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Reports of Committees: 30th Congress, 1st Session - 48th Congress, 2nd Session - Page 81.

The committees are reporting on the voting irregularities in the 1876 Florida election.

The United States presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed and intense presidential elections in American history. Samuel J. Tilden of New York defeated Ohio's Rutherford Hayes in the popular vote, and had 184 electoral votes to Hayes' 165, with 20 votes yet uncounted. These 20 electoral votes were in dispute: in three states (Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina) each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon one elector was declared illegal (on account of being an "elected or appointed official") and replaced. The votes were ultimately awarded to Hayes after a bitter electoral dispute.

Many historians believe that an informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute. In return for Southern acquiescence in Hayes' election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. This deal became known as the Compromise of 1877. The Compromise effectively pushed African-Americans out of power in the government; soon after the compromise, African-Americans were barred from voting by poll taxes and grandfather clauses.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_Commission_%28US%29   http://www.historybuff.com/library/reftilden.html

 

Precinct Returns

A.

1 Elliot C. Richardson
2 Isaac Newmans
3 Simon P. Howard
4 Quilla Parker
5 James H. Ritch
6 Mitchel Smith
7 Isaiah Dobson
8 Daniel Shaw
9 Peter Willis
10 Wesley Edwards
11 Alfred Green
12 David Stewart
13 E.J. Raulerson
14 Theodore Williams
15 George B. Cooper
16 J.F.B. McKinney
17 G.C. Dyess
18 A.J. Dyess
19 W.H. Thomas
20 A.J. McKinney
21 Daniel Gadsen

22 William R. Conner
23 Lehugh Thompson
24 John E. Mobley
25 John A. Roberts
26 David Johns
27 James H. Albinon?
28 Robert B. Jordan
29 Henry W. Jordan
30 A.F. Kimble
31 William Parish
32 J.R. Griffis
33 Benjamin R. Bryan
34 W.T. Copeland
35 Allan P. Copeland
36 James J. Copeland
37 Wm. M. Chesser
38 F.W. Dinkins
39 Elisha Greene
40 M.A.B. Howard
41 John McIvor
42 A.L. Morkey

43 Levi E. Mobley
44 James H. Powers
45 David H. Rowe
46 Benjamin H. Rowe
47 Daniel Sykes
48 G.W. Sykes
49 Isaac Starling
50 James O. Sessions
51 Luke E. Hicks
52 N.S. Ritch
53 G.B. Ritch
54 Doss Thomas
55 Martin Williams
56 Cyrass Fatie
57 G.W. Norrres
58 A.R. Green
59 A.S. Joyner
60 John Alford
61 Adam Hodge

CERTIFICATE OF THE RESULT OF ELECTION IN DARBYVILLE PRECINCT.

State of Florida, Baker County:

We, the undersigned inspectors and clerk of an election held at Darbyville, in the county
of ____ and State aforesaid, on the 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, under and by virtue of an act entitled "an act to
proved for the reginstration of electors and the holding of elections." approved August 6,
1868, and an act amendatory thereto, approved February 27, 1872, do hereby certify that
the result of the said election was as follows, vis:

For Govenor, George F. Drew received sixty-three (63) votes: Marcellus L. Stears re-
twelve (12) votes.

For Lieutenant-governor, Noble A. Hull received sixty-five (65) vote: David Montgom-
ery received twelve (12) votes.

For Representative in Congress, J.J. Finley received sixty-five (65) votes: Horatio Bia-
ber, jr., received thirteen (13) votes.

For member of the assembly, Bryant H. Gurgannes received sixty-one (61) votes:
George P. Canova received fifteen (15) votes.

For presidential electors. Wilkinson Call received sixty-five (65) votes: James E.
Yonge received sixty-five (65) votes: Robert B. Hilton received sixty-five (65) votes: Rob-
ert Bullock received sixty-five (65) votes: F.C. Humphries received thirteen (13) votes:
C.H. Pearce received thirteen (13) votes: W.H. Holden received thirteen (13) votes: T.
W. Long received thirteen (13) votes.

