Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, the son of a farmer and whiskey distiller. Hayes relocated in Cincinnati in 1850 and rapidly became successful. His early political affiliations were as an antislavery Whig. He joined the Republican Party at its inception in 1854. Hayes served with distinction in the Civil War and was wounded four times, once seriously. He took office at the conclusion of the war and supported the reconstruction plans of the Radical Republicans. His victory resulted in a reform period in the Buckeye State; prisoners, debtors and public schools benefited from his efforts.Hayes had inherited a large farm from an uncle and planned to retire from public life. His “sound money” campaign resonated with the Ohio voters, enabling him to defeat his Greenback opponent.His successful record in Ohio brought Hayes the Republican presidential nomination for the Election of 1876, which pitted him against another reformer, Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Victory for Hayes came through the auspices of an Electoral Commission in what was probably the most corrupt contest in the nation’s history.Hayes’ single term was noted for civil service reform, the resumption of specie payments, and reconciliation with the South through the removal of federal forces. In foreign affairs Hayes laid the groundwork for a Central American canal and faced the issue of Chinese immigration.Hayes had pledged to serve a single term; he was not asked to do otherwise by the Republican Party, which resented his efforts on civil service reform and his abandonment of the South to the Democrats.Hayes spent his remaining years working on a variety of worthy causes—-improving educational opportunities in the South, reforming prisons and developing the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College (later the Ohio State University).Rutherford Hayes will forever be linked with the Disputed Election of 1876, an unfortunate legacy since he should be counted among the most honest presidents. Proclaiming himself to be a conservative Republican, he emerged as a social liberal and made meaningful contributions in the areas of government reform and minority affairs.

Compromise of 1877

The Compromise of 1877 was an informal agreement between southern Democrats and allies of the Republican Rutherford Hayes to settle the result of the 1876 presidential election and marked the end of the Reconstruction era. 

Immediately after the presidential election of 1876, it became clear that the outcome of the race hinged largely on disputed returns from Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina–the only three states in the South with Reconstruction-era Republican governments still in power. As a bipartisan congressional commission debated over the outcome early in 1877, allies of the Republican Party candidate Rutherford Hayes met in secret with moderate southern Democrats in order to negotiate acceptance of Hayes’ election. The Democrats agreed not to block Hayes’ victory on the condition that Republicans withdraw all federal troops from the South, thus consolidating Democratic control over the region. As a result of the so-called Compromise of 1877 (or Compromise of 1876), Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina became Democratic once again, effectively bringing an end to the Reconstruction era.


Republican Party nomination Edit

It was widely assumed during the year 1875 that incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant would run for a third term as president in spite of the poor economic conditions, the numerous political scandals that had developed since he assumed office in 1869, and a long-standing tradition set by the first president, George Washington, not to stay in office longer than two terms. Grant's inner circle advised him to go for a third term and he almost did, but on 15 December 1875 [6] the House, by a sweeping 233 to 18 vote, passed a resolution declaring that the two-term tradition was to prevent a dictatorship. Late in the year, President Grant ruled himself out of running in 1876. He instead tried to persuade his Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish to run for the presidency, but the 67-year-old Fish declined, believing himself too old for the role. Grant nonetheless sent a letter to the convention imploring them to nominate Fish, but the letter was misplaced and never read to the convention, and Fish later confirmed that he would have declined the nomination even had he been offered it.

When the Sixth Republican National Convention assembled in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 14, 1876, it appeared that James G. Blaine would be the nominee. On the first ballot, Blaine was just 100 votes short of a majority. His vote began to slide after the second ballot, however, as many Republicans feared that Blaine could not win the general election. Anti-Blaine delegates could not agree on a candidate until Blaine's total rose to 41% on the sixth ballot. Leaders of the reform Republicans met privately and considered alternatives. They chose Ohio's reform governor, Rutherford B. Hayes, who had been gradually building support during the convention until he finished second on the sixth ballot. On the seventh ballot, Hayes was nominated with 384 votes to 351 for Blaine and 21 for Benjamin Bristow. William A. Wheeler was nominated for vice-president by a much larger margin (366–89) over his chief rival, Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, who later served as a member of the electoral commission that awarded the election to Hayes.

Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
James G. Blaine 285 296 293 292 286 308 351
Oliver P. Morton 124 120 113 108 95 85 0
Benjamin Bristow 113 114 121 126 114 111 21
Roscoe Conkling 99 93 90 84 82 81 0
Rutherford B. Hayes 61 64 67 68 104 113 384
John F. Hartranft 58 63 68 71 69 50 0
Marshall Jewell 11 0 0 0 0 0 0
William A. Wheeler 3 3 2 2 2 2 0
Elihu B. Washburne 0 1 1 3 3 4 0

1st Presidential Ballot

2nd Presidential Ballot

3rd Presidential Ballot

4th Presidential Ballot

5th Presidential Ballot

6th Presidential Ballot

7th Presidential Ballot

Recorded Vice Presidential Ballot

Democratic Party nomination Edit

    , governor of New York , governor of Indiana , United States Army major general from Pennsylvania , former governor of Ohio , U.S. senator from Delaware , former governor of New Jersey

The 12th Democratic National Convention assembled in St. Louis, Missouri, in June 1876, the first political convention held by one of the major American parties west of the Mississippi River. Five thousand people jammed the auditorium in St. Louis with hopes for the Democratic Party's first presidential victory in 20 years. The platform called for immediate and sweeping reforms in response to the scandals that had plagued the Grant administration. Tilden won more than 400 votes on the first ballot and the nomination by a landslide on the second.

