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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Hancock, Winfield Scott (1824-1886) to John W. Stevenson and John P. Stockton

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02992 Author/Creator: Hancock, Winfield Scott (1824-1886) Place Written: Governors Island, New York Type: Document signed Date: 29 July 1880 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Accepts nomination for President of the United States by the National Democratic Convention. Supports the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution. Describes his commitment to the Union and the federal system of government. Argues against corruption as an impediment to the participation of people in their government: "Public office is a trust, not a bounty bestowed upon the holder; no incompetent or dishonest persons should ever be entrusted with it, or if appointed, they should be promptly ejected. The basis of a substantial, practical civil service reform, must first be established by the people in filling the elective offices; if they fix a high standard of qualifications for office, and sternly reject the corrupt and incompetent, the result will be decisive in governing the action of the servants whom they entrust with appointing power." Favors "wise and economical management of our government expenditures" to allow everyone to enjoy the peace and the fruits of their own labor.

People: Hancock, Winfield Scott, 1824-1886.
Stevenson, John White, 1812-1886.
Stockton, John Potter, 1826-1900.

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Keywords/Subjects: US Constitution, Government and Civics, Election, Democratic Party, Politics, President US Constitutional Amendment, African American History, Emancipation, Corruption and Scandal, Economics, Finance

Sub Era: