Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

[ bottom ]

               FADE IN 

         1     EXT.  NEW YORK CITY - ESTABLISHING - DAY                 1

               VARIOUS CUTS: OPENING Establishing the 1876 time period with
               EXTRAS in costume going about their daily business in a New
               York City, Fifth Avenue Hotel with a campaign poster of
               Rutherford Hayes for President, Everett House with a campaign
               poster of Samuel. 


               EXTRAS - HORSE and CARRIAGE DRIVERS mulling around outside.
               JOHN REID rides to the curb and dismounts from his horse. He
               walks toward the New York Times building entrance.

         3     INT. NEW YORK CITY - NY TIMES NEWSROOM - NIGHT           3

               John Reid, enters the room holding a pad of paper. JOHN
               FOORD, Editor and Chief and CHARLES H Miller review election
               results by the blackboard. John Reid walks toward them, 
               picks up a piece of chalk and stares at the map for a moment. 

               SUPERED: November 7, 1876, 10 p.m. - New York Times Editors
               office, John C. Reid, Newsroom Editor, John Foord, Editor and
               Chief, Charles H. Miller, Editor.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Damn Dirty Democrats have won this
                         for Tilden.  

                                   JOHN FOORD 
                         His majority is strong. 

               INSERT: Hand written on the blackboard - "Tilden - 4,300,316 -
               Hayes, 4,036,016 - Majority for Tilden - 264,300. 

               BACK ON SCENE: 

               Reid goes to a map on the wall and takes his pen out of his
               pocket and writes a question mark over the states of South
               Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. He hands off a suggested
               headline he has in his hand to John Foord. Charles Miller
               leans over Foord's shoulder to read it. 

                                   CHARLES MILLER 
                         You can't be serious? His
                         supporters will go berserk.   

                                   JOHN REID
                         It'll create some confusion and
                         give me time to talk to the

                                   CHARLES MILLER
                         And say what exactly?

                                   JOHN REID
                         It will sell lots of papers.

                                   CHARLES MILLER
                         It will make us look like fools.

                                                                CUT TO:

         4     INT. NEW YORK TIMES - PRESS ROOM - NIGHT                 4

               MEN stack the newspapers rolling off the presses. 

               INSERT: Newspaper with headline, "A Doubtful Election"

         5     EXT. GRAMERCY PARK - ELECTION POLL - DAY                 5
               SUPERED: Earlier that day. 

               It's cold, damp and rainy. About mid morning, New York
               Governor SAMUEL TILDEN, dressed in his best black suit with a
               red flower in the buttonhole walks out to the sidewalk where
               a CROWD is waiting to greet him. Tilden's a wealthy educated
               railroad lawyer, who is soft spoken, thin and frail figured
               man in his early sixties with slight graying at his temples.
               His thin light brown hair parted on the left frames his face
               neatly and steel blue eyes. His right eye noticeably droops
               from Ptosis. Tilden climbs into a horse carriage and asks his
               CARRIAGE DRIVER to take him to his campaign headquarters.

                         Everett House.

                                   CARRIAGE DRIVER  
                         Yes Sir. 

               Obviously displeased with the nasty weather conditions
               Samuel's coach driver works his way slowly through and away
               from the crowd lining the street.  

         6     INT. OHIO - RUTHERFORD HAYES HOME - DAY                  6

               RUTHERFORD HAYES sitting at his desk. He writes in his diary.

               SUPERED: Election day - Rutherford B. Hayes writes in his

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES (VO)
                         November 7, 1876. "A cold but dry
                         day. Good enough here for election
                         work. I still think Democratic
                         chances the best. But it is not
                         possible to form a confident
                         opinion. If we lose, the South will
                         be the greatest sufferer. Their
                         misfortune will be far greater than
                         ours. I do not think a revival of
                         business will be greatly postponed
                         by Tilden's election. Business
                         prosperity does not, in my
                         judgment, depend on government so
                         much as men commonly think. But we
                         shall have no improvement in civil
                         service - deterioration rather, and
                         the South will drift towards chaos

         7     EXT.  NEW YORK CITY - EVERETT HOUSE - STREET - DAY       7

               Tilden's carriage driver halts the horses as close as he can
               to the street entrance of the Everett House Campaign
               headquarters, in the midst of a CROWD of hundreds of well
               wishers that have stood in the foul weather for hours holding
               Tilden campaign signs. Samuel, steps out of the carriage onto
               the street and works his way through the crowd, shaking hands
               and offering his gratitude for their support. Many in the
               crowd wave  their hats and handkerchiefs. Samuel exits into
               the building. 


               Once inside Samuel greets and extends his appreciation to his
               CAMPAIGN WORKERS scattered throughout the room counting
               votes. There is a large tally board, on the wall. Samuel
               walks toward the board and is quickly greeted by his nephew
               WILLIAM PELTON and other campaign managers, JOHN BIGELOW, DAN
               MAGONE, and Congressman ABRAM HEWITT. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON 
                         You looked like you were having a
                         good time with the crowd uncle. 

                         I was - 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The numbers look favorable. Bets
                         are running one-hundred to eighty
                         in your favor." 

                                   DAN MAGONE
                         We suspect a landslide. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT 
                         Telegrams are telling of victory
                         every minute. None of us doubt it. 

                         Has anyone wired Hayes in Ohio and
                         told him the good news?

               The men all laugh out loud.

         9     EXT. OHIO - HAYES HOME - STREET - DAY                    9

               It's early in the evening and hundreds of HAYES SUPPORTERS
               stand by the path entrance. They chant his name and hold
               their campaign signs in the air. The beauty of the colorful
               red, burnt orange and gold autumn maple, oak and birch leafs
               swirl and dance in the wind while they make their descent to
               the ground over the people.  

                                   HAYES SUPPORTERS
                         Hayes, Hayes, Hayes.

               SUPERED: Estate of Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes. His
               first elected office was while he was still in the army and
               he didn't want the job: "An officer fit for duty who, at this
               crisis, would abandon his post to electioneer for a seat in
               Congress ought to be scalped."

               SUPERED: At the conclusion of the war and thus the end of his
               military obligations, Hayes served as a member of the U.S.
               House of Representatives from 1865-1867.  After leaving
               Washington he was elected governor of Ohio, where he served
               two separate terms, not consecutively.  

        10     INT.  OHIO - HAYES HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY             10

               LUCY HAYES tries with all the courage she can muster to hold
               back her tears of disappointment. Senator W. T. SHERMAN of
               Ohio, Rutherford Hayes and some OTHER GUESTS have gathered.
               All are glum.  

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         There, there Lucy. It was not meant
                         to be.

                                   LUCY HAYES
                         It's shameful. You are more suited
                         for the Presidency than Tilden.  
                         What about all those poor colored
                         folks in the South? Who will tend
                         to their needs?"  Wouldn't you
                         agree Senator Sherman?"

                                   W. T. SHERMAN
                         Yes Mam'. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I'm confident Tilden will do right
                         by them. 	 

               Lucy moves away from Rutherford and walks toward the 


                                   LUCY HAYES
                         Please excuse me. I feel I am
                         becoming ill. 

               She continues her up the stairs. Hayes watches her for a
               brief moment and turns his gaze to the floor. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         It seems we Republicans had little
                         hope for success this time. 

        11     EXT.  GRAMERCY PARK - TILDEN MANSION - NIGHT            11

               HUNDREDS OF TILDEN SUPPORTERS congest the streets and wave
               their campaign signs while they wait for Tilden's arrival.
               REPORTERS hand scribble notes in their pads. John Reid stands
               amongst them and observes the crowd.

        12     INT.  TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT              12

               MARY PELTON, watches the crowd from the window with a few of
               her closest friends and family. SARAH, SUSAN, SOCIALITE 1 AND
               SOCIALITE 2. GEORGE SMITH, Samuel's private secretary is a
               few feet away seated at his desk. 

                         So many people. 

                         Grandmother - this event is

                         He ate very little breakfast this

                         Who could eat at a time like this. 

               Mary walks away from the window and calls out to George

                         George, are you all right in there?

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         I could use some help organizing
                         all these telegrams.

                         Susan, would you?

                         Of course grandmother. 

               Susan walks over to George and picks up some of the telegrams
               that have fallen to the floor. 

               Several BUTLERS and MAIDS walk in and out of the 

               DINING ROOM

               As they prepare a dinner buffet. Mary, walks back to the 


                         This rain is miserable. 

                         A little drizzle won't melt them

                                   SOCIALITE 2 
                         I want to be the first to dance
                         with him at the Inaugural Ball.

                         After me you will.

               Mary pushes back the window curtain a little further and the
               women move in closer.   

                         I wish our parents were here to see

        13     EXT.  GRAMERCY PARK - STREET - NIGHT                    13

               MORE PEOPLE flock in to the celebration. Samuel's carriage
               driver works the horse and carriage carefully through the
               crowd. On the back of the carriage opposite Samuel, are two
               SOLDIERS dressed in uniform. They jump off the carriage and
               move people back to open the street for the carriage.

                                   CARRIAGE DRIVER 
                         Coming through. Make room for 
                         Governor Tilden... I mean President

               The crowd cheers. 

        14     INT.  TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT              14

               Mary moves away from the window toward the 

               DINING ROOM 

               And inspects the buffet table and food. 

                         He must be famished. 

               Sarah walks to Mary, takes her by the hand and leads her
               toward the 

               FRONT ENTRANCE 

                         Come Mary...This is a big moment
                         for you and your brother.   

               Mary glances over at George Smith and Susan.

                         I suppose you are right. Come
                         Susan, Mr. Smith - all of us should
                         be outside.

        15     EXT. TILDEN MANSION - FRONT PORCH - NIGHT               15

               Sarah, Mary, George Smith. Susan and the Socialites join in
               the fun and wave their handkerchiefs back at the crowd. 


               Samuel steps out of the carriage and the CROWD cheers.  

                                   SOLIDER 1
                         Step back please! Make room for our
                         President elect.  

               The two soldiers proceed to clear a path through the people
               for a Samuel to walk through. Samuel shakes peoples hands as
               he walks toward the 

               FRONT PORCH 

               Samuel climbs the stairs and kisses Mary on the cheek.

                         We did it.

                         You did it dear brother. We all are
                         so proud of you.

               Sarah, whispers in Mary's ear. 

                         This is the most exciting day of my

               Samuel greets the other ladies by taking each of their hands.
               He turns and waves to the boisterous crowd then exits into
               the house with the ladies and George Smith. 

        16     INT.  TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT              16

                         Wires Mr. Smith?

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         Hundreds of them. 

                                   CROWD (VO)
                         Til-den, Til-den, Til-den.

                         I'm famished. 

                         Grandmother said you would be.
                         She's has a beautiful buffet in
                         dining room. 

                         Put the work down for now Mr. Smith
                         and lets all go get something to

        17     EXT. TILDEN MANSION- STREET - NIGHT                     17

               John Reid still with the other reporters writes notes in his
               pad. A SPECTATOR nudges him.

                                   SPECTATOR (TO REID)
                         Isn't it exciting?

                                   JOHN REID 
                         He hasn't won yet.

                         Of course he has. All the
                         newspapers are reporting it.

                                   JOHN REID
                         He has the popular...but it is
                         still doubtful. 

                         What do you mean doubtful? He won
                         by a landslide. 

               Reid turns from the Spectator and walks toward his HORSE that
               is tied to a hitching post. He mounts his steed and trots off
               down the road.


               Samuel, Sarah, Mary, Susan. George and the other socialite
               ladies are seated around the buffet table eating. Their
               chatter is boisterous. The telegram machine is heard in the
               background and clicks non-stop. William Pelton, John Bigelow,
               George Smith and Abram Hewitt enter the room and move toward
               the few empty chairs at the table. 

                         Welcome gentlemen...Sit, have a
                         bite to eat.

                         Poor Mr. Hayes - He never stood a
                         chance against you.

                         The Ohio Governor was a worthy

                         He may be worthy, dear brother, but
                         he was no match for your popularity
                         with the voters.

                             (to Samuel)
                         I have a lively new pink silk and
                         will wear it for your Inaugural
                         Ball...  I claim the first dance
                         with you.

               Samuel flushes and places his arm around Mary and gives her a
               gentle squeeze. She looks at him and grins.

                         I'd be honored Sarah.   

                             (To Samuel)
                         You are popular with all the ladies
                         Mr. President.

               Samuel rolls his eyes at his sister and she leans into him
               and kisses him on the cheek. William walks over and leans
               into Samuel's ear. The ladies are busy chattering amongst

                                   WILLIAM PELTON 
                         Mother looks tired Uncle.

                             (lowered voice)
                         She's had a long day William -
                         entertaining the ladies so she can
                         marry me off.

                             (lowered voice)
                         I have made no such effort.

                         Uh - huh.

                             (lowered voice)
                         Perhaps you should marry...Sara
                         would make a wonderful First Lady."  

                             (lowered voice)
                         Be that as it may dear sister but,
                         she does not make my heart thump.

               Samuel puts his hand to his heart to imitate a heart thump. 

                             (lowered voice)
                         Make your heart thump?  If you are
                         in dire need to have your heart
                         thump before you marry, dear
                         brother - may I suggest you try
                         running quickly up and down the
                         stairs a few times.

               Mary pushes back her chair and stands. 

                         Where are you going?

                         Ladies tea and dessert in the

               The ladies push back their chairs, stand and follow Mary out
               of the room. William Pelton, John Bigelow, George Smith and
               Abram Hewitt change seats to move closer to Samuel. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Does she know you mean to give her
                         the position as your Hostess?  

                         Not yet...I keep telling her my
                         work leaves me with no time for a

               John Bigelow bangs on his glass with his fork and raises his
               champagne glass. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         A toast...to my best friend and
                         confidant -our newly elected

        19     EXT - GRAMERCY PARK - STREET - NIGHT                    19

               The spectators cheer and chant Tilden's name. 

                                   CROWD IN STREET
                          Tilden, Tilden, Tilden.  

               The reporters continue to write in their pads. REPORTER 1 
               leans into REPORTER 2.

                                   REPORTER 1 NYC 
                         John Reid from the Times says the
                         election is still in doubt.

                                   REPORTER 2 NYC
                         Wishful thinking on his part. He
                         and the Times editors despise the

                                   REPORTER 1 NYC
                         The Governor took down Boss Tweed
                         and reformed the Canal Ring.

                                   REPORTER 2 NYC
                         Reid's bitter and hates all
                         Democrats. He blames them for his
                         wartime stint in Anderson prison.   

                                   REPORTER 1 NYC
                         The Times can print whatever they
                         want...Tilden's got the victory.

        20     EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NEWSPAPER ROW - NIGHT              20

               Establishing shots. Zoom in on New York Times five story

               SUPERED: New York Times Building - Eleven P.M. 

        21     INT.  NEW YORK TIMES - PRESS ROOM - NIGHT               21

               John Reid, John Foord, EDWARD CARY and other REPORTERS are at
               their desks in the newsroom. John Reid stands and walks
               toward the blackboard where the election results are posted.
               A MESSENGER enters the room and hands Reid a note. Reid
               unfolds the paper and reads it silently, then holds the note
               in the air for the others to see.

                                   JOHN REID
                         This is from the Democratic
                         Chairman Barnum of Connecticut.
                         He's asking what news we have on
                         the count.

                                   JOHN FOORD 
                         He's probably checking with all the

                                   JOHN REID 
                         Don't you see? - the Democrats are
                         in doubt...We owe it to the
                         Republicans to stall even if just
                         for a day.

                                   JOHN FOORD 
                         How are you going to stall the news
                         that Hayes lost by over two-hundred
                         fifty thousands votes?

                                   JOHN REID
                         The worse that can happen is other
                         news organizations will question
                         our source.

               Reid scribbles the headline on a note pad and holds it up for
               the others to read. 

               INSERT: A Doubtful Election.

               BACK ON SCENE

               Another MESSENGER comes in and hands off a telegram to Edward
               Cary and leaves. Edward reads the message while Reid stands
               at the blackboard and studies the returns by state. 

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         Abram Hewitt is inquiring too. What
                         is our response?

               Reid takes an eraser and wipes off the numbers below the
               Hayes and Tilden's columns under the states of Florida, South
               Carolina and Louisiana and chalks in question marks in the
               blank spaces. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         One moment...Tell them Tilden has
                         won by none.

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         Are you serious? 

                                   JOHN REID
                         It's worth a try. 

               Edward Cary takes a moment to review the numbers on the

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         I don't know if I'm ready to put my
                         reputation or the paper's on the
                         line for a stunt.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Tilden is still shy by one
                         Electoral vote.  

               Reid hurriedly walks away from Edward Cary toward his desk to
               retrieve his coat. He puts it on and walks back across the
               newsroom floor. Annoyed, Edward Cary checks his watch for the

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         Where are you going at this hour?

                                   JOHN REID
                         I must find Chairman Chandler and
                         tell him...Use the Doubtful
                         Election headline. 

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         Chandler will think you're insane?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Maybe so, but he should at least be
                         made aware of the discrepancy. 

               Reid walks toward the door to exit.

                                   JOHN REID (cont'd)
                         I'll change his mind about

                                   EDWARD CARY
                         It's the middle of the night John.
                         He'll be asleep.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Then I shall wake him...

               SUPERED: November 8, 1876: New York Times goes to press with
               a Editorial headline, "A Doubtful Election" 

        22     EXT.  NEW YORK CITY - FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL - NIGHT        22

               SUPERED: November 8, 1876, Fifth Avenue Hotel, Republican

               John Reid rides his horse to the front of the Fifth Avenue
               Hotel, dismounts and hitches the reins to a post and scurries
               into the hotel.


               John Reid walks fast through the empty lobby past the front
               desk. There are TWO HOTEL CLERKS working and at first,
               neither takes notice of John, but the older of the two
               clerks' looks up and glances at Reid as he passes by. The
               older clerk raises his eyebrow, and  glances at the clock
               mounted on the lobby wall. Reid continues his trek down the 


               To the 


               He steps over papers strewn on the floor and finds servants
               cleaning and resetting the rooms tables and chairs. John Reid
               turns and walks into the 


               Sees WILLIAM CHANDLER a small man wearing an immense pair of
               goggles, his hat drawn down over his ears, a greatcoat with a
               heavy military cloak. He has a gripsack slung over his
               shoulder and a New York Tribune newspaper in his hand. He
               calls out to John. 

               SUPERED: William Chandler, Republican National Committee man
               from New Hampshire

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         Mr. Reid is that you?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Is that you Mr. Chandler?

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         Yes, I have just arrived from New
                         Hampshire by train. 

               William Chandler looks at him wearily, his eyes bloodshot
               from lack of sleep and he holds up his newspaper.

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         Have you seen the Tribune? It's a
                         disaster. Damn the men who brought
                         this disaster upon the Republican

               INSERT: Tribune newspaper, November 8, 1876 "TILDEN VICTORY"

               BACK ON SCENE

                                   JOHN REID
                         The Republican Party has sustained
                         no disaster. If you would only keep
                         your heads up here there is no
                         question of the election of
                         President Hayes. He has been fairly
                         and honestly elected. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         He has?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Allow me to show you...

               The two men sit at a desk and go over the results.

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         It's iffy...What are you suggesting
                         we do?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Immediately telegraph the leading
                         Republicans, men in authority in
                         South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana,
                         California, Oregon, and Nevada. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         I cannot authorize this...We must
                         go wake Zach.

               The two men walk down the 


               And search for Zach's room. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         It's one of these rooms.