Tilden defeated Thomas A. Hendricks, Winfield Scott Hancock, William Allen, Thomas F. Bayard, and Joel Parker for the presidential nomination. Tilden overcame strong opposition from "Honest John" Kelly, the leader of New York's Tammany Hall, to obtain the nomination. Thomas Hendricks was nominated for vice-president, since he was the only person put forward for the position.

The Democratic platform pledged to replace the corruption of the Grant administration with honest, efficient government and to end "the rapacity of carpetbag tyrannies" in the South. It also called for treaty protection for naturalized United States citizens visiting their homelands, restrictions on Asian immigration, tariff reform, and opposition to land grants for railroads. [8] It has been claimed that the voting Democrats received Tilden's nomination with more enthusiasm than any leader since Andrew Jackson. [9]

Presidential Ballot
1st Before Shifts 1st After Shifts 2nd Before Shifts 2nd After Shifts Unanimous
Samuel J. Tilden 400.5 416.5 535 517 738
Thomas A. Hendricks 139.5 139.5 85 87
Winfield Scott Hancock 75 75 58 58
William Allen 54 54 54 54
Thomas F. Bayard 33 33 4 4
Joel Parker 18 18 0 18
James Broadhead 16 0 0 0
Allen G. Thurman 2 2 2 0

Vice Presidential Ballot
Thomas A. Hendricks 730
Blank 8

Greenback Party nomination Edit

Candidates gallery Edit

The Greenback Party had been organized by agricultural interests in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1874 to urge the federal government to inflate the economy through the mass issuance of paper money called greenbacks. Its first national nominating convention was held in Indianapolis in the spring of 1876. Peter Cooper was nominated for president with 352 votes to 119 for three other contenders. The convention nominated Anti-Monopolist Senator Newton Booth of California for Vice-President after Booth declined to run, the national committee chose Samuel Fenton Cary as his replacement on the ticket. [10]

Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
Peter Cooper 352
Andrew Curtin 58
William Allen 31
Alexander Campbell 30

Prohibition Party nomination Edit

The Prohibition Party, in its second national convention in Cleveland, nominated Green Clay Smith as its presidential candidate and Gideon T. Stewart as its vice-presidential candidate.

American National Party nomination Edit

This small political party used several different names, often with different names in different states. It was a continuation of the Anti-Masonic Party that met in 1872 and nominated Charles Francis Adams for president. When Adams declined to run, the party did not contest the 1872 election.

The convention was held from June 8 to 10, 1875, in Liberty Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. B.T. Roberts of New York served as chairman, and Jonathan Blanchard was the keynote speaker.

The platform supported the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution, international arbitration, the reading of the scriptures in public schools, specie payments, justice for Native Americans, abolition of the Electoral College, and prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages. It declared the first day of the week to be a day of rest for the United States. The platform opposed secret societies and monopolies.

The convention considered three potential presidential nominees: Charles F. Adams, Jonathan Blanchard, and James B. Walker. When Blanchard declined to run, Walker was unanimously nominated. The convention then nominated Donald Kirkpatrick of New York unanimously for vice president. [11]

Campaign Edit

Tilden, who had prosecuted machine politicians in New York and sent legendary political boss William M. Tweed to jail, ran as a reform candidate against the background of the corruption of the Grant administration. Both parties backed civil service reform and an end to Reconstruction. Both sides mounted mud-slinging campaigns, with Democratic attacks on Republican corruption being countered by Republicans raising the Civil War issue, a tactic ridiculed by Democrats who called it "waving the bloody shirt". Republicans chanted, "Not every Democrat was a rebel, but every rebel was a Democrat."

Hayes was a virtual unknown outside his home state of Ohio, where he had served two terms as a Congressman and then two terms as governor. Henry Adams wrote "[Hayes] is a third-rate nonentity whose only recommendations are that he is obnoxious to no one." He had served in the Civil War with distinction as colonel of the 23rd Ohio Regiment and was wounded several times, which made him marketable to veterans. He had later been brevetted as a Major General. Hayes' most important asset was his help to the Republican ticket in carrying the crucial swing state of Ohio. On the other side, newspaperman John D. Defrees described Tilden as "a very nice, prim, little, withered-up, fidgety old bachelor, about one-hundred and twenty-pounds avoirdupois, who never had a genuine impulse for many nor any affection for woman." [12]

The Democratic strategy for victory in the South was highly reliant on paramilitary groups such as the Red Shirts and the White League. Using the strategy of the Mississippi Plan, these groups actively suppressed black and white Republican voter turnouts by disrupting meetings and rallies and even using violence and intimidation. [13] [14] They saw themselves as the military wing of the Democratic Party.