Witness our hands, at Darbyville, in the county aforesaid, this the 7th day of November,
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six.

Edward Rowe his x mark, Inspector of Election.
Elisha Greene his x mark, Inspector of Election.
William Nobles his x mark, Inspector of Election.
John McIvor, Clerk of Elections

CERTIFICATE OF THE RESULT OF ELECTION IN SANDERSON PRECINCT.

State of Florida, Baker County:

We, the undersigned, inspectors and clerk of an election held at Sanderson, in the county
of Baker and State aforesaid, on the 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, under and by virtue of an act entitled "an act to
proved for the registration of electors and the holding of elections." approved August 6,
1868, and an act amendatory thereto, approved February 27, 1872, do hereby certify that
the result of the said election was as follows, vis:

For Governor, George F. Drew received fifty-seven (57) votes: Marcellus L. Sterns re-
one-hundred and thirty (130) votes.

For Lieutenant-governor, Noble A. Hull received fifty-seven (57) vote: David Montgom-
ery received one-hundred and thirty (130) votes.

For Representative in Congress, second district, Jesse J. Finley received fifty-seven (57)
votes ; Horatio Bisbee received one hundred and thirty (130) votes.
For member of the assembly, Bryant H. Gurgannis received fifty-two (52) votes ; George
P. Canova received one hundred and thirty-one (131) votes.
For presidential electors, Wilkinson Call received fifty-seven (57) votes : James E. Yonj?
received fifty-seven (57) votes ; Robert B. Hilton received fifty- seven (57) votes ; Robert
Bullock received fifty-seven (57) votes; F. C. Humphries received one hundred and thirty (
130) votes ; C. H. Pearce received one hundred and thirty (130) votes ; W. H. Holden received
one hundred and thirty (130) votes; T. W. Long received one hundred and thirty (130)
 votes.
Witness our hands at Sanderson precinct, in the county aforesaid, this 7th day of November,
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six.
JONAS DRIGGERS. Inspector of Election.
 E. J. ROLLERSON, Inspector of Election.
JACOB HIGGENBOTHAN, hi« x mark. Inspector of Election.
F. J. PONS, Clerk of.

CERTIFICATE OF THE RESULT OF ELECTION IN OLUSTEE PRECINCT.
State of
Florida, Baker County :


We, the undersigned, inspectors and clerk of an election held at Olustee, in the county of
Baker, and State aforesaid, on the 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and seventy-six, under and by virtue of an act entitled "An act to provide
for the registration of electors and the holding of elections," approved August 6, 1868
and an act amendatory thereto, approved February 27, 1872, do hereby certify that the results
of the said election was as follows, viz :
For governor, George F. Drew received thirty-two (32) votes ; Marcellus L. Sterns
received none (0.)
For lieutenant-governor, Noble A. Hull received thirty-two (32) votes ; David Montgomery
received none (0.)
For representative in Congress, Jesse J. Finley received thirty-two (32) votes.
For member of the assembly, Bryant H. Gurgannes received thirty-two (32) votes.
For presidential electors, Wilkinson Call received thirty-two (32) votes : James E.
Yonge received thirty-two (32) votes; Robert B. Hilton received thirty -two (32) votes ;
Robert Bullock received thirty-two (32) votes ; F. C. Humphries received none, (0 ;) C. H.
Pearce received none, (0 :) W. H. Holden received none,(0) T. W. Long received none, (0)
Witness our hands, at Olustee, in the county aforesaid, this the 7th day of November, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six
STEPHEN D. ROBERTS,  Inspector of Election.
BENJAMIN S. ROBERTS, Inspector of Election.
WILLIAM LES8EM, Inspector of Election.
JAMES G. HINSON, Clerk of Election.
For presidential electors, Wilkinson Call received eighty-four (84) votes; Robert E.
Hilton received eighty-four (84) votes; James E. Yonge received eighty-four (84) votes ;
Robert Bullock received eighty-four (84) votes ; F. C. Humphries received — ; C. H. Pearce
received — ; W. H. Holden received — ; T. W. Long received — .