                                   JOHN REID
                         I must speak with him...

               William Chandler brushes off Reid's urgency. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         He's probably drunk and asleep.

                                   JOHN REID
                         If I need his permission to send
                         wires to the Southern Republican
                         Party leaders then I must wake him.
                         The New York Times has not declared
                         Tilden's win and Hayes may still
                         have a chance if we hurry.

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         Ah -think this is it.

               William Chandler with the anxious John Reid behind him,
               approaches Zach's hotel room door and knocks on the door. 
               William Chandler puts his face to the door.

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER (cont'd)
                         Zach...It's me...I need for you to
                         wake up.

        24     HOTEL ROOM                                              24

               ZACH CHANDLER lies on his bed dressed in a rumpled bed
               nightshirt and cap, asleep. There's an empty whiskey bottle
               next to his bed on the floor. He hears the knocking, stirs
               and puts a pillow over his head. 

               SUPERED: Zachariah Chandler, Chairman Republican National
               Executive Committee. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Go away - I'm sleeping.

               HOTEL HALLWAY

               Reid joins William Chandler and helps with the door knocking. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         It's William. Please Zach - wake up
                         and answer the door. There is
                         important news concerning the
                         outcome of the election.

               HOTEL ROOM

               Zach, annoyed, struggles to get out of the bed and walks to
               the door and peeks through the peephole. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         What is it?... And who is that with

               HOTEL HALLWAY

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         John Reid the Managing Editor from
                         the New York Times. He says he has
                         news about the election.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER  (V.O.)
                         We lost dam it - go away.

               Reid, gets impatient with the conversation through the closed

                                   JOHN REID
                         Sorry to wake you Chairman - but
                         the news I have may change the
                         outcome of the election. Please sir
                         can I come in and discuss this with

               HOTEL ROOM

               With an audible sigh, Zach fumbles with the door and opens
               it. He walks back toward his bed and motions with his hand
               for the men to enter. John Reid and William Chandler enter
               and stand just inside the door as Zach lies back down on the
               bed, placing an arm to cover his eyes from the light. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         What's so important that you woke
                         me at this hour?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Sir, there's a chance to turn the
                         tables on Tilden to favor Hayes.
                         After a careful examination of the
                         results by myself and the editorial
                         staff at the Times, we - well I -
                         realized that the Southern States
                         of South Carolina, Florida and
                         Louisiana are in doubt.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Are you a madman? Tilden didn't win
                         by just a few votes - he crushed

                                   JOHN REID
                         In the popular he did, but not the
                         Electoral. These three states are
                         still under Reconstruction and
                         Federal control.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         So...oh you mean Republican control
                         because of Grant. 

               John Reid sees that Zach Chandler is catching on. Zach sits
               up in his bed and turns to stare out the window.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Hayes still has a shot to take it
                         by Electoral College if we can
                         convince the Republican state
                         leaders to count Hayes as the

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         A little to late for that since the
                         counts have already been
                         reported...What is it you want from

                                   JOHN REID
                         Your permission to send wires to
                         the Republican Chairmen of these
                         states to make them aware.

               Zach ponders the request for a moment.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Any others?

                                   JOHN REID
                         Oregon, Nevada and California.	 

               Zach contemplates the request for a moment and questions
               Reid's motives.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         You must really despise Tilden to
                         be doing this.

                                   JOHN REID
                         He's a Democrat and that alone is
                         reason enough.

               Zach stands up and approaches Reid. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Very well. Go ahead - Do whatever
                         you think is necessary - Although I
                         think you crackbrained and wasting
                         everyone's time."

                                   JOHN REID
                         The press can be a very powerful
                         tool Chairman.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         If there is more than one newspaper
                         reporting it - 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Thank you Chairman for allowing me
                         to try.

               Zach and Reid shake hands and Reid turns, giving W.E Chandler
               a quick nod, and walks briskly out of the hotel room. Zach
               leans over into William Chandler's ear.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         Follow him William and report his
                         actions back to me.

        25     HOTEL LOBBY                                             25

               Moments later, William Chandler rushes through the lobby and 
               catches up with John Reid. They walk to the 


               and find a Closed sign on the window. John Reid walks to an
               empty desk and pulls out a chair and sits down. He searches
               for a pen and some paper in the desk and finds it.  William
               Chandler stands behind him for a moment then sits in the
               chair next to the desk. Reid hands him the pen and paper.


               The older desk clerk that had observed Reid earlier, strains
               to listen to John and William Chandler's conversation. The
               younger clerk looks up at his boss curiously.

                                   OLDER HOTEL CLERK 
                             (to younger hotel Clerk)
                          Mind your business. 

               HOTEL LOBBY 

                                   JOHN REID
                         I'll dictate, you write.

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         How will we send these? The office
                         is closed.

                                   JOHN REID
                         The main wire office will be open.
                         We must hurry. Write this, To D.H.
                         Chamberlain - South Carolina. Hayes
                         is elected if we can carry South
                         Carolina. Can you hold your State?
                         Answer immediately. Sign it
                         Chairman, Zach Chandler...We'll use
                         the same message to the other

               After William Chandler finishes writing the message he and
               John Reid get up and walk toward the hotel's front entrance
               door and exit.


               The older hotel clerk watches John Reid and William Chandler
               exit the hotel. He walks to a nearby coat rack and pulls his
               coat off the stand. He exits the hotel. 

        26     EXT.  NEW YORK CITY - TELEGRAPH OFFICE - NIGHT          26

               John Reid and William Chandler ride their horses to the 23rd
               Street Western Union office. Both dismount, tie their horse
               reins to a hitching post and walk toward the building

        27     INT.  NEW YORK CITY - TELEGRAPH OFFICE - NIGHT          27

               A TELEGRAPH CLERK behind the counter takes the paper from
               William Chandler and reads it silently. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Is there a problem? 

                                   TELEGRAPH CLERK
                         Who will pay for these?

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         The Republican Party committee.
                         I'll authorize them.

                                   TELEGRAPH CLERK
                         I'll need approval directly from
                         Chairman Zack Chandler to send

               Reid grabs the invoice from the clerk and signs his name to
               the invoice and writes down an account number.  He pushes the
               paper back to the clerk. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Use my account at the New York

               The clerk pauses for a moment, examines the signature on the
               invoice, turns and walks over to the telegraph machine and
               proceeds to send the wires.

        28     INT.  TILDEN MANSION - DINING ROOM - DAY                28

               Mary is seated at the dining room table having breakfast. She
               beams with delight when Samuel enters the room and and seats
               himself in a chair. A MAID walks over to Samuel and pours him
               a cup of coffee. 

               SUPERED: November 8, 1876 - the morning after the election.

                         Anything else, Mr. President?

                         Good morning indeed.  What time did
                         you get to bed last night?

                         Later than my usual and for the
                         record I am the President elect.

                         A mere technicality. 

                         I didn't get a chance last night to
                         thank you.

                         It was my pleasure.

                         You will be my Hostess at the White


                         Yes...you can't be First Lady
                         you're my sister.

                         What will I tell Sarah? If only you
                         would propose to her, I have great
                         confidence she would accept.

                         I have no time for husbandry
                         duties. Nor do I wish to marry
                         Sarah -

                         Why not? She is in perfect social
                         standing and comes from a good

                         If you accept you'll be able to
                         work on the women's rights cause.


                         Within reason.

                         If free slave men can vote - women
                         should be able to.

                         You know I agree with you. Stop
                         arguing and say yes.

                         I'll do it for the women.


               George Smith, enters the room with a glum expression on his
               face. Without saying a word, he walks over to Samuel and
               hands him a few telegraph wires. Before reading them, Samuel
               invites George Smith to have breakfast with him and Mary and
               sets the telegrams aside.

                         Good Morning Mr. Smith...

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         Good Morning Sir.

                         Come, sit - have some breakfast.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         The wires.

                         They can wait a few moments. 

                         Oh - he doesn't say that often Mr.
                         Smith. Better sit before he changes
                         his mind.

                         I'm not that bad.

               George Smith sits in a chair across from Samuel and Mary. A
               butler walks to the table and pours George Smith a cup of
               coffee. Mary notices George is restless. 

                         Mr. Smith are you all right? 

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         A small concern.

                             (to Samuel)
                         You've just been elected President
                         and already bad news?

               Samuel picks up a few of the telegrams and reads them. George
               Smith sits back in his chair and anxiously waits for Samuel's
               response. There is none. Smith glances at Mary for a moment
               then looks back to Samuel. Samuel places the telegrams back
               on the table and sips his coffee. Susan and William Pelton
               enter the room and seat themselves at the table.

                             (to George Smith)
                         What other editors are reporting

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         So far, just the New York
                         Times...It's rumored that the
                         managing editor John Reid is behind

                         Who is John Reid?

                         I've heard of him...He's one of
                         their night editors.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         I talked with an old friend of mine
                         early this morning from the Fifth
                         Avenue hotel. He says Reid was in
                         the lobby late last night
                         conspiring with William Chandler.

                         The Chairman of the Republican

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         No - Zach Chandler is the Chairman.
                         William is another not related.

               Samuel places the telegrams down and resumes eating his
               breakfast as if nothing is wrong. Mary and William take the
               telegrams from the table and read them.

                         A Doubtful Election? How dare they
                         report such lies. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Probably a stunt to sell more
                         newspapers...All the other papers
                         have declared Uncle's victory.

                         You and I will visit headquarters
                         after breakfast.

               George Smith stands.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         I'll ready your carriage and

               George Smith exits and the others remain at the table eating

                         Hayes must have conceded by now.

                         I'm not concerned and none of you
                         should be either...Susan I would
                         like you to come to Washington too.  

                         I'd love to - thank you Uncle.

                         You will enjoy your time there. 

                         It will be a grand adventure

                         William, will you come to?

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         No, my business is here.


                         William is right. A man has to take
                         care of his own affairs.

        29     EXT.  OHIO - HAYES HOME - STREET - DAY                  29

               SUPERED: Hayes first informal concession

               A crowd of displeased Hayes Supporters stand by the main
               entrance and listen while Hayes talks to reporters. 

                                   REPORTER 1 OHIO 
                         The New York Times claims this race
                         is not yet decided. Any comments

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I've heard the rumors - though I
                         think we are defeated in spite of
                         recent good news. 

                                   REPORTER 2 OHIO
                         Does that mean you are conceding? 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I am in the opinion that the
                         Democrats have carried the country
                         and Tilden has been elected.

               Some of Hayes supporters in earshot jeer at his response.
               While a smaller group of TILDEN SUPPORTERS wave their signs
               and cheer. 

                                   REPORTERS OHIO
                         What now Governor?  Governor, one
                         more question?

               Hayes, not yet wanting to confirm his concession, waves to
               the crowd and walks back toward the house. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         That's it for me boys. Thank you
                         all for your support.

               Rutherford Hayes walks back toward his house.


               SUPERED: November 8, 1876 - Day after election. New York
               City, Republican Headquarters at the Fifth Avenue Hotel

               Zach Chandler stands near John Reid and William Chandler
               inside Republican headquarters. The three men review
               telegrams. Several lingering CAMPAIGN WORKERS busy themselves
               in the room and chat amongst themselves.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Several other newspapers across the
                         country will follow our lead and
                         report Hayes may overturn Tilden by
                         the Electoral College.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         Florida sent a favorable response. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Have you heard anything from South
                         Carolina and Louisiana?

               Zach hands Reid the wires from the two other states. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         Strangely they are favorable too.

                                   JOHN REID
                         And the western states? 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Nothing yet. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         One vote in the electoral is all we

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         With nineteen in question, your
                         scheme to overturn this election
                         will cause a lot of trouble with
                         the voters.

                                   JOHN REID
                         They'll get over it.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Two hundred and fifty four thousand
                         voters and Tammany Hall men will
                         want to hang you from the highest

                                   JOHN REID
                         Ha - Hayes will protect me.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Don't count on that. 

        31     EXT.  NEW YORK CITY - EVERTTE HOUSE - STREET - DAY      31

               SUPERED: Same day. Everett House Democratic Headquarters -
               Congressman Abram Hewitt, Chairmen of Democratic National
               Committe and John Bigelow help to sort out the count. 

               Samuel Tilden, William Pelton and the two body guards, make
               their way through the CROWD of well wishers. Samuel greets
               them with enthusiasm and shakes hands with several people
               before entering the building.

        32     INT.  NEW YORK CITY - EVERTTE HOUSE - DAY               32

               John Bigelow and Abram Hewitt review the returns. Samuel and
               William enter the room and walk to them. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         John Reid, of the New York Times is
                         behind this.

                         So I've heard from another.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Mr. Smith's friend claims he was in
                         the editorial room when Reid
                         received a dispatch from Barnum and
                         Magone asking them to confirm the

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         This is obviously a combination of
                         Reid's bitter partisanship combined
                         with a gambler's wish to encourage
                         the Republicans to try to steal
                         your Presidency.

                         What are the Democratic leaders
                         from the southern states reporting?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Louisiana reported and confirmed we
                         have defeated Hayes by some twenty
                         thousand votes.

                         Then the Republicans and Mr. Reid
                         are wasting everyone's time.


               SUPERED: November 8, 1876 - Centennial International
               Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair in the
               United States. President Grant is in attendance for the 
               closing ceremonies.

               PRESIDENT GRANT is with some FRIENDS walking through the main
               hall of the fair. A SOLIDER walks up to Grant and hands him a
               telegraph, salutes him and walks away.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Thank you. 

               President Grant reads the message, folds it up and tucks it
               in his jacket.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Election returns confirm Tilden
                         will replace me as President.
                         Although a democrat he's a good

        34     EXT.  WASHINGTON DC - WHITE HOUSE - STREET - NIGHT      34

               SOLDIERS mounted on horses are lined up along in military
               style. The COMMANDER of the unit walks to his horse and
               climbs up into the saddle. He motions with his arm to move
               his troops forward. A few PEOPLE strolling by the watch the
               soldiers trot away.


               Secretary of War, JAMES DONALD CAMERON and President Grant's
               personal assistant ORVILLE E BABCOCK are talking by a desk. 

                                   JAMES CAMERON
                         The President must be advised of
                         our actions. Sending these men
                         south to the disputed states under
                         reconstruction without his
                         permission won't sit well with him.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Tell me - what do you know about
                         this John Reid fellow from the New
                         York Times? 

                                   JAMES CAMERON
                         Heard he hates Democrats. 

               Both men laugh.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         All joking aside I see the worst
                         case scenario as Hayes and Tilden
                         canceling each other out and I'll
                         get to keep my job serving Grant in
                         a third term.

        36     EXT.  GRAMERCY PARK - NIGHT                             36

               Crowds swell and Horse and Carriages arrive dropping off HIGH
               SOCIETY PEOPLE for Tilden's victory party.

        37     INT.  TILDEN MANSION - DINING - NIGHT                   37

               Mary is busy with the staff making preparations for the
               victory celebration.  

               LIVING ROOM

               Samuel, dressed in formal attire, checks himself in the
               mirror. A BUTLER is assisting him.


               Mary enters the area and begins to greet Society Guests.
               Samuel walks down the stair toward Mary.  

                         Mr. President elect you are
                         supposed to wait to make your
                         grandiose entrance.

               Samuel places his arm around his sister and gives her a kiss
               on her cheek. 

                         Why wait? I know most of these

                             (to Guests)
                         Hello - so good to see you.

                             (to some of the guests)
                             (to Mary)
                         Thanking you.

                         No thank you's needed. I wish
                         Mother and Father were here to see

                             (to one of the guest's)
                         Hello - 

               Samuel and Mary can hear the crowd cheering from outside.

                         Aunt Polly too. I have fond
                         memories of her as a child with all
                         the books she brought me. 

        38     EXT. GRAMERCY PARK - STREET -NIGHT                      38

               The park is now roped off to hold back the curious and upbeat
               crowds. Carriages continue to arrive with more passengers.
               Samuel walks down the stairs to the rope line and shake hands
               with people in the crowd. Tilden supporters hold up their
               campaign signs while others wave their hats and
               handkerchiefs. There are several reporters present following
               Samuel as he works the rope line including John Reid. 

                                   REPORTER 1 NYC
                         Governor, I mean President Tilden,
                         a moment please.  

                                   REPORTER 2 NYC
                         Mr. Tilden, how's it feel to be


               Mary walks out to watch Samuel.


               Samuel acknowledges their questions with a wave of his hand,
               smile and continues to walk the rope line. For a brief
               second, he catches the eyes of John Reid. He stares at him
               for a moment and then tries to ignore him. John Reid steps
               closer and calls out to him.   

                                   JOHN REID 
                         Mr. Tilden, John Reid from the New
                         York Times...What say you of 
                         Chairman Chandler's claims you are
                         short in Electoral College?


               Mary see's John Reid and becomes visibly annoyed. 


               The crowd tones down to a low whispers and some boo John
               Reid's question. Samuel stops, turns back and stares directly
               into Reid's eyes for a moment, and then turns his attention
               back to his supporters. The crowd whispers with chatter. 
               Samuel holds his arms in the air to quiet them. After a few
               moments the noise level lessens. 

                         My election victory was due to the
                         issues. I received a great number
                         of Republican votes.  The election
                         was decided in part on my record as
                         Governor of New York as the
                         closeness of the contest shows. 
                         The opposition I had to overcome,
                         well - I did not expect a large
                         majority in the Electoral College.
                         All will be fine...That is all for

               The crowd cheers Samuel's remarks. Samuel holds his arms in
               the air for victory and the crowd cheers louder and start to
               chant his name again and wave their campaign signs, hats and
               handkerchiefs. Samuel bows to his encouraging audience and
               puts his hand to his heart and thumps his chest lightly by
               his heart in a sign to thank them for their support. The
               crowd roars even louder. He turns and climbs the stairs. 


               Mary links her arm with Samuels and both wave to the crowd. 

                         Your friends and family are vying
                         for your attention. 

               As Mary and Samuel turn to exit into the house, Mary turns
               her head back and locks eyes with John Reid. Samuel notices

                         Ignore him...He needs to sell
                         newspapers with sensational

                         Damned Republicans must have sent
                         him here.

                         Ignore him - he's just doing the
                         job they pay him to do. 


               Reporters gather around John Reid.

                                   REPORTER 1 NYC
                         Did something change in the poll

                                   REPORTER 2 NYC
                         Tilden beat Hayes in a landslide
                         and Hayes conceded. Reid is

                                   JOHN REID
                         It doesn't matter if Tilden has a
                         million more popular votes. He
                         falls short by one Electoral Vote
                         boys and that one vote will elect

               Some of the crowd overhear what John Reid stated to the
               newsmen and boo him.  

        39     INT. NEW YORK CITY - EVERETT HOUSE - DAY                39

               SUPERED: November 9, 1876 - New York City, Everett House -
               Democratic Headquarters. Tammany Hall's New Boss Honest John

               Campaign workers are busy counting election returns. JOHN
               KELLY enters the room holding a rolled up newspaper in his
               hand. He is accompanied by TWO LARGE IRISH BODYGUARDS. They
               wait by the door and Kelly walks over to John Bigelow,
               William Pelton and Abram Hewitt. All three men take notice of
               him but keep their focus on election results at the tote
               board. John Kelly taps a rolled up newspaper against the palm
               of his hand. In his usual confident gruff voice he announces
               his presence. 

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         Good morning Gentlemen.

               John Bigelow, somewhat annoyed, continues to review the tote

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Good morning Mr. Kelly. We were all
                         wondering when you'd show up.

