The Presidential Election of 1880

By Herbert J. S. J. Clancy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
The Democratic National Convention

A mbition still lived on in the broken body of the Sage of Greystone, and in the weeks preceding the meeting of the Democratic convention at Cincinnati, Tilden's supporters cherished a hope that he would run. It was apparent that in spite of his physical weakness, he ardently desired the nomination at Cincinnati. But in keeping with his indecisive character he took refuge in ambiguity, and up to the very eve of the Cincinnati convention the delegates were in confusion and doubt. 1 As late as May 22 Smith M. Weed, his lieutenant, declared that Tilden was out of the race,2 but five days later the New York Star stated that Tilden had once again changed front and would now be a candidate.3 It was not surprising -- that on May 17 the Young Men's Democratic Club -- their patience no doubt exhausted -- tabled a resolution supporting Tilden.4

Tilden's silence gave encouragement to the other candidates. Then, just as Weed and Daniel Manning were about to entrain for Cincinnati, he told them that he would not accept unless the nomination were unanimous. He added that, since unanimity

____________________
1
New York Tribune, June 12, 1880.
2
New York Star, May 23, 1880.
3
Ibid., May 27, 1880.
4
New York Tribune, May 18, 1880.

-122-

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