Sex and the Notorious 1876 Election

Date: Thursday, October 27, 2016 7:00 pm

The most controversial Presidential election ever—Ohio’s Governor Rutherford B. Hayes versus New York’s Samuel Tilden—took place 140 years ago.  Author and Kenyon College Alumnus Peter Dickson will present “Sex and the Notorious 1876 Election: Kate Chase and Kenyon’s Hayes” on Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.

Dickson will review the notorious manner in which the Electoral College deadlock was settled. The long overlooked role Katherine Chase Sprague, the grandniece of the founder of Kenyon College, played in this major political crisis will be discussed.

Did Sprague use her sexual as well as considerable political influence to prevent her adulterous lover, New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, from tilting the outcome in favor of Tilden and tipped the balance towards Hayes, a Kenyon alum?

Two new biographies about Katherine, known as “Kate” will be discussed. Dickson will make his case that, without a doubt, she is the most extraordinary woman in the nation’s political history prior to Eleanor Roosevelt.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call the main library at 740-392-BOOK (2665), visit or email [email protected].

Search Calendar