REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATION--ITS MANY ACHIEVEMENTS
-- PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL INTERESTS -- ATTITUDE
TOWARD NEWSPAPER ABUSE -- FIRST MEETING OF
SLATER TRUSTEES -- INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION - GREAT
FLOODS IN OHIO -- DECEMBER, 1881-FEBRUARY, 1883
DECEMBER 29, 1881. -- My old friend Clark Waggoner
is preparing a short sketch of my life for an Ohio bio-
graphical book. He shows the general merits of my Adminis-
tration in a very satisfactory way. To my mind, the conclusive
argument in behalf of my Administration is its results. Success
is the final test of public men and public measures.
What was the result of the Administration on the country and
on the party which elected it? The Administration found the
country divided and distracted and every interest depressed. It
left it united, harmonious, and prosperous. The Administration
came in with the Republican party discordant, disheartened, and
weak. When the Administration closed, its party was united,
strong, confident, and victorious. At its beginning the South
was solid and the North divided. At its close the North was
united and solid and the South was divided. At the beginning
both houses of Congress had been lost. When it closed both
houses were regained. I can say with truth:--"I left this
great country prosperous and happy and the party of my choice
strong, victorious, and united. In serving the country I served
The measures which did the most to bring about these auspi-
cious results were, as a general statement, opposed by the lead-
ers of my party; by the men who were most bitter in their hos-
tility to me, viz., Conkling, Blaine, Cameron, etc., etc. I refer
especially to the Southern policy, the civil service policy, and
the financial policy of the Administration. The great success of
REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATION 59
the Administration in its civil service policy was in getting the
control of the New York custom house and in changing it from
a political machine for the benefit of party leaders into a busi-
ness office for the benefit of the public. This was where the
spoils system was strongest, and where the reform was most
difficult. All of my opponents were on the wrong side of the
question. The victory was signal and in its results complete.
The successful reform in New York is the corner-stone of the
final thorough and complete reform of the whole service of the
United States. What has been done in New York against such
odds can be done and surely will be done everywhere.
The Southern policy, these leaders all reviled. Now all are
silenced by the results. Their President utters not a word on
the subject. His silence is the most significant proof of the
wisdom and success of my policy.
On financial measures, all of the leaders named, Blaine, Cam-
eron, Conkling, either opposed openly or secretly. They were
all unsound on the Greenback heresies. I point to the results
for my endorsement.
December 30, 1881. -- Married twenty-nine years ago today.
An event that gains with time. Yesterday Lucy and I took our
friends Dr. and Mrs. Stilwell and Anna in our carriage out to
Judge Finefrock's to attend the wedding of their daughter Helen
to a young lawyer of this town, Mr. Samuel Garver. There
was a part of the road not macadamized. That part was bottom-
less. The mild winter and the rain have made the country roads
horrible. A pleasant gathering, and a reminder of our own
wedding day--like it, on the Thursday between Christmas and
Fremont, January 1, 1882. Sunday Morning. -- Last evening
I rejoined Croghan Lodge I. O. O. F. I belonged to it when I
left Fremont in 1849, almost thirty-three years ago. Without
an especial tendency to "the work" of secret societies, I have
long been satisfied that they were in many ways very useful.
Leaving out the beneficial feature, which is certainly valuable,
the social and educational elements are excellent. All descrip-
tions of reputable people are here brought together and in-
60 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
structed in the orderly management of public business. All are
on their best behavior, a fraternal friendship is cultivated, virtu-
ous and temperate habits are encouraged, and the best of our
social instincts are called into play. The festive organizations,
convivial clubs, and the like, are not safe places of resort for
all natures. No man can be worse for the associations of Odd
Fellowship and their kindred organizations. Most men will be
made better. With this perhaps too moderate estimate of the
society, I am glad to unite with it again.
I joined Croghan Lodge, Number 77, in 1848 or 1849. I
took a visiting card soon after when I removed to Cincinnati, and
in 1850 on card joined Eagle Lodge, Number 100. I remained
a member until 1857 when I took a withdrawal card. Until I
married I was a faithful attendant. After that, with increasing
business, I found my evenings fully occupied, and hence with-
In 1869-70 I had a semi-official connection with Capitol Lodge
at Columbus. Perhaps I was a regular member on the books.
I think I paid dues. But I never "worked" my way in--never
saw an initiation, I think, and only attended when some com-
mittee called and had use for a governor as a notability.
Something of the same sort was my connection with a lodge
in Washington--the Metropolitan, I think. In both places I
did whatever I properly could on the request of the brothers
for the benefit of the order.
January 2, 1882.--The day of New Year's calls opens beau-
tifully. A perfect winter morning. During the year past we
have been blessed with health. I have attended church, the
morning service, every Sunday during the year. Lucy has en-
joyed excellent health, and with slight exceptions the same is
true of all of our family.
FREMONT, January 2, 1882.
DEAR MRS. GARFIELD:--The Honorable William A. Courte-
nay, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, and the city
council of that city, have done me the honor to assign to me the
GARFIELD MOURNED BY ALL 61
duty of transmitting to you, for yourself, the members of your
family, and Mrs. Eliza B. Garfield, and for Colonel Rockwell,
copies of the proceedings of the city council and of the citizens
of Charleston, upon the death of President Garfield. Among
the consolations which reach you in affliction, not the least
certainly, is the fact of which these proceedings afford a signal
example, that all the countrymen of President Garfield are united
in mourning his loss and in their high appreciation of his char-
acter and services.
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. J. A. GARFIELD.
FREMONT, OHIO, January 3, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--Your valued favor of the 29th was received
yesterday. The memorial copies of the proceedings of the coun-
cil and citizens on the death of President Garfield came by ex-
press a few hours earlier. I have sent the copies intended for
Mrs. Garfield and her family, and for Colonel Rockwell, with
a short letter of transmissal by my son Webb C. Hayes, who
will in person deliver them to the proper persons today. I en-
close you herewith a copy of my letter to Mrs. Garfield. When
a reply is received by me I will send it to you.
I am specially gratified by the receipt of the copy sent to me
and beg you to accept my thanks. The three remaining copies
I will send to the State Library at Columbus, and to the public
libraries of Cleveland and Fremont.
With the greatest respect, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM A. COURTENAY,
FREMONT, OHIO, January 3, 1882.
MY DEAR MAJOR:--Thanks for your prompt and vigorous
friendship. You made short work of it. You might have added
that I have never talked or thought of going to Europe and am
not going. I do not plead poverty in any case. My neighbors
62 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
can testify that I do my share freely on all occasions. While I
am not a millionaire, nor wealthy, as the word is now used, I
am, happily, independent, and again your debtor, as in the past.
R. B. HAYES.
MAJOR W. D. BICKMAN,
FREMONT, OHIO, January 1, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--I received a letter from the Loyal
Legion authorities at Chicago some time ago from which I in-
ferred that it was their expectation that there would be an Ohio
organization. What do you say?
I have just read your capital book ["From Fort Henry to
Corinth"]. It is perfect, according to my opinion. This I can't
say of the other one of the series which I have looked through.
The beginning of the war was not well told. It is a disappoint-
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL M. F. FORCE,
January 12, 1882.--I have just read the speech of the tem-
perance advocate, Francis Murphy, at Dundee, Scotland. He
puts the case well. He says: "If you want the liquor sellers to
quit selling liquor, the people must quit buying it." "When you
come to be a sober people, there will be no difficulty about legis-
lation." "If you have legislation before you have sobriety, you
will not keep the law." "Help the publican out of his business
by quitting buying his drink."
FREMONT, OHIO, January 14, 1882.
MY DEAR MR. SHERMAN:--I am obliged for your note. It
is pleasant to know that you are not greatly irritated or dis-
turbed by the attacks on you. Since the death of Garfield, Stal-
wart abuse that would have fallen on him, is divided between
NEWSPAPER ABUSE IGNORED 63
Blaine, you, and me. The Tilden Democratic faction is at the
bottom, I think, of the attack on you and most of the flings at
me. It is the cue of the Tilden faction to keep alive the fraud
issue. One of their favorite modes of doing this is to abuse
the members of my Administration. You are not hurt by it.
You seem to be altogether successful in the debate on your bill.
With best wishes always,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN,
FREMONT, OHIO, January 17, 1882.
DEAR SIR:--Your letter of the 11th instant is before me.
Your testimonials, as you name them, are of the best character.
Your uncle, Colonel C. B. White, I loved and esteemed. He
was a rare man. My inclination is to comply with your request,
and if, on reflection, it had seemed best, I would certainly have
done it. Under the circumstances you will take the will for the
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
DAVID T. WHITE,
January 21. -- Chaplain McCabe with us last night. He lec-
tured on the "Bright Side of Libby Prison" at the city hall to a
good audience. Very entertaining; singing good. The chorus,
"Marching on," very effective with the whole audience joining.
January 22, Sunday. -- Uncle died eight years ago yesterday
on a similar day, except that it was far more foggy and gloomy.
We had a visit yesterday from Mrs. Jay and Mrs. Moss. A
pleasant and lively chat ranging over society, Washington, and
January 23.--I do not notice nor care for the abuse of the
partisan and factional newspapers. A cipher ally or an ultra
Stalwart organ may fling at me and I give them no atten-
tion--not a second thought. It is according to the logic of the
64 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
situation. But when I saw yesterday in the Christian Union
the fling, "Great Britain has an income of four hundred million
dollars and yet Queen Victoria is as poor as Mr. Hayes," I was
vexed and felt like calling the attention of the editor, Lyman
Abbott, to it. The squib is based on the malicious falsehood
that I refused on the score of poverty to make a subscription
to the fund for the Garfield monument. The slander was ex-
ploded the day after it was published, and everybody knows
that in fact a suitable subscription--two hundred and fifty
dollars -- was made cheerfully and without demur on the ground
of lack of means or otherwise. Perhaps I will write to my
friend and kinsman in New York, Charles L. Mead, and ask
him to give the facts to Mr. Lyman [Abbott].
FREMONT, January 23, 1882.
MY DEAR AUNTY DAVIS:--Yes, indeed, those messages will
surely be sent. The door will be closed between us. Our lov-
ing greetings will after that be exchanged no more this side of
the river. And you have hit the nail on the head. The lesson
is to do now and say now all we would wish to have said and
done after the change has come to one or the other of us. To
be so just and thoughtful and kind and good always and with
everybody that no regrets can reach us if we remain, and noth-
ing but happy recollections of us be left behind when we go,--
this is the duty of this life.
This is easily said. Perhaps I should change my questions.
Now they are you know, "Are you happy?" "What do you
know?" Should they not be, "Who have you made happy?"
