Rutherford B. Hayes Inauguration Ticket
Admittance ticket relating to inauguration of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893). The partly printed cream stock card reading "Inauguration. Admit ___ to Pension Office, March 5, 1877. ___ Commissioner." is stamped "Pension Office Chief Clerk" and dated "Mar 6 1877" at center, otherwise unused and in pristine condition. 3.375" x 1.75".
There had been no clear winner of the bitterly disputed presidential election held on November 7, 1876 between Democratic candidate and sitting New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden (1814-1886) and Republican candidate and sitting Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes. Results from both the popular vote and the Electoral College were put into question by allegations of voter fraud and technical anomalies.
Tilden had won over 50% of the popular vote, but Electoral College results were problematic. 20 votes were disputed because of inconsistencies, where either two different sets had been submitted, or because ineligible electors had participated.
An Electoral Commission comprised of eight Republicans and seven Democrats was appointed in late January 1877 to investigate the results, and a month of congressional hearings followed. Ultimately, the contested Electoral College votes were given to Hayes as part of the Compromise of 1877. Yet after losing the popular vote by 250,000, and eking out an Electoral College victory of 185 to 184, Hayes lacked a presidential mandate. His critics called him "Rutherfraud."
The traditional inauguration day of March 4, 1877 fell on a Sunday in 1877, so Hayes was privately sworn in on Saturday, March 3rd and publicly inaugurated on Monday, March 5th at the U.S. Capitol.
Hayes was one of a succession of late-nineteenth-century Republican presidents who consolidated Reconstruction policies after the Civil War. During the Civil War, Hayes attained the rank Brevet Major General in the Union Army. He became involved in politics after the war, serving in the 39th U.S. Congress and later as Governor of Ohio. Many of his contemporaries viewed Hayes's single term as one of the best of the worst, but historians concede that he also achieved a lot. He is credited with further reconciling the North and South, instituting civil service reforms, advocating for hard currency, and even restoring popular faith in the presidency.
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