CERTIFICATE OF THE RESULT OF ELECTION IN JOHNSVILLE PRECINCT.
State of Florida, Baker County :
We, the undersigned, inspectors and clerk of an election held at Johnsville, in the county
of Baker, and State aforesaid, on the 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and seventy-six, under and by virtue of an act entitled "Act to
provide for the registration of electors and the holding of elections," approved August 6,
1868, and an act amendatory thereto, approved February 27, 1872, do hereby certify that the
result of the said election was as follows, viz :
For governor, George F. Drew received eighty-four (84) votes ; Marcellus L Stearn received — .
For Representative in Congress, second district, Jesse J. Finley received eighty-four (84)
votes ; Horatio Bisbee, jr., received — .
For member of the assembly, Bryant H. Gurgranes received seventy-seven (77) votes ;
G, P. Canova received two (2)
Witness
our hands, at Johnson's precinct, in the county aforesaid, this seventh (7lh) day of
November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-six.
ELIAS WILLIAMS, Inspector of Election.
G. S. TAYLOR, Inspector of Election.
W. C. COBB, Inspector of Election.
JOHN W. BARNETT, Clerk of Election.

Congressional record proceedings and debates

Page 5

ELECTORAL COMMISSION. Feb 2, 1877

…..which I refer is Baker County. The canvassers were by law to be
the county judge, the county clerk, (or rather I think he is called the
clerk of the circuit court for the county, but I call him for convenience
the county clerk,) and a justice of the peace to be by them called
in for their assistance. In case either the judge or the clerk is absent
or cannot attend, the sheriff of the county is to be called in his
place. The law provides that the canvass by the county canvassers
shall be on the sixth day after the election, or sooner if the returns
are all received.
In this county there were but four precincts, and the returns from
them were all received in three days. On the 10th of November the
county clerk, considering that the returns being in further delay in
the canvass might be embarrassing — for what reasons it does not devolve
on me to say — requested the county judge to join him in the
canvass. The county judge refused. The clerk then asked the sheriff
to join him, but he declined. The clerk thereupon called to his assistance
a justice of the peace and made the canvass, and a true canvass
it was, as all parties agree I think. I have never heard anywhere the
suggestion that the votes as certified by them were not the true votes.
But it so happened that the county judge, on the same day, the 10th,
issued a notice to the county clerk and to a justice of the peace to
attend him at the county seat on the 13th, which, as yon will remember,
was just six days after the election, at noon, for the purpose of
making the count. On that day and hour the county clerk and the
justice thus requested attended. The county judge, however, absented
himself, though he had given the notice. He was invited and
urged to go on with the canvassing. The record shows that he laughed,
and said he thought that what had been already done was enough.
The sheriff was then applied to and he refused. Thereupon the county
clerk and a justice of the peace — another justice called in — recan-
vassed the votes, giving the same result precisely, and certified them
to the State canvassers, stating in the certificate the reasons why
neither the county judge nor the sheriff was present. The office of
the clerk was then closed for the day.
In the evening of that day the same county judge and the same
sheriff, taking to their assistance a justice of the peace who had been
commissioned by Stearns only on the 10th and who had never acted
before, entered the office surreptitiously, opened a drawer, and took
out the returns, throw aside two precincts, certified the two remain-
ing, and sent that certificate to the State canvassers. You are now
to say whether this certificate of these men, under these circumstances,
in the darkness of the night, throwing out two precincts, and
certified to the State canvassers, without any reason why the county
clerk was not present, shall be taken as the voice of that county of
Florida. That I do not misrepresent the exact state of facts let me
read you the testimony as it will appear upon the record to be laid before