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         Busy with Tammany business Mr.
                         Bigelow. Where is Governor Tilden?
                         I need to speak with him. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         He'll be here shortly.

               Noting the negative mood, John Kelly decides to change the
               tone of the conversation with some comical sarcasm.

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         I have big dollars on this

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I'm sure Governor Tilden has no
                         concern with your wager, Mr. Kelly. 

               Kelly realizes his attempt at good humor has backfired and he
               places his newspaper in his side jacket pocket. He raises
               both of his hands, palms up in a noncommittal manner. 

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         Relax Congressman - my ten-thousand
                         is on Tilden's win - not his loss.

               Bigelow lightens his mood and relaxes his stance.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Then your wager is safe. 

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         How many votes are in dispute?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         It appears we are shy just one
                         Electoral vote in the south needed
                         to claim victory.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Not all of the states laws are
                         bound by party loyalty or popular

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         What now?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         We have made arrangements to send
                         our best party leaders from the
                         North to disputed Southern states.
                         Three are still under Republican
                         control and reconstruction. If they
                         are planning to cheat us this is
                         where they'll most likely do it.  

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         We could us your help to organize
                         the effort.

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         You'll have my full support but as
                         you know the south is out of my

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Good to hear. The cheats with 
                         Grant's Authority will try anything
                         to swindle their way to victory. 

               Samuel enters the room and pauses for a moment to look at the
               two Tammany Hall guards. He gives them a slight nod and walks
               over to the tote board. Samuel is in good spirits and reaches
               out to shake John Kelly's hand. 

                         Good to see you Mr. Kelly.  

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         You too Mr. President elect.

                         How is the family? 

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         Good --all good. I was just saying
                         if there is anything I can do. 

                         Our friends in Louisiana need our
                         moral support and my personal
                         endorsement. Bayard, Thurman,
                         Barnum, Randall, McDonald
                         Dorsheimer, Kerand and a group of
                         others are on their way to New
                         Orleans as we speak. A strong
                         demonstration there will defeat the
                         designs of the Returning Board.

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         And Florida?

                         Henry Watterson will go to Florida
                         with Beck and McHenry. They are
                         requesting funds for reinforcements
                         to resist the radical pranks
                         expected. Coyle and a few others
                         left for South Carolina. Those
                         fiery zealots of the Republican
                         Party may attempt to count me out,
                         but I don't think the better class
                         of the Republicans will permit it.

                                   HONEST JOHN KELLY
                         Trust no Republican... Your reform
                         tactics, honorable as they are have
                         gained you many political enemies.

                         Yes - so it seems. 

        40     INT. HAYES HOUSE - LIBRARY - NIGHT                      40

               SUPERED: Hayes writes a concession in his diary. 

               Rutherford Hayes is sitting at his desk writing in his diary. 

               boarding trains for the southern states. Add to this some
               historic stills of slaves and white men at the polls with
               guns and signs for the candidates. 

               NOTE to DIRECTOR: This dialog is the actual words written by
               Hayes - cut out what can be but leave in his conceding to

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES (V.O.)
                         Saturday, November 11, 1876 - The
                         election has resulted in the defeat
                         of the Republicans after a very
                         close contest. Tuesday evening a
                         small party assembled in our parlor
                         to hear the news. General Mitchell
                         and Laura, our boys, Birch and
                         Webb, Governor Dennison, a reporter
                         of the Chicago Tribune, Mr.
                         Huntley, W. K. Rogers, Rutherford
                         Platt, and a few others at times.
                         Emily Platt, Dr. Fullerton, and
                         Fanny. We all felt that the State
                         of New York would decide the
                         contest. Our last dispatches from
                         our committee in New York were very
                         encouraging -full of confidence.
                         Mr. A. B. Cornell, Chairman New
                         York State Committee, Said in an
                         experience of ten years he had
                         never seen prospects brighter on
                         the eve of an election. But we all
                         knew - warned by the enormous
                         registration in the cities of New
                         York and Brooklyn and other facts-
                         that we must not count confidently
                         on carrying the State. The good
                         omen from Ithaca was accepted with
                         a quiet cheerfulness.   Almost at
                         the same instant came a gain of
                         thirty-six in Ballville, the
                         township nearest my own home. This
                         was good. Then came, one at a time,
                         towns and precincts in Ohio. The
                         comparison was made with the vote
                         in 1875, instead of with the
                         of October last. This was
                         confusing. But soon we began to
                         feel that Ohio was not doing as
                         well as we had hoped. The effect
                         was depressing. I commanded without
                         much effort my usual composure and
                         cheerfulness. Lucy felt it more
                         keenly. Without showing her
                         depression, she busied herself
                         about refreshments for our guests,
                         and soon disappeared. I found her
                         soon after abed with a headache. I
                         comforted her by consoling talk;
                         she was cheerful and resigned, but
                         did not return to the parlor.
                         Without difficulty or much effort I
                         became the most composed and
                         cheerful of the party. At- P. M.,
                         or thereabouts, we heard that in
                         some two hundred districts of New
                         York City, Tilden had about twenty
                         thousand majority, which indicated
                         fifty thousand in the city. The
                         returns received from the rural
                         districts did not warrant the
                         belief that they would overcome
                         such a large city majority. From
                         that time, I never supposed there
                         was a chance for Republican
                         success.   I went to bed at 12 to 1
                         o'clock. Talked with Lucy,
                         consoling her with such topics as
                         readily occurred of a nature to
                         make us feel satisfied on merely
                         personal grounds with the result.
                         We soon fell into a refreshing
                         sleep and the affair seemed over.
                         Both of us felt more anxiety about
                         the South - about the colored
                         people especially- than about
                         anything else sinister in the
                         result.  My hope of a sound
                         currency will somehow be realized;
                         civil service reform will be
                         delayed; but the great injury is in
                         the South.  There, the Amendments
                         will be nullified, disorder will
                         continue, prosperity to both whites
                         and colored people will be pushed
                         off for years. But I took my way to
                         my office as usual
                         morning, and was master of myself
                         and contented and cheerful.  During
                         the day the news indicated that we
                         (had) carried California; soon
                         after, other Pacific States; all
                         New England except Connecticut; all
                         of the free States West except
                         Indiana; and it dawned on us that
                         with a few Republican States in the
                         South to which we were fairly
                         entitled, we would yet be the
                         victors.  From Wednesday afternoon
                         the city and the whole country has
                         been full of excitement and
                         anxiety.  People have been up and
                         down several times a day with the
                         varying rumors. 
                         Wednesday evening on a false rumor
                         about New York, a shouting
                         multitude rushed to my house and
                         called me out with rousing cheers.
                         I made a short talk, saying (as
                         reported by the papers): "Friends. -
                         If you will keep order for one half
                         minute, I will say all that is
                         proper to say at this time. In the
                         very close political contest, which
                         is just drawing to a close, it is
                         impossible, at so early a time, to
                         obtain the result, owing to the
                         incomplete telegraph communications
                         through some of the Southern and
                         Western States. "I accept your call
                         as a desire on your part for the
                         success of the Republican Party. 
                         If it should not be successful, I
                         shall surely have the pleasure of
                         living for the next year and a half
                         among some of my most ardent and
                         enthusiastic friends, as you have
                         demonstrated tonight. From that
                         time, the news has fluctuated just
                         enough to prolong the suspense and
                         to enhance the interest. At this
                         time the Republicans are claiming
                         the election by one electoral vote.
                         With Louisiana, South Carolina, and
                         Florida, we have carried one
                         hundred and eighty-five [electoral
                         votes].  This creates great
                         uneasiness. Both sides are sending
                         to Louisiana prominent men to watch
                         the canvassing of the votes. All
                         thoughtful people are brought to
                         consider the imperfect machinery
                         provided for electing the
                         President. No doubt we shall,
                         warned by this danger, provide, by
                         amendments of the Constitution, or
                         by proper legislation, against a
                         recurrence of the danger.

        41     EXT. WASHINGTON DC - WHITE HOUSE - STREET - DAY         41

               SUPERED: President Grant and First Lady Julia Dent Grant

               Large CROWDS of Hayes and Tilden supporters are marching,
               with political signs in support of their candidates.
               HORSE and CARRIAGES with their DRIVERS fill the streets.
               President Grant's carriage arrives and turns into the  


               And parks. Two SOLDIERS walk over the to carriage, pull down
               the carriage stairs and open the door. Grant steps out and
               helps his wife JULIA GRANT out. They walk toward the White
               House entrance and the carriage drives off. 

        42     INT. WASHINGTON DC - WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE - DAY         42

               President Grant enters his office and walks to the window to
               watch the crowds of people. He lights a cigar and takes a few
               puffs then walks back to his desk and sits down. He notices a 
               telegram on his desk. 

               ORVILLE BABCOCK enters the room and walks toward Grant. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Would you please explain why my
                         Secretary of War sent troops
                         without my permission?

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         They were needed Sir.

               Grant leans back in his chair, puffs on his cigar. Then he
               pushes the telegram toward Orville Babcock. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT 
                         Please read the telegram from
                         General Sherman out loud.

               Orville Babcock picks up the telegram from Grant's desk. 

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Yes Sir...The Secretary of War,
                         Cameron, has ordered me to send
                         soldiers to Florida. Please

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         On whose authority was this
                         telegram sent?

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Governor Hayes' Electoral count is
                         One-Hundred-Sixty-Six with nineteen
                         votes still undetermined.
                         Tilden's count remains at One
                         Hundred-Eighty-Four. Tilden needs
                         just one and Hayes needs all

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Um hmmm-

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         I thought - 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         One moment. I do not want to lose
                         my train of thought. 

               Orville walks to a desk and retrieves a pad and pencil then
               walks back toward the President's desk and sits in a chair
               cloes-by. Grant takes a few final puffs on his cigar,
               slightly rocks his chair back and stares blankly for a few

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Address it to General W.T. Sherman.
                         Instruct General Auger, in
                         Louisiana, and General Ruger in

               Grant waits for Orville to finish writing. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT (cont'd)
                         Tell them to be vigilant with the
                         force under their command and to
                         preserve peace and good order. 

               He pauses for another moment. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT (cont'd)
                         See to it that the legal Boards of
                         Canvassers are unmolested in the
                         performance of their duties. Should
                         there be any grounds of suspicion
                         for fraudulent counting on either

               Grant looks directly at his Orville and says sternly, 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT (cont'd)
                         it should be denounced at once.

               He waits for his Orville to finish writing.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Is that it Sir?

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT 
                         For now... 

               Orville stands and starts to walk out of the room. 

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         I'll get right on this.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Mr. Babcock - No man worthy of the
                         office for President would be
                         willing to hold the office if
                         counted in or placed there by
                         fraud. Either Party can afford to
                         be disappointed in the result, but
                         the country cannot afford to have
                         the results tainted by the
                         suspicion of illegal or false

               Orville pauses for a moment and watches President Grant rise
               from his chair and walk around to the front of his desk
               toward him, still puffing on his stubby cigar.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Add a post script...
                         Tell the General to keep it honest
                         and to make sure the colored men of
                         the South are treated with respect.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Yes sir.

               Orville Babcock turns and starts to walk away again. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Yes sir?

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Don't you dare ever go behind my
                         back again.

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         No - I mean yes Sir. 

        43     EXT. OHIO - HAYES MANSION - STREET - NIGHT              43

               A large and unruly crowd of Hayes and Tilden supporters have
               gathered at the Hayes estate.  Several REPORTERS wait with
               them for Hayes to come outside. A few of the Tilden
               supporters start to push and shove the Hayes people. 

                                   TILDEN SUPPORTERS OHIO
                         Hayes lost and must concede the

                                   HAYES SUPPORTER 1 OHIO 
                         Tilden ain't won nothing yet! The
                         votes ain't all counted!

                                   TILDEN SUPPORTERS OHIO
                         They're counted and Tilden has more
                         than a quarter million more votes.

                                   HAYES SUPPORTER 1 OHIO
                         Doesn't matter if he has a million
                         more votes- He needs another
                         elector - without is stinkin' 
                         democrats are out.

               The Tilden Supporter throws a punch at the Hayes Supporer and
               the two wrestle each other to the ground. A crowd gathers
               around them and the reporters move in closer.

                                   REPORTER 1 OHIO 
                         This kind of action will sell
                         thousands of papers.

        44     INT. OHIO - HAYES MANSION - DINING ROOM - NIGHT         44

               While the melee commences outside inside the mansion Hayes
               and his wife Lucy are seated at the dining room table. Two of
               their children, FANNY their nine year old daughter and SCOTT
               their six year old son are with them at the table. They  hear
               the commotion erupting outside. Hayes tries his best to
               ignore it.

                                   LUCY HAYES
                         These people fight for your

                                   FANNY HAYES
                         You're the President?

                                   SCOTT HAYES
                         I'm not going.

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         Children, no one is going anywhere
                         right now. Finish your lunch.

                                   LUCY HAYES
                         Mind your father.  

               They are disrupted when they glass breaking. 

                                   HAYES SUPPORTER 1 OHIO (V.O.)
                         Governor Hayes - Come outside and
                         talk with us!

                                   LUCY HAYES
                         Rutherford - Tell them to stop
                         shouting. They are frightening the

               Little Scott jumps up in his own defense and runs to his
               father's side.

                                   SCOTT HAYES
                          I'm not afraid!

               Hayes affectionately pats his son on the head and senses his
               wife's fears. Rutherford he pulls his chair away from the
               table, stands and walks toward the

               LIVING ROOM

               To the front door and Scott trails behind him. Hayes stops
               and firmly turns Scott around.

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         Back to the table young man and
                         finish your lunch.

        45     EXT. OHIO - HAYES MANSION - STREET - NIGHT              45

               Hayes walks down the path to the street. His supporters cheer
               him while the Tilden supporters are rude and jeer. Hayes
               holds up his hands for silence from the crowd.  

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         Friends, if you will keep order for
                         me half a minute - I will say all
                         that is proper to say at this time. 

               The crowd quiets to a whispering hush and Hayes waits until
               there is silence for him to continue. The reporters ready
               their cameras on tri-pods while others scribble notes on note

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         Thank you all for coming... In a
                         very close political contest, it is
                         impossible at so early a time, to
                         obtain a result. The telegram
                         communications from some of the
                         southern and western states are
                         still incomplete.

                                   HAYES SUPPORTER OHIO
                         You won! 

               More cheers and jeers fill the air. Hayes again holds up his
               hands up for silence. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I accept your call as a desire on
                         your part for the success of the
                         Republican party. If it should not
                         be successful, however, I shall
                         surely have the pleasure of living
                         for the next years among some of my
                         most ardent and enthusiastic
                         friends, as you have demonstrated
                         here today.

               The Hayes supporters cheer again while Tilden supporters
               remain respectfully quiet. Hayes waves to the crowd and then
               turns and walks back toward the house.

        46     INT. TILDEN MANSION - LIBRARY - NIGHT                   46

               Samuel is seated at his office desk reading a document he has
               just finished writing. 

               DIRECTORS NOTE: Can be edited down...INSERT VARIOUS CUTS:
               PHOTOS and VIDEO of PEOPLE in the streets protesting in
               different cities around the country.

                                   SAMUEL (V.O.)
                         Thanksgiving Proclamation - The
                         unfailing mercies of God of which
                         another year has given witness,
                         call us to renew our acknowledgment
                         of Him in thanksgiving and prayer.
                         We are specially reminded of His
                         protection, in the absence of any
                         great disaster or calamity
                         throughout the Commonwealth; and of
                         His bounty, in the large and
                         generous returns of nature. Let us
                         rejoice in the spirit of order and
                         of charity and of the hopefulness
                         which has pervaded all classes
                         under the depression in the
                         industries and trade, and in the
                         growth of the public sentiment
                         toward wise and humane methods of
                         dealing with want and suffering.
                         Let us give thanks for the
                         maintenance of our social and
                         religious institutions in their
                         integrity, and improve the Divine
                         blessing upon all efforts in behalf
                         of good government and a true
                         morality. In common with the people
                         of the other States of the Union,
                         we recall, at this time, the
                         blessings which we hold by
                         inheritance.  It becomes us, with
                         them, to gratefully and humbly
                         acknowledge the God of our fathers,
                         whose mercies have been from
                         generation to generation,
                         beseeching Him for the continuous
                         of His favor to the nation of His
                         planting, that He may not "deliver
                         our glory unto another." I do,
                         therefore,  set apart and appoint
                         Thursday the 30th day of November,
                         recommending to the people that on
                         that day they put aside their usual
                         employments, and in their homes and
                         in their respective places of
                         worship, render thanks to Almighty
                         God for His mercies to us as
                         individuals and as a State. Done at
                         the Capitol, in the City of Albany,
                         this sixth day of November, in the
                         year of our Lord one thousand eight
                         hundred and seventy six. 

               BACK ON SCENE

               Satisfied with the proclamation, Samuel signs it. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Am I disturbing you?

                         Not at all. What's on your mind?

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Thought we might take a carriage
                         ride to Central Park.  

               Samuel takes the proclamation document from the desk. 

                         I'll get my coat...A spirited ride
                         in the fresh air will do us both
                         some good. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The carriage is out back.  

               Samuel and John walk to George Smith's desk. 

                         Here you are, Mr. Smith. It's
                         signed and ready for print.

               Samuel slips his arms into his coat. John Bigelow picks up
               his newspaper. 

                         See you later.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         That's a catchy phrase. 

                         I came up with it yesterday. 

               Samuel and John Bigelow walk toward the 

               LIVING ROOM

               And Samuel sneezes. Mary enters the room

                         You've got another cold. Where are
                         you going dressed like that?

               Samuel reaches over and gives Mary a kiss on her cheek - then
               sneezes again. He blows his nose into a handkerchief.
               Frowning, Mary glances over at a butler who is standing off
               to the side. Without a word, he walks to the rack and
               retrieves a hat and scarf and brings them to Mary and she
               wraps the scarf around Samuel's neck.

                         Humor me�   

               Samuel rolls his eyes.  

        47     EXT. CENTRAL PARK - STREET - DAY                        47

               SUPERED: Central Park, New York City

               Samuel has the horse reins and he trots the horses at a
               steady pace. John Bigelow holds the newspaper and reads it
               aloud to Samuel. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Nip and Tuck. Tilden still has one
                         hundred-eighty-four votes to Hayes'
                         one-hundred-sixty-six. Nineteen
                         votes are still undecided.

                         They left out I won by a quarter

               Bigelow grabs the side of carriage when Samuel takes a sharp

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         You are making it most difficult to
                         stay in my seat.

               Samuel slows the horses and carriage to a slow walk. 


               Bigelow relaxes his grip, straightens the newspaper and
               continues to read.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Ha -

                         Enlighten me. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         It says here - Tilden's a most
                         accomplished and astute politician -
                         less confiding and more distrustful
                         than Grant.
                         A man of modest, unobtrusive
                         personality - stooped and hence
                         looks smaller than he is - a small
                         boyish face - round head bent with
                         that sleepy droop in the left
                         eyelid - caused by Ptosis. He
                         dresses with plainness.

                         More distrustful than Grant? 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Governor Marcy predicts you would
                         be President, except for your
                         physical stamina.

                         Marcy said that?.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         And more...He claims it is like
                         putting a two hundred-horse power
                         engine in a craft built for only 
                         one hundred horse-power. He states
                         that you have too much mind for
                         your body.

                         Ha - I've said much worse about

               Without warning, a black stallion spooks Samuel's horses when
               it races by. CELESTE STAUFFER turns in her saddle and tips
               her hat in apology for the upset. 

