PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR - CIVIL SERVICE REFORM -
POTTER INVESTIGATION - RESUMPTION OF SPECIE
PAYMENTS - VETO OF CHINESE EXCLUSION BILL
DURING the second year of his Administration, with prac-
tically no encouragement from the controlling forces of
his party, Mr. Hayes continued persistently his efforts in behalf
of civil service reform. Near the end of the year, in spite of
the machinations of the implacable Conkling and his frantic
appeals to "Senatorial courtesy," the Senate reversed its action
of the year before and confirmed Mr. Hayes's New York cus-
tom house appointees. Thereupon thoroughgoing business
methods were established in that, the most important business
office of the Government, thus proving the feasibility of the gen-
eral adoption of the merit system.
During the year preparations went steadily forward on the
part of the Treasury Department for the resumption of specie
payments, fixed by law to go into effect January 1, 1879, though
there was no cessation of clamor from cheap-money advocates
for the repeal of the resumption law. Months before the de-
cisive date the premium on gold, because of the Treasury's wise
measures, had practically disappeared, and when that day ar-
rived, resumption became a fact without a ripple in the business
In the summer of 1878 an attempt was made by the Demo-
crats in Congress, urged on it was believed at the time by certain
Republican implacables, to reopen the disputed election settle-
ment. A committee, of which Clarkston N. Potter, of New York,
was chairman, was appointed to investigate anew the election in
the disputed Southern States. Mr. Hayes's equanimity was not
at all disturbed by the Democrats' scarcely concealed revolu-
tionary designs. In the end, the investigation proved a com-
plete fiasco, when the ingenious secret dispatches of friends of
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 465
Mr. Tilden, who had gone to South Carolina and Florida to
watch the count, revealing efforts to corrupt the Returning
Boards of those States, were deciphered. Curiously enough, no
allusion to the cipher dispatches appears in Mr. Hayes's Diary
In September, the President visited the Northwest where he
spoke many times, always to enthusiastic throngs, He avoided
merely partisan topics, but he discussed the financial condition
of the country, seeing in it sure indications of the speedy return
of more prosperous times, and preached sound-money doctrine
with all the vigor he had displayed in his great campaign of 1875.
His speeches had a stimulating influence on the Republican con-
gressional canvass, as the vote in November proved.
The anti-Chinese agitation which had long been active on the
Pacific Coast culminated in the last weeks of the Forty-fifth Con-
gress in the passage of a bill designed to exclude further Chinese
immigration. The proposed law was a manifest violation of
the Burlingame Treaty with China which had been of our seek-
ing. The President, while sympathizing with the purpose of
the bill did not hesitate for an instant to protect the honor of
the country by a veto.]
March 5, 1878. - Last evening Mr. O'Neal, M. C. from Phila-
delphia, called with two young men of the Commercial Exchange
to invite me to visit Philadelphia and their association at high
'change. I accepted for the first week in April. I must now
arrange all of my engagements to visit Philadelphia as follows,
in the order of invitation:-1. Union League -H. A. Browne.
2. Industrial League--General Patterson, etc. 3. Commercial
Exchange--Mr. Brooke. 4. Launch at Chester shipyard-,
Mr. - [Roach].
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 6, 1878.
MY DEAR S--:- Your talk about the veto, and the slips were
very gratifying. You can have no idea how our friends were
stampeded at the critical moment. Sixteen anti-silver Repub-
licans from New York preferred to have the bill signed, or al-
466 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
lowed to become a law by lapse of time. Even Belmont is re-
ported to have talked that way. The [Cincinnati] Gazette and
such men as Shillito of Cincinnati advised me to sign; also
the Indianapolis Journal, and Eastern men in considerable num-
bers. But it all seems well.
Now, on future money questions--and money questions are
the questions. One side will be for a sound currency--coin
and paper redeemable in coin, and the other side will be for
inflation - irredeemable paper - absolute money - "cabbage
leaves," and the like. We shall come together; small causes of
difference will be disregarded as soon as the Republicans have
interesting questions on which they are united, dividing them
from the Democrats.
How about your Chicago pension agency? I would like to
please both the good ladies! But taking it altogether, which?
Either will no doubt have a good office. Write me.
Love to the fine daughter* and Mrs. Smith.
R. B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
March 12, 1878. - The end of the first year of my Adminis-
tration furnishes a topic for the press. There is enough of
favorable comment from independent papers like the New York
Post, the [Cincinnati] Gazette, the [Cincinnati] Commercial,
the Boston Advertiser, the Philadelphia papers, and notably the
religious newspapers; but the body of the party papers of both
parties are the other way. The main point is that the President
has so few supporters in Congress and among the newspapers.
It is to be remarked that a non-partisan President or Ad-
ministration will of course be feebly supported, if at all, in Con-
gress or by the press. The party men do not like it among the
Republicans, and Democrats find no interest in heartily support-
ing an Administration they did not elect. On the whole, the Re-
publican party has been strengthened rather than weakened by the
* Miss Almira (Allie) Smith, who had recently spent some weeks at
the White House, a young lady of unusual charm.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 467
Administration. We are in a period when old questions are
settled and the new are not yet brought forward. Extreme party
action, if continued in such a time, would ruin the party. Mod-
eration is its only chance. The party out of power gains by all
partisan conduct of those in power. On the whole, the year's
work has produced results:--
1. Peace, safety, order in the South, to an extent not known
for half a century.
2. The [railway strike] riots; not a man shot, but order
promptly and firmly upheld.
3. A vigorous and successful Mexican policy.
4. Civil service reforms:- (a) No nepotism in executive
appointments. (b) No machine work by Federal office-holders,
in caucuses or elections. (c) Congressional dictation resisted--
for the most part successfully. (d) Removals except for cause
not made. Fewer removals than under any Administration in
its first year since J. Q. Adams. (e) Officers secure in their
terms, if conduct, official and private, is good.
5. The financial management has steadily adhered to the
policy of a sound currency, untainted credit, and a faithful ful-
fillment of pecuniary obligations.
6. The pervading sense of responsibility for faithful and
honest official conduct has given purity and efficiency to the
service. Fewer scandals than before in many years.
7. Cabinet [and] a list of foreign appointments and officials
retained that will compare well with any previous period in our
history. Look at our European representatives: Welsh, Eng-
land; Noyes, France; Taylor, Germany; Lowell, Spain; March,
Italy; Kasson, Austria; Stoughton, Russia; Maynard, Turkey;
8. The most important appointments are the judicial. They
are for life and the judiciary of the country concerns all inter-
ests, public and private. My appointments will bear examina-
tion:-Harlan, Justice of the Supreme Court; Baxter and
Blatchford, Circuit Court; Bancroft Davis, Court of Claims.
District judges in Vermont, Wisconsin, [and] New York.
9. Bureau officers appointed: McCormick, Defrees, Tyner,
468 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
General LeDuc, Hawley, McPherson, Porter, Reynolds, Scho-
March 13, 1878. - The election of Governor Prescott and the
administration ticket in New Hampshire, notwithstanding the
defection of [William E.] Chandler and his followers, is very
gratifying. It encourages me to be more and more faithful in
adhering to reform of the civil service. Let me disregard more
and more "influence" of every sort and be guided by a sense of
duty alone. It is hard to have friends made sour because their
wishes are not heeded. Newspaper and other abuse is not com-
forting, to say the least. But the second thought of the best
people is, I believe, with me. - Good for New Hampshire!
Friday, March 15. --The past winter has been mild beyond
precedent. Picnics in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, January
1; sailing parties steaming on Lake Pepin; Lake Erie open to
navigation all winter; plowing in Ohio every winter month.-
Nothing like it "in the memory of the oldest inhabitant." In
1812-13 such a winter, one says; another in 1816-17. But in
the absence of statistics, this winter has no twin.
This morning, a lovely spring sunrise. Lucy goes for a
fortnight's visit to Ohio--Chillicothe, Columbus, [and] Dela-
ware. Birch and Webb go with her, also Emily Platt, our niece.
The two cousins, Lucy McFarland and Lucy Scott of New
Orleans, go to Lexington, Kentucky; same car from here to
Fanny returned from her visit to New York last evening. The
great city not so grand to her as Washington. "Broadway not
near so broad as Pennsylvania Avenue."
The picture painted full length by Carl Brown is now in the
state dining-room, and is a great favorite with Lucy, and gen-
erally regarded as the best ever taken of me.
I read few books; no time. J. Q. Adams' diary of Monroe's
time shows Monroe had almost the same troubles that I have
[March] 16. - Lucy left for her native town yesterday morn-
ing. Mr. J. O. Moss, of Sandusky, furnished his private car
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 469
on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. It was no doubt a merry
I found the White House lonely without them. Mr. Evarts
lunched with me. Fanny presided at the teapot. Scott filled up
the table! At dinner I had a pleasant company--Foster and
wife from my district, and McKinley and wife, of Canton, Ohio.
In the evening, enough to do. My afternoon ride was with Mr.
Bryan, one of the District Commissioners appointed by me.
Am told several of the Indiana delegation are offended, or
made it a topic of remark, that Mr. [Albert G.] Porter was ap-
pointed [United States Treasurer] without consulting them.
They admit the appointment is capital in all respects; but, etc.,
Mr. Vice-President [Wheeler] does not like Mr. Evarts. He
thinks Evarts is not frank to those who speak about appoint-
ments. He does not say no, but by an equivocal, noncommittal
way of talking allows them to hope. "When there is no hope,
tell the man so. He will be disappointed at the time, but it [is]
the best way." Mr. Wheeler is right. Prompt and square talk
is in the long run safest and is just to the parties concerned. I
must also bear this in mind.
As soon as the Returning Board prosecutions in Louisiana
are ended, and ended rightly, as I am confident they will be,
I will hold conferences with judicious Members of Congress as
to the best way of effecting reforms according to the Cincinnati
platform. Write to D. B. Eaton to send in his report [on civil
service reform] and try to push forward the good work.
March 18, 1878. - Mr. Conkling in the Senate remarked that
the President had one-sixth of the legislative power of the
United States Government. I suppose he means that the Senate,
House, and President having the whole power, and the Presi-
dent and one-third of either house being half, the result is -
I rise at about 7 A. M.; write until breakfast, about 8:30
A. M. After breakfast, prayers - i. e., the reading of a chapter
in the Bible, each one present reading a verse in turn, and all
kneeling repeat the Lord's Prayer; then, usually, write and
arrange business until 10 A. M. From 10 to 12 in the Cabinet
470 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Room, the Members of Congress having the preference of all
visitors except Cabinet ministers. Callers "to pay respects" are
usually permitted to come in to shake hands whenever the num-
ber reaches about a half dozen waiting. Twelve to 2 P. M.,
on Tuesdays and Fridays, are Cabinet hours. On other days that
time is given to miscellaneous business callers.
At 2 P. M. lunch. I commonly invite to that - cup of tea and
biscuit and butter with cold meat - any gentleman I wish to have
more conference with than is practicable in hours given to mis-
cellaneous business. After lunch the correspondence of the day,
well briefed, and each letter in an envelope, is examined. By
this time it is 3:30 P. M., and I then drive an hour and a half.
Returning I glance over the business and correspondence again,
take a fifteen or twenty minutes' nap, and get ready to dine at
6 P. M.
After dinner, callers on important business, or on appointment
previously made, occupy me until 10:30 to 11:30 P. M., when I
go to bed, and am tired enough to sleep pretty well unless too
much worried to throw off the vexations of the day- a thing
which fortunately I generally can do by a little effort.
There is not enough exercise in this way of life. I try to
make up by active gymnastics before I dress when I get up, by
walking rapidly in the lower hall and the greenhouse after each
meal for perhaps five to ten minutes, and a good hand rubbing
before going to bed. I eat moderately; drink one cup of coffee
at breakfast and one cup of tea at lunch and no other stimulant.
My health is now, and usually, excellent. I have gone to church
at least once every Sunday since I became President. Sunday
after lunch I ride regularly with Secretary Sherman two to
three hours. We talk over affairs and visit the finest drives
and scenes near Washington.
March 21, 1878. - The Returning Board prosecutions are
ended by the decision of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. No
doubt the court found legal grounds for its decision. But the
favorable fact is that the court followed the best public opinion
of Louisiana in opposition to the wishes of the Bourbons. The
ruffian class, the implacables, and the press were for the severest
punishment - determined to persecute the members of the board
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 471
to the bitter end. For the first time the better classes have over-
ruled the violent. Pacification begins to tell.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 21, 1878.
MY DARLING:- We are all well. The table is short and dull
without you. . . . The end of the Returning Board perse-
cution is very welcome to friends of the Southern policy, and
by no means satisfactory to the implacables. For the first time
in the South the public opinion of the better elements has over-
come the wishes of the ruffian class.
MRS. HAYES. R.
[March] 22.- I am invited to witness the launch of an iron
steamship at the Chester shipyard of Mr. Roach on the Delaware.
