the Tilden Trust, 



The following is a copy of the letter of October 22, 
referred to in the foregoing communication : 

1 1 feel it to be a duty, as it certainly is a pleasure, for me here to make a 
public acknowledgment of his invaluable services in both capacities, and 
formally to recognize the very substantial obligations under which his 
varied accomplishments as a business manager, his indefatigable assiduity, 
and his high personal character have placed all who are or may hereafter be 
in any way interested in this estate. 


4a *^"* 


On the site of the Reservoii 



ween 40th and 42d Streets. 



" 15 GRAMERCY PARK, N.Y., Oct. 22, 1893. 
" To the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of 
New York: 

" The trustees of the Tilden Trust, incorporated by 
chapter 85 of the Laws of the State of New York, passed 
the 21st of March, 1887, respectfully represent, 

"That the late Samuel J. Tilden having, in his will, a 
copy of which is hereunto annexed, made provisions for his 
heirs-at-law and certain legatees, sought, by the thirty-fifth 
article of said instrument, to consecrate the remainder of 
his estate to the creation of an institution to be known as 
the Tilden Trust, with capacity to establish and maintain a 
free library and reading-room in the city of New York, and 
to promote such scientific and educational objects as his 
executors and trustees might more particularly designate. 

" That the validity of the thirty-fifth clause of said will 
was successfully contested by the heirs-at-law of the testa 
tor and pronounced invalid. Pending such litigation, and in 
view of the uncertainties, expense, and delays incident to 
litigation of this character, the trustees of the Tilden Trust 
deemed it prudent, prior to the argument of the case, in the 
Court of Appeals, to accept the terms of a settlement prof 
fered by one of the parties contesting said will, in virtue 
of which the Tilden Trust became possessed of about one- 
third of that part of the estate that had been intended by 
the testator for such trust, from which they expect to 
realize from two to two and a quarter millions of dollars, 
the annual income from which may be moderately esti 
mated at $80,000. 

tr That the trustees of the Tilden Trust are anxious to 
apply this fund in the way that shall prove most advanta 
geous to the people of the city of New York, and at the 
same time most strictly conform to the wishes and expec 
tations of the testator as manifested in his will. 

" That the income of this trust is insufficient to provide 
suitable buildings for the accommodation of such a library 
as was contemplated by the testator, and in addition to 
equip and operate it, but quite sufficient, in their judgment, 
to equip and operate it if suitable accommodations for its 
installation are provided from other sources. 

VOL. II. -24 


" In view of these facts, and in view of the fact that the 
city of New York is not only more destitute of library 
accommodation than any other city of its size in the world, 
but more destitute than many cities in our own country of 
far less wealth and population, the undersigned, trustees 
of the Tilden Trust, respectfully invite your honorable bodies 
to consider the propriety of availing yourselves of this 
opportunity of establishing a library commensurate with 
the magnitude and importance of our commercial metrop 
olis, and of taking measures to provide for it the requisite 
accommodations, with the understanding, to which the 
trustees of the Tilden Trust hereby avow their readiness 
to become parties, that they will equip and operate such 
library so soon as such accommodations can be provided. 

" By order of the Trustees of the Tilden Trust, 


" President. 
-OCT. 22, 1892." 

On the 2d of May, 1893, Governor Flower approved an 
act passed by the Legislature authorizing the Commissioners 
of Public Works, on the request of the Commissioners of 
Public Buildings, to cause the old city hall "to be removed, 
reerected, furnished, and equipped else where upon property 
therein, belonging to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty 
of the city of New York, with the consent of the Depart 
ment of Public Parks, if such property shall be subject to 
the jurisdiction of such department. If said building shall 
be removed and reerected, the same shall be done in such 
manner as said Board of Commissioners shall determine, 
with alterations as may in their judgment be rendered 
necessary by the site selected and the purpose to which 
such reerected building shall be devoted, and as may be 
in harmony with the present general architectural features 
of the exterior of said building." 

On the same day the Governor approved of an act au 
thorizing the Department of Public Works, with the sanc 
tion of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to remove 
the reservoir from Bryant park. 


On the same day the Governor also approved of an act 
which authorized the Department of Public Parks < to con 
tract with the Tilden Trust for its use and occupation of 
any building that may be hereafter erected in pursuance 
of law upon lands belonging to the Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Commonalty of the city of New York between Fortieth and 
Forty-second streets and between Fifth and Sixth avenues 
in said city, and establishing and maintaining therein a free 
library, and carrying out the objects and purposes of said 

It was hoped and expected that these measures would 
result in soon giving to the commercial metropolis of the 
United States a library commensurate with its magnitude, 
needs, and resources, and thus fitly commemorate its obliga 
tions to one of its most eminent citizens and generous ben 
efactors. That prospect, unhappily, has been indefinitely 
postponed by the repeal of the act authorizing the removal 
of the old city hall. 1 In what way, if any, the municipal 
government will give effect to the disposition it manifested 
in 1893 to provide a suitable structure for the Tilden 
library neither the trustees nor the public have as yet 
any intimation. 

1 Laws of 1891. 



I HAVE said that Mr. Tilden never married. I may say 
further of him what Milton wrote on the decease of his 
most cherished friend Diodati : 

" Thy blush was maiden, and thy 3 r outh, the taste 
Of wedded bliss knew never ; pure and chaste 
The honors, therefore, by divine decree 
The lot of virgin worth, are given to thee." 

On two separate occasions I received from Mr. Tilden 
the assurance that he had never had any acquaintance or 
relations with the female sex, of which he would have hesi 
tated, from motives of delicacy, to speak with his mother or 
his sisters. As Jules Simon said of an illustrious French 

" II n y a pas de femmes dans sa vie. 
II reste cette grand lacune dans son coeur et dans son talent." 

That Mr. Tilden s life would have been more peaceful 
and fuller of joys had he married, that the affectionate side 
of his nature would have been more developed and his per 
sonality more generally attractive, there is reason to pre 
sume ; but that he would have been so creat a force in the 


world as he ultimately became, or that his life would have 
been so prolonged, may be doubted. 

The ancients, not without reason, made Venus not only 
their god of love, but their presiding deity at funerals 
also, under the name of Libertina. The exceptional lon 
gevity of some of the famous anchorites has been attributed 
in a large degree, and no doubt correctly, to their conti- 


nence, " whereby their whole vigor was consecrated to self- 
maintenance instead of being expended in two directions." 
The pigeon, says Lord Bacon, lives only eight years, while 
the chaste turtle-dove reaches twenty and even fifty years. 
The mule is much longer-lived than the horse or the ass. 
The nightingale that has young annually, rarely lives more 
than six or eight years, while the celibataires live on for 
twenty or more. It is a well-ascertained fact that hybrid 
plants live longer than their parents. To be sure 

" It is not all of life to live 
Nor all of death to die ; " 

but a nature so keenly sensible to any genuine tenderness, 
and physically so dependent from infancy upon others, 
could have well afforded to surrender a few of the later 
years of his life during three of which he once told me 
that he did not remember to have had a single pleasurable 
emotion for the love of a sensible woman and the sooth 
ing influences of a cheerful domestic fireside. 

The following distich inscribed over a statue of Love is as 
full of wisdom as of wit : 

" Qui que tu sois, voici ton maitre 
11 Test, le fiit ou le doit etre." * 

Tilden s vital forces, which, in spite of his unrelenting 
valetudinarianism, were prodigious, and which should have 
been perpetuated in a family, were husbanded to the last, 
and as in the case of the poet Pope, Sir Isaac Newton, the 
philosopher, and especially of some of the famous ascetics 
of the Christian church, like St. Anthony, Theodosius the 
cenobite, and St. Paul the anchorite, who lived over a cen 
tury, seemed all to have been derived to the brain and to 
have induced a cerebral activity and vigor of which the 

1 " Whoe er you are, your master see 
Who is, has been, or ought to be." 


Tilden family tree, so far as it is now possible to trace it, 
had produced no other example. That he often thought of 
marrying, that he had no aversion to matrimony, and that 
he never had any relations with the other sex which might 
interfere with the most solemn engagements which a man 
can contract with it ; no one who knew him well could 
entertain a doubt. 

Nor was he in the least degree shy or lacking of ease in 
the presence of the fair sex. Though reared in an obscure 
village among plain people, he never at any period of his 
life betrayed any of that awkward shyness so common with 
persons unaccustomed to the usages of polite society, nor 
was there ever a time since he was of age that he would 
have felt the least embarrassment in the presence of any man 
or woman, whatever their rank. 

Like England s great cardinal, 

"Though from humble stock, undoubtedly 
He was fashioned to honor from the cradle." 

Tilden never married, only because he never felt the need 
of a wife. His health was always so uncertain ; his mind 
from youth upward was so constantly absorbed Avith large 
aifairs, public or private, most of the time with both ; his 
temperament was so purely nervous, and women were, so 
far as he could see, so unimportant to his success in any of 
the enterprises upon which his heart was set, that marriage 
never became the subject of leading interest, as it does, for 
a time at least, with most men whether they marry or not. 
In fact, he never knew any woman intimately enough to 
fall completely under the influence of sexual charms. He 
seemed to have been betrothed in early life to his country, 
and the Democratic party occupied with him the place of 
offspring, until it w r as too late to think of having any 
other. 1 

1 In this respect Tilden s experience is not without illustrious precedents. 
Dulembert, in his eulogy of Bossuet, the Bishop of Meaux, discountenances 


He was as far as possible from sharing the cynical notion 
of woman proclaimed by St. Chrysostom, that she was a 
" necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, 
a domestic peril, a deadly fascination, and a painted devil ; " 
though he might perhaps have agreed with the lover of 
Eve, that she, as the type of her sex, w^as 

" Fair no doubt and worthy well 
His cherishing, his honoring, and his love, 
Not his subjection." 

Had he been elected to the presidency in 1876, Mr. Til- 
den would probably have contracted a matrimonial alliance, 
more, however, for the better discharge of the duties of his 
station than to fill any void in his own scheme of life. Had 
he in his prime married a sensible woman, capable of ap 
preciating his refinement of nature, he would have made a 
devoted husband and father, though he would have laid a 
very different and probably much less costly sacrifice upon 
the altar of his country. 

Mr. Tilden had no pronounced taste for any of the fine 
arts, nor did it appear that they ever exerted much influ 
ence upon his work or his life. He never appeared to care 
much for music ; he never learned to dance ; when his 
fortune permitted him to indulge in luxuries he went 
occasionally to the play and the opera, but rather to gratify 
others than for the pleasure he expected to derive from the 
entertainment. Even in his school-days his pleasures were 
all intellectual. He never participated in the athletic games 
in which his comrades delighted. I doubt if he was ever 
seen to walk or run very fast. As an antidote to dyspepsia 
in middle life he got in the way of riding on horseback, but 
he never learned how to ride or drive, and those who drove 

the rumor that that prelate had been secretly married, on the ground that he 
had been too much occupied with controversies, absorbed with theological 
speculations, etc., to be forced to have recourse to such consolations as are 
to be found in a mutual union of tender and peaceful souls. // avait plus 
besoin du combat que de societe domestique, et de gloire que d 1 attachments. 


with him, while he held the reins, were apt to breathe more 
freely when they found themselves, if they did, safely set 
down again at their homes. He liked to get his exercise 
by riding or driving because his horses did most of the 
work. He always had fine horses. For one span he paid 
$10,000; for one of his saddle-horses he paid $1,500, and 
$1,000 for another. He was but partially acquainted with 
the uses of which hands were capable and for which they 
were provided. He probably never whittled a stick, tossed 
a ball, climbed a tree, ran a race, or pulled an oar, nor 
even carried a cane, except for a few days in Paris under 
the advice of his physician as a check to certain arthritic 
tendencies. He could not be prevailed upon, however, to 
continue its use. He enjoyed massage because it gave him 
exercise without exertion. 

When he established himself at Graystone he surprised 
his friends by the interest he exhibited and the money he 
lavished in adding to its attractions. He expended some 
$75,000 in the construction of glass houses, which he 
stocked with rare and the costliest growths of many climes, 
besides compelling them to supply his table with the choicest 
fruits without much reference to seasons or climate. He 
expended about $13,000 in stocking these houses alone. 
For a single plant indigenous to Mexico he paid $600. 
He was very proud of a grand old palm reputed to have 
once belonged to Washington s collection at Mt. Vernon. 

O O 

It was between two and three centuries old. His grape 
vine plants cost him between thirteen and fourteen hundred 
dollars. In the spring of the year immediately preced 
ing his death, he expended over $5,000 in additions to 
his greenhouse varieties. He also took great pride in his 
herd of cows and his poultry, upon which he spared no 
expense to secure the finest breeds to be purchased in his 
own or any other country. Two superb St. Bernard dogs 
were his constant companions in his strolls about his 
place so long as his limbs allowed him that luxury. To 

LABOR 377 

accompany him on his vioi^b to his numerous brute pets 
was one of the usual privileges, occasionally one of the 
penalties, attached to his hospitality. 

While from early youth so economical of his physical 
functions, he exercised no such economy of his intellectual 
forces. He seemed to have transferred to his brain all the 
vitality which he spared his muscles, and to have been as 
lavish, not to say intemperate, in the use of the one as par 
simonious of the other. (Whatever he undertook to do he 
did with all his might. Thoroughness with him amounted 
to genius. He labored only with his intellect, but with 
that instrument he never did anything slovenly or by 
halves. ) Whether preparing an argument for the courts, 
reorganizing a corporation, planning a financial operation 
or a political campaign, he took nothing for granted. He 
was sometimes accused of being bold to rashness in some of 
his financial operations ; but in point of fact, few men took 
less risk. Indeed, he took none which study, labor, or 
expense could avoid. He could not slur work of any kind. 
The condition of his health often prevented his embarking 
in enterprises, but it never made him less fastidious about 
the perfection of those in which he did engage. No matter 
how feeble he was, he spared neither time, money, nor 
strength in mastering every detail, in providing for every 
emergency, in anticipating every contingency. Reference 
has already been made to this trait in his character, in his 
preparation for his war upon the canal ring, and in some 
of his important triumphs at the bar. It was equally con 
spicuous in things of comparatively trivial importance. If 
he had any responsibility for the decision, he could not be 
induced to accept any conclusion but that which he had sat 
isfied himself was the very best, even in matters of trifling 
moment. I remember when we were crossing over from 
England to France, in 1877, he asked me at what hotel we 
should alight in Paris. I named three or four, of which it 
seemed to me to be a matter of perfect indifference which 


we chose. This did not suit^inni. The constitution of his 
mind compelled him to believe that for some reason or 
another, one of the hotels must have some advantages for 
our purposes over either of the others. He ordered his valet 
to bring to him one of his boxes, out of which he took a 
small library of guide-books and maps, and he spent most 
of the time of our journey between Dover and Paris in as 
certaining which of the several dozen first-class hotels in the 
French metropolis would incontestibly answer our purposes 
best for the three or four weeks of our proposed sojourn 
there. Once when I was present he was waited upon by a 
gentleman who wished to commend to him a pretty impor 
tant financial enterprise. The promoter had not been 
trained in his school. Mr. Tilden asked him a few crucial 
questions, none of which he could answer with precision. 
Mr. Tilden dismissed him summarily, and showed consider 
able irritation at being asked to associate himself in a 
scheme with a man who knew none of the facts which were 
necessary to establish even a presumption as to its merits 
or its demerits. 

It was this extraordinary crucible to which he subjected 
everything upon which he passed his judgment which 
made him always from his youth up, in whatever circle he 
was placed, whether in the councils of a corporation or in 
the councils of statesmen, sooner or later the leader and 
the man to whose guidance his associates found themselves 


compelled to defer. It is no disparagement to others to 
say that our country has hitherto produced no one man 
who appeared to have combined in himself, in the same 
degree, the essential qualities of a statesman and a politi 
cian, nor one so admirably equipped for the most exalted 
function of both. 

It was this quality of thoroughness, of always doing his 
best, to which he was indebted for his ample fortune. His 
talents justified his ambition from early youth to be a ruler 
of men, to mature and execute plans for the greatest good 


of the greatest number. When he found the political 
career upon which he had embarked interrupted by the 
schism which divided both the great parties in 1848, he 
determined to try another mode of acquiring authority 
among his countrymen. He set his remarkable energies 
at work to accumulate wealth and establish his pecuniary 
independence, without which he realized that the time had 
come when the politician was the slave rather than the 
master. For this the times proved eminently propitious to 
those who, like Tilden, had the genius to read them aright. 
But even those advantages without his indefatigable thor 
oughness would not have enabled him to amass the 
largest fortune ever acquired by any lawyer in the practice 
of his profession in this or, so far as I know, in any other 
country in so brief a period. 

" The malice of political opponents, " says Mr. Carter, 
"was wont to ascribe his success in money-getting to 
schemes for obtaining interests in the property of insolvent 
railway companies at less than their value. They stigma 
tized him as a railroad wrecker. Never was there less 
foundation for a charge. He was a railroad preserver. 
His skill in the management of difficult and complicated 
affairs, combined w r ith his profound knowledge of the 
fundamental principles of equity, made his services invalua 
ble to parties interested in the properties and securities of 
railroad companies which by bad management, or in conse 
quence of over-sanguine expectations, had fallen into 
difficulties. His capacious mind was just fitted for the 
survey of such situations. He was among the first, if not 
the first, to perceive that a ruthless attempt to foreclose the 
first mortgage, and thus to crush out all subordinate liens 
and interests, was ill suited to such cases ; that the just 
and true method was to ascertain the real capacities of the 
business, and to reorganize the enterprise upon a scheme 
which would indulge the hope of saving to the junior 
securities a large part of their supposed original value. 
More than one of the great railroads of the country have, 
at his skilful touch, risen from absolute bankruptcy into 
prosperity, and repaid all or the larger part of the original 


When the making of money was Mr. Tilden s object he 
concentrated all his energies upon any money-making 
enterprise in which he embarked, as completely as when he 
engaged with the Tweed ring and with the canal ring. He 
did not give a few hours of the day to business and the rest 
to pleasure, after the manner of most unsuccessful business 
men. He took his recreation, if at alL when his work was 
done and his ends had been achieved, f He was so thorough 
in everything he undertook while in trie active practice of 
his profession, that his services were always in demand and 
his accumulations rapid, j In seeking investments for his 
earnings he was equally careful and thorough, and was re 
warded with corresponding success. 

Not infrequently he extended to others the benefit of his 
judgment and enlightened foresight. The results in one of 
these cases, to which my colleague, Mr. Smith, has called 
my attention, were quite remarkable. Between the years 
1849 and 1868, Miss Catherine Pierson, a maiden lady of 
Massachusetts and an old friejid of the Tilden family, 
placed in Mr. Tilden s hands at intervals, or authorized him 
to collect for her, divers sums of money amounting in the 
aggregate to a little over $74,000. Mr. Tilden attended to 
the collection and investment of her money without charge 
even for his expenses, and in September, 1880, when he 
resigned his stewardship, delivered to her representative 
registered four per cent. United States bonds of the par value 
of $250,000, and of the market value of about $270,000. 

To a woman from Michigan, who had asked him near the 
close of his life to invest some money for her, he, in a few 
words, gives some pregnant advice which it would be well 
if women especially would lay to heart. He directed his 
secretary to say : 

" Mr. Tilden cannot undertake the charge of the invest 
ment you wish to make. He has gradually retired from 
every such engagement. His advice in respect to the 
$2,000 is not to lose it by bad investment or to consume it. 


At six per cent, it will give you $120 a year, which will keep 
you from absolute want. You should be careful not to lend 
it or deposit it with any relation or friend ; but should invest 
it and keep the principal intact." 

He was no speculator, in the common acceptation of that 
term. He resented the imputation sometimes made by his 
political opponents, that he had acquired his large estate 
by speculations instead of earning it by hard work. He 
testified a legitimate sensibility upon this point in a letter 
to Mr. Dorsheinier, who, in his " Life of Grover Cleve 
land," had given currency to this reproach. 

Dorsheimer had been recommended by Mr. Tildcn for 
the office of Lieutenant-Governor, when he himself was 
elected Governor in 1874. When, in 1876, Mr. Tilden 
was nominated for the presidency, Mr. Dorsheinier wished 
to succeed him as Governor, and very unwisely, as well as 
unjustly, held Mr. Tilden responsible for his failure to get 
the nomination. He was never constituted to be popular 
with his party, and powerful as Mr. Tilden was in those 
days, it is extremely doubtful if he could have secured 
Dorsheimer s nomination had he put forth all his strength 
to accomplish it, while there is no doubt that it would have 
been extremely imprudent in him to have done so, even 
had success been probable. Dorsheimer was weak enough 
to resent this, and thenceforth walked no more with him, 
but made an alliance with the anti-Tilden factions in New 
York city, where, on leaving office, he took up his resi 
dence. Some eight years later, and a few days after Mr. 
Tilden had written his second letter in June, 1884, declining 
a renomination to the presidency, which secured the nomina 
tion of Mr. Cleveland, Dorsheimer, who had written a cam 
paign life of Mr. Cleveland and was a candidate for favors 
at his hands, was indiscreet enough to suppose the moment 
a propitious one to seek a revival of former relations with 
Mr. Tilden. The following correspondence was the result 
of it : 



"WASHINGTON, June 29, 1884. 