"What can you do?"
So, so, a happy and healthy winter we have had thus far.
One of the best of all our lives. I hope with you it is the same.
It is not best for Lucy to go East. This is truth, I am con-
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. JOHN DAVIS,
NEWSPAPER ABUSE IGNORED 65
February 2. -- Bright, still, beautiful. The woodchuck can see
My friend Bryan in a letter alludes to the recent attacks upon
me. In reply I have written this morning as follows:--
FREMONT, February 2, 1882.
DEAR GUY:--I am rather gratified by the criticisms you al-
lude to. They call attention to what must, I think, be written
down a very fortunate and successful Administration. It found
our financial affairs in wretched condition, with a plan of relief
in every mouth, and predictions of failure and ruin if the Ad-
ministration followed the course to which it was pledged. In
the face of opposition and unpopularity rarely equalled, it ad-
hered to its own line of policy and left the finances of our
government the wonder and envy of all the world.
It found laborers out of work, uneasy, in want, and riotous,
and it left them fully employed at good wages and contented,
hopeful, and happy.
It found the sectional and race bitterness dangerous and in-
creasing, and it left it with the people of all sections and races
more harmonious and united than ever before. More than all,
these results were reached by measures and a policy which were
strenuously opposed, in whole or in part, by most of the power-
ful leaders of both political parties.
By the reformation in the great offices in New York, the
spoils system was uprooted where it was strongest and a demon-
stration afforded to the American people that a non-partisan
civil service on business principles is entirely practicable.
I am pursued personally by the organs of two factions -- each
a minority faction--in the opposing parties. The ultra sup-
porters of Tilden for next President, in order to keep alive the
"fraud issue" for his benefit, let no chance for calumny to go
unimproved. But the better brethren of the Democratic party
have no hand in this. They follow Hancock, Bayard, Pendle-
ton, McDonald, Lamar, Stephens, Hampton, Gordon, Gibson,
Bailey, Colquitt, etc., etc. In my own party the organs of the
ultra Stalwarts, Butler, Conkling, etc., etc., etc., are, if possible,
still more bitter. The death of Garfield turns their batteries on
66 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
me. The blows which he would receive if living, I now get.
But it does not injure me or my Administration. A mere noth-
ing, a King Log, a dead level, never attracts so much attention.
Hence the satisfaction I find in this stream of obloquy. It
means that their political system--the spoils system and boss
system united into one--has been sorely wounded. "But some-
thing too much of this."
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE GUY M. BRYAN.
FREMONT, OHIO, February 6, 1882.
MY DEAR S.--:--I ought to have acknowledged your note
before. But I expected to see you here so soon that I omitted
to do so.
I congratulate you on your escape from official duty and care,
and especially with such a reputation for integrity, courtesy,
and efficiency. The notices you send me leave nothing to be
desired. The past is secure.
Do not give up your visit to the Grove. Let it be one of
your objective points at all times. This includes, of course,
your whole household. I know there are some dangers con-
nected with it. Since Garfield's death I am assailed with in-
creased bitterness by old enemies, and new ones have opened
upon me. But, with best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH,
February 10, 1882.--President and Mrs. Payne came this
evening from Delaware. The president lectured on "Shams" to
a good audience at the city hall. The humorous treatment of
the subject was not particularly well done. But the serious
closing part of the lecture, in which he treated of the attacks
of Huxley and Tyndall on Christianity, was exceedingly well
done and carried the audience.
NEWSPAPER ABUSE IGNORED 67
FREMONT, OHIO, February 10, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--I hasten to assure you that I am very glad
to have found you. Mr. Birchard, having lost his parents in
childhood, was adopted by my father and brought to Ohio in
1816-17. My father died before I was born, and in due time
I was adopted by Uncle Birchard. He lost his health before
he was twenty-five and was an invalid about fifty years. He
never married; was a good business man and fortunate; lived
to his seventy-fourth year; was very happy; generous and
friendly; became a Presbyterian, and interested in all religious
work; was liberal in opinion; and was ready to go when the
end came. His death was without suffering. He talked calmly
and nobly of the approaching change up to the last instant of
his life, and passed away with a smile of joy on his face.
Uncle often spoke of you and wondered what became of you.
I am not clear as to how much, if anything, he knew of your
life. After his death, I had it in mind to find you. My friend
General Force, of Cincinnati, had a classmate, I think, at Har-
vard who became and who is, I believe, a professor at Harvard,
named Torrey. Torrey wanted to know about the pardoning
power in Ohio. General Force sent me his letter. I asked
Force to ask the professor about "Charles W. Torrey." I sent
him your letter to Uncle Birchard. He was interested, and wrote
to a railroad man, B. B. Torrey, who was interested in gene-
alogy. He furnished a mem., not of a lawyer, but of a clergy-
man named C. W. T. Hence my letter to you. You will perhaps
be interested in the other Torreys, and I therefore send you the
correspondence. Please return it when you are done with it.
Now let us meet. Come and see me at any time. I always
have a bed and a plate for a friend. I have a son resident in
Cleveland--Webb C. Hayes--and [I] am at Mr. L Austin's,
eastern part of Prospect Street, very often. Mrs. Hayes joins in
R. B. HAYES.
REV. C. W. TORREY,
68 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
February 17, 1882. -- William Henry Smith spent the last two
days with me. We fought over our old political campaigns from
1856 down to the last in 1880. The general result of a review
of the past tends to satisfy me with my political life. No man,
I suppose, ever came up to his ideal. The reform is either not
accomplished or it fails to do what we hoped it would do. The
first half [of] my active political life was first to resist the in-
crease of slavery and secondly to destroy it. Both have "hap-
pened," as Mr. Tilden would say -- or "come." Great and benef-
icent are the results. The second half of my political life has
been to rebuild, and to get rid of the despotic and corrupting
tendencies and the animosities of the war, and the other legacies
of slavery. I feel that I need not defend or explain the South-
ern policy, the financial policy, or the civil service policy of the
Administration, or its general course in a party point of view.
Those who opposed its measures and policy must now take the
stand. Let them defend and explain and apologize.
A gifted lawyer in Arkansas is reported by Miss Willard to
have said in a temperance meeting: "Law is merely public senti-
Public opinion enacted into constitutional statutes -- em-
bodied in constitutional enactments, in valid statutes -- statutes
which embody the settled public opinion of the people who
enacted them and whom they are to govern--can always be en-
forced. But if they embody only the sentiments of a bare ma-
jority, pronounced under the influence of a temporary excite-
ment, they will, if strenuously opposed, always fail of their ob-
ject; nay, they are likely to injure the cause they are framed
February 24.--Touching the alleged inconsistency between
words and deeds. First, consider the paramount importance of
the Southern question when my Administration began; second,
the paramount importance after that of the financial question;
and third, the paramount importance of regaining power and re-
taining power in 1880. This last consideration has not been gen-
erally regarded as it deserves. But it was imperative and con-
trolling. The Administration would have failed throughout if
REVIEW OF POLITICAL LIFE 69
the Government in all branches had passed into the hands of
the Democrats. This was predicted as the inevitable result of
the Southern policy and the civil service policy by Blaine and
Speaking of Stalwarts. There are, says the Tribune, "Stal-
warts and Stalwarts." I suppose they may be designated as
Guiteau Stalwarts and Arthur Stalwarts. Brass-medal Stal-
warts and Guiteau Stalwarts are identical. "A Stalwart of the
Stalwarts" was Guiteau. Emory Storrs is a Guiteau Stalwart --
the favorite model lawyer of Guiteau -- his model statesman also.
February 28.--We talk of getting up a savings bank. What
are the facts about such institutions? Are they safe, profitable,
and useful to the community?
FREMONT, OHIO, February 28, 1882.
MY DEAR S--:--Yes, indeed, the binder is an artist and
this book--three volumes--are [is] the gems [gem] of my
Sensible man, Mr. Rice. And now we have the predestined
surprise which poor Arthur could not escape. What a fatal obli-
gation! It is like the sale of the soul to Satan. I can not but
feel grateful that it was my good fortune to have all such men
my enemies. I can well think, if I don't publicly say it, "a
man is known by his enemies." Perhaps I ought to claim this
as a mot of my own invention.
Your full and explicit statement in the Sherman affair puts
that to rights. In fact, Sherman is better before the public
than if it had not occurred. Nobody will believe a word against
him now. On reflection, was not a more strenuous treatment of
the culprit required? Is it possible that he was so misled as to
be without fault?
Thanks, thanks. Mrs. Hayes and Webb were both full of
regrets at their absence. But come again soon.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
70 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
[Mr. Smith had written from Chicago, February 25:--
"I send by today's express a copy of the 'St. Clair Papers,' en-
closed in the fairest covers American art can produce. Even
though the [my] literary work falls short of your expecta-
tions, I would fain hope the binder's part may prove highly
gratifying. He has succeeded so cleverly in shaping, polishing,
and gilding the fragrant Levant (whose beauty unlike that of the
rose is heightened by being crushed), as to embolden a comparison
with the famous binders of Europe. If not quite equal to the
work of Le Gascon or Roger Payne, it nevertheless when com-
pared with books of ten years ago, shows decided progress in
the art, and on that account has a certain value.
"The Virgilian line, Fugit irreparabile tempus, is true as to
'things temporal' (physical), but it is inapplicable to the spiritual.
I recall the two pleasant days spent with you last week and live
them over again. I find all of the incidents, tone of voice, and
conversation fresh and again enjoyable. The interval has only
served through the aid of reflection to deepen the first impres-
"I came away without touching on many topics that had been
prominent in my thoughts before leaving home, and that gives
rise to a feeling of regret; but, after all, it is doubtful if I would
do better on another occasion.
"I enclose copy of an open letter to Emory Storrs which you
will probably find in your Tribune. It was written by a State
Senator, Honorable Isaac Rice, and refers to the extraordinary
utterances on the occasion of the recent celebration of the Lin-
coln Club of New York. . . ."]
March 5, 1882. -- A petition by Hayes, Waite, John A. Stew-
art, Phillips Brooks, Daniel C. Gilman, William E. Dodge, Col-
quitt, Morris K. Jesup, and William A. Slater, to [the] New
York Legislature for a charitable corporation under the laws of
this State (New York).
March 7. -- The best hopes of any community rest upon that
class of its gifted young men who are not encumbered with large
possessions, or weighted with--discouraged by--large expec-
VETO OF ANTI-CHINESE BILL 71
tations. I now speak of extensive scholarship and ripe culture
in science and art. For the sons of the rich other fields are opened.
They have their place, but the claims of society, of business, and
of property absorb their efforts and shape their careers.
