In 1871 he was prominent in the re-organization of Tammany after the fall of the "Tweed Ring"; from 1875 until the end of 1886 (except in 1879-1881) he was a representative in Congress; in 1876 he left Tammany for the County Democracy; in the Hayes-Tilden campaign of that year he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and in Congress he was one of the House members of the joint committee which drew up the famous Electoral Count Act providing for the Electoral Commission.
Tilden, he lost the disputed election by the decision of the electoral commission, but he was elected with Grover Cleveland in 1884.
In the national election of 1876 there were double returns (Republican: 75,315 for Hayes and 70,508 for Tilden; and Democratic: 83,723 for Tilden and 77,174 for Hayes) from Louisiana, which, as was the case with the double electoral returns from Florida, Oregon and South Carolina, were adjudicated by the Electoral Commission in favour of the Republican electors voting for Hayes.
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