President Hayes was sincerely dedicated to the maintenance of voting and other civil rights for the former slaves in the South. As the Republican state governments fell in the waning days of Reconstruction, Democrats took control. A common aim throughout the South was to erase the stain of black participation in the democratic process.
Southern Congressmen regularly attempted to blunt federal civil rights protections by attaching riders to appropriations bills.
Hayes fought back by vetoing such measures, but he was unable to hold back Democratic enthusiasm for white supremacy.