It is not large possessions, it is large expectations, or rather
large hopes, that stimulate the ambition of the young.
March 15, 1882.--With Dr. Bushnell to Cleveland to attend
the meeting of the trustees of Adelbert College of Western Re-
serve University. Fixed time of commencement, July 7 next;
discussed salaries; settled expenses (without change). Presi-
dent Gilman will deliver the address. I am to prepare a minute
on the death of Garfield and a short address on behalf of the
trustees of the university.
Private and confidential.
FREMONT, OHIO, March 17, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--The enclosed letter explains my writ-
ing to you. Without pausing to comment on the singularity of
the request it contains, it is probably enough to say that the veto
referred to did not discuss the subject matter of the bill before
me, except so far as to show that it was a summary and in my
judgment unwarranted disturbance of our existing treaties with
China. I still think I was right in this and have never seen in
California or elsewhere any reason to change my opinion. I am
surprised that so intelligent a person as Mr. Perkins could have
been misled. But I suppose he never read the veto or has for-
gotten it. It has no bearing on the measure before Congress.
Of course, I do not desire to obtrude my views and do not
authorize any statement on the subject. I certainly never ex-
pressed or entertained any doubt about the rightfulness of the
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
P. S.-- Please consider the enclosed letter as laid before you
in confidence and return it when read. -- H.
HONORABLE W. S. ROSECRANS.
72 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
FREMONT, OHIO, March 20, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--I am astonished to learn that General Stur-
gis, in testifying before a Senate committee, accuses Mrs. Hayes
of improper purchases and use of property at the Soldiers'
Home. The specifications are said to be that she caused the pur-
chase of extravagant furniture for the Home, and that she used
for herself and family flowers from the garden of the Home. If
Sturgis gave such testimony, as of his own knowledge, he was
guilty of false swearing. If he lugged into his testimony such
a charge on hearsay merely, he was guilty of conduct unbecom-
ing an officer and a gentleman. I cannot believe that a Senate
committee would allow a witness to name a lady in connection
with such an imputation on hearsay. In any event this is the
1. Mrs. Hayes had nothing whatever to do with furnishing
the Home. It was represented to us that it had been already fur-
nished for the President's family under previous Administrations.
Besides, the furniture of the President's house at the Home was
not extravagant, but was plain and economical during the whole
time of our occupancy of it. If expensive furniture is now there,
it has been placed there since we left it.
2. The flowers used by Mrs. Hayes while we were at the
Home were brought from the conservatory at the White House.
If others were sent to her from the garden of the Home, she
did not know it and did not order them.
If the Senate committee has anything from Sturgis reflecting
on Mrs. Hayes, let it be thoroughly investigated and let there be
an opportunity to meet it. We did not intend to come to Wash-
ington during this session of Congress, but will both of us do
so if our testimony is required to get at the whole truth. The
committee should send me a copy of any testimony reflecting on
This note is not for the public, but you may, if you think it
advisable, show it to a judicious member of the Senate com-
mittee. No imputation against Mrs. Hayes must remain before
the committee unanswered and without full investigation.
[Unidentified.] R. B. HAYES.
UNDESERVED CENSURE AN ENCOMIUM 73
March 22.--Attended the funeral of David Deal, the last
survivor of the war of 1812 in Sandusky County. A pioneer of
1830, aged eighty-eight [years], five months.
Saturday, March 25, 1882. -- Lucy went to Sandusky this
morning to visit Mrs. Fanny Boalt Moss and Mrs. Chester Moss.
The young folks left with me to entertain. First a visit to the
pond. Too much ice for rowing, and not enough for skating.
A hunt after eggs with good success. Then John [Grant
Mitchell] loads and fires his first shot. He put in the cartridge
and cocked the piece. He made a line shot but too high. His
second was a centre shot. Good for J. M. G. Jr. Then we all
set to work gathering brush about the old stump and had a huge
Longfellow died yesterday. "Loving, lovely, and beloved." I
read to the children his "Morituri Salutamus." All of these
little folks had read some of his pieces and had their favorite
FREMONT, OHIO, March 30, 1882.
MY DEAR S--:--I am surprised at and regret your sensi-
tiveness. I must repeat what I have often said to you. Such
abuse is an encomium. The highest praise comes from that quar-
ter in this form. A man is known quite as much by his enemies
as by his friends.
I can see why Mr. Medill would like a reply. The other side
would be an interesting article. But for me or my friends to
prepare it, is totally inadvisable. The obnoxious article acquits
me beyond peradventure of all the harm charged. The charge
I suppose is a ring to swindle the Government out of money by
the purchase of Ambrose Thompson's interests at extravagant
figures. Read the article and you will see that the opportunity
and the authority of law, etc., etc., to do it were ample, and
that I did not do it. The article furnishes its own reply.
But the truth is, it was never in contemplation to buy for coal-
ing stations anything more than small patches of land at a few
hundred dollars. The committees of Congress who recommended
the appropriation that was made thought that our coaling sta-
74 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
tions would dominate the two best harbors in the vicinity of the
Panama Canal route, and that with the consent of the local au-
thorities they could be fitted up with shipping and storing facili-
ties for two hundred thousand dollars. Moving cautiously, not
a cent of the appropriations was expended, and the affair was
left to the Administration of President Garfield. Not one word
of explanation should come from me or from my friends of an
attack from such a source. Do not, as you love me, be worried
into a word. All well.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
April 7.--Temperance is like religion. It gains nothing by
force--by coercion. Neither the force of law nor of arms
can promote it. It is advanced by religion, by argument, by edu-
cation, by persuasion, and above all by example. Men's inter-
ests may be enlisted for it as they are against it.
[April] 13.--Returned from a pleasant visit to Chillicothe,
Columbus, and Delaware. All these places are thriving. Build-
ing greater than usual -- perhaps more than ever before. All fine
My aged relatives all greeted me with affection. All are
feeble, but none of them is in immediate danger. Uncle Scott
Cook was seventy-nine on the ninth. Aunt Lucy is in her
seventy-second year and is not likely to recover, but may re-
main some time. Aunt Moody is in her ninety-second year--
feeble in body, somewhat deaf, but her intellect is good, and
her conversation bright and sparkling. She remembers the cur-
rent daily news well and is interested in what is going on in the
world. Aunt Phoebe, sixty-eight, is gaining and is quite herself
April 29.--Yesterday we received by express a beautiful
brindle, mouse-colored greyhound named "Grim." He is said
to be two years old. He is good-natured and neat in his habits.
He came from Mr. William Du Pont, of Wilmington, Delaware.
BISHOP GILMORE'S FAIRNESS 75
Our kinsman Austin, of Cleveland, is the medium. "Grim" took
all our hearts at once; especially the affections of Fanny and
Scott. Our other dogs soon discovered that their noses were
out of joint. "Hector," the Newfoundland, and "Dot," the
terrier, both about six months old, at first showed some jealousy
of the stranger, but his social qualities and talents quickly es-
tablished good relations with them.
April 30.--In the afternoon Lucy and I attended the laying
of the corner-stone of the large new Catholic church--the St.
Joseph's Church. We were much interested in the ceremonies.
Bishop Gilmore delivered a strong and interesting address on the
topic, "The public has a right to know what doctrines will be
taught in the building whose corner-stone we have just laid." It
was liberal and fair. For the most part it would have been ap-
proved by Christians generally. He said among other things that
our institutions were founded by earnest Christian people; espe-
cially was this the case in New England and Maryland. Al-
though freedom of conscience as to forms and sects is secured
in our Constitution, yet the Christian religion is at the founda-
tion. New England was fairly dealt with. He stated squarely
the difference between Catholics and others on, first, the author-
ity of the church, second, on religious school education.
FREMONT OHIO, May 5, 1882.
DEAR MRS. MAYNARD:--Mrs. Hayes and I were greatly
shocked and grieved by the sad intelligence of the sudden death
of your noble and honored husband. The whole country will
mourn his loss. To us it seems like a personal bereavement.
Our sympathies and prayers are with you in your great affliction.
That the best consolation of Heaven -- the support which Chris-
tianity gives--may be yours is the heartfelt wish of your sin-
cere friends, Mrs. Hayes and myself.
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. HORACE MAYNARD.
76 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
May 7. -- Webb brought last night a beautiful black shepherd
dog, called "Shep" for short, about one year old.
The Slater charter has become a law in New York. I will
now try to make the most of this good charity. Industrial edu-
cation, as well as religious education, must have attention. To
make the colored people respected and influential, they must be
successful in accumulating property--in doing the work which
our civilization prizes most highly. Let them be not merely
bookish scholars, but good mechanics and good business men.
Let them show architects, civil engineers, and the like.
Tuesday, May 16.--Left home for New York to attend the
first meeting of the trustees of the John F. Slater Fund.
Fifth Avenue Hotel, May 17. -- Called at Chase's room. Por-
trait improved. Evarts' very lifelike. With Charlie Mead to
Sypher's store of old furniture and thence up the elevated railroad
to Harlem River. Tea with Charlie Mead. The conversation
mainly on the Slater Fund and the policy to be adopted.
[May] 18. -- Prepared before breakfast notes for the business
in hand at the meeting of our board. Also remarks to be made
at the dinner to be given to Mr. Slater by Mr. Jesup.
[At] 11 A. M., board met at place appointed [Mr. Morris K.
Jesup's office]. Present: the Chief Justice (Waite), Governor
Colquitt, Mr. John A. Stewart, Rev. Dr. Boyce, M. K. Jesup,
President Gilman, William A. Slater, and myself, trustees, and
Mr. John F. Slater and Dr. Bacon. After pleasant greetings, I
called the board to order and asked Dr. Boyce to open our meet-
ing with prayer, which he did briefly and fitly. We proceeded
to organize by electing President Gilman secretary, Stewart,
Jesup, and Dodge a finance committee, Jesup treasurer and
Chief Justice Waite, Governor Colquitt, and Dr. Boyce [com-
mittee] on organization and by-laws; Hayes, Colquitt, Boyce,
Gilman, and Dodge, on executive committee. Some conversa-
tional debate, brief and to the purpose. Adjourned to 12 M.
In the evening dined at Mr. Jesup's. Present, besides Mr.
Slater and the trustees, Drs. Storrs, Taylor, Dix, and Bacon,
Governor Morgan, John Welsh, Mr. William E. Dodge Jr., Carl
SLATER FUND ORGANIZED 77
Schurz, Professor Baldwin. No reporters. Pleasant speeches
and a most enjoyable time.
NEW YORK, May 18, 1882.
MY DARLING:--My trip was an exceedingly good and com-
fortable one. No dust, a good temperature, and good company.
