The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876: Testimony of Richland Parish Residents Before Select Congressional Committee

These documents (readable online below) include interviews from a Congressional Oversight committee with white and black residents of Richland Parish, concerning the highly disputed election results in the 1876 Presidential Election. The United States presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed presidential elections in American history. Samuel J. Tilden of New York outpolled Ohio’s Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, and had 184 electoral votes to Hayes’ 165, with 20 votes uncounted. 

In Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon one elector was replaced after being declared illegal for being an “elected or appointed official”. The question of who should have been awarded these electoral votes is the source of the continued controversy. An informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute: the Compromise of 1877, which awarded all 20 electoral votes to Hayes. In return for the Democrats’ acquiescence to Hayes’ election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction. For a full account of all interviews in others parishes of Louisiana, download the full report free here from Google Books.

Names referenced in these interviews include the following:

  • A.B. Cooper, Election Commissioner at Alto;
  • J.W. Yarborough, Farmer in the 3rd Ward;
  • B.O. Edwards, Police Juror from Girard;
  • Wash McGee, African-American resident;
  • Pleasant Boseman, African-American Methodist Preacher from Delhi;
  • J.A. Hemler, farmer near Alto; Gabriel Roberts, African-American farmer in the 5th Ward on Dr. McLeroy’s Plantation;
  • Frank Moore, United States Deputy Marshal;
  • F. Hatch, planter in Ward 5;
  • Henry Hopgood, African-American resident of Delhi;
  • Sam Harper, African-American resident of Delhi;
  • Leopold Rosenfeld, German immigrant and merchant living in Delhi;
  • Edwin Irwin, Delhi merchant;
  • John Bishop, Delhi merchant and planter;
  • H.P. Wells, Delhi attorney;
  • P.P. Freeman, farmer from Delhi;
  • Friday McIntosh, African-American farmer living in the 5th Ward;
  • Andrew Bracey, African-American resident of Ward 5;
  • A. Dyson, farmer from Ward 5;
  • H.F. Vickers, farmer in Ward 5 and Elections Supervisor;
  • Benjamin Holland, African-American farmer in Ward 5;
  • C.H. Moore, Sheriff of Richland Parish (elected in fall of 1874, commissioned in 1875;
  • Wesley Ellison, African-American farmer from Girard;
  • Fortune Moulton, African-American farmer from Ward 5 on Captain Thomas’ plantation;
  • J.A. Hemler, farmer from Alto;
  • Thomas Jones, farmer from Girard;
  • O.T. Smith, Deputy sheriff in Richland Parish
  • J.F. Kelly
  • Jesse Jones, African-American farmer from Ward 5 near Red Mouth;
  • William N. Potts, attorney from Rayville;
  • Abraham Jenkins, African-American farmer in Ward 5 near Mr. Dyson’s place;

Official Documents (Tip: use +- zoom slider to view printed account of the interviews)

These documents include interviews from a Congressional Oversight committee and residents of Richland Parish, concerning the election results in the 1876 Presidential Election. The United States presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed presidential elections in American history. Samuel J. Tilden of New York outpolled Ohio’s Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, and had 184 electoral votes to Hayes’ 165, with 20 votes uncounted. 

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