DEATH OF LUCY WEBB HAYES-HER CHARACTER, CAREER,
AND GRACES OF LIFE - MONTHS OF ANGUISHED
MOURNING - CONSOLATORY VISIT OF MRS. HARRIET
COLLINS HERRON - REREADING EMERSON - VISIT TO
LAKE MOHONK AND NEW ENGLAND - 1889
JUNE 22. Saturday.-Returned, from attending committee
and board meeting of Ohio State University at Columbus,
with Laura yesterday afternoon, reaching home about 5:30 P. M.
Rutherford met us. He looked as if something awful was on
his mind. We got into the carriage, when he said: "I have very
bad news for you," and with sobs he told us that Lucy had an
attack of paralysis about 4 o'clock P. M.- fifteen minutes be-
fore four was the exact time.
She was sitting in our room, first floor, in the bay, with Ella
sewing. Ella noticed that Lucy had difficulty with her fingers
trying to thread a needle; went over to her. Lucy could not
speak. She was sitting in the large low chair that stands near
the southeast window. She did not fall out of it at all, but sank
back in it, and seemed to realize what had happened to her; was
depressed and in tears. Fanny and Miss Haynes and Miss Lucy
Keeler were playing tennis just outside of the room; were called
in. Sophie Fletcher, the cook, came also. Lucy Keeler drove
rapidly for Dr. Rice and he was soon present. He spoke with
encouragement and confidence to Lucy. She was perfectly con-
scious but not able to speak. She was still in the chair. He had
her placed in the bed. When Laura and I reached her bedside,
she seemed to know us. In her old manner she pressed my hand,
and tried to smile, or smiled!
The report of the attack published in the newspapers this morn-
ing has brought many dispatches from friends and acquaintances
in all parts of the country - from Comrade John Eaton, Boston,
to Tom Ballinger, Galveston. Sympathy and inquiry.
472 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
June 23. Sunday.-Lucy is apparently more difficult to
arouse. Her face and eyes looked natural, almost with their old
beauty, when Dr. Rice tried to awaken her so she could swallow
medicine. I think she failed to swallow it. But she had life in
her eyes and face. Now I fear, alas ! I have seen her eyes for the
last time. Those glorious eyes! are they gone - forever? She
still grasps my hand, I think intelligently and with the old affec-
tion. This at 7 A. M.
[At] 7:20 A. M., Lucy opened her eyes and with a conscious
grasp, as she looked in mine affectionately, responded to my in-
quiry, "Do you hear me, darling?" But her eyelids do not open
as they did last night! . . .
[At] 8 A. M. Dr. Hilbish calls. He thinks the indications
rather less favorable than yesterday. . . . She is weaker and
more disposed to sleep. She now looks natural and rests quietly.
June 24. Monday, 4:40 A. M. - The end is now inevitable.
I can't realize it, but I think of her as gone. Dear, dar-
ling Lucy! When I saw and heard her last in full life, she was
gathering flowers for me to carry to Mary, last Monday. When
she found I would be too late for my train to Toledo if I waited
longer, with her cheerful voice she said: "Oh, well, it makes no
difference. I can send them (or I will send them) by express
at noon." This she did, and Mary got them. I was barely in
time for the train - not a moment to lose. A characteristic act.
It was like her. For me the last - oh, the last !
At 4 P. M., Now, more than three days since the attack, finds
her much in the same condition she has been since the first day.
Letters and dispatches come from all quarters - full of words
that sustain and encourage.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 24, 1889.
MY DEAR AUNTY DAVIS:- Lucy is no better this morning at
6 A. M. . . . She is unconscious and her breathing is harder.
We know we have your prayers and sympathies.
DEATH OF LUCY WEBB HAYES 473
She has had a decided feeling for some weeks that this dan-
ger was near her.
With all love for you and the doctor,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. E. G. DAVIS,
June 24-25, 1889.- It is past midnight, almost one o'clock.
We do not expect Lucy to see the light of another day. All of
our children, Birchard, Webb, Rutherford, Fanny, and Scott,
are waiting for the inevitable close. With us are our dear young
friends--our darling daughter Mary, wife of Birchard [and]
our cousin and much loved adopted niece has come from Missis-
sippi to be with us, Adda Cook Huntington. Lucy Elliot Keeler,
so near and dear to both of us, and, more fortunate than could
be hoped, the eldest child - the representative of my never to be
forgotten sister Fanny-Laura Platt Mitchell, so beloved by
both Lucy and myself that no sacred circle could be complete in
my home without her; and with [us, also] the favorite aunt of
our dear Mary, Mrs. Miller, a precious addition to our company
of relatives and friends. The doctors too, Dr. John B. Rice and
Dr. Hilbish, so attentive and thoughtful and devoted, and unit-
ing with these lovable traits such skill and knowledge and judg-
ment in their high profession that we have the best assurance
that all will be done and has been done that man can do to save
the dear one, and to smooth her way into the unknown if that is
to be; and with them the good nurses, Mrs. Dilenschneider and
Miss Woolsey, whose sterling excellence has in these few anx-
ious days made them esteemed friends for life.
And Lucy herself is so sweet and lovely, as she lies uncon-
sciously breathing away her precious life, that I feel a strange
gratitude and happiness as I meditate on all the circumstances of
this solemn transition we are waiting for. Would I change it?
Oh, yes, how gladly would we all welcome the least indication of
the restoration of the darling head of the home circle. But we
cannot, we must not, repine. Lucy Hayes is approaching the
beautiful and happy ending of a beautiful, honored, and happy
474 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
life. She has been wonderfully fortunate and wonderfully hon-
ored. Without pain, without the usual suffering, she has been
permitted to come to the gates of the great change which leads
to the life where pain and suffering are unknown.
Just as she was reaching the period when the infirmities and
sufferings of mortal life are greatest, she is permitted to go be-
yond them all. Whatever life can give to the most fortunate,
she has enjoyed to the full. How wise and just this is! If ever
a man or woman found exquisite happiness in imparting happi-
ness to others, the dear companion of my life, my Lucy, is that
woman. Should I not be full of joy and gratitude for the good
fortune which gave me her? Few men in this most important
relation of life have been so blessed as I have been. From early
mature manhood to the threshold of old age I have enjoyed her
society in the most intimate of all relations. How all of my
friends love her! My comrades of the war almost worship her.
Often I have said our last days together have been our best
days. Who knows what the future might have brought to her?
It is indeed hard - hard indeed - to part with her, but could I or
should I call her back? Rather let me try to realize the truth
of the great mystery. "The Lord hath given, [gave, and] the
Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
June 25. Tuesday. - Lucy died without pain this morning at
6:30. All were present. I held her hand and gazed upon her
fine face to the last; when, kissing her good-bye as she left the
earth, I joined the dear daughter and the others children in walk-
ing on the porch in the bracing air of the lovely morning.
June 26, 1889.- . . . I notice in the newspapers the
phrase, "the beautiful home in Spiegel Grove." Yes, is is, in its
own plain, homelike, and sensible way, a beautiful home, but
I now begin to realize that the soul has left it. I could not
bear it if I was not able to employ myself in doing things that
seem to be useful in the present emergency, or in contriving what
will perpetuate and do honor to the dear one lost. I am greatly
consoled by the fact that she was relieved from all the pains,
and all dread of death. The letters and expressions of sympathy
from all quarters and all sorts of people do help. The comments
DEATH OF LUCY WEBB HAYES 475
and editorials of the press, where they show a true appreciation
of her, are very gratifying. She had a genuine hatred of praise
for qualities which she felt she did not possess. Hence her often
repeated injunction: "Don't let any sermon be preached over me.
Such indiscriminate and false eulogiums as I sometimes hear
disgust me. Let me have only simple ceremonies with hymns
June 27. Thursday.- I do not, of course, sleep well, but on
the whole am in bodily health. The letters of kindness and sym-
pathy and the articles in the newspapers do bring consolation;
do aid in softening the blow. They show that our dear one is
known and loved as she would wish to be.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, June 27, 1889.
MY DEAR FRIEND: -I have not written letters since the end
came. One to Mrs. Herron, of Cincinnati, and now this note to
you. Your hand and face would give me and all of us great com-
fort, but you ought not to come. I have long felt anxious about
your health. Do take better care of yourself.
The loss I cannot speak of. There are many consolations. She
died without suffering. She is relieved from many things which
age was beginning to bring to her. Forty years and more since
we met. All that life can do was hers - from first love to the
grandmother's joy. The letters of friends and the words of the
press show how well she and her work are understood and val-
ued. This does console and strengthen. I enjoy while I weep
the kind things said. I wish I could see them all. But you will
excuse me for a short note. I love you and believe in you. I
grieve with you that your dear wife is ill. We all feel the deep-
est solicitude for you and yours.
Ever your friend. - Sincerely,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH,
June 29. Saturday. --- Everything belonging to the funeral
services yesterday was very satisfactory - more than that. The
476 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
whole affair was most gratifying and consoling. My darling who
was very sensitive about the details of funerals, would, I am
sure, if she could speak approve all that was done, or, at least,
would find as little to wish otherwise as in any case. I and the
family and all near friends were indeed grateful that our dear
one should be laid away with such touching and beautiful cere-
monies and surroundings. I cannot hope writing rapidly [to]
enumerate all of the blessed facts.
The weather, which was threatening rain-storms all around
us in all parts of the State, was simply perfect. The veil of clouds
mitigated the heat of the sun in the forenoon, except at intervals,
and in the afternoon the storm moved off to the south and south-
east, leaving the air cool and pleasant, and a fine sunshine sur-
rounded us as we moved with the great crowd to the grave, and
at the grave we were again in the grateful shadow of the clouds.
At no time did the threatening of the clouds disturb or in the
least interrupt us.
The friends who came added to the satisfactions of the last
day. Herron and Harriet, of Cincinnati, both of them intimate
friends before we were married or even engaged; Dr. John and
Mrs. Davis, warm friends during our whole married life; Rogers
and his wife, the same; but, especially, Carrie Little, an intimate
friend of Lucy since both were eleven years old; Professor Mc-
Cabe, of the Ohio Wesleyan [University], who has known her
since she was eleven at Delaware, [who] performed the cere-
mony of marriage, [who] was at the silver wedding in the White
House in 1877, and [who] now led in the services and made a
heart-warm talk at the end.
June 30. Sunday. - I am still unable to fix my mind on the
things I would like to write about my dear one. The comments
of the press, the good letters I am getting, and the conversations
of friends showing the beautiful life and character of Lucy, are
very consoling. They do bring peace and comfort. I never again
will hesitate to write to an afflicted friend to aid him, if I know
enough of the lost one to write discriminating talk about him.