Not a single former acquaintance on the train but a number of
very agreeable people. There were no babies to look after. I
was, however, well cared for.
I took tea with Charlie Mead last evening. Mrs. Mead won
me more than ever before. She is a superior woman. She dis-
cussed you so warmly and so discriminatingly! Katie is chang-
ing rapidly to a young lady. She sends Fanny the enclosed tin-
type. It has the great merit of costing only one cent and a quar-
I bought the eagle-head knocker. It will have "Hayes" en-
graved on it -- old English letters -- and be sent by express. It
is to be put on the side of the door which we habitually open--
the right-hand side as you approach the door from the outside.
Mr. Evarts' picture by Chase looks well -- very well. Mine has
vastly improved. It is big and grand in its new frame, and the
admirers of Chase admire it with ardor. I have one more sit-
I visited Sypher with Mead. I suspect your favorite ward-
robe is gone. They say so, and I did not find it. I saw one
thing not that I wanted but that we might in a plain way have
imitated to advantage. A sofa or settee with a huge chest under
the seat which is hung on hinges. What a cavern for old boots
Love to Fan and Scott. And "s' much."
FREMONT, OHIO, May 22, 1882.
DEAR MADAM:--Your esteemed favor of the 12th instant is
The Slater Fund has been placed in the hands of the trustees
78 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
only within the last week. The income is alone to be expended
for the purposes of the trust. There will be no income until the
interest for the first half-year of cash investment is in hand. No
plan to expend the income will be adopted therefore for several
months. No buildings can be erected with the Slater Fund.
There is therefore no room for encouragement in the affair you
have at heart in this quarter. The case seems to be a very
meritorious one, but it plainly does not come within the scope
of this trust.
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
MISS SARAH E. MACOMBER,
East Marshfield, Massachusetts.
May 23. Tuesday. -- The Fisk Jubilee singers staid with us
last night and yesterday afternoon and are still here. Their con-
cert was successful. Miss Lawrence is lady-like and intelligent
-- a mulatto; Miss Sheppard, even more so. Mr. Loudin has
intellect. All but two are of mixed blood. Loudin admires the
English, has strong feelings against the Irish, and argued with
me warmly against my opinion that the true treatment for the
Irish was liberal trust, self-government, opportunity--the over-
throw of all oppressive laws. He can't think of extending to the
Irish what he claims for his own, and apparently all other races.
May 26. -- With Lucy, Fanny Pease, and Rutherford drove
up the river towards Tiffin about eight miles to the new railroad
--the New York, Chicago, and Saint Louis. . . . The dog-
wood, now in full bloom, never looked finer than it does.
Last evening Lucy read a short speech presenting a banner to
the comrades of Eugene Rawson Post -- "the gift and work of
the ladies of Fremont." A good audience and an agreeable time.
Captain Al. Tyler, a badly wounded veteran of the war, received
it in a speech of some length, fervent and appropriate.
May 31. -- Decoration Day was observed satisfactorily in all
respects. The singing might have been more popular and en-
joyable. General Buckland delivered a written address. Well
SLATER FUND ORGANIZED 79
done and timely in its suggestion of a soldiers' monument. I
spoke offhand and acceptably enough. Altogether a successful
commemoration. I marched with the comrades of the posts from
Birchard Hall the whole line of march to and including the re-
turn to the hall, and without fatigue. Probably few bore it better
than I did. The weather and roads were very favorable. Mrs.
Hayes with her carriage took her list of old ladies to the ceme-
tery and home again, viz., Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs, Claghorn, Mrs.
Dickinson. A happy day.
I yesterday settled my account with the old First National Bank
of Fremont and paid for my stock in the new First National Bank
of Fremont, leaving me to receive from the bank for general pur-
poses eleven thousand dollars. This will enable me to pay off all
floating debts and I hope at least three thousand dollars on my
funded debt of about thirty thousand dollars. . . . I am to
keep for myself thirty-six thousand dollars of stock and what-
ever I am required to furnish to home stockholders is to come
out of the forty-one thousand dollars which is in my name.
I am invited to attend the reunion of the Army of the Potomac
at Detroit the 14th and 15th of June. The toast assigned to me
at the banquet is "Our Country." I may also be called on to
speak at a general open meeting of the society. On these occa-
sions I must speak of General Burnside and of the Seventeenth
Michigan. Its gallantry at South Mountain and Antietam--an
illustration of the effects of the educational system of Michigan;
its system for general and higher education; its illustrious uni-
versity, "known and honored throughout the world." Of Gen-
eral Burnside's military and civil [career]. I knew him slightly
as a military commander, serving under him only a brief period,
and at the remote distance of the commander of a corps and a
lieutenant-colonel obscurely leading a gallant regiment. In civil
life I knew him intimately when charged with the high duties
devolved upon a member of the Senate of the United States.
On the Seventeenth Michigan, of the "thinking bayonets":
Those who know what bondage is, even though deeply and
brightly gilded, and those who also know what emancipation is
-emancipation to an independence and freedom that need no
80 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
FREMONT, OHIO, June 3, 1882.
DEAR WINNIE:--I fear some one is using your name im-
properly to get money from me. Within a year I have sent
through Mr. Gustin to you over nine hundred dollars. Now I
have a letter which purports to come from you asking for a loan
of four hundred dollars. What does it mean? Are you not
earning any money? You speak, or rather the letter speaks, of
your paying "very large interest." Get some one to write me in his
own name, that I can trust, explaining all this. Mr. Crook will
write for you, or Mr. Gustin, or Mr. Headley. -- We are all well.
MRS. WINNIE MONROE, R. B. HAYES.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 6, 1882.
DEAR SIR: -- Your note is very kind and the excellent "Hand-
book of American Politics" is a welcome addition to my Ameri-
cana. The friendly notice of my Administration is appreciated.
The general public, content with the peace and extraordinary
prosperity which signalized its close, are apt to forget the cir-
cumstances of unusual difficulty, violence, and danger with which
it began. It encountered at the threshold a more serious situa-
tion than has confronted any Administration of recent times ex-
Notice these: The Southern question; the money question;
the hard times and riots; the Indian question; the Chinese ques-
tion; the reform of the civil service; the partisan bitterness grow-
ing out of a disputed election; a hostile Congress; and a party
long in power on the verge of defeat. Is there any one of these
which was not left in a better condition than it was found? I
have often said that, leaving out of the question Lincoln's Ad-
ministration, it would be difficult to find one which began with
so rough a situation, and few which closed with so smooth a sea.
A good deal too much of this.
MR. ALEXANDER JOHNSON, R. B. HAYES.
THE CIVIL SERVICE AND POLITICS 81
July 2, 1882.--At reunion of Army of Potomac in Detroit
14th and 15th June. At commencement of Kenyon 28th and 29th
June--at Bishop Bedell's. [On the] 29th P. M. to Columbus.
Platt not improved; serious doubts of his recovery. He bid me
good-bye, July I, as for the last time. Returned home with Lucy
Our new savings bank started. Stands as follows: Deposits
$87,622. Loans and discounts $90,553. This is a much larger
business than I anticipated at so early a date.
July 4. -- I occasionally hear that the rule as to interference of
Federal officers in elections was not enforced. But it must be
admitted that on this subject a vast and beneficial change was
effected. The Administration did not through its office-holders
interfere or seek to interfere with the freedom of elections. Those
who were active were not as a rule friends of the Administration,
but its opponents. Take the case of the important offices at Port-
land, Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati,
St. Louis, etc., etc. For the first [time] in fifty years these great
offices were not used to promote the party and personal ends
of the Administration.
As to assessments: All officers were distinctly notified that
they need not contribute to political purposes. There were large
numbers who did not do so and none of them were removed or
prejudiced by their neglect or refusal to contribute.
FREMONT, OHIO, July 5, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--I am very glad to get your letter, and to hear
the exact condition of affairs. I have suspected for some time that
"to get even" was the key to the Conkling-Arthur policy. No
merit will save any officer who was a friend of the Hayes Admin-
istration. Only fear of public opinion spares those who are left.
I am glad you can say what you do about Rice and Ritchie.
I believed they would stand by Waggoner, but his enemies started
a report that all the Members of Congress, yourself included,
were against him. There are no Arthur men in this region
except a few who want place at any price.
82 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Your situation is, of course, uncomfortable. But you may feel
sure that none of the attacks on you are injurious. All the peo-
ple regard them with contempt.
As to the Louisiana expenses, it is right that they should be
paid. I am not, however, now in need. Land sells at fair prices,
and I am independent again. My income is not large, but it
is sufficient, and my debts are now in manageable shape. A year
or two more of these good times and I am as easy as an old shoe.
I say that much on my improved pecuniary condition because I
had told you of my embarrassments.
With kindest regards to Mrs. Sherman.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN.
FREMONT, OHIO, July 5, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL: -- For several weeks I have had it in mind
to say we expect you this summer at your own convenience, with
Mrs. Force and the young gentleman, "done-finished" with your
household. We are in somewhat more satisfactory condition
than when you saw us last. Come prepared to stay long enough
to be and to feel at home -- a fortnight at least. We expect to
remain at home with only absences of a day or two at a time
With friendly regards to Mrs. Force, and in all this Mrs.
Hayes joins warmly.
R. B. HAYES.
P. S.--"Say, the sooner the better." So says Lucy; so say
GENERAL M. F. FORCE.
SPIEGEL GROVE, July 8, 1882.
MY DEAR AUNTY DAVIS:--You did celebrate the Fourth beau-
tifully. With us "gunpowder day," as you fitly call it, was boys'
day. Scott and Fanny, with a chum of Scott's, began early and
held on late into the night. As he crept to bed tired, begrimed,
INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION 83
and with burned fingers, he said, as you do, "It was [the] best
time in my life."
You seem to have doubted about Chautauqua. Why, it was
your intention to go that decided Lucy. She was, of course,
averse to going, but with you there, all will be well with her.
Without you, she will send "regrets" -- "unavoidably prevented,"
or the like.
We too have had our best year these last months. If we could
expel from it the great national tragedy, clearly our last year
would have been our happiest.
That debt must be paid to you and the doctor in Spiegel Grove.
When? We hope soon.
All well and full of good wishes and friendship for you and
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. ELIZA G. DAVIS,
FREMONT, OHIO, July 10, 1882.
DEAR SIR:-- . . . I have for some years been satisfied
that the next important step to be taken in the progressive im-
provement of our educational systems is the introduction of in-
struction in "the arts by which civilized men live." An education
that will do this will be a vast improvement on what existing
methods furnish. Whatever encouragement and aid to this much
needed progress it is in my power to contribute, will be heartily
R. B. HAYES.
MR. EDWARD DANIELS.
