Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886

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Samuel Jones Tilden (February 9, 1814 – August 4, 1886) was the 25th Governor of New York and the Democratic candidate for president in the disputed election of 1876. Tilden is the only individual to win an outright majority of the popular vote in a United States presidential election but lose the election.

Tilden was born into a wealthy family in New Lebanon, New York. Attracted to politics at a young age, he became a protégé of Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States. After studying at Yale University and New York University School of Law, Tilden began a legal career in New York City, becoming a noted corporate lawyer. He served in the New York State Assembly and helped launch Van Buren's third party, anti-slavery candidacy in the 1848 presidential election. Though he opposed the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Tilden supported the Union during the American Civil War. After the Civil War, Tilden was selected as the chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, and he managed Democratic nominee Horatio Seymour's campaign in the 1868 presidential election.

Tilden initially cooperated with the state party's Tammany Hall faction, but he broke with them in 1871 due to boss William M. Tweed's rampant corruption. Tilden won election as Governor of New York in 1874, and in that office he helped break up the "Canal Ring". Tilden's battle against public corruption, along with his personal fortune and electoral success in the country's most populous state, made him the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 1876. Tilden was selected as the nominee on the second ballot of the 1876 Democratic National Convention. In the general election, Tilden faced Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes, another governor with reform credentials. Tilden focused his campaign on civil service reform, support for the gold standard, and opposition to high taxes, but many of his supporters were more concerned with ending Reconstruction in the South.

