What Price the Presidency?

June 20, 2012 09:00 AM

What the South most needs is peace, and peace depends upon the supremacy of law. There can be no enduring peace, if the constitutional rights of any portion of the people are habitually disregarded. . . . All parts of the Constitution are sacred, and must be sacredly observed the parts that are new no less than the parts that are old. The moral and material prosperity of the Southern states can be most effectually advanced by a hearty and generous recognition of the rights of all, by all a recognition without reserve or exception. 
— Rutherford B. Hayes, accepting the Republican party nomination for presidency of the United States, Columbus, Ohio - July 8, 18762 [An imagine in the original carried the first endnote. Will begin here with #2 to match with original text.]

In 1876, the Republican party had been hurt by financial corruption charges during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant and thus needed a new candidate for the presidency.3 The safe liberal politics, party loyalty, and solid war record of the governor of Ohio, made Rutherford Birchard Hayes the best hope for the Republican party in the 1876 presidential election.4 In the end, Hayes lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. The count was 4,284,757 or 51 percent of the vote for Tilden against 4,033,950 or 48 percent for Hayes.5 However, in order to win, a candidate needed 185 electoral votes.6 With 51 percent of the popular vote, Tilden controlled 184 electoral votes, and with 48 percent of the popular vote, Hayes controlled 165.7 Nevertheless, Hayes became the 19th president of the United States (1877-1881) in one of the most contentious, controversial, and morally bankrupt elections in American history.8 When the dust was settled, and the now infamous Compromise of 1877 in the bag, Hayes had won the presidency by a single electoral vote (185-184).9 Yes, in 1876 the Republican party controlled the White House and the Senate, but at what price? In the aftermath, the Compromise of 1877 gave power to a popular black-faced Northerner named “Jim Crow” and legitimized by “de jury” his racist political career for the next eighty-nine (89) years.10

The Republican Compromise of 1877

Reconstruction was ended by the Compromise of 1877, a morally flawed but historically consequential arrangement that put Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House and removed federal troops from the South. This compromise consisted of an agreement to drop the Negro problem from the agenda of national policy questions. Hayes called it the “let alone” policy. It was similar to what others before him had called “popular sovereignty” and to what others after him have called “benign neglect.” In each case it meant the same thing: No issue of justice was at stake and, therefore, national policy was not required to address the issue. Whatever the Negro problem was, it was not a public problem.
— Alan B. Anderson and George W. Pickering, “Confronting the Color Line: The Broken Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago”11

“One of the strangest things about the career of Jim Crow was that the system was born in the North and reached an advanced age before moving South in force.” — C. Vann Woodward, author of The Strange Career of Jim Crow12

The substance of the Compromise of 187713 stated that Southern Democrats would recognize Hayes as president with the understanding that Republicans would meet certain demands. Here’s the deal. 

The Republican Party pledged to …

Remove All Federal Troops

Removing federal troops from the South would end the Radical Reconstruction Era of the Republican party and leave the “race problem” in the racist xenophobic hands of former Confederate (i.e., democratic-controlled) state legislatures. As such, this clause enabled the Democratic party to regain the political control of the South that they had lost at the end of the American Civil War. In most of these states Black Codes14 were reintroduced, Jim Crow15 was embraced, and a large percentage of black Americans lost the right to vote in future elections.

Rebuild the Southern Economy

This clause required legislation to be passed in order to industrialize the South and get the former Confederate States back on their feet after suffering such a terrible loss during the Civil War.

Fund the Texas and Pacific Railroad

This clause is where it gets interesting. The construction of a transcontinental railroad in the South was the goal of the “Scott Plan,”16 proposed by Thomas Alexander Scott (the “Railroad Prince”), an American businessman who, at the time, was the fourth president of what was the largest corporation in the world—the Pennsylvania Railroad. As a longtime friend of Samuel J. Tilden,17 the Democratic party’s presidential candidate, it was Scott who took the leading role in crafting the Compromise of 1877.

Appoint a Southern Democrat to Hayes’ Cabinet

This resulted in David M. Key,18 the Democratic United States Senator from Tennessee, becoming the Postmaster General. Since Hayes was so narrowly elected, this clause was not unusual or unexpected.

In exchange the Democratic party pledged to . . . 