FREMONT, OHIO, July 26, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL: -- I send you the autographs herewith.
I have an official document from the headquarters of the
Loyal Legion authorizing the organizing of the Ohio Command-
ery. I suppose similar papers were sent to all of the applicants.
I wrote to Colonel Dawes as suggested therein. October 4 may
be an inconvenient day for me to attend, but I now think I can
84 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
do so. I am to be in New York on the 6th or 7th, and am a
young person of sixty (!) on the fourth.
We would be very happy to extend our invitation to Miss
Stettinius and the Andersons, if we thought they would enjoy
coming. We admire them, are very fond of them, but are
afraid we are too -- well, say, immature for them to be quite
jolly in our old-fashioned place. Our big barn would hold them
and all their calamities if they would like the camp.
With kind remembrances to Mrs. Force.
R. B. HAYES.
P. S.--Mrs. Hayes goes with Rutherford and Adda Cook
to Chautauqua today for five days' absence, leaving Fanny and
Scott to take care of me.
GENERAL M. F. FORCE,
July 31, 1882. -- I am urged to talk at the missionary meeting
in Cleveland next November. I will do it if Congress fails to
pass the bill appropriating ten millions for education at the South,
and take the "Nation's Duty" for my topic.
August 2.--Last evening Bishop Wiley and Dr. and Mrs.
Rust at tea and guests for the night. Mr. and Mrs. Meek and
Mrs. Bristol spent the evening. A fine pleasant little gathering.
The topic was education in the South and the work of the
church in that connection. Views of all liberal and hopeful.
FREMONT, OHIO, August 2, 1882.
DEAR SIR: -- I have your letter of the 31st ultimo. You are no
doubt altogether sound in your notion of the importance to To-
ledo of manufacturing establishments. Commerce alone will
not make it a large city. If your own citizens are so attracted
by the chances of operations in produce as to be indifferent to en-
terprises of the sort you name, it will be natural for outsiders
DEATH OF WILLIAM A. PLATT 85
interested in Toledo to wait until local interest is aroused; and
unless informed as to probable location, and a more general feel-
ing in its favor in your city, I am not disposed to give the mat-
ter much consideration. When Toledo people care to take hold
themselves, I will do my full share in all such projects.
R. B. HAYES.
MR. C. B. PHILLIPS,
August 8, 1882. -- We hear today from Columbus that Brother
William A. Platt died this morning. He married again a few
years after the death of my sister and now leaves a widow and
three children of hers. He has been a successful man and raised
a family of fine children. The daughters married well and have
families of lovely children. Rutherford, the only son, is unmar-
ried. He is a young man of sterling qualities--a promising
young lawyer. We go to the funeral. It will be Thursday next.
August 9, 1882.--After a week of heavy rains, it is today
very cold. We had no destructive rains here, but a few miles
east on Green Creek, and a few miles west, the water fell in
sheets or rivers. Two railroad accidents in the county by wash-
outs and bridges destroyed; sheep drowned and much damage
August 19.--A good reunion at Lakeside of the Twenty-third.
Forty to fifty veterans and as many more -- wives and children.
No grandchildren in the regiment yet, so far as heard from.
August 27. -- We must not divorce the mind from the hand.
The way to make a living need not diverge widely from the way
to become a scholar.
September 5, 1882.--Mrs. Sneed and her daughter, Miss
Austine Sneed, are visiting us -- Washington correspondents of
excellent character. They are not here to write us up. We are
much interested in their accounts of Washington affairs. Noth-
ing could be further from our desire than to return to Washington
86 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
and enter again its whirl, either socially or politically, but we
are interested in seeing Washington with the roof off.
September 20, 1882. -- Yesterday with General Force attended
a fine reunion of the soldiers of Huron and Sandusky Counties
at Bellevue. We both made speeches. This morning the general
and his family after a [week's] visit which we have greatly en-
joyed left for home.
This morning Lucy with Fanny left for Cleveland. Fanny
goes to attend the school of Miss Mittleberger. This is her first
departure from the family roof. She will be near us -- less than
three hours by rail. But it is the first absence! Bless the dar-
September 23, 1882. -- General Grosvenor and Colonel Corbin
stayed with me last night. A good talk over matters. General
Grosvenor said President Garfield told him with a good deal of
feeling, during the pendency of the controversy over the nom-
ination of Robertson, that a very few days before the resigna-
tion of Conkling and Platt, MacVeagh and James held a confer-
ence with Conkling and Platt in Philadelphia -- this without ad-
vising Garfield of it either before or after the conference!
Reverend Lyman Abbott wants an article for the Christian
Union on the legal aspects of the temperance question. In re-
ply I told him that the publication of my opinions, if they at-
tracted [attention] at all would "provoke profitless controversy."
"Certain experiments [I added] must, as I see it, be tried before
there will be any general concurrence of sentiment among the
sincere friends of the cause. The tendency to division and dis-
cord is already so strong that I am averse to doing anything
which will add to it. The true agencies for good in this work,
as I look at the subject, are example, education, discussion, and
the influences of religion."
September 27, 1882. -- The editor of the Danville (Kentucky)
Tribune sends me an extract from the Mount Sterling Sentinel,
implying that Arthur was turned out for personal dishonesty.
To this I send the following:--
REASON FOR ARTHUR'S DISMISSAL 87
Private and confidential.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, September 27, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--I have your letter of the 25th instant. You
will excuse me from saying anything in reply for publication.
I have adopted a rule, and thus far adhered to it, not to deny or
explain in regard to my official record. Exceptions there may be,
of course. But this charge is old and has been properly met
often. Sherman in public speeches has said that no reflection
was intended on the personal integrity of Messrs. Arthur and
Cornell by their removal. In 1879 I authorized the statement
that if I were a citizen of New York I would support for gover-
nor Mr. Cornell; that it was not the personal character of the
collector and naval officer of New York that was involved in
their removal, but that the action taken by me was for the pur-
pose of changing the system on which those great offices were
The spoils system of necessity leads, in my opinion, to ex-
travagance and corruption and for that reason the change was
made. All this sufficiently appears by the public documents issued
at the time, copies of which* I enclose to you.
As my letter is not to be published I retain your favor of the
25th. Hoping that you will concur with me in what I have
said, I remain,
R. B. HAYES.
MR. DAVID A. MURPHY,
September 28, 1882. Thursday. -- Dr. Fred Baker and his
wife are with us from Akron. They came to attend the wedding
last evening of Thomas Stilwell and Fanny Miller.
FREMONT, OHIO, October 1, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--I noticed your arrival at home and had
it in mind to welcome you with a letter, and an invitation to our
* Message to the Senate and letter to General Merritt.
88 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
grove. Webb came over from Cleveland yesterday, and we
were talking about you and your coming as Webb and I would
talk, of course, when your letter was handed to me. Mark
Twain says it is always or often so. A letter is heralded by a
premonition. Well, we are glad you are back; would vastly
prefer you would "settle" in Ohio--but not at the expense of
We go to New York tomorrow to be absent a week or two.
After our return we hope to see you here as soon as may be. We
will walk and talk -- swap experiences, as Lincoln used to swap
anecdotes, and so catch up and get even, after these lost years.
Mrs. Hayes says, on politics, that she feels as you do -- "all
torn up in her mind."
I want to know it, if you are likely to go off West or East
suddenly; for it you can't come here I will go down to Cin-
cinnati as soon as I return. We must have a meeting.
With all best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL GEORGE CROOK.
New York, October 4. -- Sixty years old today.
Our Peabody meeting today. The Slater Fund trustees meet
tomorrow. A few ideas seem to be agreed upon. Help none
but those who help themselves. Educate only at schools which
provide in some form for industrial education. These two points
should be insisted upon. Let the normal instruction be that
men must earn their own living, and that by the labor of their
hands as far as may be. This is the gospel of salvation for the
colored man. Let the labor not be servile, but in manly occu-
pations like those of the carpenter, the farmer, and the black-
I had my photograph -- face and standing -- taken by Ander-
son, 783 Broadway, this birthday morning. Mr. [Peter] Cooper
had his taken some time ago, on his ninety-first birthday, at the
New York, October 6, 1882. -- We have had a harmonious
meeting of the Slater trustees. We invite Rev. Dr. Haygood,
SLATER TRUST BEGINS ACTIVITY 89
of Georgia, to act as general agent. My only doubt as to the
whole matter is from the nature of the investments of the funds.
Over half a million, Mr. Slater had invested in the bonds of a
railroad from Louisville to Chicago. This may always be good.
But I prefer a security more safe than railroad bonds. The rest
of the fund, so far as it has been invested by the finance com-
mittee, is also in railroad securities. I vastly prefer governments
or bonds and mortgages. The finance committee is of Mr.
Slater's choosing, viz., Mr. Stewart, Mr. Jesup, and Mr. Dodge.
They are all men of good financial reputation in New York. But
Mr. Slater's anxiety to get a good income from his fund I fear
will lead to unsafe investments. I shall insist on better security
even with the loss of interest. With forty to forty-five thousand
dollars income we can educate eight hundred young colored people
one year and have the services of a general agent who will be
able to do a great work for popular education in the South by his
lectures, speeches, writings, and influence.
What the people are their government will be. No doubt our
government will remain republican "in form." But governments
republican [in] form may be and sometimes are very bad gov-
ernments. They may be corrupt, inefficient, unjust, or cruelly
oppressive. I repeat, under them we may have inefficiency, cor-
ruption, injustice, and cruel oppression. There is no savor of
salvation in mere forms of government. That government is
best which is best administered,* has in it the element of truth;
but, better still, that form of government is best which is most
likely to be best administered.
Fremont, Ohio, Wednesday, October 11, 1882.--Returned
from New York late last night. The Democrats seem to have
beaten the Republicans in Ohio. Divisions and dissatisfaction
with the Administration accounts for the change.
Our visit at Tarrytown with Mr. and Mrs. William E. Dodge
was most enjoyable. We saw the fine places on the Hudson under
most favorable circumstances: Aspinwall's, Gould's, Field's,
*For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best.
--Pope, "Essay on Man."
90 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Governor Morgan's, Phelps'. Mr. and Mrs. Dodge celebrated
their golden wedding more than four years ago! They are
vigorous, active, and happy people who are doing a world of
good. I never, certainly, saw a husband and wife of the same
age who could compare with them in health, strength, blessings,
and the disposition to do good. They have seven sons, all living,
and the youngest with three children. All are in prosperous cir-
cumstances and are leading honorable and useful lives.
SPIEGEL GROVE, October 21, 1882.