Most observers initially believed that Tilden had won the election, but disputes in four states left both Tilden and Hayes without a majority of the electoral vote. As Tilden had won 184 electoral votes, one vote shy of a majority, a Hayes victory required that he sweep all of the disputed electoral votes. Against Tilden's wishes, Congress appointed the bipartisan Electoral Commission to settle the controversy. Republicans had a one-seat advantage on the Electoral Commission, and in a series of party-line rulings, ruled that Hayes had won all of the disputed electoral votes. In the Compromise of 1877, Democratic leaders agreed to accept Hayes as the victor in return for the end of Reconstruction. Tilden was a major contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1880 and 1884 presidential elections, but declined to run.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Crane, Morton Eddy, 1857-1912. Letters, 1868-1912. Massachusetts Historical Society
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referencedIn Samuel Freeman Miller Correspondence, 1854-1887 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Millard Fillmore letters and documents, 1840-1869 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Bigelow, John, 1817-1911. Letters, 1880-1906. United States Military Academy, USMA Library
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referencedIn Childs, George William, 1829-1894. George William Childs papers [manuscript], 1882-1892. University of Virginia. Library
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referencedIn Meserole, B. R. Map no. 2 of property in the city of Brooklyn, county of Kings, lately belonging to Samuel J. Tilden, now deceased, & filed in the Kings County Register's Office, 1899, and surveyed July 1897 / by B.R. Meserole, city surveyor. Brooklyn Historical Society
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referencedIn Stuart, H. L. ALS : New York to Gov. [Samuel J.] Tilden, 1875 July 12. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square
referencedIn Flick, Alexander Clarence, 1869-1942. Alexander Clarence Flick papers, ca. 1830-1938, bulk (1928-1938). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn David Ames Wells Papers, 1795-1898, (bulk 1860-1886) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
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creatorOf Bigelow, John, 1817-1911. John Bigelow papers, 1839-1912. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Samuel J. Tilden papers, 1794-1886, bulk (1835-1876) New York Public Library System, NYPL
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referencedIn Wall and Machir Families. Letters 1 January 1865 to 27 October 1898. The Filson Historical Society
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Letter, 1865 February 12. American Periodical Series I
creatorOf Bancroft, George, 1800-1891. George Bancroft papers, 1823-1890. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Bulkley, John McClelland, 1840-1914. John McClelland Bulkley papers, 1874-1884. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
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referencedIn Springer, William M. Letter : Washington, D.C., to John A. McClernand, Springfield, Ill., 1876 June 19. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Harrison, Carter H. (Carter Henry), 1860-1953. Carter H. Harrison IV papers, 1637-1953, (bulk 1840-1950). Newberry Library
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referencedIn Miller, Samuel Freeman, 1816-1890. Papers, 1854-1887. Library of Congress
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Samuel J. Tilden letters to Catherine Peirson, 1848-1880 (bulk 1848-1863) New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Meserole, B. R. Map no. 1 of property in the city of Brooklyn, county of Kings, lately belonging to Samuel J. Tilden, now deceased, and filed in the Kings County Register's Office, 1899, and surveyed July 1897 / by B.R. Meserole, city surveyor. Brooklyn Historical Society
referencedIn Bulkley, John McClelland, 1840-1914. John McClelland Bulkley papers, 1874-1884. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
referencedIn Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893. Letter, 1875 September 21. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Chase, G. K. G.K. Chase letter, 1876 Nov. 20. Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Sumner, William Graham, 1840-1910. William Graham Sumner papers, 1863-1946 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Stephens, Alexander Hamilton, 1812-1883. Alexander H. Stephens papers, 1844-1882. Georgia Newspaper Project
referencedIn Kelly, Katharine Barrett,. Local history documents and ephemera, 1807-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
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referencedIn Records of the National Park Service, 1785 - 2006. National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records, 2013 - 2017 National Archives Library, National Archives Records Administration
referencedIn Barlow, Samuel L. M. (Samuel Latham Mitchill), 1826-1889. Papers of Samuel L. M. Barlow, 1776-1905 (bulk 1885-1889). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Autograph signature : Cleveland, Ohio, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Henry Adams papers, 1871-1938 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Coffin, James H. (James Henry), 1806-1873. James Henry Coffin Papers, 1848-1884 Smithsonian Institution Archives
referencedIn Burns, Charles DeF.?. Letter to unidentified recipient, 1885 June 22. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Robertson, Wyndham. Papers, 1768-1925 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Davis, David, 1815-1886. David Davis papers, 1815-1964 (bulk 1815-1886). Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Andrew Johnson correspondence, 1851-1866 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Pasko, W. W. (Wesley Washington), 1840-1897. Letters received by W.W. Pasko in reply to invitations extended to attend the unveiling of a bust of Horace Greeley, 1876. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Willers family papers, 1820-1908. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Kelly, John, 1821-1886. John Kelly papers, 1879-1885. New York State Historical Documents