                         Vivacious. I've never seen anything
                         like her. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The woman?

                         My eye may droop but I am not

               The two men laugh - Samuel snaps the reins against his
               horses' backs and maneuvers the team to turn around.

        48     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET - DAY                         48

               Hundreds of PROTESTORS fill the sidewalks and march around
               with Tilden and Hayes signs. Military men are lined up and
               civilian horse and carriages drive by.   

               SUPERED: December 4, 1876 - No clear winner.

        49     INT. WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE - DAY                         49

               President Grant stands by the window and observes the
               protestors. Orville Babcock enters the room with a telegram. 

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Response from General Sherman, sir. 

               Without turning away from the window, Grant chomps on his

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Read it aloud. 

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         Disruption is being reported
                         throughout the union. The
                         Republican and Democratic parties
                         are both taking action in the
                         streets to resolve the issues
                         concerning which candidate will
                         succeed you. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Is that all? 

                                   ORVILLE BABCOCK
                         It has also been reported that many
                         military veterans, even though out
                         of uniform are a threat.

               President Grant turns and slams his hand down on his desk,
               startling Babcock.  

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         This country cannot afford another
                         bloody battle!

               Babcock places the telegram on the President's desk and walks
               out of the office.

        50     EXT. CAPITOL BUILDING - DRIVEWAY - DAY                  50

               SUPERED: Same Day at Capitol Building.

               Several SENATORS and CONGRESSMEN walk with their AIDES toward
               the building entrance and ignore and avoid PROTESTORS vying
               for their attention.

        51     INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - HOUSE FLOOR - DAY               51

               Senators, Congressmen and their Aides enter the House
               Chambers and go toward their seats. Congressman JOHN GOODE
               JR. Democratic representative from Virginia enters the
               Chamber with his AIDE walking behind him. John Goode taps a
               folded up newspaper against his left palm and walks to SAMUEL
               J. RANDALL who is in a conversation with a few other

                                   JOHN GOODE
                             (to his Aide)
                         When I signal, please read the
                         President Grant's statement out

               The Aide walks away and John Goode Jr. moves to the front of
               the room and clears his throat. 

                                   JOHN GOODE(cont'd)
                         Excuse me Gentlemen... My Aide will
                         read a statement from President

               John Goode signals with his hand for the Aide to begin

                                   JOHN GOODE'S AIDE
                         President Grant and the Republicans
                         will have the regular army and the
                         Governors of the Democratic States
                         will have to call upon the militia
                         if needed.

               A buzz of voices fill the room.

                                   JOHN GOODE
                         Thank you. That will be all.

               Speaker Randall walks to the 


               picks up his gavel and bangs it a few times. All in the room 
               begin to take their seats. John Goode walks to a seat near
               the other Congressmen.

               HOUSE FLOOR

               CONGRESSMAN 2, leans close to John Goode.

                                   CONGRESSMAN 2
                         The fear amongst us is heightening
                         with the threats of violence
                         surrounding this election.

                                   JOHN GOODE
                         We must enforce the law.

               Congressman 2 slips his hand into his jacket and pulls the
               flap back to reveal a pistol. 

                                   CONGRESSMAN 2
                         The laws will not protect us from
                         those violent crazies in the

               Goode puts his face inches away from the other man. 

                                   JOHN GOODE
                         Is that necessary?

                                   CONGRESSMAN 2
                         I'm not the only one. Several are
                         armed. You should do the same to
                         protect yourself.


               Speaker Randall, bangs his gavel to quiet the noisy room. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         The House will come to order.

               HOUSE FLOOR

               Within moments, the Congressmen are silent and take their
               seats. John Goode stands.

                                   JOHN GOODE 
                         Mister Speaker, one Party or
                         another must surrender or we must

               John turns to face the assembly. 

                                   JOHN GOODE
                         Are the Gentleman prepared for a

               Several Congressmen rise to their feet.

                                   ALL CONGRESSMAN

               The room fills with voices of noisy chatter. John Goode is
               stunned by the quick and maddened response and slowly falls
               back into his seat. Speaker Randall bangs his gavel several
               times at the 


                                   JOHN RANDALL
                         Order! The House must come to

               HOUSE FLOOR

               A Congressman leans into John Goode. 

                                   CONGRESSMAN 3
                         The newspapers are reporting Grant
                         wants a third term so he can lead
                         another war. 


               SUPERED: Florida Republican Headquarter's - Governor Noyes,
               William Chandler, Zach Chandler, General Ruger, General Lew
               Wallace and Governor Marcellus Sterns arrive to cut deals
               with the state's returning board. 

               A group of angry protestors, a mixture of WHITE and BLACK
               MEN, surround Republican headquarters and wave political
               signs for both Hayes and Tilden. SOLDIERS, dressed in
               confederate uniforms, surround the social unrest. GOVERNOR
               NOYES, William Chandler, Zach Chandler, GENERAL RUGER,
               inside a horse carriage and moving through the crowd.
               The PROTESTORS wave their campaign signs and shout
               obscenities at the political men passing.

                                   TILDEN PROTESTOR
                         We will defend your Presidency!

                                   TILDEN PROTESTOR 2
                         Tilden or blood!

               The CARRIAGE DRIVER halts his horses at the barrier line
               manned by the soldiers when he can go no further. The driver
               leans back to talk to the men inside the coach. 

                                   CARRIAGE DRIVER FLORIDA
                         This is as far as I go.

               INSIDE CARRIAGE

               The men look apprehensively at one another. After a moment of
               hesitation, they begin, one by one, to exit the carriage.


               A few of the soldiers rush over to the carriage and assist
               the politicians and create a human barrier for Governor
               Noyes, William Chandler, Zach Chandler, General Ruger, 
               General Lew Wallace and Governor Marcellus Sterns walk
               through the barrier toward the front entrance


               A few of the protestors manage to slip through the barriers
               and race toward them. Much to their dismay they are quickly
               halted by the soldiers and pushed back.

               The rowdy crowd continues to rant and rave and shout their
               obscenities at the politicians. 

                                   TILDEN PROTESTORS
                         Tilden or Blood! 

                                   TILDEN PROTESTOR 2
                         Count our votes... We're being

                                   HAYES SUPPORTERS
                         Hayes won our state.

                                   TILDEN PROTESTOR 2
                         You cheaters are trying to steal
                         Tilden's Presidency. Go home you

                                   HAYES SUPPORTERS
                         We have the military on our side.

               The Carriage Driver maneuvers his horses and turns away from
               the shouting throng of protestors. Zach Chandler notes the
               insignia on the uniform of one the soldiers close to him.  

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Are you the commanding officer? You
                         should push these Tilden people
                         further down the road. 

               The officer grunts as he pushes a protestor back, and then
               turns back to Zach Chandler. 

                                   FLORIDA SOLIDER 1
                         We're doing the best we can, sir,
                         without shooting them. 

                                   GOVERNOR NOYES
                         If you must shoot them to make them
                         move then shoot them. 	

                                   GENERAL RUGER
                         I gave my men strict orders not to
                         do that Mr. Noyes, unless someone
                         fires upon them first.

               Sterns turns to William Chandler. 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         This is going to cost the party
                         more than the two thousand you've
                         already paid. I will authorize your
                         Elector Certificates legal or not -
                         but the party will pay for this

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         Whatever it takes, Mr. Noyes.
                         Whateve it takes.


               Governor Noyes, William Chandler, Zach Chandler, General
               Ruger, General Lew Wallace and Governor Marcellus Sterns
               enter through the front door. CAMPAIGN WORKERS are scattered
               throughout the room.

                                   GENERAL WALLACE
                         We will need at least another five
                         thousand to be rendered soon. The
                         soldiers have to eat.  

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         You'll get your money. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                         It's a small price to pay for a

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS (TO ZACK)
                         I heard the Governor of Georgia is
                         here to represent the Democrats
                         with the State Board of Canvassers.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER  
                         How many other treacherous
                         Democratic Statesmen arrived ahead
                         of us? 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Also heard George Drew is suing for
                         a recount for the Florida
                         Governor's seat. Any chance he'll
                         get it?

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Don't know but if he does that re
                         count will be as fair as the one
                         were doing for Hayes.

               Sterns and Zach Chandler walk to an


               And close the door behind them. Sterns walks to desk and
               opens a drawer and pulls out a bottle of whiskey and two
               glasses. He places them on his desk and pours whiskey in

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         This is southern moonshine and will
                         curl your toes. 

               Zach Chandler takes one of the glasses off the desk. He
               swirls the amber liquid around the bottom of the glass and 
               in one swift motion, shoots the hard liquor down his throat
               in single gulp. His eyes water and he coughs from the sting.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Not bad.

               Zach puts the shot glass down on the desk and Sterns fills it
               to the brim. 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Most Yankees can't handle southern

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Did you lose that arm in the war?  

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS 
                         Fighting with the union army. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         How did you end up here? 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Came after the war to study law. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Too hot and humid for my taste. 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Does take some getting use to.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         We have to play our cards close to
                         the vest-- 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         What we want is an end to re
                         construction. If Hayes is promising
                         it we can do business.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         You'll have it. Those insidious
                         Carpetbagger Dems would trade their
                         mothers to keep that land. 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Greed is a powerful tool. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         They call it progressive.

               Governor Sterns pours Zach another whiskey.

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         They can call it whatever they want
                         - a trade off of farmland for a
                         Presidency works fine for me.

        54     INT.  NEW YORK CITY - EVERTTE HOUSE - NIGHT             54

               Samuel Tilden, William Pelton, Abram Hewitt and John Bigelow
               are busy with the returns. Campaign workers are scattered at
               throughout the room.  

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Floyd in Florida claims he needs
                         ten thousand dollars more.

                         For what purpose?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Says to guarantee strong and honest
                         men in every precinct.  He's
                         offering to put up one-thousand
                         dollars of his own money.

                         Election bribery is wrong.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Tell that to the Republicans 
                         They'll spend hundreds of thousands
                         of dollars to get those electors. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         All that and a free Federal army,
                         courtesy of President Grant to
                         persuade them to turn.

                         The ballots are already cast - if
                         they try to cheat the count now
                         they will be jailed.  

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         In a perfect world they would. 

                         I will not buy my way into the back
                         door of the White House! Hayes is
                         an honorable man. If he allows it,
                         shame will come to his good name.  

               George Smith enters the room with a telegram. He hands it to
               Samuel. He reads it and passes it off to Abram Hewitt. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Seems there's a problem with the
                         three Oregon Electors. 

                         There shouldn't be. Hayes won the
                         popular vote by thousands there.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Says Governor Grover disqualified
                         one of the Republican electors
                         because he was a Postmaster. Seems
                         he wants to replace him with a

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         It would be the one elector we

        55     INT. OREGON - GOVERNOR GROVERS OFFICE - DAY             55

               SUPERED: Each State sends their Electors Certificates to
               Washington by December 6th for Congress to count and name the
               winner of the Presidency.  

               SUPERED: Oregon Governor L.F. Grover's Office 

               LA FAYETTE GROVER is seated behind his colonial desk
               reviewing the Electoral Certificates.  GROVER's ASSISTANT is
               seated a few feet away reading to himself a copy of the U.S.

                                   LA FAYETTE GROVER
                         Please read me the Twelfth
                         Amendment. Maybe there is wording
                         in there I can use.

                                   GROVER'S ASSISTANT
                         The Electors shall meet in their
                         respective states and vote by 
                         Ballot for President and Vice

                                   LA FAYETTE GROVER
                         Skip to the sign and certify part.

               Assistant scans the document.

                                   GROVER'S ASSISTANT
                         Ah - here it is...says they, the
                         Electors, shall sign and  certify,
                         and transmit sealed to the seat of
                         the government of the United
                         States, directed to the President
                         of the Senate; - The President  of
                         the Senate shall, in presence of
                         the  Senate and House of
                         Representatives, open all the
                         certificates and the votes shall
                         then be counted- 

                                   LA FAYETTE GROVER
                         Nothing there to guide me. 

               SUPERED: Secretary of State Steven Chadwick was just elected
               to replace Governor Grover because Grover elected by the
               Oregon Legislators to be U.S. Senator. 

               STEVEN CHADWICK enters the room. 

                                   LA FAYETTE GROVER
                         Hello Mr. Secretary, or shall I
                         address you Governor? Please-- have
                         a seat -- 

               Steven sits in a chair close to the Governor's desk. 

                                   LA FAYETTE GROVER
                         I presume you are aware of the
                         electoral situation?  

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         I am. 

               Grover's Assistant exits the room when Grover waves him off.  

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK (cont'd)
                         Hayes won our state by over one
                         hundred-thousand votes-

               La Fayette Grover settles back in his chair, removes his
               reading glasses and tosses them on top of the paperwork on
               his desk. Looking up at the ceiling, he begins to rub the
               weariness from his eyes.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         And Tilden won the country by over
                         a quarter million votes...If I can
                         help him by disqualifying Watts

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         The Republicans will come after

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         They always do.  

        56     INT. - NEW YORK TIMES - EDITORAL ROOM - DAY             56

               John Reid reviews the tote board and a MESSENGER walks in and
               hands him a few telegrams then exits. John Reid sifts through
               the wires quickly but stops to red one more closely. After
               reading it he crumples it in his hand. The other reporters in
               the room are busy with their own work and do not notice. John
               Foord walks out of his office toward Reid. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Governor Grover is going to
                         disqualify a Republican Elector and
                         replace him with a Democratic. 

                                   JOHN FOORD
                         Governor's can't switch out
                         Electors -

                                   JOHN REID
                         They can if they are Postmaster's,
                         which this one was. The fool didn't
                         resign his position until a week
                         after the election.

                                   JOHN FOORD
                         That is stupid. It opens the door
                         legally for the one elector Tilden

                                   JOHN REID
                         We must discredit him.  

                                   JOHN FOORD

                                   JOHN REID

                                   JOHN FOORD
                         Report the story by facts. I'm not
                         willing to risk my career on a
                         fools mistake.

                                   JOHN REID
                         I have no fear of Tilden's people. 

                                   JOHN FOORD
                         You may not, but I certainly do.
                         Need I remind you I am the Editor
                         and Chief of this paper and my word
                         is final...Where's Cary's, I want
                         his input. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         For what? I'm closer to Chairman

               Edward Cary and CHARLES MILLER enter the room. 

                                   JOHN FOORD
                         Maybe so, but Cary and Miller are
                         our political writers - take them
                         with you when you meet with

                                   JOHN REID
                         Miller is a Tilden supporter - I
                         cannot take him to see Chandler.
                         He'll shut down and tell me

               John Reid, annoyed by his boss's request glares at all of
               them as he walks back into his office and slams the door.


               SUPERED: Republican Electors arrive to retrieve the legal
               Electoral Certificates from Governor Grover. 

               Oregon Republican Electors J.W. WATTS, JOHN CARTWRIGHT,
               WILLIAM ODELL, JOHN MILLER and JOHN PARKER wait outside the
               Governor's office door. Across the hall are Democrat E.A.
               CRONIN and Steven Chadwick.
               Chadwick makes the first move and walks to the Governor's
               door that is slightly ajar. He knocks first, then peeks his
               head inside the door.

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         May I come in?

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Of course. 

               Chadwick enters the 

               GOVERNORS OFFICE

               walks to the desk and sits down. 

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         Odell and Cartwright have brought
                         two witnesses along with Mr. Watts.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                             (very loud)
                         Have they now. Are they are here to

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         They claim they are not.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Fine - show them in.

               Steve Chadwick rises from his chair and exits into the


               and motions with his hand for the men to enter. All of the
               men walk into the 

               GOVERNORS OFFICE

               And stand near the desk.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Good afternoon. 

               Governor Grover picks up three Electoral Certificates from
               his desk and hands two of them off to Odell and Cartwright.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         Mr. Odell and Mr. Cartwright these
                         are signed and ready for your

               Odell and Cartwright take the two certificates and review
               them. As they are doing so, the Governor motions to E.A.
               Cronin to come closer to his desk. Grover hands Cronin the
               third certificate. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         This one is yours Mr. Cronin. 

               E.A. Cronin takes the certificate, folds it and places it in
               his jacket pocket. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         The Elector's certificates have
                         been authorized with my signature.
                         Sign them and express mail them to
                         Congress before the sixth of
                         December as required by law.

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         We want Mr. Watt's certificate.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Mr. Watt's is disqualified. The
                         certificate now belongs to Mr.
                         Cronin to vote as he pleases. 

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         We stand firm that Mr. Watt's is
                         here as the official Republican

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         You can stand on your heads for all
                         I care... Mr. Watt's forfeited his
                         right as an Elector when he delayed
                         his resignation as Postmaster at
                         Lafayette. As a result of that
                         delay, Mr. Cronin here will fill
                         the vacancy as the official and
                         legal elector for the state of
                         Oregon. He received the highest
                         amount of votes required by law
                         which gives me the legal authority 
                         to appoint him.

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         Mr. Watt's resigned his position.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         A week after the Election. 

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         Mr. Cronin is a Democrat... He will
                         vote the certificate for Tilden.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Mr. Cronin may vote his certificate
                         as he deems fit. No one is telling 
                         him how to vote...Could be Hayes.

               Governor Grover pauses slightly for effect, then raises an

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         Or Tilden.

               Grover sits back in his chair and waves the men off. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         Now gentlemen, if you please... I
                         have other work to attend to. This
                         matter is closed.  

               John Cartwright leans both hands aggressively on the
               Governors desk and leans in. 

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         We hereby officially object to this
                         decision on the grounds that you
                         yourself are a Democrat! We want it
                         noted that you are using this
                         office to hand Tilden the

               Grover, annoyed by the threats and accusations, narrows his
               eyes at Cartwright. Keeping his voice steady, Grover sternly

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Are you challenging my authority
                         Mr. Odell? I guarantee you I 
                         followed the law of the  U.S.
                         Constitution and am doing my sworn
                         duty as the Governor of this state.
                         I suggest you do the same. 
                         Furthermore - do not stand in front
                         of my desk all righteous and dare
                         to call me a cheat when it is your
                         party that cannot accept the voters
                         wishes to seat Governor Tilden as
                         their President. Good Day

               The Electors walk out of the Governors office to the 


               And walk to the a   

               VACANT ROOM 

               where there are a few empty desks and chairs. E.A. Cronin
               walks to one of the desks and seats himself in a chair. He
               places the Electors certificate neatly on the desk and signs
               it. The other five Republicans, Parker, Miller, Watt's, Odell
               and Cartwright stand close by and watch him.  

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         Mr. Cronin. 

                                   E.A. CRONIN
                         What is it?

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         Cartwright and I are declaring our
                         positions vacant. We are appointing
                         Mr. Parker and Mr. Miller to
                         replace us.

                                   E.A. CRONIN 
                         That is not a legal option Mr.

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         It is and we are. 

               Cartwright takes the two certificates and hand them to Parker
               and Miller.  

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         Mr. Parker, Mr. Miller... Mr. Odell
                         and I declare that you two are to
                         fill our vacancies and are now the
                         Oregon Electors. Sign these
                         certificates and give them to Mr.
                         Cronin so he can express them to
                         Congress immediately.

               Miller and Parker take the certificates, walk to another
               empty desk in the room, seat themselves and sign the
               documents, then hand them off to Cronin. Cartwright, Odell
               and Watts walk out of the room back into the


               Cronin stands up from the desk and walks over to Parker and
               Miller. Cronin waits for the men to acknowledge him. 

                                   JOHN PARKER
                         What is it Mr. Cronin?