Because it was considered improper for a candidate to pursue the presidency actively, neither Tilden nor Hayes actively stumped as part of the campaign, leaving that job to surrogates.

Colorado Edit

Colorado was admitted to the Union as the 38th state on August 1, 1876, but as there was insufficient time or money to organize a presidential election in the new state, Colorado's state legislature, elected in October 1876, selected the state's electors. Many of these legislative races were decided by only a few hundred votes. [15] These electors, each one getting 50 votes in the legislature to Tilden's slate's 24, gave their three votes to Hayes and the Republican Party. [16] [17] This was the last election in which any state chose electors through its state legislature and not by popular vote. [18]

Florida (with 4 electoral votes), Louisiana (with 8), and South Carolina (with 7) reported returns that favored Tilden, but the elections in each state were marked by electoral fraud and threats of violence against Republican voters the most extreme case was in South Carolina, where an impossible 101 percent of all eligible voters in the state had their votes counted. [19] One of the points of contention revolved around the design of ballots: at the time, parties would print ballots or "tickets" to enable voters to support them in the open ballots. To aid illiterate voters the parties would print symbols on the tickets, and in this election, many Democratic ballots were printed with the Republican symbol, Abraham Lincoln, on them. [20] The Republican-dominated state electoral commissions subsequently rejected enough Democratic votes to award their electoral votes to Hayes.

In two southern states, the governor recognized by the United States had signed the Republican certificates: the Democratic certificates from Florida were signed by the state attorney-general and the newly elected Democratic governor, those from Louisiana were signed by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and those from South Carolina by no state official, with the Tilden electors claiming that they were chosen by the popular vote and were rejected by the state election board. [21]

Meanwhile, in Oregon, the vote of a single elector was disputed: the statewide result clearly favored Hayes, but the state's Democratic governor, La Fayette Grover, claimed that one of the GOP electors, former postmaster John Watts, was ineligible under Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, since he was a "person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States," and substituted a Democratic elector in his place.

The two Republican electors dismissed Grover's action and each reported three votes for Hayes, while the Democratic elector, C. A. Cronin, reported one vote for Tilden and two votes for Hayes. The two Republican electors presented a certificate signed by the secretary of state of Oregon, while Cronin and the two electors he appointed (Cronin voted for Tilden while his associates voted for Hayes) presented a certificate signed by the governor and attested by the secretary of state. [21]

Ultimately, all three of Oregon's votes were awarded to Hayes, who had a majority of one in the Electoral College. The Democrats claimed fraud, while suppressed excitement pervaded the country. Threats were even muttered that Hayes would never be inaugurated: in Columbus, Ohio, a shot was fired at Governor Hayes' residence as he sat down to dinner. After supporters marched to his home, calling for the president, Hayes urged the crowd that, "it is impossible, at so early a time, to obtain the result." [22] President Grant quietly strengthened the military force in and around Washington. [21]

The Constitution provides that "the President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the [electoral] certificates, and the votes shall then be counted." Certain Republicans held that the power to count the votes lay with the President of the Senate, the House and Senate being mere spectators the Democrats objected to this construction, since the Republican President of the Senate, Thomas W. Ferry, could then count the votes of the disputed states for Hayes.

The Democrats insisted that Congress should continue the practice followed since 1865, which was that no vote objected to should be counted except by the concurrence of both houses, however the House had a solid Democratic majority by rejecting the vote of one state, it would elect Tilden. [21]

Facing an unprecedented constitutional crisis, the Congress of the United States passed a law on January 29, 1877 that formed a 15-member Electoral Commission to settle the result. Five members were selected from each house of Congress, and they were joined by five members of the Supreme Court, with William M. Evarts serving as counsel for the Republican Party. The Compromise of 1877 might have helped the Democrats accept this electoral commission as well.

The majority party in each house named three members and the minority party two. As the Republicans controlled the Senate and the Democrats the House of Representatives, this yielded five Democratic and five Republican members of the commission. Of the Supreme Court justices, two Republicans and two Democrats were chosen, with the fifth to be selected by these four.

The justices first selected a political independent, Justice David Davis. According to one historian, "[n]o one, perhaps not even Davis himself, knew which presidential candidate he preferred." [22] Just as the Electoral Commission Bill was passing Congress, the legislature of Illinois elected Davis to the Senate, and Democrats in the Illinois legislature believed that they had purchased Davis' support by voting for him. However, they had miscalculated, as Davis promptly excused himself from the commission and resigned as a Justice in order to take his Senate seat. [23] As all the remaining available justices were Republicans, the four justices already selected chose Justice Joseph P. Bradley, who was considered the most impartial remaining member of the court. This selection proved decisive.