MY DEAR SISTER DAVIS: -- Since I reached sixty I feel that I
ought to drop "Aunty" and accept the suggestion that I am now
You do not invite me in that urgent letter. But I guess I'll
come. We will if we can. We are committed to invite a host
of the best brethren to our home October 27 from Cleveland,
where we spend the 25th and 26th. Mr. and Mrs. William E.
Dodge, Governor Colquitt, President Gilman, Dr. Bacon, and
others are on the list. We hope they will come. If they don't,
we expect to go to Cincinnati Saturday or Monday, and will
astonish and dismay you with our traps and calamities. But
as you see, it is a case of more than doubt. I suspect we can't
With oceans of good wishes, love, and gratitude to you and
the good doctor for all these years of kind and considerate
friendship, poorly repaid, I am, with brotherly affection,
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. E. G. DAVIS.
Fremont, Ohio, November 7, 1882.--We left home October
25 for Cleveland. Stopped with Mr. George H. Ely. Attended
meetings of trustees of Adelbert College, of Slater Fund, and
the American Missionary Association. Reported resolutions on
death of Garfield. Spoke at the dedication of Adelbert College;
and, [on the] 26th, in Tabernacle to a large audience on "Na-
NATIONAL AID TO EDUCATION 91
tional Aid to Education." At Mr. Eell's home on Rocky River
[the] 27th. [On the] 28th to Cincinnati (Dr. Davis'); evening,
Literary Club--thirty-third anniversary. Lucy presided over
Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal
Church in Trinity, 30th and 31st. November 1 to my friend
Herron's. Visited Judge Johnston with Herron and Willie Her-
ron Sunday, 29th. Dined with University Club to President
Angell, Hoadly presiding. Dined with Shoemaker (R. M.),
November 1, "M. H." [Murat Halstead] and George Jones, Mrs.
Halstead and Nannie.
Saturday, [November] 4 (Birch's birthday), to Deleware.
Aunt Moody well and interesting. She will be ninety-three the
24th of this month. She talked entertainingly of present events;
had read the accounts of our doings in the newspapers; spoke
of the comet and in that connection repeated verses written
seventy years ago of the comet of 1812 and not seen by her since
then! She compared the two comets! How agreeably the eve-
ning with her and with Lucy's friend Callie Little did go by. At
nine P. M. down to Columbus. Laura and all well. A happy
visit. Qualified as guardian of Susan, Lucy, and [Sarah] Platt.
Home [the] 6th on time. This was our best trip. Found Rud,
Adda, and Scott well and glad to see us. Scott, high report
in all his studies.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, November 12, 1882.
DEAR MISS MITTLEBERGER:--I am gratified by the contents
of your note of the 7th instant and by the record of Fanny as
your pupil. I am particularly pleased by your disposition to re-
lieve her of overwork. Too much is required of young girls at
all of the schools with which I am acquainted. It is a great evil.
Health and life are sacrificed cruelly. One-half the study's work
should be dispensed with. I shall never find fault with a school
because too little is attempted. A few studies and thorough work
is the true aim.
MISS MITTLEBERGER, R. B. HAYES.
92 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
FREMONT, OHIO, November 12, 1882.
MY DEAR MR. MORTON:--I am in receipt of a letter of which
I send you a copy marked (A). I also enclose you a copy of
the invitation referred to in letter (A) marked (B). Now, I
do not know Mr. Musgrave, nor by what authority he acts in
writing to me. I therefore have to ask your aid in this matter.
I, of course, do not want any gossip or publicity about it, that
can be avoided. I prefer to pay the bill. Only half of the party
[to the Yosemite] was in fact my party--but that is unimpor-
tant. In one sense it was all my party.
My suggestion is that you have a talk with Colonel J. P. Jack-
son, whom I regard as a friend. I will write to Mr. Musgrave
to call on you. What I desire is prudent treatment of the sub-
ject. I will put you in funds to pay the bill if it is necessary.
I am sorry to trouble you with this affair, but I can think of
no one to whom I can more properly apply for the favor.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN M. MORTON,
FREMONT, OHIO, November 14, 1882.
MY DEAR DOCTOR: -- We had a pleasant little visit of two
hours at Delaware--a jovial journey there with Mrs. Williams
and Mrs. McCabe, a good time at Columbus, and a safe return
home one week ago yesterday. Altogether this Cincinnati trip
was one of our best. We are now settled down for the winter.
Not sorry to be out of politics and public life, notwithstanding
intimations to the contrary in "the intelligent press."
I send you my check for $108. This will pay you my debt
on account of the Toledo property to date, viz., ninety-eight dol-
lars and leave ten dollars to be given Eliza to bring her here.
She is one of the slaves that came to Lucy from her father's
Kentucky property, and we both think we ought to support her in
her old age, if she can be content with us. If she can let us
know the time of her arrival, we will have her met at the depot.
If this fails, let her take a carriage at the depot and be driven
up to the grove, where she will find a room and be welcome. I
SLATER FUND RAILWAY BONDS 93
am sorry to trouble you and Mrs. Davis with this matter, but I
guess you'll charge it to some good cause and get your return
after many days.
With love to Sister Davis. Sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
DR. JOHN DAVIS,
November 18, 1882. -- The object of the [Civil Service] Order
was to secure the attention of government officials to business,
to the duties of their offices, and to prevent them from managing
primaries and conventions.
SPIEGEL GROVE, November 19, 1882.
MY DEAR GENERAL: -- Your note is before me. Any time will
suit us. Our only possible engagement away from home is a
bare chance that we may want to spend Thanksgiving in Cleve-
"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."
With nothing out of door to distract, we are jollier within. For
years I have had no time to read. Now I am a reveller.
R. B. HAYES.
P. S.--Sunday is Webb's day. Why not make it one of
your days in the Grove?
GENERAL J. M. COMLY.
FREMONT, OHIO, November 23, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--I am glad to get your note and the accom-
panying cutting showing the favorable condition of the New
Albany, Louisville, and Chicago Railroad. This is one of the
railroads whose bonds were purchased by Mr. Slater before he
turned over the fund to the trustees.
94 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I trust that in future no bonds will be purchased except those
of strictly first-class railroads whose payments of dividends are
regularly made. The investments made of trust funds stand on
a very different footing from individual investments. Individuals
invest their surplus. A trust fund has no surplus. We are to
look for hard times to occur frequently during the lifetime of
our trust, when at least three-fourths of all of the railroads of
the country will fail to pay their interest. Our investments, we
must hope, will be made exclusively in the securities of the re-
maining fourth which will continue to pay.
You will excuse me for these needless suggestions. I have
great solicitude on the subject. The desire to have a good in-
come wrecks a host of trust funds at every recurring financial
panic. Let us avoid this sure road to ruin.
R. B. HAYES.
MR. M. K. JESUP,
FREMONT, OHIO, November 25, 1882.
MY DEAR SENATOR:--Thanks to you and Mrs. Sherman for
your kindness. But the Toledo paper was not well informed.
We shall not be able to be in Washington next week. Indeed, we
do not expect to visit Washington the coming winter.
You perhaps remember that I was given one of the "Jefferson
desks."* I have lost the key to it. Can you send me yours, to be
returned when used. -- Mrs. Hayes unites in kind regards.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN.
November 26, 1882. -- Practical politics means selfish ends pro-
moted by base means. Sunday-school politics means serve your
party by serving your country.
*A facsimile of the small desk on which Jefferson wrote the Dec-
laration of Independence. Now in the Hayes Memorial Library at
SLATER FUND RAILWAY BONDS 95
SPIEGEL GROVE, November 26, 1882.
MY DARLING DAUGHTER:--Our first snow is now falling this
Sunday morning, and the appearance now is promising for good
We had a birthday party for Addie Friday evening. It was
carefully prepared for. Birch sent ice cream and other "truck,"
as he called it, from Toledo, and our girls did their best with the
home articles. Addie knew nothing about the affair, as in honor
of her birthday, but supposed it was an elderly ladies' party for
Mother. She put in her energy and skill to make it successful,
but never discovered the trick until her young friends came in
force to surprise her. It went off beautifully.
Scott and Rud rode the ponies to the new Fremont Club
House--nine miles--at the head of Mud Creek arm of San-
dusky Bay yesterday morning, and returned after dark. Scott
killed five ducks, divers, and mudhens. Rud killed two. Both
returned happy with their good fortune, but as tired as ever
you saw a couple of youngsters.
And you have been sick with a bad cold! My darling must
be very careful of her health. We almost feel that you ought
to be at home again.
We expect the whole of the Austins to take Thanksgiving din-
ner with us. You will come up with Webb and them, I suppose,
General McDowell spent almost a day with us. A very pleas-
ant talk up of California things we had.
MISS FRANCES HAYES, H.
December 7, 1882. -- Lucy met me at Columbus the 29th [from
Cleveland where Fanny was ill] and we went that evening to
Chillicothe. We found all except one of Uncle Scott's children
assembled to be with him during his last days, and at his death
[November 28] and funeral. He was fortunate in his children.
All of them, nine, are still living, and all of them kind, affec-
tionate, and in every way worthy. He was a man of the finest
character -- tender, considerate, and with ability and gentlemanly
96 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
instincts of the best order. His face in death was very beauti-
ful and showed plainly the sweetness of his disposition. His
funeral was Friday afternoon towards evening of a bright winter
day--December I. Lucy and I returned December 2. . . .
Mr. Evarts tells this. Fernando Wood, excusing himself to
some of his supporters when he had taken the right side of a
moral question, "Oh, we must sometimes pander to the religious
sentiment of the community."
FREMONT, OHIO, November [December] 8, 1882.
MY DARLING:--This morning is our coldest. The ther-
mometer now stands 8 degrees below zero. This is the coldest
I ever saw it in Spiegel Grove. It has no doubt been colder,
but I did not see the mercury. It is now fifteen minutes before
eight A. M.-- the sun is shining beautifully--very little air is
stirring, and the snow and ice on the trees is dazzling and charm-
ing. Unless the weather is milder tomorrow I doubt the safety
of bringing Fanny home tomorrow. We can keep our house
very comfortable. The journey is all that I dread. The sleigh-
ing is perfect. A snow of three or four inches fell on the old
snow and slush just before the cold became so intense. The
foundation therefore is ice, and the roads were not very rough.
Scott just galloped past the window on his pony, carefully
bundled up by Sophy, looking like a courier from Valley Forge.
He thought he frosted his ears a little yesterday. He carefully
covered them with Sophy's help this morning. I couldn't per-
suade him to walk.
When I was in the garret looking for duplicates, it struck
me that our gift-books -- perhaps a hundred volumes -- ought
to go into a library where they would be read. After you come
home we will look them over. The religious might go into the
Sunday-school library, and others into Birchard Library.