referencedIn Notes on investigation into finances of Samuel J. Tilden, [between 1876 and 1880]. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
creatorOf Shelby, William R. William R. Shelby papers, 1885-1907 Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
referencedIn Charles C. P. Clark letter to Samuel Tilden, 1899 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Autograph File, T, 1580-1975. Houghton Library
referencedIn Stoughton, E. W. (Edwin Wallace), 1818-1882. E.W. Stoughton correspondence, 1876 November 22. Library of Congress
referencedIn George Bancroft papers, 1823-1890 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Marcy, William L. (William Learned), 1786-1857. William L. Marcy papers, 1806-1930 (bulk 1806-1857). Library of Congress
referencedIn Chandler, William E. (William Eaton), 1835-1917. William E. Chandler papers, 1863-1917. Library of Congress
referencedIn Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1795-1858. Papers, 1815-1857. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn McCormick, Cyrus Hall, 1809-1884. Correspondence and subject file, 1788-1939. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
referencedIn Tilden Trust. Tilden Trust records, 1878-1938. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn William E. Chandler Papers, 1863-1917 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Letter to Horatio Seymour, 1864 November 2. American Periodical Series I
creatorOf Samuel J. Tilden papers, 1794-1886, 1835-1876 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Samuel J. Tilden papers, 1876-1880. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Manning, Henry Swan, b. 1844. Papers, 1863-1879. The Filson Historical Society
creatorOf Adams, Charles Francis, 1835-1915. Bryant-Godwin papers, 1804-1913, bulk (1820-1898). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Parris, Edward Louden, 1837-1921. Papers, 1876-1879. University of Oslo Medical Library
referencedIn Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921. ALS [signed with initials] [n.d., but written on verso of Hotel Brunswick letterhead printed "188-"] : [New York] to readers of the Courier-Journal. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Gray, David, 1870-1968. Papers, 1855-1962 Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Autograph File, T, 1580-1975. Houghton Library
referencedIn William Maxwell Evarts Papers, 1667-1918, (bulk 1877-1891) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Lindley, Harlow, b. 1875. Illinois in the Hayes-Tilden contest / by Harlow Lindley. Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center, Hayes Presidential Center
referencedIn Thomas F. Bayard Papers, 1780-1899, (bulk 1860-1889) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn John Bigelow papers, 1839-1912 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Thomas F. Bayard Papers, 1780-1899, (bulk 1860-1889) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of U.S. Attorneys. 1821 - 1994. Letters Received
referencedIn Duane Family Collection, 1764-1933 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn David B. Hill Papers, 1885-1910 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn The cipher dispatches : scrapbook, 1876-1879. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Charles O'Conor letters and documents, 1853-1878 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Samuel J. Tilden letters to Catherine Peirson, 1848-1880, 1848-1863 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Tilden Trust records, 1878-1938 The New York Public Library. New York Public Library Archives.
referencedIn Alexander Clarence Flick papers, ca. 1830-1938, 1928-1938 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Meserole, J. V. Map of property situated in the Seventeenth Ward of the city of Brooklyn belonging to Samuel J. Tilden / J.V. Meserole, city surveyor. Brooklyn Historical Society
referencedIn Finger, Glenn, Mrs. Tilden School golden jubilee : November 10th, 1939, St. Paul, Minn. : [typescript]. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Records of the Office of Speechwriting (Clinton Administration), 1993 - 2001. David Kusnet's Files, 1993 - 1994 William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum
referencedIn Tilden Estate and Trust records, 1886-1930, 1890-1915 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886. Samuel J. Tilden correspondence, 1870 April 15. Library of Congress
referencedIn Stevenson, J. W. (John White), 1812-1886. John White Stevenson papers, 1869-1885, 1877-1885 (bulk dates). University of Kentucky Libraries
referencedIn Porter, James D. (James Davis), 1828-1912. Letter, 1876 July 25, Nashville, Tennessee [to] S.J. Tilden, Albany, New York. Tennessee State Library & Archives, TSLA
referencedIn Davis, John Givan, 1810-1866. Papers, 1800-1889. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Miller, Samuel Freeman, 1816-1890. Samuel Freeman Miller correspondence and diaries, 1854-1887. Library of Congress
referencedIn Reid Family Fapers, 1795-1970, (bulk 1869-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
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referencedIn L.V.F. Randolph papers, 1895-1919 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Marble, Manton, 1834-1917. Manton Marble papers, 1838-1916 (bulk 1864-1898). Library of Congress
referencedIn Seymour, Horatio, 1810-1886. Papers, 1764-1886. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn White, John. Letter, 1876 March 20. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Duane family. Papers, 1770-1933. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Barr family. Papers 1850-1912. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Heinz History Center Detre Library and Archives
referencedIn Morris-Jumel Mansion (New York, N.Y.). Historic documents, 1752-[ca.1861] Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Robertson, Wyndham, 1803-1888. Family papers, 1768-1925 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Burrows family. Burrows family papers, 1760-1916. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Henry, 1838-1918 person
associatedWith Bancroft, George, 1800-1891. person
