President Hayes Wins Controversial Election:
March 5, 1877

President Hayes Wins Controversial Election: March 5, 1877

Conflicting reports about who will win the election
On March 5, 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes had his public swearing-in ceremony to become the 19th president of the United States, following one of the closest and most contested elections in American history.

A former lawyer and Union Civil War general, Hayes had served in Congress and won three terms as governor of Ohio. With a reputation for honesty and reform, Hayes was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate in 1876 and ran against Democratic New York governor Samuel J. Tilden.

In the presidential election that year, Tilden won the popular vote by more than 200,000, and it initially appeared that he would win the electoral vote as well. However, in three Southern states—South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana—that hadn’t yet submitted their results, Hayes’ supporters convinced the states’ Republican-controlled election boards to review the votes. This, combined with a controversy regarding one of Oregon’s electors, left 20 electoral votes up for grabs. If Hayes could win all 20 votes, he would win the election; Tilden only needed to win 1.

Tilden needs one more electoral vote to win

Upon review, the election boards in the three Southern states invalidated thousands of votes from districts where fraud and intimidation of black voters had been rampant, shifting the electoral votes in favor of Hayes. But when the Electoral College cast their votes in December, both Republican and Democrat electors for the three Southern states and Oregon claimed to be legitimate and submitted conflicting tallies.

To resolve which electoral votes were legitimate, Congress created a 15-member commission evenly split between Republican and Democrat Congressmen and Supreme Court justices, with one independent justice meant to provide the deciding vote. However, the independent justice resigned his place on the commission after winning a Senate seat, and a Republican justice was chosen to take his place.

Hayes wins the 1876 election

The commission met in February 1877 and ended up giving all 20 electoral votes to Hayes, which was enough for him to beat Tilden by one vote. The Democrats, however, decided to filibuster the confirmation of the votes. Finally, following alleged secret informal meetings in late February between influential Republicans and Democrats (later known as the Compromise of 1877), the Democrats conceded in return for various promises, including the withdrawal of federal troops from Southern states (signaling the end of the Reconstruction Era).

Hayes was officially named the winner on March 2. Inaugurations were typically held on March 4, but since it fell on a Sunday, Hayes was sworn-in during a private ceremony on the 3rd and then again in a public ceremony on the 5th. Although he was considered personally honest, Hayes’ single-term presidency was tainted by his controversial election.

Not surprisingly, the 1876 election was big news at the time. Find thousands of articles about it on Newspapers.com.

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79 thoughts on “President Hayes Wins Controversial Election:
March 5, 1877

  1. Gosh republicans at their finest back in the day of a young state of Oregon Republicans stilling votes

    • Yeah, because Democrats fighting voter ID, turning out 110% of the vote, 6 or 8 precincts going 100% for Obama in spite of the mathematical improbability their the paragon of honesty.

      • What on earth does that accusation have to do with the election of 1876? Be reasonable, sir. Though that’s hard in this political atmosphere.

      • The GOP voter ID efforts are nothing but racist attempts at disenfranchisement of minority voters. But that probably falls on deaf ears for someone with a Confedeate general for an avatar.

        • In 1876, it was the democrats that were doing the intimidation. Most blacks were republicans. Most civil rights legislation was fought for, by republicans, and against, by democrats.
          Also, voter id laws are not racist. If you think that minority races are less likely to have picture id’s, than you are the one who is racially profiling minority people.

          • um, the Democrats USED to be the southern racist party, and the Republicans the progressives. All that has changed. Many old southern dixiecrats switched to the republican Party, as the new Republican party welcomed covert racism. Check your history.

          • Also, Doc;consider…the world is becoming very small. Our minds(brains) are enormous, when you consider. The apple is bitten, and the snakes are smiling. How people “are” is changing with the new day. The world is small, shrinking, and brave and new. Let’s not vote party or gender, let’s vote issues.

          • Doc, I hear you. He is answering the way he would deal with the issues by his behavior. You can act or pretend, but you can’t hide. And he has the hubris to believe he is all that. Donny is a clown, though clowns went out of favor with Wayne Gacey.