" MY DEAR SIR : At the time of your * brother Henry s 
death I was on the point of writing to you, but was re 
strained by some considerations which I do not think 
necessary to mention. 

" The announcement of your final retirement from public 
life has again awakened in me a strong desire that our long 
estrangement should end, and therefore I write to tell you 
so. And if the memory of our former friendship shall be 
vivid and pleasing to you as it is to me, I shall not need to 
make any excuse for intruding upon you. 
" With sincere regards, 

" I am, your servant, 


In Mr. Tilden s reply we see, among other things, how 
he resented the imputation of having accumulated his 
wealth by " speculation." 


"GRAYSTONE, YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 8, 1884. 

" DEAR SIR : I received with pleasure your letter written 
after the publication of mine declining renomination for 
the presidency, and referring to your purpose to have 
written an earlier one after my brother Henry s death. It 
should have been answered sooner but for some causes not 
affecting you or the nature of my reply and which have 
now passed away. 

" If your reference to an estrangement were designed to 
imply that any occasion for the same had been given by 
me, or to imply that at any time during the seven years 
that have passed I had ever manifested or felt any resent 
ment or any disposition to do you harm, I should be justi 
fied in affirming to you the contrary, and even in mentioning 
that my conduct towards you ought, in a singular degree, to 
have inspired the opposite sentiments on your part. 

" But I do not doubt that the reference was but another 


form of words for saying, " Let bygones be bygones," and 
so I accept your letter and respond to it in the same spirit 
in which I believe it to have been written. 

" I have been better able to perceive how much of your 
time in the interval must have been misspent, since my 
attention was called to a statement in your biography of 
Governor Cleveland, that at the time I became interested 
in the Xew York Elevated Railroad my fortune had been 
made by speculation. 

" I could not suppose, with your letter at hand, that in 
this you designed to say anything disagreeable or unfriendly 
to me, but it so happens that the statement is an almost 
total error. My fortune, such as it was, was the result of 
professional earnings ; of the growth of investments in 
tended to be permanent ; and of profits of regular business 
which had been carried on for many years under my per 
sonal administration. 

"Very truly yours, 

"S. J. TlLDEN. 


" 115 Broadway, New York 

It is but just to Dorsheimer to give his reply which 
closed their correspondence. Dorsheinier s motives for 
seeking a reconciliation with Mr. Tilden were not such as 
to prevent his dancing over the Governor s grave when he 
was no longer an object to be courted or feared, thus fur 
nishing a post-mortem justification for the chilly reception 
which the Governor gave to the professions of friendship 
with which he had covered his advances. 


"NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 1884. 
" HON. SAMUEL J. TILDEN, Gmystone, YonJeers, JV. Y. : 

"Mr DEAR SIR: I have not made an earlier reply to 
your letter, because I could not give the assurance with 
reference to an allusion to you in my sketch of Mr. Cleve 
land s life, which circumstances now enable me to give. 

tf The publishers propose a new and extended edition of 
the biography, which will give me an opportunity to correct 


a phrase referring to you which was used without due 

" I think it, however, proper to say that had you con 
sulted as familiar an authority as Webster s Dictionary, 
you would have found that I had some justification for the 
use of the word speculation, even in view of your own 
criticism upon it. 

" But I admit that the word has come to have a popular 
meaning which refers it to such operations as are carried 
on in Wall street, and that it is not appropriate to apply it 
to you. 

"The carefully considered passage, which begins on pasre 
one hundred and thirty-one of the biography, should, I 
think, have satisfied you that there could have been no 
purpose to annoy you by the observation of which you 

" Believe me very respectfully, 
" Your servant, 


Mr. Tilden acquired a large fortune, but he earned it by 
very hard labor and by the exercise of those qualities 
which commonly ensure success. He was always frugal in 
his expenditures and simple in his habits ; he contracted no 
obligations which he was not always perfectly competent 
and ready to meet, and he was extremely cautious to make 
no promises nor to authorize any expectations which he did 
not loyally respect. During the fifteen or sixteen years 
which were pretty exclusively devoted to his profession he 
was justly proud of being able to say that he never ac 
cepted a contingent fee ; that he never made a bargain 
in advance for the price of his services ; that he 
never had any controversy with a client about the value 
of his services, which were rendered, on his client s own 
estimate and as we have already shown, usually for less 
than an ordinary broker s commission, but in a single 
instance, and in that the justice of his claim was eventually 
admitted. The money thus honorably and judiciously 


invested placed him in a condition of pecuniary indepen 
dence which rendered him entirely inaccessible to those 
influences which not infrequently impair the usefulness of 
the most gifted men. 

Though as far as possible from indulging that spirit of 
self-righteousness on which there is a class of politicians 
more or less numerous always trading, Tilden never gave 
his confidence to men who engaged in politics " for what 
there was in it," albeit as a party leader sometimes obliged 
to cooperate with them, and it would be easy to name many 
prominent men whom he quietly assisted in dropping from 
public life, becaus^ of their tendency to sacrifice the in 
terests of their party or country to their personal greed, 
vanity, or ambition. < The predatory habits which this ten 
dency fostered among politicians he regarded, and no 
doubt correctly, as one of the most deplorable results of 
our Civil war. At a public dinner given at Delmonico s, 
on the 8th of February, 1869, Charles O Conor in the 
chair, Mr. Tilden expressed himself with much feeling 
upon this subject. 

" I may in early life have been disposed to censure 
extreme ambition ; if so, I have unlearned the sentiment 
when I behold how much worse, in all its influences 
and all its consequences, is the spirit of venality in public 
affairs. [Immense applause.] I have often felt, of late 
years, that I would thank God if there would arise men 
with a generous devotion to the pursuit of ambition in the 
public councils, so that thus politics would cease to be the 
theatre of the votaries of gain, and that human nature, even 
in its selfishness, would present its more generous and 
more useful forms. [Applause.] I think "the time will 
speedily come when among good citizens of all parties and 
all classes this will be urged as the great need of the time, 
and when we may meet together and discuss our differences 
of opinion, our differences of sentiment, and entertain 
charity for those vagaries which it is impossible for us not 
to have, remembering that this human society of which we 
form a part can only <ret on when our public servants are 

VOL. 1 1. -25 


faithful, single-minded, and pure in their public trusts. 
And to them we all, of all classes, of all parties, and of 
all degrees, must unite in rendering homage." 

In early life Mr. Tilden was a very careful student of 
the history of the first Napoleon, and I have heard him say 
that nothing would have suited him so well as a military 
career. That he was a born general, and at the head of an 
army would have made a place for himself among the great 
soldiers of the world, had the opportunity been afforded 
him, I have no difficulty in believing. He was sometimes 
accused of indecision and of wasting opportunities in de 
liberation. I think this a superficial criticism. He decided 
promptly enough when all the elements for a decision were 
in his possession or under his control, or when more was to 
be accomplished by decision than delay. He was not con 
stitutionally a Fabian general, but he was a Fabius when 
the war he was prosecuting required Fabian generalship. 
He sometimes disappointed his political partisans by de 
clining to adopt their views, but events generally proved 
that it was because he saw much farther than they. Politi 
cal forces are not all under the control of a party leader in 
the same degree that the forces of an army are under the 
control of its general, and what seemed indecision in him 
was often, if not always, prudence, good judgment, and an 
uncommonly correct appreciation of the value of time as an 
ally. When he said, " Not yet," it always meant that he 
was waiting for the reserves which time was bringing to his 

" His confidences, " says Mr. Carter, very truly, " were 
not effusive, nor their subjects numerous ; his deliberation 
was unfailing, and sometimes carried the idea of indecision, 
not to say of an actual love of procrastination ; but in my 
experience with him I found that he invariably ended where 
he began, and it was never difficult for those to whom he 
gave his trust to divine at once the bias of his mind when 
he thought it best to reserve its conclusions. I do not 


think that in any great affair he ever hesitated longer than 
the gravity of the case required of a prudent man, or that 
he had a preference for delays, or that he clung over-tena- 
ciously to both horns of the dilemma, as his professional 
training and instincts might lead him to do, and did cer 
tainly expose him to the suspicion of doing." 

I accompanied Mr. Tilden to a theatre one evening in 
the spring of 1877. He had been delving at his leisure for 
some weeks in fr Carlyle s Letters and Speeches of Crom 
well," prompted thereto originally, perhaps, by the tradi 
tional kinship of his ancestry with that of the " Great 
Usurper." When we returned I made the following mem 
oranda of his conversation upon the theme which just then 
seemed to interest him far more than the play : 

" Tilden has been reading Carlyle s f Cromwell, and in 
connection various biographies of C. in his library, and 
monographs. He says he does not remember to have had 
his views of any eminent man more seriously modified by 
reading about him than his about Cromwell. He is spe 
cially impressed with the man s moderation, sagacity, and 
general superiority. He seems to have considered and pro 
vided everything that was required for the success of the 
revolution he conducted. He recurred to the subject re 
peatedly in the course of the evening and after we returned 
from the theatre. He was constantly viewing Cromwell 
from his own standpoint. He remarked that Cromwell had 
a religious fanaticism to aid him in controlling his parti 
sans, which had far more cohesive power than any of the 
ordinary political discontents which operate upon parties 
now. He also noticed that Cromwell began his revolution 
with money raised exclusively by subscription ; a thought 
suggested no doubt by the excuses assigned by some of his 
friends for not insisting upon our rights in Washington at 
all hazards, because the State Legislatures in all the North 
ern and Middle States were Republican. Knowing, as I 
did, the situation which attracted Tilden s attention to the 
study of Cromwell s career at this period, I could not help 
thinking that if Tilden were as badly disposed a man as the 
Republican press represented him during the late canvass, 
how dangerous he might have been." 


It was the thoroughness with which he mastered every 
detail, forecast every contingency, and by his precautions, 
as it were, defied the Fates, that made him always and 
everywhere primus inter pares, that impressed Mr. Carter 
" with his prodigious superiority to other men," and which, 
mutatis mutandis, might have made him as famous a leader 
in the field as in the council chamber, for he had few 
adventitious advantages. He had no particular charm of 
person ; he always looked the invalid he was ; he had no 
special graces of manner, nor was he eloquent of speech. 
The effect of his oratory was due exclusively to the things 
he said, not to the way he said them. He had a feeble 
voice, his elocution was utterly ineffective, and but for the 
fact that he never spoke without having something to say 
which no other speaker was likely to say with equal 
authority, he would have passed for a dull and tedious 

Though his public papers, especially those which were 
written after he had reached maturity, are models of pure 
and idiomatic English, and some of them in many respects 
superior to anything to be found in our political literature, 
Mr. Tilden wrote with great difficulty. He always wrote 
for the purpose of commending his opinions to his readers, 
little occupied with what they were going to think of him as 
a writer. He shrank from no amount of labor to make his 
statement exhaustive and irresistible. He would spend 
more days over a paper designed for the public eye than 
most men would spend hours. It mattered not how many 
other things were pressing upon his attention, nor what the 
condition of his health at the time, he would never permit 
a paper to go out of his hands until he had made its posi 
tions as nearly impregnable as it was possible for him to 
make them. Though perfectly just toward an adversary, 
he never neglected a fair advantage. His logic was sure 
to be irresistible, and every statement of fact susceptible 
of verification. He never made public use of rumors or 


presumptions or suspicions. He left them on the tree where 
they grew till they ripened or rotted. He was not fluent ; 
his first draft of a paper was to its ultimate appearance but 
as clay to porcelain. He was indefatigable in altering and 
perfecting. He rarely I think it would be safe to say 
that he never sent a paper to the press that he did not 
submit to two or three or more friends as a sort of jury of 
his countrymen for the purpose of gathering from their 
criticism whether what he had written was likely to leave 
upon the public mind the impression he intended to leave. 
He had not the least pride of authorship, and was as ready 
to avail himself of the suggestions of others as to adhere to 
his own; indeed rather more, for it was the public which 
they represented, not himself, whom he wished to impress. 
His judgment of words or forms of expression that weaken 
or strengthen a sentence was infallible. He never allowed 
himself the use of expressions not idiomatic or which the 
plainest people would stumble over. 

As a negotiator Mr. Tilden was a marvel. He always 
began by making himself acquainted with the merits and 
strength of both sides, and he fought only for the margin. 
He never lost his temper though he sometimes affected to 
do so nor the control of his tongue. I have rarely known 
a man of eminence in public life who was less censorious, 
or whose judgments were at once more inflexible towards 
the sin and at the same time so charitable towards the 
sinner. Whether systematically or unconsciously, he al 
ways dealt with his friends as if they might some day 
become his enemies, and with his enemies as if they might 
become his friends, the results of both which he had fre 
quent experience. 

As a consequence, it was never embarrassing for him to 
enter into correspondence and relations with his adversaries 
whenever any adequate object for doing so presented itself. 
Though holding more or less familiar relations with Mr. 
Tilden for a period of more than fifty years, I should find it 


very difficult to recall a half-dozen instances in which he 
allowed himself to apply an opprobrious epithet to or speak 
of any one in terms which, if repeated, would have dis 
turbed their relations with each other. Were any one the 
object of denunciations in his presence, he was apt to make 
some remark which disqualified their author for assuming 
from his silence that he acquiesced in their justice. It 
was also a rare thing for any one to leave him without 
feeling that in one way or another his acquaintance was an 
important asset. 

As the leader of a great party, he was compelled to enter 
into relations with all sorts and conditions of men. Many 
people eschew cooperation with those of low degree and of 
questionable character, as frequently from selfish as from 
virtuous motives. Mr. Tilden appropriated force wherever 
he found it, for he had no fear of being over-reached by 
any one. He used men of low standards for his purposes 
when they could be made useful, but never exhibited con 
tempt for those who did not choose to follow him. This 
gave him a prodigious influence for good with the classes 
most dangerous to society when not properly led./ He 
usually managed to divide those he could not control, so 
that they should waste their energies upon each other, leav 
ing to him the comparatively easy task of holding and 
wielding the balance of power between them.) It was in 
this way that he rendered Tammany Hall practically power 
less, when under leadership factions it was bent upon 

There were two principles of leadership upon which he 
often dwelt in conversation and which were peculiarly his 
own. One was a generous recognition of the part which 
the imagination exercises upon the tidal ebbs and flows of 
public opinion, and the other was the importance of keep 
ing his party constantly in the presence of the enemy. He 
regarded the imagination of a nation as of an individual, 
much as the furnace to a steamer. It must be carefully 


fed, and the force it generates wisely directed. Disaster 
is sure to follow the neglect of either of these conditions. 
There was something dramatic, appealing directly to the 
imagination, in everything he did, upon which his fame 
either as a lawyer or as a statesman rests. For example, the 
manner in which he reconstructed the tallies fraudulently 
destroyed in the Flagg case, and won it without calling a 
single witness or having a witness to call ; the manner in 
which he proved in the Burdell case that the clergyman had 
actually married another woman than the one he supposed 
and swore he had married ; the manner in which he possessed 
himself of the evidence by which he overthrew the Tweed 
ring at the moment when it seemed most securely en 
trenched, and sent Tweed and his confederates into exile 
or prison ; the manner in which no one suspecting what 
he was about he procured the evidence upon which he 
trailed his guns upon the canal ring, morally and politi 
cally the most important of all his victories ; and finally, 
the triumphant manner in which he used the hold he had 
already acquired upon the popular imagination to carry 
off the presidential nomination from the numerous and 
impatient aspirants in and out of Congress, in 1876 ; 
in all these cases the part he played was more or less 
unique, and so managed as to appeal, as no other Demo 
cratic statesman since Jackson s time had done, strongly 
to the imagination, not only of his own State, but of the 
whole nation. 

He believed also in keeping his party always under arms, 
and in or ready for a fight, upon the same principle that a 
good general always keeps his troops, or the captain of an 
ocean steamer his sailors, fully employed. An army has no 
reason for existing without an enemy. He held the same 
to be true with a party. The very name implies an adver 
sary and hostility. The duty of the leader is to keep the 
hostile energy distinctly in view of his followers, and in 
leading his followers to expect every moment, and to be 


always prepared to profit by, an advantageous opportunity 
of assailing it. A party thus led does not clamor for bi 
partisan commission, and the voice of the dealer is not 
heard in its camp. 

He liked praise, but it never seemed to mislead him, for 
he judged his own achievements most impartially. He 
liked praise when he felt himself entitled to it, but he did 
not purchase it for more than it was worth. Flattery is 
the homage consciously or unconsciously paid to some 
kind of superiority. Of that he received an abundance ; but 
no one better than he knew the difference between flattery 
and honest commendation. 

He was intensely pleased with what O Conor said of his 
part in the Flagg case, and was fond of repeating it, as he 
might be, for though a junior counsel to the two most emi 
nent lawyers then at the New York bar, to him belonged 
the entire credit of winning a case of almost national im 
portance, which, but for his ingenious defence, would 
unquestionably have been lost. 

Though he conducted his business on business prin 
ciples, and never allowed it to be confounded with his 
charities, he was a liberal giver. Aside from his con 
tributions to party purposes, which after he became 
chairman of the State central committee were usually 
as large and often larger than those of any other person 
to the end of his days, no one was ever allowed to 
go empty away, who represented a cause or an object 
which commended itself to his judgment. 

Mr. Tilden " experienced religion " at the age of nine 
teen, when he and his sister Mary were simultaneously 
admitted as members of the Presbyterian church at New 
Lebanon. He owned a pew in the Madison-square Pres 
byterian church in New York city for many years, and 
up to the time of his death, where he was in the habit of 
attending service until he took up his residence, as 
Governor, in Albany. There he attended the church, of 


which Chancellor Upson was pastor, pretty regularly. 
When he resumed his residence in Xew York, in 1877, his 
infirmities rendered it at first embarrassing and afterwards 
painful to submit to the constraints of a house of worship 
during the ordinary Sabbath exercises. He rarely, if ever, 
attended divine service in any church after that year. Mr. 
Tilden used to quote a remark of Bryant, who I suspect 
borrowed it from Chesterfield, that a gentleman never talks 
of his love affairs or of his religion. Tilden at least lived 
up to this principle. He had no love affairs to talk of, 
and while he often encouraged others to unfold their 
opinions upon religious subjects to him, I doubt if at any 
time during the last half of his life he exposed his 
own views to any one. The Bible could hardly be regarded 
as a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. If it was, it 
must have been by virtue of the lessons he received from 
it in early youth, when he undoubtedly acquired as 
thorough a familiarity with its contents as he was qualified 
to receive. But the Bible is a fountain, not a reservoir, 
and though one may carry the words, he can no more carry 
all the lessons of the Bible in the memory, than he can 
warm himself in winter with the summer s heat. When 
devoutly read, it is a new book every day, for the 
import of those lessons to every one changes with every 
change of his spiritual condition. Had Mr. Tilden studied 
it as he studied the other subjects which engrossed his atten 
tion in later life, he might perhaps have found shorter and 
easier ways out of many of his troubles, and have expe 
rienced many more pleasurable emotions in his declining 
years. But though apparently little occupied with the 
dogmas for which the different religious sects find pretexts 
in the Bible, Mr. Tilden was profoundly penetrated and 
permeated by its ethics, and in many wa} T s betrayed the 
tenacity of his early faith in their divine origin and 

Whatever may be the judgment which history is to pass 


upon the career of the hero of this imperfect narrative, it 
will search in vain to find in the political annals of this 
Kepublic the names of many who ever rendered it such 
effective and enduring service, nor of those, any whose 
service cost it so little. 





To tlit People of the United States : 

THE minority of the joint commission established by tbe act of Congress 
of Jan. 27, 1877, to decide questions arising in the count of the electoral 
votes, desire to address the people of the whole country on the subjects 
submitted to and decided by that commission. 

No more important questions can ever come before any tribunal or 
people for consideration and determination. Upon their determination 
depends who shall be the President of this country, and whether he shall 
owe that great office to the free, honest choice of the people, or to bribery, 
forgery, and gross fraud. 

The minority of that commission, by the law establishing it, had no 
opportunity of reporting the reasons for their action to the two Houses of 
Congress. The presence of a stenographer at these consultations was 
denied, so that no record thereof exists. No way is open to those who did 
not join in, but on the contrary protested against, the decisions of the com 
mission, to make public their protest except by this address. 

The returns of the electoral vote of four States Florida, Louisiana, 
Oregon, and South Carolina were submitted to and decided upon by the 


In the case of Florida there were three certificates. The first, signed by 
the Governor, certified that the four Hayes electors were elected according 
to the law of Florida and the acts of Congress. The second was signed by 
the Attorney-General, and the third by the Governor elected on the seventh 
of November last ; and both certified the election of the Tilden electors. 
The Attorney-General was one of the three persons first canvassing the 

To the third certificate were attached certified copies of all the returns of 
votes from every precinct in the State, which were originally made to the 
Secretary of the State, together with an act of the Legislature providing for 
a new canvass of the vote, according to the law as it had been decided by 
the Supreme Court, and the result of the new canvass thus ordered. 


It was offered to be proved, and it was not denied that such was the fact, 
that by counting all the votes returned to the Secretary of State, according 
to the law of Florida as expounded by the Supreme Court, the Tilden 
electors had been duly elected. 

