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(PRESIDENTS--1876 CAMPAIGN.) Pierrepont, Edwards. Letter on the investigation of losing candidate Samuel Tilden for tax evasion. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown recipient. 2 pages, 7 3/4 x 5 inches, on one folding sheet; folds, short separation at center fold. New York, circa late 1877
Samuel J. Tilden lost the disputed 1876 presidential election to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, and soon found himself facing federal tax evasion charges. This letter includes the Department's charge to a three-man commission tasked with determining: "First, whether there is any reasonable probability that the government will be successful on the trial; Second, what will be the probable length & cost of the trial; Third, whether the evidence will justify the government in incurring the expenses of a trial in view of all the circumstances of the case." This document is in the hand of one of the commissioners, Edwards Pierrepont, a Republican Hayes supporter, and is appended to a cover letter by Pierrepont noting that "this will relieve the government entirely." The commission apparently decided the case was worth pursuing; arguments began in the United States District Court in New York on 19 January 1878. The effort to "lock him up" was unsuccessful.
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