Praise of our dear ones gone must be always sweet. With me
it goes farther than anything else. Lovely words about Lucy--
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 477
they do console, comfort, reconcile. How she deserves them-
the dear darling!
The letters of General Sherman [and] of General T. M. Tur-
ner. Nothing more fine than Turner's; he pictures Lucy wait-
ing for the last of the line, sitting on the banks of the Kanawha,
as the Twenty-third and the rest of the command marched off
over the mountains to open the deadly campaign of 1864, in the
last days of April or first of May.
July 1. Monday. - The carpenters are again at work on the
addition to the house which Lucy was so much interested in and
which was begun to please her! They were told last Tuesday
they could go on with the work as usual. But they said they
could not think of doing it. . . . I passed around among
them, and shook hands with each one of them. My eyes were
full; I could not speak a word, but their warm grasp of sym-
pathy did me good.
I want now to collect her favorite books and relics; anecdotes
of her; her songs and hymns must be noted, her characteristics
She was very beautiful in her prime and changed with years
less than most persons do. Her eyes were simply perfect - large,
hazel, dark, flashing, tender. I saw once a panther in Quebec,
down at a little collection of native animals and birds of Canada,
when travelling with her in 1860. I told her and Clinton Kirby:
"There are Lucy's eyes when excited." Not like hers, but re-
minding you of hers in their force.
Her hair [was] always a beautiful raven black, with a single
red hair or dark auburn here and there. The few gray hairs
now have not changed its general appearance, so it has often been
said lately, "Her beautiful hair is as black as ever."
She was free from bigotry, never uncharitable, not "aggres-
sive" in behalf of her opinions. She would never disparage any-
one from whom she differed, but always spoke kindly of all who
with good motives tried to promote a good cause by legitimate
means. For example, she did not agree with the third-party pro-
hibitionists. She was firm in the conviction that in the large cit-
478 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
ies, in the present state of public sentiment, it was a serious mis-
take; that high license and wise regulations was to be preferred;
but she retained the fullest respect and the warmest regard for
Miss [Frances E.] Willard and for others who conscientiously
differed from her.
She did not consider herself as having a "mission." "I want
to do what is best - what is right- what will make all around
me happy," was the key to her life.
She was accustomed to the society of the best people in Ohio
and Kentucky from her infancy. Born and living in Chillicothe,
the ancient metropolis of Ohio, always the home of educated and
refined people, she remained there until her mother took the two
sons of the family to be educated at Delaware, under such supe-
rior teachers as President Thompson, President Merrick, and Dr.
McCabe, and Williams. There from the age of eleven she re-
cited in college or in the preparatory school until she was taken
to Cincinnati six years afterwards, and there graduated with
credit in the Wesleyan Female College at the age of nineteen in
1850. . . . [She] resided in Cincinnati, as her home thence-
forward, with occasional absences to visit her husband in the
army, [or] to remain with him as a Member of Congress in Wash-
ington, (one full term and part of another), until he resigned
from the House of Representatives to be inaugurated Governor
of Ohio in January, 1868 [at Columbus], where she remained
during his two terms as governor 1868-1872. She then returned
to Cincinnati, lived there about two years, and then removed
with her husband to the home of his youth, Fremont, Ohio. In
1875 General Hayes was elected a third time Governor of Ohio
and Mrs. Hayes returned again to Columbus, Ohio, where she
lived until February 1877, when Washington became for the
second time her home.
She spent the few weeks next after her marriage at the home
of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Platt in the city of Columbus, in
the midst of the delightful social scenes of that gay and attractive
State capital. Mrs. Platt, the sister of her husband, was a lady
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 479
of unusual popularity and of rare social gifts. The two became
intimately and warmly associated--sisters in fact as well as in
law, and the strong and lasting attachments of Lucy to the city
of Columbus and to a host of friends residing there began at that
time. During the whole of her remaining life, Columbus and its
people were always very dear to her. Her visits to Columbus
were always frequent and her last visit in 1889 was regarded by
her with enthusiastic affection.
Her voice was of extraordinary excellence, of great compass,
penetration, and distinctness, and as sweet and tender as can be
imagined. Her singing was delightful. She chose songs just
suited to her voice and character.
July 2. Tuesday. - A photograph copied in The Baltimorean
is the best portrait of Lucy I have seen. I recall it as one I have
seen but do not know when or by whom taken.
I slept better than any time since she was attacked, in the old
room and bed. That is probably after all the place for me. I
will gather there a few of her favorite things--not enough to
prevent it from being as nearly as she left it as may be - and so
live with her and near her, if possible, the rest of my days.
How comforting it is to read in letters and newspapers how
fully she was appreciated.
As I left her grave I saw -and was consoled in some degree
-standing near, holding by the hand his wife or daughter, one
of our humblest citizens, an Indian or half-breed, an acquaintance
since boyhood, known as "Indian King." His sad, tear-covered
face told how Lucy was loved and admired by the lowly of the
I was speaking of her glorious voice. Talking not in a loud or
noisy way, I could hear her talking to friends she was showing
around her flower garden, at some distance - so distant that not
a sound of what others said could be heard, while her words
came distinctly and easily.
About 1853 she, with me, visited Uncle Birchard at Mr. and
Mrs. Valette's at their lovely home near the cemetery, where Mr.
480 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
and Mrs. Edgerton now live. In the evening, sitting on the ve-
randa looking west, she would sing, to the delight of all, her
favorite songs. Mr. Stahl (Jacob) met me in town one day and
said cheerily: "We are enjoying your wife's beautiful songs
every evening. We hear them perfectly and enjoy them as much
as you." He lived on the east side of the river, perhaps more
than half a mile in a direct line nearly east of the Valette home!
She had a many-sided nature; was fond of all farming, of cat-
tle, of her dairy, of her poultry yard, of her flowers; of sailing,
of fishing; of all children's sports; was fond of looking on at the
dancing in the ballroom, of all great gatherings, of soldiers march-
ing and drilling; was selected to take part in many scenes of all
sorts and enjoyed it. Her best day at the New York Centennial,
April 1889, was the Naval day on Commodore Bateman's yacht.
July 3, 1889. - Emily Hastings - lovely in appearance - re-
minding me strongly of her mother, my dear sister Fanny, with
her attractive little four-and-a-half-year old, the sailor boy,
Platt Hastings, left today for their summer home at Delhi, Dela-
ware County, Ohio [New York].
Mrs. Austin came to be a friend and helper, with her extraor-
dinary practical talents, in the 7 P. M. train from Cleveland.
July 4. Thursday. -. . . Walking with Laura "around
the premises," - out to the blackberry patch, down towards the
old cottage, under the buckeye and the big ash, and then home by
the mulberry road, -we were tired enough to sit on the settee
looking at the new rooms from under the great oaks. Then I
asked, in the sweet, beautiful, cool air: "Where is Lucy now and
what is she doing?" Laura, promptly: "She is having a good time
with the little grandchild!" A dear faith!
[Dear Aunt Lu! What portrait galleries of her our hearts
have shown themselves to be these days, under memory's reveal-
I have had my own especial picture of her -one that is for-
ever my very own, - and never had it been a clearer vision than
that last night, when the years-old recollection came before me,
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 481
together with the pale Madonna face upon the pillow- their si-
lent, differing beauty lingering for me, face by face, through
those slow hours during which the twilight darkened round her
-the darkness deepened into midnight--paled again--the
dawn came--and then, Azrael!
My picture shows her always as she was the day before she
became "Aunt Lu" to "Uncle Ruddy's" nieces and nephew. My
mother had taken me with her to greet her tomorrow's sister. I
think I had never taken my eyes from her all the while that she
sat with my uncle and beautiful mother, when - oh, joy for the
child! - she took my hand, turned away from the grown-up peo-
ple, and sat down by the window where I stood beside her in fas-
cinated silence. I don't remember a word she said - perhaps she
didn't say a word, - but I remember the tender light in her shin-
ing eyes, the beautiful bands of her dark hair, and the touch of
her fingers as she stroked my hand. Ah me! ah me! I lost my
heart to her then--and now she has taken it away with her!
That day she wrought upon me a spell of bewitchment; its rec-
ollection thrills me now.
And when my uncle brought her to us for the bridal visit, we
children were clamorous to appropriate her for our own exclusive
possession, glorying that in our home only, she was indeed "Aunt
Lu." Dear, dear Aunt Lu! Very soon her name became the
herald to us all, and to our childhood friends, of happy, hila-
rious times. With later years the joyful music of her dear name
--Aunt Lu! Aunt Lu!--has softened and deepened into that
sweet full chord of tenderness and love for which we have listened
since ever she came to us, in all of our life's experiences of joy
or sorrow. Through all, the ringing tone has vibrated for us
with sympathy, heartening; if need has been, rescue. "Loved
long since - lost a while," we shall still be listening - Aunt Lu!
Aunt Lu ! - through whatever the mysterious days or years be-
fore us may hold in their keeping.
Dear, dear Aunt Lu!]
The foregoing by our darling niece, Laura Platt Mitchell.*
* A slip of paper, pasted in the Diary at the head of this entry, reads:-
"Dear Uncle Ruddy:- It seems like intruding.- But you said I might.
Do you remember?"-Why of course, and thank you.- H.
482 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, July 4, 1889.
MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: - The very great kindness of your-
self and Mrs. Harrison will always be remembered with grate-
ful feelings by me and mine.
Among the millions who were filled with joy by your election,
probably no one was more profoundly affected than Mrs. Hayes.
She did not share largely in the merely partisan feeling of the
time, but she felt that the old soldiers fared badly under your
When the news came to her she was in Boston, surrounded
by her happy friends of the Woman's Home Missionary Society.
She withdrew quietly from all associates, went out alone to a
soldiers' monument, and in silence meditated her fervent thanks
to God! All good words and kind deeds like yours - tributes to
her character - are inexpressibly consoling to me.
With tenderest thanks to you and Mrs. Harrison.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
SPIEGEL GROVE, July 6, 1889.
MY DEAR GUY:--I have been on the point of writing to you
for several days. It is not easy to do; and yet why not easier than
to write to any other man? My friend of longest standing, near-
est - known to her and knowing her intimately. She was a won-
derful woman, - so large-hearted, so gifted, with such training;
so tender and sympathetic, so sincere and natural. The combi-
nation of faculties and endowments amounted to genius.
Her general friends were multitudinous, and yet she had her
elect few who were as close to her as possible - dating from
She touched life at more points than any person I ever knew,
or heard of, or read of. She was at home with all human beings
who were not brutalized by vice and crime; could be happy
with all; could make all happy. She was least at home with the
self-sufficient -those conscious of their own powers, elevated po-
sition, or the like, and at the same time proud of it, and conceiv-
ing themselves of better clay than others. Even with them, if
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 483
time enough were given, she could be happy and add to their
happiness; but such people were a trial to her.
