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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: General History and Description >> Late 19th Century, 1865-1900 >> Rutherford B. Hayes' Administration, 1877-1881
An Overview of Rutherford B. Hayes' Administration

Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President by a margin of only one electoral vote. His victory over Samuel J. Tilden in 1876 climaxed the most disputed presidential election in U.S. history. Congress had to create a special Electoral Commission to decide the winner, and the final decision wasn't made until the day before the President was scheduled to take the oath of office.

During Hayes' administration, the United States continued its remarkable growth. America became more industrialized than ever before, and labor unions gained thousands of new members. The population of New York City soared above a million, General Lew Wallace won nationwide fame for his novel Ben-Hur, and Thomas A. Edison visted the White House to demonstrate the phonograph.

official White House portrait of Rutherford Hayes

The Election of 1876
Place of Nominating Convention Cincinnati
Ballot on Which Nominated 7th
Democratic Opponent Samuel J. Tilden
Greenback Opponent Peter Cooper
Electoral Vote 185 (Hayes ) to 184 (Tilden) to 0 (Cooper)
Popular Vote 4,288,311 (Tilden) to 4,034,311 (Hayes) to 75,973 (Cooper)
His Vice-President and Cabinet
Vice-President William A. Wheeler
Secretary of State William M. Evarts
Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman
Secretary of War George W. McCrary
Alexander Ramsey (1879)
Attorney General Charles Devens
Postmaster General David M. Key
Horace Maynard (1880)
Secretary of the Navy Richard W. Thompson
Alexander Ramsey (1880)
Nathan Goff, Jr. (1881)
Secretary of the Interior Carl Schurz
Domestic Events During His Administration
U.S. population was 51,500,000 in 1881.
June 1877 Hayes issued an executive order depoliticizing the civil service system.
1877 Reconstruction ended when the last federal occupation troops left the South.
1877 A railroad strike caused so much violence that Hayes called out federal troops.
1878 Hayes vetoed a bill that would have restricted incoming vessels to no more than fifteen Chinese passengers.
1878 Congress passed the Bland-Allison Silver Purchase Act over Hayes' veto.
1878 The Hayes' began the custom of Easter egg rolling by children on the White House lawn.
World Events During His Administration
1877-1878 The Russo-Turkish War gave Russia control over important areas in the Balkans and near the Black Sea.
1877 The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison.
1879-1883 Chile won mineral-rich land from Bolivia and Peru in the War of the Pacific.
1879 Electric street lights were first used.
1880 The island of Tahiti became a French colony.

SEE ALSO
New York City
Thomas A. Edison
Election of 1876
Secretary of State
Carl Schurz
Phonograph
Bolivia

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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: General History and Description >> Late 19th Century, 1865-1900 >> Rutherford B. Hayes' Administration, 1877-1881

This page was last updated on October 03, 2017.