          • And, Doc; hopefully, he will never have to face and address the issues. Be prepared.

          • Ronny; I like your historical clarity, and your perspective. I am in Colorado, and a LOT of our neighbors who came here for a better life from lands south of here, are not able to get legal ID. They came here just like most of our families did. Native Americans walked here, and have the most and most valid claim to the land. Also, they did not rape it to death, as we seem intent on doing. Keep on Rocking in the Free World!

          • Ronny, I do see your point, well said. But I live in Colorado, and many of my good, America contributing neighbors, who came here for a better life, like our families did, cannot get ID. I did not say American, I said contributing to America.

          • @Watchtowertiger We don’t see anything in the settings that would filter a repeat comment and we’ve not seen the message you mention before, but I can see where the system might get nervous about repeats, thinking they could be spam. Sorry for the trouble.

          • PETER: Thank you. This is the firs and only blog I am doing. Censorship is a very serious thing, to me. The first Amendment is the first for a reason. I will go back and withdraw my shout outs. I sent a lot the first day, for a reason. I am going to fire up wherever I go, and I am liking your concept, hell, even the name.” Humor is the surest sense of sanity.” Hunter Stephen Thompson

          • And, Peter, I will not be your average blogger, I dare say. I know what and why I am doing, when and where and how would take up a lot, but read, and you will begin to understand , well, my quite enjoyable madnesses ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Peter at fish wrap. I hope you guys understand my intent here. Think about it, I am sure you do, as newspaper people. I am promoting you as much as I can, though you may understand why I have not embraced the web. Where there is a web, there must be a poisonous beast somewhere. Kids are not using their memories anymore. Ask any teacher. It is GDM FKNG scary. But, the Apple is bitten and the snakes are smiling. I intend to ride the Beast; most are letting it devour them, and are being ridden. Bless Snowden, and B. Eisler, and G. Webb, and many others, yes, in the minority. We are close to losing our Beloved America. I love what you are doing. Keep on Rocking in The Free World.

          • Peter, et. al. It is scary also that you do not know how your own computer is situated. Read “The Gods’ Eye View”. “I didn’t know it was loaded”; It’s loaded, and aimed at you.

        • Don’t go there. Why would anyone not require something that is required throughout our lives. We show ID to play Little Leauge, Cheerleadijng, buying cigarettes and alcohol, and yes getting a ticket. Since voting is so unimportant I guess its ok not to require ID. The question is then, why do we bother to register….guess I can vote several times!

          • We noe have the capability of face scan, voice scan, and fingerprinting technology, that, hopefully, could be set up safely, monitored by both parties. Don’t let them chip you, or your children. I want paper ballots. I don’t care if they take two weeks to count. Technology to read them like a paper counter also exists. Have both parties count. Or a third, if it happens. etc. I am very concerned about technology, and what it can do. Read The Gods’ Eye View” Barry Eisler, and Harvey Wasserman

          • Russ; I hear you, and well said. One problem we have, is we don’t want someone saying they are you, and canceling YOUR vote. It Is a two way thing, and privacy is one of our greatest liberties. ” Those who would sacrifice Liberty for a little temporary security, deserve neither.” Benjamin Franklin

          • Why did they close down offices where people could get ID? How come all these places are in the poor neighborhood? Why in the Dem area? Then they change days and hours so working people would have to get a day off and lose money. And before you send me a condescending respond.

          • Excuse me Doc and Russ; but I am trying to talk to fish wrap, have been trying for about three hours, and they keep telling me I have already said that. Yeah, again and again and again some times. Apparently, fish wrap, you have censors, thought police, hair shirt gollums all. Shame on you, newspaper people, ? Every time that pops up, I will go to FB, TWITTER, many other sites, and warn THE WORLD about how you run your blog.

      • Mike; I appreciate your awareness and passion. But, the electoral college works that way, in a lot of places. I still have to study exactly how; apparently it is state by state. Keep on Rocking in the Free World, brother.

