DRAFT OF THE ADDRESS PREPARED FOR THE MINORITY OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF 1877 - In this instance the minority was the Democratic Party even though the Democratic Party controlled the House of Representative. There were seven Democrats and eight Republicans on the Electoral Commission; Five from the House of Represnetatives, Five U.S. Senators and Five Supreme Court Justices. The Republicans voted strictly along Party lines and gave the deciding vote to Hayes, even though he lost the popular vote by over 254,000 votes.
Address of and BY THE HONORABLE JOSIAH G. ABBOTT, L.L.D. – Massachusetts – House of Representatives and a member of the Electoral Commission.
House of Representatives Votes Tilden in as the 19th President of the United States
On the day previous to the 3rd of March the House of Representatives, by a vote of 137 to 88 adopted a series of preambles introductory to the following resolution:
Resolved by the House of Representatives of the United States, “That it is the duty of the House to declare, ad this Houses does solemnly declare, that Samuel J. Tilden, of the State of New York, received 196 electoral votes for the office of President of the United States, all of which votes were cast and lists thereof signed, certified, and transmitted, to the seat of the government, directed to the President of the Senate, in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States, by electors legally eligible and qualified as such electors, each of whom had been duly appointed and elected in the manner directed by the Legislature of the State in and for which he cast his vote as aforesaid; and that said Samuel J. Tilden having thus received the votes of a majority of the electors appointed as aforesaid; her was thereby duly elected President of the United States of America, for the term of four years commencing on the 4th day of March, A.D. 1877; and this House further declares that Thomas A. Hendricks, having received the same number of electoral votes for the office of Vice President of the United States that were cast for Samuel J. Tilden for President as aforesaid, and at the same time and in the manner, it is the opinion of this House that that the said Thomas A. Hendricks, of the State of Indiana, was duly elected Vice President of the United States for the term of four years commencing on the 4th day of March A.D. 1877”
The Democratic minority of the Electoral Commission directed the Honorable Josiah Gardner Abbott, on the of their colleagues from Massachusetts, to prepare an address to the American people, protesting against the decisions of the majority, in which he was to set forth the reason for their action which, under the laws establishing the commission, they had no opportunity of reporting to Congress. This address is a vigorous and compact statement of the wrongs with they and the country had sustained at the hands of the majority, but, for reasons which have not transpired, was never promulgated. It is understood however, that the result would not have been changed by protesting, and the minority did not wish to further weaken the respect for the government from which there was no refuge but in revolution. For a copy of this protest, which is an essential part of the history of the Electoral Commission, Read Below:.