Since it was drawing perilously near to Inauguration Day, the commission met on January 31. Each of the disputed state election cases (Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, and South Carolina) was respectively submitted to the commission by Congress. Eminent counsel appeared for each side, and there were double sets of returns from every one of the states named. [21]

The commission first decided not to question any returns that were prima facie lawful. [21] Bradley then joined the other seven Republican committee members in a series of 8–7 votes that gave all 20 disputed electoral votes to Hayes, giving Hayes a 185–184 electoral vote victory the commission adjourned on March 2. Hayes privately took the oath of office the next day and was publicly sworn into office on March 5, 1877, and Hayes was inaugurated without disturbance. [21]

During intense closed-door meetings, Democratic leaders agreed reluctantly to accept Hayes as president in return for the withdrawal of federal troops from the last two still-occupied Southern states, South Carolina and Louisiana. Republican leaders in return agreed on a number of handouts and entitlements, including Federal subsidies for a transcontinental railroad line through the South. Although some of these promises were not kept, in particular the railroad proposal, it was enough for the time being to avert a dangerous standoff.

The returns accepted by the Commission put Hayes' margin of victory in South Carolina at 889 votes, the second-closest popular vote margin in a decisive state in U.S. history, after the election of 2000, which was decided by 537 votes in Florida: in 2000, the margin of victory in the Electoral College for George W. Bush was five votes, as opposed to Hayes' one vote.

Upon his defeat, Tilden said, "I can retire to public life with the consciousness that I shall receive from posterity the credit of having been elected to the highest position in the gift of the people, without any of the cares and responsibilities of the office."

Congress would eventually enact the Electoral Count Act in 1887 to provide more detailed rules for the counting of electoral votes, especially in cases where multiple slates of electors have been received from a single state.

Results Edit

According to the commission's rulings, of the 2,249 counties and independent cities making returns, Tilden won in 1,301 (57.85%) while Hayes carried only 947 (42.11%). One county (0.04%) in Nevada split evenly between Tilden and Hayes.

While the Greenback ticket did not have a major impact on the election's outcome, attracting slightly under one percent of the popular vote, Cooper nonetheless had the strongest performance of any third-party presidential candidate since John Bell in 1860. The Greenbacks' best showings were in Kansas, where Cooper earned just over six percent of the vote, and Indiana, where he earned 17,207 votes, far exceeding Tilden's roughly 5,500-vote margin of victory over Hayes in that state.

The election of 1876 was the last one held before the end of the Reconstruction era, which sought to protect the rights of African Americans in the South who usually voted for Republican presidential candidates. No antebellum slave state would be carried by a Republican again until the 1896 realignment that saw William McKinley carry Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky.

No Republican presidential candidate until Warren G. Harding in 1920 would carry any states that seceded and joined the Confederacy that year he carried Tennessee, which never experienced a long period of occupation by Federal troops and was completely "reconstructed" well before the first presidential election of the Reconstruction period (1868). None of the Southern states that experienced long periods of occupation by Federal troops was carried by a Republican again until Herbert Hoover in 1928 (when he won Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia), and this proved the last election in which the Republican candidate won Louisiana until 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower carried it, and the last in which the Republican candidate won South Carolina until 1964, when Barry Goldwater did.

The next time those two states voted against the Democrats was when they supported the "Dixiecrat" candidate Strom Thurmond in 1948.

Although 1876 marked the last competitive two-party election in the South before Democratic dominance of the South through 1948 and of the border states through 1896, it was also the last presidential election (as of 2020) in which the Democrats won the pro-Union counties of Mitchell in North Carolina, [24] Wayne and Henderson in Tennessee, and Lewis County, Kentucky. [25] Hayes is also the only Republican president elected without carrying Indiana.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Beneficiary of one of the most fiercely disputed and controversial elections in American history, Rutherford B. Hayes brought to the Executive Mansion dignity, honesty, and moderate reform. To the delight of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Lucy Webb Hayes carried out her husband's orders to banish wines and liquors from the White House. The couple, married since 1852, had eight children together.

Born in Ohio in 1822, Hayes was educated at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. After five years' law practice in Lower Sandusky, he moved to Cincinnati, where he flourished as a young Whig lawyer.

He fought in the Civil War, was wounded multiple times, and rose to the rank of brevet major general. While he was still in the army, Cincinnati Republicans ran him for the House of Representatives. He accepted the nomination, but would not campaign, explaining, "an officer fit for duty who at this crisis would abandon his post to electioneer . . . ought to be scalped."

Elected by a heavy majority, Hayes entered Congress in December 1865, troubled by the "Rebel influences . . . ruling the White House." Between 1867 and 1876, he served three terms as governor of Ohio.

Hayes became a viable Republican candidate in 1876, as delegates held him in high regard for his integrity, party loyalty, and war record. He ran against Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden of New York, who won the popular vote but disputed results in Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, and Oregon ensured that neither candidate had a majority of Electoral College votes. Conflicting electors sent votes to Congress, which only added to the confusion.