you. Here is the testimony in respect to this third canvass, this
false and fraudulent canvass, which I will read as given by the sheriff:
He testified that he first received notice from Judge Driggers to assist him In
making the canvass of Baker County probably between four and five o'clock in the
afternoon of the 13th ; that they went to the clerk's office; that the clerk's office
was closed when they got there. Ho thinks this was about six o'clock, " it might
have been
seven o'clock." That they lit up the office; that they knew that the clerk
had made the canvass on that .afternoon; that there was no one then In the office.
The law providing that the canvass should be public, the record
thus proceeds, as follows, and I give it verbatim :
Question. What did you do then ?
Answer. We just made the return, throwing away two precincts in the county.
Q. What two precincts in the county did you throw away ?
A. One was Darbyville precinct and the other was Johnsville precinct.
Q. Which did yon throw away first ?
A. The Johnsville precinct, .
Q. And then yon threw away the Darbyville precinct!
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you have any witnesses at all before you ?
A. None at all. )
Did you have anything before you except the returns.
A. No, sir.
Why did you throw away Johnsville precinct? 
We believed that there was some intimidation there ; that there was one party
prevented from voting.
Q. Did yon have any evidence before you to that effect?
A. No, sir  there was only his statement.
Q. Did you not have a particle of evidence before you?
A. No, sir.
Q. You believed that one party had been intimidated and prevented from voting?
A. Yes, air.
Q. And therefore yon threw out the Johnsville precinct ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was there any reason for throwing it out ?
A. No, sir.
Q. None whatever?
A. No, sir.
Q. No other reason suggested but that, was there --.
No, sir.
Q. You next threw out Darbyville precinct ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. For what reason did yon do so ?
A. We believed that there were some illegal votes cast there
Q. Did you have any evidence before you at all ?
A. No, sir.
Q. Not a particle ?
A. No, sir.
But yon had an impression that some illegal votes were cast there ? ,
Yes, sir.
Q. How many illegal votes did you have an impression were cast there?
A. About 1, I think, as well as I can recollect,
Q. Therefore you threw out the precinct without any evidence at all ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then you made up your returns ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who wrote those returns ?
A. I did.
Q. You wrote them yourself ?
A. Yes, air.
Q. And the judge signed them ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Mr. Green signed them ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You made return to the secretary of state that you had canvassed the vote ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And also sent one to the governor that you had canvassed the vote ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. The returns, so far as you knew, appeared to be regular from the different precincts, did they ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who was the chairman of the board of canvassers ?
A. The judge.
Q Who made the suggestion to throw out Jonesville ?
A. He did himself.
Q. Who made the suggestion to throw out the Darbyville precincts?
A. He did.
Q. And you sustained him in it ?
A Yes, sir.
Q. Mr. Green sustained him in it also?
A. Yes, sir.
Mr. Green was the justice appointed by Stearns on the 10th.
Q. How did yon know that one man was intimidated at Johnsville precinct ?
A. Well, we just heard it rumored around at the time.
Q. Was there any other cause operating in your mind in rejecting the Johnsville return but the fact that you had heard that one party was intimidated ?
A. No, sir; that was all.
Q. Where did you and the judge and the justice of the peace. Green, find the returns when you went to the clerk's office to make the canvass ?
A. After we got the light* when I saw them first, the judge had them in his hands.
Q. Do yon know where he got them ?
A. I do not ; I think he got them out of a desk.
Q. Out of what desk ?
A. In the clerk's desk, in the clerk's office.
Q. Was the desk unlocked that contained these papers ?
A. Yea, sir.
Q. And nobody was in the clerk's office ?
A. No, sir.

