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THE



X WRITINGS AND SPEECHES



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SAMUEL J. TILDEN

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EDITED BY

JOHN BIGELOW



IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. II.



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NEW YORK
HARPER AND BROTHERS



Copyright, 1885, by JOHN BIGELOW.



All rights reserved.



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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC L,



BftANCM

CONTENTS OF VOL. II.



W



PAGE
XXXI. ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM. ADDRESS OF MR. TILDEN

AT SYRACUSE UPON HIS NOMINATION FOR GOVERNOR

IN 1874 9-14

XXXII. THE POLITICAL DUTIES OF YOUNG MEN. ADDRESS TO
THE YOUNG MEN'S DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF NEW YORK
SOON AFTER HIS ELECTION AS GOVERNOR IN 1874. . 15-19

XXXIII. INAUGURATION SPEECH AS GOVERNOR 20-22

XXXIV. FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE AS GOVERNOR, JANUARY, 1875 23-74
XXXV. THE VIOLATED SOVEREIGNTY OF LOUISIANA. A SPECIAL

MESSAGE TO THE NEW YORK LEGISLATURE, JANUARY

12, 1875 75-84

XXXVI. THE POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE TO REMOVE FROM

OFFICE FOR CAUSE 85-94

XXXVII. ABUSES AND MISMANAGEMENT OF THE CANALS. SPECIAL

MESSAGE TO THE LEGISLATURE IN MARCH, 1875 . . 95-116
XXXVIII. MUNICIPAL RJ^GI.M. SPECIAL MESSAGE TO THE LEG-
ISLATURE, MAY, 1875 117-137

XXXIX. VETO MESSAGES ir 1S75 138-212

XL. VACATION SPEECHES, ."BUFFALO . ....... 213-218

XLI. VACATION SPEECHES. SYRACUSE . 219-222

XLII. VACATION SPEECHES. UTICA 223-227

XLIII. VACATION SPEECHES. CENTRAL NEW YORK FAIR . 228-233
XLIV. VACATION SPEECHES. HEBREW CHARITIES . . . 234-236
XLV. SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE TO THE LEGISLATURE, JANU-
ARY 4, 1876 237-295












CONTENTS.



PACK

XL VI. RESULTS OF THE CASAL INVESTIGATION. REPLY TO A

RESOLUTION OP THE SENATE ........ 296-300

XLVII. ADDITIONAL RESULTS OF THE CANAL INVESTIGATION.
A SPECIAL COMMUNICATION TO THE LEGISLATURE,
MARCH, 1876 ............. 301-305

XL VIII. THE COMMISSION OF EMIGRATION. SPECIAL COMMUNI-

CATION TO THE LEGISLATURE, APRIL, 1878 . . . 306-309
XLIX. VETO MESSAGES TO THE LEGISLATURE IN 1S76 . . . 310-345
L. SPEECH AT AN ANNUAL DINNER OF THE NEW YORK

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MAY 4, 1S76 .... 346-350

LI. VACATION SPEECH. - - AT THE FAIR OF THE YOUNG

WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, MAY, 1876 . . 351-353
LII. REPLY TO GENERAL MCCLERNAND'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF
MR. TILDEN'S NOMINATION FOR THE PRESIDENCY BY
THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, AT ST. Louis,
IN JUNE, 1876 ............. 354-358

LIU. LETTER ACCEPTING THE NOMINATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC

NATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN 1876 359-373
LIV. ADDRESS OF WELCOME TO THE SARATOGA CONFERENCE,

SEPTEMBER 5, 1876 ........... 374-379

LV. WAR CLAIMS AND THE REBEL DEBT. A LETTER TO

THE HON. AERAM S. HEWITT, OCTOBER 24, 1876 . 380-383
LVI. WHO COUNTS THE ELECTORAL VOTE? ...... 384r-452

LVII. BRIEF ON THE FLORIDA ELECTORAL VOTE .... 453-481

LVIII. SPEECH AT THE INAUGURATION OF GOVERNOR ROBINSON 482-484
LIX. THE INDIAN CORN SPEECH ......... 485-492

LX. SPEECH AT THE DINNER GIVEN TO J. S. MORGAN . . 493-498
i t . < t t 'tit

LXI. REPUBLIC 'o& EHPERE/ ^V'^ETCGiv 'ADDRESSED TO THE
DEMOCRATIC 'A^sociATipji. OF 'MASSACHUSETTS, ON THE
ANNIVERSARY .OF '.TVAsLri&UTixS** BIRTHDAY, 1880 . 499-500