associatedWith Barlow, Samuel L. M. (Samuel Latham Mitchill), 1826-1889. person
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associatedWith Bayard, Thomas F. (Thomas Francis), 1828-1898. person
associatedWith Benton, Joel, 1832-1911. person
associatedWith Bigelow, John, 1817-1911. person
associatedWith Bocock, Thomas S., 1815-1891. person
associatedWith Brodhead, Henry. person
associatedWith Bryant, William Cullen, 1794-1878. person
associatedWith Bulkley, John McClelland, 1840-1914. person
associatedWith Burns, Charles DeF. person
associatedWith Burrows family. family
associatedWith Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1795-1858. person
associatedWith Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1818-1893. person
associatedWith Chandler, William E. (William Eaton), 1835-1917. person
associatedWith Chase, G. K. person
associatedWith Childs, George William, 1829-1894. person
associatedWith Clark, Charles C. P., 1822-1899 person
associatedWith Crane, Morton Eddy, 1857-1912. person
associatedWith Dana, Charles A. (Charles Anderson), 1819-1897. person
associatedWith Davis, David, 1815-1886. person
associatedWith Davis, John Givan, 1810-1866. person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
leaderOf Democratic Party. New York (State) corporateBody
associatedWith Democratic Party (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Doolittle, James Rood, 1815-1897. person
associatedWith Duane family family
associatedWith Duane family. family
associatedWith Evarts family family
associatedWith Evarts family. family
associatedWith Evarts, William Maxwell, 1818-1901. person
associatedWith Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874 person
associatedWith Fish, Hamilton, 1808-1893. person
correspondedWith Fish, James, fl. 1870 person
associatedWith Fleming, William Henry. person
associatedWith Flick, Alexander Clarence, 1869-1942. person
associatedWith Foote family. family
associatedWith Gray, David, 1870-1968. person
associatedWith Harrison, Carter H. (Carter Henry), 1860-1953. person
associatedWith Heaton, Jacob, 1809-1888. person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Hill, David B. (David Bennett), 1843-1910. person
associatedWith Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875 person
associatedWith Kelly, John, 1821-1886. person
associatedWith Kelly, Katharine Barrett, person
associatedWith Lindley, Harlow, b. 1875. person
associatedWith Manning, Daniel person
associatedWith Manning, Daniel. person
associatedWith Manning, Henry Swan, b. 1844. person
correspondedWith Marble, Manton, 1834-1917. person
correspondedWith Marcy, William L. (William Learned), 1786-1857. person
associatedWith McCormick, Cyrus Hall, 1809-1884. person
associatedWith Meserole, B. R. person
associatedWith Meserole, J. V. person
associatedWith Miller, Samuel Freeman, 1816-1890. person
associatedWith Morris-Jumel Mansion (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith New York City Council of Political Reform. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Public Library. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Governor (1875-1876 : Tilden) corporateBody
memberOf New York (State). Legislature. Assembly corporateBody
associatedWith New York (State). Militia. corporateBody
alumnusOrAlumnaOf New York University corporateBody
associatedWith O'Conor, Charles, 1804-1884 person
associatedWith Olney, Peter B. person
associatedWith Ormsby House (Carson City, Nev.) corporateBody
associatedWith Parris, Edward L. person
associatedWith Pasko, W. W. (Wesley Washington), 1840-1897. person
associatedWith Patterson, George Washington, 1799-1879 person
associatedWith Peirson, Catherine person
associatedWith Peirson, Catherine. person
associatedWith Peirson, Nelson person
associatedWith Peirson, Nelson. person
associatedWith Porter, James D. (James Davis), 1828-1912. person
associatedWith Queen, Montgomery, d. 1901 person
associatedWith Randolph, L. V. F. (Lewis Van Syckel Fitz), 1838-1920. person
associatedWith Randolph, L. V. F. (Lewis Van Syckel Fitz), 1838-1921 person
associatedWith Reid family family
associatedWith Rice, William Gorham, 1856-1945. person
associatedWith Robertson, Wyndham, 1803-1888. person
associatedWith Seymour, Horatio, 1810-1886. person
associatedWith Shelby, William R. person
associatedWith Smith, Welcome. person
associatedWith Springer, William M. person
associatedWith Stephens, Alexander Hamilton, 1812-1883. person
associatedWith Stevenson, J. W. (John White), 1812-1886. person
associatedWith Stoughton, E. W. (Edwin Wallace), 1818-1882. person
correspondedWith Stuart, H. L. person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith Sumner, William Graham, 1840-1910. person
associatedWith Tammany Hall. corporateBody
associatedWith Thompson, Charles. person
associatedWith Tilden Trust corporateBody
associatedWith Tilden Trust corporateBody
associatedWith Tilden Trust. corporateBody
associatedWith Tilden Trust. corporateBody
associatedWith Tilden Trust. corporateBody
associatedWith Tweed, William Marcy, 1823-1878. person
associatedWith United States. Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Viking (Yacht) corporateBody
associatedWith Wall and Machir Families. person
associatedWith Watterson, Henry, 1840-1921. person
associatedWith Weed, Smith M. person
associatedWith Weed, Smith M. person
correspondedWith Wells, David Ames, 1828-1898. person
associatedWith White, John. person
associatedWith Willers family. family
almaMaterOf Yale University. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Yonkers NY US
New Lebanon NY US
Albany NY US
Subject
Presidents--United States--Election--1876
Railroad law
Practice of law
Subways--New York (State)--New York
Women--19th century
Political parties--United States
Railroads--Finance
Elections
Canals
Canals--Pennsylvania
Criminal investigation
Subways
Railroads and state
Elections--United States
Elections--Corrupt practices
Railroads--United States
Railroad land grants
Canals--New York (State)
Presidents--Election--1876
Real property
Women--Massachusetts--19th century
Tweed Ring
Railroads
Political parties
Occupation
Lawyers
Governors--New York (State)
Politicians
State Representative
Function

Person

Birth 1814-02-09

Death 1886-08-04

Male

Americans

English

Information

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