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____________________