All others, the rich and poor, learned and ignorant, the far-
mer, gardener, artist, mechanic, the man with cattle or poultry
or sheep or horses or dogs [she was at home with. She was]
fond of fishing, rowing, sailing; all work delighted her; fond of
all scenes of gaiety--the ballroom, the soiree, the soldiers' re-
union, picnics, all children's games, boys' sports, the drilling of
troops, racing. Why this long enumeration?
All humanity was dear to her, and beyond any person I ever
saw she loved to make all happy, and was gifted with the faculty
of doing it. She loved Christ and all good Christians. She cared
very little for the formalities of religion. Believed in the ortho-
tox doctrines, but was as liberal and all-embracing in her chari-
table views as Christ himself. She would never dream even of
forcing others in matters of opinion or conduct, unless the con-
duct was grossly criminal. She had friends she valued in every
church, and of no church. One writer about her fitly says, "She
had no obtrusive goodness."
She had shared in all the best enjoyments of this stage of ex-
istence. She had loved, married, tasted the joys of maternity,
the happiness of caring for and training her children, and was
the fondest grandmother in the world.
At the threshold of old age, she barely began to know its pains
Born in Chillicothe, next to Lexington, Kentucky, the social
centre of the West, connected on her mother's side with the
patriotism of New England, on her father's with the generous
chivalry of Virginia; educated by the studies and teachers of a
college for boys under Bishop Thompson, President Merrick,
and Dr. McCabe--instructors of unsurpassed excellence; then
under Professor Wilber at the Ohio Wesleyan Female College
in Cincinanti; living in Cincinnati more than twenty years; then
with the army of the Union - and always a favorite; next, three
years--the social periods--at Washington with her husband
as Member of Congress; five years at Columbus as wife of the
governor; and after this preparation, Washington again.
I could not bear to see her in pain- rheumatism, deafness.
484 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Without suffering, she fell asleep! On the Fourth, walking
under the old oaks, I asked my niece Laura, "What is Lucy do-
ing now?" With a beaming face she replied: "Why, of course
she is with her beloved grandson- Ruddy!"
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
HONORABLE GUY M. BRYAN,
July 7, 1889. Sunday. - Mrs. Delia L. Williams, wife of Pro-
fessor Williams, of Delaware, came last evening. She will take
part in the memorial exercises this evening.
Mrs. Williams tells this of Lucy: Talking with Aunty Davis,
she [Lucy] said: "I am not good. I am bad. I am not religious.
I am not what you are. All I can say is, I do want to do to others
as I would wish them to do to me. This I always mean - I al-
ways try to do. I think of it always." This was her religion -
treating all others according to the Golden Rule. "A Christian"?
Yes, Darling, you were indeed.
July 8. Monday. - Last evening memorial services were held
in our church - a tribute by the church to the darling. All
passed off beautifully. The church was crowded. Beautiful
flowers sent by friends were in abundance. Mrs. Finefrock
sent some of the very flowers Lucy so admired at her last visit
to Mrs. Finefrock. Music: "Rock of Ages," "Jesus, Lover of
my Soul," and other favorites.
Mr. Mills [the pastor] made a good opening address. Mr.
Meek, the postmaster, spoke for the board of trustees; well and
in good taste. Mr. Ross read the resolutions of the board. Mr.
Burgoon spoke for the people; well. Mr. Ross read the editorial
article of the Los Angeles Times by Major Otis, Twenty-third
O. V. I., the letter of General Sherman, the letter of General
Thomas M. Turner, Thirty-sixth O. V. I., [the letter of] Judge
William Johnson, of Cincinnati, and the letter of [Alfred O.]
Long, Company G, Twenty-third O. V. I.
Mrs. Delia L. Williams, of Delaware, also made a good talk on
the home mission work of Mrs. Hayes.
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 485
All would have suited Lucy, except - She was so modest about
her own religious character that it would have pained and shamed
her to be spoken of as "saintly," and the whole stream of eulo-
gium would have crushed her to earth. She would have said:
"I am a poor, weak, miserable sinner. It is but justice to myself
to say that I do try to treat every human being and all of God's
creatures as I would wish to be treated in their places. But I
fear I am a sham when I see myself held up as a saint."
Mailed this morning eighty-one letters of acknowledgment of
expressions of sympathy.
July 9. Tuesday.- Attended the funeral of Comrade Elder
yesterday afternoon. The comrades were very kind and con-
Excellent letters received today from Senator Morrill, Senator
Sherman, and a host of others. How dearly beloved she was!
SPIEGEL GROVE, July 10, 1889.
MY DEAR TOM:- Your letter is precious - very welcome in-
deed; none more so. My kindest regards to Mrs. Donaldson.
The consolations are many. Nobody else can know as I do
her wonderful goodness and amazing powers. She touched life
in more points than anybody I ever heard or read of. She would
say: "I am very far from being so good as they say. But I do
want to treat others as I want them to treat me. I would do this
with all of God's creatures. It makes me happy to do it. I try
to do it, and am miserable if conscious of a failure."
Her power to make others happy was beyond comparison
greater than that of any one I ever knew, and her wish to do it
surpassed her powers. She was only uncharitable to those who
I see the [Philadelphia] Ledger in a friendly article makes two
decided mistakes. There was no avoidable publicity. All organi-
zations, civic, religious, and the like, were requested not to come
in a body. Her soldiers - all soldiers were hers- were needed
to preserve decorum in the great crowds of well-behaved people,
and they alone came in a body. It was a quiet, solemn, and af-
486 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Secondly: The article gives Mr. Evarts his way in regard to
state dinners and wine! Not a word of truth in it.
But the darling is gone. I know it is well with her. I cannot
say that I would not call her back if I could. But I do say that
I ought not to do it.
A happy and fortunate life was happily and fortunately ended.
No suffering, no dread. As if asleep she passed away, as she al-
ways hoped to do. She expected to go suddenly, and had pre-
monitions of it. She was happier the last year of her life than
ever before. Only the death of a dear grandson.
This is too long, the longest I have written since her death.-
Good-bye. Love to your wife and all.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
HONORABLE THOMAS DONALDSON,
July 11. Thursday. - During the day writing notes acknowl-
edging the letters of sympathy. Read with Laura old leaves of
my note-book. Also the "Epic of Hades." "Actaeon and Helen."
Will gather all good letters referring to Lucy and put them in
her desk - the desk presented by Dr. McCabe to her at the time
of our wedding. I handed him two eagles. He bought the desk
Many good letters received today. One, from Mrs. Calvin
W. Brice, whose husband is chairman of the Democratic National
Committee, is very kind and beautiful.
Spent the evening at the meeting of the G. A. R. post. All
very kind in greeting and manner. No allusion to the lost one.
SPIEGEL GROVE, July 12, 1889.
MY DEAR AUNTY DAVIS:--I can't tell you how much we are
all in debt to you - from away back down to this very hour.
Her voice, her eyes, her hair, her expression and brightness all
come to me, as if to stay. What a store of saving common sense.
What a wide range of knowledge,-accurate as well as full -
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 487
of common things-from all kinds of farmers' occupations to
the mooted questions of etiquette in Washington. She touched
all interests as well as all hearts. - But why all this?
I do not feel like leaving home so soon. Would be most happy
to be with you and talk by the hour of her. But it must be here.
Either as you go [to Chautauqua] or as you return. You may
choose. We shall have more room later. But we can always
bestow you somehow. Be sure to come, and advise me when.
Fanny and the boys are so tender and affectionate.
With love to the doctor. Ever yours,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. E.G. DAVIS,
July 13. - Charles L. Mead and Mrs. Mead, Katharine and
Mabel, just returned from Alaska, came from Detroit at 11:30
A. M. and remained until the 7 P. M. train for Cleveland. A
most happy visit. They all thoroughly appreciated Lucy and
their conversation about her was most kind and comforting.
July 14. Sunday. - Lucy's life in years was not a long one.
But in events how protracted, compared with even the very
I have spoken of her childhood life in Chillicothe, "the ancient
metropolis," her visits to the dear grandfather, Colonel and Judge
Cook, at Willow Branch in the country, and to her uncles and
aunts, thus early giving her a familiar acquaintance with far-
mers' homes, occupations, and life generally. The society life of
Chillicothe and frequent, almost annual, visits to the Kentucky
relatives of her father at Lexington. ..
The journeys to Delaware, Chillicothe, and Lexington were
yearly still [after the home was made at Cincinnati].
Married in 1852 to Rutherford B. Hayes, a graduate of Ken-
yon and of the Law School of Harvard University, she now ad-
ded his homes and associations to her own and became intimate
with friends at Columbus and Fremont.
She journeyed to Quebec by the St. Lawrence and Niagara;
488 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and other Eastern cities
before the war.
With the war, wider and more enlarging influences came to
her. Perhaps no wife of any officer was so intimately associated
with army and hospital and camp life during the war. Her hus-
band, now General Hayes, was elected from Cincinnati a Member
of Congress the last year of the war but did not quit the field.
Mrs. Hayes came to him at Washington and was with him dur-
ing the Grand Review in May 1865, and for days before and
after its exciting scenes. Under an order from General Grant
General Hayes visited Petersburg and Richmond, and Mrs. Hayes
was in those cities soon after their capture long enuogh to ab-
sorb the spirit of that wonderful time.
She spent parts of the next three [two] winters at Washing-
ton with her husband, who was a Member of the Thirty-ninth
and Fortieth Congress. She had thus exceptionally good oppor-
tunities to get whatever was worth knowing in the life of Wash-
General Hayes resigned as a Member of the Fortieth Congress
to assume the governorship of Ohio. At Columbus during the
next four years, 1868-1872, and again, after the third election of
General Hayes, in 1876, she was as the governor's wife engaged
in the duties and pleasures of that conspicuous place more than
five years with marked success.
In 1873 the family home was changed from Cincinnati to
General Hayes' boyhood home at Fremont in Spiegel Grove.
>From there, elected a third time governor after an interval of
two terms, the family again returned to Columbus.
Immediately after the election of 1875, General Hayes became
the choice of Ohio for nomination to the Presidency, and Mrs.
Hayes with her husband had to meet "the fierce light which is
cast on those who are en route to the White House."
For almost two years the noted and unusual struggle lasted
and was finally decided only at the last moment before the 4th
of March 1877.
Then came the Presidency under the colossal difficulties of,
1. A disputed and doubtful election; 2. Of a new phase of the
Southern question; 3. A critical contest resulting in the restora-
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 489
tion of specie payments; 4. A new chapter in the civil service
reform; 5. A simpler social life at the Executive Mansion.