Months of uncertainty followed. In January 1877 Congress established an Electoral Commission to decide the dispute. The commission, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, determined all the contests in favor of Hayes by eight to seven. The final electoral vote: 185 to 184. Northern Republicans had been promising southern Democrats at least one cabinet post, federal patronage, subsidies for internal improvements, and withdrawal of troops from Louisiana and South Carolina.

Hayes insisted that his appointments must be made on merit, not political considerations. For his cabinet he chose moderate politicians of high caliber, but outraged some Republicans because one member was an ex-Confederate and another had bolted the party as a Liberal Republican in 1872.

Hayes supported African Americans’ right to vote and insisted that southern Democrats recognize and uphold their civil rights. However, once federal troops were removed from Louisiana and South Carolina, Republican resistance crumbled and Democrats reclaimed political power across the South. They disenfranchised Black voters through literacy tests and poll taxes, using coercion and violence to oppress African Americans.

Many of the leaders of the new South did indeed favor Republican economic policies and approved of Hayes's financial conservatism, but they faced annihilation at the polls if they were to join the party of Reconstruction. Hayes and his Republican successors were persistent in their efforts but could not win over the "solid South."

Hayes had announced in advance that he would serve only one term, and retired to Spiegel Grove, his home in Fremont, Ohio, in 1881. In his later years, he supported universal education, improving prison conditions, and assisting veterans with their pensions. He died on January 17, 1893.

Hayes, Rutherford B.

Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-93), who served as the nineteenth president of the United States between 1877 and 1881, is remembered chiefly for ending Reconstruction twelve years after the Civil War and for starting civil service reform that led to legislation in 1883 that made it illegal to fill some federal offices by using the spoils system. However, the residents of Hayes County and Hayes Center, Nebraska, named for President Hayes, now have another reason to remember him. On November 12, 2004, they were given several artifacts from another town named for Hayes-Villa Hayes, located in the department or province of Presidente Hayes in the South American country of Paraguay.

The artifacts, presented to the Hayes County Historical Society, included the municipal seal of the city of Villa Hayes, a large framed portrait of President Hayes by Civil War-era photographer Matthew Brady, and several maps of Paraguay. The seal is a framed piece of folk art depicting four scenes of Paraguay, including a saint, soldier, steel mill, and highway. Donor of the artifacts was Hayes historian John Fatherley from Chicopee, Massachusetts, who acquired the seal on a 1998 trip to Paraguay. Fatherley also gave several books on Hayes to the Hayes Center schools.

Speaking at the November 12 formal presentation ceremony in Hayes Center, Fatherley explained President Hayes's significance in Paraguayan history. It arose from the role he played in a boundary dispute between Paraguay and Argentina following Paraguay's defeat by the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, in a war that left Paraguay devastated, with a considerable part of its male population killed. Ulysses S. Grant, the U.S. president asked to arbitrate the dispute, was leaving office, so the decision on the boundary line fell to his successor, Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1878.

Hayes favored Paraguay over its larger neighbor, Argentina, in the dispute and earned a lasting place in the hearts of grateful Paraguayans, who have named a city, department or province, soccer team, sports club, national holiday, and museum for him. A gala celebration was held there in 1998, marking the 120th signing of the arbitration agreement.

Fatherley said at the November 12 ceremony that his goal went beyond the mere presentation of the Hayes artifacts. "I want something to happen between Villa Hayes, Paraguay, and Hayes Center, Nebraska," he said. He suggested student and cultural exchanges between the two locations to broaden international understanding.

Rutherford B. Hayes

President Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on October 4, 1822. His parents had moved to Ohio from Vermont in 1817. Hayes's father, Rutherford Hayes, Jr., was a farmer and whiskey distiller, and died two months before his son's birth. As a result, Hayes's mother, Sophia Birchard Hayes, and her brother, Sardis Birchard, raised Hayes and his sister Fanny.

Hayes received an excellent education. He began attending school while in Delaware, before enrolling in a Methodist seminary (a private high school) in Norwalk, Ohio. He also attended a private school in Middletown, Connecticut, that later became part of Wesleyan University. He received his degree from Kenyon College in 1842. Deciding that he wanted to become a lawyer, Hayes attended Harvard College and graduated in 1845.

Hayes returned to Ohio and opened a law practice in Lower Sandusky, now known as Fremont, Ohio. Hayes chose this small community because his uncle, Sardis Birchard, lived there. Lower Sandusky did not have a significant amount of work for a young attorney. After several years, Hayes chose to relocate his practice to Cincinnati, where he was much more successful. Originally associated with the Whig Party, Hayes became involved with the new Republican Party because of his opposition to slavery.

On December 30, 1852, Hayes married Lucy Ware Webb of Chillicothe, Ohio. Lucy Webb had graduated from the Wesleyan Women's College of Cincinnati. The couple had eight children, including seven sons and one daughter. Hayes continued to practice law, eventually becoming Cincinnati's city solicitor in 1858.

