DIARY AND LETTERS OF
RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
THE RETURN TO SPIEGEL GROVE -- RESUMPTION OF PRI-
VATE LIFE -- THE STAR ROUTE FRAUDS -- TASKS OF
ADMINISTRATION -- THE ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD
-- POLITICS AND TEMPERANCE -- DEATH OF GARFIELD
-- CREATION OF SLATER EDUCATIONAL FUND -- ATTI-
TUDE TOWARD NEWSPAPER DETRACTION -- PRESIDENT
ARTHUR'S FIRST MESSAGE -- MARCH - DECEMBER, 1881
FREMONT, OHIO, MARCH 9, 1881.
MY DEAR COLONEL HARRIS: -- I wish to thank you very
heartily, and through you also the members of the First
Cleveland Troop, for the courtesy extended to me in being my
escort from Washington. The interruption of your purpose by
the sad accident at Severn does not lessen the honor done me
nor my obligation to you. I rejoice that none of the troop were
injured seriously, and that all of its members reached home in
With best wishes for you and the troop, and with renewed
expressions of my thankfulness, I am,
R. B. HAYES.
March 10, 1881. -- Rose at sunrise. Yesterday and today the
sun rose beautifully. Thermometer 30 degrees. Walked rapidly
around the north and west sides of the place; returned by the
Harrison Road, and stepped off the route of a new drive farther
from the house than the present one, so as not to have people
2 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
sitting on the verandah disturbed by persons driving about the
place. From the new route the house looks low, rather "squatty."
But this gives it an old-fashioned look which is not undesirable.
Last evening we got forty-two letters. The most of them were
congratulatory on the success of the Administration or upon
our escape in the railroad accident near Baltimore. There were
letters from General Sherman, Mr. Schurz, our darling Fanny,
John L. Thomas, Mr. Merritt, Colonel Burt, George William
I suppose the list will soon fall off to reasonable proportions.
FREMONT, OHIO, March 10, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--A thousand thanks for your gratifying
letter. We are, and we shall be I hope always, more than politi-
cal friends--personal friends. Your interests, your career,
your family will be in my thoughts and heart. Let it be so and
let us enjoy it.
The two happiest people in the country are here in Spiegel
Grove, where we hope to see you and yours often. Love to the
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL CARL SCHURZ.
March 11, 1881.--Rose at daylight. Weather colder but clear.
Thermometer 22 degrees. Sunrise very beautiful--a little
cloudy. Walked to depot. Weighed at butcher's on Croghan
street one hundred and ninety-two [pounds]. Told the young man
I must walk off five pounds. A Michigan company is operating
the lime-kiln. They make three hundred barrels per day. Home
by West's sawmill. A wilderness of logs have been hauled in
this hard winter. Only one poor street tree pushed over by the
logs. The elms on Buckland Avenue generally growing well.
Got back at 7 A. M. Wednesday, forty-three letters. Thursday,
only one mail, twenty-four. All congratulatory except two or
RETURN TO SPIEGEL GROVE--1881 3
The Nation habitually talks as if I had but one thing to do,
but one reform to establish, and as if men to aid in that were as
plenty as blackberries. Suppose Mr. Evarts and Mr. Sherman
cared nothing for a formal reform of the civil service, were they
not the only men for their places?
March 13, 1881. Sunday. -- Yesterday we had a March day,
snow and sleet. Thermometer 33 degrees. Today cloudy with
about two inches snow on the ground. Letters about thirty yes-
terday. Slowly diminishing. Thermometer this morning 37
Our first Sunday evening finds a lively musical circle, singing
hymns in the old home way. "The Old, Old Story" rings glo-
riously in our whispering gallery of a house. Henry Dorr, Mary
Miller, and Annie Stilwell are with Lucy and her cousin, Lucy
Cook. I am writing in Uncle's old room upstairs, but the open
house below and the generous staircase permit the music to flow
up fresh and full.
FREMONT, OHIO, March 14, 1881.
GENTLEMEN:--It would give me great pleasure to attend the
dinner to be given to Mr. Schurz in Boston, March 22, to which
I am invited by your kind note of the 8th instant. Mr. Schurz
is altogether worthy of the high appreciation in which he is held
by the citizens of Massachusetts whom you represent. I would
gladly unite with you in doing him honor if it were practicable to
do so. I am, however, compelled to decline your invitation by
circumstances which I need not name, and beg you to receive
my compliments and best respects.
FRANCIS PARKMAN, R. B. HAYES.
March 16, 1881. -- I walked [this morning] to the cemetery.
Plank walk in bad condition. It must be repaired or rebuilt.
4 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Most of the street trees look well. The cemetery is well cared
for. Nothing expensive about it, but it is neat and fit. I met
Uncle's old servant, Ed Walters--Irish. Drink has ruined
him. He was already full. Was very friendly and affectionate.
He said: "If I ever insult you or any of your family, let me be
arrested. I am glad you are back among us." There seems to be
no salvation for him.
FREMONT, OHIO, March 17, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I am in receipt of your invitation to attend
the class-day exercises of the senior class of Wesleyan University
and the semicentennial anniversary commemoration of the old-
est American Methodist college. It would be a particular gratifi-
cation to witness again the literary exercises of the Wesleyan
University of Connecticut. More than forty years ago I was a
pupil of a preparatory school of which Isaac Webb was princi-
pal across the street from the university, and was present at
several of its literary exhibitions. The opportunity to revisit
the scenes of schoolboy days, and at the same [time] to attend
the commencement of your important college presents attractions
to which I would gladly yield. But circumstances to which I
need not refer, put it out of the question for me to accept your
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
March 18, 1881. -- [Besides various activities about the place,
I] wrote twenty-three letters, and read an hour in "Life of Ham-
ilton," second volume, where is considered the fact of Hamilton
writing letters for Washington.
March 20. Sunday.-- . . . Webb is twenty-five years old
today. Twenty-five letters yesterday. Still busy with my corre-
March 21. -- Today make up a balance-sheet of my condition,
showing:--I. All I owe--every sort of obligation for money
JOY IN NEW FREEDOM 5
in full. 2. All amounts due me. 3. All personal property
available for debts--salable; this to include stocks, etc., etc.,
and to exclude books, furniture, carriages, stock,--in short, all I
expect to keep. 4. All real estate I am ready to sell at fair
prices, excluding my place and property I will not sell.
March 23.--I go this morning with General Buckland, Mr.
A. H. Miller, Dr. Bushnell, A. E. Rice, cashier, and others to
the funeral of Augustus W. Luckey at Elmore, Ottawa County.
Mr. Luckey died suddenly, instantly, in the midst of apparent
health, in church about 11 o'clock, Sunday. His death was by
apoplexy--the bursting of a blood vessel in the brain which
killed him instantly. On the way to church he met a physician
and in a short conversation said, "There would be very little
for doctors to do if everybody was as healthy as I am." Mr.
Luckey was left an orphan at ---- years of age. On a tract of
land in the Swamp, in debt, he by industry, perseverance, and
honesty, kept the family, a mother and younger children, to-
gether, cleared the farm, paid the debts, and became a wealthy,
useful, and popular man. The best of friends and neighbors
loved him and admired him. Uncle first knew him soon after
the death of young Luckey's father. The father was in debt to
Uncle. "Gus" said, "I will pay it all." Uncle said, "You are
not bound to pay your father's debts." "Gus" replied, "But I
mean to pay the last cent that father owed." He did pay his
father's debts. He was always trusted and honored by good
men. I own land in partnership with him. Mr. Miller and Dr.
Wilson are also partners with him. He judiciously and kindly
helped the poor and distressed. He was cheerful, confident, and
happy. A great loss to this whole region.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, March 29, 1881.
MY DEAR S--:--I step out of the dust and confusion of
getting into orderly living after our six years' absence, to ask,
"Are you happy, and do you know anything?"
With us time passes swiftly and pleasantly. The escape from
bondage into freedom is grateful indeed to my feelings. The
equanimity of temper which has enabled me to bear without
6 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
discomposure the vexations and anxieties that every day brought
with it during my term of office, no doubt relieved me from a
great part of the strain upon the faculties which has broken down
so many of my predecessors. But the burden, even with my con-
stitutional cheerfulness, has not been a light one. I am glad to
be a freedman.
Now a word to you. My obligations to you I do not attempt
to measure or to describe. You were at the cradle and you
have followed the hearse "of this ambitious life." I know that
to you it has not brought the reward or the satisfaction which
you deserved to have. No man ever had a more sincere, a more
judicious, and a more unselfish friend than, in this matter, I have
found in you. You have been generous, considerate, and for-
giving. With all my heart I thank you, and beg you to believe
me your friend ever.
Sincerely, R. B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH,
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, April 4, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt
of your courteous letter of the 28th of March informing me
of his Imperial Japanese Majesty's kindness in presenting to me,
as a token of his personal regard, certain interesting and beau-
tiful articles of Japanese workmanship. I beg you to make my
friendly acknowledgments to his Imperial Majesty and to assure
him that I shall treasure his gifts as a precious souvenir of the
agreeable personal relations which you and your esteemed wife
have formed between yourselves and Mrs. Hayes and myself.
I assure you, my dear Mr. Minister, that we fully reciprocate
your kind sentiments and shall always cherish most agreeable
recollections of the friendship formed with you and Mrs.
Yoshida during our late residence at Washington.
With the highest personal esteem, I am,
MR. YOSHIDA, R. B. HAYES.
ARMY REUNION AT CINCINNATI 7
Cincinnati, April 5, 1881. -- Reached John W. Herron's about
7 P. M. A warm welcome from these dear old friends --
friends from 1850 or before.
April 6, 1881. -- Visited Aunty Warren and others. P. M.,
unveiled statue of [General James B.] McPherson. Evening at
the Music Hall; a word of thanks to the fine audience. Gov-
ernor Cox made a good speech; good singing. A grand affair.
April 7, 1881.--Visited Jones, Mrs. Davis, and in the eve-
ning at the banquet at the Burnet House. The chaplain,-----,
Bishop of Illinois, made a captivating speech; Dawes, a sharp,
bright speech, bristling with good points, against McClellanism.
I and my speech were warmly received.
April 12, 1881.--Reached home last night after an absence
of a week. I visited Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Chilli-
cothe, and Delaware. The reunion of the Society of the Army
of the Tennessee was the occasion of my trip. They met at
Cincinnati [the] 6th and 7th of April, the anniversary of Shiloh.
More than the usual interest and enthusiasm was exhibited. A
statue of McPherson to be placed at Clyde was unveiled. It
is spirited and good. I prefer it to the equestrian statue in
[FREMONT, April--, 1881.]
MY YOUNG FRIEND:--Leave politics to your seniors. Try
to fit yourself to be a useful man and a good citizen. Don't be
lazy. Be truthful and industrious. Learn to support yourself.
Study the history of your country, and always remember that
to make others happy will make you happy.
FRANK P. RICHTER, R. B. HAYES.
April 18.--Rev. Dr. Wm. H. H. Adams, President of Cen-
tral Wesleyan College, preached two excellent sermons, one in
the morning, the other in the evening. He called in the after-
noon to invite me to attend the commencement, June 16, with
8 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Mrs. Hayes. I gave him no encouragement, but deferred final
decision. I told [him] my desire was to get out of public life;
to avoid for a while public attention; to become in fact again
as far as practicable a private citizen. To do this, for the
present I preferred to go nowhere out of Ohio.
I shall, if no special observance is had here, go to Bellefon-
taine Decoration Day, not to make the address, but prepared to
speak a few minutes. I think of this as a topic:--"Country
first, Party afterwards."
"The men we honor today [I purpose to say] were many
of them not of the party whose success furnished the pretext,
perhaps I should say, the occasion for the Rebellion. The party
they belonged to in the South made the war, or rather men of
that party began the war. Many of their leaders sympathized
with the South. They loved their party, they admired and
trusted their party leaders, but they were for their country.
Country first and party afterwards, was their motto, or might
well have been. I do not deprecate the existence of parties.
They are a part of our system. They are very permanent. Far
[more] permanent than we are prone to suppose. The same
general body of citizens continue to act together politically
during their lives.
"The flowers we strew today will soon lose their beauty and
fragrance and wither away. But the memory of those we thus
recall and honor has been touched by God with immortality. It
will live, fragrant and fadeless, as long as the annals of the
country they served shall be known among men."
FREMONT, OHIO, April 18, 1881.
MY DEAR GUY:--I am again almost settled down in my old
Spiegel Grove home. With some changes in the house, and
the accumulated dust and confusion of our six years' absence,
we find it takes time to get all things straight and neat. Time
passes swiftly and happily. I hope you will visit us this sum-
mer. We shall keep the latchstring out. We wish to get as
completely back into private life as we can; to keep out of
COUNTRY FIRST, PARTY AFTERWARDS 9
public observation enough to show the truth that we have no
hankering after the pleasures we have left.
The daughters in Virginia will I suppose soon return home.
We will be specially glad to see them with you here. By the
by, at the Yale dinner in Washington in February General Gib-
son gave a capital sketch of Colonel Jack, which was most hand-
With love to Miss Betty and yours,
Sincerely, as ever,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE GUY M. BRYAN,
FREMONT, OHIO, April 22, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--Your kind note is before me. If I
should come I hope Mrs. Hayes will come with me. In any
event we are ever so much obliged to Mrs. Kennedy and you.
It is now thought that the McPherson statue will be set up
at Clyde Decoration Day. If so, my first engagement is at
Clyde. We hope to know definitely in a week or two. Let there
be no announcement of my coming until you hear from me
again. I specially want to come to Bellefontaine.
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL ROBERT P. KENNEDY,
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, April 25, 1881.
DEAR MISS SNEAD:--You must be very charitable to the
sins of omission of Mrs. Hayes. She is not a correspondent,
and if she was [were] a ready writer, the heaps now on her
desk of good letters from kind friends would simply confound
her. She is not likely ever to forget your goodness, nor to cease
to value you as one of her Washington friends not to be for-
gotten. We are obliged for the interesting glimpses you give
us of Washington affairs. Our sympathies and best wishes
are with the President and Mrs. Garfield.
10 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I see more clearly than ever, and I thought I saw before, that
congressional life is not the best introduction or preparation for
the President's house. Great, and fully equipped as the general
is, there are embarrassments growing out of his long and
brilliant career in Congress which Jackson and Lincoln, and
Grant and myself escaped. The traditions and courtesies of
the Senators and Representatives stand in the way of the Execu-
tive, however, as defined by the Constitution, and no man who
is trained in the congressional school fails to suffer by them
in a way that men of merely executive experience know nothing
of. But I have confidence in his [Garfield's] purpose and hope
for the future.
Our kindest regards to your mother and yourself.
R. B. HAYES.
MISS AUSTINE SNEAD,
April 28.-- . . . There is an unearthing of crookedness, it
is said, in the Star Mail Route business. I first heard of this as a
suspicion about the time Congress investigated, or began the
investigation of it. The subject was one of special popular in-
terest to Congress. Additional mail facilities are always popu-
lar. Congress is always ready to investigate charges against
the officers of an Administration. Their means are ample and
their powers great. I had no means to take testimony or compel
witnesses to testify. I called the attention of Judges Key and
Tyner to the matter. They said all was correct on the face
of things. I directed them to afford every possible facility to
the congressional committees of investigation. The result of
some months of active and angry controversy was that both
branches of the Democratic Congress sustained the inculpated
officer, General Brady. I had no relations with him. I found
him in place when I became President, with a good reputation
as a capable and faithful officer. I relied on Key, who had been
on [the] Post-office Committee of the Senate, and on Tyner, who
was able and of great experience. But I was satisfied that this
STAR ROUTE SCANDAL 11
business required a supervision which it had not had. To secure
this, I directed that hereafter no contract should be made or
altered involving any considerable expense or liability unless it
was submitted to the Postmaster-General and by him brought
before the President and Cabinet. This no doubt would have
prevented the frauds now complained of.
The only person named as among the crooked with whom
I was personally friendly is George A. Sheridan. His acquain-
tance I made in Ohio election campaigns. He is witty, eloquent,
genial, and humorous. I never suspected him of greed for
gain. He seemed indifferent to money. I gave him an office
where no corruption is likely ever to be found. If he is now
guilty, I shall be disappointed. Not extravagant, he cares noth-
ing for gold.
FREMONT, OHIO, April 30, 1881.
DEAR SIR:--I regret that Mrs. Hayes and myself are com-
pelled to decline your valued invitation to attend the memorial
ceremonies at Spartanburg on the 11th of May, and, as the
guests of the State of South Carolina, to assist in the public
ceremonies in honor of the victory of Cowpens. Deeply sensible
of the interest and importance of the occasion and of the honor
you have done me, I remain,
R. B. HAYES.
Columbia, South Carolina.
May 3.--The weather has been cooler. Thermometer at
about 40 to 45 degrees at 6 A. M. for three days. Frosts, but
not severe or destructive here.
I went to Clyde Saturday by the old stone road -- the Maumee
and Western Reserve Road--in a buggy with General Buck-
land. Our object was to make arrangements for the unveiling
of the McPherson statue which will soon be set up. We met a
number of the citizens of Clyde at Mr. Lemmon's office, and it
12 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
was agreed that the formal dedication and unveiling should take
place on the anniversary of General McPherson's death before
Atlanta, viz., July 22, next.
Last night we had a meeting of the trustees of the Birchard
Library. The condition of the trust funds was reported. Mrs.
Ross, the present excellent librarian, was reelected and her
salary increased from three hundred and fifty dollars to four
hundred dollars. The library is supported by nine thousand
dollars invested at six per cent in the bonds of the Harvester
Company -- five hundred and forty dollars -- and the rent of one-
third of a building in Toledo, which gives the library about five
hundred dollars. The library owes the bank five hundred dollars
and there is due the library about the same amount. Expenses
annually about six hundred dollars. This will leave after pay-
ing taxes about three hundred dollars or four hundred dollars
which may be spent for books. It is best to keep up the interest
in the institution by adding new books. This I will try to have
done. Let me gather up novels and other books which I have.
My library is approaching completion. I must begin to cata-
logue my books. I estimate that at least five thousand volumes
can be placed on the shelves and that I have enough to fill
The Star Route frauds still attract attention. Brady denies
corrupt practices. Nobody as yet accuses Tyner, and all agree
that Key was honest but inexperienced and too confiding. Ene-
mies blame me for not discovering the fraud and putting a stop
to it. When I took office the Post-office Department was believed
to be well conducted, with honesty and efficiency. Tyner was
Postmaster-General. He had had large experience and was
capable and efficient. Brady at the head of a bureau had the
same reputation. I did not wish to change what was in good
condition. Desiring a Southern man in the Cabinet on general
grounds, Key, who had as Senator been on the Post-office Com-
mittee, and who as a man stood very high for fidelity and in-
tegrity, was selected for the Cabinet position and Tyner was
secured as his first assistant. Tyner's experience and business
ability were greatly relied on both by Key and myself and the
friends of the Administration generally. The department was
STAR ROUTE SCANDAL 13
well managed before and after my term began, unless this "Star"
business was dishonestly managed as now seems probable.
There was a question of public policy which interested the
country and Congress, about which there was much debate.
Should the policy as to mail facilities for the new States be,
[that such facilities be] liberally furnished, or should they be
restricted to an extremely economical scale. The West generally
--the new States--were for a liberal policy. The older States
were for a restricted service. Key and Tyner were for a liberal
policy. In this I concurred. Beyond this I had nothing to do
with it. When the discussions arose as to the Star Routes and
the contracts for them, the question of policy was the point
which seemed to determine the course of Congress and its indi-
vidual members. Those who favored restriction assailed the
Star Route management; those who favored a liberal policy
I called the attention of both Key and Tyner to the subject
repeatedly. They both regarded the controversy as due not to mis-
management or fraud but to a difference of opinion on an im-
portant question of policy. The investigation was in the hands
of Congress. They sustained Brady. But in the course of it
I became satisfied that a more careful supervision of post-office
contracts ought to be had. I directed that no more liabilities
should be incurred or increased by contract without a full con-
sideration by the Postmaster-General, and that the question
after such consideration by him should be presented to the Cabi-
net and [the] President. This undoubtedly was sufficient to
stop all crooked or even inconsiderate action by the head of
the bureau (Brady) on contracts of this class.
FREMONT, OHIO, May 3, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I have your note with the newspaper cut-
tings. No doubt the exact truth will, after the usual amount
of misrepresentation and misinformation, be reached by the
general public. Is it not true that under Tyner the Post-office
Department was General Grant's best department except Governor
Fish's? I, following sound principles, continued it without
14 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
change,--that is, Tyner as first assistant went on with it.
Key, an honest, capable man was in the Cabinet. He made no
changes. If he and Tyner were deceived, I shall not ultimately
suffer for doing the right thing as it then appeared. Enemies
will talk, but the outcome will not hurt.
For me and my friends the course is to let the matter go on.
I do not and shall not deny or explain until the case requires
it. Haste to deny or explain is always a sign of weakness. I
FREMONT, OHIO, May 3, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I spoke to you of a loan of twenty-five or
thirty thousand dollars that I needed, say in sums not less than
ten thousand dollars--not to exceed 4 to 5 per cent interest--
ten years or so with the privilege to pay off in five or so.
It will be my only debt. I am always punctual in interest, etc.
Worth two hundred or three hundred thousand at present prices.
If you have nothing in mind about this, let me know before
you inquire further, and I will, unless you advise me of some
other course, apply to Mr. Abby of Boston. There is no hurry
about it. I can get all I want here at 6 per cent. One bank
yesterday reduced its standing rate of interest on all loans, short
as well as long, to 7 per cent -- lower than ever known here
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN.
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO. May 3, 1881.
To ------ POST NO. ----,
Department of Ohio, Grand Army of the Republic:--
I have the honor to apply for membership in your post, basing
my application on the following facts:--
In April 1861, immediately after the surrender of Fort
Sumter, I took part in organizing a military company in Cincin-
* Very likely the first draft of a letter, and perhaps not sent.
GRAND ARMY MEMBERSHIP 15
nati, Ohio, called the Burnet Rifles; enlisted in it as a private
and was drilled as such. Was soon elected captain of the com-
pany, and offered a company to the governor of Ohio for the
service of the United States. This was repeatedly done by
Colonel Stanley Matthews and General M. F. Force in conjunc-
tion with myself--our offers for the service being of com-
panies or a regiment. These offers led to no result until in
May, by the aid of Secretary Chase, we obtained authority direct
from President Lincoln to raise a regiment. On the 9th of June,
1861, by reason of the authority referred to, I was appointed,
commissioned, and mustered as major of the Twenty-third Regi-
ment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and by regular promotions to
lieutenant-colonel, colonel, and brigadier-general, and brevet
major-general. I passed through these several grades up to the
last named. On the 9th of June, 1865, by reason of the end of the
war and in pursuance of a general order, I resigned my com-
mission and was honorably discharged.
