The Disputed Election of 1876: Fraud, Black Voter Suppression, and Faithless Electors

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disputed Election of 1876:
House of Representatives, June 30, 1890. Hilary Abner Herbert (1834-1919), Alabama, D.
It has often been said, Mr. Speaker, that the greatest danger to be apprehended in this country is from the decision of closely contested Presidential elections. You all remember the discontent arising from the seating of Hayes over Tilden. A majority, or, if any of you say not a majority, then you will all admit that a large portion of the people of the United States believed they had been cheated in the count. That belief, whether well founded or not, arose from the fact that the returning boards of the three contested States, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana, were all in the hands of the Republican party and that it was these Republican boards that certified to the election of the Republican electors. The chairman of the national Republican executive committee did not announce the result for some three days after the election.

Even Mr. Hayes gave it up at one time. But messages flew thick and fast over the wires between New York and South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. Then Mr. Chandler claimed the election of Hayes, and then "visiting statesmen" went in troops to the contested States. The result so arrived at did not and could not give satisfaction. And I tell you gentlemen on the other side of this Chamber that no closely contested Congressional election in this country will ever give satisfaction if you put all the power over the returns everywhere in the hands of one party. The people love fair play, and that is not fair play.
 

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