It will take place two weeks from tomorrow. The hundreds of
workmen employed at the yard will be present, and I will [shall]
be expected to say a few words to them. Why not say something
about the need of harmony in their work between enterprise,
skill, inventive genius, knowledge, labor, and capital? The ship
is the product of the union of all these. National properity in
like manner needs friendship and not strife, peace and not war,
concord and not discord, peace and union. The flag which in
distant seas is to float over it [the new ship] will give joy to
the heart of every American who sees it, if it is the emblem of
both Union and Liberty.
[March] 25.-Today Senator Howe gives his "excuse" for
not being favorable to the Administration. He was an eager
candidate for judge of the Supreme Court in the place of David
Davis, of Illinois. The appointment of General Harlan of
Kentucky soured him.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 26, 1878.
MY DEAR SIR: - I too have a grievance. It is almost four
months since I was furnished with the record of proceedings in
472 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
executive session. I want the record, but don't want to make a
fuss about it. My secretary has asked for it, and been promised,
but no result. Can you make the waters move? "I still live."
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM A. WHEELER,
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 27, 1878.
MY DARLING: -YOU, I know, are too much occupied with
visits and friends to write letters. You must put that work on
Birch, or some other young person - Emily [Platt], for instance.
We miss you ever so much. People from abroad are disap-
pointed not to find you here. The Boston Post says, "Mr. Hayes
will, during the absence of Mrs. Hayes, be acting President"!
General Schurz will be as well as ever soon.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 27, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--I have your letter and have talked with
Sherman about it. We do not differ essentially from your
views. At least I do not, and on the leading points I think
Sherman concurs. Under the circumstances, I have to hold your
resignation without acceptance, not doubting that you will with-
draw it when full explanations are made. I trust you will keep
it to yourself. If after letters are received you still feel like
resigning, it is my earnest wish that you do not do so until
we can meet and talk it over.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM H. SMITH,
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 473
March 30, 1878. - Mr. Dorman B. Eaton will probably send
in his report during the coming month. The points of civil
service reform which I must call attention to are:-
1. To separate office-holding from political management.
This has in a large degree been accomplished by the order issued
in June last. Very generally the office-holders observe the order.
Doubtless with some its observance is ostensible or nominal
rather than real. But none have resigned. Public officers gen-
erally profess to observe it. The few exceptions to this state-
ment are too insignificant to demand attention. What legislation
to define fully and accurately the duties of office-holders in con-
nection with elections may be expedient and necessary, it is for
Congress to decide. I am not so committed in favor of the
measure already referred to, that I shall not be willing to co-
operate heartily with any legislation Congress may enact ap-
propriate to the end in view.
2. To restore the legitimate and constitutional exercise of the
appointing power to the Executive Department of the Govern-
ment, subject to confirmation by the Senate in the case of im-
portant offices. On this point I will quote Senator Edmunds.
The practice of congressional appointment is for the time being
largely abandoned. It is generally conceded that Senators and
Representatives ought not to seek to dictate appointments and
only a small minority in practice now undertake even to in-
fluence appointments. But there is irritation and misunder-
standing on the subject. It is exceedingly desirable that Mem-
bers of Congress should be relieved from the pressure, [the]
demands, of their constituents for places in the public service.
This cannot be done by executive action alone. Legislation
explicitly defining the duty of Members of Congress on this sub-
ject has been attempted heretofore. It is not doubted that the
end desired can be attained by appropriate enactments.
3. To provide by legislation appropriate means to secure in-
formation as to the fitness of applicants for appointment and
to determine as to the justice and propriety of removals, is
brought to your attention. In the absence of legislation the
Executive will seek information wherever it can most readily
474 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
4. Let the Cabinet officers have seats in the House of Repre-
sentatives and in the Senate with the right to speak on questions
pertaining to their respective departments. A distinguished
member of the House of Representatives made a report on this
subject some years ago--in 1865--which presented the sub-
ject very ably to the country.
[With reference to violations of the Executive Order of
June, 1878, spoken of above, a conversation in June, 1883, with
Mr. Hayes, contemporaneously recorded by William Henry
Smith, is of interest:-
"Conversation on New Yorkers and civil service brought up a
discussion of the Executive Order designed to prevent the ac-
tive interference of officials with conventions. This [interfer-
ence] was regarded as a great evil- giving rise to dissatisfac-
tion among the laymen, and prolific in corruption. The public
feeling was deep, and the President was determined to make an
example that should prove that his order was not a hollow
demonstration for popular effect only. There were small fellows
who defied the order, whose removal would have signified
nothing. He concluded, on account of the difficulties in the
way, not to make removals (which would have made martyrs
for the Stalwarts), but to refuse to renew commissions, and
gave out that that would be his policy.
"Stewart L. Woodford, United States district attorney, was
conspicuous in his open defiance of the order in New York, and
seemed to court martyrdom. It had been the President's pur-
pose to reappoint him, although he was not a good lawyer and
not well qualified for the place. But as he had good assistants
this was not a serious difficulty. The President determined not
to gratify him by making him a martyr to the Stalwart cause,
through removal. On account of his open defiance of the order
he could do no less than to refuse to reappoint. When his com-
mission was about to expire, Woodford went to Washington
and called upon the President. He was very agreeable in a
social way, and had the good taste to make no allusion to his
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 475
office. The President, who liked Woodford personally, was
gratified at the visit and showed it in his manner. He also
made no allusion to politics. As Woodford passed out he re-
marked to a friend that he was all right with the Administration
as to his reappointment. He was therefore very greatly dis-
appointed when another received the commission, and he has
since repeatedly asked friends if they could tell him why the
President had declined to reappoint him. Great regret was
expressed in Ohio, where Woodford had made a successful cam-
paign, at his retirement, even by many who were strenuous for
some improvement in the civil service. Woodford is a clever
fellow, but rather shallow.
"A postmaster - at Camden, opposite Philadelphia - was very
loud in his opposition to the order, and quite profane when de-
nouncing the Executive publicly. This came to the ears of the
President, and he thought he would remove him. He learned,
however, that the man had been a good soldier, was poor, and
greatly needed the place. He therefore sent for him, told him
what he had heard and pointed out to him the impropriety and
indecency of his course. The man confessed that it was true,
said that he was intoxicated, was indiscreet, and greatly re-
gretted it, etc. The President gave him some good advice, told
him to go back to his office and that he would be allowed to hold
it to the end of his term, for all which the poor fellow was
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 30, 1878.
MY DARLING: -I have your letter from Chillicothe .
On the whole, I have had an unusually good time since you left.
The absence of the darling is the drawback, and must not occur
again. Don't repeat it ever! We should travel together always.
You have been missed in all sorts of ways. Next Saturday
you are specially wanted at the launch of a steamship at the
yard of Mr. Roach near Philadelphia. General Sherman is in
to see and hear about you with friends very often.
I shall have the Vice-President, Wayne MacVeagh, General
476 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Harlan, Dr. Loring, [and] General Schurz down to dine Sun-
MRS. HAYES, R.
April 1, 1878.--Last evening I had a very pleasant little
dinner party "quite informal." [The] Vice-President and Miss
Schurz (the only lady - occupied Lucy's seat), Justice Harlan,
General Schurz, Dr. Loring, M. C. from Massachusetts, Gen-
eral Burnside, Senator from Rhode Island, and Mr. James A.
Briggs, of Brooklyn, formerly of Ohio. The home folks were
Rud's classmate, young Underhill, Ruddy, and Fanny. A very
friendly social gathering. Judge Key and Colonel Kellar came
in after dinner and the talk lasted until 10 P. M. Wayne Mc-
Veagh and wife were invited but "prior engagements."
THE CIVIL SERVICE CONTINUED.
5. Congress should provide for a revival of the Civil Serv-
ice Commission. My predecessor, President Grant, used the
following language as to the beneficial results of the labors of
the board appointed by him: [Quotation not recorded.]
6. In the absence of legislation by Congress to promote the
desired reforms, it will not be practicable to give a fair trial to
the principles avowed by the general conventions of the great
political parties of the country prior to the last national election.
But it will be my duty to give them practical effect so far as
my constitutional powers will permit and to the extent of my
ability. Such efforts as may be made with a sincere desire to
accomplish this, will, it is confidently believed, be sustained by
the general sentiment of the people.
Collamer, the sound old Senator from Vermont, once said of
Edmunds:-"He can see the knothole in the barn door, but he
can't see the door."
April 6, 1878.- I go today to witness the launch at the
Chester yard of John Roach & Son of the steamer The City of
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 477
Para. I will make no speech. But I may give the sentiment:
- "The City of Para, may her voyages be prosperous and may
she long continue to add to the good name and the fortunes of
her builders, her owners, and her sailors!"
[April] 7. - The launch was in every way successful. I gave
the sentiment above, with only a word of thanks, and of con-
gratulation to J. Roach & Sons.
Lucy returned yesterday morning with Emily Platt [and
others], after three weeks' absence, in charge of Birchard.
Saturday, 6 A. M., April 13, 1878.- The Republican Con-
gressmen held a caucus early this week for organization. The
feature of the affair was the failure of Senator Sargent to pro-
cure the passage of a resolution condemning the civil service
order of the President which forbids federal office-holders from
managing the party politics of the country. His resolutions re-
quest the President to rescind this order.
Senator Sargent wishes the doctrine announced that the ninety
thousand officials in the executive branch of the civil service
shall participate "in meetings, caucuses, conventions, and com-
mittees of a political character." This resolution of Senator
Sargent and the speech of Senator Howe present very fairly
the issue between the Senate and the Republican party. Sargent
and Howe think that Senators should appoint the office-holders
and that the office-holders should manage the politics of the
country. This would be in my judgment a very unfortunate
issue for the party to adopt.
The doctrine of the party in 1876, before the election, was that
office-holders should be appointed by the President and confirmed
by the Senate, and that their whole services belonged to the
Government. The Senators' doctrine reverses this. They say,
we will appoint the officers and our officers shall rule the party
and our party shall rule the country. With this senatorial claim,
the members of the House of Representatives share very little
personal interest. If the patronage of the Government is to be
controlled by Congress, that branch of Congress will absorb
it which has the power of confirmation. The Senate will leave
to the House only what it does not want.
478 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
This question of senatorial patronage is the salient point in
the improvement of the civil service. It is the interest of the
country that its business shall be well done and that the area
of patronage shall be limited. But if the office-holders are to
look after party politics, to make nominations, and to win party
victories, they will be appointed, not for fitness to discharge the
legitimate duties of their offices, but for skill in wirepulling.
No Senator would diminish their number. If ninety thousand
are useful, a hundred thousand will be still more useful.
The Howe and Sargent system is that Senators shall make
the office-holders and that the office-holders shall make the Sen-
ators. How many victories can the Republican party gain on
such a platform? The watchword of the people against the
office-holders would soon be raised, and the party on the wrong
side of the question would go under.
I would say the same about the order as to office-holders.
It did, at the first elections after its issue, disorganize the party.
The accustomed managers were many of them in office. For
the most part the office-holders obeyed the order. This created
disturbance. But the committees have been reorganized. Vol-
unteers have been found to take the places of the regular ma-
chine men. The new blood is vigorous. The late elections show
it. New Hampshire and Rhode Island Republicans fought suc-
cessful battles with new men. The people have always had a
certain feeling against the dictation of office-holders. "They
ought to mind their own business," has often been heard, and
still oftener has been thought. Jefferson and the earlier states-
men opposed it. Clay and Webster and other Whig leaders
were against it. Howe and Sargent do not represent the best
sentiment of the party on this subject.
I have from Milwaukee a protest against Senator Howe's
speech. It is signed by the best Republicans in the principal city
of his State. I do not hear of any popular endorsement in his
own State of his doctrines. It is said that nine-tenths of the
Republicans of Milwaukee are opposed to them.
I do not defend mistakes in methods. I do not insist on my
own particular plans. If better plans are proposed I shall be
ready to support them. But the important ends must not be
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 479
abandoned. Office-holders must attend to the public business
and not become organized political machines. The appointing
power may be regulated by law to the end that honesty, efficiency,
and economy may be promoted, but it must not be transferred
to the Senate. It must be left where the Constitution placed
it. Office-holders who participate actively in politics do not
strengthen a party of principle. People resent their interfer-
ence. It is felt that office-holders are the servants of the public
and ought not to assume to be masters.
It is said that this doctrine degrades the officer. Are our
present officers degraded? Do you not honor the officer who
faithfully attends to his duty? Do the officers feel humiliated?
I do not hear of resignations on this account.
Mr. Sherman has contracted for fifty million dollars gold,
and gold yesterday fell to 100 1/2 ! It now looks as if we should
be at specie payments long before the first of January, 1879
[the date fixed by law for the resumption of specie payments].
We have passed through the suffering; let us have the desired
April 14, 1878. - Sherman returned from New York last
night. His loan has been very successful. Fifty million dollars
gold before 1879 at 101 1/2 for his 4 1/2 per cent bonds. The
premium on gold almost gone, or 1/4 of one per cent. If we
can practically resume before the elections in the fall it will be
a feather in our cap. Now we are hopeful. With reconciliation
proceeding well and resumption secured, as now appears, we
are stronger than ever before.
Our position on the Silver Bill enabled the Republicans in
the Senate to improve the Bland Bill, (1) by striking out free
coinage; (2) by the device of silver certificates; and (3) by a
commission to treat with other nations.
Sunday, April 21. - Winthrop says something like this: Each
one of us is engaged in the formation of public opinion. Each
of us is in some degree responsible for its course and character.
"Opportunity, powers, and employment of them."
Sunday, April 28, 1878. - We returned this morning at 6 A.
M. from our four days' visit in Philadelphia. It was happy in
480 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
all of its circumstances. The gentlemen conspicuous in our re-
ception were Wayne MacVeagh, H. A. Browne, General Robert
Patterson, James L. Cleghorn, Steele, Colonel Snowden (post-
master), Joseph Wharton, Amos R. Little, Brooke, Thomas A.
Harrison, Bloomfield H. Moore, J. J. Bayley. General A. Smith,
president of Select Councils, introduced me at Independence Hall.
Near me E. Dunbar Lockwood.
Many things to be remembered. Perhaps most notable was
the reception given to Lucy at the Academy of Fine Arts, Fri-
day evening. About four thousand persons were invited. The
attendance was almost universal. The fashionable people, the
best people, including church and solid business people; Bishop
Simpson and wife, the Friends, and the leaders in charitable
enterprises. The rooms were admirably arranged to accomodate
and display the throngs. Paintings, engravings, statuary, and a
wilderness of plants and flowers, with music and lights,--alto-
gether a scene I never expect to see equalled. Lucy went between
8 and 9 o'clock and I entered between 9 and 10 or near 10.
I this morning asked Lucy how she felt as the central figure
of such a fairy scene. "Oh," said she, "humble, I always feel
humble on such occasions. I enjoy them very much but am
humbled by them." This reminds me of my feeling at the great
moment of my life, when I heard I was nominated at Cincin-
nati. I felt a sense of responsibility--a sobered feeling. It
was my feeling that with soundness of judgment, with a cheerful
and elastic temper, with firmness, with an honest purpose to do
right, and with some experience in affairs, I could do well in
the place. But this is going back. The scene brought to my
mind many of the leading events of my life.
In reference to an election by Republicans alone to nominate
a postmaster at Binghamton, I wrote to Democrats who com-
plained of their exclusion:--"No regulation has been adopted
which prevents any citizen, or any body of citizens, from nomi-
nating candidates for postmaster. All nominations by citizens
will be considered."
A case in the quartermaster's department at Philadelphia
shows that I have, perhaps, unintentionally done a wrong. In
the army, as to appointments and employments, it is said by the
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 481
quartermaster-general: "The President's requests which we
must consider as orders." This did not occur to me when I said,
"I would be gratified if --- could have employment." But
hereafter I will uniformly do what I have heretofore intended
to do, viz., give endorsements in conformity with this mem.:-
"The President does not direct subordinate appointments. In
cases of exceptional merit he recommends candidates for ap-
pointment, if it can be done without injustice to others, and con-
sistently with the good of the service. He would not turn out
a worthy officer to replace him with another."
May 14, 1878.---Various "confessions" and statements lately
made by McLin and Dennis of Florida, and others of Louisiana,
as to frauds in the elections have caused the Tilden Democrats,
aided by implacable Republicans of the Chandler sort, to threaten
investigations. Yesterday Mr. Potter offered the resolution to
go into it in the House. It is a partisan proceeding for merely
partisan ends. If the Republicans manage well their side of the
controversy, I suspect it will damage its authors. It should
be opposed: -
1. As partial and narrow. If investigation is to be had, it
should embrace all the questions which have been raised touch-
ing the fairness and legality of the elections.
2. It is revolutionary; it looks to overthrowing the solemn
adjudication of the Commission as confirmed by Congress. Here-
in [in this relation] should be given a full history of the origin,
purpose, and understanding as to the Commission; the action of
Congress, etc., etc.
3. It will disturb the business of the country.
4. It interrupts the course of pacification between the sections
and races, and revives sectional strife and deepens the color line.
5. It is done by Tammany -by the New York rings. It is
to continue the rule of New York in the Democratic party.
Trace this power in the nominations of 1864, 1868, 1872, and
1876 in the Democratic party.
6. It is not in the interest of the South. They want peace,
education, improvements, and immigration.
7. It is not in the interest of the country.
482 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
May 15, 1878.- Education is our greatest present national
concern. General education is the best preventive of the evils
now most dreaded. In the civilized countries of the world, the
question is how to distribute most generally and equally the
property of the world. As a rule, where education is most gen-
eral the distribution of property is most general. When we see
what wealth is doing and what wealth can do, we begin to doubt
the aphorism, "Knowledge is power." As knowledge spreads,
wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth.
To give all an equal chance to acquire knowledge is the best and
surest way to give all an equal chance to acquire property.
May 19. - The House of Representatives has ordered an in-
vestigation of the elections in Florida and Louisiana. The reso-
lutions adopted accuse General Noyes and Secretary Sherman
of crookedness. It will do no more than raise a dust, throw
dirt and the like, unless it is intended, as I seriously suspect, to
lay a foundation for a revolution. There is a purpose with the
real authors to reverse the result of the last election. If they
are sustained in the elections there is danger. It is another
Look up all letters from Noyes, Matthews, [and] Chandler, to
see the exact condition of my correspondence. I neither knew
nor suspected fraud on our side. The danger was fraud by our
I go soon to Hampton to see the colored school, industrial
school, under General Armstrong. I must speak a few words
on the education, the training, needed by the freedmen and
women. They need something more than the learning of the
schoolhouse. Illiteracy must be overcome. But industry, self-
reliance, self-control, economy, thrift- the virtues Dr. Franklin
taught so well - are of still greater importance. The test, one
test of the progress of the colored people is, do they own prop-
erty? Do they own houses? Do they save and accumulate?
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, May 20, 1878.
MY DARLING: - The great rooms and halls are lonely with-
out you. Your voice is needful to my comfort.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 483
I told the members of the Cabinet of the intended wedding
[of General Russell Hastings and Miss Emily Platt] this after-
noon. Webb will probably go with me to Hampton tomorrow
evening. General Devens, McCrary, and Schurz also go with us.
Politically we are getting into a more lovely frame of mind.
[Governor Wade] Hampton and other Southern men talk out,
and the dissentient Republicans are in better temper.
Webb talks pleasantly of our home in the woods [Spiegel
Grove]. An Enguirer man from Cincinnati says it is the finest
home place he ever saw.
Mr. Wheeler's beautiful talk about you must have tested your
nerves pretty severely. But no doubt you bore it in queenly
Malone, New York.
May 31, 1878.- Yesterday at Honorable Edward McPher-
son's in Gettysburg. A pleasant and satisfactory time. On the
way up, General Butler told a number of good war stories. The
story of his running the battery on the Mississippi below New
Orleans; how a soldier or sailor was blown to pieces by a shell
exploding in him, which blinded and overthrew General Butler
with his gore and flesh! Also the story of his voucher
for a hand-organ and monkey purchased to get information
which enabled him to seize Baltimore! Colonel Robbins of
North Carolina and General Keifer-both in the whole war on
opposite sides--made the return trip agreeable with interesting
The event now on the scene is the investigation as to the elec-
tion, looking to ousting the Republicans from power by revolu-
tionary proceedings. My views are well shown by Judge Key's
letter, Alexander Stephens' letter, and an interview somewhat
inaccurately reported by George Alfred Townsend. I never
authorize interviews. This one I did not suspect at the time.
[In the midst of my] talking with Judge Wills on the subject,
while having a reception [at Gettysburg], Mr. Townsend stepped
484 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
up, and [on my] continuing the conversation got up the so-
called interview out of the items obtained.
[William Henry Smith, in further report of his conversation
with Mr. Hayes in June, 1883, says:-
"Most of the Democratic party did not want a row when the
Potter commission was gotten up. Potter himself was reluctant
to serve on the committee. That was forced by Conkling and
Butler on the Democrats. A meeting was held at the latter's
house, to which Democrats had been invited. Conkling promised
such developments as would compel Hayes to flee from the
White House within ninety days. The sequel proved the de-
velopments to be such testimony as lying Jim Anderson - red-
headed Jim- could invent. The Democracy waited in expect-
ancy for a long time, but this was all that the malignants, Butler
and Conkling, could produce to redeem their pledge.
"The Potter commission withered up completely after the
publication of the 'Gath' [George Alfred Townsend] stolen
interview at Gettysburg. The night before Decoration Day a
reception was given at the residence of [Edward] McPherson.
Among the callers was Judge Herron (brother of the President's
friend, John Herron of Cincinnati), whom the President knew
well and was glad to see. He asked him to remain, and, while
shaking hands, continued to converse with him in a familiar
way. Among other things mentioned by Judge Herron was a
rumor that the President was to be put out of the Executive
Office on report of the Potter committee. 'Who is to take my
place?' asked the President. 'Mr. Tilden,' replied Mr. Herron.
'Mr. Tilden,' said the President with characteristic decision,
'will be arrested and shot. He cannot attempt to take posses-
sion of the White House without a fight. That means civil war,
and in that event we shall whip them badly.'
"This conversation was overheard by 'Gath,' and written up by
him for the Philadelphia Times. Its appearance created great
excitement and the next day correspondents flocked to the White
House to ascertain if it was true. Rogers on his own authority
denied that there was any such interview. He went into the
library and casually asked the President if he had an inter-
view while at Gettysburg with a correspondent of the Phila-
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 485
delphia Times, to which he received a reply in the negative.
'I thought so,' said he, 'and have denied it.' This led to inquiry
and examination of the 'Gath' publication. The President saw
that it was his conversation with Judge Herron which the cor-
respondent must have overheard, and instructed Rogers to go
directly to all of the correspondents he had seen and say that
he was not authorized to deny it--that he could neither con-
firm nor deny it. The experienced correspondents knew very
well how to interpret such a message.
"This evidence of courage in the President put an end to the
June 2, 1878.--The election investigation began yesterday
with calling as a witness the scamp Anderson. He testified that
a letter was given to himself and Webber, election officers in
the Felicianas, by Sherman to induce them to aid in fraud in
regard to the election. He produced a copy, as he said, of the
letter. It is not a letter which sustains the charge even if
genuine. He also testified that he called on me soon after I
was inaugurated and got from me an endorsement to Secretary
Evarts to give him a consulship in a warm climate.
The facts are, so far as I am concerned: He came to me
one of the throng of office-seekers early in my term. He had a
strong recommendation from a trustworthy citizen of Steuben-
ville, Ohio, name not now recollected, and testimonials from
Senators Matthews and Kellogg and Representatives Leonard,
Darral, [and] Nash. Nothing was said which led me to sus-
pect that he had been guilty of any crookedness, or that any
promises had been made to him in my name or otherwise. The
facts stated were that he had been an active Republican at the
risk of his life in Louisiana and that, on account of his activity
as a Republican, he had been driven from his home and business
and could not safely return. He appeared intelligent and cap-
able. He represented that his wife's health required him to go to
a mild climate. Our interview lasted only a few minutes. I
thereupon gave him a recommendation referred to. Afterwards,
and after a small consulship had been found for him, I learned
from an anonymous letter signed "Bulldozer," and from a note
486 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
from J. A. Straight, facts that made me suspect him. I also
learned from Senator Matthews facts that induced the belief
that he was trying to levy blackmail. I then directed that noth-
ing should be done for him until his character was investigated.
The result was that no office was given to him. My note as to
his character is on file in the State Deparment with other papers.
The files show clearly the action by me and the reasons for it.
As to the alleged frauds and perjury of Anderson with refer-
ence to the election in Feliciana, I never heard of it until long
after his papers were sent to the Secretary of State.
When Anderson was recommended by me for a place in a
warm climate there was nothing before me against him, and
much in his favor, but after I heard the facts against him, I
was satisfied we had no place as warm as he deserved, and so
he got nothing! Hence this trouble with us now!
Anderson says he told me that the Feliciana business was
"a cheat." If so it was on one of the occasions when he was
under the influence of liquor and excited. I gave him no serious
attention and got rid of him as soon as possible. I certainly
never promised him office and never intended to give him office
after I had been informed of his true character and conduct.
He could have been appointed if it had been deemed proper,
and he was not appointed on account of the information re-
ceived about him.
June 3, 1878. - Last evening with Emily Platt and Miss Kent
we had a dinner on the fifteen-pound salmon trout caught by
Lucy in Lake Saranac, New York. Our guests were Sherman,
Key, Thompson, and Schurz, of the Cabinet, and Garfield,
Keifer, and McKinley, of the House. We talked over many mat-
ters. Professor Henry's unselfish devotion to science. General
Garfield said Professor Henry did show some feeling when
Morse seemed to monopolize the honor of the discovery of the
telegraph. That he was willing to leave him the profit but his
own right to the fame was of value to him. General Garfield
also spoke of Agassiz. "He quit an investigation the moment it
became of practical use. Then, said he, there are enough to
carry it forward."
