February 26

February 26


February 26, 1877

Political Deal Brings End to Reconstruction

Democrat Samuel Tilden of New York won the popular election for president in 1876. But Republican Rutherford B. Hayes challenged the electoral college returns from four states, and it was left to Congress to determine the winner.

At a conference at the Wormley Hotel in Washington, D.C. on this date in 1877, Hayes declared that he would withdraw federal troops from the states of the former confederacy if he became president. That offer gained Hayes support from southern Democrats in Congress, and he was declared president-elect.

True to his word, Hayes withdrew federal troops and 1877 marked the end of the Reconstruction period. Southern states began adopting poll taxes and other methods of denying blacks the right to vote, initiating the era of Jim Crow laws that remained on the books in many places until the 1960s.

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