After this a return to the home in Fremont and work in many
fields of usefulness: Home Missions, The jails and poorhouses,
The soldiers' work and reunions and pleasures, and religious and
A more eventful life, what American woman has ever lived?
Her intimate friends and acquaintances of school life; what
a list, and true and lasting to the end! Mrs. E. G. Davis, Mrs.
Jewett, Mrs. McDowell.
In church thinking of the lunacy of Charles A. Dana, of the
[New York] Sun.- Unjust attacks on public men do them mord
good than unmerited praise. They are hurt less by undeserved
censure than by undeserved commendation. Abuse helps; often
July 15. Monday.- I dreamed of Lucy for the first time
since her death last night. She looked natural; quiet, pale, a
little dazed; not conscious of what she had passed through. We
were not so overjoyed as I thought we should be. All seemed
anxious. Probably the fear that her mind was not altogether
restored; or fear that the attacks would come again soon. Oh,
dear Darling, what a gap in the world without you!
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, July 15, 1889.
MY DEAR SIR: - No part of my past life is clearer to me than
that which is connected with the [Cincinnati] Literary Club. On
Saturday nights my wife often wrote in my note-books. I saw
only yesterday in her handwriting: "March-, 1853. Saturday
night. R. has gone to the club. Not quite reconciled to it
Judge James says, 'Woman is the only enemy that has ever over-
come the club.'"
With all thanks for your expression of sympathy.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
CHARLES THEODORE GREVE,
490 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
July 16. - The old grandfather's clock has been often repaired
and overhauled; new works have been put in, etc., etc. But it
now seems to be "jangled and out of tune." It strikes irregularly.
Seems not to want to do duty longer. Is it not a fitting thing
to let it stop now that Lucy is gone? Grandfather's clock has not
kept time nor struck regularly since Lucy died!
July 17. Wednesday.--The notes of [my] speech at the
Washington [Inauguration] Centennial are sent me for correc-
tion prior to publication. My first work this morning. "Done
and finished," as Horton Force would say. Then letters of
acknowledgment to the writers of notes about Lucy. Some of
them are very interesting.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, July 17, 1889.
DEAR MRS. FERRIS: - Your kind letter is warmly welcomed
by all of us. It tends to lighten the load nothing can entirely
The lines of Longfellow seem familiar, but we do not find
them in his works - at least not in our edition. Am I putting
you to too much trouble if I ask you to refer me to the page
where they may be found in place? He once wrote of Mrs.
Hayes, or to her:
"Where'er a noble deed is wrought,
Where'er is spoken a noble thought,
Our hearts in glad surprise
To higher levels rise."
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. MORRIS P. FERRIS,
July 18. Thursday. - Reading the "Epic of Hades" (Who
is the author?) and now at Motley's "Diary and Correspond-
My best friend, William Henry Smith, came today about noon.
We have talked steadily on the dear one, on his experiences at
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 491
the Johnstown disaster, and on the past generally. We drove
about the neighborhood until a heavy shower sent us home.
He thinks well of Mrs. Runkle [a New York litterateur of
much distinction] as the one to write Lucy's biography. Bright,
sensible, brilliant, and would love her subject.
July 19. Friday. - How much has left us with Lucy! I want
a passage in the New Testament. Any passage in the Bible she
could turn [to or] find immediately. I never happened to know
a person whose knowledge of the Bible was equal to hers.
Mr. Smith says Taine, the critic, pronounces "Silas Lapham"
the first of English novels - "the greatest English novel."
After a visit which gave us all a great deal of comfort and
pleasure my friend Smith left before 10 P. M. to take the night
train to Chicago. I thanked him warmly.
July 20. Saturday.--Letters, photos, and other matters
mainly connected with Lucy. My reflection is: "She is in
Heaven. She is where all the best of earth have gone."
July 21. Sunday.- One month ago today Lucy was struck
with paralysis! What a life I have led since that day.
She wanted to treat all of God's creatures as she would wish
to be treated in their place. This may be the nearest to a test
of her character of any single statement, if we add to it, and she
had in a wonderful degree the faculty of doing it. I think of
Lucy as the Golden Rule incarnate.
July 22. Monday. - Lucy read a great deal. She read aloud
well, and was fond of reading favorite passages, usually character
scenes, to a circle of her friends or family, such as "Old Town
Folks," "Little Lord Fauntleroy," from Dickens, etc.
My father died July 22, 1822, of bilious fever at Delaware,
Ohio. One of the sickly years.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, July 22, 1889.
MY DEAR MRS. JONES:--Your dispatch recalls the good old
times when George and I were "bosom cronies." Alas, what
492 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
With all thanks for your kindness and sympathy and the
best wishes for you and yours.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. GEORGE W. JONES,
FREMONT, OHIO, July 22, 1889.
DEAR MADAM:-- Many thanks, heartfelt thanks, for your kind
letter. It has been a notion I have had many years that no one
could aid another who is writing on the higher themes of the
poet or the orator. To give mere facts or data for the compiler
or biographer, is easy enough.
Mrs. Hayes was a person of wonderful gifts and her oppor-
tunities for training for the places she filled were of the best.
Her power to make others happy was fully matched by her
desire to do it -- by the happiness she received in doing it. She
was the embodiment of the Golden Rule. She was not greatly
attached to the mere formalities of religion. But she did try to
treat all, the old, the young, the poor and unfortunate especially,
- indeed all of God's creatures - as she would want to be treated
if in their place. Her tact and extraordinary skill were the re-
sult of natural faculty of unexampled reach, trained by oppor-
tunities in all sorts of life. She was at home and at ease with all
descriptions of people. Perhaps her large, warm, hospitable, and
generous heart was the feature in her life. But she was firm,
faithful, enduring, and had a saving common sense that steered
her clear from shams and cranks.
But I am talking too much. All this in confidence.
With all good wishes. Sincerely,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
LAURA ROSAMOND WHITE,
July 23. Tuesday.--J. Q. Howard has a good article
showing the difference between Mrs. Hayes and the other noted
ladies of the White House. One equalled or surpassed her in
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 493
this sphere, another in that; but taking [taken] all in all, no one
was so many-sided, so rounded, so complete in all that makes a
noble, a truly great woman. Is this an overestimate? Personal
grace and beauty; largeness of heart, patriotism, conscience,
religion, the Golden Rule, but above all in achievement.
I have sent in reply to dispatches and letters over seven hun-
dred letters - many of them partly in print. But I think in all
cases, saying a few words. Almost all of them were short.
I think now I am through with the letters thus far received.
July 25. - It seems as if a new sad world had come and taken
possession of all things. Mary, Birchard, and the fine boy visited
us yesterday. Laura is still here, making me as comfortable as
possible under the circumstances.
July 26. Friday.- I have not often used the words "mag-
netic" and "magnetism" when speaking of Lucy. And yet what
other word suggests the quality in which she excelled all others?
Surely if any one was ever a natural magnet, she was.
Motley in his correspondence says of William of Orange what
we may say of Lucy, "who performed good and lofty actions
because he was born to do them."
SPIEGEL, July 26, 1889.
DEAR HARRIET:--I am very glad you and the young folks can
come next week. You will arrange, I hope, for a stay of a month.
The journey is a long one. You will hardly want to return to
Cincinnati until the hot weather is over. We shall use the new
kitchen next week, and the new part of the house generally soon.
Laura has been with us more than a month, and has been a
treasure. She goes home next week.
One thing don't forget. Bring books--a novel or two and
others "to suit your taste." Send Will to Robert Clarke's and
get [books] on my account. Let them send to me a list of books
you would like to read here. Do. We are reading Motley's two
volumes of journal and letters.
Laura and I spend much time arranging Lucy's letters, papers,
494 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
and other things. By the way, have you any of her letters you
could spare me? She wrote little. But I want all I can get.
Love to all.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. HARRIET C. HERRON,
July 28. Sunday.--Lucy was fond of naming persons, places,
and things. Her names were apt and stuck. The cat she named
Piccolomini--or "Pickle," for short. The peacock, from the
father of its former owner, "Colonel Prior," adding the
"Colonel" to give dignity. Spent the day after church finding
July 29. Monday.--Examined old papers for letters and rel-
ics of Lucy. Found many letters, full of her loving, natural
gratitude to friends, love of the old regiment, and the like.
I will collecct a few sentences for use with the Twenty-third at
July 30. Tuesday.-- The children and servants, those who in
the family were nearest to Lucy, loved her most. They wanted
to be near her. The same was true of the animals. All seemed
to know her, and loved to be near her. The dogs would climb
up on her, the Jerseys would rush to her, the pigeons came at
her call. How happy old Grim (the famous English greyhound)
always was when she returned after an absence. Dot (the
cocker spaniel) could scarcely contain himself when she re-
turned. They were lonely without her and unhappy. Since
her death Dot has seemed lost without her. How happy she
was to see their glad welcome of her! I must preserve the
pictures which show these things.
The boys and their sister would rise from the table and rush-
ing to their mother's end of the table would exclaim, "Let us
kiss our mother," and then a scene of affectionate kissing and
embracing! How many-sided she was!
MRS. HAYES'S CHARACTERISTICS 495
July 31. Wednesday. - Rev. Mr. Havighorst said he had in
his own case an illustration of Mrs. Hayes' thoughtfulness and
kindness. A student in Boston, a stranger, he was invited to a
reception at Governor Claflin's. Mrs. Hayes, knowing of his
being in Boston, had suggested that she would like to see him
at the reception in her honor. Hence the invitation.
I found many letters of Lucy today. I classify them:
1. Before marriage; 2. After marriage and before the war;
3. During the war; 4. After the war and before the Presidency;
5. The Presidency; 6. After the Presidency.
I will [shall] have a vast collection of letters relating to her
death-called out by it. Letters to her may be classified in
[the] same way, except [those from] relatives of Lucy and mine
- grandparents and earlier, young folks, - all in one collection.
August 1, 1889. Thursday. - Lucy enjoyed praise, was fond
of fame, wanted to be remembered, did not like to think she
would be forgotten after she was gone. She is safe in that re-
spect. The memorial meetings are beyond all precedent. The
28th [of] July was observed by a Sunday evening meeting in all
parts of the country.
Possibly, the thing to do is to prepare an "In Memoriam," en-
titled "The Proceedings of the Memorial Meeting on the Death
of Mrs. Hayes by the People of Fremont." Give a short intro-
duction, the poem of [Benjamin F.] Taylor, of Chicago, in first
volume of "Illinois Women's Memorial," the poem of Mrs.
Keeler, one of the best of the editorials, a sketch of her life, and
then, in their order, the exact record of the meeting in the Meth
odist Episcopal church. [Also] a capital portrait. Title: "The
Home Memorial of Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes."