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 487
Sherman urged the Members of Congress to put an item into
the appropriation bill giving Professor Henry's family five hun-
dred dollars a year for twenty-three years' unrequited and
valuable service in [on] the Lighthouse Board. I trust it will
The testimony of Anderson was talked over. The general
opinion was that his story was too thin to do serious harm.
Anderson testified that June 13, 1877, he called at the White
House to see me with General Smith (T. C. H.); that Smith
saw me, but he did not; that Smith came out, saying that "the
President for political considerations wanted something satis-
factory done for him, Anderson."
My recollection is that I told Smith I believed Anderson was
a great scoundrel and that I wouldn't see him, and wanted noth-
ing further to do with him. I certainly did not say I wanted
him to have office.
June 5, 1878. - Lucy left home for a visit with [the] Vice-
President (Mr. Wheeler) at Malone in New York and a fishing
tour in the Adirondacks, three weeks ago next Friday. She now
expects to return home next Saturday. I have been occasionally
lonely enough without her. But I have hoped that the trip
would strengthen her after the wearing duties of the White
House. If this turns out to be so I shall be content.
June 8, 1878. - The weather is very cool for the season. Yes-
terday I rode out to the [Soldiers'] Home with Webb, Emily,
and Governor Jewell. Good company and a bright bracing air.
This morning a cold rain.
Last evening Webb and Emily Platt went on the limited ex-
press at 9:20 P. M. to meet Lucy and Fanny in New York.
Lucy and Fanny have been gone three weeks yesterday. Too
long an absence. We should always be together. They will
reach here tonight . . .
June 9, 1878. - Lucy and Fanny returned last night from
their delightful trip to Malone and the Adirondacks, both fat-
tened and browned and invigorated. Great happiness to have
them with us once more.
488 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
June 14, 1878. - Left the evening of the 11th for West Point
to witness the graduating exercises. Had a most delightful sail
up the Hudson on the government quartermaster boat under
Captain ----. A lovely visit at West Point, 12th and 13th,
and returned the afternoon of the 13th down the Hudson in
[the] same boat.
June -, 1878. - Went with Lucy and Crump to Mount Ver-
non, June 20. Slept in Lafayette's room. [On the] 23rd went
to Pohick church. Returning stopped at Mr. Troth's a few
minutes and at Mr. Mason's at Woodlawn. A delightful day.
Slept again in Lafayette's room (now the New Jersey room).
Mrs. Halstead of Newark, New Jersey, and Mrs. Hudson of
Connecticut (Stratford), Colonel Hollingsworth, and the two
McDermotts were friendly hosts. Returned with Major Breck-
inridge on government boat--Captain Travis.
The notable political event of the month is the adjournment
of Congress the 19th (at 7 A. M., 20th). I went with all the
Cabinet to the President's room in the Capitol at 12 M., 19th
Remained a few hours when the date of the adjournment was
changed from 19th, 6 P. M., to 19th, 10 P. M. We returned at
8 P. M. Time changed to 1 A. M., again to 3 A. M., then to 5 A.
M., and finally to 7 A. M., 20th! Too many of the Enrollment
Committee of the House were drunk! So of the clerks! The
colored member, Rainey, of South Carolina, kept sober and alone
secured attention to the Sundry Civil Service Bill, appropriating
many millions-perhaps eighteen million dollars! At last one or
two important pages relating to the Hot Springs were omitted
or stolen from the bill. It should be investigated.
The family event of the month was the quiet, beautiful wed-
ding of my niece Emily Platt to General Russell Hastings.
July 1, 1878.- We intend to go tomorrow to the centennial
celebration of the massacre of Wyoming. We shall dine and
have a reception at Governor Hartranft's tomorrow evening.
The next day, the third, will be spent in the valley of Wyoming
and the Fourth will be spent at Wilkes-Barre. I shall probably
say a few words at Harrisburg-very few. I may allude to
the centennial anniversaries of the important events of the Revo-
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 489
lutionary War; the number of them which occurred in Penn-
sylvania, and the example afforded by Philadelphia in 1876.
At Wyoming I may say a word or two about the peculiarity
of the event celebrated. The anniversary is not in honor of
warriors or their deeds, or of statesmen and their achievements,
but in commemoration of the pioneers-the men and women
who encountered disease and hardship, danger and suffering,
to reclaim the wilderness and turn [it] into civilized homes. We
have now on our western and southwestern borders in Wyoming
and Montana, in Idaho and Oregon, in Arizona and Texas, large
numbers of our countrymen engaged as pioneer settlers in a
struggle with difficulties and dangers, not different from those
which the pioneers of the Susquehanna Valley encountered.
How can we best aid them? The Indians are the most dreaded
danger. How to deal with them is a problem which for nearly
three centuries has remained almost unsolved. The founder of
Pennsylvania came nearer to a successful solution of it than any
other of the founders of colonies in the United States. Two
leading ideas seem to be at the foundation of a successful
Indian policy. With these always in view the early settlers may
1. Let all our dealings with the redman be characterized by
justice and good faith, and let there be the most liberal provision
for his physical wants, for education in its widest sense, and for
religious instruction and training. To do this will cost money,
but like all money well expended, it is wise economy.
2. If by reason of the intrigues of the whites or from any
cause Indian wars come, then let us correct the errors of the
past. Always the numbers and prowess of the Indians have
July 7, 1878. - We enjoyed our trip to Wyoming. We dined
on the second at Governor Hartranft's in Harrisburg and had an
agreeable reception in the evening. The clergymen were par-
ticularly hearty. On the third we reached Mr. Pettibone's in
Wyoming near the monument, about 9 A. M. or earlier. I spoke
in the tent offhand, but acceptably. The reports were not well
taken by reason of confusion. But the reception of the speech
by Judge Packer and other intelligent people was satisfactory.
490 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
It ought, however, to have been written out by me for the press.
As reported it looks disjointed. At Wilkes-Barre our stay was
most enjoyable. The miners and the wealthy were equally cor-
dial. Wilkes-Barre is a beautiful town with a fine site on the
Susquehanna. Here our hospitable friends, Phelps, Cunning-
ham, and Parrish entertained us.
My next visit is to Ohio. Simply a great soldiers' reunion
at Newark. Let me prepare a short speech or two for the press.
The Home, July 10, 1878. - Came out to the Soldiers' Home
tonight. A fine cooling thunder-shower. The last few days
very hot; 88 degrees in the White House.
July 12. - Weather still very warm. Attended yesterday the
meeting of the Board of Managers of the Soldiers' Homes at
the Surgeon General's office in order to make a quorum - seven.
General Butler presided. He was very polite!
Wednesday A. M., Soldiers' Home, July 24, 1878.-We left
here about 7 [last Friday evening] after a fine thunder-shower,
and at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad depot took the private
car of President Garrett -Mrs. Sollar, Miss Willock of Lan-
caster, Ohio, General Sherman, General E. B. Tyler, General
Devens, Webb, and self. A pretty comfortable night. Saturday
very hot. The motion of the cars in the mountains made Mrs.
Sollar and General Tyler seasick. Met by crowds at Zanesville
and Newark. Got quietly and almost unobserved into Columbus.
Found all well at Laura's and [had a] delightful time. Sunday
a north wind brought relief. [July] 22, Monday, Newark,
weather good, demonstration successful. Stand too weak as
usual. Keifer's speech good and delivered admirably. I got off
a few words satisfactorily.
Found all well on our return; absence, four days.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 24, 1878.
MY DEAR N-:-I have your letter of the 21st. You evi-
dently have not heard of the rule--an ungracious and embar-
rassing rule - which I felt it was my duty to adopt against the
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 491
appointment of relatives to office. No man connected with me
by blood or marriage has received any appointment at my hands.
I need not say that there have been applicants. No doubt a
number have felt severely my refusal to give them places. Gen-
erally, I am glad to be able to say, my course on this subject has
been approved by my own and by my wife's kindred. I need
not argue the propriety of the course. As you say, "Enough
is as good as a feast."
You speak of local places which you would like to have. Such
places are usually filled by incumbents of local offices. Of
course I do not dictate or oppose such appointments. I simply
let them alone.
This is a hard letter to write. I feel the value of what you
have done. I am persuaded of the warmth and sincerity of your
friendship. More than most men, I suspect, I feel the ties of
kinship and the duties they impose. Your qualifications and
fitness for any duty you would undertake, I know are ample.
But the principle is in the way. Hence this awkward and, I
fear you will think, this cold and unfriendly note.
H. S. NOYES. R. B. HAYES.
July 27. --In conversation with General Robinson, Tanner,
and a gentleman from Albany I spoke of the fact that Conkling
and Butler were generally regarded as at the bottom of the
Potter investigation. Tanner now writes for proof in order to
injure Mr. Conkling. I reply:
July 26, 1878.
MY DEAR SIR:- The impression you refer to, so common
here, may not be well founded. No doubt it is largely traceable
to the World correspondent's disclosures. Whether true or not
I see no reason for its dissemination. Certainly, I shall have
nothing to do with it. My course is not based on personal
R. B. HAYES.
MAJOR JAMES TANNER.
492 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
July 28, 1878.--Yesterday afternoon took a sail on [the]
revenue steamer Ewing down the Potomac below Mount Vernon.
Sherman, Key, Mr. Upton, Dr. Wilson, Lucy, Sherman's
daughter and another little girl, Clark, Superintendent of the
Service, etc., etc. Showery and cool. A pleasant trip.
The event of the week is the South Carolina case. In eight
or ten States of the South, in the mountain regions, embracing
perhaps sixty counties in all, with possibly a population of a
million or more, the tax on whiskey can't be collected; or if col-
lected, it is with a good deal of difficulty. Hitherto there has
been a great deal of evasion and some violence and bloodshed.
But while public men and the courts in that region have winked
at the violations of law, there have been, I think, no attempts
to array the Governments of the States concerned against the
The appearances now indicate that in South Carolina there is
danger of this. Governor Hampton is a conservative and
wishes to see the laws enforced without violence. But a state
circuit judge in a carefully prepared opinion holds the United
States laws unconstitutional. This is in a case where a homicide
was committed by United States officers in an attempt to arrest
a violator of the revenue laws. The officers were prosecuted
in the state courts for the homicide. They sought to remove
their cases from the state court into the United States court.
The state judge, Judge Kershaw, held that this could not be
done, and refused to allow or order the sheriff to produce the
officers, his prisoners, before the circuit court of the United
States in obedience to the writ of habeas corpus cum causa.
This presents a conflict of jurisdiction which may lead to serious
July 30. - The whiskey cases in the South call for wise and
firm conduct. No doubt the Government is a good deal crippled
in its means of enforcing the laws by the proviso attached to the
Army Appropriation Bill which prohibits the use of the army
as a posse comitatus to aid United States officers in the execution
of process. The States may and do employ state military force
to support as a posse comitatus the state civil authorities. If a
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 493
conflict of jurisdiction occurs between the State and the United
States on any question, the United States is thus placed at a
great disadvantage. But in the last resort, I am confident that
the laws give the Executive ample power to enforce obedience to
United States process. The machinery is cumbersome and its
exercise will tend to give undue importance to petty attempts
to resist or evade the laws. But I must use such machinery as
the laws give.
Without passion or haste, the enforcement of the laws must go
on. If the sheriffs or other state officers resist the laws, and by
the aid of state militia do it successfully, that is a case of re-
bellion to be dealt with under the laws framed to enable the
Executive to subdue combinations or conspiracies too powerful
to be suppressed by the ordinary civil officers of the United
States. This involves proclamations, the movement of United
States land and naval forces, and possibly the calling out of
volunteers, and this looks like war. It is like the Whiskey Re-
bellion in the time of Washington. That precedent, if the case
demands it, will be followed. Good citizens who wish to avoid
such a result must see to it that neither their State Governments
nor mobs undertake to prevent United States officers from en-
forcing the laws. My duty is plain. The laws must be enforced.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 1, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:-Again there is talk about the district at-
torneyship at Chicago. Root was here--appears well. But
there is also much talk about popular soldiers. Is there such a
man, fit and suitable? Or is Root the man?
I am threatened by a blackmailer with a little bit of a scan-
dalous publication if I don't give him an office! Of course I
will not buy him off, and he may publish. If he does you will
know there is nothing in it worth attention.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
494 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
August 2.-Good rains; thunder-storms yesterday and the
day before. Sultry between showers.
In June my private secretary during the second term as Gov-
ernor (1870-72), Colonel Neil, came from Salt Lake, where
he is assistant postmaster, after a consulship. He had with
him a gentleman of some apparent importance, Lycurgus Edger-
ton. It soon appeared that Edgerton wanted to get Neil ap-
pointed a consul to some important place in France to advance
his (Edgerton's) interests in selling silver-mining stocks in
Utah. Edgerton professed to have great influence with Mr.
Evarts. But he failed to get the office. He failed also to get
a place on the Silver Commission which he wanted for himself.
Now he threatens to publish damaging things about me if I don't
appoint Neil to an office. His exposures are:--I. My insin-
cerity and broken promises to Neil in regard to the office sought.
2. That I grossly insulted Mrs. Neil by kissing her when she
called on me at the White House.