Now let me go from this county canvass to the State canvass. When the State canvassers were at work there were certain significant telegrams passed between Florida and Washington ; I omit the names of the correspondents except that of the governor, Stearns, the same whose certificate is before you, certifying to the election of the Hayes electors. The examination is thus reported :

 

Page 96

BAKER COUNTY.
The principal question in regard to the election in this county is
whether the returns from the precincts of Johnsville and Darbyville, in
said county, shall be counted. That the returns from these precincts
are regular will appear from the inspection of the returns themselves. (
See Exhibits В and D, Record, pages 49-51.) Why these returns were
rejected by the canvassing boards your committee need not determine,
as that question is not necessarily before us. But it is our duty to ascertain
the true vote of these precincts if we can do so. And in order to
do so your committee will go behind all returns and look at the facts,
if necessary. That the returns from these two precincts should have
been counted by the canvassing-boards, your committee can have no
doubt after a careful examination of the evidence in regard to that
point; and
That the election at both of said precincts was fairly, peaceably, and
honestly conducted is abundantly shown by the testimony of Edward
Rowe and William Noble, inspectors of election at Darbyville, and Gordon
S. Taylor and W. S. Cobb, inspectors at Johnsville. They testify
as follows :

Deposition of Edward Rowe.
EDWARD ROWE, of the county of Baker, being duly sworn, deposed and says:
Question. What is your name? — Answer. Edward Rowe.
Q. Where do yon reside? — A. In
Baker County, State of Florida.
Q. Where were you on the 7th of November last, at the general election in the State
of
Florida? — A. At the Darbyville precinct, in Baker County, in said State.
Q. Was there an election held there that day for member of Congress and other
officers, Federal and State? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you or not an election officer .it that precinct on that day ; and, if so, •
what office did you hold? — A. I was one of the managers of the election at that precinct.
Q. Were you sworn as such manager? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you there all the time during the election on that day? — A. I was, and
served as a manager or inspector.
Q. Who were the other managers and clerks at said precinct at said election? — A.
Mr. Elisha Green and Mr. William Nobles were the inspectors, and John Mclver was
clerk.
Q. Was the election there on that day peaceable and fairly and honestly conducted? — A. It was.
Cross-examination :

 

 

Page 97

 

Q. Did or did not electors at that precinct have tickets taken out of their hands
by force, and other tickets forced upon them to vote? — A. If there was, I did not see
anything of it.
Re-examined by contestant :
Q. Were you in a position where you could look out upon the voters around the
pole? during that day? — A. I was.

EDWARD + ROWE.  His mark.
Witness:
JOHN HERNDON,
County Judge, Baker County, Florida.

Deposition of William Nobles.
WILLIAM NOBLES, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
Question. What is your паme? — Answer. William Nobles.
Q. Where do you reside ? — A. In
Baker County.
Q. Where were you on the 7th day of November last! — A. I was at Darbyville precinct,
in
Baker County.
Q. Was there an election held there on that day for governor, lieutenant-governor,
Presidential electors, and member of Congress for the second Congressional district
of Florida? — A. There was.
Q. Were you not an election officer at that precinct of said election? And if so,
state what office it was. — A. I was manager and inspector.
Q. Were you duly sworn as such manager and inspector? — A. I was.
Q. Was the election there on that day peaceable and fairly and honestly conducted ? — A. It was.
Q. Do you remember who were the other inspectors at that precinct? — A. Mr.
Green and Mr. Rowe.
Q. Who was the clerk at said election? — A. Mr. John McIver.
Cross-examined:
Q. Who administered the oath to you as inspector? — A. I do not remember who
administered the oath to me as inspector, but I know I was sworn as such.
Q. How do you know? — A. I was sworn to see that the election was conducted
fairly.
Q. Did you sign any oath in writing? — A. I did.
Q Do you mean when you say the election was conducted fairly and honestly, to
lifer entirely to the inspectors and managers of the election ? — A. I do.
Re-examined:
Q. Were you sitting where you could look out upon the voters about the Polls?
while the election was going on ? — A. I was sitting where I could see a portion of
the crowd.
Q. Did you observe any disturbance of the public peace, or anything that was unfair
or dishonest among the voters? — A. I saw nothing going on that was unfair or
dishonest; no disturbance of the peace or riots; everything seemed peaceable.
Recross :
Q. Did you see among the crowd about the polls any person or persons taking
tickets out of the hands of voters against their will and presenting other tickets to
them, or making or using any forcible means to cause voters to vote against their
will ? — A. I did not see it.
 