    • Excuse me Fred; I am going to speak to fish wrap, who have thought police, word police, and CENSORSHIP on board. I get a pop-up that blocks me when I try to talk to a new person, with similar words or quotes. fish wrap. Lose the thought police, the censors, the word police. Yes, i say things over again. That is because I know what I am doing. And doing, and will do it again. Word are like notes of music. Some thoughts and words are worth saying. Some words are worth saying again. If I ever get another pop-up telling me how to write, I will make it a mission to drop the droog,dweeb,hair shirt gollum/s responsible. Shame on you, of all people, fishwrap…newspaper people censoring writing. Not much makes me angry. CENSORSHIP DOES. You don’t want me to get angrier. Really. I have the WORLD at my fingertips, and will make it one of my missions; the only one I am angry about right now. Thank You. Lose the pop-up, or drop. Yes, I understand why you use it. Lose it. EVERYONE, PLEASE READ AND CONTACT fish wrap about what it is to censor, apparently they don’t know. Thanks, Fred.

  2. Where’s your proof, Mike? Republicans have never been able to come up with verified voter fraud, other than a couple of votes. Except for Florida in 2000, which they don’t talk about.

    • Hamilton, Ohio, Voter Fraud. Voters voted more than once. Remember vote early vote often. They Did that.

      • Hey, everybody; I am new here, but I appreciate everyone who is DOING SOMETHING about the process that is the Foundation of our great country. Our Forefathers are among the greatest men who ever impacted the planet. Looking at historical perspective is important. These days are important. I have read that the company that supplies the electronic voting machines, contributed 500k to the Republican party. ” Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” B. Dylan. We are going to lose America if we do not do something, any and everything we can. I don’t see money as speech, and the agenda of those who do is obvious. The Supreme Court nightmare is another issue we must address, though the “law of the land” has been subverted. Re-read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That’s where we start our stand.

    • Glenn; I respect your questioning and involvement in important issues. But when we have every magazine and newspaper, the Library of Congress, and what’s left of the Library of Alexandria, the answers are at your fingertips. Even the “experts” don’t agree on very much, but you can suss it out.

  3. This article reassures me that, despite our current consternation, the Republic is alive and well.

    • Scott; I too, have great hope for this great country. Especially when I hear my daughter and her friends talk. But we cannot deny that America is hidden in a dark web of shadows, and has a serious cold. Let’s bring this great country into the light again, and do not be afraid of the corporatocracy that is subverting our Forefathers’ intent. America is a great country. Let’s revive her

  4. America Forever First.
    I wish that our representatives would think about American first and do what is good for America long term forever. Instead, they are for themselves first, their party second, Wall Street third and the Media fourth.

    I wish American voters would consider America first and take charge from local level on up. Instead, like the previous posters, they argue party politics as if they are actually members of one party or another when in truth, they are not and never will be.

    Because of our own stupidity, in 2016, we will have a choice for president between the lesser of two evils. One who has proven time and time again that she will abuse the power of her Office to get what she wants and absolutely will not cooperate with anyone, much less Congress… She will not serve USA; USA will serve her. The other is such a wildcard, he’s sometimes hard to be taken seriously much less be considered for the Office that must always be taken seriously.

    • Garry; I appreciate your passion and point of view. I like the idea of a woman/Hillary, but I am going to vote on issues, not gender. Don’t count Bernie out. I am concerned that the Dems now have control of the machine. See Harvey Wasserman. Keep on Rocking in the Free World

  5. This comment has nothing to do with this article.
    But it does have to do with the present presidential candidates!
    I am a 67 years old honorably discharged and disabled Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star w/combat “V”.
    I believe, at age 18, that I was required to register with the selective-service?
    At age 18.5 I dropped out of school and joined the USMC to help the American marines and peoples of The Republic of Viet Nam (RVN).
    That decision totally”Fucked Up” my life and ended-up getting me “Criminalized” by the city, and county, law enforcement/officials!

    But, I just want to know if any of the presidential candidates ever bothered to register with the “selective service” to be able to get gov-assisted student loans/home loans/or gov-jobs (i.e. president)? Or were they affraid that they might have too put their lives on-the-line, by registering with the selective service like ALL us other bastards did?!