I have never borne arms against the United States, and have
never been a deserter, or convicted of any infamous crime.
I am fifty-eight years old--will be fifty-nine October 4, 1881,
if I live until that time. I was born in Delaware, Delaware
County, Ohio. I now reside at Fremont, Ohio, am engaged in
real estate and other general business, having quit the practice
of my profession, that of a lawyer, on the breaking out of
R. B. HAYES.
May 4. -- I saw the first fruit blossoms of the year on a
cherry tree in the old garden south of the house on the warm
side-hill with an exposure south by east.
[May] 5.--I am trying to find a good supply of water in
the old garden to be raised thirty or forty feet or more to the
present flower garden and lawn by a windmill and pump. I
think that a good supply can be obtained by digging along the
foot of the bluff, possibly a very short distance.
May 6.--I have been chosen director of the First National
Bank of Fremont; Trustee of the Western Reserve University,
16 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
at Cleveland, trustee of the Green Springs Academy, and one
of the board of Oakwood Cemetery. I mean to give due atten-
tion to all of these matters.
I send today to Colonel Silas W. Burt, Naval Officer, ten
dollars to pay dues and as a contribution to the Civil Service
Reform Association of New York. The reform is necessary to
give our official life the elevation and vigor which it ought to
have, and sooner or later it will be accomplished.
I joined the McPherson [Eugene Rawson] Post of the Grand
Army, or rather I applied for membership, Wednesday.
Sunday, May 8, 1881.--Two months at home. A lovely
warm day. The cherries and plums in full bloom. The first peach
blossoms on our tree in garden south of the house today.
May 9.--With Judge Cummings to Green Springs to begin
the foundation of the Green Springs Academy under the auspices
of the Toledo synod of the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Dr.
McCracken and Dr. Bushnell were of the party. We met the
school board of the village. I was chosen president of the
trustees. The affair looks well. It will take a little time. The
spring is simply glorious. Dr. Entreken is at the head of the
cure and Mr. Joy is landlord.
FREMONT, OHIO, May 10, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--I have your note and am obliged to
you for the suggestion. If there is no probability that disap-
pointed men will successfully object, it would please me to apply
for membership in the association. Colonel Travis gave me
papers which I have mislaid, and the papers you refer to have
not come to hand.
I have joined a post of the Grand Army which has recently
been organized here. The old objection "politics" is with me
no longer in the way. Indeed, I think it is not in the organi-
GENERAL M. F. FORCE. R. B. HAYES.
TASKS OF ADMINISTRATION 17
FREMONT, OHIO, May 11, 1881.
SIR:--To assist my friend, Rev. Dr. Leech, of Frederick City,
Maryland, in enabling his second son, Edward Palmer Leech, to
complete his college curriculum, I secured for him (Edward)
a temporary clerkship in the Navy Department during the sum-
mers of 1879 and 1880. He has a letter from the chief clerk,
Mr. J. W. Hogg, testifying to his faithfulness in the discharge
of the clerical duties assigned him. He will finish his junior
year in June, 1881. Dr. Leech is very desirous to have him
graduate. He has six children and his salary is moderate. He
is pastor of our friend, Honorable M. G. Urner. I will be
gratified if you will interest yourself in having him, Edward,
appointed to a clerical position for three months from June 20
to September 20 proximo.
R. B. HAYES.
TO THE PRESIDENT.
May 12, 1881.--I was initiated last night as a member of
Eugene Rawson Post, Number 32, of the Grand Army of the
Republic. The number present was about forty of whom at
least one-third were like myself new members. The ceremonies
were brief and simple. There was more of religion in the "work"
than I expected. I went into the room with Judge Dickinson.
The conductor I did not know. Generally those present were
men in humble life. Buckland, Colonel William E. Haynes,
and others whom I knew, were present.
Speaking of Garfield's work and troubles, a gentleman asked
me how they compared with mine. I replied I had four difficult
things to do:--
1. To restore constitutional and regular governments to the
Southern States, and as far as practicable, to put them in har-
monious and proper relations to the whole country and to all
classes of people.
2. To bring back prosperity by a return of a sound currency.
3. To improve the methods and system of the civil service.
4. To so do all this as to strengthen the Republican party
and restore it to power.
18 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
The last was essential. If at the end of my term the party
which was on the wrong side of the Southern question, the
financial question, and the civil service question should obtain
power, all that might be gained by me on those questions would
be lost. They already had Congress. With the solid South
they already had in the Electoral College eighteen more votes
than were required to elect a President. In measuring my suc-
cess on any or all of the first three points, it must be considered
that success on the last was substantial success on all of the
others, and failure on the last was inevitable failure on all the
May 14, 1881. -- My new library room is almost finished;
only a few shelves to be oiled. Webb and Rud, assisted by
Henry S. Dorr, are bringing from Birchard Library, where they
were stored, my books bought of Robert Clarke--the "Ameri-
cana," as he called the collection.
I am interested in the letters of John Adams written in his
old age, in 1818-19, in a volume entitled "Novanglus and Massa-
chusettensis." They are full of fire and enthusiasm. No young
man could be more terse and spirited. His admiration of James
Otis is unbounded, and seems to be well founded. He says of
the great speech of Otis against the Writs of Assistance that "it
breathed into this nation the breath of life," that then and there
"American Independence was born."
SPIEGEL GROVE, May 14, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL: -- I am sorry that in the confusion of my
matters here I put you to the trouble of sending a second appli-
cation. We are slowly getting into orderly life, but the tempta-
tion to be fussing in the garden and grounds these lovely days
draws us away from the indoor regulating and renovating, so
that we are still "in the suds." I never enjoyed so much this
As to the proceedings of the Congres des Americanistes, I
should have said confidently that they had come to hand, if you
had not said that others failed to receive them. My library room
CONKLING AND PLATT RESIGN 19
will be finished next week, and I shall then begin to unpack, and
expect to find the works.
GENERAL M. F. FORCE, R. B. HAYES.
May 18, 1881. -- Conkling and Platt, Senators from New
York, have both resigned. They expect, no doubt, to be reelected
as Republicans opposed to Garfield's Administration. It is a
wretched business. They make a strong point in claiming that
to remove Merritt is a violation of the President's principles
as laid down in his inaugural message, and of all sound princi-
ples on the subject.
The capital mistake is to attempt to build up an Administra-
tion or a party by the use of the offices as patronage. The
offices should be filled for the good of the service. Country first
and party afterwards.
FREMONT, OHIO, May 21, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--. . . It looks a little like "suicide."
I hope for this result. To settle the question of senatorial cour-
tesy is important. It is the first step towards clearing the way
for a reform of the service. This almost reconciles me to the
removal of Merritt.
Sincerely, R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL M. F. FORCE.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 1, 1881.
MY DEAR GENERAL:--Is it true you are editing the Evening
Post? I must see what you write. If true, Mrs. Hayes will not
forgive me if she loses anything you write. Please tell your
business manager to put my name on his list for the tri-weekly,
or semi-weekly, or whatever edition will contain your editorials,
and send me the bill.
We are busy and happy. Time passes swiftly and agreeably
getting ready to live in our country home.
20 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
All sorts of non-paying public trusts, of local significance
merely, are piling up on my hands. I look out of the loop-
holes, and see what I do see! and am content.
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL CARL SCHURZ,
June 6, 1881. -- Decoration Day was more generally observed
this year than usual. I spent the day with my old army friend, Gen-
eral Kennedy, at Bellefontaine. We drove to the highest point
in the State, a short distance east of Bellefontaine. The county
of Logan, east of Bellefontaine and south, is high, rolling, well
watered with living springs, and very beautiful.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 6, 1881.
MY DEAR ROGERS:--I send you a slip cut from the New
York Witness. I have seen the Witness frequently and have
supposed it to be a respectable and ably conducted religious
newspaper. Anything it says of public men on its own authority
is entitled to attention. I was greatly surprised to find
in it the article which I enclose to you. Of course, under
no circumstances, can I notice the Sun. Its libels hurt nobody.
You know that the article in every statement affecting me is,
not only untrue, but entirely without foundation. But I would
not authorize a denial directly or indirectly. To do so would
be to give the libeller what he wants, an advertisement. I have
never paid the slightest attention to the Sun and do not mean
to in this instance. But the Witness ought to make its own in-
dependent inquiries and on its own information deny the libel-
lous matter it has spread before its readers.
Please return me the article with such suggestions as may
occur to you.
R. B. HAYES.
PRIVATE CONVERSATION SACRED 21
The last paragraph looks as if the Witness was disposed to
endorse the libel. I hope not.
W. K. ROGERS.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 13, 1881.
MY DEAR K--:--I am very glad to get your two letters, and
also to see in the [Cincinnati] Gazette of last evening your cor-
rection of the very offensive and inaccurate report of my conver-
sations. The report did annoy me. But your prompt action puts
it before the public very well indeed, and I would not allow in-
terviewers or others to draw you out again. All publication of
private, and essentially confidential, conversations, is to be ab-
horred. No man remembers the connections--no man can
report them. I make it a rule never to be drawn into a repe-
tition of them for the press. I would clearly differ from your
recollection of one point of our conversation. You must be
mistaken. I never suspected Blaine of connection with the Star
Route frauds, nor his friends. I regarded the rumors to that
effect as a threat or a piece of strategy. The people I suspect
in that connection belong to the other wing of the party--the
ultra men like Dorsey, etc., etc. Again, -- but I need not
go on. You have placed the matter so well that I would not
add to the statement. Silence will soon drop the matter out of
When I saw the report, I thought of writing you, and of the
propriety of going into print, but on reflection I concluded that
on its face the report would be seen to be improbable and un-
natural, and would carry with it its own correction. In your
communication you have gone to the verge in reporting private
talk. It is done in a friendly spirit--is well done and I appre-
ciate it. But it is treading on questionable ground, and for your
sake let me urge you to reflect before getting into print further.
It is common in the confidence of private conversations to re-
peat what others have said in similar conversations. This is to
be avoided, but it does not leave sinister impressions of charac-
ter. But to print private conversations is another thing.
22 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
This matter will, I trust, not too much worry you. With me
it is all right now and our relations are, I hope, to remain always
of the friendliest character.
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL R. P. KENNEDY,
June 17, 1881.--Mr. Mefert, the brickmaker, came for his
bill. He is as happy in his successful career as any man in the
professions or other conspicuous walks of life. "I came here
twenty-seven years ago. I had just one dollar. It was soon
gone. I worked hard. In two years I earned one hundred dol-
lars over expenses. I then took a yard. I worked day and
night. But I did well. I made the brick for all the churches.
I can sell all I make--good brick for [good (?) ] prices." A
June 18, 1881.--I have had from my friend S. M. Shoemaker,
of Baltimore, a number of Jerseys. We call the herd "The Au-
gusta Herd" after Mrs. Shoemaker.
-FREMONT, OHIO, June 19, 1881.
PRESIDENT GARFIELD: -- It affords me pleasure to introduce to
you an estimable and patriotic citizen of Trenton, New Jersey,
Mr. S. Bayard Stafford. He belongs to the family of the famous
John Paul Jones and has many titles to consideration, among
the chief of which is that he desires nothing in connection with
the Government except that it may deserve and receive his loyal
R. B. HAYES.
June 20, 1881.--It is probable that no President ever had so
many of his writings published by his party as campaign docu-
ments as I have had. For example: Letter of Acceptance,
vetoes, letter (facsimile), on nomination for congress 1864.
ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD 23
FREMONT, OHIO. June 20, 1881.
DEAR SIR: -- I am in receipt of your note enclosing what pur-
ports to be utterances of mine touching your character and con-
duct in reference to which you inquire if the report "is a correct
or substantial representation of statements made or authorized"
by me. In reply I have to state that the whole paragraph in which
your name occurs is a fabrication, and that not one of the state-
ments contained in it referring to you was either made or author-
ized by me.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE J. G. BLAINE.
FREMONT, OHIO, June 20, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I am in receipt of your letter of the 17th
instant and can assure you unqualifiedly that if injustice was
done you in the removal I very much regret it, and also that I
sincerely wish you well, and shall be rejoiced to know of your
success in life. Your ability and industry are great, and you
ought, notwithstanding the misfortune of the past, to be prosper-
ous and happy in the future.
With best wishes and thanking you for your friendly expres-
sions, I remain,
R. B. HAYES.
July 3. Sunday, 7 A. M.--The dreadful tragedy at Wash-
ington has occupied our thoughts since yesterday morning. The
news this morning is encouraging.
The death of the President at this time would be a national
calamity whose consequences we can not now confidently con-
jecture. Arthur for President! Conkling the power behind the
throne, superior to the throne! The Republican party divided
and defeated. An Administration without the moral support
of any of the best elements of the country, struggling to maintain
24 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
itself and to perpetuate itself; with all of the worst features of
Tyler and Johnson, and without some of the redeeming features
of those unfortunate Administrations.
But the people are at last the government. If they are wise
and firm and virtuous, all will yet be well. If Arthur comes in,
he should have a fair trial. He should be encouraged to do
well by a warm and sympathetic support as far as he is right.
His letter of acceptance was creditable. But our hopes and
prayers are for Garfield. I sent our member of Congress, Dr.
Rice, last night at midnight the following: --
"We are intensely interested in your dispatches. We pray
to God that the President may yet be spared to his country and
FREMONT, OHIO, July 7, 1881.
MY DEAR WEBB:--I have your note. The draft was duly
honored of course. It now looks as if you were fairly embarked in
an enterprise which may be successful. As an officer of the com-
pany, you are now a trustee for others. Honesty, good intentions,
and industry, you will have of course. Without these your ca-
reer would soon end with a loss of your good name. But you
must be ambitious to be a good deal more. Protect the interest
of your employers by the greatest watchfulness and economy.
Inform yourself fully as to cost and value; let there be nothing
left half understood in bargains; beware of being hasty; keep
full and accurate accounts, accurate to a cent. If you make
mistakes, don't be afraid to face them. Conceal nothing; be
careful not to brag or talk too much--a common fault with all
beginners.--This is enough for the first lesson.
All well. Good luck to you.
R. B. HAYES.
WEBB C. HAYES,
FREMONT, OHIO, July 7, 1881.
MY DEAR SENATOR:--I notice that you expect to return to
Washington in case the assault on President Garfield turns out
ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD 25
to be fatal. It now seems likely that he will recover. If this is
happily the case, the Clyde affair [dedication of the McPherson
monument] will go off on the 22nd according to previous pro-
gramme, and Mrs. Hayes and I will expect to see you and Mrs.
Sherman at our house with Mary. If, however, the President
does not recover, it is likely that I ought to go to Washington
to attend the funeral ceremonies there. In that case I would
like to go with you to Washington, and in any event I would like
your opinion as to what it is proper for me to do. I now am
quite confident of a favorable issue. If so it will vastly increase
the President's power and popularity. Stalwartism, which is
synonymous with extreme, not to say, bitter and savage parti-
sanship, will lose power and thus this great calamity may turn
out well for the President and for the country.
With kindest regards to Mrs. Sherman and Mary from Mrs.
Hayes and myself.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN, R. B. HAYES.
FREMONT, July 8, 1881.
MY DEAR SIR:--I send you a report of our local meeting on
the Fourth. Garfield will now have a hold on the hearts of the
American people like that of Washington and Lincoln. He can
do any righteous and necessary work with an assured confidence
of the firm support of the people. The extreme and savage
partisanship, which "Stalwarts" have extolled as the cardinal
virtue of a public man, can now be abated. A true and genuine
reform of the civil service under Garfield is possible. I trust
he will see his great opportunity. If he does what he can do,
this great calamity will lead to the crowning glory of his life.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN HAY,
FREMONT, July 11, 1881.
MY DEAR COLONEL:--The President must see many things to
console and sustain him in his suffering. He is now loved and
26 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
revered by the people--by men and women in all sections of
the country--with an affection and reverence felt only for
Washington and Lincoln. The tragical event has softened par-
tisan and sectional animosities until we are as a people more
harmonious than ever before since the Revolution.
He has a power for good and wise measures and conduct such
as no other President ever had. Mrs. Garfield, Mother Garfield,
and his children are all embraced in the tender and supreme
affections of the American people. Is not this some compensa-
tion for the agony, distress, and suspense of these last ten long
and anxious days?
COLONEL H. C. CORBIN, R. B. HAYES.
[FREMONT, OHIO, July--, 1881.]
DEAR COLONEL.--We will be glad to see you as our guest
here 21st, 22nd and as long as convenient to you.
This letter is asking the President to send us a word of
greeting on the 22nd, if it is proper for him to do so in the opinion
of medical advisers. We shall greet him on that day with the
warmest of heartiness.
COLONEL H. C. CORBIN. R. B. HAYES.
FREMONT, OHIO, July 26, 1881.
MY DEAR MRS. GARFIELD: -- After another Saturday night and
Sunday of painful anxiety and suspense, Mrs. Hayes and I again
with warmest feeling of joy and gratitude congratulate you with all
our hearts that the danger is again passing away. On the day of
the great assemblage at the unveiling of the McPherson statue
at Clyde, every allusion to "our President" and yourself was
heard with feelings too intense for words to describe. You
have no doubt seen the action taken, which was sent by the press,
but I enclose you a newspaper cutting containing an account of
it. No words can give an adequate idea of the scene when, with
uplifted hands, with swimming eyes, and a unanimous "aye" for
the message to the President, the great multitude manifested
ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD 27
their interested and keen emotions in behalf of him and your-
self. We pray that our Heavenly Father will sustain you
throughout this dreadful trial, and bring to you and our country
the relief which the complete recovery of our President alone
With the warmest wishes and sympathy of Mrs. Hayes and
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. JAMES A. GARFIELD,
[July] 27. -- The affair of the 22d passed off well. The visits
of Herron and family and Force and family and of Sherman
and others, Colonel Rhodes and Captain Lybarger, were enjoy-
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, August 1, 1881.
MY DEAR MRS. AUSTIN:--We are expecting the committee of
ladies from Chicago with the curtains and volumes of autographs
this week. We do not know the number of the committee. Not
less than half a dozen, we conjecture, will come. We do not
know the day of their coming, perhaps Wednesday or Thursday.
Mrs. Hayes, away down in her soul, thinks she will fail with
her hospitalities--at any rate, with the etiquette thereof--if
she is not supported by you. Now, can't you come? You have
no work of philanthropy on hand, nothing in the humanitarian
way, of more merit than to relieve Mrs. Hayes. I send this as
a note of warning. Get your lamps trimmed, be ye ready, and
I will dispatch you day and hour, as soon as we learn them.
The grove is looking its best; various traps have been laid away,
duds have been cleaned, and altogether we are not as much in
the suds as we were.
Your coming will make us and our guests happy.
With best wishes, sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
MRS. LINUS AUSTIN,
28 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, August 2, 1881.
MY DEAR JUDGE:--I am very much gratified by the receipt
of your kind letter. I want, more than you perhaps have sup-
posed, that the friendship formed at Washington between us and
our respective families shall be kept up while we live. We are
not likely to visit the South this summer or fall. We would be
glad to do so, and would enjoy the trip, but our only trip out of
Ohio will probably be to New York and Boston in October. In
the meanwhile we are now ready to welcome our friends here.
We are near the lake -- fifteen miles distant; only an hour or
two from the resort at Put-in-Bay Island; only an hour from
Green Springs; near to Toledo and Cleveland; and an old-
fashioned place is our home where our friends seem to enjoy
themselves with plenty of room indoors and out. If you or
yours can come at any time, Mrs. Hayes and I can make it happy
for us, and we. believe for you.
Birchard is settled in Toledo as a lawyer in a firm with two
of Judge Swayne's sons. He spends almost every Sunday with
us. Webb is treasurer and secretary and a stockholder in a
manufacturing company, just moved to Cleveland from Con-
necticut. We see him at home often. Rutherford and the two
young folks are still at home. We are free and happy--never
more so than now.
I felt a peculiar interest and pain in the sufferings of the
President before and since his awful wound. I rejoice at the
prospect of his recovery. If he lives he will be able to do much
more by reason of this attempt on his life.
We will visit you some day. Our bad weather here is the
spring. March is often worse than any winter month. We
hope to escape South often at that season.
Mrs. Hayes joins me in warmest regards to yourself and Mrs.
Key and the young ladies. Now, one thing more: Let your family
all understand that to come North anywhere means coming to
Fremont, either coming or going.
With best wishes, sincerely,
HONORABLE D. M. KEY, R. B. HAYES.
ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD 29
SPIEGEL GROVE, FREMONT, OHIO, August 6, 1881.
MY DEAR MRS. SMITH:--You see the scrape you are in. It
is never safe to begin a correspondence. You can never stop it.
Our house is like Webster's at Marshfield. He said it was as
big as a barn. So, let your committee [of presentation of the
Illinois women's memorial volumes, etc.] come at any time--
in great or small numbers. We can bed and eat them until the
formalities are gone through with. But I am rather glad the
thing can't be done now. It would make a row in the news-
papers, and I don't like to make a flame while our President is
still lying helpless and suffering. So let it be postponed. I
mean let the formal exploiting of it wait a while. But for your
private ear, we would like to have the articles sent to us by ex-
press quietly as soon as may be. Unfortunately our best room
(37 by 27) is waiting for carpet, furniture, etc., etc., because
a lady of taste told us we ought to first see your curtain[s] in
order to match it, that the harmonies of the spheres might not be
turned into discord. All of which you know about better than
I do. Now, if without trouble or uproar, you can manage to
send along curtain[s], books, etc., etc., why we can go on with our
Finally, you and your lord can just drop in on us and stay for
a good visit about the time of their arrival and talk it all over,
"which is what I rose to explain."
With the love of us and ours to you and yours,
R. B. HAYES.
P. S. -- Mrs. Hayes (cautious woman!) says don't let our di-
lemma be talked of out of your own precincts. -- H.
MRS. EMMA R. SMITH,
Lake Forest, Illinois.
August 12, 1881. -- Returning in a buggy I saw a young wo-
man, slender and cleanly dressed, with a large basket going in
the dust and heat my way. I asked her to ride. She was
walking out to her sick husband five miles in the country.
30 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Name Heinelein, at Louis ---'s, in Jackson. I took her
in and carried her to her destination, a long and dusty
ride, but I was rewarded by her and his genuine grati-
tude. She said: "We are poor, but I can pray for you,
and I will pray for you every day." They were Catho-
lics, evidently devout and sincere.
Thermometer on porch 96 degree at 1 P. M., 97 at 2 P. M. I
do not recollect ever seeing it so hot as this before by the ther-
mometer on our verandah.
FREMONT, OHIO, August 13, 1881.