WILLIAM + NOBLES.  mark.
Attest:
JOHN HERNDON,
County Judge, Baker County, Florida.


Deposition of Gordon
S. Taylor.
Who, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
Question. What is your name? — Answer. Gordon
S. Taylor.
Q. Where do you reside now, and where did you reside on 7th November last?

A. In Baker Comity.
Q Were you at a general election held in Florida on the 7th November last; if so, 
what precinct and what county? — A. Johnsville precinct,
Baker County.

 

Page 98 – No Text

 

 

Congressional record proceedings and debates

Page 5

ELECTORAL COMMISSION. Feb 2, 1877

…..which I refer is Baker County. The canvassers were by law to be
the county judge, the county clerk, (or rather I think he is called the
clerk of the circuit court for the county, but I call him for convenience
the county clerk,) and a justice of the peace to be by them called
in for their assistance. In case either the judge or the clerk is absent
or cannot attend, the sheriff of the county is to be called in his
place. The law provides that the canvass by the county canvassers
shall be on the sixth day after the election, or sooner if the returns
are all received.
In this county there were but four precincts, and the returns from
them were all received in three days. On the 10th of November the
county clerk, considering that the returns being in further delay in
the canvass might be embarrassing — for what reasons it does not devolve
on me to say — requested the county judge to join him in the
canvass. The county judge refused. The clerk then asked the sheriff
to join him, but he declined. The clerk thereupon called to his assistance
a justice of the peace and made the canvass, and a true canvass
it was, as all parties agree I think. I have never heard anywhere the
suggestion that the votes as certified by them were not the true votes.
But it so happened that the county judge, on the same day, the 10th,
issued a notice to the county clerk and to a justice of the peace to
attend him at the county seat on the 13th, which, as yon will remember,
was just six days after the election, at noon, for the purpose of
making the count. On that day and hour the county clerk and the
justice thus requested attended. The county judge, however, absented
himself, though he had given the notice. He was invited and
urged to go on with the canvassing. The record shows that he laughed,
and said he thought that what had been already done was enough.
The sheriff was then applied to and he refused. Thereupon the county
clerk and a justice of the peace — another justice called in — recan-
vassed the votes, giving the same result precisely, and certified them
to the State canvassers, stating in the certificate the reasons why
neither the county judge nor the sheriff was present. The office of
the clerk was then closed for the day.
In the evening of that day the same county judge and the same
sheriff, taking to their assistance a justice of the peace who had been
commissioned by Stearns only on the 10th and who had never acted
before, entered the office surreptitiously, opened a drawer, and took
out the returns, throw aside two precincts, certified the two remain-
ing, and sent that certificate to the State canvassers. You are now
to say whether this certificate of these men, under these circumstances,
in the darkness of the night, throwing out two precincts, and
certified to the State canvassers, without any reason why the county
clerk was not present, shall be taken as the voice of that county of
Florida. That I do not misrepresent the exact state of facts let me
read you the testimony as it will appear upon the record to be laid before
you. Here is the testimony in respect to this third canvass, this
false and fraudulent canvass, which I will read as given by the sheriff:
He testified that he first received notice from Judge Driggers to assist him In
making the canvass of Baker County probably between four and five o'clock in the
afternoon of the 13th ; that they went to the clerk's office; that the clerk's office
was closed when they got there. Ho thinks this was about six o'clock, " it might
have been
seven o'clock." That they lit up the office; that they knew that the clerk
had made the canvass on that .afternoon; that there was no one then In the office.
The law providing that the canvass should be public, the record
thus proceeds, as follows, and I give it verbatim :
Question. What did you do then ?
Answer. We just made the return, throwing away two precincts in the county.
Q. What two precincts in the county did you throw away ?
A. One was Darbyville precinct and the other was Johnsville precinct.
Q. Which did yon throw away first ?
A. The Johnsville precinct.
Q. And then yon threw away the Darbyville precinct!
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you have any witnesses at all before you ?
A. None at all. )
Did you have anything before you except the returns.
A. No, sir.
Why did you throw away Johnsville precinct? 
We believed that there was some intimidation there ; that there was one party
prevented from voting.
Q. Did yon have any evidence before you to that effect?
A. No, sir  there was only his statement.
Q. Did yon not have a particle of evidence before you?
A. No, sir.
Q. You believed that one party had been intimidated and prevented from voting?
A. Yes, air.
Q. And therefore yon threw out the Johnsville precinct ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was there any reason for throwing it out ?
A. No, sir.
Q. None whatever?
A. No, sir.
Q. No other reason suggested but that, was there --.
No, sir.
Q. You next threw out Darbyville precinct ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. For what reason did yon do so ?
A. We believed that there were some illegal votes cast there
Q. Did you have any evidence before you at all ?
A. No, sir.
Q. Not a particle ?
A. No, sir.
But yon had an impression that some illegal votes were cast there ? ,
Yes, sir. .
Q. How many illegal votes did you have an impression were cast there?
A. About 1, I think, as well as I can recollect,
Q. Therefore you threw out the precinct without any evidence at all ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then you made up your returns ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who wrote those returns ?
A. I did.
Q. You wrote them yourself ?
A. Yes, air.
Q. And the judge signed them ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Mr. Green signed them ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You made return to the secretary of state that you had canvassed the vote ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And also sent one to the governor that you had canvassed the vote ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. The returns, so far as you knew, appeared to be regular from the different precincts, did they ?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who was the chairman of the board of canvassers ?
A. The judge.
Q Who made the suggestion to throw out Johnsvillc ?
A. He did himself.
Q. Who made the suggestion to throw out the Darbyville precincts?
A. He did.
Q. And you sustained him in it ?
A Yes, sir.
Q. Mr. Green sustained him in it also?
A. Yes, sir.
Mr. Green was the justice appointed by Stearns on the 10th.
Q. How did yon know that one man was intimidated at Johnsville precinct ?
A. Well, we just heard it rumored around at the time.
Q. Was there any other cause operating in your mind in rejecting the Johnsville return but the fact that you had heard that one party was intimidated ?
A. No, sir; that was all.
Q. Where did you and the judge and the justice of the peace. Green, find the returns when you went to the clerk's office to make the canvass ?
A. After we got the light* when I saw them first, the judge had them in his hands.
Q. Do yon know where he got them ?
A. I do not ; I think he got them out of a desk.
Q. Out of what desk ?
A. In the clerk's desk, In the clerk's office.
Q. Was the desk unlocked that contained these papers ?
A. Yea, sir.
Q. And nobody was in the clerk's office ?
A. No, sir.

