James C. Clark


Samuel J. Tilden’s defeat in the 1876 presidential election has long been the subject for contention and discussion. While many of the causes have received attention, the role played by the secret telegrams between New York and Florida has been overlooked. Confusion over the codes utilized for the telegrams prevented Tilden’s operatives in Florida from purchasing the vote of a key state official. Had the attempt succeeded, the state’s four electoral votes might have been awarded to Tilden, and the prize of the presidency would have gone to him and the Democratic party.