MY DEAR GUY: -- Returning after a short absence I found
here your letter of the 4th instant. You are now again so near to
us that it would be a great satisfaction if you could make us
a good long visit. We are enough settled to make it agreeable
for you and yours. We want the young people also if possible.
Our friend George W. Jones has met with a sore affliction in
the loss of his noble boy George W. jr. He was one of a thou-
sand. A finer nature and character I have never known.
I wrote to the President about the post-office, and received
such a reply that I had some hope that it might not be too late to
correct the mistake. But his condition has of course prevented
further correspondence. He wrote me that it was done on the
report of a special agent; regretted it; found it had gone too far
to change, etc.
The defeat of the machine in New York is an event of im-
portance. There are however other machines. The system is
shocked but not overthrown. If Garfield recovers, I have great
hope that he will push the reform of the civil service. He has
an opportunity to do more in the direction of wise and necessary
changes than any of his predecessors. On the Southern question,
I am confident of his course. He will be conservative, moderate,
and liberal. On the other question I have great hope.
R. B. HAYES.
P. S.--I wonder if it is remembered in "old Botetourt" that
the whole of the old Northwest Territory was once in Botetourt
POLITICS AND TEMPERANCE REFORM 31
County, Virginia. Where I now live was once in Botetourt
HONORABLE G. M. BRYAN,
Botetourt Springs, Virginia.
August 23.--Chaplain Collier (George W.) of the army
came last night, remained with us and will leave this morning.
He is distressed with the condition of the [Ohio Republican]
canvass. Fears Foster [candidate for governor] will be beaten
by the Prohibition movement. Certainly, the movement is ill
judged. It seems to be the work chiefly of Methodist ministers
and will seriously injure the Methodist Church, the Republican
party, and the cause of temperance which it seeks to promote.
August 24.--General Mitchell and Laura with Fanny, Jennie
Andrews, and John came last night late. The gas in the lamp-
post north of the house was lit the first time in their honor. We
anticipate much pleasure in their visit.
[August] 25. -- Political ambition and party spirit are not the
forces which will promote any moral reform in individual char-
acter and life. Education, example, religion, which reach the
judgment and the conscience,--that which convinces and per-
suades, -- these are the true agencies which can be most suc-
cessfully employed to promote the temperance reform.
The Rev. Mrs. Anna Oliver should be informed that her ex-
cellent sermon on "Lessons from the Life of Lucy Webb Hayes"
contains an error of fact which ought not to be repeated. The
story that Mrs. Hayes prevented a card party at the White House
between members of the Cabinet and President Hayes is without
foundation. No such occurrence took place. It is true there
was no card playing at the White House by Cabinet officers or
others with the President or Mrs. Hayes as neither of them play
cards. But the anecdote in question was a pure invention, told
by a correspondent as a joke and inadvertently copied into a vol-
ume entitled "The Women of the White House" without due
examination as to its truth.
32 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
I am firmly convinced that one of the obstacles to the tem-
perance reform has been the effort to enlist in its behalf political
ambition and party spirit to the neglect of other means of advanc-
ing the cause. If the same thing was done with religion or edu-
cation, I suspect that it would soon be found that a serious in-
jury was done.
August 27, 1881.--The President is losing ground. The doc-
tors report that he is weaker this morning than yesterday.
General Drum says there is hardly any hope. Eight weeks ago
this morning he was shot. How he has suffered and how the
whole country has suffered during these long and anxious weeks!
Our mocking-bird, a fine singer, died last night. We had him
at Columbus in 1876, took him to Washington where he sang
in the White House during our four years there, and returned
with us in March and sang his best in rivalry with the uncaged
songsters of Spiegel Grove. His death is unimportant of course,
but one feels a foolish presentiment that the death of the bird
presages that of President Garfield. It is a time of universal
anxiety and gloom.
Lucy and her friends the Carlisles, with Ellie McKell, went
to Cleveland yesterday. Laura and I have in Lucy's absence
changed the clock from the hall to the staircase, and various
pictures, besides hanging a great many.
There is a good deal of discussion about the attitude of Meth-
odist ministers towards the Temperance party. That party is
especially hostile to the Republican party. It seeks to defeat it
at the hazard of giving the victory to the Democratic party. It
prefers the Democratic party. It makes bitter war on the Re-
This appears to me to do great harm not merely to the Repub-
lican party but to the cause of temperance and also to the Meth-
odist Episcopal Church. Republicans will not support a church
which makes war on their party. Effort wasted on party or-
ganization is taken away from temperance work. Party organ-
izations do not promote temperance or religion. A friend of the
Presbyterian Church, wishing to promote its interests, if he is a
wise man would as soon think of organizing a Presbyterian army
POLITICS AND TEMPERANCE REFORM 33
as a Presbyterian political party for the purpose of bringing in
members to his church. To invoke the spirit of party and to
adopt the methods of practical politics in behalf of religion or
temperance tends to increase and spread the evils of intemper-
ance and to weaken and destroy the power and influence of re-
August 28, 1881.--Lucy is today fifty years old. She re-
turned from Cleveland last night. . . . Lucy enters on her
second half century in good health. We are satisfied with the
roominess and convenience, not to say beauty, of our new home.
Our children are healthy and promising, Birch, a lawyer in To-
ledo, Webb is a manufacturer of house-building hardware in
Cleveland. Rud will spend one year in a scientific school.
Fanny, almost fourteen (September 2), and Scott, ten, will go
to school here.
It is impossible to keep my thoughts from the President. He
is very low. No doubt he is a great sufferer. We are anxiously
Conkling has been in conference with Arthur. The less
Arthur has to do with Conkling the better for his Administra-
tion, if he is called to form one. He should have fair treatment.
He will come in, if at all, under embarrassing and difficult cir-
cumstances. We must give him a fair trial--a fair hearing.
Mr. Riggs, the wealthy banker of Washington, a useful finan-
cial member of the Board of Peabody Trustees, died at Wash-
ington last week.
FREMONT, OHIO, August 28, 1881.
MAJOR D. C. SWAIN,
Washington, D. C.
Your dispatch gives Mrs. Hayes and myself greatest relief
and joy. Our heartiest congratulations to Mrs. Garfield.
R. B. H.
34 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
August 30, 1881.--Dr. Hamilton's [expression], "We are
afloat and off the breakers," is likely to turn out a truthful an-
nouncement of the blessed tidings that the President has passed
the crisis. My only hope last week was a blind confidence in my
hopeful presentiment that he would pull through
FREMONT, OHIO, September 5, 1881.
DEAR SIR:--I have your note of the second as to writing an
article, or letter, for Scribner on civil service reform. I am glad
to know that you intend to keep the subject before the public,
and that your purpose is to persevere to the end.. There is no
doubt an increased and increasing public interest in the question.
But machine politics is deeply rooted in our political system. It
stands in the mind of the average party worker in all parties
on the maxim that "the laborer is worthy of his hire." He
thinks that the offices and honors should go to those "who have
borne the burden and heat of the day." This is plausible and
the system which has grown up on it still stands strong. But
it can and will be overthrown. We must not divide on meas-
ures. Any one of the proposed measures is better than nothing.
I would say these are the chief points:--
I. Divorce the appointing power from the control and in-
fluence of Members of Congress.
2. Let all minor appointments be determined by competitive
examinations, and let their tenure be [during] good behavior.
3. Let no partisan services or contributions be required or
expected from office-holders.
To secure needed legislation and to give the Executive inde-
pendence and strength, the absolute and entire separation of
Senators and Representatives from the exercise of the power of
appointment is the essential feature of any wise plan of reform.
With this established the rest will follow.
My engagements will not at this time permit me to prepare an
article for your magazine. Indeed, I think it better that others
should push the discussion. To write now, I must merely repeat
DEATH OF GARFIELD 35
what I have said often during the last ten years in speeches and
messages. What I would say would be stale repetition. But let
no man be discouraged. There has been great progress. We
can now get a hearing. The public will listen. The discussion
ought to be resolutely and perseveringly pushed.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES.]
MR. R. U. JOHNSON,
September 10, 1881. -- Last evening Lucy and I returned from
a very enjoyable visit at Lakeside. The annual reunion of the
Twenty-third was held there for three days, 7th, 8th, and 9th.
About forty of the veterans -- Ellen, Henry, Killam, Kimberley;
one from Omaha (Parmelee); one from Kansas, etc., etc. There
were eighteen ladies and perhaps half a dozen children. It was
a friendly family gathering, without orator, poet, or committee.
I made the acquaintance of the leading Lakeside people.--
All very cordial. Mrs. Baldridge refused to accept pay from
Mrs. Hayes and I [me].
I talked up with Major James and Mr. Clements and others
the importance to the peninsula of a railroad towards Columbus,
to connect at Upper Sandusky with the railroads of central and
southern Ohio. They are very sensible of its importance. . . .
September 14, 1881.--The anniversary of South Mountain.
It happens that the old coat which I wore when wounded was
brought out of its antimoth box today.
Parties are necessary, or inevitable, in free governments. But
the excesses of party ---! As Mr. Bayard said in his speech on
the electoral commission bill, "The dangerous excess of party feel-
ing is the cause of the troubles that afflict our country today."
September 19, 1881. -- All day thinking of Garfield, [and] of
the battle of Opequon (Winchester) seventeen years ago, and
how I got over the slough -- alive!
Now, almost 11 P. M., the telegraph operator telephones to
me: "We have a report from Cleveland that Garfield died at
36 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
10:30 Washington time." I replied, "I can [can't(?)] believe
it." I do doubt it, but I fear, I dread it. "Assassination does
not change history." The march of events will go on, but it is
a personal grief.
FREMONT, OHIO, September 20, 1881.
HONORABLE WAYNE MACVEAGH,
Long Branch, New Jersey.
I have just heard with deepest sorrow that President Garfield
is dead. He was the best loved man in the United States. What-
ever the people can do to show their affection for him, and their
sympathy with Mrs. Garfield and his mother and children, they
will do promptly and with all their hearts.
R. B. HAYES.
WASHINGTON, September 22, 1881.
MY DARLING:--I reached here at eleven last night after a
pleasant journey. Came to Senator [Sherman's] house. Lieu-
tenant Baker, his nephew, and wife occupy it.
It now seems that none of the Cabinet except MacVeagh will
go to Ohio. We start at 6 P. M. tomorrow evening. I hope
you will go to Cleveland at once. If you can meet us before we
reach Cleveland, it may be well to do so. Or, if you can go out
to see Mother Garfield, and be with her when the funeral escort
meet her, that would seem well. All this I leave to your prefer-
ence and judgment. Only be sure to be at Cleveland Saturday,
before we get there.
I shall call today on a number of our friends. I met on the
train McCook, Washburn, of Minnesota, Davis, of Chicago,
Bayard, and others. McKinley could not come on account of
his wife's sickness.
DEATH OF GARFIELD 37
September 28, 1881. -- Absent ten days attending the obsequies
of President Garfield at Washington and Cleveland. Lucy went
only to Cleveland. Nothing could exceed the universality and
depth of feeling shown by all sorts of people. It is a most un-
natural crime. Mrs. Garfield is calm and quiet. General Banks
says what frightens the world is, that it is an attempt to ad-
minister government by assassination. The uprising is a protest
September 29, 1881.--I sent to one of the host of my cor-
respondents, Mr. Frank Edgerly, Concord, New Hampshire (a
person unknown to me), the following:--
"The important lesson of this most pathetic tragedy, as I see
it, is the folly and wickedness of the extreme and bitter parti-
sanship which prevails in our country."