                                   E.A. CRONIN 
                         You are committing fraud. 

                                   JOHN PARKER
                         It's as legal as the Governor
                         appointing you to replace Mr.
                         Watts. Hayes won our state by
                         popular vote.

        58     EXT. OREGON - RESTAURANT - DAY                          58

               Cartwright, Odell and Watts enter through the door of a small
               restaurant where a few PEOPLE are dining.  The three men walk
               to a table and quietly seat themselves. Cartwright reaches
               into his jacket pocket and pulls out three new sets of
               Electoral certificates. He hands one to Watts and one to

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         Here is your certificate Mr. Watts. 
                         Mr. Odell and I are declaring your
                         vacancy filled. Complete this
                         certificate as a true and official
                         Oregon Elector for the Republican

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         I'll wire Chairman Chandler of our

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         What about Mr. Cronin?

                                   WILLIAM ODELL
                         No need to worry about him. By the
                         time he explains what we've done to
                         the Governor, it will be too late
                         for him to do anything about it.

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         Oh and be sure to send the five
                         thousand back to Tilden's nephew
                         Pelton untouched. His bribe will
                         justify our actions in appointing

                                   J.W, WATTS
                         Can we go to jail for this?

                                   JOHN CARTWRIGHT
                         Hell no- we'll be heros for gettin'
                         Hayes elected.

        59     INT. OREGON - GOVERNOR GROVERS - OFFICE - DAY           59

               E.A. Cronin knocks at the door and enters with the three
               certificates in hand. He walks to the Governor's desk and
               places them down. Secretary Chadwick is present.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Is there a problem, Mr. Cronin?

                                   E.A. CRONIN 
                         Odell and Cartwright have both
                         declared their positions vacant.  

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         They cannot do that. 

                                   E.A. CRONIN 
                         Parker and Miller were appointed by
                         them as the new electors... Here
                         are their signatures on the
                         official certificates.

               Cronin places the certificates on the Governor's desk. Grover
               pounds his hand on his desk. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Those dirty...  

               Grover turns to Chadwick. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         Send a wire immediately to alert
                         Mr. Tilden and the others in New

               Grover paces for a few moment.

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER (cont'd)
                         Tell him there are counterfeit
                         Electoral certificates headed to
                         Tell him that we are not party to
                         this action and Congress should
                         issue a warrant to arrest these
                         cheats immediately...Also tell them
                         I am sending the money back because
                         we didn't need it.

                                   STEVEN CHADWICK
                         I can only send back part of the
                         money...Odell took five thousand of
                         it for expenses. 

                                   GOVERNOR GROVER
                         Add that to the wire too so Tilden
                         doesn't think we kept his money.

        60     INT.  NEW YORK CITY - EVERTTE HOUSE - NIGHT             60

               SUPERED: Early December 1876

               POV William Pelton to 


               PEOPLE walking along the sidewalks with their packages and
               horse and carriages passing by while CHILDREN frolic in the
               snow. There are a few Tilden Supporters marching around with
               signs and some huddled by a trash barrel fire to keep the men
               warm.  After a few moments, William turns from the frosty
               scenery outside to

               CAMPAIGN ROOM

               William Pelton sighs and walks back to his desk. He takes a
               seat across from George Smith at the table to assist in
               sorting telegrams.

                                   GEORGE SMITH 
                         Lost in thought?

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Some - 

                                   GEORGE SMITH

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         The holidays are distracting...

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         Mmm -

               William reads a telegram and seems confused. He places the
               document aside and searches for a moment through other
               telegrams on his desk until he finds the one he wants. He
               reviews it and leans back in his chair and seems puzzled. 
               Raising his eyes up from his work, George Smith looks to

                                   GEORGE SMITH (cont'd)
                         What's wrong?

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         The money from Oregon has been
                         returned in two separate wires� 

               Crooking an eyebrow, George Smith stands and takes the two
               telegrams from William and reads both. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON (cont'd)
                         We should tell Uncle.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         There is no need to anger him over
                         something that didn't pan
                         out...Don't worry William if the
                         money subject ever comes up, we can
                         easily justify the expenditure as
                         covered legal expenses. Congress
                         will most likely toss out the
                         certificates not signed by Grover.


               LEW WALLACE hands a telegram to Zach Chandler.  

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Good news from Odell in Oregon. He
                         set up Tilden's nephew in a money
                         scheme to make it look like he
                         tried to buy off the Oregon

               Lew Wallace is not won over by Zach's enthusiasm. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER (cont'd)
                         The wire states they are submitting
                         duplicate sets of certificates.

                                   LEW WALLACE
                         What would happen if we did the

                                   ZACH CHANDLER 
                         We'd probably get arrested for

               Zach pulls out a bottle of whiskey and two shot glasses. He
               fills them to the brim.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER (cont'd)
                         If all the certificates are counted
                         in Congress they could move to toss
                         out the ones without a Governors

                                   LEW WALLACE
                         Might be worth a try. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Maybe --I'm still surprised John
                         Reid's little scheme has gotten us
                         this far.

                                   LEW WALLACE
                         Who's John Reid? 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         He's the newsman from the New York
                         Times that came up with the idea. 

                                   LEW WALLACE
                         You must be paying him good money

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Ha - Not one dime. He's a smart guy
                         but a damned fool to think Hayes
                         would pay him any attention.

               The men knock down another shot of whiskey. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER (cont'd)
                         I have to figure out how to silence
                         him win or lose.

               Lew Wallace pulls his gun out and lays it on the desk.

        62     INT. TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT               62

               Samuel. John Bigelow and Mary are seated with cocktails near
               the glow of the lit fireplace. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Do you have any concerns?

                         A few.

                         I despise dirty politics. Deceit
                         and trickery is dishonorable. 

               Samuel reaches out to pat his sister's hand.

                         Hopefully someday it won't be just
                         behind closed doors.

               For a moment there is an awkward moment of silence. 

        63     EXT. CAPITOL BUILDING - ESTABLISHING - DAY              63

               Protestors and regular city people fill the sidewalks. Horses
               carriages are parked along the side of the road and a few
               drive by.   

               SUPERED: December 6, 1876 - Electoral Certificates are Opened
               and Counted by Congress.

               Samuel Randall, stands with other CONGRESSMEN and


               The CROWD and REPORTERS watch and talk amongst themselves.
               John Reid enters the viewers galley.

               HOUSE CHAMBER

               Randall, walks through the Congressmen to the 


               And picks up his gavel and bangs it numerous times to quiet
               the voices filling the room. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         ORDER! ORDER! THE HOUSE MUST COME
                         TO ORDER

               It takes a few moments, but the congressmen finally settle
               down and sit in their designated seats. 


               Several REPORTERS surround John Reid. 

               HOUSE CHAMBER - Time lapse

               The President of the Senate, THOMAS FERRY, enters and walks
               to Randall. A hush comes over the room. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         The States of Oregon, Louisiana,
                         Florida and South Carolina have
                         submitted two and three sets of
                         electoral certificates. We must
                         decide today which are legal.

               All the Congressmen stand and jeer.

                         Obviously some states think they
                         can cheat their way to the
                         Presidency with extra votes.


               John Reid smirks.  

               HOUSE CHAMBER

               Congressman Hewitt stands.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I have prepared a draft for this
                         unusual day in our history. The
                         people must assemble to protest
                         against this fraud - They should
                         not be robbed of their ballots for

               A REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN stands

                                   REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN
                         There is no deception! Tilden does
                         not have the Electoral. 

               Democratic Congressman stand. The noise is deafening.

                                   DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMEN
                         Hayes lost by hundreds of thousands
                         of ballots and your corrupt party
                         is attempting to steal the

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         ORDER! ORDER!
                         Gentlemen we must have Order in the

        65     INT. WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE- NIGHT                        65

               President Grant stands by the window.

               His AIDE walks into the room. 

               Clearing his throat, the Aide extends his hand out with a
               document. With an audible sigh Grant turns and takes it from
               him and the Aide exits the room. Grant unfolds the paper,
               reads the message and then crumples it in his hand. He then
               turns back to the widow and resumes his POV vigil on the
               marching protesters. Julia enters the room, walks over to her
               husband and puts her arms around his waist from behind him.  

                                   JULIA GRANT

               Welcoming the touch of her thin arms around him, he reaches
               down and gently takes her hands into his and lifts them to
               his lips and kisses them. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         My sweet Julia - 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         What's wrong?

               Grant slips out of her embrace and walks over to his desk and
               sits in his chair.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         The election has been compromised

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         How so?

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         The Oregon electors sent duplicate
                         certificates and now the southern
                         states followed their lead.  

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Can't you declare a winner? 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         I cannot, Congress must. 

               Grant articulates.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT (cont'd)
                         In 1804 the system was modified by
                         the Twelfth Amendment and it
                         delegates the election of President
                         to the House and leaves the
                         determination to the Vice President 
                         who is in charge in the Senate.

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Your Vice President died.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         They will resolved it one way or

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         They must or I will be forced to
                         serve a third term. 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         No you will not...I have reschedule
                         our travel arrangements and
                         meticulously prearranged them for
                         our departure. I have shared you
                         long enough with the government. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         The Liberal Republicans are narrow
                         headed men with their eyes so close
                         together that they can look out of
                         the same gimlet hole without

               Both President Grant and Julia are startled when they hear
               gunshots from outside. The President, followed by Julia, rush
               over to the


               to see what is going on. 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Those men better not be shooting at
                         the fountains we built.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         They shouldn't be shooting at

        66     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET - NIGHT                       66

               Protestors, who have dropped their signs but not their
               torches are fighting with the soldiers who have been
               stationed near the crowd to keep order. Horse and carriage
               drivers try to maneuver their charges away from the
               commotion, but have a difficult time because the animals are
               spooked by the violent outbreak. The horses not tied to posts
               start to scatter in different directions. A few of the
               protestors with torches move toward some nearby trees and set
               them on fire. People in the crowd panic, shriek and run away
               to escape the confrontation.

        67     INT. WHITE HOUSE - WINDOW - NIGHT                       67

               President Grant and Julia witness the violent activities.
               Julia raises a hand to her mouth and cries out in horror. 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Oh my Lord, they are setting fire
                         to the trees!   

               A moment later a SOLIDER of the guard enters the room, walks
               to the President, salutes him. 

                         Sir, the perimeter guards are
                         having a difficult time with the

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Get more men out there! Those
                         people may protest but they will
                         not be allowed to destroy public
                         property. Arrest them if need be.

               The Solider salutes Grant and walks briskly out of the room.


               SUPERED: Tallahassee Florida - Capitol Building.

               Protestors march with makeshift signs and some brawl and hit
               each other with them. Soldiers on horseback and foot try to
               stop them. One of the soldiers fires a few shots in the air
               to calm the crowd down. They ignore him and keep fighting
               amongst themselves.


               GOVERNOR STERNS watches the mob scene from a window inside
               his office. One of the soldiers, a MAJOR dressed in a federal
               blue uniform enters the Governor's office.  

                         We are trying our best to control
                         the situation.

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         This is impossible. I can barely
                         enter the building anymore without
                         fear of being attacked.

               The Major walks to the window and stands next to the

                         The riots are becoming rampant
                         throughout the city.

               The Governor walks over to a coat rack in the room and takes
               his coat from it.  He slings the garment over his shoulders
               and prepares to leave. 

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Get my carriage at once - And four
                         of your best men. I want to tour
                         the city and see this for myself. 

               The Major walks toward Sterns. 

                         With all due respect, sir, it's
                         mighty dangerous out there. Small
                         parts of the city are

                                   GOVERNOR STERNS
                         Don't argue with me Major. It is my
                         duty as Governor of this state to
                         protect it. 

        70     EXT. TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT               70

               SUPERED: Negotiations begin with Senator Allen G. Thurman
               from Ohio.  

               Tilden, along with his sister Mary, William Pelton are seated
               when John Bigelow, George Smith and SENATOR ALLEN THURMAN
               from Ohio enter the room. The Senator reaches into his jacket
               pocket and pulls out a telegram and hands it to Samuel. They
               all wait in silence as Samuel reads the message. Once read,
               Samuel crumples the message in his hand. 

                         Congress shouldn't of call off the

                                   ALLEN THURMAN
                         They had no choice after two and
                         three sets of certificates were
                         submitted. None of us can verify
                         which are the frauds. 

                         This is prepostrous.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Uncle - Maybe we can persuade the
                         Oregon Electors--

                         It's too late for that. 

               Samuel looks over to Bigelow. 

                         Your thoughts?

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         A peculiar dilemma. It's never
                         happened before in any election. 

                                   ALLEN THURMAN

                         Your supporters will not stand for
                         much more of this nonsense.

                         I'll surrender my Presidency before
                         I see more bloodshed.

               Samuel walks over to a window, pulls back the curtain.


               Tilden supporters march with signs in the cold and snowy
               weather. Some of the supporters are former Civil War Veterans
               wearing blue union uniforms.  

               LIVING ROOM

               Samuel turns back to his sister and the others gathered in
               the room. 

                         Each of you know it is not in my
                         nature to support violence. I pride
                         myself on high principals,
                         discipline and reason - strategies
                         of the mind.  I have never used
                         ruff and tumble politics in place
                         of justice.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Has Abram Hewitt sent any
                         advisement on how Congress will
                         decide which certificates are

                                   WILLIAM PELTON 
                         Mr. Hewitt suggested to me we
                         should organize the Democrats
                         across the country to protest.

                                   ALLEN THURMAN
                         The way I see it, Samuel, you have
                         three choices. We can fight, we can
                         back down or we can arbitrate.

                         Violence is never a good solution. 
                         We have just emerged from one Civil
                         War and it will not do to engage in
                         At the same time, however, 'backing
                         down' is not a solution I find very

               Samuel pauses for a moment.

                         I like arbitration.

                         That is the last thing I would have

               Samuel walks over to a table and picks up a book and waves it
               in the air.

                         There should be no secret
                         agreements hidden from the public.
                         We must demand open hearings.

               The others let out a moan and William looks at the floor,
               mumbling unintelligibly under his breath. 

                         They might as well just throw names
                         in a hat-

                         I may lose the Presidency but I
                         will not raffle for it. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         You know as well as I the
                         Constitution says nothing about a
                         lawyer's arbitration with regards
                         to deciding Electors Certificates. 

                         True, but the President of the
                         Senate has the power to decide
                         which certificates are valid.

                                   ALLEN THURMAN
                         He's a Republican...How's a legal
                         argument going to stop him?

                         Because it will force his hand and
                         throw the election count into the
                         House of Representatives.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Which the Democrats have control
                         of... Very clever.  

                         There is a flaw though...
                         The Twenty-second Joint Rule was
                         repealed earlier this year and the
                         Republicans will never agree to
                         adopt it again.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Maybe they will if Speaker Randall
                         insists both houses never agreed on

                                   ALLEN THURMAN
                         With no Vice President it could
                         complicate things when Senator
                         Ferry fills in. He's bias for

                         His bias be damned. Wire Hewitt and
                         the others. Tell them to start
                         negotiations with the Republicans
                         and to report back to me with the
                         best deals they are offering.

        71     EXT. NEW YORK CITY - 42ND ST & FIFTH AVE - DAY          71

               SHOPPERS carry bags filled with merchandise. PROTESTORS for
               Tilden and Hayes are gathered and continue to march in
               support for their candidates. The sound of clip-clopping
               horses and carriages with their DRIVERS move gracefully east
               and west. A few PROSTITUTES stand in front of a gambling hall
               soliciting men. 

               William Pelton, Mary and Samuel stand on the sidewalk waiting
               for their CARRIAGE DRIVER to finish loading their packages
               into the coach. Mary watches anxiously and directs the man
               during the process. 

                         Be careful with that one. 

               Samuel turns and waves to his supporters before he climbs
               into the coach. 

                                   PROTESTOR ONE
                         Demand what is yours Mr. Tilden and
                         the people will sustain you. 

                                   PROTESTOR TWO
                         Issue the call that our liberties
                         are best preserved by the sword.

                                   PROTESTOR THREE
                         Fair count or fight!

                         If women could vote we would screw
                         those Republicans like they are
                         trying to do you.

                         Oh Lord.


               Samuel tips his hat and climbs into his 


               Once inside he is surprised by a jolt from another horse and
               carriage driver that passes by in a full trot nearly hitting
               his coach. 


               A carriage hits a mud puddle and throws water and mud on to
               two nicely dressed women, Celeste Stauffer and her mother
               MRS. STAUFFER...The women are taken by surprise and their
               packages fall to the sidewalk. Both Celeste and her mother
               scramble to retrieve them. In the midst of this scuttle, the
               mother slips and falls to the ground. Celeste helps her
               mother off the ground. Both women have strong New Orlean
               southern accents.


                         Oh William, those women are in need
                         of assistance. Would you be so

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Of course.

               William retrieves his hat that he had just taken off. While
               holding it in his hand he carefully maneuvers his exit from
               the coach. Once he is outside, Samuel leans out his window. 

                         Do not get too distracted nephew- 


                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         (looks at the prostitutes) 
                         With them? Hardly.

               Samuel nods his approval and motions for his carriage driver
               to go forward. Samuel's driver snaps the reins in his hands
               and the horses move forward into traffic. Samuel and Mary
               watch from the carriage window as William and a few of the
               protestors who have put down their signs, rush over to assist
               the ladies. Samuel waves at them as his carriage passes. At
               that moment, he realizes that the younger woman is someone he
               has seen before but cannot place. As this thought races
               through his mind, the young woman, Celeste, raises her head
               in Samuels' direction and their eyes meet for a brief but
               defining moment. 


                         Really Samuel --put your eyes back
                         in your head. 

                         I think I've seen her before.

                         Need I remind you, there are other
                         matters more important right now
                         than beautiful women. 

                         Not the ladies of the day - the one
                         younger woman with her mother.

               Samuel brings his hand to his chest and thumps it gently
               against his heart.


               William helps the ladies with their packages.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Are you in need of medical

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Heavens no.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Thank goodness.

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Who was that man and woman with you
                         sir? Was it Samuel Tilden? 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Yes. He and my mother who is also
                         were shopping today. 

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         Samuel Tilden? 

               The woman winks at William and says with a slight snicker to
               her daughter, 

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Look around you dear...These people
                         are marching in support of his

               Celeste is not amused by her mother's remarks or the mud
               spattered situation which has now begun to soak through her

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         What do I care what man is elected
                         President? Women are not allowed a
                         say in such matters. 

               She turns to William. 

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER (cont'd)
                         Thank you, sir, for your kind
                         assistance. We can handle it from

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Celeste, your manners...I'm sorry
                         Sir - I did not hear your name.  

               William touches the brim of his hat and slightly nods.

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Colonel William T. Pelton, Ma'am. 

               The women swipe more of the mud from the front of their

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Oh, you are a military man?

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Retired Ma'am.

                                   MRS. STAUFFER 
                         My name is Mrs. Stauffer, of New
                         Orleans. And this is my daughter
                         Celeste Stauffer, who, as you now
                         know, speaks her mind without
                         pause...We are here for travel by
                         ship to Europe in the morning.

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         Mother we must go.

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         One moment dear. My husband is in
                         pharmaceuticals too. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         Oh you know of my grandfather Elam. 

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Of course - My husband spoke often
                         of your grandfather's successes
                         with cures.

               The three commence walking toward the entrance of the 

               FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                         My mother is a strong advocate for
                         women's voting rights.  