August 2. Friday. - Laura returns today. She has been the
greatest possible comfort. Thoughtful, sympathetic, loving, and
so bright. She came with me from Columbus six weeks ago this
day, anticipating a long and lovely visit with "Aunt Lu." Alas,
we found Aunt Lu beyond our ken, and one week later came the
beautiful and wonderful funeral. Then the reading of letters
and articles, the hunting up of her old letters and portraits, and
496 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
so the time has sped. She leaves this morning, and this evening
Harriet Herron with [her daughters] Lucy Webb Hayes and
Elinor,-age twelve and fourteen respectively,-come to help
me carry the burden! They are so welcome. Next after Lucy,
no woman, not of my blood, was ever so near and dear!
This is Croghan day; some sort of a celebration-the first
public affair of the town, when I was at home, in which I have
not taken some part.
Should we not add to the "Home Memorial" of Lucy a full
account of her funeral? It would seem the proper thing to do.
Her greatest charm, her greatest quality, the secret of her
power, of her popularity - what was it? One says her unselfish-
ness; Mrs. Herron says her sincerity; another her sympathy.
Laura says: "If it was a scene of pleasure, Aunt Lu added more
to the enjoyment of it than any other person; and if it was a
place of suffering, or of mourning, then, oh, then, she was the
one person of all others to soothe, to sympathize, to give comfort
August 3. Saturday.-I wrote a friend that the six weeks
since Lucy left us seem like six years!
Such power to make happy, with such an ever-present desire
and purpose to do it! So welcome in every scene of gaiety and
pleasure, and so sought after by the suffering and afflicted!
Heart, heart, heart! -Is not this word the secret of her power,
her worth, her fame?
How often in the letters I get - especially from the plain
people - her name is coupled with that of Lincoln!
August 4. Sunday. - Mrs. Herron with Elinor and Lucy
came last night in the afternoon train from Lima. A happy
greeting I gave them. Read the article on "German Religious
Situation," in August number of the Harper by Dean Lichten-
berger. The result seems to be, that, of earnest piety, as our New
England and other American ancestors understood it, there is
almost none in Germany. Almost all are nominal Protestants or
Catholics, but almost none pious. In Berlin churchgoing is for
the music and sight-seeing, and not much of it.
I write this morning to General Sherman. . . . Harriet
MRS. HARRIET C. HERRON'S VISIT 497
and I read Tennyson's "In Memoriam" to his friend Hallam,
the young poet. Tennyson was himself only twenty-four when
he wrote it, if so old.
FREMONT, OHIO, August 4, 1889.
MY DEAR GENERAL: - No letter since the death of Mrs. Hayes
has given me such gratification as yours. She admired you, and
prized your acquaintance and friendship. Your observation of
character is unerring, and your reference to her unfailing good
nature under trying circumstances is an example of it. She
would wound the feelings of no one if she could help it. She
would do all she could to make others happy. She was the in-
carnation of the Golden Rule. I have never known one with
such power to make happy and with such an unselfish desire to
Knowing your absence at the West when I first received your
ter, I put it one side; hence the delay in sending this reply.
Your obliged and grateful friend,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN.
August 5. Monday. -Webb wants me to write incidents in
Lucy's life. First a list: "My Search after the Colonel," after
South Mountain in 1862.
"The Escape from Capture with Brother Joe"; a party of
refugees were mistaken by them for guerrillas--in 1863, on
New River near Tomkins farm.
The homesick comrade dying with typhoid fever who was
cured by the onions she got for him. "I told my wife if it was
necessary I would walk to California to attend her funeral."
"The best friend I ever had," said Comrade ---.
In 1853, January, Laura said to her mother, who was about
to describe an amusing party they had just attended: "Don't
you tell it, Mother; let Aunt Lu tell it. When she tells a thing it
sounds better than it is."
498 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Compulsory abstinence from liquor not so well for society or
individuals as voluntary. Compulsory virtue--is it virtue?
Self-control better than control by others. No virtue, no charac-
ter, in compulsory abstinence.
The private soldier, who as a volunteer faithfully served his
country, never got too much.
An army of volunteers is always safe; a standing army of
conscripts or janissaries is never safe. The volunteer army, in
the long run, is a cheap army; the standing army is always costly.
Show me a country with a great standing army, and I will show
you a country always loaded down with debt. Show me a coun-
try defended by volunteers, and I will show you a country that
either is or easily can be free from debt.
Pensions to private soldiers always go where money is most
needed, and where money does the most good to the whole com-
August 6. Tuesday. - Reading with Harriet "In Memoriam"
of Tennyson, with the comments of Genung - a little book of
much interest from the Riverside Press. Read two of the poems
in "Epic of Hades." Began a novel of the time of the Restora-
tion, 1662, by Besant, "For Faith and Freedom."
Drove down river east side; returned by moonlight. Talked
often of the darling. Her song, "Mrs. Lofty has her carriage,
none have I," was a favorite with me.
August 7. -We finished Tennyson's noble poem, "In Me-
moriam" this afternoon. Through doubt to rest and peace
Mrs. Dr. John Davis, Eliza G., known by all of the family as
"Aunty Davis," will come this evening. She is to deliver the
eulogy on Lucy before the annual meeting of the Woman's
Home Missionary [Society] at Indianapolis in the fall. I will
try to give her a true notion of the high qualities of my darling.
She will write with a beautiful appreciation of our dear one's
Law in some degree measures results. It does not cause them.
August 8. Thursday. - I received a letter this morning from
a committee of the Woman's National Press Association. It
is very appreciative.
MRS. HARRIET C. HERRON'S VISIT 499
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, August 8, 1889.
DEAR LADIES:- Your note in behalf of the Woman's National
Press Association and of yourselves as individuals is very wel-
come. I shall always prize your gracious words in memory of
Mrs. Hayes. She had wonderful power to add to the happiness
of those around her, but her anxiety to do it--her pleasure in
doing it - surpassed even her tact and gifts. It is an especial
gratification to me to be assured that the ladies connected with
the press who knew her at Washington, appreciated her dispo-
sition and character just as those do who for years have lived
under the same roof with her.
With heartfelt thankfulness.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. M. D. LINCOLN,
MARY S. LOCKWOOD, COMMITTEE.
August 9. Friday. - Aunty Davis and her nephew John Davis
Sage, aged twelve, came last evening from Chautauqua. She
was much moved--very tender all of the evening. She says
she has never been so affected by a death outside of her own
family; says this is general with Lucy's friends. Lucy was so
full of vitality.
August 10. Saturday.--Mrs. Davis left for home.
Reading with Mrs. Herron a book on Buddhism by a learned
Scotchman who spent many years in the East. Not profoundly
interesting. Better than this, we are reading Tennyson and a
novel by Walter Besant, "For Faith and Freedom," of the
time of the Civil War in England, 1683-88. Quaint, humorous,
and wise. .
August 11. Sunday.--Aunty Davis' address at Indianapolis
in October will be a notable tribute to Lucy. I must aid her all
I can; not that she needs [aid] but it may be I can furnish some-
thing that will lighten her labor.
500 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I found Lucy in my thoughts more even--if possible--than
usual at church today as I sat with Fanny and Elinor and Lucy
Hayes Herron in our accustomed place.
As I walked away from church an old Methodist Episcopal
brother -- a teamster by profession -- said: "There was a no-
table thing at the funeral. I noticed [it] and many others. The
Jerseys -- her Jerseys -- all came up as near to the funeral pro-
cession as they could get and stood in a row looking at it --
standing still like soldiers in ranks until the funeral had all
She would have been a good lawyer. She was fond of cases,
particularly of will cases. Her judgment as to the strong points
was sound and sagacious.
August 12. Monday.--I begin another week without her!
Laura Rosamond White has published in the Geneva [Ohio]
Times one of the fine poems. My eyes were full as I read it this
August 14. Wednesday.--Yesterday with Mrs. Herron and
W. K. Rogers visited General Force at Soldiers and Sailors'
Home, Sandusky. A happy time.
Arranged with the aid of Mrs. Herron (that is, Fanny did)
the dresses, etc., etc., of Lucy which are to be preserved. . . .
Rogers left for Duluth. It is but little more than a twenty-
four-hour trip now. He came to get me to pool my Duluth farm
with others to the amount of a million. The pool to give to a
St. Paul man two hundred thousand dollars of the stock--one
fifth of the pool of real estate at a fair valuation -- to build and
operate five years an incline and street railroad through the land.
I think it is too great a bonus; that the time has not come for such
an enterprise at Duluth. But I offered one-sixth of the cost of
the incline and railroad when completed into my land. Say six-
teen thousand dollars. This is too much; one-tenth is nearer my
MRS. HAYES'S FAVORITE SONGS 501
SPIEGEL GROVE (which signifieth the place of
GOOD spirits), August 14, 1889.
MY DEAR FRIEND:--Still thinking with a mixed feeling of
tender pain and of exquisitely pleasant memories of the darling
who has left!
I keep myself uncommitted on the question of by whom
shall a biographical sketch be written. If at all? My thoughts
rest on Howells, W. D. He knew her--admired her, and
knows of the environment, having written my campaign life.
What do you think?
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
August 15. Thursday.--The ideal comradeship, friendship,
or companionship is that of man and wife where there is true
congeniality of intellect, character, and culture. Next after it
comes that of brother and sister or other near relatives in the
same family, and then come the army in war [and] college life.-
How about the sailors?
My friend Rogers returned to Duluth without going to Colum-
bus to visit his wife. A beautiful, refined, and lovable character
--but how strange not to go to his wife!
August 16. Friday.--Eight weeks ago today the fatal stroke
came to Lucy. Maggie Cook Gilmore sends me a number of let-
ters of Lucy. She tells this story:--"I think always she made
the impression upon children as upon my little nephew some years
ago, who stopped crying over a mashed finger and forgot the
pain, spellbound by her eyes and tones and soothing words. The
next day he would let no one touch the finger because 'Mama
Hayes had kissed it.' 'Mama Hayes' was improvised, he not
having been taught what to call her. It was the Madonna love
in her beautiful eyes that went to the child's heart."
[She sends also] the following favorite songs she [Lucy]
sang often:--"The Land of the Leal," "Old Armchair," "Life
on the Ocean Wave," "Mrs. Lofty," "Hold the Fort."
502 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Lucy sang beautifully. I never heard a voice superior to hers.
With great compass, power, and penetration, it was sweet and
full of feeling. Like her eyes, it was soulful and full of heart.
It stirred one at times like the sound of a trumpet.
