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THE LIFE OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN

CHAPTER I

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Presidential canvass of 1876 – Assailable points of Grant's administration

Popular majority for Tilden and Hendricks — Inception of the conspiracy to defeat the popular choice — Senator Barnum, John C. Reid, and the “New York Times” William E. Chandler's break-of-day despatches — Troops ordered to Florida — President Grant's despatch to General Sherman Foul operations of conspirators in Florida — How rewarded by President Hayes — General Barlow.

The presidential canvass of 1876 was one of exceptional bitterness. The public officers of the party in control of the federal government had been charged by the press and on the platform, by prominent and responsible Republicans as well as by the opposition, not only with gross neglect of official duty, but with official conduct for much of which the laws provided the most degrading penalties. They charged, among other things, that during the whole eight years of General Grant's administration the ordinary expenses of the government, exclusive of pensions and interest on the public debt, had been increased at the inordinate rate of $75,000,000 a year.

That its influence had been exerted to procure its insertion in the bill that was to double the President's salary, and, as an inducement for its passage, a provision that the increase of pay which Congress had already awarded the members should date back to the beginning of their term, by which means they were to receive about $1,000,000 of

back pay

That in a single month in 1874 one million gallons of

VOL. II.-1

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