When the American Civil War began in 1861, Hayes volunteered for the military. Ohio governor William Dennison appointed him as a major in the Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Hayes eventually rose to the rank of major general during the war and he was wounded several times. Because of his military service, Ohio Republicans decided that he was a good candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1864. Hayes resisted the nomination, stating, "an officer fit for duty who at this crisis would abandon his post to electioneer . . . ought to be scalped."

Hayes won the election. He resigned his military commission on June 9, 1865, to take his seat in Congress. By this time, the war was over and Reconstruction was just beginning. During his term in Congress, Hayes usually supported the Radical Republicans' goals for Reconstruction. Hayes also helped to develop the Library of Congress.

Although Hayes was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1866, he soon resigned. The Republican Party had nominated him for governor of Ohio in 1867, in part because of his position on Reconstruction. The opposition candidate was Democrat Allen G. Thurman. The key issue of the campaign was whether African Americans should be given the right to vote. Supporting African-American suffrage, Hayes was successful in his campaign for governor. He also won reelection against George H. Pendleton in 1869. During his two terms as governor, Hayes supported Ohio's ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also helped reform the state's mental hospitals and school system. Although the Republican Party wanted Hayes to run for a third term in 1871, he retired from politics and returned to his home called Spiegel Grove, near Fremont, Ohio.

Hayes's retirement from politics was brief. Republicans convinced Hayes to run for governor in 1875 against Democratic candidate William Allen. Once again, Hayes was successful. It was the first time that an Ohio governor had been elected to a third term.

Hayes's strong record as a Republican governor in Ohio made him appealing to national Republicans. They chose Hayes as their candidate for the presidency in 1876. In the Presidential Election of 1876, Hayes campaigned against Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, who was governor of New York. The election was closely fought, and in the end, Tilden won the popular vote by approximately 250,000 votes. In spite of this outcome, a dispute arose in the Electoral College. The voting returns from South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon were contested. If Hayes received the Electoral College votes from these states, he would win the election by a single vote (185 to 184), even though he had lost the popular vote.

The U.S. Congress appointed a special commission to determine how the disputed votes were to be counted. Initially, seven Democrats, seven Republicans, and one independent served on the committee. The independent eventually withdrew, and the Congress selected a Republican to replace him. The special committee voted to give Hayes all of the disputed Electoral College votes. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate still had to agree to the committee's decision. The Republican-dominated Senate quickly ratified the committee's recommendations. The Democrats in the House planned to filibuster, refusing to let the issue come to a vote.

To ensure Hayes's election, Republican leaders negotiated an agreement with Southern Democrats in the House. The Republicans agreed to remove federal troops policing the South as soon as Hayes became president and to appoint at least one Southerner to the Hayes cabinet. Southern Democrats accepted this agreement and Hayes won all of the disputed Electoral votes. This agreement became known as the Compromise of 1877 and formally brought Reconstruction to an end.

As president, Hayes helped begin a federal civil service system in the United States. His administration also worked to improve the nation's monetary system. Hayes hoped to create more support for the Republican Party among white Southerners, but this goal was not fulfilled.

Hayes's wife Lucy had her own goals. She refused to allow alcohol to be served in the White House and acquired the nickname "Lemonade Lucy." The president supported his wife on this issue. Hayes had promised from the beginning that he would not seek a second term as president. He retired to his home in Fremont in 1881.

Hayes continued to work for reform of public education and prisons, among a number of other interests. He died at his home, Spiegel Grove, on January 17, 1893. Both he and his wife are buried on the estate. Today, the Rutherford B. Hayes Home and Presidential Center are open to the public and researchers.

Later Career and Legacy

Later career: After the presidency, Hayes returned to Ohio and became involved in promoting education.

Death and funeral: Hayes died of a heart attack on January 17, 1893. He was buried in a local cemetery in Fremont, Ohio, but was later reburied at his estate, Spiegel Grove, after it was designated a state park.

Hayes did not have a strong legacy, which was perhaps inevitable considering that his entry to the presidency was so controversial. But he is remember for ending Reconstruction.

Rutherford B. Hayes - History

The Birth of Rutherford B. Hayes,
October 4, 1822

t was called the most corrupt election in American history. Electoral votes from Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana, where bayonet-enforced Republican governments barely clung to power, were delayed, both sides claiming victory. The Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden, Governor of New York, won the popular vote by a significant margin and had a solid 184 to 165 electoral lead, one short of the majority, with twenty disputed votes from states under the thumb of Congressional Reconstruction governments, claimed by both parties. The post-Civil War South still harbored contempt and sometimes violent resistance to military occupation. The resurgent Democratic Party in the election of 1876 appeared to finally break the stranglehold on the Presidency by the Party of Lincoln, backed by the might of the United States Army, which had held sway since 1865. The Republicans chose the reformist former Governor of Ohio as their candidate, on the 7th ballot, at the Republican Convention. Now their choice was embroiled in a dispute of epic proportion.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893)

Hayes&rsquos childhood home in Delaware, Ohio

Rutherford B. Hayes was born October 4, 1822 in Ohio. His father died ten weeks before his birth, but his mother raised him and his sister, and never remarried. The Hayes family were descended from Scottish immigrants to New England in the early 17th Century. Educated in a Methodist school, in the Church of his Ohio family, Rutherford proved himself a brilliant student, later graduating as valedictorian from Kenyon College and going on to a law degree at Harvard. The ambitious young lawyer joined an established firm in Cincinnati in 1850 and spent that turbulent decade successfully wooing his strait-laced Methodist, teetotalling, abolitionist wife Lucy, defending various malefactors in court, including runaway slaves, and pursuing political advancement in the new Republican Party.