Aunty Davis says among her favorite songs were "Ye Banks
and Braes o' Bonny Doon"; "Highland Mary." With her brother
Joe, "Here's a Health to thee, Tom Moore," "Rock of Ages,"
and "Jesus, Saviour of my Soul."
She wanted the bands to play [the] "Star-spangled Banner,"
and she was fond of singing it. Mrs. Major Malcom McDowell,
of Evanston (Miss Jennie Gordon that was), sends the following.
They sang duets together at old Wesleyan Female College in
1847-50:--"When Night Comes o'er the Plain," "What are the
Wild Waves Saying," "Pilgrim Fathers," "Blue Juniata," "Ingle-
side," "Annie Laurie." Mrs. McDowell thinks "The Mountain
Maid's Invitation" may be the one I call the "Bird Song."
August 18. Sunday.--At church with Fanny. The true in-
fidel, in the offensive or objectionable sense, is not the honest
skeptic, but the man who opposes all religion. The doubter and
unbeliever according to orthodox standards and tests may be a
devoutly religious person. The atheist in the offensive sense is
not the reverent believer in an Eternal Creator and Disposer,
who, as Matthew Arnold says, "makes for righteousness," but
one who rejects and scoffs at all thought of a wise and beneficent
Read the closing chapters with Mrs. Herron of George Mere-
dith's "The Egoist." The author is new to me. But he is worth
A frequent pang as we walked around the grove -- the scenes
in which Lucy was such a figure!
August 20. Tuesday. -- I make my first visit to Birchard and
Mary in more than two -- almost three -- months. Mrs, Herron
goes with me. She is a great comfort in this affliction.
When we first reached the home of Birchard and Mary I al-
most broke down. The lost one is so associated with that home,
the grandchild dead, the dear one living, and all.
REREADING EMERSON 503
August 21, 1889. Wednesday. -- Almost a heated term. Yes-
terday our visit was in all respects charming. We drove about
the new residence part of the city -- Collingwood Avenue, wagon
works, etc., etc. The number of fine dwellings now building is
very great. Evidently Toledo has reached a period of strong
and rapid growth. We returned in the evening. Read the open-
ing of George Meredith's "The Egoist." It does not grow on
me. Its best was read first.
I brought over selections from Robert Browning. This morn-
ing, out in the hemlock path, read to Harriet my first book on
theosophy--or "wisdom religion," as its friends call it, -- by
Alexander Fullerton, of Wilkes-Barre. A clear writer. This
makes apparent the unutterable folly of the faith in adepts, al-
though the writer seems sincerely a believer in the "Eastern" re-
August 22.--Read from Emerson's "Letters and Social Aims"
the essay on "Immortality." It is, if not fully convincing, at least
The visit of Mrs. Herron and her two charming young folks
Elinor and Lucy ends today. None could have been more com-
forting. Coming at this time, I can say no visit ever brought
more satisfaction. It is without alloy.
August 24. Saturday. -- Honorable W. P. Howland, of Jef-
ferson, of Ashtabula County, came to spend the night with me.
An upright and able lawyer -- formerly State Senator -- now an
influential Republican politician. He has a promising son who
wants to go to West Point. Also General Force spent the night
with me. I called with them on Buckland and [others]. A very
agreeable visit with both.
August 25. Sunday. -- Put in our portrait book this morning
several fine photographs showing Lucy in various postures. . . .
Scott has finished the scrapbook containing notices of his mother.
We have enough more to fill several volumes. Not less than two
thousand were sent to me. I still get letters of condolence and
August 28. Wednesday.--This is Lucy's birthday. She
would have been fifty-eight if she had lived until today. All my
504 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
thoughts are of her. Two months ago she was buried. I am
getting letters still almost daily showing the hold she had on the
hearts of good people. Mrs. Martha J. Lamb writes again with
much feeling. She encloses a letter from my friend William
Henry Smith to her. He says: "You understood the noble
woman. . . . The touching tributes to her memory coming
from good people all over the world are calculated to increase
one's estimate of one's kind, and move one to thank God for such
an example of worth. The death of no other person since the
death of Abraham Lincoln has touched so many hearts."
FREMONT, OHIO, August 28, 1889.
MY DEAR MRS. ANDREWS:--Your letter of the 25th assures
me that we may now hope for your early and complete recovery.
>From Mr. Andrews I learned of your severe and critical illness
at the time our great affliction came to us.
Mrs. Hayes never ceased to recall you often, and always with
the friendliest interest and affection. It was one of her unsatis-
fied longings to have a good long visit from you. It has been
otherwise ordered. Our consolations are that she left us without
suffering; that she was so amply prized by so many good people;
and that it is well with her now. But alas! On this, her birth-
day (fifty-eight) she is in all our thoughts.
My kind regards to Mr. Andrews.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. EMMA S. ANDREWS.
SPIEGEL, August 28, 1889.
MY DEAR SISTER HARRIET: -- Of course it was very lonely
after you and the dear young folks left. But your visit carried
me forward a long way. The sharp pangs are less frequent,
and the periods of settled gloom are shorter and rarer. I find
myself rapidly getting back into the old ways. Nothing could
have done so much good as reading and talking with you. It is
amazing--I am almost ashamed to own to myself--how the
skies begin to brighten above me once more.
WHY SPIEGEL GROVE 505
The pictures are quite up to the average. Don't you think so?
Here they are.
My love to all. -- Gratefully,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. HARRIET C. HERRON,
August 29. Thursday.--Pioneer Society day. Governor
Foster and wife our guests. . . . Foster gave for three-quar-
ters of an hour a narrative of the treaty with [the] Sioux. He,
as president [of the commission], with Crook and Warner suc-
ceeded in getting three-quarters of the Indians to sign as re-
quired. As the time arrived before he was done for his train
to leave, I drove with him and Mrs. Foster to the cars. [So] I
managed to get rid of speaking. A full attendance. More than
could be seated in the court-house.
SPIEGEL GROVE, August 30, 1889.
MY DEAR FRIEND:--Perhaps you will ask, "And why called
'Spiegel,' the German word for 'mirror'?" My uncle, perhaps,
did not carefully consider when he named it. But without phil-
ological discussion it runs thus: Spiegel -- mirror; hence, image;
hence, ghost or spirit. Evil spirits are bogies. Spiegel is a good
spirit. Spiegel Grove therefore is the home of good spirits--
referring either to our friends departed who have gone to the
better world and who hover around us here, or to the fact that
it is the home of cheerfulness and happiness. Three grown per-
sons who have lived here have gone before (Mrs. Valette, Uncle
Birchard, and now Lucy darling). All of them were most at-
tractive in character and manners. One child of ours, aged
eighteen months, a little boy of unusual beauty and goodness,
died here. May we not therefore hope that good spirits are
Uncle was a humorist, and added another reason for the name
506 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
signifying "good spirits." "I always keep for those who can
safely use it the best of spirits to warm the inner man." . . .
R. B. HAYES.
REVEREND M. F. ROUND,
August 31. Saturday. -- Read with Fanny "Daniel Deronda."
I mean to read with her all I can. She is discriminating and
sensible in her comments.
My letter from Mrs. Herron gave me unusual pleasure from
her use of a single word. There is much in a word oftentimes.
September 1. Sunday.--Reading Mr. Lincoln's history by
Nicolay and Hay. They say: "The first dispatch he received
(October 11, 1864) contained the welcome intelligence of the
election of Rutherford B. Hayes and his Republican colleague
from the hard-fought Cincinnati districts."
Pleasant reading now that my election was "welcome intelli-
gence" to Abraham Lincoln. I was at that date in the midst
of the bloody and glorious campaign of Sheridan in the Shenan-
doah Valley in September and October, 1864.
I can say, as Mr. Lincoln said: "It is singular that I, who am
not a vindictive man, should have been so often before the peo-
ple for election in canvasses marked for their bitterness. The
contests in which I have been prominent with a few exceptions
have been marked for their closeness and rancor."
September 1 . Monday.--Fanny finished reading to me
last evening George Eliot's "Daniel Deronda," one of her best.
We began then Hawthorne's "Note-Book" on France and Italy.
I go today to the reunion of the Twenty-third [Regiment]
at Lakeside. I must take pictures of Lucy and some letters
(Sherman's, Turner's, etc., etc.). It is Fanny's birthday. I gave
her a check for a blank amount for a desk for her "nest." Prob-
ably she will fill it with fifty dollars.
We got into the new rooms generally -- that is they were ready
for occupancy -- Saturday night. . . .
REUNION OF TWENTY-THIRD 507
I often call attention in talking to near friends of [to] the
fact that Lucy was the Golden Rule incarnate. I now read in the
Tribune a critical notice of "Social Progress" by Daniel Green-
leaf Thompson: "What is most needed in the world is education
of mankind in the Golden Rule." This is "the secret of social
September 3.-- . . . Reached Lakeside before 10 o'clock
A. M. The attendance is not large. Other reunions and county
fairs interfere, and alas, Lucy is not here! How she is missed!
P. M. We went over to the Pictured Rock--the Indian in-
scriptions on a large rock on Kelly's Island. . . . On the
whole a sad day without Lucy.
September 4. Wednesday.--A good campfire last evening in
the parlor. Number somewhat smaller than usual. Old fife-
major Andy Stairwalt, looking just as he used to, made talks.
Captain Ellen made a good talk of his cronies, Captain Gillis and
Captain Austin, and of George Brigdon, killed twenty-five years
ago last night at Berryville. A recitation by Miss -- very
good;--another version of Sheridan's ride.
General Hastings spoke briefly. [Also] J. P. Moore, of Fre-
mont, of the reunion of the Veterans of 1812 on the Maumee,
fifty-seven years afterwards,--forty-nine of them.
September 5. Thursday. -- The reunion yesterday gained in
numbers and interest. I had a long and very interesting conver-
sation with Mrs. Ben Killam about Mrs. Hayes. She appreciated
my darling. I shall not forget the pleasure it gave me to hear
her good words.
We attended the life-saving station at Marblehead in the fore-
noon; had a good business meeting in the afternoon and a sail
to Put-in-bay, and in the evening a successful campfire.
About forty comrades in attendance, with their wives and chil-
dren. Resolutions about Mrs. Hayes, and by Comrade Henry an
excellent speech in which he very beautifully spoke of Mrs.
September 9. Monday.--It is certainly true that no death
ever before so touched the hearts of the American people, except
508 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
that of Abraham [Lincoln], as the death of Mrs. Hayes. This
is said constantly.
FREMONT, OHIO, September 11, 1889.
MY DEAR SIR:--I have supposed that the resources and ad-
vantages of New York made that city the place for the [Colum-
bian] celebration. But if they hang fire with contributions, and
Chicago decidedly surpasses New York in providing funds, of
course the successful competitor in the ways and means contest
should have it. This is for your eye alone.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
LISTON H. MONTGOMERY.