It was offered to be proved, and was not denied, that the Tilden electors 
commenced proceedings in quo warranto against the Hayes electors in the 
court of that State having jurisdiction by its constitution, notice of which 
was served on the latter before they gave their votes, and as soon as they 
were declared elected, and which was prosecuted to this judgment that 
the Hayes electors had not been elected and had no title to the office, but 
that the Tilden electors had been legally elected and were entitled to the 

It was offered to be proved, and was not denied, that the two canvassers 
who had made the certificate of election of the Hayes electors, which by 
the law of Florida was made only prima facie evidence, had erred in their 
construction of the law and exceeded their jurisdiction by so doing, in their 
canvass of votes on which the certificate was based. 

Thus it was offered to be proved, and the facts were not denied, that the 
Governor s certificate given to the Hayes electors was false, and that the 
determination and certificate of two of the three who made up the Board of 
Canvassers was false in fact and in violation of the laws of Florida, and 
that in making it the two had exceeded their jurisdiction. It was offered 
to be proved that the Supreme Court of Florida had, in effect, decided that 
the two canvassers had made a false certificate and exceeded their jurisdic 
tion, and that the Circuit Court had so decided. It was offered to be 
proved that both the Legislature and the executive of the State had so 
determined, and had attempted by all means in their power to prevent the 
State being defrauded of its true and real vote. 

The majority of the commission decided that the determination and 
certificate of two of a board of three canvassers, with ministerial powers 
only, and which by law was prima facie, not conclusive, evidence, must 
stand and decide the great question of the presidency, although it could 
clearly be proved to be false in fact, and that in making it the two can 
vassers had exceeded their jurisdiction and authority, as held by the 
Supreme Court of the State, and although the Legislature and Governor had 
both declared it false, and that by giving effect to it the State would be 
defrauded of its true and real vote ; and although the electors, in whose 
favor it was made, had been declared by the courts not to have been 
elected. The injustice of this decision was the more marked and flagrant by 
contrast. All the State officers, from tlie Governor down, who were voted 
for on the same ticket with the Tilden electors, and had been counted out 
by the same two canvassers, at the same time, and by the same canvass by 
which the latter were counted out, had been declared elected by the action 
of the highest court of the State, and are now and have been holding their 
several offices to the general contentment of the citizens of Florida. But 
the Hayes electors alone are permitted by this decision to consummate the 
wrong, and act in offices to which they were never elected. 


Against this decision of the commission the undersigned protested and 
now protest as wrong in law, bad in morals, and worse in the consequences 
which it entails on a great country. 

It gives absolute power to two inferior ministerial officers to withhold 
their determination till the day when the electoral vote is cast, as was done 
in this case, and then give the vote of a State to a candidate who has never 
received it, as was done in this case, and tells the people there is no redress 
for such an outrage. 

It is a decision admirably calculated to encourage fraud, and ensure its 
being perpetrated with success and impunity. 

It is a decision by which the people of a State may be defrauded and 
robbed of their dearest rights by a few unprincipled wretches, and be then 
compelled to acquiesce in the great wrong. 

It is a decision claimed to be based on the doctrine of State rights, but, 
in fact, is in direct conflict with that great doctrine, for by it States and the 
peoples of States can be stripped of their rights and liberties, with no 
power to resist. 

We protest against the decision finally because by it the people of the 
whole United States are defrauded and cheated ; because by it a person is 
put into the great office of President, who has never been chosen according 
to the Constitution and law, and whose only title depends on the false and 
fraudulent certificate of two men in the State of Florida, instead of a ma 
jority of the legal voices of the whole people, declared through and by 
their electoral colleges. 


In the case of Louisiana, the decision of a majority of the commission is 
a stupendous wrong to the people of that State, and all the other States, and 
in defiance of all right, justice, law, and fair dealing among men. 

The law of that State establishes a Returning Board to consist of five per 
sons of different parties, with power to fill vacancies, and to canvass and 
compile the returns of votes from the different parishes and precincts, and 
declare the result. The board is given power and jurisdiction provided 
affidavits are annexed to and received with the return from any precinct or 
parish to inquire whether intimidation has existed, and if it is established 
to throw out the return for such parish ; but this jurisdiction is carefully 
confined to cases where affidavits are attached to and returned with the 
returns of the votes ; in no other case whatsoever is the power to reject 
votes given. 

It was offered to be proved, and was not denied, that the board giving 
the certificate to the Hayes electors consisted of four persons all of the 
Republican party instead of five persons of different parties, as required 
by law ; that these four members had been requested and required by Dem 
ocrats to fill the vacancy with a Democrat, but had uniformly refused to 
do so. 

It was offered to be proved, also, that this board of four persons all of 


the Republican party in order to perpetrate the frauds with ease and 
impunity, employed five disreputable persons as clerks and assistants, all 
of whom had been convicted, or were under indictment, for various 
offences, ranging from subornation of perjury up to murder. Indict 
ment, at least, if not conviction, seemed the only admitted qualification 
of employment by that extraordinary board. 

It was offered to be proved, and was not denied, that this board, in "order 
to give the certificate of election to the Hayes electors, had rejected ten 
thousand votes, and this was done, although not a return thrown out had 
been accompanied by the requisite affidavit to give jurisdiction to act at all. 

It was offered to be proved that the members of this Returning Board, in 
order to give the certificate of election to the Hayes electors, had resorted 
to and used affidavits known by them to be false and forged, had them 
selves been guilty of forgery, and had been paid for making their determi 
nation, thus adding bribery to the catalogue of their crimes. 

Numerous other corrupt and fraudulent practices were offered to be 
proved against the members of this Returning Board, among the least of 
which was a wicked conspiracy to rob the people of Louisiana of their 
rights and liberties. 

The decision of a majority of the commission rejected all this evidence, 
and held that the certificate of election given to the Hayes electors must 
stand, and could not be inquired into, if all such offers of proof could be 

By that decision the people of the United States are told that the certifi 
cate of a board constituted in direct defiance of the law establishing it, and 
made by grasping a jurisdiction never granted to it, arrived at by forgery, 
perjury, wicked conspiracy, and the grossest frauds, and finally bought 
and paid for, must stand, and cannot be set aside ; and although steeped in 
sin and iniquity, it must make the chief magistrate of a great, free, and 
intelligent people. 

The undersigned protest against this decision, also, as bad in law, worse 
in morals, and absolutely ruinous in its consequences. 

They denounce it in the presence of the people of the United States, 
and in the face of the world, because, if intended and designed for such a 
purpose, it could not have been more cunningly contrived than it is to en 
courage the grossest frauds, conspiracies, and corruptions in the election of 
a President. 

They denounce it, because it will debase the national character, deaden 
the public conscience, and encourage fraud and corruption in all the public 
and private transactions and business of the people. 

They denounce it, because for the first time it declares to the people that 
by their organic law, the Constitution, it is ordained that a man may seek 
for, obtain, and hold this great office of chief magistrate of two and forty 
millions of freemen by fraud and cheating. 

Nay, more, that he may openly buy the votes to elect himself, and pay 
down the price when the purchase is consummated by the count by the two 


Houses of Congress, and call them to witness the payment; and that there 
is no help for it but revolution. 

They denounce it, because, in effect, it puts up the great office of Presi 
dent at auction, and says to the whole world that it may be bought in 
safety, and that there is no way known to man by which the title by pur 
chase can be disputed or gainsaid. 


In the Oregon case, a certificate signed by the Governor and Secretary of 
State, and under the great seal of the State, certified to the election of two 
Hayes and one Tilden elector. The three Hayes electors produced no certifi 
cation of election signed by any person only a certificate of certain results 
from which it was claimed that it could be inferred who were elected. 
The law of Oregon required a list of the persons elected to be signed by 
the Governor and Secretary of State, under the great seal, and this require 
ment, as well as that of the acts of Congress, was fully met and satisfied 
by the first certificate. There was no certificate in the second case in any 
manner complying with the laws of Oregon or the acts of Congress. Yet by 
the decision of the commission the first certificate was rejected and the 
second taken, although clearly neither in conformity with State or Federal 

The undersigned voted against counting the vote of the Tilden elector, 
because, notwithstanding the certificate of the Governor and Secretary of 
State, they were satisfied he had not been elected by the people of Oregon, 
and that his vote would not have been the true vote of that State. 

The majority of the commission decided to set aside and reject the certifi 
cate and return, precisely the same in character that they had holden to be 
conclusive against all evidence in the Florida and Louisiana cases. They 
adopted and acted on a certificate insufficient if they regarded their former 
rulings, under any law, State or National. 

The undersigned denounce the Oregon decision as utterly at war with and 
reversing the rule established in the two former cases, and because it 
changes the law to meet the wants of the case, establishing different rules 
applicable to the same facts to bring about a desired result. 

In the Florida case, where the evidence failed to establish the fact, the 
majority of the commission voted to receive evidence to prove one elector 
held an office of profit and trust under the United States when appointed. 

In the Louisiana case, where there was no doubt that two electors held 
such offices when appointed, it was voted not to receive evidence of the 
fact, because it was not offered to be proved that they continued to hold 
such offices where they voted. 

Apparently, the rules change as the requirements of the case change. 
VOL. II. -28 



In South Carolina the undersigned voted against the Tilden electors 
being declared elected, because they had not received a majority of the 
votes of the people. 

In that case it was offered to be proved, in substance, that United States 
troops in large numbers were sent to the State before the election, for the 
purpose of influencing and controlling the votes to be given thereat, by in 
terfering with and overawing the people, and that the militia of the State 
was used for the same purpose ; that the polls were surrounded by armed 
bands, who by violence and force prevented any exercise of the right of 
suffrage except on one side ; in fact, that the election was controlled by the 
armed forces of the State and Nation, and a resort to all manner of brutal 
ity, violence, and cruelty, and was not free. 

The majority of the commission refused to admit the evidence, on 
grounds that would fairly warrant a President of the United States in using 
the whole army to take possession of all the ballot-boxes in any State, and 
allow no voting except for himself if he was a candidate for reelection, or 
for his party, and which would require both Houses of Congress to recount 
the vote so obtained, and to give him the fruits of such a wilful and wicked 
violation of all constitutional law and right. 

If any decision better calculated to destroy the liberty of a free people, 
to destroy all faith in a Republican form of government, a government of 
the people by the people, could be devised and contrived, the undersigned 
have not been able to discover it. 

They denounce the decision as an outrage upon the rights of all the 
people, and, if sustained, and acted on, as the utter ruin of our institutions 
and government. 

The foregoing is a brief statement of the action of the commission. To 
defeat that action the undersigned have done all in their power. They pro 
tested against it before it was accomplished, and they protest against it now. 

They know the commission was established to receive evidence, not to 
shut it out. 

They know the conscience of this great people was troubled by fear that 
any one should obtain the high office of President by fraud, cheating, and 
conspiracy, and that it demanded that the charges and counter-charges of 
corrupt practices in reference to the election in three States should be hon 
estly investigated and inquired into, not established and sanctified, by refus 
ing all inquiry and examination. 

They know the conscience of the whole people a^roved the law estab 
lishing the commission, nay, hailed it with joy, because it established, as 
all believed, a fair tribunal, to examine, to inquire into, and determine the 
charges of fraud and corruption in the election of three States ; and they 
believe that this conscience has been terribly disappointed and shocked by 
the action of the commission, which establishes fraud and legalizes its per 
petration, instead of inquiring into and condemning it. 


The undersigned believe the action of the majority of the commission to 
be wrong, dangerous, nay, ruinous in its consequences and effects. 

It tends to destroy the rights and liberties of the States and of the United 
States and the people thereof ; because by it States may be robbed of their 
votes for President with impunity, and the people of the United States have 
foisted upon them a chief magistrate, not by their own free choice honestly 
expressed, but by practices too foul to be tolerated in a gambling hell. 

By the action of the commission the American people are commanded to 
submit to one as their chief magistrate who was never elected by their 
votes, whose only title depends on fraud, corruption, and conspiracy. 

A person so holding that great office is a usurper, and should be and 
will be so held by the people. As much a usurper as if he had signed and 
held it by military force ; in either case, he equally holds against the con 
sent of the people. 

Let the people rebuke and overrule the action of the commission. The 
only hope of the country rests on this being done, and done speedily and 
effectually, so that it may never become a precedent to sustain wrong and 
fraud in the future. 

It is the first and highest duty of all good citizens who love their country 
to right this foul wrong, as soon as it may be done under the Constitution 
and laws. 

Let it be done so thoroughly, so signally, so effectually, that no encour 
agement shall be given to put a second time so foul a blot on our national 



THE following are a few specimens of the many letters 
addressed to Mr. Tilden and others, urging that he should accept 
a renomination. 

Lyman Trumbull to S. J. Tilden. 

CHICAGO, June 7, 1884. 

MY DEAR SIR : The Republicans have now made their nominations for 
President and Vice-President, of men who are fair representatives of the 
Republican organization. Their election means a continuance of the par 
tisanship, abuses, corruptions, and centralizing tendencies of the last twenty 
years, which you and I both believe dangerous, and if continued, in the end 
destructive of Republican liberty. It seems to me the patriotic duty of all 
men so believing to sacrifice all personal considerations for their country s 

The Democracy all over the land are looking to you as the one person 
above all others to lead them in the coming political contest. The only 
question seems to be, Will you consent to be the candidate? I know 
nothing of your determination except what may be gathered from the con 
flicting statements of the press, and I do not expect or ask a reply to my 
letter. My only object in writing is to urge upon you the duty of yielding 
to the united demand of the Democracy. There are times when patriots 
must not hesitate, if necessary, to take their lives in their hands for 
liberty s sake. I know not your physical condition, but mentally you are 
all that your friends require, and even at the hazard of your life, I believe 
it your duty to listen to the united voice of the friends of constitutional 
liberty. I know that you were once fairly elected President. I feel con 
fident that you can be again. Whether any other Democrat can be is 
uncertain. I fear not. It Avas a great mistake not to have nominated you 
four years ago. I felt it at the time. The country now sees it. 

With the highest regard for you personally, I beg of you to let us make 
you President in fact. 

W. S. Groesbeck to S. J. Tilden. 

CINCINNATI, April 29, 1884. 

MY DEAR SIR : I have felt an inclination for some time to write you a 
letter about the approaching presidential election. 


Moreover, with you as a candidate, the campaign of 1884 will take its 
complexion and character from yourself, and would be mainly a repetition 
of the campaign of 1876. " Tilden and Reform " would be again the battle- 
cry, and the fraud of 76 would unite and arouse the Democracy as nothing 
else would. You hold this great card in your hand. No one else has it, nor 
can you transfer it to any one else. 

Some of the papers are saying you do not feel equal to a renewal of the 
contest. This brings me to what I desire especially to submit to your con 
sideration. It is this : The contest is already prepared. We will fight 
again the battle of 76. With you as the candidate, the preparations for 
84 are complete. The people will ask no more of you only your name 
and battle-cry. Don t you see it? The campaign of 76 required great 
labor. You performed it well and satisfactorily. That same preparation 
is at hand and suitable for the campaign of 84. Your work is already done ; 
you may rest, as it were, and the Democracy will fight. So it seems to me. 

If you are a candidate, you will be elected. Were I in your place, I 
would rather be President a single day and die, than live ten years without 
this vindication. It is true that every hour adds to the number of those 
who feel that you were wronged, and your right to the presidency will be 
affirmed in authentic and accepted history ; but all this is incomplete and 
unsatisfactory compared with a triumphant reelection and inauguration into 
the office. Mr. Tilden, that would be a big day throughout the United 
States, and enough to quicken you into a new life. 

John A. McClernand to S. J. Tilden. 

SPRINGFIELD, ILL., June 5, 1884. 
To Kis EXCELLENCY SAMUEL J. TILDEN, President-elect : 

DEAR SIR : The crime which defeated the will of the people in 1876, and 
kept you from exercising the presidential office, needs to be avenged. 

Time, and your example, have subdued and conciliated all factious oppo 
sition to you in the Democratic party. The opponents of former years are 
now your most noisy partisans. Your nomination in July will follow as a 
spontaneous and consentaneous act unless you prevent it. 

Preventing it, calamitous consequences must ensue. The Democratic 
party will be left to fall into strife, anarchy, and impotency. The old 
guard and your old friends, what will become of them? The barriers to 
latitudinous construction will be broken down, and license given to public 
extravagance, official corruption, and the greed of unscrupulous and pow 
erful monopolies. 

Your declination is inadmissible. Accept the nomination, even if death 
should overcome you during or after the fight. If I know myself, I would, 
in the present extremity of country and party, suffer the martyrdom for 
you, vicariously, if it was possible to do so. 


Excuse the freedom and energy of these remarks. They proceed from a 
sense of duty. I have done. 

Mary P. Hoadly to S. J. Tilden. 

MY DEAR GOVERNOR TILDEN: Will you pardon me for taking a few 
moments of your time with a plea for our country? 

The nomination of Elaine, with his great popularity, renders it necessary 
for the Democratic party to put forth as his antagonist its strongest man 
its one strong man. 

Never before was a political party so perfectly unanimous in its expres 
sions of confidence and fealty as the Democratic party now gives to you, 
and your consent to take the office of President would make your nomina 
tion and election sure. Of no other Democrat can this be said. 

I know it is said that you dread the fatigue and excitement of the cam 
paign. It will be a campaign that will run itself, for the voters will be 
inspired by the magic of your name, and will march to victory without 
your assuming any part of the necessary labor attending an election. 
Your friends will do all that for you and for the cause. 

But even admitting that your health might suffer, and I trust that would 
not be the case, is not this a time, when like the soldier going to battle, a 
man ought to risk even his life for his country ? With such a corrupt ad 
ministration as Elaine would give us, and four years more of the Republi 
can party, getting itself still more firmly entrenched, what hope would 
there ever be of any change for the better if Samuel J. Tilden refuses to 
lead the hosts of his party ready to follow him to the death? 

Pardon me if I have " rushed in where angels fear to tread," but do 
think, and before positively saying " No," try if it be not possible to say 


Very cordially your friend and admirer, 

COLUMBUS, June 7, 1884. 

MY DEAR MR. TILDEN : To every word of my wife I say AMEN and 

Your friend, 


Hermann Lieb to S. J. Tilden. 

CHICAGO, April 16, 1884. 

DEAR SIR : Your letter to the Iroquois Club was the event of the even 
ing, and forms the topic of conversation among Democrats throughout the 
city to-day. The sentiment for your renomination is growing into a popular 
demand. The party is hopelessly divided upon the tariff question, and 


you alone can unite it by substituting u Vindication" as the battle-cry for 
the campaign. 

Your nomination would give the signal to a resistless onslaught upon the 
enemy s entrenched positions upon the whole line, and it is questionable 
whether the Republicans could save the electoral vote of a single State. 
The uprising would be so spontaneous as to require no special effort on 
your part, and the drafting of the national platform would close the 
personal effort on your part. No anxiety, no trouble as to the final outcome 
of the struggle, need disturb your peace, as your election by a tremendous 
popular vote is conceded by the majority of Republicans. 

Do not stifle this generous outburst of the American people by a refusal 
to allow your name to be used in the convention. You may save the 

" La patrie est en danger ! 
Elle demande la sacrifice 
De son Jils bien aime ! " 

Hon. John Campbell to 8. J. Tilden. 

PITTSBURGH, PA., June 8, 1884. 

DEAR SIR : There is a great deal of doubt, and I may say anxiety, on 
the part of the masses of the Democratic and Independent voters of the 
country, as to whether you will accept the Democratic nomination for 
President of the United States. 

Without any desire to draw you out on this subject, I thought I would 
write to you and urge upon you the great importance of your acceptance of 
that nomination which will undoubtedly be unanimously tendered. In the 
year 1876, when you were the Democratic standard-bearer, I was chairman 
of the Republican City Central Committee at Steubenville, Ohio, my home, 
and I did all I could to defeat you, and honestly believed that you were 
defeated ; but later events satisfied me, and I may say thousands of others, 
that you were cheated out of the presidency, and I have never since voted 
the Republican ticket. Thousands of Independent voters are waiting a 
chance to do what they can to right the wrong that was done in 1876. But 
there is another reason why you should again consent to allow your name to 
be used. The people are tired of the Republican party and want a change, 
and knowing that it is almost beyond their power to dislodge the greedy 
hoard of office-holders, who have become so thoroughly entrenched that 
they cannot be routed unless they are opposed by a leader who is considered 
almost invincible, they, the people, demand that you again become their 
standard-bearer. In my capacity as late chief executive officer of the 
Brotherhood of Telegraphers, I have travelled all over the United States, 
and know that I do not exaggerate when I say that the Democratic voters 
are unanimous in their desire that you once more sacrifice your comfort and 
lead them to victory; and they confidently expect that you will not dis 
appoint them. 


Although I am not a public speaker, I flatter myself that I am a good 
organizer, and I promise you that I will do all in my power to assist in the 
campaign, should you accept the nomination. 

G. Albert Cutler to S. J. Tilden. 

CHICAGO, June 4, 1884. 