' - . e ' < c i

LXH. LETTER DECLINING A RE-NO-MJS ATIO:J TO THE PRESIDENCY,

.. r ' i

ADDRESSED TO D^KiEV Ml^ MYC , CHAIRMAN OF THE
NEW YORK DELEGATION TO THE DEMOCRATIC NA-
TIONAL CONVENTION OF 18SO ........ 501-506

LXIII. THE ANDRE CENTENNIAL .......... 507-509

LXIV. INTERNATIONAL COTTON EXPOSITION ....... 510-513

LXV. JACKSON AND DEMOCRACY . . ..... 514-515



CONTENTS.



PAGE
516-518



LXVI. JEFFERSON AND DEMOCRACY

LXVII. FALSE CONSTRUCTIONS AND CORRUPT PRACTICES. LET-
TER TO THE IROQUOIS CLUB 519-521

LXYIII. SECOND LETTER DECLINING A HE-NOMINATION TO THE
PRESIDENCY, ADDRESSED TO DANIEL MANNING, CHAIR-
MAN OF THE NEW YORK DELEGATION TO THE DEMO-
CRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION OF 1884 .... 522-527

LXIX. LETTER ACKNOWLEDGING THE TRIBUTE PAID TO MR.
TlLDEN BY THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
OF 1884 528-534



SUPPLEMENT. THE FIRST GUN FOR FREE SOIL



535-574



INDEX . 577-000



WRITINGS AND SPEECHES



OF



SAMUEL J. TILDEN.



XXXI.

THE services which Mr. Tilden had rendered in purifying
the judiciary and in sending to prison or into exile the gang of
rogues who, under the lead of William M. Tweed, had been
plundering the treasury of New York city and debauching the
members of our municipal and State legislatures, and to a
greater or less degree the public Press, naturally concentrated
upon him the eyes of the New York Democracy as the most
suitable candidate for governor that the party could provide in
1874.

The Democratic State Convention assembled at Syracuse on
Thursday, the 17th of September of that year, Horatio Seymour
presiding. Mr. Tilden was nominated on the first ballot. In
the evening the citizens of Syracuse, despite a furious rain-
storm, assembled in front of the Yanderbilt House to serenade
him. In an interval of the music Mr. Tilden was conducted
to the balcony and introduced to the assembled multitude by
the late Attorney-General Pratt, of Syracuse. The brief speech
which Mr. Tilden made, after silence and order had been re-
stored, gave the keynote of the campaign, retrenchment in
public expenditures, reform in the public administration,
stricter accountability of public officers, and uncompromising
resistance to " the bad ambition of a third term," which was
then imputed, with only too much justice, to President Grant
and his intimate friends.



F IE

CITY OF NEW YORK



ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM. A CHANGE OF MEN
NECESSARY TO A CHANGE OF MEASURES.

FELLOW-CITIZENS, I thank you for the honor you do me.
I know it is the cause, more than its representative, that in
such a storm calls out this manifestation of interest and
enthusiasm. And well it may !

A peaceful revolution in all government within the United
States is going on to a sure consummation. Ideas of change
pervade the political atmosphere. They spring up from the
convictions of the people. The supporters of the Administra-
tion have lost confidence in it and themselves. The Opposi-
tion become more intense in their convictions and in their
action. Multitudes pass over from support to opposition, or
sink into silent discontent.

Are we asked the causes ? The answer is found in the con-
dition of our country. The fruits of a false and delusive sys-
tem of government finances are everywhere around us. All
business is in a dry-rot. In every industry it is hard to make
the two ends meet. Incomes are shrinking away, and many
men hitherto affluent are becoming anxious about their means
of livelihood. "Working-men are out of employment. The
poor cannot look out upon the light or air of heaven but they
see the wolf at the door.

Inflation no longer inflates. Even while paper money is
swelling out a new emission, values sink. Bankers' balances
in the monetary centres are increased, and call-loans are
cheaper ; but those who need more capital can neither buy
nor borrow any of the forty-four millions of new greenbacks.



i874-] ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM. 11

The truth is that our body politic has been over-drugged with
stimulants. New stimulants no longer lift up the languid
parts to a healthy activity, they merely carry more blood to
the congested centres.