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         She sounds like a very wise woman. 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON
                             (laughs out loud)
                         She keeps us all in line.  

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         If more women were ambitious like
                         your mother the laws that guide us 
                         well this country would be better
                         for it. 

               Before entering the hotel, Mrs. Stauffer stops and reaches
               her hand out to William. 

                                   MRS. STAUFFER
                         Thank you again for your assistance
                         Colonel Pelton. I shall tell my
                         husband when we see him abroad that
                         we had the pleasure of meeting you.
                         Please tell Governor Tilden we hope
                         to hear good news about his
                         Presidency soon. 


               SUPERED: Republican Headquarters New York City. Samuel
               Tilden's "Presidential Counts" booklet was delivered to 
               every Congressmen's desk at the Capitol. 

               John Reid reads Tilden's recently published case and Zach
               Chandler is seated behind his desk, busy working on another
               project. Reid walks to Zach, with the pamphlet in hand.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Have you read this yet? 

               Zach briefly looks at the cover. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER

               Reid waves the booklet in the air to get Zach's attention and

                                   JOHN REID
                         John Bigelow wrote the introduction
                         and it's quite effective. It could
                         possibly sway some of the
                         Republican Senators to vote for

               Zach, annoyed by Reid's interruption, stands up from his desk
               and walks to a campaign staffer and hands off a slip of paper
               to him. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                             (to John Reid)
                         You started this election fiasco -
                         don't complain.
                             (to campaign staffer)
                         Please send this immediately. 

               The staffer takes the paper from Zach and exits the room. 
               Zach walks back to his desk and sits down. He continues with
               his work and tries unsuccessfully to ignore John Reid.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Read it aloud to me while I finish
                         this report.

               Reid opens the booklet. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         It begins with, it is shown that in
                         Seventeen-Ninety Three - two
                         Houses, by concurrent Resolution,
                         prescribed the mode of the
                         counting, which was followed down
                         to Eighteen-Sixty-Five.

                                                                CUT TO:

        73     INT. WHITE HOUSE:                                       73

               SUPERED: President Grant, First Lady, Julia Grant and General
               Tecumseh Sherman, Commanding General of the Army.

               Seated behind his desk in his office, President Grant leans
               back in his chair, relaxed and smoking a cigar and listens
               attentively to Julia read Tilden's pamphlet to him. WILLIAM
               TECUMSEH SHERMAN is seated in a nearby chair, chews on a
               cigar with his legs crossed and arms folded.

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Subsequently, a standing rule of
                         Congress for counting prevailed in
                         Eighteen-Sixty-Five, Eighteen-Sixty
                         Nine and Eighteen-Seventy-Two. The
                         two Houses invariably appointed
                         tellers to make the count - two for
                         the Lower House and one for the

                                                                CUT TO:

        74     INT. HAYES MANSION - LIVING ROOM                        74

               SUPERED: Rutherford Hayes, Lucy Hayes and Ohio Senator John
               Sherman, younger brother of General Tecumseh Sherman.

               Inside the living room at the Hayes home in Ohio, Senator
               JOHN SHERMAN is seated by a desk and reads Tilden's
               Presidential Counts pamphlet. 

                                   SENATOR JOHN SHERMAN
                         In this survey, with citations to
                         sources, Tilden contends: that the
                         two Houses have exclusive
                         jurisdiction to count the electoral
                         votes under their own rules and had
                         exercised that power.

                                                                CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET 

               Tilden and Hayes supporters in the streets carry their signs.

                                   JULIA GRANT (V.O.)
                         From the beginning of the Federal
                         Government, the President of the
                         Senate merely opened the votes and
                         presented them to the two Houses
                         for action, but it's never gone
                         beyond that limit-Function in a
                         single instance. 

                                                                CUT TO:


               SUPERED: Senator Thomas W. Ferry, President pro tempore of
               the U.S. Senate and other Republican Senators.

                                   SENATOR THOMAS W. FERRY 
                         To allow him to count the votes
                         would permit him to disfranchise a
                         State, and even to elect himself
                         President. Three, that the two
                         Houses had-

                                                                CUT TO:

        75     INT. CAPITOL - HOUSE CHAMBERS                           75

               SUPERED: Samuel Jackson Randall, 33rd Speaker of the United
               States House of Representatives and Congressman Abram Hewitt,
               Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

               Inside House Chambers Speaker of the House SAMUEL JACKSON
               RANDALL stands by the door and reads out loud to Abram Hewitt
               who is seated in a chair nearby.

                                   SAMUEL JACKSON RANDALL
                         Authority to decide upon the
                         legality of votes and might go
                         behind the returns to do so. 

                                                                CUT TO:


               Zach stands and stretches and reaches over and takes the
               Presidential Counts booklet from John Reid. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Tilden makes a notable case...
                         Are you worried Mr. Reid? Go ahead
                         and print it. Most people won't
                         understand the content. In fact,
                         most are amazingly ignorant when it
                         comes to politics.


               Tilden supporters are huddled near a fire and reading

               INSERT: New York Sun newspaper headline, "Presidential

        77     EXT. GRAMERCY PARK - DAY                                77

               Tilden's supporters are gathered in front of the mansion,
               with signs and call out for Samuel to claim his Presidency. 
               The local POSTMAN has difficulty maneuvering his horse and
               mail carriage through the crowd. He pulls up to the curb,
               halts and jumps down from the carriage and struggles with the
               over-stuffed mailbag.  

                                   VARIOUS TILDEN SUPPORTERS
                         Demand what is yours and the people
                         will sustain you. Fair Count or
                         Fight! Tilden or Blood! Our
                         liberties are best preserved by the

        78     INT. TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - DAY                 78

               Mary sighs at the window while observing the crowd. She 
               notices George struggling with the heavy mail bag. She walks
               over to the 

               FRONT DOOR 

               And opens it for him. The Postman makes his way up the

                         I am so sorry. Carrying all this
                         mail every day must be burdensome. 

               The Postman enters the mansion and drops the heavy bag onto
               the floor.

                         It seems your brother is getting
                         letters from the entire country on
                         this matter.


                         Does he read all of these?

                         As many as he can fit into his

               With a grunt, the Postman picks up the heavy bag again and
               slings it over his shoulder and follows Mary into the

               LIVING ROOM

               And drops the bag to the floor again. 

                         Leave it and I will have a couple
                         of the staff pick it up.

               Samuel descends down the staircase and greets the Postman. 

                         I see you have the daily cart load.

               The Postman walks to the door to leave. 

                         There's a lot of people out there
                         that love you sir.

                         And I them. 

               Samuel walks toward his 

               READING ROOM 

               George Smith is working at his desk. Samuel walks to his own
               desk and sits down. Mary enters the room. 

                                   MARY (TO GEORGE)
                         He's in good spirits.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         He has been ever since he finished
                         the Presidential Counts pamphlet.

                         Any other news?

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         Supporters are gearing up for a

                         I will not endorse bloodshed.

                         If you are not declared President
                         elect soon there may be no
                         controlling it.

        79     EXT. WASHINGTON DC - CAPITOL BUILDING - DAY             79

               Several members of Congress walk the grounds. 


               Soldiers keep the boisterous Protesters at bay.  


               SUPERED: December 22, 1876, Members of the Committee on
               Privileges, Powers and Duties of the House of Representatives
               are assembled. Representative J. Proctor Knott of Kentucky,
               is Chairman of the committee, is seated at the center of the
               table surrounded by the other eleven Congressmen who make up
               the committee to review the Electoral Certificate documents.
               Their focus is to make any major decisions and to write any
               new laws pertaining to the current election rules.

               Rising from his chair, CONGRESSMAN KNOTT picks up some of the
               papers laid out before him and begins to read out loud the
               final decision of the rules. Congressman Abram Hewitt is one
               of the twelve on this committee and he sits and listens
               attentively while Knott reads the resolution out loud.

                                   CONGRESSMAN KNOTT
                         The resolution is complete as
                         follows; One, that the Constitution
                         does not confer upon the President
                         of the Senate the power to count
                         the electoral votes for President.
                         . . Two, that he may only receive,
                         preserve and open them. Three, that
                         the Senate and House only may
                         examine and ascertain the votes to
                         be counted. Four, that in the
                         exercise of this power the House is
                         at least the equal of the Senate. 
                         Five, that no vote can be counted
                         against the judgment of the House. 

               Knott places the document back on the table and looks at the
               other members. 

                                   CONGRESSMAN KNOTT (cont'd)
                         If there are no further questions
                         or remarks then this meeting is
               SUPERED: In the first months of 1876, never suspecting any
               issues with the upcoming election between Hayes and Tilden,
               the Republican controlled Senate had repealed Joint Rule 22.
               This rule provided for both houses of Congress during an
               electoral count that both houses would have to see eye to
               eye, meaning they would agree on counting a certificate as
               legal or it would be thrown out.


               Just outside of the committee room, Samuel Randall waits for
               Abram Hewitt to leave the room at the conclusion of the
               resolution vote. Hewitt exits the room. The two turn and walk
               down the hall. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         With the Twenty Second Joint rule
                         repealed the Republican Senate must
                         abide by the law.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         And the House?

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Can object questionable
                         certificates and thrown them out.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Senator Thurman offered Tilden
                         three courses to follow. He can
                         fight, back down or arbitrate...
                         Tilden has chosen the latter.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         I'm not surprised...If it was my
                         presidency, I'd fight.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Tilden's all about keeping it

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Good thing it's not my choice, aye,

               The two continue their walk toward the exit. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL (cont'd)
                         I'm on my way to meet with
                         President Grant now. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Tread lightly my friend, Grant may
                         not be very receptive to the words
                         of a Democratic.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Probably not- but what Republican

        81     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET - DAY                         81

               Randall walks briskly toward the street which is packed with
               TILDEN and HAYES supporters and SOLDIERS. He hails a horse
               and CARRIAGE DRIVER. When the carriage stops Randall climbs
               into the coach. Some REPORTERS run toward him.  

                                   REPORTER DC 
                         Mr. Speaker, how did your meeting
                         go with the President?

               Randall leans out of the carriage window.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         I have no comment at this time.

               Randall motions with a wave of his hand for the driver to go.
               The driver moves his horse slowly forward.  A few reporters
               follow the slow moving carriage to ask more questions. 

                         The president told me he would not
                         seat any man in the White House -
                         but would be bound by the action of
                         Congress whether the choice is
                         Tilden or Hayes.

               Randall leans out the window of the carriage window.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                             (to Carriage Driver)
                         Halt for a moment.

               The driver pulls back on the reins and stops. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Did you ask the President who he

                         He was out here earlier and told us
                         his opinion.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         That is the cheekiest thing I've
                         ever heard a President to do.

                                   REPORTER 2
                         We heard Congress is going to count
                         Hayes in rightly or wrongly.  Any

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Congress will be fair to both
                         candidates...I'm sorry Gentlemen;
                         I'm late for my train.

               Randall motions to his driver to move on. The Reporters
               scribble more notes.

                                   REPORTER 1 
                         I can't believe you told him Grant
                         was out here and said that.

                                   REPORTER 2
                         It's the news business kid.
                         Sometimes you have to fabricate to
                         get answers. 

        82     INT. TILDEN MANSION -READING ROOM - NIGHT               82

               A fire burns brightly in the hearth. Samuel is snuggled in a
               chair and a little distracted as he reads a book. He lets out
               a sigh as he stares at the dancing flames flickering in the
               fireplace. After a few moments he hears voices just outside
               the room. As if on cue, one of Samuel's household butlers
               opens the door. 

                         Abram Hewitt. 

                         Send him in.

               Hewitt enters the room, walks over to Samuel and two shake

                         A drink?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT

               The Butler walks to the bar area and carefully dispenses two
               drinks from a lead crystal decanter to whiskey glasses, walks
               to the men and hands them off then walks to toward the door
               and stands near it.

                         Any news?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         President Grant's exact words to
                         Randall. He says no man can take
                         the office of President unless the
                         people believe he has been fairly

                         Grant knows I'm elected.   

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Grant claims South Carolina has
                         gone for Hayes and Florida by a
                         majority of forty-five.

                         Yet our visiting statesmen say my
                         majority in Florida is ninety

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         He believes Louisiana gave you the
                         majority by six to eight thousand

                         So if it were Grant's decision the
                         dispute is over and I'm elected. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         He added due to the irregularities
                         of the vote from the last named
                         state, it should be thrown out,
                         leaving the House to elect the


                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         He said his obligation as President
                         is to call up the arm forces to
                         save public property.

                         He conveniently left out how his
                         administration called up the army
                         without his approval. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Randall and I are convinced that
                         Grant believes you have been
                         properly and legally elected.

                         I am elected! The Republicans just
                         won't give in to it.  Florida is
                         under military siege and Drew had
                         to sue to get a recount for his win
                         as governor. Republicans are so far
                         out on a limb they will stop at

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I heard reports Governor Sterns is
                         declaring the win.

                         He can declare all day and
                         night...Drew won his appeal for a
                         recount in the Florida Supreme
                         Court. The margins are thin there -
                         but the recount verifies the state
                         was mine too.

               Samuel walks to the window 

               SAMUEL POV 

               and his mood suddenly lightens when he sees FOUR WOMEN walk
               up the steps. 

               BACK ON SCENE

               Samuel waves at the women. 

                             (to Butler))
                         Please tell my sister her friends 
                         are here.

               Hewitt pulls a sealed envelope from his jacket pocket and
               walks over to Samuel and hands it to him.

               INSERT ENVELOPE marked with tag "Committee Resolutions"

               BACK ON SCENE

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Review these by tomorrow. I'd like
                         to talk with you again before I
                         return to Washington. 


               The Butler proceeds to the 

               FRONT DOOR 

               And welcomes the four Socialite women. Mary enters the 

               READING ROOM

               Walks over to Abram Hewitt and shakes his hand.  

                         Mr. Hewitt, good to see you again.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         You too...

                         (to Samuel)
                         When you have a moment.

                         Of course.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         We will talk tomorrow.

               Mary, Samuel and Hewitt move toward the door and exit into


               Where the four women hand off their overcoats to the Butler.
               Mary leans into her brother.

                         It's your affections they seek. 

               Mary and the four women exit into the 

               LIVING ROOM 

               And seat themselves. 


               Samuel turns to Hewitt and shrugs his shoulders with an
               amused grin on his face. The Butler bring Hewitt his coat and

                         When do you meet with Randall

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Tomorrow night in Washington.

               Hewitt to the front door.

                         Good - 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         We will do whatever it takes. 

                         Our Supporters are counting on it.

               Abram Hewitt exits out the door and Samuel walks to the 

               LIVING ROOM

               To join the women who are already in conversation. The women
               pause for a moment and acknowledge Samuel's entrance. Mary
               catches her brother's glance and winks at him. 

        83     INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - CORRIDOR - DAY                  83

               SUPERED: Two days later.

               Congressmen Randall and Hewitt converse with each other as
               they walk down the corridor. Several other Congressmen nod
               their usual good-mornings and pleasantries as they pass by.
               Hewitt and Randall offer a slight wave of their hands to
               acknowledge them.

                         I've been informed Republicans are
                         intercepting our wires and
                         duplicating them.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         They must have someone on the

                         Probably William Orton President of
                         the telegraph company. Add him to
                         the subpena list to testify.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Anyone else?   	

                         It's rumored Chandler has evidence
                         Tilden's nephew William paid a
                         bribe for an Elector in Oregon. Any
                         truth to it?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         If doubt he did, but nephew or not
                         he would be disowned. Family honor
                         and integrity is everything to
                         Tilden... What news from the

                         They're planning to propose a
                         special electoral commission. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         A few men deciding instead of
                         entire Congress?...We must block

                         See if you can arrange a meeting
                         with Thurman and Bayard. Their
                         input will be valuable and I know
                         they'll never agree to back another
                         resolution.  Together we need to
                         calculate the consequences of ruin
                         it could bring to our party as

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Tilden would surrender his
                         Presidency before he allowed that
                         to happen. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         His Supporters would start a second
                         Civil War -  

        84     EXT. HAYES HOME - STREET - NIGHT                        84

               A large CROWD of HAYES and TILDEN SUPPORTERS parade around
               outside the Hayes's estate with campaign signs. A group of
               Christmas CAROLERS sing 19th Century holiday songs.  Lucy and
               Rutherford Hayes stroll through the crowd and greet their
               supporters and some of the Tilden people as well.  Rutherford
               watches his wife with a protective eye and after a few
               moments Lucy waves good-bye, walks to Rutherford and takes
               his arm and they walk back toward the house. 

        85     INT. HAYES MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT                85

               Senator John Sherman waits with his WIFE and some other
               GUESTS. Rutherford and Lucy enter the room. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         That was an exhilarating

               The two men shake hands and Lucy walks away toward their
               house guests. 

                                   JOHN SHERMAN
                         Word from Washington is a special
                         electoral commission. 

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I cannot influence the action of
                         the Senate.

                                   JOHN SHERMAN
                         I wonder what Henry Wilson would
                         have said about this.

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         Henry had his own scandals to deal
                         with. His passing while Vice
                         President left both the Senate and
                         Grant in a lurch.

                                   JOHN SHERMAN
                         You do realize the tide is turning
                         for you.

                                   RUTHERFORD HAYES
                         I will serve for the sake of the
                         party if it happens - but the
                         people behind this fraud will get
                         no special favors from me.

        86     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET - NIGHT                       86

               SUPERED: Christmas Eve

               Several CAROLERS sing 19th Century Christmas songs.  Not far
               from them are protestors waving Tilden or Blood signs.
               Soldiers stand guard at the front entrance of the White

        87     INT. WHITE HOUSE - OFFICE - NIGHT                       87


               President Grant is behind Julia and has his arms around her. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Can you hear it?

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         The Carolers?. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Yes them too - but I meant no

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         It's Christmas Eve.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Will you miss being First Lady? 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Not at all...By next summer we will
                         be abroad enjoying civilian life.
                         And a perfect time for you to start
                         your memoirs.

               Grant lets out a moan and walks over to his desk.  He reaches
               out and picks up his partially smoked cigar from an ashtray.
               Julia follows him and takes the cigar from his hand and
               places it back in the ashtray.  

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         You have been President for eight
                         years and a war hero...People will
                         want to read about your life.  

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Maybe so.

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         I've heard of a very talented
                         writer who would be willing to work
                         with you...I particularly like this
                         man because of his stance on
                         women's rights.

               Raising an eyebrow, Grant picks up his cigar again and lights

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Women's rights? You mean that
                         Declaration signed on July 4th? 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Do not snicker Grant- Someday women
                         will be voting. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Hopefully not in my lifetime. 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Women are much smarter than many

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         You are... So tell me - who is this
                         writer you speak of? 

                                   JULIA GRANT
                         Mark Twain.

               Grant turns and looks back out the window at the people
               outside. A wisp of cigar smoke curls around above his head.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Never heard of him.

        88     EXT. GRAMERCY PARK - TILDEN MANSION - NIGHT             88

               Hundreds of Tilden supporters surround Tilden's home, streets
               and the park. Several horse and carriages arrive, dispatch
               ladies and gentlemen dressed in their best attire in front of
               the mansion.


               to a STRING QUARTET then 

               PANS BACK to expose the 

               LIVING ROOM with

               Filled with PEOPLE in formal attire.  


               Mary, dressed in a gown greets guests as they enter the room. 

               READING ROOM

               Honest John Kelly, Samuel, William Pelton, Abram Hewitt, John
               Bigelow, George Smith and MANTON MARBLE, are gathered
               together in the 

               LIVING ROOM 

               A Socialite enters the room and walks to Mary.

