THIS LETTER RELATES TO A U.S. SENATOR AND A U.S. ATTORNEY BOTH INVOLVED IN INVESTIGATING ELECTION FRAUD IN ONE OF THE MOST CONTENTIOUS AND CONTROVERSIAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN AMERICAN HISTORY THAT LED TO THE DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF BLACK VOTERS IN THE SOUTH...
Angus Cameron (1826 – 1897) Handwritten Letter Signed to President Rutherford B. Hayes, "Very truly - Angus Cameron", 2 pgs., 8 x 10.5, on "Law Office of Cameron, Losey & Bunn" letterhead, La Crosse, Wis., Aug 20th, 1877, by the American lawyer, banker, and politician who served ten years (1875-85) as United States Senator from Wisconsin. During this term he was appointed chairman of a committee to investigate alleged election fraud in South Carolina during the disputed United States presidential election of 1876. In part: "To the President - I regret to learn that an effort is making to secure the removal of Hon Charles E. Mayer as U.S. Attorney for the Northern and Middle District of Alabama. I made the acquaintance of Mr. Mayer in the winter of 1876 while he was conducting an important investigation before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections...I was Chairman of a Senate Committee charged during the last session of Congress with the investigation of affairs in Alabama - Mr. Mayer was examined before this sub-committee - a large number of the leading Democrats of the state were also examined before this sub-committee - and although Mr. Mayer has been a Federal Office holder and an active Republican politician for a number of years past; no witness said a word against his official conduct; or his character...I know of no public interest...by his removal...The high personal regard in which I hold Mr. Mayer...have induced me to write you this."
The 1876 United States presidential election held on Tuesday, November 7, 1876, in which Republican nominee Rutherford B. Hayes faced Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. It was one of the most contentious and controversial presidential elections in American history, and gave rise to the Compromise of 1877 by which the Democrats conceded the election to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction and the withdrawal of federal troops from the South. After a controversial post-election process, Hayes was declared the winner. The Compromise in effect ceded power in the Southern states to the Democratic Redeemers, who proceeded to disenfranchise black voters thereafter. The 1876 election is the second of five presidential elections in which the person who won the most popular votes did not win the election, but the only such election in which the popular vote winner received a majority (rather than a plurality) of the popular vote. To date, it remains the election that recorded the smallest electoral vote victory (185–184), and the election that yielded the highest voter turnout of the eligible voting age population in American history, at 81.8%. Although it is not disputed that Tilden outpolled Hayes in the popular vote, after a first count of votes, Tilden had won 184 electoral votes to Hayes' 165, with 20 votes from four states unresolved: in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon, one elector was replaced after being declared illegal for being an "elected or appointed official". The question of who should have been awarded these electoral votes is the source of the continued controversy. An informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute: the Compromise of 1877. Black Republicans felt betrayed as they lost power and were subject to discrimination and harassment to suppress their voting. By 1905, nearly all black men were effectively disenfranchised by state legislatures in every Southern state. In fine condition.