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Matthew Hale Carpenter

vermont legal tilden electoral

Matthew Hale Carpenter was born December 22, 1824, in Moretown, Vermont. He attended the U.S. Military Academy from 1843 to 1845 and was admitted to the Vermont bar in 1847. His real name was Decatur Merritt Hammond Carpenter and although he was educated in Vermont, he established his public career in Wisconsin.

In 1861 Carpenter served as JUDGE ADVOCATE general. He participated in the U.S. Senate, serving as senator from Wisconsin during the years 1869 to 1875 and 1879 to 1881.

His legal skills were displayed in his representation of Secretary of War William W. Belknap at the latter's IMPEACHMENT trial. In 1877 Carpenter acted as legal counsel to Democratic presidential candidate SAMUEL TILDEN during an inquiry held by the electoral commission concerning the contested election results. Tilden lost to RUTHERFORD B. HAYES by one electoral vote.

Carpenter died February 24, 1881, in Washington, D.C.

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