Page images


justices, members of the said commission, shall immediately appoint another justice of said court a member of said commission, and, in such appointment, regard shall be had to the impartiality and freedom from bias sought by the original appointments to said commission, who shall thereupon immediately take and subscribe the oath hereinbefore prescribed, and become a member of said commission to fill the vacancy so occasioned. All the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes of each State shall be opened, in the alphabetical order of the States, as provided in section one of this act; and when there shall be more than one such certificate or paper, as the certificates and papers from such State shall so be opened (excepting duplicates of the same SEC. 5. That at such joint meeting of the return), they shall be read by the tellers, two Houses, seats shall be provided as foland thereupon the President of the Senate lows: For the President of the Senate, the shall call for objections, if any. Every Speaker's chair; for the Speaker, immediobjection shall be made in writing, and ately upon his left; the Senators in the ehall state clearly and concisely, and with- body of the hall upon the right of the preout argument, the ground thereof, and siding officer; for the Representatives, in shall be signed by at least one Senator and the body of the hall not provided for the one member of the House of Representa- Senators; for the tellers, Secretary of the tives before the same shall be received. Senate, and Clerk of the House of RepreWhen all such objections so made to any sentatives, at the Clerk's desk; for the other certificate, vote, or paper from a State shall officers of the two Houses, in front of the have been received and read, all such cer- Clerk's desk and upon each side of the tificates, votes and papers so objected to, Speaker's platform. Such joint meeting and all papers accompanying the same, shall not be dissolved until the count of together with such objections, shall be electoral votes shall be completed and the forthwith submitted to said commission, result declared; and no recess shall be which shall proceed to consider the same, taken unless a question shall have arisen in with the same powers, if any, now possessed | regard to counting any such votes, or otherfor that purpose by the two Houses acting wise under this act, in which case it shall separately or together, and, by a majority be competent for either House, acting sepaof votes, decide whether any and what rately, in the manner herein before providvotes from such State are the votes provided, to direct a recess of such House not beed for by the Constitution of the United yond the next day, Sunday excepted, at the States, and how many and what persons hour of ten o'clock in the forenoon. And were duly appointed electors in such State, while any question is being considered by and may therein take into view such peti- said commission, either House may protions, depositions, and other papers, if any, ceed with its legislative or other business. as shall, by the Constitution and now existing law, be competent and pertinent in such consideration; which decision shall be made in writing, stating briefly the ground thereof, and signed by the members of said commission agreeing therein; whereupon the two Houses shall again meet, and such decision shall be read and entered in the journal of each house, and the counting of the vote shall proceed in conformity therewith, unless, upon objection made thereto in writing by at least five Senators and five members of the House of Representatives, the two Houses shall separately concur in ordering otherwise, in which case such concurrent order shall govern. No votes or papers from any other State shall be acted upon until the objections previously made to the votes or papers from any State shall have been finally disposed of

SEC. 3. That, while the two Houses shall be in meeting, as provided in this act, no debate shall be allowed and no question shall be put by the presiding officer, except to either House on a motion to withdraw; and he shall have power to preserve order. SEC. 4. That when the two Houses separate to decide upon an objection that may have been made to the counting of any electoral vote or votes from any State, or upon objection to a report of said commis sion, or other question arising under this act, each Senator and Representative may speak to such objection or question ten minutes, and not oftener than once; but after such debate shall have lasted two hours, it shall be the duty of each House to put the main question without further debate.

SEC. 6. That nothing in this act shall be held to impair or affect any right now existing under the Constitution and laws to question, by proceeding in the judicial courts of the United States, the right or title of the person who shall be declared elected, or who shall claim to be President or Vice-President of the United States, if any such right exists.

SEC. 7. That said commission shall make its own rules, keep a record of its proceedings, and shall have power to employ such persons as may be necessary for the transaction of its business and the execution of its powers. Approved, January 29, 1877,

Members of the Commission.

Hon. NATHAN CLIFFORD, Associate Jus tice Supreme Court, First Circuit.