As to the first, there is nothing worth remarking on. As to the
second, there was no offense. Mrs. Neil's father and I were
old acquaintances in Cincinnati before she was born. When she
married Neil he was my private secretary, and both were in
the habit of saying they could not have married but for my
appointment. A friendly kiss of greeting had been common. I
saw no offense taken by her. But now Edgerton proposes to
regard this as an insult which can only be atoned for by an
office! In fact, the only offense was the refusal to appoint.
Colonel Neil has nothing to do with this, I am confident. Before
he left I told him that any vacant office in Utah, it would be
proper for him to apply for, and that I would consider the case
favorably. But now Edgerton kicks this over!
Monday, August 5, 1878. - Lucy left this evening with Birch
and Fanny to visit for a week or ten days Judge Swayne's family
Today we had the heaviest storm of rain and hail I have
ever seen. With Birch in the Fremont carriage- the greys
driven by Albert - we were weather-bound in Vermont Avenue
near N [Street] over half an hour. No harm done.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 495
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 5, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--Mrs. Hayes has a letter from Mrs. Smith
which speaks of handbills announcing that I will be in Chicago
at the Fireman's Tournament, September 4. My reply to the
mayor was intended to be that I would not be able to attend.
Awkwardly enough, I do expect to attend the Minnesota State
Fair about that time, and would naturally pass through Chicago.
I don't want to be on exhibition when I can avoid it. What can
you suggest? I think my engagement at St. Paul is on the 4th.
Colonel Kellar is winning victories in Memphis, you notice.
I am sorry it is mixed up with soft money, but as it divides the
solid South, I think we may welcome it.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
August 6. - It is plain that the Civil Service reform has made
1. No assessments on office-holders are now allowed. If it
is charged in any case, the officer concerned hastens to deny it.
Even the enemies of reform in the party now give it up. (See
2. Office-holders have in great degree ceased to interfere
in party management. If accused of it, they deny it.
3. Appointments are no longer regarded as belonging to
4. No relatives are appointed to office by the President.
5. No misconduct of any sort, no corruption in office, is
covered up by the Administration. All officers understand that
a betrayal of trust will lead "to speedy, unsparing, and thorough
prosecution and punishment."
6. Appointments less partisan than any time before since
[J. Q.] Adams' time.
7. No partisan service required of any public officer.
496 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
Thursday, August 8, 1878.- I probably go to St. Paul the first
week in September. In the remarks I may be required to make
I will present some facts bearing on our financial condition.
This is the subject which now attracts the attention and deserves
the careful consideration of the country. For five years, ever
since the panic which began in September, 1873, the whole
business of the country has been greatly depressed. That de-
pression, wide-spread and general, demands and receives a large
share of the attention of thoughtful people. . . .
In Maine a friend says the friends of the Administration are
many of them not disposed to support the Republican ticket be-
cause the convention passed no resolutions sustaining the Ad-
ministration. The truth is, they passed no resolutions on the
subject. They said nothing on the questions of the past; noth-
ing on any subject likely to divide the party. They simply took
the right side on the question whether the people shall have
honest money. They made this their sole issue. This is like
my contest in Ohio in 1875. It is now the real issue before
the country. It is the only very important question. The Re-
publicans of Maine are fighting the battle for a sound currency,
for honest money, for a currency of gold and silver and of
paper redeemable in gold and silver at the will of the holder.
My sympathies are all with them. I hope they will succeed.
No Republican ought to hesitate in that conflict.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 8, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:- You were right as to the importance of giv-
ing reasons in a succinct form for the New York change. I
directed it to be done, and in part it was attended to, but not as
it should have been. The truth is "the Administration is not
well edited." None of my excellent associates possess the
editorial talent or experience. But the [San Francisco] Bulletin
should know that the order has not been modified. In Massa-
chusetts where he [the writer] says Devens modified it, it
is today well enforced, and the evil it aimed to destroy is almost
I have written about the trip. I don't want a reception at
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 497
Chicago. I want to get through as rapidly as possible to St.
Paul and return.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH,
[Mr. Smith had written August 5:-
"At the time of the removal of Collector Arthur I suggested
the publication of the special reports of the commisisoners as a
sure way of silencing unfriendly criticism, and as being due to
the press, friendly to your Administration who otherwise would
be unable to meet the criticisms in an intelligent manner. As
confirming this opinion the comments of the San Francisco
Bulletin, which I enclose, are entitled to consideration. The
Bulletin is the ablest and best of the papers on the Pacific Coast;
conservative, and friendly to you. But not having the facts
before him, the editor has been able to see nothing but our
abandonment of civil service [reform] in the removal of Arthur
and appointment of Merritt.
"You have been pleased to give me credit for political sagacity,
and I feel that if I was ever entitled to your good opinion I am
in this matter. If I could have the publication of the reports in
my hands, the result would be to greatly strengthen you. The
fullest publicity of the transactions of your Administration and
reliance on the intelligent reading classes, are the best methods
for defeating the implacables.
"I have written to Mr. Pickering, one of the proprietors of the
Bulletin, privately, hoping thereby to forestall any further
Soldiers' Home, August 9, 1878. -Nothing brings out the
lower traits of human nature like office-seeking. Men of good
character and impulses are betrayed by it into all sorts of mean-
ness. Disappointment makes them unjust to the last degree.
August 12. - George H. Forster, an able lawyer of New York
City, dined with me Friday and talked over the whole situation.
498 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
The enemies of the Administration have the organization in their
hands and will control the party in the State. But a majority
of the good citizens outside of the politicians are sound, so Mr.
Forster says, and in time they will control the organization. All
this is of small importance, if I can keep in the right path, and
carry forward the good cause.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 12, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--Your letter received. First and most im-
portant, quit work, take care of your health, keep cool, and let
the heathen rage.
Second, I would like to stay a week with you, but I can't do
more than as follows: Are you surely right as to the firemen
taking up the third? If so I can do this. Leave Fremont Mon-
day evening, September 2, reach Chicago Tuesday morning, stop
with Drake* over the third, leave for St. Paul morning of fourth,
reach St. Paul night of fourth, and remain over fifth. Return
sixth and seventh to Fremont. Possibly I may go west from
St. Paul for three days. Now, if you and Mrs. Smith can go
with us from Chicago, I shall be particularly pleased. I shall
also ask General Sheridan to go.
Will it do to talk a few sensible sentences about financial
affairs on my trip?
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 19, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--I have yours of the 15th. The programme
you state still sticks without change. . . . But I am getting
letters from Wisconsin which lead me to think of yielding to
their urgent invitation to return via Madison and stop the tenth
at their State Fair. They have organized a system of pressure
upon me which is so admirably done that it deserves success.
*John B. Drake, Grand Pacific Hotel.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 499
The Governor, Senators, and Representatives have written.
Howe is particularly polite! On the other hand must I give up
to political pressure ?
I suspect the Memphis sorrow [yellow fever epidemic] is
greatly exaggerated by the panic-stricken people. We do all
we can for their relief.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 28, 1878.
MY DEAR S--:- I send you the substance of the talks I
shall make, if I make any, in the West. This is rather a message
than a speech, but I shall not adhere closely to the text. I send
it to you for suggestion. I do not want to talk at all at Chicago,
and trust you will be able to arrange it so.
What is the general feeling about business?
I leave here Friday evening. If you have anything to say,
please send it to me at Fremont, where I shall be Sunday and
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, August 29, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--The printed mem. for remarks which I
sent you contained on 6th and 7th pages what I do not want
used. In the place of it are a few figures and sentences on the
balance of trade which I send you.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
September 1 (Sunday), 1878. Fremont, Ohio. -We . . .
reached here last night. At depot many friends met us; no
500 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
speeches; a band accompanied us home. Here Mrs. Savage and
[family] - cousins (second) - are in possession of our pleasant
home, keeping it in beautiful condition. Rutherford is here,
making the family circle complete for the first time since the
FREMONT, OHIO, September 15, 1878.
MY DEAR S--:--I write to express my special thanks to you.
Our trip to the Northwest has been in all respects one of the
most gratifying events of my life. There may have been friction
and unpleasantness, at more than one place, but they were kept
out of my sight and were to me as if they had not been. Al-
together, our remembrance of the visit is the most agreeable
With love to Mrs. Smith, yourself, and yours, I am,
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
Soldiers' Home, September 26, 1878. Thursday.--Yester-
day at 10 A. M. we, that is, Lucy, Birchard, Rutherford, Fanny,
and Scott, with our faithful men, Crump and Isaiah, reached
the White House after twenty-six days' absence. A most happy,
successful, and I hope, useful trip. At Pittsburgh, our last stop-
ping-place, the reception and welcome was most enthusiastic.
Nothing of the sort could have been finer.
I met at Chicago many gentlemen who were very kind to me
-Howe, MacVeagh, Baker, Phelps, Walker. At the banquet
took Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of Rev. Dr. Locke, to the table.
October 1, 1878. - Upon the whole the Western trip was the
happiest and most useful trip yet made. It certainly strengthened
my Administration and our greetings showed that we were al-
ready strong. I go tonight to New York to attend the meeting
of the Board of Trustees of the Peabody Education Fund.
I go to a fair at Winchester, Virginia, the 16th.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 501
On the subject of money we can't be wiser than the Con-
stitution. The money of the Constitution is coin. By a law
established by the common consent of all mankind, the precious
metals, gold and silver, have been the standard of value in all
countries and ages, and that law can no more be repealed by act
of Congress than the law of gravitation. It is fundamental and
irrepealable. The fathers of our Constitution embodied it in
their great work. There it will stand.
Soldiers Home, near Washington, October 5, 1878. - Yester-
day I was fifty-six years old. I returned with Lucy and my old
friend, John W. Herron, from New York, about daylight. The
dome as the sun was rising behind it was an object of singular
beauty. My first meeting at the Fifth Avenue Hotel with the
Peabody Trustees was an agreeable one. Mr. [R. C.] Winthrop
presided. He is an exceedingly interesting old gentleman. Mr.
A. H. H. Stewart, of Staunton, Virginia, impressed me most
favorably as an able, kind, and cultured Virginian of the old
school. General Dick Taylor is a witty talker, polite and liberal.
Dr. Sears, the agent, does the work of the board, and, I think,
does it wisely and well.
Touching my birthday. I was never on the whole happier
than I am now. My health, and that of my wife also, is very
good. Our elevation has not, I am sure, turned our heads.
The abuse of us and the honest but severe criticism do not
sour us. I try to judge fairly as to what is said and "to improve"
all just criticism. My Administration is no doubt stronger
than ever before. The appeal to the people on grounds of a
non-partisan character has been successful. I must in the future
be more and more careful to do only what is wise and right.
I am told by Mr. Rainey, colored Congressman from South
Carolina, that in Sumter and other counties the whites are re-
sorting to intimidation and violence to prevent the colored people
from organizing for the elections. The division there is still
on the color line. Substantially all the whites are Democrats
and all the colored people are Republicans. There is no political
principle in dispute between them. The whites have the in-
telligence, the property, and the courage which make power.
502 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
The negroes are for the most part ignorant, poor, and timid.
My view is that the whites must be divided there before a better
state of things will prevail.
How to deal with debts; the value of the public credit, and
how to sustain it; what constitutes a sound, safe, and stable
currency. No man living or dead has given or can give better
advice than James Madison. On these subjects, no man can be
wiser than the Constitution, for whose formation and adoption
he did so much.
October 8 (Sunday), 1878. - My talk at Orange Court House,
Virginia, Wednesday, must be very brief and confined to the
services of Madison. His name is linked inseparably with the
Constitution of the United States. He is called its father.
No man did more in its formation, and no man did more to
procure its adoption by the States. As long as free constitu-
tional governments exist, his work will be held in grateful re-
membrance. He was wise on all the questions of his time.
More than that his wisdom embodied in our Constitution solves
every doubtful question which has arisen since his time, and all
the questions of the present epoch.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, October 6, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:- Thanks for the Evanston advice [about
aspirants for the postmastership]. It will be followed.
I send you General Devens' notes [relating to payments on the
Chicago custom house contract]. Please treat them as confi-
Don't allow these things to worry you. Do the best you can
without too much labor or friction and let them go at that. It
struck me that you looked as if your health required attention.
Do try to favor yourself. Let things work themselves out.
Turn over to others some of your labors. This is earnest. Swear
off from half your work. You are endangering your health.
We are all well. Mrs. Hayes joins in love to you and yours.
R. B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 503
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, October 7, 1878.
MY DEAR S--:- I send you a dispatch just received. If it
is in any way true you will let me know and its true value.
The elections turn out so well that we are, as the newspapers
say, "serene." How are you?
R. B. HAYES.
Please return enclosure.- H.
HONORABLE WM. H. SMITH.
October 10, 1878.--Yesterday went with Lucy, General
Devens, General Schurz, and Mr. Rogers to Montpelier, the
residence of Madison. We left the depot about 6:30 A. M., after
an early breakfast at the Home, and reached Orange Court
House, eighty miles, about half-past ten A. M. At eleven we
started in carriages for Montpelier, about five miles distant.
