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Conkling as Mephistopheles
Unto that Power he doth belong
Which only doeth Right
while ever willing Wrong.
Goethe's Faust.
Puck Magazine Centerfold
Vol. 1 No. 30, October 3, 1877
12 1/2" w x 18" h
Roscoe Conkling, dressed as the Mephistopheles, watches Rutherford Hayes walk away with the Solid South. Conkling has "bought the soul" of the Republican Party and helped elect Hayes as President.

Conkling was a Republican Senator who helped create the Electoral Commission that settled the disputed 1876 U.S. Presidential election.

Hayes was ultimately elected to office through the Compromise of 1877, a series of secret negotiations between Republican and Democratic politicians and special interest groups. Key to the negotiations was the removal of federal troops that supported the state governments of South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana.

By withdrawing the toops, the Republicans ended Reconstruction and abandoned Southern African-Americans, creating an opportunity for Democrats – and white supremacists – to control the South.
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