Hon. WILLIAM STRONG, Associate Justice | Packard or Republican government there, Supreme Court, Third Circuit. caused distrust and dissatisfaction in the Hon. SAMUEL F. MILLER, Associate minds of the more radical Republicans, Justice Supreme Court, Eighth Circuit. who contended with every show of reason Hon. STEPHEN J. FIELD, Associate Jus-that if Hayes carried Louisiana, Packard tice Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit. must also have done so. The only sensible excuse for seating Hayes on the one side and throwing out Governor Packard on the other, was a patriotic desire for peace in the settlement of both Presidential and Southern State issues. This desire was plainly manifested by President Hayes on the day of his inauguration and for two years thereafter. He took early occasion to visit Atlanta, Ga.,and while at that point and en route there made the most conciliatory speeches, in which he called those who had engaged in the Rebellion, "brothers," "gallant soldiers," etc. These speeches excited much attention. They had litRep-tle if any effect upon the South, while the more radical Republicans accused the President of "slopping over." They did not allay the hostility of the Democratic party, and did not restore the feeling in the South to a condition better than that

Hon. JOSEPH P. BRADLEY, Associate
Justice Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit.

States Senator.

Hon. OLIVER P. MORTON, United States Senator.

Hon. FREDERICK T. FRELINGHUYSEN, United States Senator.

Hon. ALLEN G. THURMAN, United States Senator.

Hon. THOMAS F. BAYARD, United States Senator.

Họn. HENRY B. PAYNE, United States Representative.

Hon. EPPA HUNTON, United States


Hon. JOSIAH G. ABBOTT, United States
Hon. JAMES A. GARFIELD, United States

Hon. GEORGE F. HOAR, United States

The Electoral Commission met February 1st, and by uniform votes of 8 to 7, decided all objections to the Electoral votes of Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon, in favor of the Republicans, and while the two Houses disagreed on nearly all of these points by strict party votes, the electoral votes were, under the provisions of the law, given to Hayes and Wheeler, and the final result declared to be 185 electors for Hayes and Wheeler, to 184 for Tilden and Hendricks. Questions of cligibility had been raised against individual electors from Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin, but the Commission did not sustain any of them, and as a rule they were unsupported by evidence. Thus closed the gravest crisis which ever attended an electoral count in this country, so far as the Nation was concerned; and while for some weeks the better desire to peacefully settle all differences prevailed, in a few weeks partisan bitterness was manifested on the part of a great majority of Northern Democrats, who believed their party had been deprived by a partisan spirit of its rightful President.

The Title of President Hayes.

The uniform vote of 8 to 7 on all important propositions considered by the Electoral Commission, to their minds showed a partisan spirit, the existence of which it was difficult to deny. The action of the Republican" visiting statesmen" in Louisiana, in practically overthrowing the

which it had shown during the exciting days of the Electoral count. The South then, under the lead of men like Stephens, Hill and Gordon, in the main showed every desire for a peaceful settlement. As a rule only the Border States and Northern Democrats manifested extreme distrust and bitterness, and these were plainly told by some of the leaders from the Gulf States, that so far as they were concerned, they had had enough of civil war.

As late as April 22, 1877, the Maryland
Legislature passed the following:

Resolved by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the Attorney General of the State be, and he is hereby, instructed, in case Congress shall provide for expediting the action, to exhibit a bill in the Supreme Court of the United States, on behalf of the State of Maryland, with proper parties thereto, setting forth the fact that due effect has not been given to the electoral vote cast by this State on the 6th day of December, 1876, by reason of fraudulent returns made from other States and allowed to be counted provisionally by the Electoral Commission, and subject to judicial revision, and praying said court to make the revision contemplated by the act establishing said commission; and upon such revision to declare the returns from the States of Louisiana and Florida, which were counted for Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler, fraudulent and void, and that the legal electoral votes of said States were cast for Samuel J. Tilden as President, and Thomas A. Hendricks as Vice President, and that by virtue thereof and of 184 votes cast by other States, of which 8 were cast by the State of Maryland. the said Tilden and Hendricks were

[ocr errors]

duly elected, and praying said Court to decrec accordingly.

It was this resolution which induced the Clarkson N. Potter resolution of investigation, a resolution the passage of which was resisted by the Republicans through filibustering for many days, but was finally passed by 146 Democratic votes to 2 Democratic votes (Mills and Morse) against, the Republicans not voting.

The Cipher Despatches.

Also the facts of the election in Jackson county, where the ballot-boxes were kept out of the sight of voters, who voted through openings or holes six feet above the ground, and where many more Republican votes were thus given into the hands of the Democratic inspectors than were counted or


lowed to vote.

