National Geographic : 1965 May
MINIATURE BY OLAF C. SELTZER, DANISH-BORN PAINTER OF THE AMERICAN WEST,GILCREASE INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN HISTORY AND ART the disputed electoral votes went to Hayes, he would win; a single one would elect Tilden. The country was in a furor as months of uncertainty followed. Behind the scenes, hec tic negotiations proceeded between southern Democrats and northern Republicans. The Republicans promised the southerners at least one Cabinet seat, Federal patronage, subsidies for internal improvements, and withdrawal of Federal troops from Louisiana and South Carolina. The southerners accepted. Electoral Commission Decides Race At the end of January, 1877, Congress es tablished a special Electoral Commission to rule upon the disputed votes. The commis sion, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, decided every one of the contests in favor of Hayes by a vote of eight to seven. The high-minded Hayes chose men of high caliber for his Cabinet, but outraged many Republicans, since not only was his Postmas ter General an ex-Confederate (to fulfill his promise to the southerners), but one of his Cabinet officers had bolted the party as a Liberal Republican in 1872. He won a battle with Senator Roscoe Conkling, leader of a 688 Republican faction known as the Stalwarts, over appointments to the New York Customs House, Conkling's patronage bailiwick. But Congress steadfastly ignored Hayes's pleas for overall Civil Service reform. In his policies toward the South, Hayes pledged in his Inaugural that the rights of Negroes would be protected, but advocated the restoration of "wise, honest, and peaceful local self-government." This meant the with drawal of troops, which Hayes hoped, to gether with other conciliatory policies, would lead to the building of a "new Republican party" in the South to which white business men and conservatives would rally. Many of the leaders of the New South did indeed favor Republican economic policies and approved Hayes's financial conservatism, but they faced annihilation at the polls if they joined the party of Reconstruction. Hayes, who had announced in advance that he would serve only one term, retired in 1881 to his 25-acre estate, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, where he spent the last 12 years of his life. His personal papers and other his toric items are preserved there in the Hayes Memorial Library and Museum.