We do miss you sorely. But don't hurry home. When dar-
ling daughter can safely come--then!
Love and kisses to her.
MRS. HAYES, R.
A PREACHER REPROVED 97
Private and confidential.
FREMONT, OHIO, December 12, 1882.
DEAR SIR: -- I am in receipt of a copy of the Baltimore
Methodist of December 2, which contains an article by you in
which statements are made in reference to myself to which I
wish to call your attention. You say:--
"We heartily commend the private example of Mr. Hayes,
though it should not be forgotten that it was charged again and
again during his Administration, doubtless by some of the same
persons who are now assailing Mr. Arthur, that 'bowls of Roman
Punch' were liberally provided for[?] on occasions of public
dinners where all that chose could imbibe."
I shall be glad to know on what evidence you make this state-
ment. This charge, if it was ever made, is wholly untrue; but
until you show me the evidence on which you rely, I must be-
lieve that your statement that such charges were in fact made
again and again is also untrue.
Again you state:--"The pastors carried their case (certain
charges against the District Commissioners) to Mr. Hayes, who
promised redress but failed to perform it." The redress asked
for, you say, was "that a new board be appointed."
This charge of yours is untrue. No promise of the sort was
made. No removal of the commissioners could be expected until
the accused had an opportunity to be heard in their defence. The
complaint against the commissioners which you refer to was
handed to them. They replied to it fully, and explicitly denied
the allegations against them. No attempt to sustain the charges
was made by the parties preferring them.
I am out of public life with no desire, expectation, or purpose
to return to it. Having been greatly honored by my country-
men, I am solicitous to so conduct myself that no shadow may
be cast on the great office I have held by reason of any act of
mine. While I am not indifferent to misrepresentations of my
official and personal conduct while in that office, I do not under-
take to correct them before the public. This note is not for
publication. But the office you hold as a pastor in an important
Christian church leads me to think that in this case I should dis-
98 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
tinctly call your attention to your errors of fact. To correct
misstatements about President Arthur is altogether fitting. But
to go further and drag my name needlessly into the discussion,
and to do it especially in connection with a repetition of libellous
and untruthful statements, is only less reprehensible than to un-
dertake to leave the impression that the dead President had de-
cided to throw the weight of his name and example against tem-
perance in the White House, and this too in the absence of an
authoritative and final decision by him of the question, and
especially when, in this connection, there is no valid reason for
referring to him at all.
R. B. HAYES.
REV. C. HERBERT RICHARDSON,
Saturday, December 16. -- Our gathering for the Young Folks'
Woman's Missionary Society last evening was a genuine house-
warming. Articles for sale were arranged in the large parlor or
library. In other respects it was like any large social attended
by old and young -- with an unusual large sprinkling of young
Sunday-school pupils of all races and conditions. The plan of
such affairs is to charge an admission fee of twenty-five cents
which covers the common refreshments, with extra charge for
ice cream and the like. Not liking a charge for admission to my
house, I told the young folks if they would keep a list of the
guests I would pay the admission fee to their society and thus
get rid of the charge at the door, and no loss to the treasury.
December 18, 1882.--I see the squirrels running about more
than ever before in cold weather. It must be that the failure of
nuts the last fall has left them without the usual store of food.
To prevent them from starving, I will scatter corn for them
around the trees where they seem to live.
President Angell invites me to deliver the principal address at
the next commencement of the University of Michigan at Ann
Arbor the last Thursday of June next. I am tempted to accept.
A merely literary address I could not think of. But I may dis-
DISCUSSION PARAMOUNT FORCE 99
cuss some educational topic with a squinting towards public
questions, such as the true functions of law, its limitations in a
free country. . . .
We must educate the people. Find a higher level. Law as
a result, not a cause or a means. The cart cannot go before
the horse. Education -- discussion, general and intelligent, is
the conserving force and at the same time the progressive force.
At last, humanly speaking, character is sovereign. A frivolous
people will have a frivolous pilot -- a feeble government. All
who make character frame institutions, enact laws, and execute
them. The life--character--is more than the creed; deed than
word. There is a Divine Providence. In the hollow of his hand
are all our interests. . . .
Too much law, too little general education. Time, energy, ef-
forts, brain spent -- wasted -- in trying to force the stream to
flow higher than its source. In vain. The forces of nature are
against you. A spasm of mighty effort may succeed for a day.
Statutes by the score are dead letters. The silent but sleepless
never-ceasing law of gravitation is against them.
The great educators, press, pulpit, railroad, schools and col-
leges and universities. The progressive force and the conserva-
tive force of our institutions is discussion--intelligent and gen-
FREMONT, OHIO, December 21, 1882.
MY DEAR SIR:--Believing that in the long run education--
using the word in its broadest sense, -- will prove, in our country,
the most effective means of preventing the evils of intemperance,
I fully agree with what is said by President Porter in favor of
instruction on this important subject in the public schools.
R. B. HAYES.
MR. H. L. READE.
Tuesday, [December] 26.--A Merry Christmas we had yes-
terday with the whole family at home. . . . Presents by
100 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Lucy to all of her Sunday-school scholars, to all of the servants,
and to many friends. Also presents enough to us.
December 30, 1882. -- Thirty years ago we were married. No
holiday season was ever happier with us than this. Lucy has
some symptoms of ill health which give us anxiety. But on the
whole she is so strong, our children are so promising and good,
that as a family we may deem ourselves peculiarly blessed.
Monday, January 1, 1883. -- Lucy is happy assisting Adda
and Fanny to receive the New Year's callers. The small parlor
and library parlor are lit up brilliantly; fires in small parlor and
library; altogether a very cheerful house. Fanny in white is
Thursday, 4.--Last night at the post of the G. A. R. was
put at the head of the committee to attend to the soldiers' mon-
ument at Fort Stephenson Park. The installation of officers took
place. Our former commander was A. F. Price, a capital man,
[who] leaves us. He goes to Dakota. A great loss. I invited
the members of the post with their wives to meet him at my
house next Wednesday evening, 10th instant. Shall prepare for
about one hundred and fifty to two hundred persons.
FREMONT, OHIO, January 4, 1883.
MY DEAR JUDGE: -- We have had a very happy holiday season.
Among its pleasant incidents we prize your kind note of the 31st
ultimo. In the natural course of things we are not likely to
meet often, but Mrs. Hayes and I will never cease to recall with
satisfaction the genuinely kind and friendly relations between
Mrs. Key, yourself, and family and ourselves. We do mean
to go South in the raw weather of spring, hereafter, but pre-
cisely when is yet undetermined. We shall, of course, aim to
meet you on such trips. We hope to see you in like manner in
the hot weather of the summer. We remain at home during
all of the warm weather, and will always welcome your coming.
I agree perfectly with your views of the political situation.
But while the party is placed in an awkward and unpromising
condition by the errors we deplore, there is in the general affairs
GREAT NATIONAL PROSPERITY 101
of the country much to be seen that is gratifying. We have
great national prosperity. The Southern question is no longer
threatening. The views we fought for, in the midst of so much
that was discouraging, on the civil service are likely to be tested
by practical measures. So the country at large may look hope-
fully forward. Possibly, also, the chastening influences of recent
events may bring better things to the old party. I am not with-
out hope. On Tuesday, in one of our districts, we made a gain
over October, enough to redeem the State if carried through all
the congressional districts.
Governor Ramsay sent me a saddle of Minnesota with one
of his cheery letters. Sherman writes gloomily. Schurz and
Devens are both content in their present places. Altogether the
members of the old Cabinet, are as well treated and as well
satisfied with their treatment as any collection of "the outs"
that can be found anywhere.
With hearty greetings from Mrs. Hayes and I [me] to Mrs.
Key and the young folks.
HONORABLE D. M. KEY, R. B. HAYES.
January 5, 1883. -- The first number of the Commercial-Ga-
zette is disappointing. I had hoped to see a great newspaper. I
don't understand it.
FREMONT, OHIO, January 5, 1883.
Please send me by mail the daily Commercial-Gazette from
the first number inclusive.
It is to be one of the greatest--perhaps the greatest--news-
paper on "the dim spot which men call earth." And yet it is
with a certain regret and gloom that I reflect that the old
Gazette and the old Commercial are to be seen no more.
MESSRS. SMITH AND HALSTEAD, R. B. HAYES.
102 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Sunday, January 7.--Read Bancroft's "History of [the]
Constitution." He shows how great was the work of Wash-
ington in the crisis of 1783-87. It is not generally known how
important it was.
January 11.--We had our Grand Army friends, the band, a
glee club, and a few others, perhaps two hundred in all, from
seven to ten last evening. A very successful party; good music,
and good humor prevailed.
Lucy with her usual tact and magnetic cheerfulness looked
after the happiness of all until after nine o'clock, when she
was compelled to leave by one of her severe and now too fre-
quent colics. This she did so quietly that no one understood
the cause. She found relief in about one hour.
SPIEGEL GROVE, January 13, 1883.
MY DEAR DAUGHTER:--Your nice letter, received this morn-
ing, makes our hearts glad. I hope you will be very considerate
and cordial with your new roommate, and that she will prove
in all respects an acceptable chum. Chum may not be the
proper word for a female, but you know what I mean.
You have perhaps heard of our Grand Army reception. It was
a happy and beautiful affair. Miss Sherman and the Glee Club
enlivened the occasion with old soldiers' songs, the band gave
us their best music, and all passed off as we would have wished.
Your mother has still occasional attacks lasting an hour or
two, which cause her much suffering. I suppose they are fits
of indigestion or dyspepsia. She is now taking medicines which
it is hoped will bring relief.
Your letter is well written. You do not always use periods
at the end of a sentence, and you sometimes begin a sentence
without a capital letter. . . . But your letter is so good and
has so few faults that on the whole I must compliment you on
I will write Miss Mittleberger not to worry you too much
with examinations or severe studies.--With love from all.
MISS FANNY HAYES, Affectionately, R. B. HAYES.
EDUCATION MUST PRECEDE LAW 103
January 23, 1883.--Nine years ago today Uncle Birchard
died. A beautiful life ended with a death serene and happy.
Why not introduce Governor Colquitt [when he speaks at
Cleveland next month] with a few words about education in its
largest sense, as superior to, the forerunner of, law. Law with-
out education is a dead letter. With education the needed law
follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute
itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself.
A gentleman honored, trusted, and loved by the community
in which he lives,--and whom [who] we are glad to believe is
altogether worthy of that honor, trust, and love, -- a State which
favors a prosperity and a progress so great and so encouraging
as that which belongs to the State of Georgia.
FREMONT, OHIO, January 26, 1883.