Now let me go from this county canvass to the State canvass. When the State canvassers were at work there were certain significant telegrams passed between Florida and Washington ; I omit the names of the correspondents except that of the governor, Stearns, the same whose certificate is before you, certifying to the election of the Hayes electors. The examination is thus reported :

 

 

Page 96

BAKER COUNTY.
The principal question in regard to the election in this county is
whether the returns from the precincts of Johnsville and Darbyville, in
said county, shall be counted. That the returns from these precincts
are regular will appear from the inspection of the returns themselves. (
See Exhibits В and D, Record, pages 49-51.) Why these returns were
rejected by the canvassing boards your committee need not determine,
as that question is not necessarily before us. But it is our duty to ascertain
the true vote of these precincts if we can do so. And in order to
do so your committee will go behind all returns and look at the facts,
if necessary. That the returns from these two precincts should have
been counted by the canvassing-boards, your committee can have no
doubt after a careful examination of the evidence in regard to that
point; and
That the election at both of said precincts was fairly, peaceably, and
honestly conducted is abundantly shown by the testimony of Edward
Rowe and William Noble, inspectors of election at Darbyville, and Gordon
S. Taylor and W. S. Cobb, inspectors at Johnsville. They testify
as follows :
Deposition of Edward Rowe.
EDWARD ROWE, of the county of Baker, being duly sworn, deposed and says:
Question. What is your name? — Answer. Edward Rowe.
Q. Where do yon reside? — A. In
Baker County, State of Florida.
Q. Where were you on the 7th of November last, at the general election in the State
of
Florida? — A. At the Darbyville precinct, in Baker County, in said State.
Q. Was there an election held there that day for member of Congress and other
officers, Federal and State? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you or not an election officer .it that precinct on that day ; and, if so, •
what office did you hold? — A. I was one of the managers of the election at that precinct.
Q. Were you sworn as such manager? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Were you there all the time during the election on that day? — A. I was, and
served as a manager or inspector.
Q. Who were the other managers and dork at said precinct at said election? — A.
Mr. Elisha Green and Mr. William Nobles were the inspectors, and John Mclver was
clerk.
Q. Was the election there on that day peaceable and fairly and honestly conducted? — A. It was.
Cross-examination :