DEAR SIR : As a Republican of thirty years standing, and in behalf of 
thousands of Republicans who believe you were fairly elected President of 
the United States eight years ago, we earnestly beg of you to accept the 
nomination which will be unanimously tendered you by a convention of 
white men. in July next. Should you do so, we promise you a u Tilden 
Club," not only in Chicago, but in every locality, composed exclusively of 
former Republicans who desire to see right and justice vindicated, and who 
will give you their earnest and most heartfelt support. 

W. L. Scott to S. J. Tilden. 

ERIE, PA., May 3, 1884. 

If we cannot have you for a candidate, I give up all hopes of ever seeing 
a Democrat elected President of the United States. 

Hon. Samuel J. Randall to S. J. Tilden. 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 1884. 

The people of every part of our broad country are of one voice and 
opinion, that you must be our candidate. You will have to yield, and you 
ought to do so. 

Hon. Geo. S. Converse to S. J. Tilden. 


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 1884. 

MY DEAR SIR : In confirmation of the suggestions I made to you a week 
ago Saturday, that the masses of the people in the West are determined to 
make you our candidate for President, I wish to mention the fact that at all 
of the congressional conventions which have been held in Ohio, resolutions 
have been adopted in your favor. A more significant fact, however, is, that 
every county convention thus far held, with two exceptions, has passed 
such resolutions. The people in their primary conventions, without the 
consultation of politicians, are all moving in one direction. Your decli 
nation must not be thought of. A triumphant election will fellow such 


spontaneous movement of the masses. Without you, divisions will arise 
in our party which are liable to result in defeat. 

Cyrus McCormick to S. J. Tilden. 

CHICAGO, ILL., March 27, 1884. 

MY DEAR SIR : I venture to write a line to you upon a subject with 
which your name has been connected for some time past, with such com 
ments as seem to make it questionable how such a letter as this may be 
received by you. From our past relations, however, I feel that, whatever 
others may say, you will allow me to express my sentiments upon this sub 
ject, not doubting their earnestness and patriotism. Permit me, then, to 
say, sir, that as matters now stand, Democratically considered, I have strong 
doubts whether your nomination by the Democratic convention is not 
a necessity to the success of the Democratic party, and hence that, what 
ever might be your personal feeling on that question, it becomes a duty you 
owe to the country, under such circumstances, to sacrifice private consid 
erations for so momentous an object. 

You have once been elected by the people to that high position, but were 
prevented from occupying it by a system of frauds disgraceful to the 
country, and which must yet recoil upon the heads of the party leaders 
responsible for the same; while the cry now is that "Tilden alone, by 
being reinstated, can save the Democratic party " and the country. 

Some have called for "the old ticket; " but my own humble impression 
is that "Tilden and McDonald" would be most acceptable to the Demo 
cratic party and to the whole people, East and West. 

Unable, myself, for some time to take an active part in politics, while 
with an interest unabated in the prosperity of our great country, agitated 
as it now is through conflicting views of politicians on local issues, I have 
felt unable to restrain myself from giving expression to these sentiments 
towards one who, I feel, has the ability and the patriotism to steer the 
noble old Democratic ship through the breakers which again threaten her 
destruction. 1 

lion. J. R. Tucker to S. J. Tilden. 

WASHINGTON, June 13, 1884. 

MY DEAR MR. TILDEN : I have never sought to intrude myself upon 
your consideration during your eminent career, which by your late letter 
is declared to be closed forever. But I cannot forbear to express my sin 
cere admiration of the dignity and magnanimity of the utterance with which 
you have made it known to your country. 

No man in this era of our history has filled so distinguished a position in 
the eyes of his country as you have done and now do. In the comprehen 
sion of its needs, in the clear and analytic investigation of political truth, 

1 Mr. McCormick died shortly after this letter was written. 


and in the formulation of the statements of political philosophy, you stand, in 
my judgment, without a peer among our statesmen. But in practical ad 
ministration, in the adaptation of sound political doctrines to the affairs of 
State, in shaping public policy according to the rules of political science, 
you have exhibited qualities which, had Providence called you, as the voice 
of your country did, to the presidency, would have made your term of 
service one of the most memorable and illustrious in our history. 

Fate has denied to your country the benefit of your eminent abilities ; 
but history will never fail to name you as the statesman who in our day 
best deserved the highest place to which American ambition aspires, and 
whose noble utterance in your act of voluntary retirement has kindled 
anew the admiration of the people, and moved the deepest sensibilities of 
their hearts. 

My praise is unstinted, because bestowed on one who can offer me 
nothing but respect for its sincerity. You will do me the justice to believe 
it would not have been offered under other circumstances. 

I can only hope that a kind Providence may continue your health and 
life to see and rejoice in the triumph of your principles and policy, though 
through other hands than your own, upon which alone can be based the 
security of our liberties and the promotion of good government and the 
prosperity and glory of our common country. 

Hon. Thomas Ewing to S. J. Tilden. 

NEW YORK, June 13, 1884. 

MY DEAR SIR: The statement in the enclosed slip from the u Tribune," 
that I have intimated that you would use your influence in favor of Cleve 
land, is absolutely unfounded. It is a matter of no consequence to you 
whether it be true or not, but it is to me, as I don t want to seem as un 
worthy of your uniform courtesy and consideration as such loose-tongued 
talk would make me appear. 

The outburst of affection for you and regret at your retirement, which 
your letter evokes, reminds me, by contrast, of an interesting incident in 
the close of Mr. Webster s political career. The evening of the day on 
which he was beaten by Scott for the Whig nomination in 1852, myself and 
some other young gentlemen in Washington manifested our sympathy and 
respect by a serenade. In the course of a beautiful and touching response 
he said: "Ah! my young friends, politicians are not sunflowers. They do 

" Turn on their god when he sets 

The same look which they gave when he rose ! " 

What a contrast between your retiremant from public life and that of 
Mr. Webster! He went out after seeking the presidency in vain, dejected 
and broken-hearted, while you voluntarily decline a unanimous nomina 
tion and an assured election. 

With best wishes for your health and happiness, I am, etc. 




Dec. 12, 1893. 

DEAR MR. BIGELOW : I enclose the copy of the list of books 
which I read at " Graystoue." In addition to it were all the 
monthly and quarterly magazines. Often the entire number of 
an English quarterly would take more time than a biography or 
novel. Then the encyclopedia was almost daily in hand. Cer 
tain of Macaulay s essays were read over and over again. Then 
guide-books had an important place, and were read over and 
over in connection with travels, etc. 

One reason the number of books read in 86 was smaller than 
in 82 was that Mr. Tilden was working on his ancestral list, 
and much of the time went to reading and working on that 




Life of John Stuart Mill. Bain. 

Life of James Mill. Bain. 

Life of Jeremy Bentbam. 2 vols. 


Correspondence of McVey Napier. 
Caroline Fox s Letters. 2 vols. Pym. 

A Good-Natured Man. 


She Stoops to Conquer. 
History of Russia. (Part of Vol. 1.) 
The Burgomaster s Wife. Ebers. 
Carlyle s Life. Froude. 

Carlyle s Reminiscences. Froude. 
Wicklif s Place in History. 
English History. 2 vols. Green. 
Molinos. John Bigelow. 


Charles L, Fall of Monarchy. 2 vols. 

Autobiography of J. S. Mill. Mill. 

Three years in Norway. 

History of Champagne. Vizitelli. 

Hesperathon. 2 vols. W. II. RusselL 

Obelisks. Gorringe. 

Senior and Tocqueville, Correspond 
ence. 2 vols. 

Ballantyne s Experience. 2 vols. 

Life of George Grote. //. Grote. 

Conversations of Distinguished Men. 
2 vols. Senior Simpson. 

Correspondence of Talleyrand and 
Louis XVIII. 

Caroline von Linsingen and Wm. IV. 

Memoirs of A. de Tocqueville and 
Letters. 2 vols. Beaumont. 

Mctternich, Correspondence. 

Baron Stein, Correspondence. 

History of Constitution of United 
States. 2 vols. Bancroft. 




"Writings of Albert Gallatin. 2 vols. 
77. Adams. 

Life of Albert Gallatin. II. Adams. 
Writings of Madison. 4 vols. 
The Old regime. A. de Tocqueville. 
Life and Letters of Robertson. 2 

vols. S. Brooke. 

Lives of Burke, Fox, etc. 
Conversations with Thiers, Guizot, 

etc. 2 vols. Senior. 


Life of the Prince Consort. 2 vols. 

History of England. 2 vols. Lecky. 
Bismarck s Letters. 
The Story of Avis. E. Phelps. 

John Inglesant. Shorthouse. 

Milton, Life and Times. G vols. 


Ben Jonson s Works. 
Life of Lord Lyndhurst. Campbell. 
History of France. Vols. 1, 2, 4, 5, 

6. Guizot. 

Anne of Geierstein. Walter Scott. 

France under Richelieu and Colbert. 



International Episode. II. James. 
Daisy Miller. 11. James. 

Golden Rod. 

Andrew Jackson, Life of. Sumner. 

Henry Erskine, Kinship and Times. 


Anne. C. F. Woolson. 

Gray, Life of. Gosse. 

Recollections of Military Service and 

Society. 2 vols. Ramsay. 

History of My Time. 4 vols. Guizot. 
Embassy to Court of St. James. 


Corneille and His Time. Guizot. 
Shakespeare and His Time. Guizot. 
Biographical and Critical Essays. 3 

vols. A. Hay ward. 

A Chance Acquaintance. Howells. 


Fashionable Women. 2 vols. 

Davenport- Adams. 
Life of Alexander Hamilton. Lodge. 
English Party Leaders. 2 vols. 

Davenport- Adams. 
II. Martineau, Autobiography. 2 

Journal and Correspondence of Miss 

Berry. 3 vols. Theresa Leu-is. 

The Salon of Mme. Neckar. 2 vols. 

D Ifausonville. 

The Friendship of M. R. Mitford. 2 
vols. IS Estrange. 

Outlines of Life of Shakespeare. 



Short History of French Literature. 

Life of John Randolph. Adams. 

New England Federalism. Adams. 
Life of Gibbon. Morison. 

Rochefoucault s Travels (1795-6-7). 

2 vols. 
Marquis de Chastellux (1780-1-2). 

2 vols. 
Letters of a Traveller. 

W. C. Bryant. 
What I saw in California. Vol. 1. 

E. Bryant. 
The French Court. 2 vols. 

Lady Jackson. 

Life of Samuel Johnson. Vols. 1, 4, 
5, G. Boswell. 


German Life and Literature. 2 vols. 

Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft. 
French Men of Letters. Mauris. 

Quits. 2 vols. Baroness Tautphoeus. 
Life of Macaulay. Morison. 

Initials. 2 vols. Baroness Tautphceus. 
Pepy s Life and World. Whateley. 
Life of Samuel Johnson. 

Leslie Stephen. 

The Reign of Queen Anne. Vol. 1. 

Macaulay s Essays. 2 vols. 
Court Life Below Stairs. 2 vols. 

Fitzgerald Molloy. 
A Modern Instance. Howells. 

Dukes and Princesses in the Family 
of George III. 2 vols. 

Percy Fitzgerald. 

My Life and Writings. Arch. Allison. 
Reign of George II. Vol. 1. 

//. Walpole. 
Memoirs of H. Walpole. 2 vols. 


History of French Literature. Vol. 
3. Van Laun. 

French Society. 2 vols. Baker. 
Mme. de Sevigne. 2 vols. 

Countess Puliga. 




Mrs. Fletcher, Autobiography. 
Heart of Steel. G. Reid. 

Dumont s Recollections of Mirabeau. 
Valerie Aylmer. C, Reid. 

London to John o Groats. 

E. Burritt. 

Confidence. II. James. 

Macaulay s History of England. 

Vol. 3. 
Tom Moore, Mem., Jour., and Cor. 

Vols. 2, 3, 5, G, 7. J. Russell. 

Tom Moore, Mem., Jour., and Cor., 

Vols. 1, 2, 4, 8. J. Russell. 

Dr. Faustus. 

Lalla Ilookh, etc. T. Moore. 

Washington Irving, Life and Letters. 

Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4. Irving. 


Hawthorne s English Note-Book. 2 

Newstead Abbey, Abbotsford, etc. 
Vol. 1. Irving. 

Pioneer. Cooper. 

Doctor Zay. E. Phelps. 

Margravine of Baireuth, Autobiog 
raphy. 2 vols. 

Columbus and Friends. Vols. 1, 2. 

Health Resorts. Burney Yeo. 

Mr. Isaacs. F. M. Crawford. 

Lady Cowper s Diary. 

Rheinsberg. Vols. 1, 2. Hamilton. 

Men and Times of the Revolution. 

Elk. Watson. 

Life of James Monroe. Oilman. 

Elective Affinities, Werther, etc. 


Life of James Mackintosh. Vol. 2. 

Memoirs of Mrs. Schuyler. 

Mrs. Grant. 

Rush s Residence at the Court of 
London. Rush. 

Souvenirs of Mme. Vigce Le Brun. 

Diary of Court Life, George IV. 3 
vols. Lady Bury. 

Letters of G. C. Lewis. 

An American Lady. Mrs. Gray. 

The People of the United States. 
Vol. 1. Me Masters. 

Hawthorne s Italian Note-Books. 

Dangeau s Court of France. 2 vols. 

Life of J. Fenirnore Cooper. 


Red Rover. J. F. Cooper. 

Figures of the Past. Josiah Quincy. 
Life of Wordsworth. Myers. 

Siege of London, etc. II. James. 
Eras and Characters of History. 

A Gentle Savage. Edw. King. 

Life of Sir Walter Scott. Button. 


Life of Wm. C. Bryant. Vol. 2. 

P. Godwin. 

Life of John Dryden. Saintsbury. 
Life of Charles Lamb. Ainger. 

Louis XIV. and Court of France. 
Vols. 1, 2, 3. Miss Par doe. 

Letters of Jane Carlyle. 2 vols. 

Secret Memories of Louis XIV. 

Duchess of Orleans. 
Reminiscences of Lord John Russell. 
Walpole s Letters. Vol. 1. 
Memories of Louis XVIII. s Court. 
2 vols. A Lady. 

Mme. Recamier s Memoirs. Luyster. 
Mme. Recamier and Friends. 


Louis XIV. and Court of France. 
Vols. 4, 5, 6. Miss Par doe. 

Mme. Swetchine. 

Thiers Consulate and the Empire. 

Vol. 1, 2. Thiers. 

The Youth of Mme. de Longueville. 

Victor Cousin. 

The Friendship of Women. 

W. R. Alger. 
Life of Thomas Jefferson. 

J. I. Morse. 

Life of Napoleon. Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4. 
Las Casas. 
Napoleon in Exile. 2 vols. 

O Meara. 
Last Days of Napoleon. 2 vols. 


Life of Audubon. Buchanan. 

Adams, John, Letters. 
Memoirs of Napoleon. 2 vols. 

D Alrantes. 
Recollections of Dean Stanley. 

Life of Mme. de Stael. 2 vols. 


Duchess of Marlborough. 
Accounts of Conduct of Duchess of 



Gray Studies. J. R. Green. 

Four Georges and English Humor 
ists. Thackeray. 


Memoir of S. R. Steele. Vol. 1. 


Lord Holland s Foreign Reminis 

H. Walpole s Letters. Vols. 5, 6, 7. 
Life of Charles J. Fox. Russell. 

Early History of C. J. Fox. 

Three Criticisms on Life of Wilber- 


Two Criticisms on J. R. Green. 
Life of Lord Lawrence. 2 vols. 

B. Smith. 

Three Criticisms on Lord Lawrence. 
Life of Lord Shelburne. Vol. 3. 

Fitz Ma u rice . 

Reminiscences of Ronald Gower. 
2 vols. Gower. 

Life and Mission of Swedenborg. 



Court of the Regency. 2 vols. 

B uckingham . 
Life of Francis Homer. 
Life of Samuel Romilly. 2 vols. 

His Sons. 
History of Reign of Queen Anne. 


History of England. Mahon. 

Leaves from H. Greville s Journal. 
Life of Lord Brougham. Campbell. 
Diary of Court of George IV. Vols. 

3, 4. Gait, editor. 
Historical Study of Edmund Burke, 


Life of Prince Consort. Vols. 1, 2. 
Life of Prince Consort. Vols. 3, 

4, 5. Martin. 
Baron Stockmar, Memoir of. 2 vols. 

Max Muller. 
Life of Bismarck. 

Tr., Hezekiel Mackenzie. 

Life of Lord Palmerston. 2 vols. 

Evelyn Ashley. 

Life of Adolphe Thiers. LeGoff. 
Consulate and Empire. Vols. G, 7. 

Court of James I. Lucy Aiken. 

Court of Charles II. Lucy Aiken. 

The Pilot. J. F. Cooper. 

History of American Navy. Vol. 1. 
J. F. Cooper, 

Memoirs of Baroness Bunsen. 

A. Hare. 

Royal and Republican France. 2 
vols. //. Reeve. 

Mrs. Piozzi. Vol. 1. 

Mrs. Adams, Journal and Corre 

J. Adams and Wife, Familiar Let 


George Selwyn and His Contempo 
raries. 4 vols. Jesse. 

Roger s Table Talk. 

Life of Cranmer. Gilpin. 

Life of John Quincy Adams. 12 
vols. C. F. Adams. 

Nooks and Corners in England. 


Life of John Huss. Gilpin. 

John Adams, Life and Works. Vol. 
3. C. F. Adams. 


Wraxhall s Memoirs. 2 vols. 
Life of B. Franklin. Parton. 

Memoirs of Geo. III. Vols. 1, 3. 


Memoirs of George III. Vol. 3. 

Life of Andrew Jackson. Vols. 1, 3. 

Works of Brougham. Vols. 3, 5. 

Life and Correspondence of John 
Adams. Vols. 9, 10, 11. Adams. 
Huguenots. Smiles. 

Life of Lord Lyndhurst. Martin. 
Court and Diplomatic Life. 

Lady Bloomjield. 

Life of E. Bulwer-Lytton. 2 vols. 
" Son." 
Marie Antoinette. 2 vols. Campan. 


Royal Windsor. 4 vols. Dixon. 
Portraits of Places. //. James. 

The Mohicans. J. F. Cooper. 

Memoirs of House of Orleans. 3 
vols. Taylor. 

Early Years of My Life. Albemarle. 
Court of the Tuileries. 2 vols. 




Revolt of the Netherlands. Schiller. 
Diaries of a Lady of Quality. 


More Leaves from the Highlands. 

Queen Victoria. 

But Yet a Woman. Hardy. 

Berlin Society. 

A Woman s Memories of World- 
Known Men. Houston. 
Address before Vermont Historical 
Society on Taking of Ticonderoga. 
MS. Chittenden. 
Diary of William Tylden, 1815. MS. 

Travels in Greece, Poland, Russia, 

etc. 2 vols. Stephens. 

Regency of Anne of Austria. 2 vols. 


Gil Bias. 3 vols. Le Sage. 

Tr., Malkin. 

History of United States. Vols. 3, 

4, 5, G, 7. Bancroft. 


Life of Philip Schuyler. 2 vols. 

Life and Times of General Lamb. 

Annals of Tryon County. 

William Campbell. 

Memoirs of William Wirt. 2 vols. 


Tancred, or New Crusade. Disraeli. 
Charles Townsend, Wit and States 
man. Fitzgerald. 
Old Merchants of New York. Vols. 
1, 3. Barrett. 
Life of Cowper. Southey. 
Gray s Letters. Vols. 1, 3. 

Life of John Adams. Vol. 1. 

C. F. Adams. 
Treason of Charles Lee. Moore. 


Her Dearest Foe. Mrs. Alexander. 
Life of Edward Livingston. Hart. 
Historical Studies. Cabot Lodge. 

Life of Rufus Choate. E. G. Parker. 
Henry V. Towle. 

Curwen s Journal and Letters. Ward. 
Reminiscences of George Washing 
ton. Custis. 
Choate. Vol. 1. S. G. Brown. 
Germany. De Stael. 
Roderick Hudson. Henry James. 

Old Ma mselle s Secret. Marlitt. 

Life of James Otis. Tudor. 

American Biography. Vol. 1. Stark, 
Montgomery, Allen. 

Edited by Sparks. 

American Biography. Allen and Put 
nam. Vol. 7. J. Sparks. 

American Biography. Steuben. Vol. 
9. J. Sparks. 

American Biography. Wayne and 
Vane. Vol. 4. Sparks. 

American Biography. Boone. Sparks. 

American Biography. Preble. Sparks. 

American Biography. Oglethorpe. 


American Biography. Pulaski. 



American Biography. Decatur and 

R. Williams. Sparks. 

American Biography. La Salle. 


Deerslayer. J. F. Cooper. 

Republican Court. 
American Biography. Charles Lee. 

Pathfinder. J. F. Cooper. 

American Biography. John Led- 

yard. Sparks. 

American Biography. Jacob Leis- 

ler. Sparks. 

Through Belgium and France in the 

Ytene. Mo ens. 

In the Ardennes. K. Macquoid. 

Quentin Durward. W. Scott. 

Old Merchants of New York. Vol. 

2. Barrett. 


Vanity Fair. Thackeray. 

Ivanhoe. 2 vols. W. Scott. 