MY DEAR GENERAL: -- Your letter of the 23rd starts off with
"It would do for you to be absent on the 7th, etc.," which is pos-
sibly not precisely what you intended. But I will come if I
properly can. For more than a month Mrs. Hayes has had
occasional attacks of acute rheumatism lasting from one to three
hours, and occurring almost daily until the last fortnight. While
her general health and spirits are excellent, these attacks are
such that I would not leave her until they are broken up. It
now seems likely that she will be entirely rid of them soon, and
that I can come. Indeed, I now expect to come.
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL M. F. FORCE,
January 29. -- I have a dispatch from W. Little. Aunt Moody
died at Delaware yesterday. I go to the funeral.
Delaware, Ohio, Tuesday, January 30, 1883. -- I reached Mrs.
Dr. Little's with Rud after eleven last night. William Little,
(cashier) and his mother received us. Visited today Mrs. Was-
son, the Delaware County Bank where I saw young Hills and
104 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Sidney Moore, my playmate in boyhood. With Judge Thomas
Jones called on Benj. F. Powers, now a feeble old man of eighty-
three. Mrs. Wasson talked of old times with a clear and defi-
nite memory of events almost seventy years ago.
She says that my father started with two waggons loaded with
furniture from Dummerston, and a spring waggon for the family,
in the fall of 1817. Mother and Mrs. Wasson went to Wilming-
ton and staid perhaps a week. Uncle Austin took mother and
Mrs. Wasson to the top of the Green Mountain, where they were
joined by my father with the teams. Two children, Sophia and
Lorenzo; Sophia, an infant of two or three months old, was
often carried in a basket hung on one of the bows of the cover
of the waggon. Lorenzo, an active little fellow of two to three,
walked long distances when the roads were steep in the Alle-
gheny Mountains. Roads, properly speaking, there were none.
Once in the mountains the waggon with the family upset but no
one was hurt. This from Mrs. Wasson.
Cousin Sarah is broken up and lonely by the death of her
mother. She is grateful that her mother died without lingering
suffering. Three weeks ago she had a chill, not a severe one,
and failed slowly without pain until her death about noon Sun-
day, [the] 28th.
February 4.--The last two days will be long remembered.
Yesterday for the destruction of trees; today for the greatest
flood ever known at Fremont. The rain Saturday morning early
began to freeze as it fell. The telegraph wires became so heavy
with ice that the poles were broken or pulled over, and the whole
telephone and telegraph system of this neighborhood broke down.
The small twigs were covered with ice until they were an inch
in diameter. All the weak-limbed trees suffered greatly. For
two or three hours the crash of falling limbs was almost con-
stant. Even a small limb falling with its ice and the ice on other
limbs which it broke would make a roaring noise. Lucy and
the family watched the scene with the greatest interest. Many
favorite trees were badly marred. Old trees of all sorts lost
large limbs. Soft maples, cottonwoods, and elms suffered par-
ticularly. Young white oaks and evergreens stood up best. The
GREAT FLOOD, FEBRUARY, 1883 105
losses that grieved us most are the injury to the large elm north-
east of the house; one half of the tall sassafras; the tall young
hickory in the orchard; the damage to three of the large old
oaks, [and] to the four street elms.
Sunday was given up to the flood and the rescue and relief
of the sufferers. No such flood was ever seen here before. The
water filled the valley from bluff to bluff. It ran two to four
feet the whole length of Water Street, and drove from their
homes perhaps one to three hundred families. Men in skiffs
were at work all day Sunday, rescuing people. One woman was
drowned -- others perhaps. The water reached on the pike
(State Street) to the west side of Arch Street, on Croghan
Street south side to the ---. On Birchard Avenue it ran in rear
of the Ball House and was within about two inches of the lower
side of the water table of the building. The anecdotes of es-
capes, losses, and experiences are without number and often very
Monday, February 5.--The river has not fallen a great deal
--perhaps a foot. The water still runs through Front Street
and is at the front steps of the bank on Croghan and Front,
covering the basement perhaps eight inches. A citizens' meeting
was called to provide aid for the sufferers. The mayor pre-
sided; Tyler, secretary. Tyler made a speech favoring applica-
tion to the Legislature for power to issue ten thousand dollars
bonds. [Isaac M.] Keeler, [editor of the Fremont Journal,]
opposed this; said the aid was wanted without delay, and the
citizens were ready to give it. The mayor called for my views.
I made a short speech for immediate voluntary contributions.
I ended by moving a committee (five) to report on the whole
subject. Carried. Haynes, Keeler, Osborn, ---, and myself
as chairman. I called the committee to meet at once in the room,
promising to report in a few minutes. We agreed to organize
with three committees -- finance, supplies, and distribution. I
was appointed chairman of the first, E. H. Underhill of second,
and George Engler of the third. All unanimously done, and
about one thousand dollars soon raised, I heading with one hun-
106 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
February 6, 1883.--Rud and I start for Cincinnati today.
Railroads broken up by the great floods. But we hope to get
through without much delay.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, February 6, 1883.
MY DEAR SIR: -- I am greatly obliged to you for your letter
about the portrait. My personal friendship for Mr. A-- and a
certain indifference about the matter might have led me to yield
assent. The family, especially Webb and Rutherford, are very
much opposed to it, and wish me to say to you decidedly that it
will not do.
We have unparalleled floods in the whole State. It is the
only business talked of here.
You have noticed the talk in the papers about the L'Abra and
Weil awards. The action of the Administration in 1878, '79,
and '80 was cautious and wise. The awards were made by a
commission of which Sir Edward Thornton was umpire. There
was no charge of fraud in the court. The judgment was of the
same force and conclusiveness as the judgment of any other
competent tribunal. But, out of abundant caution, for a year
or more payment was withheld and the question referred to
Congress, especially to the Senate--the treaty-making power.
In 1880 the matter was fully investigated by the Senate Judiciary
Committee. Senator McDonald made the report in June, and
by unanimous consent the award was allowed to stand. After
that the executive duty was plain, viz., to distribute the money.
I would like to have you send me McDonald's report, or
better still, the volume of Senate Documents which contains it.
I hope you will succeed in passing a tariff bill. It is very
important to the business of the country, and equally so for the
interest of the Republican party.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN. R. B. HAYES.
February 13, 1883. -- I returned last night with Governor Col-
quitt from Cleveland. My week's absence has seemed a great
while although the trip and visits were very enjoyable.
GREAT FLOOD, FEBRUARY, 1883 107
I was at Cincinnati from Tuesday night until Friday after-
noon--from 6th to 9th inclusive. At Mr. Herron's found John
had gone to Washington, but Mrs. Herron and the young people
made me welcome and the visit a good one.
At Cleveland the Austins made me happy from Saturday
morning to Monday afternoon, 10th to 12th. At Cincinnati, the
events were the meeting and banquet of the Loyal Legion. I
was made commander, cordially, apparently, of the Ohio Com-
mandery. After installation adjourned to meet the first
Wednesday in March at 8 P. M.
At Cleveland, presided in the Tabernacle over the Educational
Bureau, addressed by Governor Colquitt. He was received very
heartily and won by his good sense and warm good nature.
They [the audience] gave me an ovation, especially when the
governor gave me the greatest credit as a peacemaker between
February 17. -- The Maumee has risen at last. All bridges
except Lake Shore either carried away or impassable. The long
sluggish stream is a week behind the more rapid Sandusky and
Cuyahoga, and even behind the great Ohio three or four days
to a week.
February 18.--All the boys at home. Birch crossed the
Maumee, after he reached the Wheeling and Lake Erie trestle
that was broken, on the ice and so very unexpectedly reached
home as usual.
Finished "Jerusalem Delivered." A noble poem and nobly
rendered into English verse by Wiffen. The obvious criticism
is too many love episodes for a heroic poem. On the whole,
better than I expected.
Two invitations on hand for next summer. One to deliver the
address of Yale before the Law School, and the other to speak
at Woodstock, at Mr. Bowen's annual Fourth of July meeting.
I am under some obligation to accept Mr. Bowen's invitation
from former committals.
108 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, February 19, 1883.
MY DEAR SIR: -- I am glad to get your letter of the 9th instant.
It goes without saying that I am much gratified by the friendli-
ness of your letter, and to hear that you are in health and pros-
perity. I shall never cease to feel a warm personal interest in
Touching the affair in hand, I did write you last fall, and
enclosed you copies of two letters, one by Joseph Musgrave,
secretary of Yosemite Stage and Turnpike Company, and the
other by Colonel John P. Jackson, endorsed by W. H. Weeks,
I told you that being unacquainted with Mr. Musgrave, I
wished you would act for me, and give or withhold the letter
of the Yosemite commissioners as you deemed advisable. I re-
gard Colonel Jackson as my friend, and would not get him into
the least trouble. I want no publicity--no gossip about it. I
would greatly prefer to pay the bill of the stage company than
to have a fuss about it. I authorized you to pay the bill, or
to draw on me for it. Although if presented at the time only
half of it would have fallen to me, I now prefer to pay it all,
rather than cause friction in any quarter. This is the substance
of my former letter. It was written promptly on hearing from
Mr. Musgrave in October or November last.
I hate to trouble you with this matter, but do not see any
better way of getting rid of it. Perhaps a preliminary talk with
Colonel Jackson would be advisable. But I put it all in your
R. B. HAYES.
P. S. -- Do not let there be any doubt of my entire willingness
to pay the bill. If that is the course to be taken I will at once
put you in funds. -- H.
HONORABLE J. M. MORTON,
SOUTHERN POLICY JUSTIFIED 109
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, February 20, 1883.
MY DEAR SIR:--You must excuse me for declining to depart
from the rule I have laid down for myself. But allow me to
express my satisfaction with the kind sentiments of your letter
and my grateful appreciation of what you say.
Iu 1877 I believed that a radical change of policy with respect
to the South would bring ultimate safety and prosperity to the
colored people and restore good feeling between the hostile sec-
tions. This change could be most successfully made by one who
represented the victors in the Civil War. Many were disap-
pointed because in the South there were those who did not ac-
cept the olive branch. I am not of the number. The change did
its work. Not instantly, but slowly and surely. The anticipated
progress is still going on. A wise observer has said: "The
colored people are now as well treated in the South as they are
in the North." This is nearer the truth than many of our Bour-
bons are willing to admit. Certain it is, the people of the North
have not in the last six years made greater progress in getting
away from barbarism in the treatment of the colored man than
the people of the South have made in the same period. But I do
not wish to institute comparisons. We are all to blame in this
matter. How few can say sincerely with Dr. Haygood, "our
brother in black."
R. B. HAYES.
MR. B. T. TANNER.
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