On the cars we were joined by Colonel John S. Mosby, who had
charge of the party, his sister, Miss Mosby, Captain Chapman,
his brother, Mr. Mosby, and by Mr. Hill, a senator of Maryland,
Prince George's County. At Alexandria, by Lewis Mackenzie,
postmaster, Mr. Payne and his son, the clerk of court, and
Miss -; at Fairfax by ex-Lieutenant-Governor Thomas
("Judge"), Mr. Brook, senator of Loudon and Fairfax, and
others. Before reaching Orange Court House a committee of
trustees, Mr. Chapman, Edward C. Marshall, son of Chief Justice
Marshall, Colonel Willis, a nephew of Madison, and others.
A crowd of people met us at Orange and there was speaking.
Our train of carriages on a fair Virginia road reached the
mansion in an hour. It was a satisfaction to find so admirable
a place. The house large, with piazza and tall large pillars like,
somewhat, Arlington, on an elevation with perhaps fifty acres
of lawn in front, and a noble view of the Blue Ridge. The great
trees were very interesting to me.
A white oak near the grave twenty-one feet in circumference!
A chestnut on right flank of lawn thirty-seven feet in circum-
504 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
ference. A black walnut, right of house, fifteen feet. A poplar
(tulip) eighteen feet. The oak and chestnut were low and apple-
tree shaped; the poplars and walnuts, of which there were many,
tall and beautiful. The place is not well kept up and is for sale
cheap. Forty thousand dollars certainly would buy it with
eleven hundred acres, and probably thirty thousand dollars. A
great lack of enterprise, thrift, and comfort in that region, but
the people were many of them well informed and generally,
perhaps universally, friendly and well-disposed to newcomers.
A Mr. Brasee, of Baltimore, has bought and finely improved an
estate this side of Montpelier eight miles, at Rapidan. His
elegant barouche and four with driver were at our service and
took us to Montpelier. On the piazza we were welcomed with
hearty hand-shaking by the present owner Mr. Carson, and by
a carefully prepared speech by Colonel Willis. An interesting
and enjoyable day.
October 17, 1878.--Returned this morning from the Win-
chester Fair. Lunched elegantly at Judge Pendleton's, who has
rebuilt on the Mason place, where the mansion was carried off
to the last brick by the Union soldiers. Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton
live there in superb style. Their son, a young lawyer, is a
gentleman by nature and has culture and talents. Dined with
Governor Holliday and homed at his hospitable old Virginia
home. He is a one-armed Confederate soldier of liberal and
just sentiments; sound on the debt and currency questions. My
list of gentlemen to be remembered longer than usual. The
governor's brother, Dr. Holliday, Captain Clark, the mayor,
Judge, and young Pendleton.
October 18, 1878. White House. - We moved in from the
Home this morning in a cold rain-storm. Guy Bryan and Miss
Tilly Anderson, with little Hally Bryan, are our guests. They
will sleep with us tonight in the White House and leave for
home tomorrow via St. Louis.
October 25, 1878. - We had an agreeable visit to Cumberland
yesterday. The party consisted of Lucy and self, Mr. Sher-
man, General and Mrs. Tyler, of Baltimore, Major Morgan, Mr.
Gobright, and my clerk, Mr. Gustin. We left in the midst of a
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 505
storm at 7:30 P. M. Wednesday. Colonel Gilpin (Charles), and
Colonel Johnson came down to accompany us up to Cumberland.
At Cumberland yesterday morning the weather was perfect. Mr.
Lloyd Lowndes, Jr., as president of the fair, Governor John Lee
Carroll, governor of Maryland, Mr. Reed, mayor of Cumber-
land, Colonel Bruce, [and others] were prominent in our enter-
tainment. I made an offhand talk - desultory, but successful and
well received. The governor was profuse in compliment and
apparently sincere. This is my last engagement of that sort.
Now for my message and other duties.
October 26. -I will carefully examine the messages of all of
my predecessors -especially of Jefferson, Madison, J. Q.
Adams, Van Buren, and Lincoln on all the topics of which I
I must make a clear, firm, and accurate statement of the facts
as to Southern outrages, and reiterate the sound opinions I have
long held on the subject. What good people demand is exact
justice, equality before the law, perfect freedom of political
speech and action, and no denial of rights to any citizen on ac-
count of color or race-the same to colored as to whites.
Private and Confidential.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, October 28, 1878.
MY DEAR S--:--Boyington was warmly commended by
McD- [Major McDowell] for architect. His testimonials from
Judge Otis, Bryan, and many others seem to show that he is
altogether fit for the place. If this is in fact so, there will be no
difficulty in appointing him.
A well-appearing--in fact handsome-young lawyer from
Evanston says Payne is not, and that Chase is, the choice of an
overwhelming majority of the best people in Evanston. I told
him I would not appoint before the 10th of next month. He
will undertake to prove his views correct. Again I say?
Now as to Hill [the present supervising architect]. He
strikes me as not strong, but well-intentioned, or at any rate
so far worthy, or not unworthy, that if he is to go out we need
506 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
not look further after him. Ought we not to let other prose-
cution of him slide?
R. B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
[CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, October 30, 1878.
MY DEAR MR. PRESIDENT:-- I am this moment in receipt of
your kind favor of the 28th instant, and reply at once to your
1. W. W. Boyington is undoubtedly one of the most com-
petent architects this country has ever produced. He is both
able and honest, and his appointment would reflect credit upon
your Administration. If done at once much wrong may be
averted, and the Treasury Department relieved of one standing
disgrace -a disgrace I am assured by Members of Congress
they intend to reach in December if something is not done before.
Being advised of this purpose I have been anxious to have the
credit for so much of reform put down on the Republican side
of the ledger. This statement leads to
2. Hill looks innocent, you say. For charity's sake let us
assume that he is. Then, he is weak, incompetent--a pipe for
rogues to play upon; a more dangerous man in an office of trust
than a smart rascal. The ring that uses Hill is a powerful one
and has its ramifications in many cities. To defeat it, prompt
and silent action is necessary. With Hill and his chief clerk
Jacobs (a precious scoundrel) out, it will be easier for John
Sherman to reach others who stand in the way of his complete
success. I use strong terms, but I am in a position to see and
know what neither you nor a Secretary of the Treasury in
Washington, surrounded by an army of subordinates with
bureau outposts to keep away informers, can possibly see and
know. There is abundant evidence to make the future life of
Hill a hard one, but I would spare him. Whether he can be
wholly saved here I do not know. The [grand] jury are at
work [investigating frauds in the construction of the Chicago
custom house], and are in earnest. I will see what can be done
now at this late hour.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 507
3. I received a letter from Raymond in behalf of Mr. Chase
who seeks the appointment of postmaster at South Evanston.
I understand that the opponents of Colonel Payne, finding that
neither of the lady candidates stood a chance, brought out Mr.
Chase. He is respectable and old, but without any special claim
on the place. . . . Payne was a good soldier, and he has
been three times elected corporation attorney as you will see
from the enclosed paper signed by officers of that town. He is
poor and in ill health, and fellow soldiers and active Republicans
want him to have the office.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.]
HONORABLE R. B. HAYES.
White House, October 30, 1878. - We celebrated last night
the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Cincinnati Literary Club by
a dinner to the members residing or present in Washington.
The list is as follows: Spofford, Rogers, T. C. H. Smith,
Samuel P. Butler, General Muzzey, R. B. Warden, W. W.
Warden, John E. Hatch, of Cincinnati, Judge C. P. James, Henry
Reed, A. R. Dutton, Cleveland Abbe, William Guilford, Henry
C. Borden, and self. Also Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Rogers, General
Hastings, and Webb C. Hayes. Muzzey read a good paper.
Butler a fine poem. The witty paper of McConkey in 1854, bur-
lesquing the style of R. W. Emerson, was read by Spofford.
November 1. - Mr. Evarts repeated the remark made about
a squeaking-voiced Chase opponent to Windom: "His voice
is admirably adapted to reading fine print."
Mr. Ambrose Thompson says our greenback currency orig-
inated with an omnibus driver who called in the absence of
change for postage stamps; hence the postal currency.
Private and Confidential.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 2, 1878.
DEAR S-:--I have your very satisfactory letter about Boy-
ington, Payne, etc., etc.
The next point is the place now held by Vail for which White
508 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
and Thompson are named. After hearing all sides I incline to
Thompson but will hear you again if you wish. . . .
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
November 6, 1878. White House. - The elections of yester-
day show very gratifying results. The States of New England
are solid for sound principles. The crushing defeat of [Benjamin
F.] Butler [Democratic candidate for governor of Massachu-
setts] was one of the best events that has happened since the war.
Unscrupulous, able, rich, untiring, he was the most dangerous
and wicked demagogue we have ever had. When he found
he could not rule this Administration, as he had hoped, he de-
clared war on it and me. At the close of his last interview
on the Methuen postoffice, he said, with significant emphasis:
"You will regret this." After a little hesitation, recollecting him-
self, he said, "because it is wrong."
Everywhere in the North we are stronger than in any off
year since the war, except possibly in 1866 when Johnson was
overwhelmed.* The South is substantially solid against us.
*William Henry Smith wrote the President November 12:--"Was
not our fight in the Northwest a gallant fight? Michigan's victory was
wonderful; so was that won in Chicago and Milwaukee. We were saved
here by compelling the speakers to take pronounced ground on finances-
compelling them to follow after you and Secretary Sherman. The fact is,
when you came here, besides the editorials of the Tribune, Journal, and
Staats Zeitung and the literature and meetings of our 'Honest Money
League,' nothing had been done. We had a no-meaning platform and a
central committee tainted with greenback heresies. Then came your
speeches, plain, practical, and effective--so brief as to reach every man
and command his attention. When you were through the fight was vir-
tually won, as committees and speakers were compelled to follow the
course marked out by you. It was a political necessity which they could
not fail to see. By the way, there were heavy gains in Illinois and
Wisconsin wherever you spoke. . . . I shall insist on taking a part
of the credit to myself, as you will remember that I had hard work
to get you to stop in Illinois, although I had been working to that end
for a year. You were for going straight through to St. Paul, and then
returning as rapidly as possible. However, it was something to yield
your claims for rest and quiet for the general good."
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 509
Their vote is light; our side was unorganized, - a host of people
of both colors took no part. The whites must divide before we
can hope for good results there. The blacks, poor, ignorant, and
timid, can't stand alone against the whites.
In my message I must treat this result as a decision in favor
of resumption, undisturbed; in favor of reform; in opposition to
all revolutionary schemes which would destroy the stability of
our Government. It is in one word a verdict against Butlerism.
It is 1. A verdict in favor of a sound constitutional cur-
rency; in favor of a currency equal to gold. 2. A verdict in
favor of maintaining unstained the national credit. 3. A ver-
dict against all revolutionary schemes threatening the stability
of our form of government. 4. A verdict against communism,
socialism, and repudiation. 5. In a word, it is a verdict against
Butlerism in all its forms.
The only regret is that the better elements of the South
were not so organized as to have a share in the victory. No
doubt many good and conservative men have been elected. Prob-
ably a large majority are in their judgments and consciences
opposed to the wild and dangerous doctrines which the better
sentiment of Massachusetts and of the rest of the conservative
States of the North have so decidedly condemned.
We are for:- 1. A sound constitutional currency, specie
and paper, both equal in value to gold. 2. A maintenance of the
public credit. 3. Equality of rights for all States and for all the
citizens of all the States. 4. We are opposed to inflation and
repudiation. 5. We are opposed to all revolutionary schemes
hostile to the stability of the Government. 6. We are opposed to
communism, socialism, repudiation, and inflation.
White House, November 12, 1878.--It now looks as if the
November elections had settled all questions as to the Presi-
dential title; that Potterism is dead. But Butlerism - cheap
money schemes still live. The popularity of silver, the unpopu-
larity of banks, or rather of money-lenders as embodied in the
national banks, are strong enough to be corner-stones of parties
and platforms. They will probably divide the Democratic party
and so strengthen the Republican. But if all the discontent could
510 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
be embodied in one party, with cheap money and plenty of it as
its watchwords, the power of such a party would be ample for
mischief and it might, for a time, rule the country.
In South Carolina and Louisiana, and perhaps in some of
the other cotton States, grave charges are made that the con-
stitutional provisions which guarantee equal citizenship have
been practically nullified; that by fraud or force or intimidation,
colored citizens have been disfranchised.
By state legislation, by frauds, by intimidation, and by violence
of the most atrocious character, colored citizens have been
deprived of the right of suffrage - a right guaranteed by the
Constitution, and to the protection of which the people of those
States have been solemnly pledged.
President Monroe in his third annual message, December,
1819, congratulates Congress on its meeting in the public build-
ings so far completed, etc., etc. The Capitol then first occupied
since its rebuilding.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 14, 1878.
MY DEAR S-:--I have your letter of the 11th. That word
"nervous" scares me. You are working too much and have too
many irons in the fire. Do drop all but those which are espe-
cially on your conscience.
I notice and thank you for the Evanston items. All right.