    • I have nothing but respect for you sir and thank you for your service, courage, bravery and incredible sacrifice. I am truly sorry that serving our country fucked up your life…it should’ve been the complete opposite. If you should decide to reply, I’m curious who a man of your stature will be voting for this upcoming election. Again, thank you for your sacrifice and service and dedication to our freedom!

  6. Wow!
    I can’ t believe that after 67 years on this planet that someone is actually asking me for my opinion on an issue!

    First, I thank you for your respect. Second, I believe that the greatest respect and honor that any American, no matter who or what they are, can express, say, and show to any American veteran, dead or alive, healthy or disabled, is to show that respect and honor by participating in and taking the time, if your old enough, to participate in our election process by casting your vote/ballet! And I, as a veteran, don’t really care who you vote for, just as long as you take that small amount of time to actually show “me” the respect and honor, for putting my/our lives on on the line for all Americans, to vote and participate.

    As a service member, one must be able and willing to kill for America! This may be a split second decision, and should planned for in advance!

    Therefore, I want a commander-in-chief that can make that decision in a split second and become a “rabid-dog” if need be!

    SO! My vote went to Trump! Basically because my one and only issue is “the economy” first and foremost! All other issues won’t get fixed until our GDP progresses to a sensible level, and America becomes great again to be able to regain Americ’s standing in the world order!

    But, I still want to know if any of the candidates ever registered with the selective service, to be able to be eligible to hold a government job!

    Do you think Obama ever registered???

    • I too, am of the Vietnam generation, though I have come to refuse to let that time define me. I am fine with Americans killing for America. The Russians wouldn’t get past New Jersey, and the Chines would enjoy an enormous light show if they came at us toward California, (well, so would the Russians, but I went to H.S. in NJ, and I like the picture)

    • Terry; I am 65 brother. I enjoy reading your words, they ring true and full, and you are asking very very good questions. Keep on Rocking in the Free World

      • AND WE ALL, GOOD AMERICANS OWE YOU A DEBT. JUST TELL THE BASTARDS YOU ARE INNOCENT and THEY ARE NOT. You can tell ’em I said so.

  7. Terry, you said it as well as I have ever heard or read.
    “I believe that the greatest respect and honor that any American, no matter who or what they are, can express, say, and show to any American veteran, dead or alive, healthy or disabled, is to show that respect and honor by participating in and taking the time, if your old enough, to participate in our election process by casting your vote/ballet!”
    Thank you for that — a voice a reason amidst the clamor of voices touting one view or another with little if any objective thought behind it. This particular election campaign has become especially tiresome as it seems to have been a continuation of the one before.

    • My dear grandmother was a Suffragette, and she instilled within all of her offspring the importance of voting because she remembered when women did not have the right to vote! When she passed at 92 years young, she had not missed voting in an election!
      I too believe in the importance of voting. But not just along party lines. It is every Americans duty to research and study the issues and candidates, to meditate upon them, and then cast their vote.

  8. Note to the author: “Democrat” is a noun, not an adjective. Thus, terms like “Democrat elector” or
    “Democrat governor” are ungrammatical, although
    a favorite usage by right-wing Republicans.

  9. America First…hmmm…The world is growing smaller every day, and it is brave and it is new. This country is enormously wealthy. 1/2 of the worlds resources are now owned by 62 individuals; last year, it was 284 individuals. America First (I love this Country) is nice, but 4,643 children starved to death in the past 60 minutes (W.H.O.). I think it is time for Earth First. We can afford it.

