The Presidential Election of 1880

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

CHAPTER 11
Democratic Struggles for Nomination

S amuel Jones Tilden might well have been the nineteenth president of the United States. Many feel that he was really elected to that office. When in 1879 he was urged to run for governor of New York, he refused on the ground that it would be incongruous for a president-elect to run for a state office.1 After Hayes took his inaugural oath on March 5, 1877, it would have been platitudinous to assert that Tilden would be the Democratic candidate in 1880.2 For, as the Democratic party argued, how could the American people undo the great fraud of 1876 unless they elected the one who had been defrauded?

But Tilden had lost more than the presidency in 1876. From the strain of the contest he emerged with a shattered constitution. His left hand was paralyzed by arthritis. He suffered from "numb palsy" or paralysis agitans, a disease which increased

____________________
1
Flick, Tilden, p. 445.
2
March 4 was a Sunday. Hayes had received anonymous letters warning him that he would never be inaugurated. In February 1877, while Hayes was taking dinner with his family, a bullet entered the parlor window. Missing Hayes, it passed through two parlors and an open door to burrow into the library wall ( Williams, Hayes, Vol. 2, pp. 1-2). An attempt was also made to assassinate Hayes on the day of his inauguration. The would-be assassin was disarmed before he could fire ( Rutherford B. Hayes Memorial Library, Thomas C. Donaldson MSS, Memoirs, April 7, 1880).

-52-

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The Presidential Election of 1880
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jesuit Studies i
  • Jesuit Studies iii
  • Jesuit Studies iv
  • Title Page v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Struggle For The Republican Nomination 22
  • Chapter 11 - Democratic Struggles For Nomination 52
  • Chapter III - The Republican National Convention 82
  • Chapter IV - The Democratic National Convention 122
  • Chapter V - Third Party Movements During The Campaign of 1880 157
  • Chapter VI - The Republican Campaign 167
  • Chapter VII - The Democratic Campaign 206
  • Chapter VIII Garfield Wins And Loses 240
  • Bibliography 269
  • Index 279
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