Samuel J. Tilden, Iron Money and the Election of 1876

  • Clifford F. ThiesEmail author
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 39)


Tilden, a hard money Democrat, was castigated during the Presidential election of 1876 by Republican newspapers for his involvement with mining company scrip. The attacks were countered with testimonials as to the redemption of his company’s scrip, and had no impact on the election. Mining company scrip in fact served the interests of Michigan’s upper peninsula during a time that it was an isolated region, under-served by banks. Use of the scrip was ended by the assertion of the federal government’s prohibitory tax on privately-issued bank notes.



The author thanks Christopher Bailey, Bruce Gouldey, Mike Holmes, Jeff Hummel, Gary Pecquet, Tom Sturrock and Mark Wilson for comments on earlier versions.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shenandoah UniversityWinchesterUSA

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