Waverley. 2 vols. W. Scott. 

Old Mortality. IF. Scott. 

Peveril of the Peak. 2 vols. 

W. Scott. 
Life and Times of William IV. 2 

vols. P. Fitzgerald. 

Northern Heights of London. 

History of City of New York. Vols. 

1, 2. M. Lamb. 

A Voyage in the u Sunbeam." 


The Dutchman s Fireside. 2 vols. 

F. K. Paulding. 

The Fate of Mansfield Humphreys. 
R. G. White. 



History of New York City. Vol. 3. 
M. Lamb. 

Our Chancellor. Busch. 

Life of Chaucer. Vols. 2, 3, 4. 


History of New York City. Vol. 4. 
M. Lamb. 

History of New York. 2 vols. Jones. 
Wilhelm Meister. Goethe. 

Georgina s Reasons and Pandora. 

//. James. 

Life of Sir Walter Raleigh. 2 vols. 
St. John. 
Letters of the Princess Alice. 


Bolingbroke, Political Study and 
Criticism. R. Harrop. 


General Hull s Civil and Military 
Life. Campbell and Clark. 

Reign of Henry VIII. 2 vols. 


German Tales. Auerbach. 

^History of England. Vols. 1, 2. 


History of England. Vols. 1, 2, 3. 
J. R. Green. 

The Greatest of the Plantagenets. 
Men and Events of My Time 
(India). Sir R. Temple. 

Cardinal Wolsey and His Time. 


History of England. Vol. 4. Green. 
History of Philadelphia. 

Scharf and Westcott. 

Lord Hubert, Autobiography. 

Life of Mounstuart Elphinstone. 

Vol. 2. Colebrook. 

Thirty Years War. J. R. Green. 


Biographical Studies. W. Bagehot. 

History of England. Vols. 1 to 12. 


Oriental Experience. Sir R. Temple. 
Princesses of England. 

A. Strickland. 

Queens of England. Wives of Henry 
VIII. A. Strickland. 

Queen Elizabeth. A. Strickland. 
The Real Lord Byron. Jeafferson. 
Carlyle. Vols. 3 and 4. Froude. 
Life of Walter Scott. T. Carlyle. 
Varnhagen von Ense. T. Carlyle. 
Boswell s Life of Johnson. 

T. Carlyle. 
Voltaire. T. Carlyle. 


French Revolution. 2 vols. 

T. Carlyle. 
Posthumous Memoirs of Karoline 

Bauer. Vol. 2. 

French Revolution. Vol. 1. Thiers. 
History of France. Vols. 1, 2. 

Old World Questions and New World 

Answers. Pidgeon. 

Fifty Years Observation of Men and 

Events. Keyes. 

Leaves from Diary of H. Greville. 


Retrospect of a Long Life. S. C. Hall. 
The Young Duke. Disraeli. 

Life of S. T. Coleridge. Trail!. 

Vivian Grey. Disraeli. 

Croker s Correspondence and Diaries. 

Vols. 1, 2. Jennings. 


Tales of Three Cities. //. James. 

Napoleon I. Letters and Despatches. 
3 vols. Bingham. 

Montcalm and Wolfe. 2 vols. 


Croker s Correspondence and Diaries. 
Vol. 3. Jennings. 

Historical Characters. H. Buliver. 

France, Social, Literary, and Politi 
cal. //. Buliver. 

Coningsby. Disraeli. 

Lothair. Disraeli. 

Endymion. Disraeli. 

Marcus Aurelius. Watson. 


Life of Bolingbroke. Campbell. 

Life of Lord Brougham. Campbell. 
Life and Times of Lord Brougham. 

Vol. 1. Brougham. 

Life of Lord Eldon. Campbell. 

Memoirs of Lord Abinger. Scarlett. 
Denman. 2 vols. J. Arnold. 

Life of Lord Camden. Campbell. 
Life of Charles Yorke. Campbell. 
Life of Thurlow. Campbell. 

Life of Lord Erskine. Campbell. 
Life and Times of Thos. Jefferson. 

Vol. 1. Randall. 


Life and Times of T. Jefferson. 

Vols. 2, 3. Randall. 

Speech on Lafayette. J. Q. Adams. 



Sandwich Islands. Cheever 

Paradise in the Pacific. 

Wm. R. Bliss 
The Solitary of Juan Fernandez. 


Jamaica. John Bigelow. 

Lincoln and Seward. Gideon Welles. 
Lord George Bentwiek, Political 
Biography. Disraeli. 

Polynesian Researches. Vol. 1. 



Life of George Eliot. 3 vols. 

J. W. Cross. 

Trades, Tropics, etc. Lady Brassey. 
Edgar Allan Poe. Geo. E. Woodbury. 
Memoirs of an Ex-Minister. 

Life of Abraham Lincoln. 

/. N. Arnold. 
Storm and Sunshine in the East. 

Lady Brassey. 
George Cabot, Life and Letters. 

//. C. Lodge. 
A Voyage in the u Sunbeam." 

Lady Brassey. 
Hayti, or the Black Republic. 

Sir Spencer St. John. 

Jefferson s Complete Works. Vols. 

4,5. If. A. Washington. 


Mill on the Floss. George Eliot. 

Jefferson s Works. Vols. 6, 7. 

Bloomfield at Court of Sweden. 2 
vols. Lady Bloomfield. 

Magazine of American History, 1834. 
2 vols. M. Lamb. 

Henry Taylor, Autobiography. 2 

India, Men and Times. 

Sir R. Temple. 

The Russians at the Gate of Herat. 
Chas. Marvin. 

American Political Ideas. 

John Fiske. 

Magazine of American History, 1883. 
2 vols. M. Lamb. 

Afghanistan and Anglo-Russian Dis 
putes. Theo. Rodenburgh. 


Life of N. P Willis. 

Henry A. Beers. 
Life of Samuel Adams. 

James K. Ilosmer. 
VOL. II. 27 

Life of R. Waldo Emerson. 

O. W. Holmes. 
Magazine of American History, 1879- 

80-81. 3 vols. M. Lamb, editor. 
Russia under the Tzars. Stepniak. 
New York during the American 


Type. Herman Melville. 

Magazine American History, 1878. 

1 vol. M. Lamb. 

South Sea Bubbles. 
The Earl and Doctor. (Earl of 

Journal of a Cruise in the Pacific 

Ocean. Vol. 2. David Porter. 


Sandwich Islands. Cheever. 

Stewart s Visit to the South Seas. 2 

vols. Stewart. 

Jacob Barker, Incidents of Life of. 

New Zealand and South Sea Islands. 


Six Months in the Sandwich Islands. 
/. Bird. 

A Faggot of French Sticks, or Paris 

in 1851. Sir Thomas Head. 

Home Letters, 1830-1831. Disraeli. 

Personal Recollections of Lord 


Antiquities of Long Island. Furman. 
The Pattern on the Mount. 

C. H. Farkhurst. 
Bubbles Brunnen of Nassau. 

Sir Thomas Head. 

Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia, 

Petraea, and the Holy Land. 2 vols. 

John Loyd Stephens. 


Lafayette. Memoirs. 2 vols. 

B. Sauans. 
Mile. Rachel. Memoirs. 2 vols. 

Mme. de B. 
Incidents of Travel in Central Amer 
ica. 2 vols. J. L. Stephens. 
Compendium of Geography and 
Travel, Central Asia, etc. 

//. W. Bates. 

ompendium of Geography and 
Travel, Europe. 

Sir A. C. Ramsay. 
Biblical Researches. Vol. 1. 

Ediv. Robinson. 
[listory of the People of the United 
States. Vol. 2. J. B. McMasters. 



Magazine of American History, 1877. 

1 vol. Lamb. 

History of the American Navy. 2 

vols. J. F. Cooper. 

Magazine of American History, 1878. 

1 vol. Lamb. 

Eothen. Kinglake. 


Zoroaster. F. M. Crawford. 

Harry Marline. Admiral Porter. 
Aulnay Tower. Blanche Howard. 
Aspasia. 1st vol. Robert Hamerling. 
Silas Lapham. Howells. 

Debates, New York, etc. 
Diary of Two Parliaments. Lucy. 
The World of London. Paul Vasili. 
Society of London. 

Foreign Resident. 
Strange Adventures of a Phaeton. 


A Pair of Blue Eyes. Hardy. 

Holland and Scandinavia. 

A. C. Hare. 

Addison. W. G. Courthope. 

Sheridan. Mrs. Oliphant. 

Adventures and Sufferings in Nootha 

Sound. John Jewett. 


Fielding. Austin Dobson. 

Bacon. Church. 

Life of Jonathan Trumbull. 

J. W. Stuart. 

Spain and the Spaniards. De Amicis. 
Letters from High Latitudes. 

Lord Dufferin. 

Studies of Paris. De Amicis. 

Oregon. Barrows. 

Kentucky. N. S. Shaler. 

Virginia. J. Esten Cooke. 

Michigan. Tlios. Mclntyre Cooley. 
Journey to the Hebrides. Bos well. 
Journey to the Hebrides. Johnson. 
White Wings. Black. 

Swallow Barn. J. P. Kennedy. 

The Linwoods. 2 vols. 

C. Sedgwick. 

Due South. M. M. Ballou. 

An Inland Voyage. R. L. Stevenson. 


Hope Leslie. 2 vols. C. Sedgwick. 
The Redwoods. C. Sedgwick. 

Due West, M. M. Ballou. 

Wm. Wirt, Life and Times. 2 vols. 
J. P. Kennedy. 
Constantinople. De Amicis. 

Around the World in Eighty Days. 

Jules Verne. 

Maryland. Wm. II. Browne. 

Life of Agassiz. 2 vols. 

Mrs. Agassiz. 

GustaVe Dore, Life and Reminis 
cences. Blanche Roosevelt. 
One Summer. Blanche lloicard. 
Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen. 
Bryant and His Friends. 

James G. Wilson* 

Greville, Journal, 1827-1852. Vols. 
1, 2. //. Reeve. 

Greville s Journal. Vol. 3. 

//. Reeve. 

Gleanings in Europe England. 

2 vols. J. F. Cooper. 

Souvenirs of a Diplomat. Bacourt. 

Gleanings in Europe France. 2 

vols. J. F. Cooper. 

Gleanings in Europe Italy. 2 vols. 

J. F. Cooper. 

A Larger History of United States. 

T. Went worth Higginson. 
Life of James Monroe. 

D. C. Oilman. 

A Merry Monarch. England under 
Charles II. 2 vols. 

W. II. Davenport Klaus. 
Royalty Restored. 2 vols. 

J. Fitzgerald Molloy. 
Life of James Madison. Gay. 

Life and Letters of Hallock. 

J. G. Wilson. 


Thos. Hutchinson, Diary and Letters. 

P. 0. Hutchinson. 

Colonial History of New York. Vol. 

1. Geo. W. Schuyler. 

Lionel Lincoln. J. F. Cooper. 

Rush s Court Life in London. 1815- 

1819. Rush. 

Rush s Court Life. 1819-1825. 
John Quincy Adams. Works. Vol. 3. 
C. F. Adams. 


John Quincy Adams. Vol. 4, 5, 6, 
7, 8, 9. C. F. Adams. 

The Cruise of the " Brooklyn." 

Lt. Buhler. 

House of Stuart. Jesse. 

Lives of Engineers. Smiles. 

Life of Pickering. 




John Quincy Adams. Vol. 10. 

C. F. Adams. 
Random Recollections. 

//. B. Stanton. 
Pilgrim Fathers. 

Mrne. Mohl, Her Salon and Friends. 
K. O Meara. 
Salisbury Cathedral. 
Oceana. Froude. 

History of Tryon County. 
Old Merchants of New York. Vol. 5. 
Scoville Barrett. 
History of Wyoming. 
Beaconsfield s Letters to His Sister. 


Senior s Conversations in France and 
Italy, 1848-52. 2 vols. Simpson. 
Senior s Conversations with Distin 
guished Men, 1860-63. 2 vols. 


Mme. de Maintenon. A Study. 
Marlborough. Saintsbury. 

Letters of George Sand. 3 vols. 
Literature. //. Grimm. 

The Age of Louis XIV. Voltaire. 
George Ticknor, Life and Letters. 

2 vols. 
History of the Three Judges. 

Ezra Stiles. 

Reminiscences, Ronald Gower. Vol. 

Letters of Mme. Remusat, 1804- 


Biographical Sketches. N. Senior. 
Haphazard. Lauman. 

The Last Days of the Consulate. 


California. Royce. 

Colorado. Vols. 1, 2. 

Bayard Taylor. 

Tocqueville s Conversations. 2 vols. 
N. Senior. 
Life of J. Q. Adams. Vol. 1. 

C. F. Adams. 
The New Puritan. J. S. Pike. 


Shaftesbury. II. D. Trail. 

J. Q. Adams. Vols. 2, 3. 

C. F. Adams. 
Triumphant Democracy. 

And. Carnegie. 

Joel Barlow. Chas. B. Todd. 

Prince Bismarck. 2 vols. 

Chas. Lowe. 

At Home in Fiji. 

C. F. Gordon-Gumming. 
Peveril of the Peak. 2 vols. 

Walter Scott. 

Henry Esmond. Vol. 1. Thackeray. 
Taine s Notes on England. Taine. 
Fireside Travels. J. R. Lowell. 

Life of Longfellow. 2 vols. 

S. Longfellow. 
A Walk from London to Fulham. 

T. Crofton Crofter. 
High Lights. 


2. Diary and Letters of Hugh S. 
Legare. Vol. 1. 

2. Essays of H. S. Legare. Vol. 2. 

3. American Notes. Hawthorne. 



Died Aug. 4, 1886. 

MINDFUL of the uncertainty of life, and being now in the full possession 
of all the faculties of mind and memory, I, Samuel J. Tilden, of Graystone, 
in the city of Yonkers, county of Westchester and State of New York, do 
hereby make, publish, and declare this my last Will and Testament, in the 
manner and form following, that is to say : 

I. I hereby expressly revoke and cancel any and all other wills hereto 
fore made by me. 

II. I hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint John Bigelow, of Highland 
Falls, Andrew II. Green, and George W. Smith, of the city of New York, 
Executors and Trustees under this my last Will and Testament. 

III. I direct that the compensation to be paid to and received by my 
said Executors and Trustees shall be to each the yearly sum of Five 
thousand dollars ; but such annual compensation shall be in lieu of and a 
full satisfaction and discharge for any and all commissions and charges 
other than actual disbursements to which my said Executors and Trustees 
might or would be entitled in whatever capacity, under the laws of this 
State, in any and all trusts (including all services in the special Trusts to 
be constituted under this Will), if their compensation were not hereby 
fixed and agreed upon as aforesaid ; and that any sum which George W. 
Smith may receive as my private secretary or as an officer or servant of the 
York Mining Company or Delphic Iron Company be deducted from his com 
pensation as Executor and Trustee. Such compensation of Five thousand 
dollars shall be so long as he shall be in performance of the duties 
of the special Trustee under the Trust hereby directed to be constituted 
and of the duties of an Executor and Trustee under this Will of my 
general estate, and as a trustee, manager, or director of the corporation 
hereinafter provided. Such compensation shall be paid out of my general 
estate so long as it shall remain in the custody of my Executors and Trus 
tees, and by the corporation hereinafter provided, after the residue of my 
general estate shall be vested in such corporation. 

IV. I will and direct that all the powers and authorities granted in and 
by this my last Will and Testament to my said Executors and Trustees 
shall and may be exercised by a majority of the persons or by the person 
who shall for the time being lawfully hold and be in the exercise of the 
functions of an Executor and Trustee hereunder. 


V. I request and direct that no bond or security shall be required by 
any Surrogate, Probate Court, or judge from my Executors and Trustees on 
account of the non-residence of such Executor and Trustee, or either of 
them, within the jurisdiction of such Surrogate, Probate Court, or judge, 
or for any reason whatever. 

VI. In case of the death, resignation, or incapacity of either of my said 
Executors and Trustees, the survivors of them shall immediately appoint a 
successor by an instrument in writing under their hands and seals ; and 
upon such appointment being made, the person so appointed shall thereupon 
become and be invested with all the powers, rights, and authorities con 
ferred upon an Executor and Trustee hereby appointed. 

VII. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to pay and dischage all 
my just debts and liabilities out of my personal estate. 

VIII. My said Executors and Trustees are directed to constitute the 
Trusts for specific persons hereinafter more particularly described and de 
fined. My said Executors and Trustees shall be Trustees of the special 
Trusts by them so constituted; but the said Trusts shall be distinct and 
separate from the general Trust under this instrument. In their capacity 
of Trustees of Trusts for specific persons, they shall have power to manage 
the several Trusts; to collect the income thereof, and to apply the same as 
herein directed; to sell in their discretion the securities and to reinvest the 
proceeds thereof. 

IX. I hereby direct my said Executors and Trustees to allow my sister, 
Mrs. Mary B. Pelton, during her natural life, the use of the house number 
thirty-eight West Thirty-eighth Street in the city of New York. I also 
direct them to pay any mortgage to which the said premises may be now 
subject. I also direct my said Executors and Trustees to invest two sev 
eral sums of Fifty thousand dollars each, in separate and distinct Trusts, 
and to apply the income of the said two Trusts to the use of the said Mary 
B. Pelton during her natural life. Upon the decease of my said sister 
Mary B. Pelton, the house known as number thirty-eight West Thirty-eighth 
Street in the city of New York shall be applied to the use of my grand-niece 
Laura A. Pelton for the remainder of her natural life. Upon the decease 
of my sister Mary B. Pelton, one of the said Trusts of Fifty thousand 
dollars shall be applied to the use of my grand-niece Laura A. Pelton, 
unless my said sister Mary B. Pelton shall by her last will and testament 
have made a different disposition of the same, which she is hereby empow 
ered to do. Upon the decease of the said Laura A. Pelton, if she leave 
issue, the said house number thirty-eight West Thirty-eighth Street, desig 
nated as the first Trust, and the principal of the said second Trust, being 
Fifty thousand dollars, shall be paid over to the heirs of her body. If she 
leave no issue the principal of said first Trust, being of the said house 
number thirty-eight West Thirty-eighth Street, shall be paid over as she 
may by her last will and testament direct, and the principal of the said 
second Trust shall be paid over to the Tilden Trust hereinafter mentioned, 
if the same shall have been authorized and constituted ; or, if the said Tilden 


Trust shall not be capable of receiving the same, the principal of the said 
two Trusts shall be applied to such charitable objects as the Trustees for 
the time being, of the two said Trusts, may designate. Upon the decease of 
my sister Mary B. Pelton, the principal of the third Trust, being for Fifty 
thousand dollars, shall be applied to the use of my niece Caroline B. Whit- 
tlesey, during her natural life, and upon her decease shall be paid over to 
the heirs of her body, if she leave any. If she leave no such heir, the 
same shall be paid over as by her last will and testament she may direct. In 
addition to the foregoing provisions herein made for the benefit of my sister 
Mary B. Pelton, my Executors and Trustees shall invest such sum not exceed 
ing Fifty thousand dollars as I may hereinafter in writing instruct them to 
do, and hold the same as a distinct and separate Trust. The Trustees of the 
said special Trust shall apply the income thereof to the use of the said Mary 
B. Pelton during her natural life, and after her decease shall pay over the 
principal sum to the Tilden Trust hereinafter mentioned, if the same shall 
have been authorized and constituted ; or if the said Tilden Trust shall not 
be capable of receiving the same, the principal of said Trust shall be applied 
to such charitable objects as the Trustees for the time being of the said 
Trust may designate. 

X. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to invest Fifty thousand 
dollars in two special and separate Trusts of Twenty-five thousand dollars 
each, and to apply the income of the said two Trusts to the use of Lucy F. 
Tilden, widow of my late brother Moses Y. Tilden, during her natural life. 
Upon her decease, the income of one of the two said Trusts shall be 
applied to the use of her adopted daughter Adelaide E. Buchanan during 
Her natural life, unless the said Lucy F. Tilden shall by her last will and 
testament have made a different disposition of the same, which she is hereby 
empowered to do. Upon the decease of the said Adelaide E. Buchanan, the 
principal of the said Trust of Twenty-five thousand dollars shall be paid 
over to the heirs of her body, if she leave any, unless the said Adelaide E. 
Buchanan shall by her last will and testament have made a different dispo 
sition of the same, which she is hereby empowered to do. If she leave no 
issue, the principal of the said Twenty-five thousand dollars shall be paid 
over to such person or persons as she may designate by her last will and 
testament. Upon the decease of the said Lucy F. Tilden, the principal 
of the other Trust of Twenty-five thousand dollars shall be disposed of as 
hereinafter directed. 