An amendment offered to the Potter resolution but not accepted, and defeated by the Democratic majority, cited some fair specimens of the cipher dispatches exposed by the New York Tribune. These returned by them. are matters of historical interest, and con- | Also the facts of the election in Waldo vey information as to the methods which precinct, in Alachua county, where the politicians will resort to in desperate ciner-¡ passengers on an emigrant-train, passing gencies. We therefore quote the more per- through on the day of election, were altinent portions. Resolved, That the select committee to Also the facts of the election in Manatee whom this House has committed the in-county, returning 235 majority for the vestigation of certain matters affecting, as Tilden clectors, where there were no county is alleged, the legal title of the President officers, no registration, no notice of the of the United States to the high office election, and where the Republican party, which he new holds, be and is hereby in- therefore, did not vote. strucel in the course of its investigations to fully inquire into all the facts connected with the election in the State of Florida in November, 1876, and especially into the eircumstances attending the transmission and receiving of certain telegraphic dispatches sent in said year between TallahasSee in said State and New York City, viz.:

Also the facts of the election in the third precinct of Key West, giving 342 Democratic majority where the Democratic inspector carried the ballot-box home, and pretended to count the ballots on the next day, outside of the precinct and contrary to law.

Also the facts of the election in Hamilton, where the election-officers exercised no control over the ballot-box, but left it in unauthorized hands, that it might be

Also the following:

"TALLAHASSEE, December 1, 1876. "W. T. PELTON, New York: :

"Answer Mac's dispatch immediately, or we will be embarrasssed at a critical WILKINSON CALL.”


Also the following:

"TALLAHASSEE, November 9, 1876. "A. S. HEWITT, New York: "Comply if possible with my telegram. tampered with.

Geo. P. RAREY."

“TALLAHASSEE, December 4, 1876.


acting for said Pelton, or in the interest of Samuel J. Tilden as a presidential candidate.

"Things culminating here. Mac's despatch to-day.

Also to investigate the charges of intimidation at Lake City, in Columbia county, where Joel Niblack and other white men put ropes around the necks of colored men and proposed to hang them, but released them on their promise to join a Democratic club and vote for Samuel J. Tilden.


And also the facts connected with all telegraphic dispatches between one John F. Coyle and said Pelton, under the latter's real or fictitious name, and with any and all demands for money on or about December 1, 1876, from said Tallahassee, on said Pelton, or said Hewitt, or with any attempt to corrupt or bribe any official of the said State of Florida by any person

Also the reasons why the AttorneyGeneral of the State, Wm. Archer Cocke, as a member of the Canvassing Board, officially advised the board, and himself voted, to exclude the Hamilton county and Key West precinct returns, thereby giving, in any event, over 500 majority to the Republican electoral ticket, and afterwards protested against the result which he had voted for, and whether or not said Cocke was afterward rewarded for such protest by being made a State Judge.


And that said committee is further instructed and directed to investigate into all the facts connected with an alleged attempt to secure one electoral vote in the State of Oregon for Samuel J. Tilden for President of the United States, and Thomas A. Hendricks for Vice-President, by unlawfully setting up the election of E. A. Cronin as one of such presidential electors elected from the State of Oregon on the 7th of November, the candidates for the

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

E. A. Cronin received..

W. A. Laswell received.
Henry Klippel received.........14,136
And by the unlawful attempt to bribe one
of said legally elected electors to recognize
said Cronin as an elector for President and
Vice-President, in order that one of the
electoral votes of said State might be cast
for said Samuel J. Tilden as President and
for Thomas A. Hendricks as Vice-Presi-
dent; and especially to examine and inquire.
into all the facts relating to the sending of
money from New York to some place in
said Oregon for the purposes of such
bribery, the parties sending and receiving
the same, and their relations to and
agency for said Tilden, and more particu-
larly to investigate into all the circum-
stances attending the transmission of the
following telegraphic despatches:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"PORTLAND, Oregon, Nov. 14, 1876. "Gov. L. F. GROVER:


Come down to-morrow if possible.

"W. H. EFFinger,

"PORTLAND, November 16, 1876.

"I fully endorse this.

Also the following cipher despatch sent from Portland, Oregon, on the 28th day of November, 1876, to New York City:


Of which, when the key was discovered, the following was found to be the true intent and meaning:


PORTLAND, November 28, 1876. "To W. T. PELTON, No. 15 Gramercy Park, New York:

"Certificate will be issued to one Demo

crat. Must purchase a Republican elector to recognize and act with Democrats and secure the vote and prevent trouble. Deposit $10,000 to my credit with Kountz Brothers, Wall Street. Answer.


"I fully endorse this.

"To Gov. GROVER, Salem:

"We want to see you particularly on foregoing: account of despatches from the East. "WILLIAM STRONG, S. H. REED, "C. P. BELLINGER, W. W. THAYER, "C. E. BRONAUGH."


Also the following:

"NEW YORK, November 25, 1876. "A. BUSH, Salem :


Use all means to prevent certificate.
Very important.