                         Wonderful party.

                         Thank you.  

               READING ROOM

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                             (to Samuel)
                         Any decisions for your Cabinet?


                         Charles Adams for Secretary of

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The son of a President and grandson
                         of another, good traditional

                The other men agree and nod their approval. 

                         Charles O'Connor for Attorney
                         General and David Wells for
                         Secretary of the Treasury.
                         I need the brightest people working
                         with me. Men I can trust which of
                         course includes you John. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         What have you heard from Hendricks?

                         Not much. I think he and the
                         Tammany boys wish he'd won the
                         nomination instead of me. Their
                         support of him for President was
                         rather strong.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The Republicans would have shown
                         Hendricks no mercy either. 

                             (to Abram Hewitt)
                         The reconstruction issue in the
                         South must be resolved. Our party 
                         leaders in the confederate states
                         want the army out and I agree.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         And the Negroes?

                         They've received several promises
                         from Hayes people to remove the

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                         Assuredly promises to sway them to
                         their side. 

                         The Negroes civil rights must be 
                         protected. I had already planned to
                         move the soldiers out. 

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                         It's long overdue.

                         We need to schedule a meeting to
                         discuss this idea of a Special
                         Electoral Commission. The thought
                         of a few men deciding my Presidency
                         will not sit well with the voters. 

               Mary enters the room walks to Samuel, takes his hand in hers
               and gently leads him out of the room. 

                         Come Gentlemen - there are many
                         here waiting patiently to meet all
                         of you. 

               Abram Hewitt reaches out and takes hold of William Pelton's
               shoulder.  He leans into William's ear and in a hushed voice.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I've heard a nasty rumor about you. 
                         Is there any truth to you bribing
                         an Elector in Oregon? 

                                   WILLIAM PELTON

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         We'll talk tomorrow.

               Hewitt walks away and William turns toward George Smith, who
               was in earshot of the exchange shrugs it off.

        90     INT. NEW YORK TIMES - EDITORAL ROOM - NIGHT             90

               A few reporters are focused on their work at desks. John Reid
               and Zach Chandler stand off to the side near John's office. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         What have you heard about the
                         Electoral Commission proposal?

               Chandler grunts.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Democrats are supporting it and we
                         are not.

                                   JOHN REID
                         Can it be blocked? 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         House and Senate have to agree on
                         terms before that happens. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         How would it work?  

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Several members of Congress and the
                         Senate, maybe some judges from the
                         Supreme Court. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         How many Republicans?

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Half, plus one. Senator Conkling
                         would be our thorn. He's still
                         angry  Hayes's took the nomination
                         from him. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Can't he be reasoned with? 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         So many questions - 

               Chandler reaches for his coat and hat on a nearby chair. He
               places his hat on his head then puts on his coat.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Leave the politics of this to those
                         of us who know what we're doing. 
                         Once Hayes is sworn in you will
                         receive a generous reward.

                                   JOHN REID
                         A staff position in the White House
                         would be good. 

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Don't take this personal - but a
                         job in a Hayes' White House would
                         be next to impossible for any man
                         involved in this plot. Grant and
                         the others are aware of your plot
                         brilliant as it was they would
                         never allow someone smarter than
                         themselves in...Have a Merry
                         Christmas John...and for God Sake -
                         go home to your wife and enjoy the

               Zach touches the brim of his hat, turns and walks out the
               door. John Reid visibly angry by Zach's comments,  walks into
               his office and slams the door and kicks a chair over. 

        91     INT. TILDEN MANSION - READING ROOM - DAY                91

               SUPERED: Two days after Christmas 1876.

               Samuel, Abram Hewitt, William Pelton, Manton Marble, George
               Smith and John Bigelow are all seated. Samuel stands with a
               piece of paper in his hand.

                         New Year's day, I must make an
                         appearance at the Inauguration for
                         Robinson when he takes my place as
                         Governor. I should not be absent
                         but a day.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                             (to Abram Hewitt)
                         Tell us more about the Special

                         Will there be a House Resolution

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         We will try for one. 

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                         This is all insanity...Only a
                         handful of men will decide which
                         Electors Certificates are valid and
                         which are not is a slap in the face
                         to the election process. This
                         business with the Oregon
                         Republicans and their duplicate
                         certificates is outright fraud and
                         no one in Congress is going to
                         arrest the criminals involved?

               Samuel places the document he had in his hand on a nearby

                         After I'm in the White House we can
                         instigate an investigation into the
                         people responsible and expose them
                         to the voters. The million dollar
                         question on my mind is will a
                         resolution in the House assert
                         exclusive rights? And will the
                         Republican controlled Senate act
                         concurrently to count the Electors

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         They'll wait until the duplicate
                         certificates are presented before

                         Are you suggesting neither the
                         House nor the Senate will have any
                         say about which are valid?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I am saying they will make an
                         attempt to, yes.

                         Will they debate these certificates
                         in public or behind close doors?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Behind closed doors with no public

                                   MANTON MARBLE

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         The Senate has no say either.  

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Ha - the Republicans will have
                         plenty to say - they always do.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Not this time...Their voices will
                         be blocked and rejected by rule of
                         the House which we Democrats

                         How does it serve us?... What are
                         Senators Thurman and Bayard

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Before leaving Washington, I met
                         with Thurman, Bayard and Speaker
                         Randall. We all agreed there will
                         be two plans of action. One, 
                         to follow the Committee of
                         Privileges for a decision with that
                         And two, to create a new agency
                         outside of Congress to encourage a
                         Committee on an Electoral Count
                         Bill. The latter will decide on the
                         duplicate certificates issue. Keep
                         in mind, gentlemen, the Republicans
                         in the Senate are not happy about
                         any of it. They think their chances
                         are better with Florida, South
                         Carolina and Louisiana returning
                         boards, which they currently
                         control with the assistance of
                         Grant's army. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Risky on both sides.

                         I agree.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Grant should be doing something to
                         stop these cheats.  

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                         Grant has no control over his
                         party..He's lucky they didn't give
                         him the boot.  

                         My fear is he'd order me shot by
                         one of his soldiers before he
                         turned his back on his cronies.

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                         If he did there would be riots
                         across the nation. 

                         That won't do...My Presidency must
                         be resolved legally or we'll be
                         accused of being war mongers like
                         they are. I ran to reform not kill

        92     INT. WHITE HOUSE - PRESIDENTS OFFICE - DAY              92

               President Grant is seated at his desk reviewing paperwork
               when his aide knocks on the door.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         What is it? 

               The aide peeks his head into the room.

                                   GRANT'S AIDE
                         Pardon me, Mr. President, but
                         Representative Conger of Michigan,
                         is here to speak with you. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Show him in.

               Congressman Conger strolls through the door and heads toward
               Grant's desk.  The President stands and walks around the
               large desk to greet him and the two shake hands.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Good Morning - Let me guess, the
                         election matter?

                         To get straight to the point, I'm
                         not one for idol rumors but it has
                         been told to me that Tilden was
                         intending to take the oath of
                         office, even at the risk of being
                         shot. Would you order it if he did
                         such a thing?

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Now how would that look if I shot a
                         man that won an election by over
                         two-hundred fifty thousand votes.
                         To answer your question - No Mr.
                         Conger, I will not shoot Mr. Tilden
                         - but I would have to arrest him if
                         he illegally took the oath of

                         Oh -

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         What have you heard from Mr. Hayes?

                         He has written me.

               Grant reaches for a cigar from his desk, stands and walks
               over and sits in a chair. A moment of silence passes between
               the two as he lights his stogie and takes a few puffs. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         I am not a mind-reader - are you
                         going to make me wait all day?  

                         Governor Hayes has concerns about
                         the proposed electoral commission.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Does he now? 

               Grant takes another puff, blowing the blue smoke above his

                         He questions the authority of the
                         Constitution on the matter.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Next time you talk to Governor
                         Hayes tell him he lost this
                         election by a clear majority and he
                         should be concerned, rightly so. 

               Grant takes a few more puffs from his cigar and then leans
               forward and places the stogie in an ashtray on a table. 

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT (cont'd)
                         It is my opinion that Congress
                         should consider eliminating any
                         state that submits duplicate
                         certificates and disqualify their
                         electors from the count.

               Conger dumbfounded by Grant's statement. Grant picks up the
               still smoldering cigar and clamps it between his teeth.

                                   PRESIDENT GRANT
                         Have a good evening.

               The Congressman nervously turns and makes a hasty exit. Grant
               stands alone for a moment and stares off. He stands and walks
               back behind his desk and sits down in his chair. 

        93     EXT. GRAMERCY PARK - STREET - NIGHT                     93

               A MESSENGER with a large envelope walks through the crowd of
               Tilden supporters. He is stopped when he reaches a couple of
               guards at the front steps. One of the guards takes the
               envelope, reviews it, and climbs the steps to the 

               FRONT DOOR 

               and knocks on the door. 

               INSERT ENVELOPE: "Strictly Confidential" Congressman Abram

               BACK ON SCENE 

               The guard waits for the door to be opened.

        94     INT. TILDEN MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT               94

               George Smith hears the knock and continues to work at a small
               desk. He takes little notice as one of the butlers walks past
               him to the door. Smith looks UP when he hears the guard's

                                   GUARD (V.O.)
                         Confidential, for Governor Tilden. 

               George Smith waits for the Butler to enter the room and takes
               the envelope from him and walks into the  

               READING ROOM

               With the envelope and quietly lays it on Samuel's desk. 

                         Is that what I think it is?  

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         It is.

               Samuel carefully tears open the envelope and pulls out
               several papers that are neatly packaged inside. George Smith
               starts to exit the room when the Butler appears again, this
               time with a telegram in his hands. George reads it and hands
               it off to Samuel.

               Samuel lays the papers down on the table.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         A wire from Attorney Whitney.

                         Read it to me.

                                   GEORGE SMITH
                         You should consider forcing a
                         modification of the resolution in
                         order to preserve the
                         Constitutional right of the two
                         Houses to participate equally in
                         the count - That is all we want and
                         the country is with us....Whitney.

                         Wire him back at once and tell him
                         I will consider his proposal.

               George Smith walks out of the room. Samuel picks up the
               proposed bill again and begins to study it. Samuel hears
               another knock at the door and the butler announces John

                                   JOHN BIGELOW (V.O.)
                         Is he busy? 

                         Never too busy for you. Come in.

               LIVING ROOM

               Bigelow hands his coat and hat to the Butler then walks into

               READING ROOM

               Samuel smiles when he sees Bigelow and waves the papers in
               his hand at him. Bigelow walks toward him. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         May I?

                         It just arrived and I haven't had a
                         chance to read it myself. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Is it the McCrary House Bill? How
                         did you get it so soon?

                         All confidential of course. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         You do not trust me?

                         You dare ask me that --sit down.

               Bigelow smiles and gives an audible grunt. Samuel hands him
               the papers. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         I've heard secrecy has been imposed
                         on all committee members.

                         None of it should be...It should be
                         public and published...

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         The cloak and dagger people love
                         their secrecy. 

                         Which is why their constituents
                         don't trust them. 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         According to these documents the
                         Revisions provide for a special
                         commission of fifteen members -
                         five from the House, five from the
                         Senate and five from the Supreme
                         Court. The judges will be
                         determined by putting the names of
                         the Senior Justices into a hat and
                         drawing out one. There's to be
                         seven Republicans and seven
                         Democrats. The draw for the
                         fifteenth member would break the

                         Ha - from names in a hat.

               Samuel stands and walks over to the 

               BAY WINDOW 

               SAMUEL POV 

               He pulls back the curtain and looks out at the crowd in the

                         Hewitt will be here tomorrow to
                         discuss the particulars. He and the
                         others seems to think this is the
                         best solution. I do not agree with
                         any of them.

               Samuel turns back to face Bigelow, and points toward the

                         Those are good people standing out
                         there in the cold. Many of them
                         Civil War soldiers who gave their
                         blood to preserve this government.
                         Fifteen men deciding a Presidency
                         for an entire nation is
                         wrong...Hayes knows this and yet he
                         has done nothing to stop his party
                         from tarnishing his good name. 

        95     INT. NEW YORK TIMES - PRESS ROOM - NIGHT                95

               John Reid is seated behind his desk and he is busy working. A
               messenger arrives with a large envelope and knocks on his
               door. He waves the messenger in and takes the envelope from

               INSERT: Large envelope marked "Confidential" Zach Chandler.

               BACK ON SCENE

                                   JOHN REID
                         Close the door on your way out. 

               John Reid opens the envelope and  pulls out the enclosed
               paper work.

               INSERT:  McCrary House Bill.  

               BACK ON SCENE

               John walks over to his door and locks it. 

        96     INT. TILDEN MANSION - READING ROOM - DAY                96

               Congressman Hewitt is seated in a chair and watches for
               Samuel's reactions as he marks up the proposed revisions in
               the McCrary House Bill.
               John Bigelow is present and turns in his chair when he hears
               a knock at the door. Mary leans her head in.  

                         Mr. Marble is here.

                         Oh -Please send him in. You should
                         be in here too Mary to hear what I
                         have to say.  

               Manton Marble enters the room quietly and sits down next to
               Bigelow. Mary enters and closes the doors behind her and sits
               in a chair. Samuel continues to review and mark the proposal
               silently and does not notice when Marble leans over and
               whispers in Bigelow's ear, 

                                   MANTON MARBLE
                             (to Bigelow)
                         Who else has this report? 

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         No one should have it except the

               Samuel finishes reading and with a deep sigh, places the
               documents on a nearby table. 

                         Let's discuss details. Who agrees
                         with this?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Bayard and Thurman are absolutely
                         committed to it. They concur with
                         the Republican members.

                         How many oppose it in Congress? 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Several...The House Committee has
                         suggested killing it.

                         Is it not rather late then to
                         consult with me?

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         They will not consult with you.
                         They are public men Samuel and they
                         have their own duties and
                         responsibilities. I consult with

                         I know I cannot advise you or the
                         other Democratic members to agree
                         to the bill one way or another, but
                         I will advise you to my thoughts
                         and details I feel are inadequate.

               Samuel stands and waves the papers in the air.

                                   SAMUEL (cont'd)
                         This turns the election into a
                         raffle for the Presidency...I do
                         not approve of it and neither will
                         the voters. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         None of us expected you to.

               Samuel takes a moment to compose himself.

                         The way I see it, arbitration
                         should be adopted into the bill.
                         Then it would be the duty of the
                         arbitrators to investigate and
                         decide the case on its merits. This
                         should be mandatory and would
                         eliminate the element of gambling
                         for the Presidency.

               Samuel wrings his hands.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Do you need a break?

                         No - I'm fine. Consider this. If
                         you go into a conference with your
                         adversary and can't break it off
                         because you feel you must agree to
                         something, you cannot negotiate.
                         You will be beaten on every detail.

               Pauses for a moment.

                                   SAMUEL (cont'd)
                         Why surrender now? You can always
                         surrender, at any time. Why
                         surrender before the battle for
                         fear you may have to surrender
                         after the battle is over?  

               Bigelow, Mary, Marble and Hewitt nod in agreement. 

                         President Grant's term ends on
                         March fourth by Constitutional law.
                         This argument leaves it open for
                         him to try to insert himself for a
                         third term. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         No one would agree to have him for
                         a third term...no one. What is your
                         objection? Is it the five Supreme
                         Court justices on the commission?  


                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         I have to agree. They are justices
                         and shouldn't be deciding

                         I agree with John...There is no
                         need for hot haste.  We still have
                         time to consult and to debate this
                         publicly. The secrecy surrounding
                         this bill...I don't trust it. Tell
                         the others I thing they should
                         allow the House to debate.

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         What shall we do if the bill is

                             (visibly angry)
                         Alert the public and stop the
                         secrecy so the voters know what is
                         happening. They have a right to

        97     EXT. WASHINGTON DC - WHITE HOUSE - STREET - DAY         97
               SUPERED: January 25, 1877, the Senate votes in favor of the
               Electoral Commission Bill 47-17; the House followed suit the
               next day, 191-86. On January 29, President Ulysses S. Grant
               signs the bill into law.

               An angry group of Tilden and Hayes protestors stand in the
               street and wave copies of the New York Times newspaper.

               INSERT: Newspaper headline, "Dice Box VS Ballot Box"

               BACK ON SCENE

                                   VARIOUS PROTESTORS
                         They might as well draw straws! The
                         presidency is being raffled like a
                         Thanksgiving turkey!

               The Tilden Supporters are being held back from entering the
               Capitol grounds by FEDERAL TROOPS.  

                         How did this happen? 

                         They are stealing Tilden's

                         I want my ballot counted. 

                         Hold another election. 

                         Tilden or Blood!


               An angry CROWD swells and surround the Capitol building.
               Horse and carriages fill every available parking space. 

               Several DIGNITARIES from other countries, as well as
               Senators, Congressmen and Newsmen are being protected and
               escorted into the Capitol building by federal soldiers. 

        98     INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - HOUSE FLOOR - DAY               98

               SUPERED: Foreign dignitaries, Newsmen and some of the general
               public are assembled to listen, watch, report and participate
               in America's most disputed election ever. 

                         Where are Tilden and Hayes?

                         Candidates stay at home until they
                         are elected.

                         What? They have no say in the
                         process? Your political system is
                         very odd. 

                                   JOHN REID
                         Indeed it is. 

               The room is buzzing with noisy men. Speaker Randall bangs his
               gavel for quiet. Randall reads the bill.

               Time Lapse - skips to section 6 of the bill. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         SEC. 6. That nothing in this act
                         shall be held to impair or affect
                         any right now existing under the
                         Constitution and laws to question
                         by proceeding in the judicial
                         courts of the United States, the
                         right or title of the person who
                         shall be declared elected or who
                         shall claim to be President or Vice
                         President of the United States, if
                         any such right exists.
                         SEC. 7. That said commission shall
                         make its own rules, keep a record
                         of its proceedings, and shall have
                         power to employ such persons as may
                         be necessary for the transaction of
                         its business and the execution of
                         its powers.
                         President Ulysses S. Grant signed
                         this into law and approved, January
                         29, 1877.
                         It will be the Commission's
                         responsibility to decide which of
                         these rejected Electors
                         certificates will be deemed valid.


               INSERT: CLOCK ON WALL set at one p.m. - IT STRIKES ONE CHIME

               BACK ON SCENE

               Representatives FIELDS, KASSMAN and Senator SARGENT watch
               SENATOR FERRY as he walks to the House of Representatives
               desk. House Speaker Randall is seated beside him. 

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         The Joint Session is now called to
                         order. The Certificates will be
                         opened in alphabetical order
                         starting with the state of Alabama.

               Senator Ferry opens a wooden box and takes out the first
               sealed certificate from Alabama and hands it to one of the
               four tellers in the room.  The teller opens the certificate
               and reads it out loud. 

                         Alabama casts its ten electoral
                         votes for Samuel J. Tilden.

               TIME LAPSE: Votes being counted. 
               SUPERED: The process continues smoothly until the Teller
               brings up state of Florida which submitted three 
               different sets of electoral certificates.  

                         Florida casts it four votes for

               Teller opens another certificate.

                                   TELLER (cont'd)
                         Florida again casts it four votes
                         for Hayes. 

               Teller opens another certificate.

                                   TELLER (cont'd)
                         Um - Florida again, Four votes for

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         Are there any objections to the
                         certificates from Florida?

                                   CONGRESSMAN FIELD
                         I object to the first and third set
                         of certificates from Florida.