My Executors and Trustees are directed to convey to Adelaide E. Bu 
chanan the obligations of her husband for Five thousand dollars which I 
loaned to him some years ago. In addition to the other provisions made 
in this instrument for the benefit of the said Adelaide E. Buchanan, my 
Executors and Trustees are also directed to set apart Twenty thousand 
dollars in First Mortgage bonds of the Oregon Short Line Railroad Com 
pany as a special Trust for the benefit of the said Adelaide E. Buchanan. 
The Trustees of said special Trust shall apply the income thereof to the 
use of the said Adelaide E. Buchanan during her natural life, and after her 


decease shall dispose of the same as in this instrument is hereafter 

XI. I hereby direct my said Executors and Trustees to invest the sum 
of Fifty thousand dollars, to be known as the Sixth Trust, and to apply the 
income of the same to the use of Susan G. Tilden, the widow of my brother 
Henry A. Tilden, during her natural life. Upon her decease the income of 
the same shall be applied to the use of my niece Henrietta A. Swan, during 
her natural life, unless that the said Susan G. Tilden shall by her last will 
and testament have made a different disposition of the same, which she is 
hereby empowered to do. Upon the decease of the said Henrietta A. Swan, 
the principal of the said Trust shall be paid over to the heirs of her body, 
if she leave any, unless the said Henrietta A. Swan shall by her last will 
and testament have made a different disposition of the same, which she is 
hereby empowered to do. If she leave no issue, then the principal of the 
said Trust of Fifty thousand dollars shall be paid over as she may direct by 
her last will and testament, which she is hereby empowered to do. 

XII. I direct that my said Executors and Trustees shall vest in a special 
Trust for the benefit of my niece Caroline B. Whittlesey One hundred 
shares of the stock of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company 
standing in. my name as Trustee, but for which she holds a power of 
attorney from me to collect the income thereof. The Trustees of the said 
special Trust shall apply the income thereof to the use of the said Caroline 
B. Whittlesey during her natural life ; and upon her decease they shall pay 
over the proceeds of the said stock or assign the said stock to the heirs of 
the body of my said niece Caroline B. Whittlesey, if she leave any, and if 
she leave no such heir shall pay over or assign the same to such person as 
she may by her last will and testament direct. 

XIII. I also direct my said Executors and Trustees to assign to the said 
Caroline B. Whittlesey my interest in the Delphic Iron Company, whether 
consisting of stock or loans, counting the same at cost and interest, and 
also to assign all sums her husband William A. Whittlesey may be owing 
to me at the time of my decease for loans or advances to him or for which 
he may be liable. I also direct my said Executors and Trustees to invest 
a sum sufficient to make with the stock in and loans to the Delphic Iron 
Company and the said loans and advances to the said William A. Whittlesey, 
or for which he may be liable, the sum of Fifty thousand dollars in a 
special Trust for the benefit of the said Caroline B. Whittlesey. The 
Trustees of the said special Trust shall apply the income of the said special 
Trust to the use of the said Caroline B. Whittlesey during her natural life, 
and after her decease shall pay over the same to the heirs of her body, if 
she leaves any. If she leaves no such heir then they shall pay over the 
same as she may by her last will and testament direct. 

XIV. I direct that my said Executors and Trustees shall vest in a special 
Trust for the benefit of my niece Henrietta A. Swan, One hundred shares 
of the stock of the Cleveland & Pittsburg Railroad Company standing in 
my name as Trustee, but for which she holds a power of attorney from me 


to collect the income thereof. The Trustees of the said special Trust shall 
apply the income thereof to the use of the said Henrietta A. Swan during 
her natural life, and upon her decease they shall pay over the proceeds of 
the said stock or assign the said stock to the heirs of the body of my said 
niece Henrietta A. Swan, if she leaves any, and if she leaves no such heir 
shall pay over or assign the same to such person as she may by her last will 
and testament direct. 

I also direct my said Executors and Trustees to invest the sum of Fifty 
thousand dollars as a special Trust for the use of my said niece Henrietta 
A. Swan during her natural life, and after her decease to the use of the 
heirs of her body, unless she in her last will and testament shall otherwise 
direct, which she is hereby empowered to do. If she leaves no such heir 
the said principal shall be disposed of as hereinafter provided. 

XV. I hereby request the heirs-at-laAv of my late brother Moses Y. 
Tilden to unite in conveying to Lucy E. Tilden, his widow, for her use 
during her natural life, the dwelling-house in which he formerly resided at 
New Lebanon, with about thirty acres of land adjacent thereto, and I direct 
my Executors and Trustees to join in such conveyance in my behalf. 

I hereby request the heirs of my late brother Moses Y. Tilden, and the 
heirs of my late brother Henry A. Tilden and my sister Mary B. Pelton or 
her heirs, to unite in conveying to my Executors and Trustees the residue of 
the lands formerly owned by my father, Elam Tilden, or subsequently ac 
quired by my late brother Moses Y. Tilden other than the thirty acres, or 
acquired by my late brother Henry A. Tilden other than the lands adjacent 
to his dwelling-house or used in connection with his manufactories, and 
excepting also the land upon which a stone building heretofore used as a 
school was erected by my late brother Henry A. Tilden. I hereby direct my 
Executors and Trustees to cause said conveyances to be executed as a con 
dition precedent to the payment of the legacies hereby given. My object is 
to keep the landed property together and in the family, and I direct my 
Executors and Trustees to apply the same to the use of my nephews George 
H. Tilden and Samuel J. Tilden, second, during their natural lives. After 
their decease the same shall be disposed of as they or the survivor of them 
in their last will and testament direct. 

XVI. I authorize my said Executors and Trustees, at such time as they may 
deem judicious, to release to my said nephews George H. Tilden and Samuel 
J. Tilden, second, a debt which they owe to me for cash advances lately made 
by me to them in their business now amounting Avith interest to the sum of 
about Thirty-four thousand dollars, and also a mortgage which I hold 
against them now amounting with interest to about Thirty-three thousand 

I direct my said Executors and Trustees to pay certain notes given many 
years ago by my late brothers Moses Y. Tilden and Henry A. Tilden to 
Catherine H. Pierson, the principal of which I afterwards guaranteed to 
save my mother from endorsing the same, which said notes have been 
assumed by my nephews George H. Tilden and Samuel J. Tilden, second, 
who will be relieved by the payment thereof. 


XVII. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to set apart the sum of 
Seventy-five thousand dollars as a special Trust for the benefit of my 
nephew George II. Tilden. The income of the said special Trust shall be 
applied by the Trustees thereof to the use of the said George H. Tilden 
during his natural life. Upon his decease, the said Fund shall be paid over 
to the heirs of the body of the said George H. Tilden, if he leave any. If 
he leave no such heir, then if my nephew Samuel J. Tilden, second, him 
survive, the said Fund shall be applied by the Trustees of the said Fund to 
the use of the said Samuel J. Tilden, second, and upon his decease the said 
Fund shall be paid over to the heirs of his body, if he leave any. If he 
leave no such heir the said Fund shall be paid over as he in his last will 
and testament may direct. 

XVIII. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to set apart the sum of 
Seventy-five thousand dollars as a special Trust for the benefit of my 
nephew Samuel J. Tilden, second. The income of the said special Trust 
shall be applied by the Trustees thereof to the use of the said Samuel J. 
Tilden, second, during his natural life. Upon his decease the said Fund 
shall be paid over to the heirs of his body, if he leave any. If he leave no 
such heir, then if my nephew George H. Tilden him survive, the said Fund 
shall be applied by the Trustees of the said Fund to the use of the said 
George II. Tilden, and upon his decease the said Fund shall be paid over to 
the heirs of his body, if he leave any. If he leave no such heir the said 
Fund shall be paid over as he in his last will and testament may direct. 

XIX. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to set apart the sum of 
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars as a special Trust for the benefit of 
my niece Ruby S. Tilden. The income of the said special Trust shall be 
applied by the Trustees thereof to the use of the said Ruby S. Tilden during 
her natural life. Upon her decease the said Fund shall be paid over to the 
heirs of her body, if she leave any. If she leave no such heir, then if my 
niece Susan G. Tilden her survive, the said Fund shall be applied by the 
Trustees of the said Fund to the use of the said Susan G. Tilden, and upon 
her decease the said Fund shall be paid over to the heirs of her body, if she 
leave any. If she leave no such heir the said Fund shall be paid over aa 
she in her last will and testament may direct. 

XX. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to set apart the sum of 
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars as a special Trust for the benefit of 
my niece Susan G. Tilden. The income of the said special Trust shall be 
applied by the Trustees thereof to the use of the said Susan G. Tilden dur 
ing her natural life. Upon her decease the said Fund shall be paid over to 
the heirs of her body, if she leave any. If she leave no such heir, then if 
my niece Ruby S. Tilden her survive, the said Fund shall be applied by the 
Trustees of the said Fund to the use of the said Ruby S. Tilden, and upon 
her decease the said Fund shall be paid over to the heirs of her body, if she 
leave any. If she leave no such heir the said Fund shall be paid over as 
she in her last will and testament may direct. 

XXI. I direct my Executors and Trustees not to enforce against the 


estate of my brother, the late Henry A. Tilden, or against the estate of my 
late brother Moses Y. Tilden, loans which I have heretofore made to them, 
amounting to about Three hundred thousand dollars ; but to release and 
cancel the same whenever the said Executors and Trustees shall be re 
quested in writing to do so by George- H. Tilden and Samuel J. Tilden, the 
second, the sons of the late Henry A. Tilden, or by the survivor of them. 

XXII. I direct my Executors and Trustees to set apart as a separate 
Trust the sum of Twenty-five thousand dollars for the benefit of Anna J. 
Gould during her natural life. In case she shall be Avith me exercising 
care over me during the rest of my life, I direct that the said sum of 
Twenty-five thousand dollars be Increased to One hundred thousand 
dollars. The income of the said special Trust shall be applied by the 
Trustees thereof to the use of the said Anna J. Gould during her natural 
life. Upon her decease one-half of the said Fund shall be paid over as the 
said Anna J. Gould may by her last will and testament direct. The other 
half shall be paid over as herein directed. 

XXIII. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to set apart Fifty 
thousand dollars of First Mortgage six per cent International and Great 
Northern Railroad Company bonds, and Fifty thousand dollars of the First 
Mortgage bonds of the Oregon Short Line Railroad Company guaranteed by 
the Union Pacific Railway Company, as a special Trust for the benefit of my 
friend Miss Marie Celeste Stauffer, daughter of Isaac Stauffer, Esquire, of 
New Orleans. The income of the said special Trust shall be applied by 
the Trustees thereof to the use of the said Marie Celeste Stauffer during 
her natural life, free from any interference or control of any husband she 
may have ; and upon the decease of the said Marie Celeste Stauffer the 
Trustees of the said special Trust shall pay over the principal of the said 
bonds, or assign the same, to the devisees or heirs of the said Marie Celeste 

XXIV. In all cases in which special Trusts are herein directed to be cre 
ated for the benefit of particular persons and the income directed to be applied 
by the Trustees of special Trusts, it is hereby declared that the said income 
shall be kept free from all pledges, incumbrances, or anticipation thereof, 
and every such pledge, incumbrance, or anticipation shall be void. The 
Trustees of the said special Trusts are hereby empowered and directed to sus 
pend payment of such income during the existence of any such pretended 
pledge, incumbrance, or anticipation. 

In all cases in which such special Trust shall be for the benefit of any 
female, the said income shall be kept free from the control or interference 
of any husband which the said female now has or may hereafter have ; 
such income being intended to be sacredly devoted to the separate personal 
use of said female, and is not to be pledged, incumbered, or anticipated by 

XXV. I direct my Executors and Trustees, in case any special Trust 
hereby directed to be constituted shall fail in whole or in part by depreci 
ation of securities, to make the same good out of my general estate, so 


long as the general Trust to my Executors and Trustees shall continue ; 
and in case the said Executors and Trustees shall convey any portion of 
that estate to a corporation designated as the Tilden Trust, or shall vest the 
same in any Trust or Trusts for charitable purposes, to do so on the 
express condition that the said conveyance shall be subject to the obligations 
to make good the funds devoted to the said special Trusts, and shall exact 
from the grantee in every such case an acknowledgment of such obligation 
and agreement to fulfil the same. This provision is made subject to the 
condition that the corporation shall be duly authorized by law, by a special 
act or otherwise, to accept the grant, subject to the obligations herein 
directed to be imposed upon or assumed by the said corporation. I also 
direct my said Executors and Trustees to obey such instructions as I may 
hereafter give to them in respect to the allotment or selection of securities 
for the said special Trusts or any of them. 

XXVI. I hereby authorize and direct my Executors and Trustees during 
the continuance of the trust of my general estate to apply any surplus in 
come to or towards the several special Trusts hereby directed to be consti 
tuted in the same manner as they might apply the principal of my said estate 
to the said purposes. 

XXVII. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to apply to the use of 
Henrietta Jones, of Monticello, out of my general estate, a sum not ex 
ceeding Five hundred dollars per annum during her natural life, or so long 
as the Trust embracing my general estate shall continue. 

XXVIII. In case John J. Cahill shall remain in my service the residue 
of my life, I authorize and direct my Executors and Trustees to pay over 
to him the sum of Eive thousand dollars. 

XXIX. The Trustees of the said special Trust are hereby authorized 
from time to time to change the investments hereby directed to be made 
for the use and benefit of specific persons ; to sell the securities originally 
purchased for or set apart for such specific persons, and to purchase other 
securities in lieu thereof, except in the cases where the securities are herein 
designated and appropriated to a specific purpose. 

XXX. I authorize my Executors and Trustees to contribute out of my 
estate to Mrs. Maria Sinnott, for the purpose of aiding in support and edu 
cation of the children of her late husband, James P. Sinnott, such sum as 
they may deem sufficient, not exceeding, however, the sum of Five hundred 
dollars per annum for five years. 

XXXI. I direct my said Executors and Trustees to pay over to such of 
the following persons as may be in my service at the time of my decease, 
to wit: Georgen Johansen, Henry G. Gilbert, Edward Riley, Catherine 
Burke, and Rosa Clark each the sum of One thousand dollars ; and to John 
Lynch, Elizabeth Byrnes, Bridget Gettins, Dennis O Hare, and Daniel Herr 
each the sum of Five hundred dollars. 

XXXII. I direct my Executors and Trustees to apply Ten thousand 
dollars, or such part of it as may be necessary, according to such instructions 
as I may hereafter to them from time to time give in writing or verbally. 


XXXIII. I authorize my Executors and Trustees to cause the establish 
ment of a Library and Free Reading-Room in my native town of New- 
Lebanon in the manner following, that is to say : they shall obtain title to the 
land on which the building stands which was erected by my brother Henry 
A. Tilden, and which has been occupied by a school ; buying in the mort 
gage on the same, amounting to about Fifteen thousand dollars, and, if 
necessary, obtaining releases from the heirs of my brother Henry A. 
Tilden, from my sister Mary B. Pelton or her heirs, and from Mrs. Lucy 
F. Tilden. They shall vest the title in a corporation, if a charter shall be 
granted on their application to the Legislature, or a corporation can be 
formed under any general law. My said Executors and Trustees are here 
by authorized to require, if needful, proper conveyances to be executed by 
the heirs of the said Henry A. Tilden, by Mary B. Pelton or her heirs and 
by Lucy F. Tilden as condition precedent to the payment of the legacies 
herein given to them respectively. They shall also convey to the corpora 
tion, if one be created, any interest which I may have in the said premises. 
My Executors and Trustees are authorized to expend for the creation and 
equipment and to invest as a permanent fund to maintain the said Library 
and Reading-Room the sum of Sixty-five thousand dollars, and any further 
sum not exceeding Thirty-five thousand dollars which I may in writing in 
struct my said Executors and Trustees to apply to those objects. They 
are also authorized to use the said building and endowment hereby provided 
in part for a school for the training of girls, if they find the same expedient 
in connection with the Free Library and Reading-Room. 

XXXIV. I hereby authorize my said Executors and Trustees to appro 
priate out of my estate, in such manner as they may deem most expedient, 
the sum of Fifty thousand dollars towards the establishment of a Library 
and Free Reading-Room in the city of Yonkers, and such further sum not 
exceeding Fifty thousand dollars as I may hereafter instruct my said 
Executors and Trustees to apply to that object. My said Executors and 
Trustees are requested to apply to the Legislature for a special charter to 
enable them to carry out this provision or to form a corporation under any 
general law which in their judgment shall be most desirable. 

XXXV. I request my said Executors and Trustees to obtain as speedily as 
possible from the Legislature an Act of Incorporation of an institution to be 
known as the Tilden Trust, with capacity to establish and maintain a Free 
Library and Reading-Room in the city of New York, and to promote such 
scientific and educational objects as my said Executors and Trustees may 
more particularly designate. Such corporation shall have not less than five 
Trustees, with power to fill vacancies in their number, and in case said 
institution shall be incorporated in a form and manner satisfactory to my 
said Executors and Trustees during the lifetime of the survivor of the two 
lives in being upon which the Trust of my general estate herein created is 
limited, to wit : the lives of Ruby S. Tilden and Susie Whittlesey, I here 
by authorize my said Executors and Trustees to organize the said corpora 
tion, designate the first Trustees thereof, and to convey to or apply to the 


use of the same, the rest, residue, and remainder of all my real and personal 
estate not specifically disposed of by this instrument, or so much thereof as 
they may deem expedient, but subject, nevertheless, to the special Trusts 
herein directed to be constituted for particular persons, and to the obliga 
tions to make and keep good the said special Trusts, provided that the said 
corporation shall be authorized by law to assume such obligation. But in 
case such institution shall not be so incorporated, during the lifetime of the 
survivor of the said Ruby S. Tilden and Susie WMttlesey, or if for any 
cause or reason my said Executors and Trustees shall deem it inexpedient 
to convey said rest, residue, and remainder or any part thereof or to apply 
the same or any part thereof to the said institution, I authorize my said 
Executors and Trustees to apply the rest, residue, and remainder of my 
property, real and personal, after making good the said special Trusts 
herein directed to be constituted, or such portions thereof as they may not 
deem it expedient to apply to its use, to such charitable educational and 
scientific purposes as in the judgment of my said Executors and Trustees 
will render the said rest, residue, and remainder of my property most 
widely and substantially beneficial to the interests of mankind. 

XXXVI. I hereby authorize my said Executors and Trustees to reserve 
from any disposition made by this Will such of my books as they may deem 
expedient, and to dispose of the same in such manner as in their judgment 
would have been most agreeable to me ; and in such case any of my illus 
trated books or books of art should be given to or to the care of the insti 
tution described in this Will, my said Executors and Trustees shall make 
suitable regulations to preserve the same from damage and to regulate 
access thereto. And such disposition shall be subject to such instructions 
as I may hereafter in writing give to my said Executors and Trustees. 

XXXVII. In case at any time during the Trust embracing my general 
estate any interest in any special Trust hereby directed to be constituted shall 
lapse or no disposition of such interest contained in this instrument shall 
be effectual to finally dispose of the same, such interest shall go to my said 
Executors and Trustees to be disposed of under the provisions of this Will, 
or if the said general Trust shall have ceased, but a corporation designated 
as the Tilden Trust shall be in operation, such interest shall go to the said 

XXXVIII. My said Executors and Trustees are hereby invested with the 
following powers : 1. To manage the funds herein directed to be invested in 
the Trusts for specific persons until such investments shall have been made, 
with like authorities as in cases of other portions of my estate. 2. To sell 
and dispose from time to time, in their discretion, of such parts and parcels 
of the real estate and other property hereby devised, given, and bequeathed 
to them as they shall deem advisable, and so to sell and dispose of the same 
at public or private sale, at such price or prices, and upon such terms as to 
mode, time, and security of payment, as they shall deem proper, and to sign, 
seal, execute, and deliver all proper and necessary conveyances therefor. 3. 
From tinte to time to invest and reinvest all moneys belonging to my estate 


whether derived from sales of said devised and bequeathed property or 
otherwise in such manner as they may deem expedient, subject, however, to 
the same Trusts upon which said moneys or property were originally held 
by my said Executors and Trustees. 

XXXIX. I hereby devise and bequeath to my said Executors and Trus 
tees, and to their successors in the Trust hereby created, and to the survivors 
and survivor of them, all the rest and residue of all the property, real and 
personal, of whatever name or nature and wheresoever situated, of which I 
may be seized or possessed, or to which I may be entitled at the time of 
my decease which may remain after instituting the several Trusts for the 
benefit of specific persons, and after making provisions for the specific 
bequests and objects as herein directed. To have and to hold the same 
unto my said Executors and Trustees and to their successors in the Trust 
hereby created and the survivors and survivor of them in trust to possess, 
hold, manage, and take care of the same during a period not exceeding two 
lives in being, that is to say : the lives of my niece Ruby S. Tilden and my 
grand-niece Susie Whittlesey, and until the decease of the survivor of the 
said two persons, and after deducting all necessary and proper expenses, to 
apply the same and the proceeds thereof to the objects and purposes men 
tioned in this my Will. 

XL. I hereby authorize my Executors and Trustees to apply Ten thou 
sand dollars to the creation of a trust, the income of which shall be applied 
to keeping in repair, improving, and adorning the cemetery in the town of 
New Lebanon in which the most of my near relatives are buried. I request 
my Executors and Trustees to make available any lawful power which may 
exist or can be procured for vesting the said cemetery in a corporation, to 
the end that the appropriation hereby authorized shall be as permanent as 

XLI. I authorize my said Executors and Trustees to cause to be erected 
a monument which in their judgment and discretion shall seem suitable to 
my memory, and to defray the expense thereof from my estate. 