Also the following:

"December 1, 1876. "To Hon. SAM. J. TILDEN, No. 15 Gramercy Park, New York:


I shall decide every point in the case of post-office clector in favor of the highest Democratic elector, and grant certificate accordingly on morning of 6th instant. Confidential. GOVERNOR.'


Also the following:

"SAN FRANCISCO, December 5. "LADD & BUSH, Salem:

"Funds from New York will be deposited to your credit here to-morrow when bank opens. I know it. Act accordingly. Answer. W. C. GRISWOLD.

Also the following, six days before the

"NEW YORK, November 29, 1876. "To J. H. N. PATRICK, Portland, Oregon: "Moral hasty sideral vizier gabble cramp by hemistic welcome licentiate muskeete compassion neglectful recoverable hathouse live innovator brackish association dime afar idolator session hemistic mitre." [No signature.]

Of which the interpretation is as follows: "NEW YORK, November 29, 1876.

"PORTLAND, November 28, 1876. "To W. T. Pelton, No. 15 Gramercy Park, New York: "By vizier association innocuous negli-"To J. H. N. PATRICK, Portland, Oregon: gence cunning minutely previously read- "No. How soon will Governor decide mit doltish to purchase afar act with certificate? If you make obligation concunning afar sacristy unweighed afar

pointer tigress cattle superannuated sylla- tingent on the result in March, it can be bus dilatoriness misapprehension contra- done, and slightly if necessary.

band Kountz bisulcuous top usher spinifer

[No signature.] Also the following, one day later:

ous answer.


"PORTLAND, November 30, 1876. “TO W. T. PELTON, No. 15 Gramercy Park,

New York:

[ocr errors]

Governor all right without reward. Will issue certificate Tuesday. This is a Secret. Republicans threaten if certificaté issued to ignore Democratic claims and fill vacancy, and thus defeat action of Governor. One elector must be paid to recornize Democrat to secure majority. Have employed three lawyers, editor of only Republican paper as one lawyer, fee $3,000. Will take 5000 for Republican elector;

must raise money; can't make fee contin

gent. Sail Saturday. Kelly and BellinFor will act. Must act promptly."

Communicate with them.

Also the following:

"SAN FRANCISCO, December 5, 1876. “To KOUNTZE EROS., No. 12 Wall St., New York:

Has my account credit by any funds lately? How much?


[ocr errors]

Also the following: "NEW YORK, December 6. "J. H. N. PATRICK, San Francisco: Davis deposited eight thousand dollars December first. KOUNTZE BROS."

Also the following:

April 15, 1878, Mr. Kimmel introduced

a bill, which was never finally acted upon, to provide a mode for trying and deter mining by the Supreme Court of the United President of the United States to take their States the title of the President and Vicerespective offices when their election to such offices is denied by one or more of the States of the Union.

The question of the title of President was finally settled June 14, 1878, by the following report of the House Judiciary Commitee: No signature].

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

despatches and W. T. Pelton, of New York, and also what relations existed between said W. T. Pelton and Samuel J. Tilden, of New York.

"CORSE." And said committee is further directed to inquire into and bring to light, so far as it may be possible, the entire correspondence conspiracy referred to in the above telegraphic despatches, and to ascertain what were the relations existing between any of the parties sending or receiving said

Report of the Judiciary Committee. June 14-Mr. HARTRIDGE, from the Committee on the Judiciary, made the following report:

The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom were referred the bill (H. R. No. 4315) and the resolutions of the Legislature of the State of Maryland directing judicial proceedings to give effect to the electoral vote of that State in the last election of President and Vice-President of the United States, report back said bill and resolutions with a recommendation that the bill do not pass.

Your committee are of the opinion that Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to confer upon the Supreme Court of the United States the original jurisdiction sought for it by this bill. The only clause of the Constitution which could be plausibly invoked to enable Congress to provide the legal machinery for the litigation proposed, is that which gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in "cases "" (6 or 'controversies" between a State and the citizens of another State.


The committee are of the opinion that this 66 and controversies " expression "cases was not intended by the framers of the Constitution to embrace an original proceeding by a State in the Supreme Court of the United States to oust any incumbent from a political office filled by the declaration and decision of the two Houses of Congress clothed with the constitutional power to count the electoral votes and decide as a final tribunal upon the election for President and Vice-President. The Forty-fourth Congress selected a commission to count the votes for President and Vice-President, reserving to itself the right to ratify or reject such count, in the way prescribed in the act creating such commission. By the joint action of the two Houses it ratified the count made by the commission, and thus made it the expres sion of its own judgment.

All the Departments of the Federal

« PreviousContinue »