Only one thing remains in its integrity, that is our taxes.
Amid general decay, taxation puts out new sprouts and grows
luxuriantly. If I may borrow a figure from the greatest of
our American poets,

" It seats itself upon the sepulchre,
And of the triumphs of its ghastly foe
Makes its own nourishment/'

National taxes, State taxes, county taxes, town taxes, muni-
cipal taxes ! The collector is as inevitable as the grim mes-
senger of death. Incomes, profits, wages, all these fall ; but
taxes rise.

Six years ago I had occasion to say that while values were
ascending, and for some time after, it might be easy to pay
these taxes out of the froth of our apparent wealth ; but that
when the reaction of an unsound system of government finance
should set in, the enormous taxation which that system had
created would not only consume our incomes and profits, but
trench upon our capital. What was then prediction is now
experience. Retrenchment in public expenditure ; reform in
public administration; simplification and reduction of tariffs
and taxes ; accountability of public officers, enforced by bet-
ter civil and criminal remedies, the people must have
these measures of present relief, measures of security for the
future.

The Federal Government is drifting into greater dangers
and greater evils. It is rushing onward in a career of centra-
lism, absorbing all governmental powers and assuming to man-
age all the affairs of human society. It undertakes to direct
the business of individuals by tariffs not intended for legiti-
mate taxation, by granting special privileges, and by fostering
monopolies at the expense of the people. It has acquired con-
trol of all banks. It has threatened to seize on all the tele-



12 THE WORKS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. [1874.

graphs. It is claiming jurisdiction of all railroad corporations
chartered by the States and amenable to the just authority of
the States. It is going on to usurp control of all our schools
and colleges. Stretching its drag-net over the whole country,
and forcing editors and publishers away from their distant
homes into the courts of the District of Columbia, it is sub-
jecting the free Press of the whole United States, for criticism
of the Administration, to trial bv creatures of the Administra-

v

tion, acting under the eye of the Administration. It has dared
to enforce this tyranny against a freeman of the metropolis of
our State. 1

These tendencies must be stopped, or before we know it the
whole character of our government will be changed ; the
simple and free institutions of our fathers will not only have
become the worst government that has ever ruled over a
civilized people, but it will also be the most ignorant. A
distinguished Republican statesman I mean Senator Conk-
ling lately told me that more than five thousand bills were
before Congress at its last session. In a little time, as we are
now going on, there will be twenty thousand. Nobody can
know what is in them.

We have a country eighteen times as large as France, with
a population of forty-three millions, doubling every thirty
years, and full of activities and interests. A centralized gov-
ernment, meddling with everything and attempting to manage
everything, could not know the wants or wishes of the people
of the localities ; it would be felt only in its blunders and
its wrongs. It would be the most irresponsible, and there-
fore not only the most oppressive, but also the most corrupt,
with which any people have been cursed.

1 This refers to an attempt, in July, 1873, to take Mr. Charles A. Dana, the
editor of the " Sun," from New York to Washington on a charge of libel to be
tried in the police court of that city icithout a jury. The United States district
attorney applied to the United States district judge for a warrant of removal ;
but after a masterly argument in opposition by the late William 0. Bartlett, Judge
Blatchford, in a memorable decision, refused the application (see 7 Benedict's
Reports, p. 1), holding the proposed mode of trial to be unconstitutional.



i8;4-] ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM. 13

To-day the advances which we have made toward this
system are maturing their fatal fruits. The Federal Adminis-
tration is tainted with abuses, with jobbery, and with corruption.
In the dominion which it maintains over the reconstructed
Southern States, organized pillage, on a scale tenfold greater
than that of the Tweed Ring, is the scandal and shame of
the country.

Civil liberty is endangered. It is now certain that President
Grant nourishes the bad ambition of a third term. If the
sacred tradition established by Washington, Jefferson, Madison,
and Jackson can be broken, the President may be re-elected
indefinitely ; and wielding from the centre the immense
patronage which will grow out of such vast usurpation of
authorities by the Federal Government, he will grasp the
means of corrupt influence by which to carry the elections.
There will be no organized thing in the country of sufficient
power to compete with him or to resist him. The forms of
free government may remain, but the spirit and substance will
be changed ; an elective personal despotism will have been
established ; Roman history, in the person of Augustus Ca3sar,
will be repeated.

Thoughtful men are turning their minds to the means of
escape from these overshadowing evils. The Republican party
cannot save the country. Ideas of governmental meddling
and centralism dominate it ; class interests hold it firmly
to evil courses. Throngs of office-holders, contractors, and
jobbers, who have grown up in fourteen years of administra-
tion, in four years of war and during an era of paper money,
are too strong in the machinery of the party for the honest
and well-intending masses of the Republicans. The Republi-
can party could contribute largely to maintain the Union dur-
ing the civil war ; it cannot reconstruct civil liberty and free
institutions after the peace.

