Tilden, Samuel J(ones)

Tilden, Samuel J(ones)

biographical name

(born Feb. 9, 1814, New Lebanon, N.Y., U.S.—died Aug. 4, 1886, Greystone, N.Y.) U.S. politician. He was a leader of New York's Democratic Party, and, as state party chairman (1865–75), he effected the overthrow of the Tammany Hall boss William Magear Tweed. As governor (1875–76) he continued his reforms, exposing the Canal Ring, a group of politicians and contractors who had defrauded the state. In 1876 he was the Democratic nominee for president. The bitterly fought campaign ended in a popular-vote victory for Tilden, but Republicans contested the results in four states. To settle the controversy, Congress appointed the Electoral Commission, which decided in favour of the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes (see also electoral college). Unwilling to cause further conflict, Tilden accepted the decision and returned to his prosperous law practice. On his death he left his large fortune to establish a free public library for New York City.

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