Rutherford and Lucy Hayes on their wedding day

Major Rutherford Hayes in uniform during the Civil War

Although lukewarm about Southern secession, believing the sections irreconcilable, Hayes enlisted in the Union army immediately after Fort Sumter and began the war as a major in the 23rd Ohio Infantry, which also contained a Private William McKinley. He eventually rose to Colonel of the regiment and then Brigadier General of the Kanawha Division. Hayes proved himself among the bravest of the brave, leading from the front and getting wounded five times in the war. The Republican Party in Cincinnati knew a Congressman in waiting when they saw one. Elected in 1865, Rutherford Hayes entered the House of Representatives in the moderate wing of the Party, at the beginning of Reconstruction. Hayes then served two terms as Governor of Ohio, beginning in 1873, and retired from politics, hoping forever to enjoy his and Lucy&rsquos eight children at their Spiegel Grove estate in Fremont, Ohio. In 1876, the Party called on him to run for President with a reputation for honesty, liberal principles, and an unblemished war record, they hoped the American people would overlook the Party scandals of the previous five Republican administrations, and send fifty-four-year-old Rutherford and Lemonade Lucy to the White House.

Landmark Events tour group at Spiegel Grove, home of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes and their eight children in Fremont, Ohio

The 1876 Electoral College map showing states won by Rutherford in red and states won by Tilden in blue

As usual in all previous elections, the candidates did not campaign themselves, but remained in their home towns during the election season, as the Party professionals took to the stump and ran the elections in their respective jurisdictions. The Democrats hammered the corrupt politics, criminal prosecutions, and poor economy resulting from the Grant administrations, while the Republicans &ldquowaved the bloody shirt&rdquo of the saviors of the Republic and branded the Democrats as the party of rebellion, although their candidate was the Governor of New York. The Democrats carried New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Indiana and most of the South. The disputed electoral votes, however, left the outcome unresolved.

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) 18th President of the United States

Congress determined they should decide, but the House was controlled by one party, the Senate by the other, both demanding jurisdiction. Congress and President Grant decided to form an electoral commission made up of five from the House, five from the Senate, and five from the Supreme Court, evenly divided by party with one &ldquoneutral&rdquo tie-breaker. And then it got complicated. In the end, the Democrats agreed to award the disputed electoral votes to Hayes in return for an end to Reconstruction, withdrawal of Union soldiers from the South, and to allow Democrats to elect their own state governments in the South, resulting in the disenfranchisement of most of the black voters in the South, most of whom had been solidly Republican. Hayes also returned some of the captured battle flags and gave patronage posts to a few southern Democrats. A minority of both parties howled &ldquocorrupt bargain,&rdquo but the decision secured an end to the impasse, and entrenched a Democratic majority in the South for the next eighty or so years.

Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite administering the oath of office to Hayes, March 4, 1877

Rutherford B. Hayes finally became the nineteenth President of the United States. Some Democrats never accepted him as anything other than &ldquoRutherfraud&rdquo or &ldquohis fraudulency.&rdquo In his single term, which he had promised, Hayes fulfilled his other pledges to the South, to civil service reform, and reinforcing the gold standard. He also used the army to quell railroad strike riots which threatened federal property.

Although turbulent and unprecedented, the disputed election results were resolved peaceably within the republican system of government, although not necessarily to everyone&rsquos satisfaction. But then, no revolutionary criminals and petulant children were advocating the overthrow of Christian civilization and social order, burning down cities, and denying law enforcement, financed by big business and acquiesced to by face-masked cringing political hacks.

Rutherford B. Hayes - History

A few years after the American Civil War and the same time when the world was about to face the Second Industrial Revolution, Rutherford Birchard Hayes attempted to reform and lead the United States of America. He was The United States of America’s 19th president and served from 1877 to 1881.

Life before Politics

The president was born on October 4, 1822 from a family in Delaware, Ohio. His father, Rutherford Hayes, was a Vermont storekeeper who tended to a farm and wine distillery, but died before his son was even born. He was then raised by his single mother who never remarried, Sophia Birchard, and was helped by her brother and father-figure to the children, Sardis Birchard, who lived with the family shortly.

Through the efforts of his family and the inspiration of his sister who dreamt of being a lawyer, Fanny Hayes, he pursued his studies at Harvard Law School and became a popular criminal defense lawyer whose frequent services are from those charged with murder and escaped slaves wrongly accused. He was even noted for using an insanity plea and sent his client to a mental institution instead of going to prison.