September 12. -- I am overhauling letters of the past two years.
One point in my public life: I did all I could for the reform of
the civil service, for the building up of the South, for a sound
currency, etc., etc., etc., but I never forgot my party. I appointed
Stalwarts and supported Stalwarts whenever it would harmonize
or strengthen the party--my own personal preferences notwith-
standing. I knew that all good measures would suffer if my Ad-
ministration was followed by the defeat of my party. Result, a
great victory in 1880. Executive and legislature both com-
A year or two ago I invited Bishop Bowman and wife to be
our guests at the conference to be held here. He accepted in
fitting terms for himself and added, "My precious wife is in
September 13. Friday.--Colonel Haynes' regiment, (Tenth
Cavalry of Ohio) has its reunion here next week. There are two
tendencies in all our war talk--especially strong in us as we
grow older. One, comparatively harmless, involving little moral
turpitude; the other, often cruel and always to be avoided. The
first is to boast, if not of ourselves and our deeds, at least of
our army, our corps, our regiments. The other is to find fault
with, to criticize, to censure, to condemn others. If there is a
MORE LIBERAL PENSION LAWS 509
victory, we gained it and must have the credit of it. If there is
a failure, it was the fault of the other fellow,--he must be
blamed for it. Let us try to avoid both; but if either is to be in-
dulged, let it be the spirit of boasting.
Let us not dwell too much on our differences. We have a
critical, a serious contest before us. We must secure a sweeping,
radical, and beneficent change in our pension laws. A change
suited to the changed conditions of the veterans of the Union
Army. The day is near at hand when the vast majority, the
great body indeed, of the Union veterans will no longer be able,
for want of physical strength, to earn their daily bread by their
daily labor. This is the momentous fact with which the Nation
has to deal.
I am gradually taking up again my usual occupations. Hav-
ing looked up all letters and writings of Lucy, having col-
lected all portraits of her from girlhood to the last taken since
she became a grandmother, having put in order all of the letters
and tributes in her honor, both in print and manuscript, I now
begin to look after the place. But what a void!--There is a
meaning in the phrase "aching void."
September 14. Saturday. -- South Mountain day. The great
event of the past week is the great storm on the Atlantic coast
from Cape Hatteras north--shipwrecks, destruction of seaside
resorts, etc., etc., quite beyond precedent.
Our last quarterly conference for the year held last night. We
owe $7610 on interest--all borrowed money. Assets available
about $4000 to pay it with. Church property all clear, about
$32,500. Our pastor is a trial to us on all business affairs--a
talker without tact, self-sufficient and domineering. I paid him
forty-five dollars on account of missions, nine dollars for Su-
perannuated [Fund], and five dollars for Freedman's Aid. Will
drop hereafter the larger part of missions -- all of the foreign --
and concentrate on home and freedmen.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, September 14, 1889.
MY FRIEND:--Several persons want to write a book about
Mrs. Hayes, and ask me to turn over materials therefor. I
510 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
decline so far. If any such sketch is to be made you are my
choice, if it will ever be practicable for you to do it. I would
like to talk it over with you. I come East, and will be at [the]
Fifth Avenue Hotel October 3 and 4; but will go anywhere to
Love to Nellie. -- Ever sincerely,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
WILLIAM D. HOWELLS.
September 15. Sunday. -- Read Hawthorne's "Note-Book on
Rome" with Fanny, keeping Murray's "Guide" in hand. I am
getting a better notion of the old city than I have had. Must now
finish this topic -- go through with it.
In the evening heard, to a slim audience, Mr. Curtis, now of
Selma, Alabama, describe the deplorable condition of the "Black
September 16. Monday.--Unexpectedly on the one P. M.
train, General Hastings and family came. All in health and
Agreed with Colonel Haynes to have the Tenth Cavalry here
Wednesday afternoon about five and a half o'clock.
September 17.--If I talk to the Tenth Ohio Cavalry, I will
advise union [and] charity for the sake of just, liberal, and
equitable pensions for the soldiers. The great fact which this
rich, prosperous, and fortunate nation has to regard, consider,
and deal with is that the [time] draws near when these veterans
can no longer provide by their daily labor for their daily wants.
The great body of them stand today on the threshold of that
dreaded period of their lives. It comes to them earlier because
of their exposures to hardship, to suffering, to mental and bodily
strain in their country's service. They need help because they
devoted themselves to their country's service.
In the evening entertained by Colonel Haynes with the
veterans of the Tenth Cavalry--General Smith D. Atkins, of
Freeport, Illinois, and others.
MORE LIBERAL PENSION LAWS 511
September 18. Wednesday.--Reunion of Tenth Cavalry.
The speaking was good by Judge Green, General Sanderson, and
General Atkins. General Atkins was practicularly happy.
About sixty veterans of the regiment and ladies with the Light
Guard Band came to my house at the close. A happy entertain-
ment. It was Fanny's first reception and was quietly done with
the efficient aid of Emily [and others]. Altogether successful.
September 23. Monday.--Made a happy visit to Mary and
Birchard in Toledo with General Hastings and Emily. . . .
Found on return home many letters. Colonel Nicholson writes
that no one else will be thought of for commander-in-chief [of
the Loyal Legion] next month, and that I must be present, and of
course accept. I prefer to have it so. But if there is any serious
opposition to me or wish for another, I will not allow my name
to go before the body. I will not go into the slightest contest for
any place of honor again. This is well understood by my
FREMONT, OHIO, September 23, 1889.
MY DEAR SIR: -- I have a young friend in whom I am warmly
interested -- Charles R. Howland, of Jefferson, Ohio, who wishes
to enter West Point. He is now nineteen years of age and may
therefore wait for the appointment two or three years, if it can-
not be made sooner. My chief interest in the case is due to his
qualifications. He is the ideal candidate for the place. In mind,
body, character, tastes, ambition, and love of his country, he is
all that can be desired. His talents and industry will place him
in the front rank -- probably in the lead -- of all his associates.
He will, I believe, if the opportunity is given him, be distin-
guished in the profession of his choice.
I earnestly urge his appointment.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
512 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
September 28. Saturday.--Today Fanny and I [reached]
the Mohonk Lake House. Greeted warmly by Mr. and Mrs.
Smiley. Fanny and I well quartered. A lovely place--wild
mountain scenery in juxtaposition with cultivated farms. Rug-
ged and sublime rocks and cliffs and a fine hotel near by.
September 29. Sunday. -- Last evening Professor Richardson
read and recited in the finest way from [the] "Merchant of Ven-
ice" and "David Copperfield."
I meet here a number of people I am glad to know. Mr.
Houghton, the publisher at Cambridge; Mr. and Mrs. A. K.
Smiley, our hosts; Admiral Carter and wife, Mr. Monroe, of
Hampton; Mrs. Helen M. Turnbull, of Philadelphia, and others.
How my cherished and precious wife would have enjoyed life
Walked fully five miles today and enjoyed the splendid views.
Walked to Eagle Cliff at sunset. Hymns in the parlor Sunday
September 30. Monday. -- A delightful drive with four-horse
team over to the inn, the Wildmere House, of the twin brother,
Alfred H. Smiley. Mr. Houghton, Mr. Monroe, of Fairfield,
Connecticut, Mr. Albert K. Smiley, and five or six ladies. The
twins, aged about sixty, are wonderfully alike--difficult to dis-
tinguish. Minnewaska is a lovely repetition of Mohonk, on a
larger scale in some respects. We can see six States from these
elevations, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, and Vermont. One thousand five hundred to two
thousand feet above the sea.
MOHONK LAKE, September 30, 1889.
MY DEAR MR. HOWELLS:--I am here for a few days; will
be at [the] Fifth Avenue Hotel [the] 3d and 4th with Fanny.
I am so solicitous about the sketch of Lucy that I venture to
trouble you again. If I can get the Harpers to censent that you
write the book -- they to publish -- how then! I can see Mr.
Joseph W. Harper. Please write me to [the] Fifth Avenue
PEABODY BOARD MEETING 513
Hotel. If a good talk with you will help, I will come to Boston
and meet you there or at your home.
My love to Nellie and the darling girl.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
WILLIAM D. HOWELLS.
October 3. Thursday. -- From Mohonk to New York. Pea-
body meeting 12 M. All present (President Cleveland and Chief
Justice Fuller) except Mr. Evarts.
Appointed chairman of committee to go to Nashville with Right
Reverend H. B. Whipple, Dr. Samuel A. Green, Boston, Hon-
orable James D. Porter, Nashville, Honorable R. L. Gibson, New
Orleans, to inquire as to the matters referred to by Chancellor
Payne, and with power to act in connection with the general
agent. We fixed the date of our visit November 20 at the Max-
well House. I was almost made chairman of the executive com-
mittee of the board.
In the evening the annual banquet. Six ladies, Mesdames
Winthrop, Whipple, Pierpont Morgan, Curry, ----, and Fanny.
All of the board except Mr. Evarts and Mr. Devens. Mr. and
Mrs. [George W.] Childs came in after dinner.
October 4. Friday. -- My birthday -- sixty-seven. It brings
freshly and painfully to mind the absence from my side of my
cherished Lucy. When I last was here in the spring at the cen-
tennial of the Government she was with me! Alas, how it
weakens the hold of this life -- of earth upon me! How easily
I could now let go of life!
[At] 2 P. M. left with Fanny for Northampton. . . .
October 5. Saturday. -- Morning walked with Mr. Waring,
of Brooklyn, up King Street. Measured the great elm--seven
and one-half full lengths of my handkerchief; 25 feet in circum-
ference. . . . [Then], train to Williamstown. Met at depot
by Mrs. Herron, Mrs. Bullock, and James W. B. Drove to
Greylock. Afternoon, drove with Mrs. Bullock and Mrs. Herron
and Fanny to the fine places and noble views near Williamstown.
514 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Visited Mark Hopkins' tomb, also the monument to the first
American missionary.-- Mem.:--Five students on that spot in
1806 resolved to go.--At this place great improvements go on
by people who find it an attractive resort.
Williamstown, Massachusetts, Sunday, October 6, 1889.--
After breakfast attended services at the college chapel. A good
practical sermon on moral courage. Glorious singing by the
students, heavily bass.
West Brattleboro, Vermont, October 8.--This bright and
crisp October morning I am writing before breakfast in the little
room over the hall in the old Hayes home, where my grandfather
lived as a young man with his young wife, more than one hun-
dred years ago, and where my father was born and to which he
brought my mother as his bride seventy-six years ago!
