The election of 1876 was one of the most rancorous, divisive and probably corrupt in American history.
Both Governor Rutherford Hayes (R-OH) and Governor Samuel Tilden (D-NY) were honest, decent men, albeit bland and uncharasmatic. Any scandals or machinations done in their names were done with no overt support from either of the candidates. (Whether or not there was tacit approval, or more likely “blind eye” is always open to conjecture.)
Major Rutherford B. Hayes of the Union Army.
Hayes had a solid reputation. He was a successful Ohio attorney, a Union Major General – wounded four times, Ohio Congressman and three-term Ohio Governor. He was sincerely respected and even beloved by his soldiers. He was a devoted family man, married nearly twenty-five years, with five surviving children.
Governor Samuel Tilden of New York.
Samuel Tilden had a credible record as a New York behind-the-scenes politician –…
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