                                   SENATOR SARGENT
                         I object to the second set from

                                   SENATOR KASSON
                         I object to the first and third

               Senator Ferry scans the room with his eyes. 

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         Are there any further objections? 

               Senator Ferry waits for a response and there is none.

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         There being none, the certificates
                         will be sent to the Electoral
                         Commission for review. 

               An audible chatter fills the room.

               PUBLIC GALLERY

               John Reid and Zach Chandler smirk.

               SUPERED: More objections are voiced for the states of
               Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon and the certificates
               are  turned over to the Electoral Commission which will
               decide which are valid and to be counted.

                                   NARRATOR (VO)
                         Earlier in that year of 1876,
                         before the election, the Senate had
                         voted to eliminate the Twenty
                         Second Joint rule. If that rule had
                         still been in place, then the
                         states that submitted the duplicate
                         and triplicate returns would have
                         been tossed out and the states'
                         votes would not have counted.
                         In that case, Tilden would have won
                         the Presidency without dispute.
                         Tilden had received 184 Electoral
                         votes and Hayes 165. In order to
                         steal the Presidency away from
                         Tilden, who had already beaten
                         Hayes by two hundred fifty four
                         thousand, two hundred thirty five
                         (254,235) popular votes, the
                         Republicans needed all of the
                         twenty disputed votes to give Hayes
                         a majority of one. The two Vice
                         Presidential candidates, Republican
                         Wheeler from New York and Democrat
                         Hendricks from Indiana, were just
                         as anxious for the outcome. They
                         both wanted to know if they were
                         Vice President or not. 


               SUPERED: February 2, 1877 - Electoral Commission meets on the
               following day, inside a conference room at the Capitol
               Building. The Special Commission is made up of: five
               Senators, five Congressmen and five Supreme Court Justices. 

               The fifteen men are seated around a long table in a small
               cramped room with hardly any space for spectators. In the
               corner of the room, there is a large cuspidor (Spittoon)
               which stands out like a sore thumb.


               After quietly exiting the Special Commission room, Randall
               and Hewitt are just a few feet away from the door. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Justice Bradley has a reputation of
                         fairness and honesty amongst his
                         peers, but he is a Republican and
                         loyal to his party. This
                         arrangement will end with one
                         person deciding the Presidency.

               Hewitt looks around to see if anybody is listening. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         Yes and it will most likely be
                         Bradley. I was told by Taylor and
                         Gibson that they spoke with him at
                         his home.
                         He assured them he was going to
                         give the Florida Electors to

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         And you trust them? These people
                         tried to steal Drew's Governor's
                         election as well. If he hadn't sued
                         for a re-count he would be holding
                         his hat in his hand as well. 

                                   ABRAM HEWITT
                         I heard Bradley can't be bought.

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         And I heard two-hundred thousand is
                         the going price these days for a
                         change of heart...It's a huge
                         incentive...just saying. 	

               CONFERENCE ROOM

               SUPERED: Justice Bradley looks back to the documents placed
               before him. He tries to concentrate on the papers, but,
               feeling the heavy burden placed on his shoulders, his mind
               wanders.  Still looking at the papers, but not really seeing
               them, he thinks back to what happened a few nights before.


               SUPERED: Justice Bradley's home. 


                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Democrats Taylor and Gibson arrived
                         at Bradley's house in the early
                         evening hours.  He has a brief talk
                         with the two men, and all three men
                         seemed in agreement. They shake
                         hands and the two Democrats depart. 
                         After Taylor and Gibson go, they
                         are convinced Justice Bradley will
                         write his opinion in favor of
                         counting the Florida votes for the

               A moment later, two unknown men waiting in a carriage out of
               sight of Taylor and Gibson, drive their carriage toward
               Bradley's home.  Still standing outside, Bradley sees and
               waits for the men as they climb down and walk toward him. 

               He shakes hands with one of the men and the other hands him a
               large envelope and pats him on the shoulder. Bradley, not
               amused by the gift, tries to give the envelope back but the
               men refuse to take it. The two men then turn and walk away
               from him and climb back into their carriage wave as they
               drive off.  Bradley seems disgusted when he rips open the
               envelope and pulls out a large stack of cash.

        99     INT. CAPITOL BUILDING - HOUSE FLOOR - DAY               99

               SUPERED: March 2, 1877 - The House of Representatives meets
               before the Special Commission announces their decision. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         By a vote of 137 to 88, the House
                         of Representatives adopts a series
                         of preambles introductory to the
                         following resolution:
                         Resolved by the House of
                         Representatives of the United
                         That it is the duty of the House to
                         declare, and this House does
                         solemnly declare that Samuel J.
                         Tilden, of the State of New York ,
                         received 196 electors votes for the
                         office of the President of the
                         United States, all of which votes
                         were cast and lists thereof signed,
                         certified, and transmitted to the
                         seat of the government, directed to
                         the President of the Senate, in
                         conformity with the Constitution
                         and laws of the United States, by
                         electors legally eligible and
                         qualified as such electors, each of
                         whom has been duly appointed and
                         elected in the manner directed by
                         the Legislature of the State in and
                         for which he cast his vote
                         aforesaid: and that said Samuel J.
                         Tilden having thus received the
                         votes of the majority of the
                         electors appointed aforesaid, he is
                         thereby duly elected President of
                         the United States of America for
                         the term of four years commencing
                         on the 4th day of March, A.D. 1877;
                         and this House further declares
                         that Thomas A.
                         Hendricks, having received the same
                         number of electoral votes for the
                         office of Vice President of the
                         Unites States that were cast for
                         Samuel J. Tilden for President as
                         aforesaid, and at the same time and
                         in the same manner, it is the
                         opinion of this House that the said
                         Thomas A. Hendricks, of the State
                         of Indiana, is duly elected Vice
                         President of the Untied States for
                         the term of four years commencing
                         on the 4th day of March, A.D. 1877.

       100     INT. TILDEN MANSION - READING ROOM - NIGHT             100

               SUPERED: March 2, 1877 - Electoral Commission Decision at
               4:10 A.M.

               At the Tilden estate in New York, Mary, William Pelton,
               Samuel and John Bigelow play a game of cards. Samuel is calm,
               relaxed and all seem to enjoy each others company.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         There are four disputed states and
                         you only need one Electoral vote to
                         end this charade.

                         The cards are stacked against me
                         John with Bradley. He's a
                         Republican and I have a strong
                         sense he will vote strictly along
                         party lines.

               George Smith walks into the room and places a telegram into
               Samuel hands. Samuel reads it and places it on a nearby table
               without saying a word. Samuel watches in silence as Mary
               leans over and picks up the telegram and reads it silently at
               first, then clears her throat. 

                         By a party line vote they have
                         decided 8 to 7. Hayes is elected. 

               Mary crumples the telegram in her hand. 

                                   MARY (cont'd)
                         Seems to me William was much more
                         bent on going to Washington then
                         you were.

                         Maybe so, but it's over now. 

               Samuel stands and calls out to George Smith.

                         Mr. Smith, I need to send a wire.

       101     INT. CAPITOL - HOUSE FLOOR - NIGHT                     101

               SUPERED: March 2, 1877 - 5 a.m. Representatives, Hewitt and
               Randall argue in the House that the Special Electoral
               Commission is unconstitutional. The Congressmen and Senators
               are arguing fiercely with each other, with accusations flying
               back and from across the room.  

               SPECTATORS AREA

               John Reid and Zach Chandler listen to their boisterous
               exchanges.  Then Chandler smiles and puts his arm around
               Reid's shoulder and grips him tightly.

                                   ZACH CHANDLER
                         Well done Mr. Reid - well done. 

               HOUSE FLOOR

               At the front of the room, Speaker Randall stands with Senator
               Ferry at his side. Ferry bangs the gavel to stop the men from
               arguing. Hewitt and the others ignore Ferry. Ferry continues
               to bang his gavel.

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         Gentlemen we must have order� we
                         must have order! 

               As the men continue to bicker, a TELLER enters the chamber
               and walks directly to Speaker Samuel Randall. Without a word,
               in the midst of the chaos, he hands Randall a telegram and
               walks away. Randall reads the telegram, and then hands it to
               Senator Ferry. After reading the telegram, Ferry steps down
               off the center podium and Randall steps up. He takes the
               gavel and bangs it. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         GENTLEMEN - I HAVE JUST RECEIVED A
                         WIRE FROM SAMUEL TILDEN!

               His announcement gets everyone's attention and the men stop
               arguing and turn to listen. 

                                   SAMUEL RANDALL
                         Governor Tilden is willing to let
                         the count be concluded.

               There is a pause of brief silence and the men begin to fight
               again.  Senator Ferry steps back up to the podium.

                                   SENATOR FERRY
                         HAYES AND WHEELER ARE HEREBY DULY

               Hewitt, after hearing the announcement, collapses to the
               floor and several Representatives run over to help him up and
               escort him out of the House Chambers. 

               SPECTATORS AREA

               Reid and Zach Chandler, along with some other Republicans,
               break out in smiles and quietly pat each other on the back
               for their win. William Chandler enters the area. 

                                   WILLIAM CHANDLER
                             (to Reid)
                         If it wasn't for you --

                                   JOHN REID
                         Damn those Dirty Democrats -
                         justice has been served. They are
                         not fit to run this country.

       102     EXT. HARRISBURG, PA - TRAIN STATION - NIGHT            102

               SUPERED: March 3, 1877 Midnight. The train Rutherford Hayes
               is a passenger on, along with his wife Lucy, stops at the
               Harrisburg, Pennsylvania train station.  On this day, he is
               silent to any others about his feelings and how humiliated he
               feels by the actions taking place in Congress on his behalf. 
               He considers himself to be an honorable man and realizes that
               the Republicans have commandeered the Oval Office using dirty

       103     EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NEWSPAPER ROW - DAY               103


       105     EXT. WASHINGTON DC - TRAIN STATION - DAY               105

               SUPERED: Instead of accepting President Grant's invitation to
               go directly to the White House, Hayes decides it's best to
               stay low key for the time being and thinks it's a good idea
               to accept Senator Sherman's invitation to stay at his home.
               With all that has gone on, Hayes is not sure, himself, if he
               and Lucy will be safe.  He considered the thought that the
               Tilden supporters might try to assassinate him before he is
               sworn into office.

               Rutherford B. Hayes train arrives in Washington, Senator
               Sherman is there to escort him along with a few Federal
               soldiers on horseback.  

       106     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - STREET - DAY                        106

               Soldiers follow the Hayes' carriage to protect him from the
               many disenchanted unruly and angry Tilden supporters. Hayes
               is greeted at the door by President Grant.  

               SUPERED: March 3, 1877- 5 p.m.- In line with his earlier
               decision to be low key about the whole event, Hayes requests
               that there be no large ceremony for his swearing in under the
               tense circumstances. Grant agrees and swears Hayes into the
               Presidency, with his wife Lucy at his side. 

               SUPERED: President Hayes was sworn into office in a more
               formal ceremony on March 5, 1877. Tilden Supporters carried
               signs to protest and nicknamed the new President; "Old 7 to
               8" "Rutherfraud," "His Fraudulency," and "His Accidency." 

               SUPERED: The World newspaper reports that Mr. Tilden, under
               the alleged authority of General Woodford, the United States
               District Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is
               about to take the oath of office as President in New York and
               proclaim himself President of the Untied States. When asked
               by other reporters if this is true, John Bigelow responds,
               with Tilden's approval, by a written letter it is not true,
               but what the country has lost by the fraud.

       107     EXT. NEW YORK CITY - MANHATTAN CLUB - DAY              107

               SUPERED: Wednesday June 13, 1877 - Manhattan Club.  

               The crowd, mostly made up of his supporters, is huge and
               fills the area with hardly a space left to stand. 

                         Mr. President and Gentlemen of the
                         Manhattan Club. I accepted your
                         invitation under the idea that this
                         was to be a merely social meeting.

               Samuel takes a moment to clear his throat. He starts again.

                                   SAMUEL (cont'd)
                         Everybody knows that, after the
                         recent election, the men who were
                         elected by the people President and
                         Vice President of the United States
                         were "counted out," and men who
                         were not elected were "counted in"
                         and seated."

               Immediately, there are some sneers and booing from the crowd.
               Samuel waits for them to settle down.

                                   SAMUEL (cont'd)
                         I disclaim any thought of the
                         personal wrong involved in this
                         transaction. Not by any act or word
                         of mine shall that be dwarfed or
                         degraded into a personal grievance,
                         which is, in truth, the greatest
                         wrong that has stained our national

               Samuel stops for a moment then continues with a lot of
               emotion and new found inner-strength.

                                   SAMUEL (cont'd)
                         If my voice could reach throughout
                         our country and be heard in its
                         remotest hamlet I would say be of
                         good cheer. The Republic will live.
                         The institutions of our fathers are
                         not to expire in shame. The
                         sovereignty of the people shall be
                         rescued from this peril and be re
                         established. Successful wrongs
                         never appears so triumphant as on
                         the very eve of its fall. Seven
                         years ago a corrupt dynasty
                         culminated in its power over the
                         million of people who live in the
                         city of New York. It has conquered
                         or bribed, or flattered and won
                         almost everybody into acquiescence.
                         It appeared to be invincible.
                         A year or two later its members in
                         Tammany Hall were in the
                         penitentiaries or in exile. History
                         abounds in similar examples. We
                         must believe in the right and in
                         the future. A great and noble
                         nation will not sever its political
                         from its moral life.

               A thunderous applause and cheers ring out through crowd. 

               SUPERED: New York Governor Samuel Tilden, who built his great
               wealth as a railroad attorney departed during the summer for
               a cruise to visit his family roots in Europe. During his time
               away, many of his supporters vowed to get even...Thus, the
               mood of the country grew darker, as those who had voted for
               Tilden felt disenfranchised. Samuel Tilden made his great
               wealth as a Railroad attorney and all in the industry
               respected him. 

               SUPERED: President Hayes soon found himself faced with "The
               Great Railroad Strike of 1877" which began on July 14 in
               Martinsburg, West Virginia. It lasted some 45 days and was
               put down by local and state militias and federal troops. 

               SUPERED: The 1876 Election Deal: Thomas Scott, of the
               Pennsylvania Railroad, delivered the disputed congressional
               votes to Hayes in exchange for a federal bailout of failing
               investments in the Texas and Pacific railroad. While it is
               not clear if this deal led to Hayes' sending of federal
               troops to the strike-torn areas, the possibility of a quid
               pro quo arrangement was tenable.

               SUPERED: While no complete accounting of the economic losses
               caused by this strike exists, it is known that the engineers'
               and firemen's brotherhoods lost approximately $600,000 over
               the forty-five days of the strike, while for the Burlington
               Railroad the losses were at least $2,100,000.

               SUPERED: In Pittsburgh, it was estimated that property damage
               reached about five million dollars, with Chicago, Baltimore
               and other cities facing losses of a similar magnitude.


               Samuel stands by the rail looking out at the quiet, serene
               ocean and starlit night sky. He turns and smiles when he sees
               John Bigelow walking toward him with Celeste Stauffer.
               Something about her is familiar to him.

                                   JOHN BIGELOW
                         Samuel this young woman has asked
                         for and introduction.

                         Have we met before? 

               Celeste Stauffer extends her hand into his.

                                   CELESTE STAUFFER
                         In passing Mr. President when I
                         nearly ran your carriage off the
                         road in Central Park. I am Celeste
                         Stauffer from New Orleans,

               As the two begin to talk, Bigelow could see that Samuel was
               smitten by her southern charms. John quietly walks away and
               leaves the two of them alone on the ship's deck.

       109     EXT. NEW YORK CITY - SHIP DOCK - DAY                   109

               The Scythia docks in New York Harbor. A huge crowd of Tilden
               supporters and dignitaries wait to welcome Samuel home. There
               is a marching band playing loud music and the atmosphere is
               one of celebration.  The people wave signs printed in bold
               letters; "President Tilden, the Peoples President" 

               As passengers disembark, Samuel walks down the gangplank with
               Marie Stauffer on his arm. Marie's mother and John Bigelow
               follow. Samuel stops mid way and looks across the crowd. The
               band stops playing.

                                   TILDEN SUPPORTER
                         You were robbed of the Presidency!

                         I did not get robbed...
                         The people got robbed. Robbed of
                         the dearest rights of American
                         citizens. Young men, we who have
                         guarded the sacred traditions of
                         our free government will soon leave
                         that work to you. Whether our
                         institutions shall be preserved
                         will depend on you. Will you
                         accomplish that duty, and mark the
                         wrongdoers of 1876 with the
                         indignation of a betrayed, wronged
                         and sacrificed people?
                         I swear in the presence of all of
                         you today and I call upon you to
                         bear witness to the oath, to watch,
                         during the remainder of my life,
                         over the rights of the citizens of
                         our country with jealous care. Such
                         usurpation must never occur again.

               The crowd roars with thunderous applause and cheers
               expressing their admiration for Tilden. 

               Mary stands near the front of the crowd with her grand
               daughter Susan and her son, Colonel William Pelton. Several
               dignitaries, including Honest John Kelly cheer with the
               crowd. The band begins to play again. Samuel sees his sister
               Mary and he waves to her. She waves back. Samuel looks at her
               and takes his hand and places it under his suit jacket to his
               heart and thumps it. Mary smiles. 

               SUPERED: In 1880 the Democratic Party wanted desperately for
               Samuel Tilden to run for President again...Tilden declined
               the nomination because of his poor health...

               SUPERED: Samuel Tilden died on August 4, 1886 at his Hudson
               River farm estate called, "Graystone" where he spent his
               final years consulting top democrats. Samuel Tilden earned
               the nicknames: "The Greatest Democrat Ever" "The Greatest

               SUPERED:  Tilden bequeathed most of his estate to build the
               New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The
               library project was blocked by the powers that be that didn't
               want to see Tilden honored this way. Tilden's best friend and
               confidant, the Honorable John Bigelow fought several court
               battles all the way to the New York Supreme court to keep
               Tilden's dream of a free library alive. After the library was
               opened John Bigelow passed away peacefully. 

               SUPERED: On August 8, 2001 - one month before the 9/11 World
               Trade Towers attack New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
               signed a bill adding the name "John Bigelow Plaza" to the
               intersection of 41st Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan,
               directly in front of the famous main branch of the New York
               Public Library. John Bigelow's estate at Highland Falls, New
               York, known as The Squirrels, was listed on the National
               Register of Historic Places in 1982.[2

               SUPERED: Samuel Tilden's statue and tombstone are engraved:
               "I Trust the People" and "I Still Trust the People" Tilden's
               Gramercy Park mansion is a historic landmark and currently
               owned by the National Arts Club. 

               SUPERED: Across America people named their children, streets,
               towns, schools and buildings after Samuel J. Tilden. He and
               his legacy have all but been forgotten in American history. 

               SUPERED: John Reid, Editor of the New York Times was ignored
               by the Republican party after the election and never rewarded
               him as they promised. His career with the New York Times
               ended soon after Hayes took office. Every news organization
               he wrote afterwards for never kept him on. His wife was in
               Italy when he died alone in his small apartment in New York

               SUPERED: Samuel Tilden never conceded his Presidency,
               although many modern Republican writers claim he did when he
               gave his speech at the Press Club. It angered many that he
               would not take his rightful place as President. He believed
               in peace and after a bloody Civil War he didn't want to see
               any more blood to be shed, especially not in his name.  

               ROLL CREDITS

               FADE TO BLACK
[ top ]

Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.