What has it not done? Forgery, perjury, violence, and fraud
in elections, and now assassination. Last fall we had libels,
forgeries, perjuries, and frauds. Now we have ---!
FREMONT, October 1, 1881.
DEAR SIR:--The question is asked, What are the lessons of
the mournful tragedy whose pathetic circumstances and scenes
now attract the attention of all civilized nations?
One of its lessons, perhaps its most important lesson, is the
folly, the wickedness, and the danger of the extreme and bitter
partisanship which so largely prevails in our country. This parti-
san bitterness is greatly aggravated by that system of appointments
and removals which deals with public offices as the rewards for
services rendered to political parties or to party leaders. Hence
crowds of importunate place-hunters of whose dregs Guiteau
is the type. The required reform will be accomplished whenever
the people imperatively demand it, not only of their Executive,
but also of their legislative officers. With it, the class to which
the assassin belongs will lose their occupation, and the tempta-
tion to try "to administer government by assassination" will be
EMILE KAHN, R. B. HAYES.
EDITOR, Fair Journal of the Jewish Orphan Asylum.
38 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, NEW YORK, October 6, 1881.
MY DEAR WEBB:--We are having a good time. Our list of
callers was never larger. Invitations are constantly coming. If
you do not see our names in the French reception, it is because we
simply can't be in different places at the same time. The conven-
tion people, of our side, have been very cordial. Miller, Hiscock,
Roberts, McCook, and a steady stream of the plain people who
were delegates made yesterday afternoon like a New Year's re-
ception at the White House.
The picture [for the Harvard Law School] is begun. I had the
first standing yesterday morning. It is to be large -- heroic size,
not unlike the Brown picture in that respect. Chase is a slight
young fellow from Indiana, who is now almost the rage. He
has just finished a good picture of Choate, another of Peter
Cooper, and one of Colonel James Watson Webb. They are all
good as likenesses -- somewhat of the coarse and hasty in work.
The studio is a great curiosity-shop. Seven years spent in Europe
gave him an opportunity to collect relics and curiosities, and he
worked like a beaver -- as you or Crump would have done. His
rooms, three or four in number, are crowded with the greatest
variety. Books, dogs, birds, skins, old cabinets and furniture,
Aztecs, etc., etc., etc., in quantity beyond rivalry. He will take
at least ten days more. His first sketch was done in forty min-
utes -- a standing figure -- left hand hanging freely at the side,
and the right raised as if talking, not unlike the photograph in
the White Room.
We go today with the [Peabody] trustees up to Governor
Fish's home, opposite West Point. The ladies are more numer-
ous and interesting than usual. Dr. Curry's report and work
are excellent. Mrs. Curry is charming. General Grant looked
well and turned down his glasses at our trustee dinner last eve-
Rogers is here, apparently well employed.
PORTRAIT BY CHASE 39
Lucy will probably give two or three days to Governor Claflin
and New Haven.
Altogether we are having one of our best visits to New York.
R. B. HAYES.
WEBB C. HAYES,
Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, October 7, 1881.--Mrs.
Hayes and I left home Monday morning, and reached here about
11 A. M., Tuesday, 4th. The railroad war had put down fares to
New York to four dollars. The traveller bought a ticket for
thirteen dollars, but received a paper which authorized him within
one hour after arrival to receive from the railroad nine dollars.
This was to prevent travellers to intermediate points from using
New York tickets.
The objects of our coming were to attend the Peabody Edu-
cation meeting and to have a portrait painted by Chase, with
some pecuniary transactions to fill up the time.
We were cordially greeted by Mr. Hitchcock, the proprietor of
the hotel, who said we were as welcome as ever and on the old
terms! Soon callers began, and ever since our card basket has
been well filled. Captain Eads sent Mrs. Hayes elegant flowers,
and did not forget a London present for me.
On the 5th the board met--Mr. Winthrop in the chair. Dr.
Curry's report was full and excellent in matter and style.
The 6th we lunched with Governor Fish at his home opposite
to West Point, a lovely spot, and in the midst of historical scenes,
famous and interesting.
I visited Chase. His work seems coarse but good. Also
Huntington whose work is better, according to my taste, than
The New York convention was a triumph of those who op-
posed Conkling. I received a host of calls from its members.
The president (Miller), Mr. Hiscock, McCook, Rogers, Merritt,
Dwight, half a dozen leaders only called; but the plain people--
40 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
the country members--were warm and cordial. They called in
great numbers. Mr. Alley, formerly Member of Congress from
Lynn, Massachusetts, just called. He spoke in strong terms of
my Administration, and pronounced it "most successful." Among
other things he said: "Mr. Sumner I knew intimately twenty-
five years. He was more free from envy of other men's honors,
success, and achievements than any man I ever knew.
"Charles Francis Adams told me that his father, John Quincy
Adams, said, 'The four most miserable years of my life were my
four years in the Presidency.'"
FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, NEW YORK, October 7, 1881.
MY DEAR FANNY:--We are having a good time. Yesterday
we went with the Peabody trustees up the Hudson and lunched
at Governor Fish's, opposite to West Point. The day was
bright and cool, and the attractive scenery and beautiful homes
on the Hudson were never more beautiful. Governor Fish lives
on a fine elevation that overlooks the Hudson and is in the midst
of the scenes of the Revolution of most romantic interest. On
his place is [the] house still standing, and occupied by Gover-
nor Fish's son-in-law, where Arnold plotted his treason. Near-
by is Washington's headquarters, and the country and river trav-
ersed by Andre. A short distance below is the region made
famous and inspiring by the writings and residence of Washing-
We meet a host of old friends at the hotel and elsewhere, and
your mother is enjoying meeting them as you know she would.
We hope you and Scott are happy in school and with your
studies. We met Rutherford here. He remained only a few
hours and returned to the Polytechnic Institute at Boston, with
which he seems to be well pleased.
Much love to you and Scott. With kind remembrance to Adda,
Mary, and the whole household.
Sincerely and lovingly,
R. B. HAYES.
FANNY RUTHERFORD HAYES,
PORTRAIT BY CHASE 41
October 8, 1881. -- Major Burt, of [the] custom house, called
and after a half hour's very agreeable conversation, rode with
me down [the] Sixth Avenue elevated railroad to Eighth Street.
Thence I went to the studio of Mr. Chase. He is the representa-
tive of the new school of painters. They study in Europe; gather
new ideas, adopt new methods, and are in competition with the
old favorites. Am I right in supposing that the new school are
less cultured in tone and finish? They seem to rely on that which
strikes, etc., etc. Mr. Chase puts me standing; a corpulent fig-
ure, head one side; not I suspect either graceful or commanding.
The most I look for is a recognizable portrait. Not one so satis-
factory as Mr. Brown's which is at home.
FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, NEW YORK, October 8, 1882.
MY DEAR GUY:--I came here last Tuesday to meet with the
members of the board of trustees of the Peabody Education
Fund. Your letter from Hollis Academy reached me in due
time. I need hardly assure you that if I have an opportunity to
aid you by suggestions to persons likely to buy Texas lands I
will be glad to do it. You must know that I am somewhat in
the same situation with yourself. I know what it is by disagree-
able experience to be "land poor." With considerable property,
almost all of it unproductive real estate, I find it hard to raise
enough money for current expenses. To sell at fair rates is my
wish. When the mania for railroad enterprises and securities
which here prevails has run its course, I hope there will be more
capitalists inquiring for real estate, both in your State and mine.
At the East real estate is now salable. In my neighborhood there
are some favorable signs.
Mrs Hayes is with me. We expect to remain here a week
longer. Birch is settled in Toledo, Webb in Cleveland, and
Rutherford is attending the Polytechnic Institute in Boston. The
little folks at school in Fremont.
As ever, truly yours,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE GUY M. BRYAN,
42 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
October 9. -- Rev. Leonard W. Bacon, of Norwich, Connecti-
cut, called on me with a letter of introduction from Chief Justice
Waite, to lay before me a project in which he wished me to take
an interest. One of his parishioners, Mr. Slater, a man of large
wealth, wishes to found a charity with an endowment by him
amounting to a million of dollars. His ideas were generally on
the model of the Peabody Educational Trust. He wishes to
educate young men to teach the colored people of the South.
The education is not to be denominational except that [it] is to
be Protestant. The board of trustees will, it is thought, be nine
in number, of whom I am requested to be one. Others named
are President Gilman, Mr. William E. Dodge, President Wool-
sey, Rev. Mr. Bacon, Chief Justice Waite, Justice Strong,
Governor [Colquitt] of Georgia, Rev. Phillips Brooks. The ex-
penses of [the] trustees are to be paid as in the case of the
Peabody trustees. No buildings to be erected. Existing institu-
tions to be used for educating the young men. A general agent
to superintend and see to the execution of the trust. Not less
than two persons of financial experience and skill to be trustees.
One lawyer, at least. To send scholars to be trained for teachers
of the colored people, either,
(1) Wholly supported by the Slater Fund, or,
(2) To be supported in part by the Slater Fund.
The name of the corporation or institution, The Slater Educa-
tion(al) Fund, or what?
For young men only, or for all young persons of both sexes,
white as well as black, who will engage in the education of
colored pupils? The latter, I have no doubt.
Today Lucy and I [attended service at] the Brick Church of
L. D. Bevan; heard a good sermon, and Lucy partook of the
sacrament. At the Twenty-third Street station of Sixth Avenue,
the ticket agent knew me, and we exchanged greetings. At
the Brick Church the usher evidently knew me, and requested
to show me to Governor Morgan's pew. We were a moment
late and I preferred a seat in the rear of the church. When we
came out it was raining, but a hackman was ready and we road
to [the] Fifth Avenue [Hotel] for two dollars.
CREATION OF SLATER FUND 43
NEW YORK, October 9 (Sunday), 1881.
MY DARLING DAUGHTER: -- The gentlemen and ladies of the
Peabody Trust will "dissolve" tomorrow morning, and go to
their homes. Your mother is in doubt as to her visit to Gover-
nor Claflin at Newtonville near Boston, and to President Porter's
family at New Haven. My impression is that she will make the
visits, and at any rate that probably Saturday evening next we
shall be seen coming into "our own premises" at Spiegel Grove.
Your mother has been made happy by having Mrs. Ferris
with her to aid in shopping and sightseeing, and also by Miss
Russell, one of the New York ladies who visited us at the White
House last winter. But your mother is not fond of a great city.
It is bewildering and the contrasts of condition between the pros-
perous and the unfortunate are painful to her.
The hotel life, for a short time, is very agreeable. We meet
very many pleasant acquaintances. The number of Ohio people
at this hotel is large--particularly so from Toledo.
At this moment, before breakfast, Adda's good letter was
handed into the room and we read with great satisfaction that
you are all well and happy. Good news coming with the sun
just breaking through the clouds, after a rainy and threatening
morning, will prepare us for a cheerful breakfast.
I hope Birchard and Webb are with you today, and that
Spiegel Grove has not been much hurt by the frost. Here the
change was great and bitter. Up at Governor's Fish's lovely
place, the more tender plants were all cut down.
With love to Scott and Adda and with thanks.
Sincerely and affectionately,
R. B. HAYES.
MISS FANNY R. HAYES,
October 10, 1881.--Last evening I visited Charles L. Mead
in his home in a flat (Fifty-fourth Street)--a comfortable home
-cheap, quiet, and sufficient. Mrs. Mead is a fine-looking, sen-
sible, matronly woman of sterling merits. Kitty, about fourteen,
is growing tall; Lark, a stout Hayes-looking boy -- that is, sandy-
44 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
haired and complexioned--and the little one, dark-eyed and
handsome. A happy family. Our route on [the] Fourth
Avenue street cars led for several blocks underground in the old
track of the Hudson River Railroad. Surely, if that is a speci-
men of underground railroads, they are capable of good things;
they would relieve vastly the communications of large cities.
