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him my love for Tilden and Hendricks only ripened as they

grew older.

Ah well, I doubt your patience with girls, especially left handed ones, whose writing one cannot readily decipher.

" My request is simple. (Please give your Sec'ty a few moments' recess) I only ask you to send me something that you consider trivial, for a souvenir of one I love and admire most dearly. I care not what it may be, so it belongs to you. Enclose within a word or two so that I may know my missive is not in vain.

" It's awful for a democrat to feel badly, and as I am such a persistent one, I shall feel like poor Blaine (?) if I do not hear from you. Trusting all reporters are at Salt Lake and cannot spy this

"Yours in all respect and sincerity.”

A miss from Kentucky, with a red head, and weighing 136 pounds, wrote:

* MR. TILDEN: While sitting all alone this evening, haying just written to all my friends, I concluded to write to you. I heard that you said the first lady that addressed you, you would send her a present. I hope the present will be a photograph, as I would like to see it very much. Pap came from Virginia, and he has often told me what a clever man you was. I heard that you was a batchelor and intended to live a different life; I thought you ment a married life; I would like to correspond with you very much. I have fair complexion, black eyes, and a red head. I am 18 years old, and I weigh 136 pounds. "If

my letter is accepted write me a answer in return. I am tired of writing so I will close by saying give my love to your sister.

Remember me when far away and thinking of the past, remember I am a friend of yours that will last forever. Write soon.”

A young lady from Illinois sent Mr. Tilden a proffer of marriage, with a lock of her hair and an eloquent analysis of her charms. She handed her letter to her younger sister to enclose in an envelope and post. The younger sister, thinking Mr. Tilden might perhaps prefer a younger bride

- she was about nineteen, and the elder twenty-three or prefer a lighter shade of hair, enclosed a lock of her own hair, with a note imparting her willingness to share his bed and board in case her sister could not.

Another wrote that her parents had been unfortunate, had lost their money, and requested Mr. Tilden to send them $25,000 to reëstablish themselves.

Another, from North Carolina, sent a bedspread, the work of her own hands, and warranted to last thirty years.

Another, from Michigan, proposes he should adopt the child of a virtuous widow in the neighborhood, and marry her when she is fifteen years old. Meantime employing the mother at monthly wages, who is to die after four years of a broken heart.

Another had heard of a generous wedding present Mr. Tilden had made one of her cousins, and wishes him to buy of her a silver salver and goblets to match, which, if she were wealthy, she would not take $2,000 for, but which Mr. Tilden might have for $1,000. She adds :

a

"You go out of town every summer. It would give me pleasure to invite you to spend three or four weeks or more with me, but I cannot afford it. If you will come and give me a remuneration sufficient to cover expenses, I will do everything in my power to make your stay enjoyable. Shall I bring the silver salver to you or send it by express, C.O.D.?"

She proposes also to invite several young ladies to meet him if he visits her, and gives him a catalogue of their charms.

Mr. Tilden rarely paid any attention to missives of the character here cited — never unless he chanced to know something of the writer or of her kindred. Those who called in person — as many did who had failed to get satisfactory responses to their communications — were pretty uniformly disappointed. The pleasure of receiving them was generally given to one of his clerks or attendants. He had the least possible taste for gallantries with any class; but he was far too wise and prudent to give to any woman a pretext for speculating upon her intimacy with him.

The volume of this kind of predatory correspondence was almost incredible. That he passed through this epoch of peculiar temptation without provoking a breath of scandal was a distinction which, unfortunately, can be claimed for few men in public life of equal eminence, in this or any other country

CHAPTER VI

The cipher despatches - Tilden's address to the people of the United

States in regard to them - His examination by a congressional committee A calumnious report corrected Repudiates a reported arrangement between the Senate and House committees to exempt his bank account from examination - Letter to Senator Kernan.

MR. TILDEN did not realize all the advantages to his health from his European trip that he had hoped for. His adventures in crossing the English channel undid much of the very considerable benefit which he seemed to have derived from it. While his general condition was improved, he could not disguise from himself the fact that his tremulousness was increasing, that his vocal organs were losing their flexibility, and that his left arm and hand were less useful to him than when he left his home. Though his health had now become a somewhat more serious preoccupation than formerly, he did not yet regard it as entitled to interfere materially with his future plans or customary occupations. His renomination for the presidency in 1880 was regarded as a matter of course by both parties, not only because he was immeasurably the most capable and popular candidate his party could present, but because he was the only candidate through whose election the nation could properly resent the wrong it had sustained at the hands of the Electoral Commission in 1877. He was now regarded by the administration, not only as a more formidable candidate than in 1876, but the consequences of his election now were regarded as more alarming than in 1876, especially to those who had participated in the frauds which put Hayes into the presidency. He was treated, therefore, from the very beginning of the Hayes administration as the one man in the nation who, at all hazards, must be destroyed. This could not be accomplished by assailing his public life, his opinions, or his public teachings. That had already been tried pretty faithfully and had proved unsuccessful. A second attempt was certain to prove even less successful. There was one course left. The Potter investigation had satisfied the nation that Hayes had not been elected by the people, and that the majority of electors for him had been secured by fraud. To this there was no longer any defence, not even the benefit of a doubt. The only thing to do under those circumstances was, not to attempt to justify the installation of Hayes, but to persist in efforts to leave upon the public mind an impression which should stay there until after the next election at least, that Tilden and his party were just as bad as Hayes and his party, plus the risk of Tilden's being overruled by his party, and that the people had nothing to gain by a change of dynasty. As the administration had control of all the judicial, civil, and military forces of the government, and necessarily exerted a prodigious influence over all the organs of public opinion, this did not seem at the time a hopeless endeavor.

It is no exaggeration to say that the administration used all these forces with the energy and recklessness of despair. I am aware that this is a grave allegation, — quite too

grave to rest upon the unsupported dictum of any individual. I do not propose to leave it thus unsupported, but to produce such evidence as will, I think, bear conviction to any unprejudiced reader, that during the whole four years of Hayes' administration, and regardless of Mr. Tilden's age, his physical infirmities, his priceless public services, and the place which he occupied in the hearts of his countrymen, he was pursued by the agents of that administration with a cruelty, a vindictiveness, an insensibility to all the promptings of Christian charity, which men are rarely accustomed to exhibit except in their dealing with wild beasts.

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