The Presidential Election of 1880

By Herbert J. S. J. Clancy | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 1
The Struggle for the Republican Nomination

M arch 5, 1877 was significant for two reasons. It saw the peaceful inauguration of Hayes and heard the opening gun in the bitter war for the Republican presidential nomination of 1880. Hayes had stumped Ohio in 1872 for the corrupt Grant machine. In spite of this he had been accepted by the Schurz faction as a reform candidate. If Hayes was anxious for a second term, he carefully concealed his intentions, for he immediately alienated both the Conkling Stalwarts and the Blaine Half-Breeds. Conkling had ambitions for the Department of State for himself and had asked for the Post Office Department for his lieutenant, Thomas C. Platt. Neither he nor Platt entered the official family of Hayes. Blaine had urged his friend William P. Frye for the Cabinet, only to be ignored. Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania had demanded the retention of his son, Don Cameron, as secretary of war. Hayes refused to respond to this pressure. Instead of Conkling, Evarts got the State Department. Schurz, secretary of the interior under Hayes, suggested Evarts. Instead of Platt, David M. Key, ex-Confederate and Tilden Democrat from Tennessee, became postmaster general. Instead of Cameron, George W. McCrary of Iowa became secre

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