XLII. I also authorize my said Executors and Trustees to collect and 
publish, in such form as they deem proper, my speeches and public docu 
ments, and such other writings and papers as they may think expedient to 
include with the same, which shall be done under their direction. The ex 
penses thereof shall be paid out of my estate. My Trustees and Executors 
are authorized and empowered to burn and destroy any of my letters, 
papers, or other documents, whether printed or in manuscript, which in 
their judgment will answer no useful purpose to preserve. 

XLIII. Since I have made a disposition of my property according to my 
best judgment, and since as most of the devisees or legatees under it are 
females, it is impossible to foresee under what influences some one or more 
of them might possibly come ; and since it is desirable to avert unseemly or 
speculative litigations, I hereby declare it to be my will that in case any 
person, who if I had died intestate would be entitled to any share in my 
property or estate shall, under any pretence whatever, institute, take, or 


share in any proceeding to oppose the probate of this my last Will and 
Testament, or to impeach or impair or to set aside or invalidate any of its 
provisions, any devise or legacy to or for the benefit of such person or 
persons under this will is hereby revoked, and such person shall be excluded 
from any participation in and shall not have any share or portion of my 
property or estate real or personal, and the portion to which such person 
might be entitled, if I had died intestate or might otherwise be entitled 
under the provisions of this instrument, shall be devoted to such chari 
table purposes as my said Executors and Trustees shall designate. 

In witness whereof, I, the said Samuel J. Tilden, the above-named testa 
tor, have herein set my hand and seal this twenty-third day of April in the 
year one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four. 





Passed March 26, 1887; three-fifths being present. 

WHEREAS, John Bigelow, Andrew II. Green, and George W. Smith, the 
executors and trustees of the last will and testament of Samuel J. Tilden, 
deceased, have, in pursuance of provisions of said will and testament, made 
application to the Legislature for the enactment of the following act ; and, 

WHEREAS, The said executors and trustees deem it inexpedient to desig 
nate any purposes of the corporation herein and hereby created other than 
the establishment and maintenance of a free library and reading-room in 
the city of New York, in accordance with the purpose and intention of said 
testator ; therefore 

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, 
do enact as follows : 

SECTION 1. The said John Bigelow, of Highland Falls, in Orange 
county, and Andrew H. Green and George W. Smith, of the city of New 
York, and such other persons as they may associate with themselves, and 
their successors are hereby created a body corporate and politic under the 
name and title of the Tilden Trust. 

SECT. 2. The said John Bigelow, Andrew II. Green, and George W. 
Smith shall be permanent trustees of such corporation in accordance with 
the intention of the said will in that behalf. Within ninety days from the 
passage of this act they shall designate and appoint, in writing, other trus 
tees, so that the number of trustees shall be not less than five. 

SECT. 3. One-half of the other trustees so designated and appointed 
shall hold office for the term of one year and the other half thereof for the 
term of two years. After such designation and appointment shall have 
been made, every trustee appointed to fill any vacancy in the board of 
trustees shall hold office for the term of two years. Any vacancy which 
may at any time occur in said board through death, resignation, incapacity, 
expiration of term, or otherwise, shall be filled by the remaining trustees. 

SECT. 4. All the powers of the said corporation shall be vested in the 
trustees. They shall have the power to appoint a president and vice-presi 
dent, secretary and treasurer, of whom the secretary and treasurer need not 


be members of said board. Such officers shall hold their offices upon such 
tenure, and shall receive such compensation as the by-laws may prescribe. 
Said trustees shall also have power to appoint such other officers and agents 
as the proper conduct of the affairs of said corporation shall require, remova 
ble at the pleasure of the board, and to fix their compensation. 

SECT. 5. The said corporation shall have, in addition to the powers now 
conferred by law upon all corporations as such, the capacity and power to 
establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New 
York, and for these purposes it shall have power to demand, recover, 
accept, and receive all such money and other property, real or personal, as 
is given to it by virtue of the will of Samuel J. Tilden, or shall be conveyed 
or transferred to, or in any manner bestowed upon, it by the aforesaid 
executors and trustees by virtue of the powers therein conferred upon 
them; and the said corporation shall have power to hold, manage, improve, 
dispose of, and convey all property at any time received or acquired by it 
in such manner as may be best calculated to carry out its objects and pur 

SECT. 6. The said corporation shall accept and receive all such money 
or other property as is given to it by the said will of Samuel J. Tilden, or 
shall be conveyed or transferred to, or in any manner bestowed upon, it as 
aforesaid by the aforesaid executors and trustees, subject to the terms and 
conditions expressed in and imposed by the said will of Samuel J. 
Tilden, in respect to the gift or gifts therein and thereby made or pro 
vided for, to a corporation to be formed and to be known as the Tilden 
Trust, and the said corporation shall have power to make and enter into any 
obligation or obligations to secure due compliance with such terms and con 

SECT. 7. The said corporation shall possess the powers and, except as 
may be otherwise provided by this act, be subject to the provisions, liabili 
ties, and restrictions contained in the third title of the eighteenth chapter of 
the first part of the Revised Statutes, but nothing herein contained shall 
affect the rights of any parties to any action now pending or of any heir-at- 
law of said Samuel J. Tilden, deceased. 

SECT. 8. This act shall take effect immediately. 


A BBOTT, Josiah Gardiner, address of 

^ the minority of the Electoral Com 
mission, II., 105, Appendix A. 

ABOMINATIONS, bill of, I., 33. 

ADAMS, Charles Francis, nominated for 
Vice- President, I., 125; letter to Tilden 
on the inauguration of Hayes, II., 107. 

ADAMS, Henry, Tilden s letter about the 
biography of John Randolph, IE., 277. 

ALBANY", early history of, II., 344-353. 

ANDERSON, Thomas C., member of the 
Louisiana Returning Board, II., 39. 

ANTI-MASONS, scheme to secure their 
vote for Van Buren, I., 50. 


APPENDIX to Supplement No. 1, Vol. L, 
367 ; No. 2, 370, 384 ; No. 3, 371 ; No. 
4, 380; No. 5, 385; No. 6, 386; No. 7, 
392; No. 8, 399; Appendix A, origin 
of the Tweed ring, 402; Appendix B, 
Democratic national platform of 1876, 

" ARGUS," Albany, Edwin Croswell, edi 
tor of, I., 68 ; early history of Albany, 

"R ANCROFT, George, letter to, I., 115. 
BANK, the United States, bill f Di 
re-charter of, vetoed, I., 28. 

BANKS, suspensions of, 1837, L, 62; 
Tilden censures the legalizing their 
suspension, 63. 

BAR Association of New York formed, 
I., 186. 

BARLOW, Gen. Francis C., interview 
with Cowgill, II., 28; not "recog 
nized " by Hayes, 31. 


BARNUM, Senator, inquiry for news at 
the " Times " office, II., 9. 

BENEDICT, Judge Charles L., orders the 
income-tax suit discontinued, II., 259. 

BIDDLE, Nicholas, I., 55. 

BIGELOW, John, letter to, from W. C. 
Bryant, I., 301 ; executor and trustee, 
II., 361. 

BLAINE, James G., surprised that the 
Democrats voted for the Electoral Com 
mission, II., 74. 

BLANC, Louis, dines with Tilden; his 
visit to Louis Napoleon in prison, II., 
138 ; queer experience as a lecturer 
in London, 140; Cavaignac and his 
mother, 141. 

BLATCIIFORD, Judge, II., 229. 

BOLINGBROKE quoted, I., 16. 

BOUTON, J. W., books purchased for 
Tildeu, II., 349. 

BRADLEY, Judge, sustains the validity of 
the Tilden Trust, II., 364. 

BRADY, Justice, II., 362. 

BRECKINRIDGE, John C., nominated for 
President, I., 152. 

BREWSTER, Elder, L, 6. 

BROADWAY railroad, Jacob Sharp s 
charter, II., 331 ; repealability of, 332, 
334, 336. 

BROWN, Judge, declares the Tilden 
Trust invalid, II., 364. 

BRYANT, William Cullen, I., 98; enter 
tained by Governor Tilden and re 
ceived by the Legislature, 264 ; The 
" Evening Post " on the opponents of 
Tilden; attends Fifth-avenue Hotel 
conference, 297 ; declines a place on 
the Tilden electoral ticket, 301. 

BUFFALO, Tilden addresses Board of 
Trade of, L, 269. 

BURDELL, Dr. Harvey, murder of, I., 
135 ; Tilden s defence of his heirs. 

BUTLER, William Allen, on the expos 
ure of the Tweed ring, I., 207 ; ap 
pointed on Municipal-Reform Com 
mission, 266. 

pAIIILL, John, a clerk of Mr. Tilden, 

^ II., 348 ; books read by him to Mr. 
Tilden, 348, note. 

CALHOUN, John C., leader of the Nulli- 
ficrs, L, 33 ; his attitude toward the 
Anti-Masons, 50. 

CAMBRELING, C. C., I., 114. 

CAMERON, J. D., Secretary of War, 
orders troops into " doubtful States," 
IE., 17. 

CAMPBELL, Hon. John, urges renomi- 
nation of Tilden for President in 1884, 
II., 407. 

CANALS, Tilden opposes the enlarge 
ment, I., 177; special message in re 
lation to mismanagement of, 258 ; 
appoints a canal investigating commis 
sion, 259; Tilden to Hill against their 
enlargement, IE., 338, 339. 

CANTERBURY, Tilden visits the home of 
his ancestors, II., 130. 

CARLISLE, Speaker of the House of 
Representatives, letter to, from Tilden, 
about coast defences, II., 306. 



CARTER, James C., about Tilclen, I., 148; 
appointed on Municipal-Reform Com 
mission, 266, 307; counsel for the 
Tilclen Trust, II., 362, 364; Tilden s 
reputed indecision, 386. 

CASS, Lewis, nominated for the presi 
dency, I., 123. 

CASSANAVE, G., member of Louisiana 
Returning Board, II., 39. 

CASSANDRA S lover, II., 94. 

CAVAIGNAC, brother of General, II., 141. 

CHAILLE", Professor, the number of law 
ful voters in New Orleans, II., 52. 

CHANDLER, William E., calls at the 
Fifth-avenue Hotel the morning after 
the presidential election of 1876, II., 
11; telegraphs governors of doubtful 
States, 13 ; goes to Florida, 17 ; sends 
for more money, 21. 

CHANDLER, Zacnariah, visited at Fifth- 
avenue Hotel the morning after the 
presidential election of 1876, II., 11 ; 
" takes charge " of Florida, 17. 

CHESTER, Joseph Samuel, I., 3. 

CHILDS, George "W., reports Grant to 
have said Tilden was elected, It., 60; 
that General Grant originated the 
Electoral Commission, 61. 

CHURCII, SanfordE., candidate for gov 
ernor, I., 225 ; John Kelly s opinion of, 
I., 226. 

CIPHER despatches, II., 170; Tilden s 
letter about, to the "Herald," 175; 
examination before congressional com 
mittee, 182. 

CIVIL service, first practical example 
of, in this country, I., 303; Tildeu s 
views on, 304. 

CLAY, Henry, introduces the compromise 
tariff, I., 31; candidate for the presi 
dency, 109. 

CLEVELAND, Grover, nominated for 
President, II., 277, 280, 284, 285. 

CLEWS, Henry, & Co., financial agents 
of government, IL, 2. 

COBDEN Club, Tilden elected a member 
of, I., 37, note; IL, 129. 

COLUMBIA County fair, Tilden s address 
at, L, 277. 

" COLUMBIA Sentinel," Tilden on the pro 
tective system, L, 34; favors Van 
Buren for President, 37. 

CONFERENCE, the Fifth-avenue, L, 296. 

CONKLIXG, Senator Roscoe, excluded 
from the Electoral Commission, IL, 
83, 336. 

CONNOLLY, the comptroller, resigns, L, 

CONSTITUTIONAL convention of 1845, 
Tilden elected to, L, 113. 

CONSTITUTIONAL convention of 1867, 
Tilden a delegate, opposes enlargement 
of the Erie canal, L, 177; reply to 
Waldo Hutching 180. 

CONVENTION, Democratic State, of 1876, 
recommends Tilden for President, L, 

295 ; convention, national, at St. Louis 

nominates Tilden for President, 305. 
CONVERSE, George S., urges renomina- 

tion of Tilden in 1884, II., 408. 
COOPER, Edward, Municipal- Reform 

Commission, L, 266. 
COOPER, Peter, vote of a Louisiana 

elector for President cast for, IL, 101. 
COWEN, Judge Esek, L, 67. 
CROSWELL, Edwin, editor of " Albany 

Argus," L, 68. 

CUMBERLAND Coal Co., Tilden s argu 
ment for, L, 143. 
CUNNINGHAM, Mrs., vs. the heirs of Dr. 

Burdell, L, 135; Tilden defence of the 

heirs, 135. 
CURTIS, George William, abandons the 

Civil Service Commission, II., 3. 
CUTLER, G. Albert, urges renomination 

of Tilden for President in 1884, IL, 


T)AVIS, J. Bancroft, L, U7. 

DAVIS, Judge, reckoned upon as 
one of the Electoral Commission, IL, 
63; chosen U.S. Senator, 64. 

DENNIS, S. G., testimony before con 
gressional committee, IL, 23. 

DERBY, J. C., letter from W. C. Bryant 
to, L, 302. 

DICKENS, Charles, IL, 105. 

Dix, Governor John A., his administra 
tion a disappointment, L, 219 ; renomi- 
nated for Governor, 232 ; Horatio Scv- 
mour on Dix, 232, 233; address at 
the inauguration of Tilden, 239. 

DORSHEIMER, William, correspondence 
with Tilden, IL, 381. 

DOUBLEDAY, Abner, L, 7. 

DOUGLAS, Stephen A., nominated for 
President, L, 152. 

"17 AST INDIA Company, Elisha Yale, 

-^ Governor of, L, 8. 

EATON, Ann, grandmother of Elisha 
Yale, who gave its name to Yale Col 
lege, L, 9. 

EATON, Theophilus, Deputy Governor of 
Merchant Adventurers, L, 8; called 
the " Father of New Haven," married 
Anne, widow of David Yale and 
daughter of the Bishop of Chester, ib. 

ELECTORAL Commission, IL, 62; 
Tilden s view of, 79; Wattcrson s 
view of, 87; action on the Florida 
case, 89; action in case of Louisiana, 
92; on the Oregon case, 92; for sale, 
95, 97 ; Abbott s address of the minority 
of, 397. 

ELECTORAL vote, the mode of counting 
prior to 1865, IL, 58 ; Tilden s history 
of, 260. 

ELLIS, John W., IL, 220, 222. 

" ENCYCLOPAEDIA Heraldica," L, 4. 

EATON Hall visited, II. 126. 

EVARTS, William M., appointed on the 



Municipal-Reform Commission, I., 
266 ; one of the visiting statesmen in 
New Orleans, II., 53; appointed 
Secretary of State by Hayes, 53. 

" EVENING Post," Tilden s letters to 
William Kent, I., 154; Tilclcn s letter 
to, in 1863, 171. 

EVERETT. Edward, letter to Tildcn, I., 

EWING, Thomas, urges renomination of 
Tildcn in 1881 for President, II., 410. 

"I7AIRCHILD, Charles S. f letter to 
Tildcn, L, 318; Tilden s reply, 318. 

FERRY, Senator, President of the Senate, 
receives the electoral vote of Louisi 
ana and returns it, II., 97. 

FILLMORE, Millard, elected Vice-Presi 
dent, I., 125. 

FISK, James, Jr., I., 147. 

FLAGG, Azariah C., elected comptroller 
of New York citv, L, 131 ; contested hy 
Giles, 131. 

FLORIDA, canvass of vote in, II., 23; 
frauds at election, 24; action of 
Electoral Commission on, 89. 

FOLGER, Charles J., letter to Commis 
sioner of Internal Revenue, II., 251; 
letter to, from the Attorney-General 
of U.S., 252; letter from, to the At 
torney-General, 253. 

FOLLETT, Chief Justice, concurs in the 
invalidity of the Tildeii Trust, II., 364. 

FOORD, John, II., 8. 

FORSTER, Hon. W. E., entertains Tilden 
at lunch, II., 128; his opinion of the 
late L>uke of Wellington, 128. 

Fox, Charles James, note in a fly-leaf of 
Gibbon s " History," II., 117. 

FRANKLIN, Benjamin, advice to his son, 
II., 76. 

FREE-SOIL party, corner-stone of, I., 
119; New York delegation withdraws 
from the Baltimore convention, 122; 
their protest, 122; Tilden s report 
thereon to the Utica convention, J23. 

FREMONT, John C., nominated for Presi 
dent, I., 151. 

ft AMBETTA, visit to, II., 126. 

^ GARLAND, Senator, solicits a place 

in the Cabinet, II., 289; Tilden s letter 

to, 289. 
GARROD, Dr., Tildcn visits, at Lowestoft, 

II., 131. 
GENEALOGY of the Tildens, II., 350; 

Supplement, I., 157. 

GIBBON and Charles James Fox, II., 117. 
GILES, Mr., Know-Nothing candidate for 

comptroller, contests Flagg s election, 

L, 131. 

GLADSTONE, Tilden on, II., 337. 
GODWIN, Parkc, member of Fifth-av 
enue conference, I., 297; his account 

of it, 299. 
GOUGE, Mr., I., 93. 

GOULD, Jay, L, 147. 

GOULD, Miss Anna T., books read by, to 
Tilden, II., 348; Appendix C, 411. 

GRANT, President, his administration a 
disappointment, I., 218; II., 1 ; thought 
Tilden was elected, 18,60; telegraphs 
General Sherman, 18 ; Electoral Com 
mission, 38; his reception in England, 

GRAYSTONE, purchase of, II., 261. 

GREEN, Andrew II., appointed comp 
troller in place of Connoll} , I., 192 ; II., 
338; executor and trustee of Tilden s 
will and trustee of Tilden Trust, 361. 

GRIFFIN, Dr., President of Williams 
College, I., 22. 

GROESBECK, Hon. W. S., urging renom 
ination of Tilden for President in 
1884, LI., 405. 

TJAIGHT, Judge, concurs in holding 
- Tildcn Trust invalid, II., 364. 

HAMMERS, S. S. W., letter from, to 
Tilden, II., 273; letter to, from Tildcn, 

HANCOCK, Major-General, nominated for 
the presidency, II., 272. 

HAND, Samuel, municipal-reform com 
missioner, I., 266. 


HARRISON, William Henry, elected Presi 
dent, I., 85. 

HAYES, Rutherford B., nominated for 
President, I., 300; representatives in 
Florida, II., 22; rewards the conspira 
tors in Florida, 24; how Hayes elec 
tors were secured in Louisiana, 33; 
how the conspirators in Louisiana 
were rewarded, 53. 

HENDRICKS, Thomas A., I., 305. 

HENRY, li. R., II., 286. 

HERETER, Hon. Isaac, death of, II., 273. 

HEWITT, Abram S., announces the plan 
of an Electoral Commission to Tilden, 
II., 75; telegrams to Cooper, 78,79; 
reply in Congress to Garficld, 95. 

HOADLEY, George, urges renomination 
of Tilden for President in 1881, II., 

HOADLEY, Mrs. Mary P., urges renomi 
nation of Tilden for President in 1884, 
II., 406. 

HOME rule for Ireland, Tildcn on, II., 

HUNKERS, I., 3. 

HUNTINGTON, Mr., died of small-pox, 
I., 43 ; Tilden s account of, 44. 

HUNTINGTON, W. II., the funeral of 
Thiers, II., 135. 

INCOME tax, II., 225; prosecution by 
the government, 227 ; Tildeu s mem 
oranda for counsel, 229. 

IRVING, Washington, attacked in the 
" Plaindealer " hy William Lcggett, 
I., 58. 



TACKSON, President, issues a procla- 
mation of warning to the Nullificrs, 
L, 33. 


JANES, Bathshcba, I., 6. 

JEFFERSON, Thomas, Mrs. Younglove 
purchases a copy of his writings, I., 15 ; 
S. J. Tilclen s impressions of him, 16 ; 
Jefferson s views of civil service, II., 

JEWETT, D. J., M.A., letter to supervis 
ors of registration, II., 37; testifies to 
frauds in Louisiana, 42. 

JONES, Polly Younglove, marries Elam 
Tildcn, I., 7. 

JONES, Samuel, marries Parthcnia Pat 
terson, I., 7 ; father of Polly Young- 
love Jones, the wife of Elam Tilden, 9. 

JONES, William, settled in New Haven 
in 1660, L, 8. 

JORDAN, Conrad, letter from Tilden, II., 

JULIAN, George "W., unsuccessful candi 
date for office, 11., 313; letter to, from 
Tilden, 314. 

TTASSON, John A., II., 22. 

KELLOGG, William Pitt, II., 3, 34, 
37, 45 ; the forged electoral certif 
icates, 98. 

KENNER, Louis M., member of Return 
ing Board, II., 39. 

KENT, Chancellor, reads the final preface 
of his " Commentaries " to Tildcn, I., 

KENT, County of, I., 3; estates in, bear 
ing the name of Tilden more than six 
hundred years, 4. 

KENT, William, letter to, from Tilden, 
L, 154. 

