January 29, 1877
THE result of the presidential election of 1876 turned on the counting of the electoral votes of South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon, from each of which States there were double returns. December 7, 1876, George W. McCrary of Iowa offered in the House a resolution for the appointment of a committee of five, to act with a similar committee of the Senate, with instructions to report a bill for the counting of the electoral vote. The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom the resolution was referred, reported on the 14th a substitute increasing the number of members to seven, which resolution was agreed to. A similar committee of seven was appointed by the Senate on the 18th. A committee was also appointed in the Senate to investigate the recent election, and in the House to inquire into the powers of the House in regard to counting the electoral vote. January 18 the joint committee reported a bill to regulate the electoral count. The bill passed the Senate without amendment on the 24th by a vote of 47 to 17, and the House on the 26th by a vote of 191 to 86, 14 not voting. The approval of President Grant was communicated in a special message. The count began February 1, and the result was announced in the early morning of March 2. The result of the count showed 185 votes for Hayes and Wheeler, the Republican candidates, and 184 votes for Tilden and Hendricks, the Democratic candidates.
REFERENCES.-- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIX, 227-229. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 44th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Record. The report of the commission is in the Record, ibid., Vol. 5, Part IV; it was also published separately. A large amount of documentary evidence was introduced in the debates. The other documentary literature is extensive. Important general references are: Stanwood, History of the Presidency, chap. 25; Johnston in Lalor's Cyclopœdia, II, 50-53; Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress, II, chap. 25; Cox, Three Decades, chaps. 36 and 37; Sherman, Recollections, I, chap. 28.
An act to provide for and regulate the counting of votes for President and Vice-President, and the decision of questions arising thereon, for the term commencing March fourth, anno Domini eighteen hundred and seventyseven.
Be it enacted . . ., That the Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the hall of the House of Representatives, at the hour of one o'clock post meridian, on the first Thursday in February, anno Domini eighteen hundred and seventy-seven; and the