The Disputed Election
The presidential election of 1876 was contested with great vigor on both sides. Rutherford B. Hayes, the nominee of the Republican Party for President, had done good service in the army, and as the candidate for governor in Ohio in 1875, had led the party to victory when financial questions were the main subjects for discussion. William A. Wheeler, the nominee for VicePresident, was a man of a high order of ability, who had acquired distinction in Congress. The ticket was a strong and popular one. Mr. Hayes was not the first choice of his party, but it was thoroughly united by his nomination. It had, however, been shorn of a good deal of its strength during General Grant's second term. It had lost the control of the House of Representatives, but it held the mastery in the Senate and retained a good deal of the prestige which it had acquired during the war. It was still confident and aggressive. The Democratic Party was especially sagacious in the selection of its candidates. Of its nominee for Vice-President, Thomas A. Hendricks, I have already spoken. Samuel J. Tilden, the nominee for President, was a man of distinguished ability in his profession. "He is," said Henry Stanbery to me, in 1864, "the ablest corporation lawyer in the United States." The consolidation of the Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Ohio and Indiana, and the Fort Wayne and Chicago railroads into the great trunk line, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago, was, as far as all legal questions were involved, his work. The three roads were constructed under the laws of four States, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, and in their consolidation many new, complicated and difficult questions were to be grasped and solved. It was the first great work of the kind that had been undertaken in the United States, and the manner in which it was accomplished placed Mr. Tilden as a railroad lawyer at the head of his profession. His distinction was not,
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Publication information: Book title: The Tragic Conflict:The Civil War and Reconstruction. Contributors: William B. Hesseltine - Editor. Publisher: George Braziller. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1962. Page number: 502.