I can't suggest anything in aid of your coming fight, except
don't do it to the injury of your health.
Is it true that Boyington is in independent circumstances and
only asks the office for the honor, etc., etc.*
R. B. HAYES.
WILLIAM HENRY SMITH.
* Mr. Smith replied: -"I believe Mr. Boyington to be in good circum-
stances, and that he wants the supervising architect's position merely
for the reputation. There is not the least doubt that if appointed he
will do honor to your Administration and credit to himself. . . . I see
no way of reforming the shameful abuses of the architect's bureau, and
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 511
November 20, 1878. - By this morning's papers it is reported
that Judge Gresham at Indianapolis was informed by the fore-
man of the grand jury that the President had directed that a
certain case, the case of Carey W. Miller, should not be prose-
cuted by indictment. The judge replied that the President could
not interfere with the duties of the grand jury; that by their
oaths they were bound to indict if the facts warranted it.
The facts are, the Member of Congress from Indianapolis ap-
plied for a pardon of Miller. On the ex parte showing a good
prima facie case was made for a pardon prior to prosecution.
But before finally deciding, I preferred to hear what could be
alleged on the other side. For this purpose, I preferred delay.
There was no danger of an escape. The crime had been long
known. Therefore the district attorney was directed not to
prosecute at the next term, then just about to be held, with a
view to further inquiry into the facts. It was thought if the
young man continued to behave well, and the facts on investiga-
tion warranted, that either no prosecution would be had or a
pardon could be properly granted. There was no interference
with the grand jury. The direction was to the district attorney
as to his duties and was in strict conformity with law. The
precedents are also abundant from the days of Washington
to Grant inclusive. The President has always been in the habit
of giving such instructions.
Judge Gresham was hasty. He was not well informed as to
the facts. When the grand juror, the foreman of the grand jury,
made his statement, he should have inquired of the district at-
torney for the facts. The foreman did not pretend that he had
any personal knowledge of the matter. The judge went off half-
cocked on hearsay, or he blundered grossly if he had the facts.
The direction was to the district attorney as to his action with
a view of delaying prosecution until the question of the propriety
of a pardon could be investigated. The grand jury were not
addressed or approached even in the matter. The order tele-
saving the Secretary of the Treasury from mortifying exposures, but in
the appointment of some high-minded and honorable man like Boyington.
You can make a hit in his appointment, and going elsewhere you may be
512 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
graphed to the district attorney was in these words: ". .
postpone . ."
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, November 28, 1878.
MY DEAR GENERAL: - I write to tender to you the appointment
of judge of the circuit court of the United States for the circuit
which includes your native State, Massachusetts. If you accept
I am confident that the members of the bar and the people most
interested in the appointment will applaud the selection I have
decided to make.
While it gives me great satisfaction to be the instrument of
conferring upon you an honor which I know you deserve, I
cannot forbear to say that your absence from the Cabinet I
shall feel very deeply, and that in my judgment you can do a
higher service to the whole country by retaining your present
office of Attorney-General, than by assuming the duties of circuit
judge in the New England circuit.
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL CHARLES DEVENS.
White House, November 29, 1878. - Thanksgiving dinner yes-
terday passed off well. Dr. Lanahan preached a great sermon
at the Foundry [Church]. God in all human affairs overruling
them for good. At dinner all of the clerks, their wives and little
ones, Hastings and Emily; in all at table twenty-eight. A turkey,
Narragansett from Rhode Island, gift of Senator Anthony,
weight twenty-five and three-fourth pounds; another from
Colonel Linthacum, Frederick, Maryland, twenty-three and one-
half pounds. Music after dinner; recitations by little folks.
Andrews Rogers in sailor costume the hero. In the evening
Webb, Lucy, and I walked out; called on General Schurz, Mr.
Evarts, Judge Harlan-all at dinner or out-and on McCrary
and Garfield who were in. Lucy well and in fine spirits-
looking her best.
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 513
Message finished and nearly all printed. The Senators are
coming in daily.
Decembed 4, 1878. - My message was sent to the two houses
of Congress on the second soon after 12 M. It seems to be gen-
erally well received. Such Stalwarts and irreconcilables as the
New York Times are severe in their strictures upon it. No doubt
the Bourbon press, which represents the extreme sectionalism
of the South, will be equally bitter. This was expected. It
will doubtless continue to the end of my Administration.
I am likely, I fear, to lose General Devens from the Attorney-
General's office by his acceptance of the New England circuit
judgeship.* It is difficult to fill his place satisfactorily. If our
Stalwarts would permit it, I should ask A. H. H. Stewart of
Virginia, to take his place. The probability is that the attacks
on such a course by the bitter brethren would damage the good
cause of pacification more than his appointment could bene-
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, December 4, 1878.
MY DEAR SIR:- I have heard within a day or two things
which make me anxious about the New Orleans customs officers.
Is there danger there? Please have a searching and thorough
investigation. Do it quietly. If a change seems best, let us get
the best men possible without regard to past "services."
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE JOHN SHERMAN.
December 8. - Now for the civil service in case the New York
appointments are confirmed. The first step in any adequate and
permanent reform is the divorce of the legislature from the
nominating power. With this, reform can and will successfully
proceed. Without it, reform is impossible. When the New
York nominations are confirmed, in case that is the result, I can
*General Devens decided to remain in the Cabinet.
514 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
go ahead with public efforts to reform the service. A special mes-
sage must be prepared to go in with Mr. D. B. Eaton's report.
I will make the principal point - the first point- as above in-
dicated. Argue it fully. The people must be educated to ex-
pect and require their Members of Congress to abstain from
appointments. They must not expect them to obtain places.
Congressmen must not claim to have a share of the appointments,
either principal or minor places.
December 16. - Yesterday, Sunday, a gloomy, rainy day. In
the evening the Vice-President, General Sherman, Dr. and Mrs.
Woodworth, Judge Matthews, the Attorney-General, and Major
McKinley called. Mrs. Woodworth at the piano in the Red Room.
"Grandfather's Clock" and other plantation melodies made a
cheerful evening. General Sherman discussed the death of
[Princess] Alice, the war of the English against the Afghans, the
routes to India and Australia--noble steamers, well equipped,
no accidents, - and our visit to New York the 30th to attend the
Bryant Memorial exercises of the New York Historical Society.
The political event of last week is the opposition of Conkling
to the New York appointments. This is a test case. The Senators
generally prefer to confirm Merritt and Graham. But many,
perhaps a majority, will not oppose Conkling on the question.
Senatorial courtesy, the Senatorial prerogative, and the fear
of Conkling's vengeance in future, control them. He is like
Butler-more powerful because he is vindictive and not re-
strained by conscience.
The most noticeable weakness of Congressmen is their tim-
idity. They fear the use to be made of their "record." They
are afraid of making enemies. They do not vote according
to their convictions from fear of consequences.
[Mr. Hayes spoke in a similar strain in his conversation with
William Henry Smith in June 1883, already quoted from. Mr.
"The appointment of Welsh [as minister to England] came
about in this way: Evarts had in his gushing way said in the
presence of Don Cameron, that Pennsylvania was entitled to
one of the great missions, and as that to England was vacant,
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 515
if the Republicans there could agree among themselves, it could
be had. Don shrewdly saw an opportunity to put into practice
his peculiar tactics. He called a meeting of the Pennsylvania
delegation at his house, and there had a paper drawn up and
signed in favor of the appointment of his father, Simon Cam-
eron. This paper he fetched in person to the President, related
the conversation with Evarts, and said bluntly, 'This is what
Pennsylvania wants.' Now, note what followed: The very next
day before the hour for the meeting of Congress, a majority of
the Pennsylvania delegation who had signed the paper for
Simon Cameron called at the White House and told the Presi-
dent that they had signed under constraint, that the appointment
would not be proper and was not what Pennsylvania wanted!
"Another striking illustration of the duplicity and cowardice
of politicians is found in the relation of the action of the New
York delegation and other supporters of Mr. Conkling in 1877.
Soon after the President reached Washington, the New Yorkers
called upon him at the residence of Mr. Sherman and presented
a paper duly signed by everybody in favor of the appointment
of Mr. Platt as Postmaster-General. Remarks were made by
the members of the delegation quite eulogistic of Mr. Platt, and
prophetic of the great good that would result to the Republican
party through such an appointment. I was quite strongly im-
pressed by the earnestness of these New Yorkers. After some
moments of general conversation they took their leave one by
one. Several of them were observed to speak to the President
elect in a low tone as they took his hand. Six of them - some
of them the loudest in their praises of the virtues of Platt-
whispered in the ear of Mr. Hayes that they did not want Platt
appointed, and that it was not what New York wanted!"]
December 17. - Bright and beautiful.
How to get the requisite information to appoint postmasters
without practically giving it to the Members of Congress, is one
of the questions. Last night I took up the papers in the Lebanon,
Ohio, case. There were eight competitors. Three women-
two, widows of officers. Three or four of the men were well
516 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
qualified and well supported by the people. I appointed a crip-
pled private soldier. He was getting a smaller pension than the
ladies received-poor, honest, moral, and religious, with requisite
December 21.--The first snow of the winter this morning.
One or two inches whitens the ground and it is still snowing.
Dined with the Cabinet and General Sherman and Mr. Justice
Miller last evening. Mr. Justice Miller did the most of the talk-
ing-in a fine natural way and in the most charitable and
friendly spirit. Of Clifford he told anecdotes--favorable ones
- and spoke in the highest terms of his conduct, both matter and
manner, as President of the Electoral Commission. "Marshall
could not have done better."
December 23. - Last night Evarts and Sherman went to New
York to attend the New England dinner. Congress has taken
a recess until January 7, 1879. Mrs. Austin, of Cleveland, has
been with us since Tuesday [the] 10th. Rutherford came from
Cornell Saturday morning. Birch will be here the last of this
week. Frank Hickok and bride, Mr. Jewett, of Chicago, and
Mrs. Jewett, Charlie Anderson and bride. Enough to make the
house merry New Year's day.
December 25, 1878.--A happy day for Fanny and Scott.
Lucy not quite well. . . . ore presents than ever before.
But a long day!
We are prosperous; our main ideas more acceptable than ever.
Resumption seems assured. The Southern policy safely vindi-
cated. We both long to be at home, and free and at peace ! Two
years more of responsibility, care, and labor!
December 28, 1878. - Twenty-six years ago we were married.
A happier event for me - for both of us - than either of us
then ventured to expect. All of our children are now here.
Birch from Toledo, Rutherford from Cornell, and Webb and
the dear little ones. We also have Mrs. Austin, Lizzie and Lena
Scott, and two daughters of my friend Herron from Cincinnati,
Jennie, now Mrs. Charles Anderson, with her husband, and
Nellie [later to become the wife of William Howard Taft]. A
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 517
fine company, who make the house alive with laughter, fun,
January 1, 1879.--We returned last night from New York.
Mr. [George William] Curtis' address at the Academy of Music
on Bryant was excellent and admirably delivered. He was
plainly dressed in a black frock coat, buttoned; read from manu-
script, lifting the sheets and throwing them over to the left pile
which grew as the other on the right diminished. With a good
strong voice he delivered rather than read his address for one
hour and fifty-seven minutes without a break, or [a] moment's
hesitation, in superb style. The applause was frequent--mod-
erate usually; the most enthusiastic when he repeated with
fervor the sentence quoted from my inaugural. A reception
afterwards at Mr. Frederic DePeyster's.
Returned as we went in Tom Scott's car with Evarts, Senator
Kernan, General Sherman, General Devens, Dr. Loring, and
Before eleven A. M. snow fell pretty rapidly making a dismal
day [for our reception]. But the floral decorations, the smilax
and foliage plants, the music and gas made the rooms cheerful.
The crowd was gay; the garb and ornamental costumes of the
diplomatic corps, of the naval and military gentlemen, lent
brilliancy to the scene. The crowd of people was not so large
as last year. More colored people, more Congressmen, and more
of the young; perhaps also more of the old people of the District.
Our visitors enjoyed it vastly.
January 2.--A severe storm from the west put the mercury
down rapidly this afternoon. Three of our guests left this eve-
ning, notwithstanding, - Mrs. Austin for Cleveland (her home)
and Mr. and Mrs. Jewett for Richmond, Virginia. Lucy has
a difficulty in her throat and is in bed taking medicine tonight.
January 3, 1879.- Coldest day! One degree below zero in
front of the house, north side; 3 degrees below by thermometer
in waiting room at 9:30 A. M. !! The sun shining beautifully
and only an ordinary wind blowing! Is not this unprecedented
Lucy is better but still abed with her throat.
518 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
[January] 4. - Still very cold; slightly milder than yesterday.
Resumption [of specie payments] has gone off well so far.
More gold brought in for notes, than notes for gold! A great
event if it sticks, as I believe it will.
I am meditating a California trip with General Sherman. One
car for me and my party and one car for him and his friends.
I have invited to go with me the Vice-President, John W. Her-
ron and wife, of Cincinnati, and Mr. William D. Howells and
wife, of Cambridge. Lucy and Webb with our orderly, William
T. Crump, will also go and possibly Rutherford or Birchard.
Possibly the Secretary of War and wife will also be my guests.