    • He also created you to do more than stand around grinning platitudes. 4,634 children have starved to death in the past sixty minutes. ( W.H.O.) Read Diet for a New America, J. Robbins. It’s a start ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Here’s my take on some of the election process. Hillary took Mississippi because the South is very gender politically active. Women are in it, the beautiful and strong Southern Belles. They want Hillary, as a matter of pride. I can respect that. I do. I was born in the South. Black Americans like Hillary, because they are listening to their Hollywood Black Famous actor friends who get invited to the White House. Hey, who wouldn’t go at an invite to ” The White House.?” Especially with a Black American in it. Hawaii went with Trump, because they want him to go up against Bernie, Trump scares them so much. I could go with my take on other regions, but y’all get the idea. It is a process…

  11. Democrats fighting voter ID!! Why? In order to receive Medicare, Social Security, Drivers License, Welfare, etc, you have to properly identify your self, why is it not important when you vote? Without proper identification, you leave the process open to fraud!!! Elections should be protected from the possibility of fraud!!

      • Doc; I have grave concerns about ID, and its use, in both directions. Part of it all, is to secure “they” know who YOU are, and that your Social Security does not get stolen. We are in very serious times, and America, and the good people of America are awakening to what can be done with technology. The most dangerous despot is one who does things ” for the safety and protection” of the people. Many of my good neighbors here in Colorado, are from down south, other countries. They have come here for a better life, like most of our families did. They cannot get ID. Our oh so precious Freedoms and Liberty are being monitored and shrunken as fast as “the government” can achieve it. Privacy is one of the most important freedoms. “Those who would sacrifice liberty for a little temporary security, deserve neither.” Benjamin Franklin The ID issue is very important, and I am glad to see it spoken in the open, and talked about. Read: “The Gods’ Eye View” Barry Eisler

        • All I said was why do you and a lot of politicians call social security a benefit I paid into that system for over 50 years so it no handout. That is what I was talking about. I have no problem showing ID but they are trying to stop people from getting ID.

          • Doc; I do not say it is a benefit, and I do hear your concern. I am 65, and I know exactly what you are talking about now. I don’t understand, quite, your concerns, perhaps, and that is my lacking. It would seem that “they” are wanting ID to the point of knowing where you are, what you buy and what you do, all the time. Including taking a picture of your license plate every time you pass a camera in your car, face recognition every time you walk by a camera; they are, apparently, developing your specific body movements, apparently specific as fingerprints, eye scan, and voice print. An IPhones’ gyroscope can be turned into a speaker, and a land line phone can be used to listen to you even hung up ( They have had that technology for a long time.) (See Eisler) What Id, beside picture; license, govnmt. (state, federal)), work Id are you concerned about? ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Excellent! Doc; You sound passionate and right on! I asked, because now I now you know. Sir, I KNOW you have a lot to teach the youngun’s’. If that is what you want to do. Doc, I am honored to be speaking to you. 1934, or so. I will cherish our discourse, sir; you have seen an amazing part of history, and so continue to do so. My father is 94 and his father was almost one hundred when he passed. It is an honor to have this discourse, I hope you can teach me.

          • And, when you think about it, you have paid for it all, over and over. You paid for the roads, the meters that charge you again, the salaries of the meter maids, gas tax, license, the people who tell you whether you can drive or not, the tickets, ( if you get any), the cops’ salary, the politicians who hand each other money, sales tax on oil in your car, the very roads you drive on ARE PAID FOR BY US, THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER. And they still keep trying to figure out how to take your money. Remember, when you park, you are parking on a road YOU PAID FOR.

    • And, Prtetejvv; I live in Colorado; I respect your concern, it is an issue that has proven to be abused in the past, and probably still is. But when we, all good Americans, stand and address such issues, with our new small world( technology/the web), information gets going like we are in a room full of friends, who do not all agree. ” If 2 people agree on everything, one of them is not necessary.” Nancy Reagan, believe it or not

  12. First of all I would like to take this time to THANK all of you who have fought for our rights and for our freedom! Those who have died and those who are alive! Thank You so very much without you we would not have what we have now!

    Next I would like to say that I would much rather have Hillery as our President instead of Trump! Trump is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off! I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t want to get into another war! That’s what Trump would get us into! Now look at Hillery and everything she has done for this country! Yes, she is under investigation but that’s small compared to what Trump is all about!

    Now I’m not trying to anger anyone but that’s just what I believe and we do have freedom of speech because of those who fought for our rights and for our freedom! Thanks again to all of all the Veterans out there! May God Bless And Keep You Safe!

