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Fraud of the Century

Fraud of the Century

Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876

The bitter 1876 contest between Ohio Republican Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and New York Democratic Governor Samuel Tilden was the most sensational and corrupt presidential election in American history. It was also, in many ways, the final battle of the Civil War. Although Tilden received some 265,000 more popular votes than his opponent, and needed only one more electoral vote for victory, contested returns in three southern states still under Republican-controlled Reconstruction governments ultimately led to Hayes's being declared the winner after four tense months of brazen political intrigue and threats of violence that brought armed troops into the streets of the nation's capital.
In this major work of popular history and scholarship, Roy Morris, Jr., takes readers to Philadelphia in America's centennial year, where millions celebrated the nation's industrial might and democratic ideals; to the nation's heartland, where Republicans refought the Civil War by waging a cynical "bloody shirt" campaign to tar the Democrats as the party of disunion and rebellion; and finally into the smoke-filled back rooms of Washington, D.C., where the will of the people was thwarted and the newly won rights of four million former slaves were ignored, leading to nearly ninety years of legalized segregation in the South.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743255523 | 
  • March 2004
List Price $28.99

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In the very last paragraph of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the title character gloomily reckons that it’s time “to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest.” Tom Sawyer’s Aunt Sally is trying to “sivilize” him, and Huck Finn can’t stand it—he’s been there before. It’s a decision Huck’s creator already had made, albeit for somewhat different reasons, a quarter of a century earlier. He wasn’t even...
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Roy Jr. Morris
Photo Credit: Paula Grant Shuford

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