This afternoon Lucy has gone to Orange, New Jersey, with
her old friend Emma Foote Glenn, to be gone until ten or eleven
tonight. I took the occasion to call on Dr. Holcombe, No. 54
Twenty-fifth Street. As I walked along Fifth Avenue, I met
a well-enough-looking young man who accosted me, "I am very
glad to see you. I can't call you by name. I am ---, of
Bailey and Company, jewellers, Philadelphia." I told him I was
General Hayes. We separated. Soon after, near the corner of
Madison Avenue and Twenty-fifth Street, I noticed another
well-dressed young fellow following me. I turned and he ac-
costed me with, "How are you, General Hayes? You don't re-
member me. I am son of one of Mayor Bishop's sons in Cin-
cinnati, where I have seen you often, and knew you better than
you knew me." We parted and I went to call on Doctor Hol-
combe. I stayed perhaps ten minutes. I took my way towards
the Fifth Avenue Hotel, when I met Mr. Bishop (?) again, all
smiles. "Glad to see you again, I have got such good news. I
have just heard that I have drawn a prize in a lottery. Con-
gratulate me on my good fortune." I saw at once the whole
thing. Before I could reply, he said, "Come, go with me to the
office and see how much the prize is." I began to laugh and
said, "No, no, you will excuse me," and went off laughing;
young Bishop (?) striding away rapidly.
October 11, 1881.--Lucy left for Boston this morning with
Charley Mead on the New Haven and Hartford Railroad at
11 A. M. I stood for my picture in Mr. Chase's studio about
forty-five minutes. After Lucy left I called on Mrs. Chief Justice
Waite; had a pleasant chat. I then went to the Fine Arts Mu-
seum in Central Park. Its pictures and statuary are goodish,
no doubt, but its feature is the collection of Phoenician, Cyp-
rian, and other Cesnola antiques. The obelisk is taller and larger
WILLIAM M. CHASE'S STUDIO 45
than I supposed. It is about three thousand years old. In the
afternoon I left the Evening Post with General Schurz and rode
to the end of the Sixth Avenue elevated railroad. This gives
one the best possible view of the growth of the city.
FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL, NEW YORK, October 11, 1881.
MY DARLING FANNY:--Your Mother will go this forenoon
to Boston to make her long talked of visit to Mrs. Governor
Claflin. We have written to Rutherford to meet your mother
at the depot.
Last evening she went out to Orange, New Jersey, with Emma
Foote Glenn, our old Cincinnati friend, and had a delightful
visit with some of Emma's relatives in that beautiful suburban
On her return, about eleven o'clock, the whole city was lighted
by the burning of the large car stables a few squares from here.
Your mother, you know, is always greatly interested in the ex-
citement and scenes of fires, and wanted me to go with her to
this one, but I was in bed, the night was sharp, and I persuaded
her to be content with seeing it from an upper window of the
The portrait painter, Mr. William Merritt Chase, has two or
three rooms -- large rooms -- as his studio, filled with curious
things of the greatest variety. He has a large, slender grey-
hound, black in color, of a beauty and grace that will attract
one in spite of himself. Also two macaws, one blue in its gen-
eral color, with golden yellow under its wings, and long tail,
and with green about its neck and head. The other is in general
red, with other brilliant colors on the under side of wings and
tail. They are constantly moving and use their strong crooked
beaks almost as much as they do their claws in hanging on to
their perch and in climbing. The rooms are filled with antique
furniture, skins, robes, curtains, carved-wood articles, and pic-
tures. While he is painting I amuse myself with examining his
curiosities and watching the work of his pupils. He has three
pupils--one lady and two gentlemen. They copy pictures or
46 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
articles that are scattered about the room. The young lady
seems to be well advanced. She works rapidly and skilfully.
I still think your mother will be back in time to reach home
Saturday night, but I am not so confident of it as I was when
I wrote you last.
With love to Scott and Adda.
Affectionately, your father,
R. B. H.
FANNY R. HAYES,
October 12, 1881. -- The news from Ohio this morning indi-
cates the election--the reelection -- of Governor Foster by a
handsome majority, and that the vote for the so-called Temper-
ance ticket is not large. I trust this is all so. The lesson needed
is that temperance is not--in Ohio at least -- to be promoted
either by legislation or by the organization of temperance par-
ties. Its true methods are education, example, argument, and
friendly and sympathetic persuasion. Legislation and political
parties in the interest of temperance all aim at the liquor seller.
They do not reach his customers. If he is a criminal, what is the
man who tempts him? If there are no customers there will be
no sellers. Party spirit and party methods are not the agencies
for moral reforms.
Moral reforms are advanced by example, by education, by re-
ligion. Force is not to be resorted to in such cases. Law is
force. When public sentiment pronounces any business or occu-
pation a nuisance, it will seek a way to put it down but not be-
fore. The field for temperance work is a wide one. But it is
not the political caucus or the criminal court. The time and zeal
and labor and money wasted in political efforts by sincere but
mistaken temperance men and women would, if devoted to bet-
ter methods--to religious and educational methods, and to per-
suasion and example -- have carried the reform forward to points
which it now seems not likely to reach in many years.
The political field is not the field in which effective work can
be done for temperance. The only laws which apply to the sub-
TRUE METHODS OF TEMPERANCE REFORM 47
ject are laws to prevent nuisances. When the liquor business be-
comes a nuisance, it is not a question for temperance people
merely, but all citizens become interested in removing the nui-
sance. The legislation required in such cases is not temperance
legislation--not legislation in the interest of temperance re-
form merely, but legislation in the interest of good order, for
the suppression of crime and violence, and such legislation may
well be left to the sense of duty and self-interest of the com-
munity at large. The work of the temperance reformer is with
individuals. Its methods are religion, education, example, argu-
ment, and persuasion.
Dr. William Frederick Holcombe, an occulist, descendant of
George Hayes, [of] Granby, called and gave me many interest-
ing facts about the Hayes and Holcombe family. He is a gene-
alogist and is getting up a family book. He says the old George
Hayes [home], more than one hundred and fifty years old, still
stands--a fairly good house for the period.
NEW YORK, October 12, 1881.
MY DEAR WEBB:--I am glad that Foster has a handsome
majority, and that the Prohibition ticket seems to have had a
slender support. The latter is a good result on many accounts.
No moral question gains by adopting the methods or spirit of
party. Temperance is a question for the individual. With each
citizen sound in principle and practice, there would be no demand
for legislation. On the other hand, as long as the citizens in
opinion and practice regard liquor making and selling as legiti-
mate business, no law against it will avail. The true methods
for advancing the temperance reform are to use religious and
moral agencies--education, example, argument, and persuasion.
The small fragment of Ohio friends of temperance who rush
into political movements do harm to both religion and temperance.
I am glad to believe that our new preacher is not tainted with
fanaticism on the subject.
Your mother has gone to Boston. She will return, I think,
Friday. We may go home Saturday, but I think not until next
48 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
week. I am getting on nicely. Carl [Schurz] is well and happy.
Speaks cordially of you and Fanny.
With love to Mr. and Mrs. Austin.
WEBB C. HAYES, H.
October 13, 1881.--I am now regularly attending upon Mr.
Chase at his studio, 51 West Tenth Street, from 9 to 10 in the
morning and from 2 to 3 P. M. He is, I suspect, getting a very
truthful likeness. I would like it better if [it] was not so gray,
not so cramped about the eyes, and not quite so corpulent.
But is not this quarrelling with nature?
October 20, 1881. -- We returned after an absence since Oc-
tober 3. Our trip to New York was first to attend the meetings of
the Peabody trustees and second to give to Mr. William Mer-
ritt Chase an opportunity to paint the portrait for Harvard Me-
October 23, 1881.--I am still honored with the hatred and
persistent attacks of the New York Sun, the Philadelphia Times,
H. J. Ramsdell, and a small number of followers in various parts
of the country. A few are Democrats. More of them are ma-
lignant Stalwarts. Their course proves that a good deal was done
during my Administration which was worthy of admiration. I
am at a loss to say what act gives me most claim on their atten-
tion. With some it is temperance at the White House, with
some it is fair and wise dealing with the South, and with more
it is my blows at the patronage of the bosses. Mr. Lincoln is re-
ported to have said of certain assaults on himself, "It seems to
be a comfort to them and doesn't hurt me."
October 25, 1881. -- It is stated that "a friend of Mr. Tyner"
says that he made a report of the Star Route frauds to
Judge Key; that Judge Key did nothing about it because "it
would hurt the party"; that President Hayes' attention was called
to it also. Why he didn't act is not known.
STAR ROUTE FRAUDS 49
So far as I am concerned this is not true. Neither Tyner nor
Key ever hinted anything against the efficiency or the integrity
of Brady. On the contrary, both sustained him in their conver-
sations with me. The only attacks made on him which reached
me were from Members of Congress. Congress was at the time
engaged in an investigation of the charges against him with
ample powers and means to make it thorough, and it seemed to
me that the disposition was to go to the bottom of the matter.
FREMONT, OHIO, October 26, 1881.
MY DEAR S--:--I am glad you are still watchful of my repu-
tation. No doubt there is a disposition in some quarters to
throw mud. Precisely what attention, if any, I should give to
these attempts is perhaps a question. Remembering the maxim
of the French, "He who excuses accuses himself," my habit is
to let these things pass. When authentic and responsible state-
ments are made, it will no doubt appear that Key and Tyner
both assured me of the perfect integrity of Brady and his ad-
ministration, and that nothing to the contrary appeared before
me until Congress took it up with far ampler powers and means
for investigation than I had. That then I took steps immedi-
ately to put a stop to all further practices of the sort complained
of. But as it now stands, I am clear that nothing should come
either directly or indirectly from me on the subject. "One of
Tyner's friends" is not a person I can dispute with personally
or through friends.
If you, after further reflection, think otherwise, I rely on your
friendship to keep me informed and not to act until you hear
from me and consult me. One thing you may be sure of, I was
not a party to covering up anything.
Brady and his set of Stalwarts were always my enemies, as
With thanks. Sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH,
50 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
October 27.--Vice-President Wheeler came to Fremont and
was the guest of his old friend Mr. F. S. White. We gave him
a dinner yesterday which was very enjoyable and in all respects
successful. Plain but good. (1) Tomato soup, (2) whitefish,
(3) oysters on toast, (4) roast beef, chickens, and vegetables
with coffee, (5) blanc-mange by Adda Cook--excellent, (6)
fruit, (7) cigars--and a chat for an hour and a half.--Mr.
Wheeler is in fair health. A noble, honest, patriotic man!
Guests: Wheeler, Buckland, Rev. Drs. Mather and Bushnell,
White, Drs. Stilwell, Wilson, and Rice (our Member of Con-
gress), Moore (John P.), Colonel Haynes, and Mr. Keeler.
Mrs. Hayes and myself at either end of the table.
FREMONT, OHIO, November 5, 1881.
MY DEAR JUDGE: -- I am in receipt of your prompt and alto-
gether satisfactory reply to my note of last week.
I had not seen your interview -- only allusions to it -- or I
would not have troubled you about it.