A change of men is necessary to secure a change of measures.
The Opposition is being matured and educated to take the
administration. The Democracy, with the traditions of its



14 THE WORKS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. [1874.

best days, will form the nucleus of the opposition. It embraces
vastly the larger body of men of sound ideas and sound prac-
tices in political life. It must remove every taint which has
touched it in evil times. It must become a compact and homo-
geneous mass. It must gather to its alliance all who think
the same things concerning the interests of our Republic. It
is becoming an adequate and effective instrument to reform
administration and to save the country. It reformed itself in
order that it mi2:ht reform the country.

O *

And now in your name and in the name of five hundred
thousand voters we represent, we declare that in this great
work we will tread no step backward. Come weal or come
woe, we will not lower our flag. We will go forward until
a political revolution shall be worked out, and the principles
of Jefferson and Jackson shall rule in the administration of the
Federal Government.

Let us never despair of our country. Actual evils can be
mitigated ; bad tendencies can be turned aside ; the burdens
of government can be diminished ; productive industry will
be renewed ; and frugality will repair the waste of our resources.
Then shall the golden days of the Republic once more return,
and the people become prosperous and happy.



XXXII.

SHORTLY after the fall election of 1874 the Young Men's
Democratic Club a political organization then only about three
years old tendered to the Governor-elect a public reception at
Delmonico's. In response to a toast proposed by Mr. Town-
send Cox, the president of the Club, Mr. Tilden spoke at some
length of the political duties of young men.



THE POLITICAL DUTIES OF YOUNG MEN. ADDEESS
TO THE YOUNG MEN'S DEMOCKATIC CLUB.

GENTLEMEN OF THE CLUB, I should have scarcely felt myself
at liberty to-night to attend any ordinary festivity ; but a meet-
ing of the young men of promise that I see about me, who have
associated for the purpose of securing co-operation in the con-
duct and fulfilment of the duties of citizenship, too much
neglected in this community and everywhere, was an occasion
I felt was entitled to whatever of commendation and encourage-
ment my presence could confer.

I had occasion three years ago, after a period of political
revolution, and on several occasions since, to express my sense
of the consequences in a republican community of the disre-
gard of the duties of citizenship, and to say that it is indispen-
sably necessary in the present condition of our country that
the young men young men whose situation would enable
them to make some sacrifice should come forward and do
their duty to the communities in which they live.

Doubtless several circumstances have contributed to a pretty
general neglect of these duties. Official station does not bring
with it as much distinction as it did in the early days of the
Republic ; men have not the same incentive, therefore, to take
part in public affairs. And then in modern times have sprung
up innumerable industrial enterprises, and other organizations
conceived with special reference to the wants of society, which
have attracted very largely the young men of promise and with-
drawn them from politics and public affairs. Then again, in the
last twenty years for it is little more than that period since
the ill-omened repeal of the Missouri Compromise broke up the



1874] THE POLITICAL DUTIES OF YOUNG MEN. 17

traditions of ancient settlements and kindled the flame of sec-
tional controversy and sectional hatred it has mattered little

tt

what a man's opinions were, what his conduct had been, in re-
gard to any of the ordinary concerns of government or human
society. It was enough that he took a particular view on
certain questions which excited the public mind, questions
of a social character, questions of a sentimental character.
Government and administration of the concerns that affect hu-
man society seemed to receive little attention from the people.
The consequence was that we almost ceased to educate young
men for their part in carrying on the functions of government.

I had occasion in 1867 to look around for somebody to nomi-
nate, at least to exercise what little influence I had in the
nomination ; and in conversation with a gentleman not now
living, who agreed with 'me that we ought to introduce into the
public affairs of this State some young men, after he had
named all he could think of, I told him they were all about
fifty years old, "You are fifty, and I am fifty, and every one
is fifty." And that was the finale of our attempt to discover
young men fit to be charged with public trusts.