Say, for my car, ten or eleven persons.
January 10, 1879. - I am blamed for the pardon of Heywood,
convicted in Boston of sending obscene matter through the mails.
A man guilty of circulating, writing, or publishing obscene books
- books intended or calculated to corrupt the young--would
find no favor with me. He should be punished severely. In the
case referred to, the pardon was granted on principles perfectly
established in reason and by safe precedents:--1. Imprison-
ment imperilled his health, as shown by the certificate of respect-
able medical authority. 2. There was no intention to violate the
law. 3. In my judgment the law was not in fact violated; the
pamphlet was not obscene matter.
Indeed, I think the real objection to Heywood's act is not
that he discussed a question in an objectionable manner, but
that he was on the wrong side of the question. That he main-
tains the wrong side of the question as to marriage, I entertain
as little doubt as those who assail me. But it is no crime by the
laws of the United States to advocate the abolition of marriage.
Pamphlets or books on the wrong side of that question may be
obscene publications; so also may writings on the right side of
the question. In this case the writings were objectionable but
were not obscene, lascivious, lewd, or corrupting in the criminal
January 22, 1879.- In presenting the argument against the
Senators' right to dictate appointments, a quotation from Madi-
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 519
son's speech in the first Congress [would be apt]. See Globe,
March 19, 1869, p. 163.
February 2, 1879.- The contest in the Senate over the con-
firmation of my New York nominations for the customs offices
is close and as yet undecided. If confirmed against the votes
and efforts of both of the New York Senators, the decision will
be of great value. It will go far to settle, 1. The right of
Senators to dictate appointments. 2. It will decide in favor of
keeping the offices out of politics.
In that case I will lay down the law to my New York officers
according to the doctrines of the strictest sect of civil service
reformers. Two or three officers holding confidential relations
with the chief officers may be left to their personal preference,
but the great mass of appointments must be impersonal and on
principles that will stand the test. I shall say to General Merritt:
Disregard all influence, all solicitation, all pressure--even if it
come from me, or his immediate chief, the Secretary of the
Treasury. In this way the question can be fairly tested, and the
value of the civil service rules have an impartial trial in this, the
most important office in the country.
I put the issue on solid grounds in a short message which I
sent to the Senate on Friday, [January] 31. In the preliminary
skirmishing we have had slightly the advantage, and we seem to
be gaining. Judge Matthews leads on our side. Postponement
has seemed to be our policy. Matthews beat Conkling twenty-
eight to twenty-six last Monday on postponement, and thirty-five
to twenty-six last Friday on the same question. The decisive
vote will be taken tomorrow, Monday.
February 4, 1879.-We are successful. The New York
nominations, Merritt and Burt, were confirmed against Arthur
and Cornell after five or six hours' debate by a vote of thirty-
three to twenty-four. Thirteen Republicans voted to confirm.
There were two or three others who were of the same mind, but
were controlled by promises. One or two would have voted with
us if their votes had been needed. I will now write to General
Merritt my views and wishes as to the conduct of his office.
520 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, D. C., February 4, 1879.
DEAR GENERAL:--I congratulate you on your confirmation.
It is a great gratification to your friends, very honorable to you,
and will prove, I believe, of signal service to the country. My
desire is that your office shall be conducted on strictly business
principles, and according to the rules which were adopted on the
recommendation of the Civil Service Commission by the Ad-
ministration of General Grant.
In making appointments and removals of subordinates, you
should be perfectly independent of mere influence. Neither my
recommendation, nor that of the Secretary of the Treasury, nor
the recommendation of any Member of Congress, or other in-
fluential person, should be specially regarded. Let appointments
and removals be made on business principles and by fixed rules.
There must be, I assume, a few places, the duties of which are
confidential, and which would be filled by those whom you per-
sonally know to be trustworthy; but restrict the area of patron-
age to the narrowest possible limits. Let no man be put out
merely because he is a friend of the late collector, and no man
be put in merely because he is our friend.
I am glad you approve of the message sent to the Senate. I
wish you to see that all that is expressed in it and all that is im-
plied in it is faithfully carried out.
With the assurance of my entire confidence, I remain,
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL E. A. MERRITT,
COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS, New York.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 6, 1879.
MY DEAR SIR:--I beg you to receive my sincere congratula-
tions on your confirmation. My desire is that the result may
prove advantageous to the country. I have written General
Merritt that I wish the office conducted on business principles
and under sound civil service rules. You were on the commis-
sion under General Grant. I therefore request you to have a
conference with General Merritt and General Graham and agree
upon a body of rules for the government of your offices, based
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 521
on the rules reported by the commission, with such alterations
as you deem advisable.
R. B. HAYES.
HONORABLE SILAS W. BURT.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 6, 1879.
MY DEAR GENERAL: - My hearty congratulations on the result
of Monday's work in the Senate. We must see that our pledges
are faithfully kept. Let the offices be conducted on business
principles, and under fixed rules, and the public will be content.
Please confer with General Merritt and Mr. Burt and agree
upon a course of conduct.
R. B. HAYES.
GENERAL C. K. GRAHAM.
February 14, 1879.- There can be no complete and permanent
reform of the civil service until public opinion emancipates Con-
gressmen from all control and influence over government patron-
age. Legislation is required to establish the reform. No proper
legislation is to be expected as long as Members of Congress
are engaged in procuring offices for their constituents. It is not
for me to lay down rules for the personal conduct of Members
of Congress on this subject. I shall certainly give due weight
to information received from Congressmen whether it is volun-
teered or given on my request. The end the public are interested
in, is the independence of Congressmen of all responsibility for
appointments, and this depends largely on the people themselves.
Let government appointments be wholly separated from con-
gressional influence and control except as provided in the Con-
stitution and all needed reforms of the service will speedily and
surely follow. Impressed with the vital importance of good ad-
ministration in all departments of government, I must do the
best I can unaided by public opinion, and opposed in and out of
Congress by a large part of the most powerful men in my party.
I have written a letter to General Merritt which taken with my
522 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
message embodies the leading principles on which I desire the
officers appointed by me to administer their offices. I will have
them printed together and send them to important offices, as
occasion seems to demand.
February 20, 1879. - Both houses have passed a bill intended
to prevent Chinese from coming to this country in large num-
bers. I am satisfied the present Chinese labor invasion (it is not
in any proper sense immigration - women and children do not
come) is pernicious and should be discouraged. Our experience
in dealing with the weaker races - the negroes and Indians,
for example, - is not encouraging. We shall oppress the
Chinamen, and their presence will make hoodlums or vagabonds
of their oppressors. I therefore would consider with favor suit-
able measures to discourage the Chinese from coming to our
shores. But I suspect that this bill is inconsistent with our
treaty obligations. I must carefully examine it. If it violates
the National faith, I must decline to approve it.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 21, 1879.
MY DEAR SIR: - With no time for letter-writing, I say a few
words touching the subject of your note to Mrs. Hayes.
Public men are so used to abuse and misrepresentation that a
level-headed man cares nothing for it. But it does touch me to
find that you, knowing me as you do, can for a moment be dis-
turbed even by such an article as the enclosed. False certainly,
and malicious probably, the article is. One man [Heywood,
convicted of sending obscene matter in the mails,] was pardoned
after serving six or eight months on the decided recommendation
of the pardoning officers of the Bureau of Justice, on grounds
perfectly settled and unassailable, and which are considered
sufficient by every Christian man to whom I have named them,
including the best and most trusted men of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, clerical and lay. The man is a very dangerous
man, openly opposing religion and marriage. I do not discuss
his pardon publicly because I believe it my duty to suffer mis-
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 523
representation rather than give him the increased influence for
mischief which my advertisement would surely do.
I have had almost eight years' experience in the use of the
pardoning power. I act upon rules as to leading cases which
are perfectly sound in the judgment of all well informed people.
In this case I was right. But to say so, as I might, with the
reasons for it, would do injury. Let it pass in silence, as one
of the mistakes, if you please, of the President.
R. B. HAYES.
REV. DR. R. M. HATFIELD,
February 23, 1879. - The Chinese Bill now likely to pass both
houses- has passed both but is waiting action of the House on
Senate amendments- attracts much attention. As I see it, our
treaty with China forbids me to give it my approval. The treaty
was of our seeking. It was proposed by our minister to China,
Mr. Burlingame. He became the Ambassador of China to this
country, and in Washington negotiated it with Mr. Seward. It
was first ratified by our Senate and sent to China for ratification
there. It was applauded by all parts of this country. The
Pacific Coast joined in this. It is now claimed that it has proved
unsatisfactory and pernicious, and the bill in question seeks to
prevent the mischiefs complained of by a measure which violates
its most important provisions. We have accepted the advantages
which the treaty gives us. Our traders, missionaries, and travel-
lers are domiciled in China. Important interests have grown up
under the treaty and rest upon faith in its observance.
One of the parties to a treaty cannot rightfully by legislation
The whole subject was thoroughly understood when this treaty
was made. For twenty years the Chinamen had been coming.
Complaints were made. Laws passed to prevent it. We chose
to enter into the treaty. If we assume it to have been a mis-
taken policy, it was our policy. We urged it on China. Our
minister conducted it.
524 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
In the maintenance of the national faith, it is in my judgment
a plain duty to withhold my approval from this bill. We should
deal with China in this matter precisely as we expect and wish
other nations to deal with us.
All the protection which the treaty gives to Chinese subjects
who have come to America in the faith of that treaty would be
withdrawn. In like manner our citizens, who as missionaries
and in commercial pursuits are domiciled in China, would be
left without treaty protection.
Under these articles the Chinese have the rights of the most
favored nation in this country.
We stand for the sacred observance of treaties.
We abrogate without notice, without negotiation, the vital
articles of a treaty of our own seeking, and, it may be truthfully
said, of our own making. No precedent for such action except
in cases which justify war.
Grant that the results are unsatisfactory and pernicious. We
make no complaint to China before taking action.
No change in facts has occurred since the treaty was made
ten years ago. No new and sudden emergency has arisen. The
same causes of complaint, the same facts, were then before
our eyes. Our countrymen on the Pacific Coast with great
unanimity and with the utmost earnestness desire a change in
our relations with China. They are entitled to have, and they
should have, our sympathy in this matter. If we could put our-
selves in their places it is absolutely certain that we should
think and feel as they do. We should at once devise appropriate
measures to give them assurance of relief. This can be done
long before there is any material increase of their present diffi-
culties without any violation of the national faith, and without
any real or substantial departure from our traditional policy on
the subject of immigration.
February 26, 1879.- Last evening we had a new sort of
gathering for the White House - an official entertainment to the
diplomatic corps. Guests invited and refreshments. The diffi-
cult point was to draw the line among officials and the exclusion
of all unofficial persons. It was solved as follows: We invited
PRESIDENT - SECOND YEAR 525
all members now in Washington of this and the next Congress,
all Cabinet and United States judicial officers in the city, the
heads of bureaus, army officers of the rank of colonel and up-
wards, naval officers of the rank of captain and above, the
secretary of the Smithsonian, head of agricultural [and] print-
ing [bureaus], elected officers of House and Senate, all ex-
representatives to foreign powers, ex-Speaker Winthrop. The
only private citizen invited was Mr. Corcoran.
Mr. Bancroft spoke warmly about it; said it was the finest
affair ever had in the White House. Many others talked in a
similar strain. It was no doubt a successful and enjoyable affair.
Lucy and I received and shook hands with the stream of people
about two hours as they were coming in; and after a few min-
utes' promenading, I with Mrs. McKinley, Lucy with Mr. George
Bancroft (the venerable historian), we again took our places
in the East Room fronting the main entrance and a little back
of the central chandelier, and again shook hands for an hour
with the departing guests. We did not enter the dining-rooms
until after eleven when the affair was happily over.
February 28.--Our party to the diplomatic corps was all
that could be desired. One mistake was made. We did not in-
clude among "officials" the reporters - the gentlemen of the
press. Strictly they are not officials. But their connection with
Congress is so intimate and important that they might properly
be included with the officers of Congress. Nothing sinister was
intended. It was not considered. But it has [caused] great
irritation, and accounts of the affair, corresponding with the feel-
ings of the writers, have been sent out.
The exclusion of wine from the list of refreshments has turned
out exceedingly well. There is a good deal of dissipation here.
At the receptions of the British Minister, and at that of the
Mexican Minister, disgraceful things were done by young men
made reckless by too much wine. Hence the necessity for our
course is obvious, and is commended in unexpected quarters.
Many of the foreign gentlemen speak of it with approval. We
shall stick to it.
The veto of the anti-Chinese bill is generally approved east
526 RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES
of the Rocky Mountains, and bitterly denounced west of the
mountains. I was burned in effigy in one town! No doubt a
population without women- without wives and mothers- that
can't assimilate with us, that underbids our laborers, must be
hateful. It should be made certain by proper methods that such
an invasion cannot permanently override our people. It cannot
safely be admitted into the bosom of our American society.
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