KERNAN, Senator Francis, letter to, II., 

KILLARNET, Lakes of, Tilden s visit to, 
II., 120. 

KING, Preston, letter to Tildcn, I., 162. 

KNOW-NOTHING party, I., 106. 

T AWRENCE, Cornelius W., elected 
^ Mayor, I., 41 ; Tilden s opinion of 

the nomination, 42. 
LAWRENCE, Justice, sustains the validity 

of the Tilden Trust, II., 362. 
LECKY, Mr., cited, L, 163. 
LED YARD, Lewis Cass, trustee of the 

Tildcn Trust, II., 361. 
LEE, Gideon, declines nomination for 

Mayor, I., 42. 
LEE, Henry, Nullifiers candidate for 

Vice-President, I., 93 ; wants a copy of 

Tilden s speech against United States 

Bank, 93. 
LEGISLATURE, Tilden elected to, I., 112; 

report on the anti-rent troubles, 113. 
LIBRARY, Tilden s, II., 348. 
LIEB, Hermann, urges renomination of 

Tilden for President in 1881, II., 406. 

LINCOLN, Abraham, nominated for 
President, L, 152; Tilden opposes his 
election, 153 ; election of, 160. 

Louis Blanc. See Blanc, Louis. 

LOUISIANA, federal interference in, de 
nounced, I., 266; frauds at election, 
II., 37 ; Democratic voters disenfran 
chised in, 49; action of Electoral Com 
mission on her contested electoral vote, 
91 ; forged certificates sent to Washin^- 
ton, 99. 

LOWELL, James Russell, Tempora Mu- 
tantur, II., 115; one of the Hayes 
electors, 116; reasons for voting for 

]U~ANNING, Daniel, telegram to Til- 
- den, II., 271 ; visit to Graystone 
for Cleveland, 280; Secretary of the 
Treasury, 292 ; letters from Tildcn, 291, 
293, 303; letter to Tilden, 304; letter 
to Tildcn, 216; letter from Tilden, 317. 

MARBLE, Manton, tells how the scheme 
of an Electoral Commission was re 
vealed to Mr. Tildcn, II., 75. 

MARCY, William L., Democratic candi 
date for governor, I., 29; censured for 
recommending the State banks to sus 
pend in 1837, 63; appointed Secretary 
of War, 110, 111. 

" MARSHALL," nom de plume of Tilden 
in defending President Van Burcn s 
message recommending the indepen 
dent treasury, I., 65. 

MARTIAL, II., 117. 

MATTHEWS, Stanley, II., 22. 

MCCLERNAND, Gen. John A., President 
of the St. Louis convention, I., 305 ; 
urges renomination of Tildeu for Pres 
ident in 1884, II., 405. 

McCoRMiCK, Cyrus, urges the renomina 
tion of Tildcn in 1884, II., 409. 

McHENRY, James, I., 147. 

McLANE, Minister, complaint of recep 
tion given to President Van Buren in 
London, II., 127. 

McLEAN, Judge, his attitude toward the 
Anti-Masons, I., 50. 

McLiN, testimony before congressional 
committee, II., 22. 

MESSAGE, Tilden s first annual, L, 250; 
canal-reform message, 258; municipal- 
reform message, 265 ; second annual 
message, 286. 

MEXICO, war with, I., 117. 

MONROE Doctrine, history of, 323. 

MOORE, Thomas, "The answering fu 
ture," II., 120 ; description of his birth 
place, 123 ; criticised by a countryman, 
124; Lord Houghton s story, 125. 

MORGAN, J- S., Tilden presides at dinner 
given to, II., 262. 

MORRIS, Gouvcrneur, quoted, I., 16. 

MORTON, Senator, his plan of counting 
the electoral vote, II., 58; manipulates 
the electoral vote of Louisiana, 102. 



MUNICIPAL reform, Governor s mes 
sage, I., 265; commission to report 
amendments, 266. 

MUNSTER, Count, German ambassador, 
objects to yielding precedence to ex- 
President Grant, II., 127. 

"DATIVE AMERICAN party,!., 106. 
NEW LEBANON, description of, I., 

12 ; schools, 19. 
NEW YORK State, its natural resources, 

I., 286. 
NOYES, E. F., II., 22 ; his interview with 

Dennis, 25; sent Minister to France, 

NULLIFICATION, President Jackson s 

warning to Nullifiers and message to 

Congress, L, 33; Tilden s article on 

" Nullification and the Opposition," 342. 

fYCONOR, Charles, in Giles vs. 

w Flagg, I., 132; his opinion of Til- 
den s argument, 135; defends Messrs. 
Tremaine and Peckham, 206 ; bequeaths 
" My own Cases " to the Law Institute ; 
origin of rings, 207, Appendix A; 
letter refusing to support Greeley, 
218 ; nominated for the presidency, 219, 
note; letter to the Governor about 
his policy, 243 ; not a party leader, II., 

ORR, Alexander E., trustee of the Tildcu 
Trust, II., 361. 

O SULLIVAN, John L., established the 
"Daily Morning News " with Tilden, 
L, 109. 

OTTENDORFER, Oswald, appointed on 
Municipal-Reform Commission, 1., 266. 

"DARKER, Judge, concurs in holding 

x the Tilden Trust invalid, II., 364. 

PATTERSON, Polly, married Moses 
Yoimglove, I., 9. 

PECKHAM, Wheeler II., defended by 
O Couor for his charges for services 
in the Tweed prosecutions, I., 207. 

PELTON, Mrs. Augusta, letter from Mr. 
Tilden to, II., 130. 

PELTON, Mrs. Mary, letter to, from Mr. 
Tilden, II., 131, 156. 

PENNSYLVANIA Coal Co. and Delaware 
& Hudson Canal Co., Tilden s defence 
of, I., 138. 

PHILLIPS, Samuel F., letter from Ed 
wards Pierrepont, II., 239. 

PIERREPONT, Edwards, account of the 
reception of ex-Presidents Van Buren 
and Grant in England, II., 127; 
special counsel for the government 
in the income-tax suit, 237; letter 
from, to S. F. Phillips, Acting 
Attorney-General of the United States, 
239 ; letter from, to S. L. Woodford, 

PINKSTON, Eliza, II., 46; her character, 

" PLAINDEALER," Van Buren s inaugural 
attacked in, by Leggett, I., 56 ; Tilden s 
reply to it, 56. 

POLK, James K., nominated for Presi 
dent, I., 107. 

POTTER, Clarkson N., report of congres 
sional committee of investigation, II., 

POTTER, Judge, votes for validity of 
Tilden Trust, II., 368. 

T> AGUET, Condy, I., 93. 

u RANDALL, Samuel J., urges renom-- 

ination of Tilden for President in 1884, 

II., 408. 
RANDOLPH, L.Y. F., appointed secretary 

of the executors of the Tilden will 

and of the trustees of the Tilden 

Trust, II., 367. 
RAUM, Green B., letter to, from U.S. 

District Attorney, II., 244; letter to 

Stuart L. Woodford, 248. 
REID, John C., his account of the scene 

at the "Times" office the night of the 

presidential election, II., 8. 
REPUBLICAN party, formation of, I., 151; 

nominates John C. Fremont for Presi 
dent, 151. 
RETURNING Board of Louisiana, II., 34; 

required to meet at New Orleans, 34. 
ROBINSON, Governor, message on the 

counting the electoral vote, II., 66. 

gCIILOSSER S "History," cited, I., 

SCIIURZ, Carl, member of Fifth-avenue 

Hotel conference, I., 297; author of 

its address, 297. 
SCOTT, W. L., urges renomination of 

Tilden for President in 1884, II., 508. 
SECESSION, Tilden s views of, L, 165, 173. 
SEYMOUR, Horatio, letter to Tilden, I., 

194; nominated for President, 211; 

letter to Tilden, 227 ; discourse on the 

election frauds, II., 84; letter to, from 

Tilden, 275, 320. 
SHAKERS, Society of, at New Lebanon, 

I., 13 ; Tilden writes a pamphlet about 

them, 79. 
SHARP, Jacob, and Broadway Railroad, 

II., 331. 
SHERIDAN, General, interference with 

the independence of the Louisiana 

Legislature, I., 266; denounced in 

Governor s message, 266. 
SHERMAN, John, II., 22. 
SIBLEY, Mark, letter from Tilden, II., 


SIMON, Jules, quoted, II., 372. 
SMALLEY, Mr., accompanies Tilden to 

the funeral of Thiers, II., 135. 
SMITH, George W., II., 189; executor 

and trustee of Tilden s will and trustee 

of Tilden Trust, 311. 
STANTON, Secretary of War. Tilden s 

advice to, I., 169. 



STERNE, Simon, municipal-reform com 
missioner, I., 266. 

STEVENSON, Governor, II., 273. 

STOUGIITON, Mr., visiting statesman at 
New Orleans, II., 40 ; defines a " cleri 
cal error," 41. 

ST. PATRICK S Cathedral, II., 122. 

SUPPLEMENT, Tilden s genealogical 
record, I., 317; appendix to, 367 to 

SYRACUSE, Tilden s address from the 
cars at, I., 270. 

SWIFT, Dean, Tilden visits St. Patrick s 
Cathedral, II., 122. 

T ALMADGE, Senator Nathaniel, at 
New Lebanon, I., 76. 

TAXATION, reduction of, I., 269. 

TAYLOR, Gen. Zachary, elected Presi 
dent, I., 125. 

TEXAS, annexation of, and war with 
Mexico, I., 117. 

TIIIERS, funeral of, II., 135. 

TILDEN, genealogical history of the 
family of, I., 2; name peculiar to 
county of Kent, England, supplement, 
317; II., 350. 

TILDEN, Elam, married Polly Younglove 
Jones, I., 7 ; born at New Lebanon, 
12; the Tilden homestead, 13; letter 
to, from Silas Wright, 77 ; death, 101 ; 
supplement, 317. 

TILDEN, Mrs. Elam, lived with the 
Youngloves, I., 13; supplement, 317. 

TILDEN, Henrietta, I., 52; letter to, 
about marriage, 84. 

TILDEN, Henry, business troubles, I., 
174 ; letter from Samuel, 175. 

TILDEN, John, son of Isaac and Rebecca 
Tilden, I., 6; marries Bathsheba Janes, 
ib. ; moved to New Lebanon, ib. ; death, 
ib.; served in the French war, ib.; 
his musket, ib. ; his eldest daughter 
marries Major Ann Doublcday, ib., 7, 
supplement, 317. 

TILDEN, John, of Marden, I., 3 ; supple 
ment, 317. 

TILDEN, Moses, business troubles, I., 
174; illness and death, II., 224. 

TILDEN, Nathaniel, embarks for America, 
I., 5; Mayor of Tenterdcn, ib., supple 
ment, 317 ; settles at Scituate, in Mas 
sachusetts, 5; ruling elder in First 
Church in Scituate, ib. ; makes the first 
conveyance of land recorded in Scitu 
ate, ib. ; married Lydia Bourne, ib,, 
supplement, 317. 

TILDEN, Samuel Jones, I., 1 ; one of the 
grandchildren of John Tilden and 
Bathsheba Janes, 6; his first experi 
ence as a sporting man, ib. ; illness in 
infancy, 17; early education, 19; sent 
to school at Williamstown, 21 ; goes to 
New York, 23 ; takes lessons in elocu 
tion, 25; Mr. Halstead prescribes for 
him, ib. ; meets Chancellor Kent, 26 ; 

returns to New Lebanon, ib.; first 
essay as a writer for the press, 27 ; his 
Broadside signed " George Clinton " 
against the recharter of the United 
States Bank, 29; article on "Nullifi 
cation and Opposition," 34 ; early views 
of the protective system, ib. ; elected 
an honorary member of the Cobden 
Club, 37 ; advocates Van Buren for the 
presidency, ib. ; writes address to the 
young men of Columbia county, 38 ; 
writes " The Treasury is an Executive 
Department," 41 ; enters Yale College, 
46; death of his brother George, 48; 
enters the New York University, 
49; how to secure the support of the 
Anti-Masons for Van Buren, 50; medi 
tates a travel cure, 52 ; disciplines 
Leggett, 56 ; defends the Independent 
Treasury^ Message of President Van 
Buren, 65 ; prepares an address for the 
Democratic-Republican mechanics and 
workingmen, 68 ; enters the University 
Law School, 75 ; articled with John W. 
Edmonds, 75; crosses swords with 
Senator Talmadge, 76; advises his 
sister Henrietta about her love affairs, 
81 ; speech at New Lebanon for Van 
Buren, 86; discouraged by ill health, 
91; admitted to the bar, 97; writes for 
" Democratic Review," ib. ; speech 
against a coercive bankrupt law, 98; 
invests in law books, 99; death of 
his father, 101 ; memoi able journey 
from Albany, 104 ; establishes th e 
" Daily News," 109 ; election of Presi 
dent Polk and dissatisfaction with his 
administration, 111 ; elected to the Leg 
islature, 112 ; chairman of the commit 
tee on anti-rentism and reports the 
basis of an adjustment, 113; elected to 
the constitutional convention of 1846, 
113; contest with Cambreliug, 114; 
the address of the Democratic members 
of the Legislature of 1848, 118; nomi 
nated for attorney-general, 127; his 
reply to Sutherland, 130; his defence 
of AzariahC. Flagg, 131; defends the 
heirs of Dr. Burdell, 135 ; defence of 
the Pennsylvania Coal Co., 138 ; pro 
fessional habits, prices, etc., 145; de 
clines to join the Republican party, 
151 ; opposes the election of Lincoln, 
153 ; letter to William Kent, 154 ; his 
reasons for adhering to the Democratic 
party, 161; views of secession, 165; 
his theory of conducting the war of 
the Rebellion, 168; letter to the 
" Evening Post" in 1863, 171 ; delegate 
to the constitutional convention of 1867, 
177 ; resists enlargement of the Erie 
canal, ib.; negro suffrage, 178; reply 
to Waldo Hutchins, 180 ; the struggle 
with the Tweed ring, 182 ; elected to 
the Legislature in 1871, 194; opposes 
the charter proposed by the committee 



of seventy, 196; visits Europe, 220; 
nominated for governor, 228 ; elected, 
23 1; his inauguration, 239 ; first mes 
sage, 250 ; the canal message, 258 ; 
municipal-reform message, 266; de 
nounces interference of federal troops 
in Louisiana, 267; vacation tour 
through the canal counties, 269; re 
ceives the degree of Doctor of Laws 
from Yale College, 274; address at 
Columbia County^ fair, 278 ; address at 
Central New York fair, 281 ; cerebral 
attack, 285; second annual message, 
288 ; recommended by the New York 
State convention for President, 295; 
nominated for President, 305, supple 
ment, 317; opposes the Electoral 
Commission, II. , 65; Governor Robin- 
son s message, 66; telegrams to 
Hewitt, 79 ; reply to Charles Francis 
Adams, 108 ; why he did not swear in 
as President, 111; sails for Europe, 
119 ; visits the Lakes of Killarney, 120 ; 
Dublin, 121 ; Paris, and attends the 
funeral of Thiers, 135; interview with 
Gambetta, 133 ; dines Louis Blanc, 
138; returns to New York, 142; the 
Indian Corn Sp cech, ib. ; the trials and 
temptations of a bachelor millionaire, 
145 ; letter to the " Herald " about the 
cipher despatches, 175 ; letter to chair 
man of the congressional committee, 
179; examination by congressional 
committee, 182; inco"me-tax persecu 
tion, 225; memoranda for counsel, 
229; income-tax suit discontinued, 
259; purchases Graystone, 261 ; letter 
declining a renomination for the presi 
dency, 233 ; reply to Daniel Manning, 
272; declines a renomination again, 
281; letter to Garland, 289; letters to 
Manning while Secretary of the Treas 
ury, 291, 293; Jefferson s views of 
civil service, 297 ; letter to Manning, 
303, 305 ; letter on national defences, 
303; letter to Henry Watterson, 311; 
discourages his nephew from embark 
ing in politics, 315 ; health, his descrip 
tion of, 321, 322 ; the Monroe Doctrine, 
323 ; letter to Governor Hill on repeal- 
ability of the Broadway Railroad 
charter, 332, 331, 336; notes against 
canal enlargement, 340; last davs, 
317; books that he read, 348, Appen 
dix C; death, 356; funeral, 358; his 
will, 339, Appendix D; his estate, 
359; characteristics, 372; correspond 
ence with Dorsheimer, 381 ; his talent 
as a negotiator, 389 ; as a party leader, 
390 ; religion, 392. 

TILDEN, Simon, of Benenden, I., 3, sup 
plement, 317. 

TILDEN, Stephen, youngest son of Na 
thaniel, L, 6, supplement, 317. 

TILDEN, Thomas of, I., 3, supplement, 

TILDEN, William Burton, L, 10; his 
widow, Lady Tilden, 10, supplement, 

TILDEN Trust, incorporated and organ 
ized, II., 361 ; the validity of the trust 
contested, 362; declared invalid by the 
Court of Appeals, 361; letters to the 
city authorities in reference to a site 
for the Tilden Trust, 368-9; act to 
incorporate, 432. 

TIMES," New York, how it came to 
claim the election of Hayes, II., 9. 

TREMAIN, Judge, defended by O Conor, 
L, 206. 

TRUMBULL, Lyman, urging renomina 
tion of Tilden for President in 1884, 
II., 405. 

TUCKER, J. R., urges the renomination 
of Tilden for President in 188i, II., 409. 

TWEED, William M., I., 183. 

TWEED ring, Tilden s struggle with, L, 
182 origin of. Appendix A, 402. 

TYLDEN, Sir John Maxwell, L, 4, 10,- 
supplement, 317. 

TYLDEV, Richard, I., 10, supplement, 317. 

TYLDEN, Sir Richard, of Milsted, in 
Kent, L, 4; his ancestors, 4, 10, sup 

TYLDEN, William, of Wormshill, L, 4, 
supplement, 317. 

TYLDEN S family, one of, went to Amer 
ica with the Pilgrims, supplement, L, 

TTNITED STATES Bank, Tilden s arti- 
^ clo against signed " George Clin 
ton," L, 29. 

UNIVERSITY of New York, Tilden enters, 
I., 49. 

AN BRUNT, Justice, votes for de 
claring Tilden Trust invalid, II., 
362; first appointed to sit in Supreme 
Court by Governor Tilden, 362, note. 

VAN BUREN, John, I., 11. 

VAN BUREN", Martin, origin of his in 
timacy with Tilden, L, 27 ; his will, 28 ; 
a proposal to secure the support of 
the Anti-Masons for Van Burcn, 50; 
elected President, 54; inauguration 
message, 56; Tilden s defence of, 56; 
writes the defence of the Democratic 
members of the Legislature of 1818, 
118; renominated for the presidency 
by the Free-Soil party, 125; his story 
of John Randolph, 141 ; his reception 
in England, II., 127. 

VAN COTT, Joshua, Municipal-Reform 
Commission, L, 266. 

VANDERPOOL, A. J., II., 239; proposi 
tion for settling income- tax suit made 
to, 245. 

VANDERPOOL, Green, & Cuming, letter- 
to Edwards Pierrepont, II., 2o7. 

VANN, Judge, votes for holding Tildea 
Trust valid, II., 364. 



" VIKING," Tilden s yacht, II., 286. 
VISITING statesmen at New Orleaus, II., 


\1TALKER, Stephen J., trustee of 
Tildcn Trust, II., 361. 

WATTERSON, Henry, temporary chair 
man of St. Louis Democratic con 
vention, I., 331; Tilden s view of 
dealing with the Electoral Commis 
sion scheme, II., 81 ; Tilden s letter to, 
about the patronage, 311. 

WEBSTER, Daniel, attitude of Anti- 
Masons toward, I., 50. 

WEED, Smith, II., 220. 

WELLINGTON, Duke of, entertains 
General Grant, II., 128. 

WELLS, J. Madison, member of Louisi 
ana Returning Board, II., 39; charges 
preferred against, by General Sheridan, 
39, note. 

WHISKEY frauds, II., 2. 

WHITTIER, Elegy of, on Tilden, II., 359. 

WILL and testament of Tildcn, II., 359, 
Appendix D, 420. 

WOODFORD. General, II., 112; letter to 
Green B. Raum, 244, 25 i. 

WUOLSEF, Theodore, President of the 
Fifth-avenue conference, I., 297. 

WRIGHT, Silas, elected to the House of 
Representatives, I., 35; advocated 
the tariff of 1828, ib. ; his apology for 
it, 36 ; favors a tariff for revenue with 
incidental protection, ib. reports the 
Independent Treasury Bill, 68; letter 
to Elam Tilden, 77; reasons for de 
clining to be run for governor, 101 ; can 
didate for governor, 107, 109; hostility 
of the Polk administration to, 116; 
renominated for governor and de 
feated, ib.; his death, 117. 

VALE College, Tilden enters, I., 46; 
* confers decree of Doctor of Laws 

on Tilden, 273. 
YOUNGLOVE, Dr. Moses, married Polly 

Patterson, I., 9; taken prisoner at the 

Battle of Oriskany, ib. ; account of his 

hardships, 10, 14. 
YOUXGLOVE. Mrs. Dr., description of, 

I., 15. 





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