Now I don't doubt that there were young men of competency
and character ; but the difficulty was there had been no oppor-
tunity to train any, and if they existed, they were difficult to
find. We have had lately no schools of statesmanship in this
State or in the nation. There have been no statesmen of the
younger class to carry on the government of this country. And
it is because there is in this society the germ of a better future
for our country that I came here to-night to do what I can to
encourage you. I hope you will go forward in the work you
have begun. We who are older than most of those I see around
me would look in vain for those to whom we can hand over
these great trusts if they are not formed within the next few
years, I think there is no institution, no society of men in this
country, that is capable of being more serviceable in this respect
than the Club which I have the pleasure to meet to-night. Go
on, young men ; perfect yourselves in political education ; go

VOL. II. 2



18 THE WORKS OF SAMUEL J. TILDEN. [1874.

back to the original fountains of Democratic-Republican opin-
ions in regard to government ; go back to the primitive sources
of thought in our own country. You will find there all that
you will need to apply to-day. Seek the application of the
great principles of popular government to the problems that are
before us. Seek above all to elevate the standard of official
morality in the public trusts of the country. I can remember
perfectly well when you might stand in the legislative halls of
this State, - - it is not more than eight and twenty years ago,
and no man would suspect any member of being under any influ-
ence, consideration, or motive that was not perfectly legitimate.
I have not time to-night to point out or trace the causes that
have produced such a lamentable decline of official morality.
We are to look to the future ; we are to seek a remedy for the
state of things through which we have been passing : and in
nothing can it be sought so effectively as in a distinct effort
to elevate the tone of morality on political questions, and to
raise our standards of official life. We have reached a period in
national history in which we can no longer foment sectional strife
and conflict and go on prosperously with the ordinary affairs
of government. We have reached a period in which burden-
some taxation forces intelligent consideration of the methods
of raising public revenue, and, above all, the methods of redu-
cing the very undue share which is taken from the earnings of
private industry to carry on the government in this country,
whether municipal, State, or Federal.

We have to meet these political and social problems; we
have to meet them with intelligence and courage, and above
all, with trust in the masses of our people. I have been one
of those who, amid periods pregnant with despondency, still
retained that trust in the body of the American people with
which I began life. I did not incline to censure those who
sometimes felt despondent ; but I myself never lost courage,
never lost my belief that the element of human society which
seeks for what is good is more powerful, if we will trust it,
than all those selfish combinations that would obtain unjust



I874-] THE POLITICAL DUTIES OF YOUNG MEN. 19

advantage over the masses of the people. And I believe I see
here to-night in the intelligent young men who compose this
Club, who have long futures before them, I believe I see among
them those who will be able, if they retain their trust in the
people, if they retain their devotion to principles of right, to
form for this city, for this State, and for this country a great
and noble future.

Gentlemen, go onward in the course you have marked out for
yourselves, each according to his abilities and according to the }
means at his command. Go forward, I say, with courage, energy, '
zeal, and devotion ; and if you seek the objects of ordinary desires
in human society, if you seek fortune, if you seek independence,
if you seek honor, remember I beg that you will remember
that you may acquire them on terms of virtuous self-respect
if only you will have courage to insist upon those terms and
submit to none other.

I had occasion a few years ago to say to a class of young
men about to take their positions in the profession of law that
I believed, and I do believe, it was equally certain that talent,
ability, honor, would achieve everything that the human heart
ought to desire, if only it were insisted that they should be
achieved without any concession of one's conviction of right
or one's sense of duty ; that it was perhaps not quite equally
easy, perhaps not quite so speedy a success, but far more cer-
tain ; and when the object was attained, it would not turn to
ashes in their grasp. I have never known a man so eager for
objects of ambition or of fortune that he sought to obtain
them by indirection, who did not find, when they were attained,
that they failed to satisfy. Even a man who has stolen largely of
public money begins to desire public esteem and to turn round
and contrive how to get it ; and if he cannot get the reality, he
seeks to get the semblance of it. The human heart is incapable
of being satisfied with anything but real victories in the race of
life ; and therefore, young men, and this is the last observa-
tion I have to make to you, ever feel that the right will be
successful, and the right only.



XXXIII.

AT the New York State election in November, 1874, Mr. Til-
den received 416,391 votes for governor, and John A. Dix, the
Republican candidate, 366,074. Mr. Tilden's plurality was
50,317. Two years before, Mr. Dix had been elected gover-
nor by a majority of 55,451. The new Governor was inaugu-
rated on the 1st day of January, 1875. At the hour of eleven
in the morning of that day the Governor-elect, arm in arm
with the retiring Governor, and followed by the members of
their respective staffs, entered the Assembly Chamber; and,
placing themselves in front of the Speaker's desk, Governor
Dix addressed the Governor-elect as follows :

MR. TILDEX, The people of the State have called you to pre-
side over the administration of their government by a majority
which manifests the highest confidence in your integrity, ability,



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