Accept Hayes’ Presidency

The pledges were made, Hayes removed the troops, but the promises were soon broken. Over the next twenty (20) years, black Americans in the South were systematically disfranchised until virtually none could vote.19

Respect the Rights of Black Americans

Ultimately, once the restraining forces of the Radical Republican party were removed, Jim Crow seized power and shameless segregation ruled the day. Here’s a case in point: In Mississippi, with nothing to keep the South from her predilection for lynching Negroes, white paramilitary hate group members no longer felt the need to disguise themselves as they did in the hay days of the First Ku Klux Klan (1865-1869).20 So complete was the Democratic party’s victory, by way of the Compromise of 1877, that Adelbert Ames, the Republican governor of Mississippi, fled the state rather than face impeachment charges by the newly elected Democratic legislature.21

The Compromise of 1877, also known as the Wormley Agreement22 was settled at the James Wormely Hotel in Washington D.C., at the corner of 15th and “H” Northwest on Saturday, February 26, 1877. How fitting it is to note here that representatives of both the Republican and Democratic parties used a propriety owned by a black American in the North for the venue to reach an agreement that sealed and signaled the Republican party’s abandonment of black Americans in the South (Ecclesiastes 1:9). James Wormley23 was the only black American at the bedside of Abraham Lincoln when he died and, in his defense, took no part in the decisions reached in the Compromise of 1877 and as a proprietor only provided the hall.

The Republican Compromise of 2012

“If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation’s next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.” — Willard Mitt Romney, “My Pro-Life Pledge,” June 18, 201124

During the American Civil War, the national debt had increased by a staggering 4,000 percent (4,000 percent).25 After the war most white Northerners, preoccupied with the economic problems of unemployment and falling farm prices, were less concerned about violent acts of white Southerners against black Americans in the South. So by 1870, “Waving the Bloody Shirt”26 with the blood stains of carpetbaggers (i.e., Northerners who moved to the South) whipped by the Ku Klux Klan had lost its appeal. Furthermore, by 1876 it was clear that the North was satisfied that legislation such as the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments had solved the “race problem” in the South and wanted the Republican party to move on from social issues to economic issues.27 This sounds so very familiar to me. 

Today, the Republican party, wanting to move on from social issues to economic issues,28 is facing the same temptation to satisfy the conscience of her socially conservative constituents with a pro-life presidential candidate that has pledged to limit abortion to only instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.29 This is the Republican Compromise of 2012. Limiting abortion with an executive order that reinstates the Mexico City Policy, with legislation that repeals, restricts, regulates, reduces, and defunds abortion and with the appointment of Supreme Court justices who support reversing Roe v. Wade will not end abortion.

Until the Republican Party . . . 

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana, The Life of Reason (5 volumes, 1905-1906)30

“History is for human self-knowledge . . . the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.” — Robin George Collingwood, The Life of Reason (5 volumes, 1905-1906)31

Abortion is a business; businesses are born with a product and customers are the lifeblood of businesses. Reducing abortion will not end abortion. Removing government subsidies from abortion providers will not end abortion. Reversing the current direction in Washington, D.C. will not end abortion. Until the Republican party embraces the biblical truth that only human life is sacred from the beginning of our biological development until death. Until the Republican party understands that the only stronghold, strategy, and sadistic sanctuary the abortion industrial complex can retreat to, in order to maintain their illegitimate air of credibility, is to portray itself as the only option caring enough to help poor women in communities of color. Until the Republican party moves the hearts and minds of people in a way that meets the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of women and children—helpless, homeless, hungry, or without healthcare. Until the Republican party learns to communicate compassion in a way that helps the poor realize that the golden promises of socialized healthcare only serve to hide the huge economic loss those social programs will cost their children and grandchildren in the future for putting these programs on the government’s credit card. Until the Republican party fiscal conservatives unite with her social conservatives on the common ground of abortion’s $45 trillion dollar cost to our country32 (please note, that’s roughly three times our national debt) and build a strong solidified party presence in America . . .  

History will repeat itself. 

Brothers, we really need to talk.