    • Tammie; I hope you got my message. When I tried to speak to you, I got a pop-up saying I had said that before; when I tried to contact fishwrao through @newspaper, I got snotty comments, and little room. I see my words are up, hope you can read them.

  13. Tammie; your comments are passionate, and well spoken. I would hope you vote issues, not gender. I like Hillary; don’t count Bernie out. Clowns were entertaining until Wayne Gacey, now they take the form of self righteous billionaire clowns like Donny. When he said he wanted “to just punch him in the face” about a heckler at one of his rallies, I could only think, wait till he meets Putin, or the Chinese. I hope not

    • Yes I’m voting for issues and not gender!! Why would you say something like that? You don’t even know me! I want the best for our White House and for our nation! I’m a grandmother and all I want is what’s right for my grandchildren! I love each and everyone of my grandchildren! 13 of them are step grandchildren and 1 is biological and like I’ve said earlier I love them all!!!! So yes, I’m voting for issues!

      Oh and you should watch how you talk to people on here! Because someone is going to take issue with you and your words like I just did! Yes, I’m a woman but just because I’m a woman does not mean I vote for a woman!

      • Your response is laudable, and your obvious passion for politics is exactly what we need in this country. “Vote issues, not gender” was a statement made by my daughter, 18, going on a trillion light years. She, and all of the children are the future. I don’t censor myself, and I am, it is true, new at this. I truly appreciate your comment, and, yes I do not know you, and no, I do not know you. “…and you ask me is it easy to forget? I’ll say it’s easily done, you just pick anyone, and pretend that you never have met.” B. Dylan So you say my daughter was talking directly to you, and you take offense, in that she has no idea who you are? Someone is very confused.

      • “Taking issue” is the point, Grandmother Tammie. How old is your biological child…how old am I?

  14. And, Doc, I don’t either, either way. Ask Snowden, Gary Webb (Webb committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head, then shooting himself in the face with a shotgun…uh uh uh uh ok) ) Assange, and many other whistleblowers and journalists what they think about the ID question

  15. Help me here. Are we just talking to air, ourselves, or someone in the Human Race…tossing a comment onto a blog like a billboard to read? Is that the format everyone is comfortable with. The mirror? God, somehow? I am new to this, so please teach me. Silly me, I thought there was a mind behind the comments, and a dialogue was forming. I am not into, pardon my clarity, masturbation.

  16. I helped raise about, let’s see, three thousand children as a counselor in a moderate term facility. Yes, the children are the future. I will tell my daughter to watch what she says. NOT She is not schizophrenic. It would require you to be at least two people, probably three. One to speak, one to watch and one to form the thought. But, I am learning, and have considered what you believe. Please teach me. I am getting reply and comment a bit confused. I assumed open dialogue is the format. I will have to run my mind through this machine, perhaps, and figure out what is what. I thought communication was like a room full of people, and all was available for all to hear and say, and that we were in America. Silly me.

  17. Everyone; welcome to America, where the First Amendment IS ALIVE AND WELL. If you don’t excersize your Forefather given intended Rights, you will lose them. They are being eroded badly. Thank God for people like Snowden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and them all. Astonishingly wise men. They put together a great idea called AMERICA. And, they put the Bill go Rights and Constitution together as they knew lesser men would try to usurp AMERCA in the name of greed and “things like the Patriot Act. Read it. There are almost no AMERICAN IDEALS in it. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were not designed to protect the majority. They are designed to protect the minority, often those who stand up for YOUR Rights. Enjoy your enormous wealth, the majority of you who have such. This great Country was founded on Human Rights. Our forefathers prepared for the onslaught of those who would take them away. Look at our history. Read, and know. Don’t just iPhone, lose your memory, make your comfortable stance about the world, going about saying and doing really, nothing. It is safe to say and do nothing, and the authorities would like for you to stay that way. Dreaming. Over and Out

  18. “THOSE WHO WOULD SACRIFICE LIBERTY FOR A LITTLE TEMPORARY SECURITY DESERVE NEITHER.” Benjamin Franklin

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