Mrs. W. H. Bigelow (Mary Ann Hayes), my cousin, has
fitted it up beautifully. I slept in what was once part of the
ballroom in the Hayes Inn, where balls, card parties, and flip
drinking were enjoyed--dispensed by my grandfather and
grandmother,--two of the "salt of the earth," "Puritans of the
Puritans," "consistent orthodox Christians," -- for more than
twenty years at the close of the last century and the beginning of
this. The dancing parties closed, even on the Fourth of July
1807, at "the setting of the sun," in order not to break the sanc-
tity of the Puritan Sabbath!
Here is a copy of a ticket to one of the "Hays" entertain-
ments--"Dancing, cards, & Flip." On the back of a ten-spot
"The bearer of this ticket
is entitled to
At R. Hays' Hall -- From one o'clock P. M.
Until Sun Setting
Brattleborough, July 4, 1807."
Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, Saturday, October 12, 1889.
-- About 5 P. M., reached this hotel from Norwich, Connecticut.
Had a fine visit in that beautiful town. Mr. Moses Pierce and
his family made my stay with them more than delightful. The
COMMANDER LOYAL LEGION 515
reception by the soldiers at the hall of Sedgwick Post G. A. R.,
Number one, was most enthusiastic. I made a short stirring talk
which was well received. Honorable ---- Wait spoke at length
and eloquently. Honorable ---- Russell, M. C., spoke strongly
and well for pensions.
The Slater Memorial Building, library and museum, very good.
October 13. Sunday. -- Last night visited the Hastings [fam-
ily] at 20 East Twentieth Street. All well--happy, and cheer-
inspiring. Fanny Mitchell with them en route to their Bermuda
home. Then found Mrs. Herron and Jack and Mrs. Collins at
the Everett. Fan was at the Hastings'. She returned with me
to our old quarters (41-42) in this homelike place.
October 14. Monday. -- Visited yesterday the Hastings [and]
Mrs. Bigelow and dined with the happy family at Charley
Mead's. Met there our cousin Horatio Noyes' soldier son,
Charles Noyes, now a first lieutenant and instructor at West
Point of mathematics. A Hayes, and a fine young gentleman of
Today will visit Schurz and others and arrange for business
tomorrow of the Slater Fund with Mr. Jesup, Mr. Gilman, et
Philadelphia, October 17, 1889. Tuesday. -- Yesterday fore-
noon with the Commandery-in-Chief of the Military Order of the
Loyal Legion. Dined with Reverend H. C. Trumbull at the
Union League [Club]; good company. [He is a] descendant
of Governor Jonathan Trumbull--friend of Washington, the
original of our Brother Jonathan.
Afternoon with Loyal Legion in the Historical Rooms. Mr.
Stille showed me many curiosities.
[This] morning elected Commander-in-Chief two years more
by acclamation. Afternoon, hunted up [Thomas] Donaldson at
his home. A cordial greeting and tea and a good time. What a
full man and what a flood of interesting talk he pours out!
Evening at banquet (till midnight) of the Pennsylvania Com-
mandery. Saw and talked with General Kirby Smith's son--a
young lawyer of promise in the city.
516 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
October 19, 1889. Saturday.--Last evening about 7 P. M.
returned with Fanny on Lake Shore train from Cleveland after
a delightful trip of three weeks. As I approached home the
sinking of the heart as I thought of Lucy gone! Alas, no more
to be greeted in her lovely way after an absence!
This day is the anniversary of Cedar Creek. Twenty-five
years ago today, the famous battle was fought. The defeat of
the morning wiped out and a thousandfold more than paid for
by the victory of the evening.
The friends at the East think their autumnal colors finer than
ours. Possibly they are more brilliant and gay, but I never saw
anything finer than old Spiegel is now in her fall dress and colors.
The dark red or maroon of the great white oaks, in contrast
with the lighter colors of maples and hickories, make[s] a
picture of wonderful beauty.
October 20. Sunday. -- Attended church. The sermon on the
Christianity of the Roman soldier Cornelius did not interest. I
thought of the past, of my loss, of the Prison Congress in Nash-
ville, and tried to formulate some ideas for my address. Suc-
ceeded in perhaps getting a few thoughts. Thought of my tree
planting on the beautiful place of Mr. George W. Childs. The
tree he selected for me is a vigorous copper beech--about six
feet high, bushy top--in plain sight of the main door of the
house, possibly a hundred yards distant. The planting, so far
as I was concerned, was symbolical only. I put a few spades
full [spadefuls] of earth in the trench around the tree!
October 24. Thursday.--Read an article in New England
Magazine on Nashville as an educational centre. This with a
double purpose. To learn as to my duties for the Peabody Fund
next month and also for the Prison Congress to be held there
October 25. Friday. -- In the evening with Fanny attended an
army song festival by the Presbyterian church at Opera Hall.
On the whole very good. . . .
I was constantly reminded of Lucy. Fanny said as we walked
down --"Mother died four months ago today." Her favorites,
"The Star-spangled Banner," "Hold the Fort," "Battle Hymn
THE OBJECTS OF READING 517
of the Republic," and "Old Folks at Home," all stirred me to the
bottom of my heart, and recalled her splendid gift of song.
The "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground" recalled so vividly
the night of election day in 1875. Sitting with her in our home
in Spiegel Grove waiting for the returns, we said we were pre-
pared for either event. I told her the contest was close, the
result doubtful. She spoke cheerfully of the way we would bear
defeat. Our personal interest in it was less vital than the cause,
etc., etc. We both knew well enough that victory meant the
chance for the Presidency--the certainty that Ohio would pre-
sent my name. Defeat meant retirement and obscurity. The
first return was a dispatch to Lucy from Elyria, indicating that
our stronghold, the Western Reserve, was fully aroused and
would give an old-time -- war-time -- majority. Then two town-
ships of Sandusky County gave encouraging gains; then from
the southwestern part of the State a ward or township came in
with the same drift. There was a lull of a few minutes when
from the southeast--from Marietta--from Major Palmer, of
the gallant old Thirty-sixth, came a dispatch which without fig-
ures filled the cup. It read: "We are tenting tonight on the old
camp ground." That song has been full of pathos for Lucy and
me always, but since that dispatch that night I never hear it
without deepest feeling. And now alas, Lucy gone!
October 26. Saturday. -- I must now prepare -- not write --
a speech for Nashville. Let it be in the spirit of the loved one
gone from my home. "I would remember the teaching of our
Saviour. I know I am not good, but I do try to treat all hu-
man beings and all of God's creatures as I would wish to be
treated if I were in their places."
I finished reading the last volume of Tolstoy's "War and
Peace." The epilogue discusses grave questions. . . .
October 28. Monday.--Read, wrote letters, walked. . . .
Meditated on Mrs. Herron's suggestion of a little Chautauqua
reading or study between [us]. Why not? We read or study --
why? 1. Intellectual improvement--for information and the
like. 2. For entertainment--to pass time. 3. To prepare for
the inevitable, for character, for the future and the present.
518 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
The last is most important -- to be begun first. But why not
carry on all these lines of study and pleasure at the same time?
For character, to prepare for the inevitable I recommend selec-
tions from Emerson. His writings have done for me far more
than all other reading.
SPIEGEL, October 29, 1889.
DEAR MRS. HERRON:--The suggestion in your welcome let-
ter is a good one. We can have a little Chautauqua circle of our
own for reading and study. Why read? If for no other, it is
reason enough that we like to do it -- for enjoyment, to pass the
time. Again, mental improvement--for information, to keep
the faculties alert and alive. More still. We must be ready for
the inevitable; be content at least for the time and also in view
of the future. In short, read and study to develop and establish
character. These, if not the first three, are among the things
which lead us to books, or should do so. Perhaps the most es-
sential of these is character -- to be really fit for the present and
ready for the future.
So I begin with my ancient favorite, Emerson. He deals, as
I think wisely, with the deep questions -- with God, the soul,
our present and our future well-being. Let us select. We have
read "Immortality" together. But all good things are worth
reading often. We may read it again. We would do well to
read, pen in hand, or better pencil in hand, to mark passages
either notable, or doubtful, or obscure, or for comment on any
I do not mean to suggest that we should hold to only one sort
of reading at a time. We may try all sorts at the same time -- or
during the same trimester, or other period. We cannot tie our-
A grandmother is in the grasp of posterity. The head of a
family, in school or in society, is chained to affections and to
conventionalities. I am now stating your case. Of course I fail
to even hint at its real difficulties. We always do when we state
the other fellow's trials and difficulties.
But I have claims on my time and thoughts, or I imagine I
THE GOLDEN RULE IN LIFE 519
have. An old goose probably knows in a dim way that she is a
goose, but she probably merely suspects that she is passee and on
the shelf. This old goose sees it that way. So I go on fancying
myself engaged in duties. Hence neglect of the Chautauqua
But like keeping a note-book--an account of household ex-
penses [or] a diary -- we can begin. Now, how would you like a
gift? Say Emerson in ten volumes. They look well in the book-
case. So I send the order. Will knows how to realize on it.
Birchard, Mary, and the fine boy, Sherman, leave us today.
They have been here more than a month. They have added
charms to old Spiegel.
I have dug up a good letter of Lucy with some capital sen-
tences on leaving the White House.--"We will be ready to leave
the White House in the spring. I am surprised to find how I
look longingly for the springtime to come. I have had a particu-
larly happy life here in Washington and yet will hail my return
home with the greatest pleasure. Four years is long enough for
a woman like this one. We will be in Ohio in August, and I sup-
pose we will go to California in September. But my heart is not
set upon it, and disappointment would not annoy me."
But I must not give too much time to what leads me into sor-
With all regard, sincerely,
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.
MRS. H. C. HERRON,
November 2. Saturday. -- I am inclined to close my Nashville
talk with a reference to the guiding principle of my wife and of
which she was the incarnation. [I purpose to say]:--"During
almost forty years it has been my fortunate lot to live under
the same roof with one, now gone to the world beyond, whose
gift and whose delight it was to shed happiness on all around
her. Her joy was so radiant because her life was the very in-
carnation of those few humble words which fell naturally from
520 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
her lips: 'I know I am not good, but I do try to treat all
others as I would wish to be treated if I were in their places.'
"Surely, surely my friends, if our legislature and its execu-
tive and if our conduct as communities and as individuals can
be penetrated and controlled by the spirit of the Golden Rule,
a solution will be found for every problem which now disturbs
or threatens to disturb our American society."
November 4. Monday.--Finished my brief and sensible
speech for the Prison Congress this morning and handed it to
the printer. I deal with the jury system, the indeterminate sen-
tence, and labor; a word also in favor of industrial education
as a preventive of crime.
I was reminded of the fact that Birchard was born thirty-six
years ago today! This recalled with an oppressive sinking of the
heart the dear one I have lost! How all things remind me of
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