1. Mark V. Wetherington, “Plain Folk’s Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction Piney Woods Georgia” (http://bit.ly/KLLrsV).
2. Rutherford B. Hayes, “Letter Accepting the Republican Party Nomination for Presidency of the United States” Columbus, Ohio, July 8, 1876, The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (http://bit.ly/KJiIlO).
3. Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Administration Scandals, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/cAr5ZH).
4. Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of The United States, The White House (http://1.usa.gov/btOz9q).
5. United States Presidential Election, 1876, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/ZO3I0).
6. United States Presidential Election, 1876, “Electoral disputes,” Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/dlZtm3).
7. Electoral Commission (United States), Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/KUw4ys).
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. C. Vann Woodward, “The Strange Career of Jim Crow” (http://bit.ly/JJ5Miv). See also Kevin C. Murphy, “Orals Reading Notes: The Strange Career of Jim Crow, C. Vann Woodward” (http://bit.ly/Jx12xK).
11. Confronting the Color Line: The Broken Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, by Alan B. Anderson, George W. Pickering, University of Georgia Press, 528 pages (http://bit.ly/La6nXn).
12. The Origins of “Jim Crow” Laws, The 1898 Wilmington Institute for Education and Research Understanding the Conflict and Its Origins (http://bit.ly/Kr8BAb).
13. Eric Hunter, The Compromise of 1877 (http://bit.ly/Kb5EYs). See also Compromise of 1877, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/8nfVbq) and “The Second Corrupt Bargain,” Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/JLMnQ0).
14. Black Codes (United States), Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/4mZM5k). See also See also JimCrowHistory.Org Glossary: Black Codes (http://bit.ly/MB7swg).
15. Ronald L. F. Davis, Ph. D., “Creating Jim Crow: In-Depth Essay” (http://bit.ly/wfZyBG). See also “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow,” Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - Educational Broadcasting Corporation (http://to.pbs.org/LaDc9j).
16. Thomas A. Scott, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/JLozLZ).
17. Re-Assessing Tom Scott, the “Railroad Prince,” by T. Lloyd Benson and Trina Rossman, Furman University (http://bit.ly/KOfspr).
18. David M. Key, Biography, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/K5Vuch).
19. American President: Rutherford B. Hayes, “End of Reconstruction,” The Miller Center (http://bit.ly/K8Jrtl).
20. Op. cit., Ronald L. F. Davis, Ph. D., “Creating White Supremacy from 1865 to 1890.”
21. Ibid.
22. Wormley Agreement, “African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary,” by John N. Ingham, Lynne B. Feldman, Greenwood Publishing Group, Page 710 (http://bit.ly/LvCmXI). See also the “Infamous Final Scene of The Crime of 1876?” by Nicholas E. Hollis (http://bit.ly/bpFP8h).
23. James Wormley, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/JxuX3d). See also James Wormley Family Archive, PBS Antiques Roadshow (http://to.pbs.org/JxwCFW).
24. My Pro-Life Pledge, Mitt Romney, Romney for President, Inc., June 18, 2011 (http://mi.tt/l7wEg1).
25. Op. cit., American President: Rutherford B. Hayes, “Money and the Economy,” The Miller Center.
26. The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox, by Stephen Budiansky, Penguin Publishers, Prologue, page 2 (http://bit.ly/KGKPWO). See also “Waving the Bloody Shirt, Wikipedia (http://bit.ly/5ZIaQy).
27. Confronting the Color Line: The Broken Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Alan B. Anderson, George W. Pickering, University of Georgia Press, page 25 (http://bit.ly/K5ACjM).
28. California GOP Out of Sync with Most State Voters, by Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 (http://bit.ly/K5EJMR). See also For Republican, Social Issues Are Losers, by Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor, posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012 (http://bit.ly/AgyAuI).
29. Op. cit., My Pro-Life Pledge, Mitt Romney, Romney for President, Inc., June 18, 2011.
30. George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, Chapter XII, 1905 US (Spanish-Born) philosopher (1863 — 1952) (http://bit.ly/eRx9Sa).
31. Robin George Collingwood, a British philosopher and historian and author of the book The Idea of History (http://bit.ly/1sE3C) and (http://bit.ly/JLYT22). See also “Learning from History” (http://bit.ly/JjHX1y).
32. Dennis M. Howard, “Economic Impact of Abortion” The Movement for a Better America, Inc. (http://bit.ly/10rYIN).

Walter B. Hoye II is both president and founder of the Issues4life Foundation http://www.issues4life.org/ and the California Civil Rights Foundation. God used the premature birth (six months, 2.1 pounds) of his son to teach him that the fetus is a person—a living, breathing human being. In 2008, Walter and his wife, Lori, were the recipients of the 4th Annual Walk for Life West Coast’s St. Gianna Molla Award for “courage under fire” in the pro-life movement. He serves as an incredible leader for the cause of the preborn despite the personal costs, and has even been unjustly jailed for his peaceful defense of the preborn on a sidewalk outside an abortion clinic. His “Letter from the Santa Rita Jail” and California Human Rights Amendment appeal for personhood entitled “Why I Can’t Wait” are now classics. Hoye has also written a book entitled, Leadership from the Inside Out. 

This article has been reprinted with permission and can be found at http://www.issues4life.org/blast/2012149.html.

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