 

 

Page 97

 

Q. Did or did not electors at that precinct have tickets taken out of their hands
by force, and other tickets forced upon them to vote? — A. If there was, I did not see
anything of it.
Re-examined by contestant :
Q. Were you in a position where you could look out upon the voters around the
pole? during that day? — A. I was.

EDWARD + ROWE.  His mark.
Witness:
JOHN HERNDON,
County Judge, Baker County, Florida.

Deposition of William Nobles.
WILLIAM NOBLES, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
Question. What is your паme? — Answer. William Nobles.
Q. Where do you reside ? — A. In
Baker County.
Q. Where were you on the 7th day of November last! — A. I was at Darbyville precinct,
in
Baker County.
Q. Was there an election held there on that day for governor, lieutenant-governor,
Presidential electors, and member of Congress for the second Congressional district
of Florida? — A. There was.
Q. Were you not an election officer at that precinct et said election? And if so,
state what office it was. — A. I was manager and inspector.
Q. Were you duly sworn as such manager and inspector? — A. I was.
Q. Was the election there on that day peaceable and fairly and honestly conducted ? — A. It was.
Q. Do you remember who were the other inspectors at that precinct? — A. Mr.
Green and Mr. Rowe.
Q. Who was the clerk at said election? — A. Mr. John McIvor.
Cross-examined:
Q. Who administered the oath to you as inspector? — A. I do not remember who
administered the oath to me as inspector, but I know I was sworn as such.
Q. How do you know? — A. I was sworn to see that the election was conducted
fairly.
Q. Did you sign any oath in writing? — A. I did.
Q Do you mean when you say the election was conducted fairly and honestly, to
lifer entirely to the inspectors and managers of the election ? — A. I do.
Re-examined:
Q. Were you sitting where you could look out upon the voters about the. Polls?
while the election was going on ? — A. I was sitting where I could see a portion of
the crowd.
Q. Did you observe any disturbance of the public peace, or anything that was unfair
or dishonest among the voters? — A. I saw nothing going on that was unfair or
dishonest; no disturbance of the peace or riots; everything seemed peaceable.
Recross :
Q. Did you see among the crowd about the polls any person or persons taking
tickets out of the hands of voters against their will and presenting other tickets to
them, or making or using any forcible means to cause voters to vote against their
will ? — A. I did not see it.
 
WILLIAM + NOBLES.  mark.
Attest:
JOHN HERNDON,
County Judge, Baker County, Florida.


Deposition of Gordon
S. Taylor.
Who, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
Question. What is your name? — Answer. Gordon
S. Taylor.
Q. Where do you reside now, and where did you reside on 7th November last? — A.
In Baker Comity.
Q Were you at a general election held in Florida on the 7th November last; if so, 
what precinct and what county? — A. Johnsville precinct,
Baker County.

 

Page 98 – No Text

 

11th Governor of Fl;orida:  Marcellus L. Sterns March 18, 1874January 2, 1877 - Republican

12th Governor of Fl;orida:  George F.Drew January 2, 1877January 4, 1881 – Democrat