I suspect that Tyner has not said all that is attributed to him
--at least, I hope not. My confidence in you and him accounts
for all I did, and all I did not do in that affair. With Brady
I had almost no personal acquaintance. Let me say that your
treatment of the present difficulties is what I would expect from
you--characteristic, that is, straightforward and manly.
The only presentation of the present prevailing opinion ever
made to me in a way to attract attention was by General Hawley.
I immediately had Rogers [private secretary] see the Postmas-
ter-General (I am uncertain whether it was you or Maynard)
and Tyner. He soon reported to me that both were confident
that Brady was perfectly honest in the matter. On personal
inquiry the same thing was reported to me. The matter was
then under investigation by Congress and the question of policy
and conduct under discretion. It was proper to postpone decision
until the results of their work were reached. But in the mean-
time, you will probably recollect, the further progress of the
course of things complained of was stopped by my directions
STAR ROUTE FRAUDS 51
that notwithstanding the law vested in Brady the discretionary
power, it must not again be exercised so as to increase the lia-
bility of the Government until the matter was submitted fully
by [to] the Postmaster-General by Brady and by the Postmaster-
General examined and submitted to the President in Cabinet
meeting. All this Tyner knew and approved.
But I am content, and only write this as perhaps due in view
of our relations--always friendly.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE D. M. KEY,
November 27. -- Friday evening the post of the G. A. R. had
a good meeting to receive a portrait of Eugene Rawson from
his parents. General Buckland made the presentation and I re-
ceived it on behalf of the post. Remarks were also made by
Captain Lemmon, Congressman Rice, Captain Tyler, Major Sny-
der, Dr. Stilwell, and Dr. Bushnell; with music, the occasion
was fittingly and pleasantly arranged and the speaking good.
Austin George, of Ypsilanti, Michigan, spent the day with me
yesterday. A good specimen of the educational men of that
intelligent State. He invited me to attend the convention of
educational men at (Lansing? Ann Arbor?) in December next
and address them on the subject of National aid to Southern
December 1, 1881.--Yesterday our telephone was connected
with Toledo and for the first time we talked with Birchard in
December 3.--Firing with Scott [I] found that my short
eye, the right, would [not] do to shoot with; this for the
first time in forty years. A little dim, but at twenty yards I
put nine shots into a visiting card.
December 7, 1881.--Weight yesterday one hundred and
eighty-four. Rather less than usual during the last four or five
years. Open-air life and better outdoor exercise agree with me.
52 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Lucy goes to Delaware today; Columbus and Chillicothe before
her return. She is called away as president of the Woman's
Home Missionary Society.
December 8, 1881. Thursday. -- I notice that there is com-
plaint that the rooms in Platt's new building for the temporary
accommodation of the United States courts at Columbus are too
small. Talk of the contract being due to favoritism, I being
President, of course. I had nothing to do with it. But there
is a lesson [in] it for young Rutherford Platt. Never seek any
public employment or contract. This from the school district
to the Government of the Nation. I wouldn't own gas stock
even. If in Rutherford Platt's place I would say to the authori-
ties, you are released from your contract if the accommodations
don't suit you.
December 10, 1881.--I have read the President's message.
It will be called "a business message." That is, it is a message
made up at the Departments with very little of the President
in it. The important questions of the time are the reform of
the civil service, the Mormon or Utah question, and education
at the South. He leans to the right side on all of these questions.
Perhaps we should except the civil service question. On this
subject he evidently has no faith in the reform, but in deference
to public sentiment, he yields so far as to recommend an appro-
priation of twenty-five thousand dollars to carry it out and
expresses a readiness to [do] so.
On the Mormon question he strikes in the back. He deals
with it as if polygamy were the beginning and end of the affair.
Polygamy is one of the evils attendant upon a system which is
utterly inconsistent with our republican institutions. Utah is
now governed by an irresponsible priesthood. It is a hierarchy.
The Mormon Church is the government. It controls Utah and
is likely if unchecked to govern other Territories which will
soon become States. The remedy--the only remedy--is to
destroy the political power of the Mormon Church. No union
of church and state is one of the foundation stones of our
system. Utah is governed by the church--and such a church!
Take from it political power, and it falls and polygamy with it
PRESIDENT ARTHUR'S FIRST MESSAGE 53
within five years. How to do this? The measure should be
radical. Half-way measures have been tried for twenty-five
years. They have failed. Let the territorial government of
Utah be reorganized. Let all power, I mean of course all the
power that it is deemed wise to entrust [to] a merely territorial
government, be vested in the registered voters of the Territories.
Let them alone hold office, vote, and sit on juries. Allow no one
to be registered who does not prove affirmatively to the satis-
faction of United States courts, or other United States officials,
that he neither practices the crime of polygamy, nor belongs to
or supports any church or other organization which upholds it.
On Southern education by the aid of the general Government,
the President is in sentiment favorable and sound, but he evi-
dently doubts the constitutional power of the general Govern-
ment to do what is required.
There is no ground for hesitation for this reason. The gen-
eral Government has made voters of the late slaves. It is its
duty to fit them--to enable them to vote. Let education be
provided for them; through the States, if they can and will
faithfully discharge the duty, and independent of them if they
refuse or fail.
On the large list of important subjects with which Govern-
ment deals, the message is sound and explicit. Notably so on
foreign affairs, the Panama canal, the finances, the Indians, and
the Southern situation. On the latter subject the silence of the
message is more significant than anything the President could
have said. The question is settled. The policy of the last Ad-
ministration is acquiesced in even by the most "stalwart of the
FREMONT, OHIO, December 14, 1881.
MY DEAR S--: -- I am very glad to hear from you. Too much
work is seriously injuring you. Can't you turn over a new leaf?
It is a duty. You can't postpone it safely. Come down here
and see how to do it. We are busy as bees, and rid of all per-
plexing and wearing work and cares.
54 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Just now Birchard is down sick with a mild but stubborn
winter fever. It is slowly leaving him. Too much work and
reckless exposure have caused it.
In politics, it is observable, I think, that the President moves
with great caution. This is the feature that strikes one in his
message. When he leans to the right side, as on Mormonism,
education at the South, etc., etc., he is timidly careful to make
no decided or distinct committals. He is almost Van Burenish
in non-committallism. And when he leans to the wrong side, as
on the civil service question, he is even more careful to avoid
decided expressions. Perhaps in the present prosperous condi-
tion of the country this caution is politically wise. We want
to be let alone. King Log is not a bad king sometimes.
I look upon these three as the real questions at this time. The
civil service, education at the South, and the Mormon hierarchy.
On all of them it seems to me the time has come for decided,
comprehensive, and radical measures. The civil service is likely
to have attention enough. Southern education should be aided
largely, liberally, efficiently, and promptly.
The Mormon Church should be deprived of its political power.
It is idle to waste time on one of its minor incidents--polyg-
amy. That will fall the instant that the priesthood lose their
political power. No man should vote, hold office, or sit on
juries who upholds the union of church and state, which nour-
ishes the vices and despotisms of Utah.
I am glad you do not care much about my silence when
attacked. The fact is, Tyner always maintained the honesty
and efficiency of Brady. He insisted on his remaining in his
place because of these qualities. I doubt the reports that he
now talks differently. His friends may do so.
But the thing I would talk of, if I ever defended or denied
or explained, is the Arrears of Pensions Act. That act was
required by good faith. The soldiers had the pledge of the
Government, and the people. Congress, State Legislatures,
messages, the press--everybody assured the soldier that if dis-
abled in the line of duty, he would be pensioned. The pensions
were due from the date of disability, if discharged on account
of it, and from the date of such discharge. The act was passed
ARREARS OF PENSIONS ACT 55
by practically a unanimous vote. A veto would have been in
vain. But I signed it, not because to veto it would have been
ineffectual, but because it was right. It was a measure necessary
to keep faith with the soldier. I had fought repudiation on the
bond question. Here was a failure to pay a sacred debt to the
national defenders. We could not afford -- we ought not -- to
haggle with them. Suppose there was danger of fraud. Was
there no fraud in raising the revenue to pay the bonds? Whiskey
and other frauds? Defective legislation is largely the cause of
the frauds complained of. Secretary Schurz recommended the
remedy. Again and again it was endorsed by me. Let the
witnesses in pension cases be subjected to cross-examination by
the Government and the greater part of the frauds would be
prevented. The failure of Government to protect itself against
frauds is no reason for evading just obligations. It is said the
amount to be paid is larger than was anticipated. That is no
reason for repudiating the obligation. The amount is small
compared with other war expenditures and debts. And the
frauds and hardships upon Government are less than in many
other items of unquestioned obligation. We can't make fish of
one and flesh of another creditor. Look at the good done. In
every county in the North are humble but comfortable homes
built by the soldier out of his arrearage pay. They are in sight
from the desk at which I write. I would do it again. But I
will keep silent, and don't want to be quoted. If nobody says
what ought to be said in Congress or the press, I will speak at
some soldier meeting and print.
Come and see us. -- Oh, I almost forgot to say, as I have
said a thousand times -- we are not going to Europe. We have
never thought of it, spoken of it, or for one moment deemed it
desirable. I have no means for the trip, and under the circum-
stances would not go if I could. To visit Europe, as you sug-
gest, "in a quiet way," "to go strolling around, observing, study-
ing, musing," etc., etc., would be a happiness. But for me that
is not yet possible. I get invitations and all sorts of urgent talk
from England, Scotland, Italy, etc., etc. A few years hence,
if desirable in other respects, I can travel and be an American
56 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
With best wishes, kindest regards to Mrs. Smith and the
young Smiths. Sincerely,
R. B. HAYES.
P. S. -- Wanted a good cabinet or larger portrait of you. -- H.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
FREMONT, OHIO, December 19, 1881.
MY DEAR S--:--I am glad you are in charge of a sensible
woman. You do need a guardian on the question of health.
Get away from your desk. Outdoor life and simple outdoor
work is the panacea for a used-up man. When I get the
"trembles," I rake leaves, trim trees, or build fence. Two days
of this sort of work stiffens the nerves and puts life into the
No, no. Do not quote me on the [Pension] Arrears Bill.
The argument is a plain one. The debt was the most sacred
obligation incurred during the war. It was by no means the
largest in amount. We do not haggle with those who lent us
money. We should not with those who gave health and blood
and life. If doors are opened to fraud, contrive to close them.
But don't deny the obligation, or scold at its performance.
My views, if they are your views, may of course be printed
in any way that does not call up my name. Although almost
twenty years in public life, my periods of public employment
were merely episodes--parentheses--in my private life, my
citizen's life. I never sought public life, except I did seek a
place in the war. Now I am back where I belong, I mean to
So come and sit down in a rocking-chair, put on slippers and a
gown, and play the patriotic philosopher.--Kind remembrances
to Mrs. S. -- Birchard better.
Sincerely, R. B. HAYES.
P.S.--Is there an engraving -- a good one--of Sheridan's
ride? Buy it for me.--H.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
ARREARS OF PENSIONS ACT 57
December 25, 1881.--No finer Christmas morning possible.
My walk on the verandah in the crisp bracing air, with the roar
of the high waters in the river at the rapids for music, was
stimulating enough. . . .
December 26, 1881.--The presents were distributed in the old
way. After breakfast we gathered in our sleeping room--the
bay-window room, first floor, which is the family room a good
deal of the time--viz., Birchard, Webb, Fanny, Scott, Adda
Cook, the two house servants, Mary and Annie, and Lucy and
myself. The list of presents was larger than I expected. The
principal were brought from Cleveland by Webb. . . .
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