He married Lucy Ware Webb on 1852, who was known for her high regard on performing good works, temperance as evidenced by maintaining a ban on alcoholic beverages in the White House, and a strong advocate to end slavery. She influenced the views of her husband subtly, and he accompanied her in religious services even though Hayes never joined the Methodist church.

During the Civil War, the then forty-year-old and father to three children become the major for the 23rd Ohio Volunteers despite having no military experience and only underwent a month of training. He was nominated for the House of Representatives in 1864 but refused to leave his comrades, yet he remained to be elected and was able to serve his position at the end of the war.

The Dispute of the 1876 Election

The political career of Rutherford B. Hayes continued to flourish when he served as the governor of Ohio twice, and was later seen by the Republican Party as a worthy bet to run as president. His campaign for presidency was tough with the economic crisis. The previous administration had a reputation of being corrupt and scandalous, and his opponent Samuel J. Tilden had gained a lot of popular votes.

On the day of the 1876 election, Tilden was leading the votes until Hayes secured the presidency by the Congress deciding to give him these Electoral College votes from the three southern states of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The Democrats were not happy about this and called him with monikers such as “Rutherfraud” and “His Fraudulency.”

Hayes as President of the United States

Rutherford Hayes became president after the tarnished and shady years of the Grant administration, hence, he was voted for his reputation of having a high moral integrity, strictness, and eye for making sure that things are well done. This characteristic of Hayes made some of his allies and colleagues in the office dub him as “Old Granny.”

One of the earliest plans of President Hayes to implement Reconstruction to secure the rights of the blacks but his first major act turned out to end this and promote the South to home policy. This is the result of Reconstruction already on its way to fall because of the hatred bred by the military occupation among the southern people and the devotion to the military was waning with troops left only in two states within a few months after inauguration.

President Hayes was a strong believer of education and increased knowledge as a means of developing productive and amicable relations with people across race and ethnic descent. He further pushed on protecting the rights of blacks from the South but all of his efforts were defeated by the white supremacy in these regions and refused to accept the notion of racial equality as well as allocating funds to enforce the civil rights of people.

Aside from the blacks, Hayes was also paternalistic on protecting Native Americans. The lands of the American Indians were being claimed and they are removed from their places of home and work as decided by the Grant administration. Hayes and his secretary of the interior, Carl Schurz abandoned the project and reformed the Indian Bureau. However, a criticism of their administration was that they focused on the acculturation of the natives with teaching of household and domestic skills than attempting to preserve their rich culture.

Rutherford Hayes was also famous for pushing reforms in the civil service by giving federal jobs to people based on their merit such as through an examination that everyone must take. Such reform is a 180 degree turn from the previous spoils system of appointment where patronage and efficiency as political organizers were the basis for landing a position as government employee.

At the same time, this caused fury and conflict with politicians including the Republican Party which was not consulted with political appointments. He tasked his secretaries Carl Schurz and William Evarts to draft bylaws and rules on appointments for federal positions.

This was further followed by internal investigations on corruption of different federal bureaus such as the New York Custom House and the Postal Service. This was brought about by civil servants being more effective in organizing political events than doing their federal jobs, and has a high tendency for corruption and accepting bribes for the sake of the political party or personal gains.

Rutherford Hayes on June 22, 1877 enacted an executive order which would not allow civil personnel to manage and engage themselves in the events and campaigns of political parties but focus on doing their official responsibilities. Party leaders and politicians argued about this and ignored him because of their belief that complying with this order meant the destruction of the parties.

As president, he was also tasked to address the economic issues left by the Grant administration and the recent Civil War. A debate on currency coinage between silver and gold caused clamor among laborers, famers and businessmen. This passing of the Bland-Allison Act in 1878 caused further confusion among the Americans between which metal has a higher value, and compounded by the desire of the people to redeem greenbacks (flat, paper money) to species (gold).

John Sherman, the Secretary of the Treasury, decided to redeem the greenbacks as requested but the public realized that its value is at par with gold and only a few wanted to redeem these United States Notes. This has caused prevention of inflation and revival of business which all led to economic recovery during the Hayes administration.

The country also experienced conflicts and issues between foreign governments such as the problems with bandits who cross the borders of Mexico thus preventing their capture. Hayes allowed the army to chase these bandits even if it meant crossing the Mexican border causing outrage by the Mexican president, it was through a compromise that both parties would chase these bandits that reduced violence and prevented war. There were also issues on stopping the influx of Chinese immigrants and the people of California discriminating their Chinese residents and the plans of using the French to build the Panama Canal.

Another interesting thing was Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill on 1879 allowing female lawyers for the first time to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

Despite the improving economy and his reforms slowly gaining acceptance, Rutherford B. Hayes refused to run again as president in 1880 and this was considered by some people to be a mistake since he limited his time of making changes in the United States. Nevertheless, his legacy as a president who triumphed over people through his values of being respectable, honest and openness to change will never be forgotten.

Rutherford B. Hayes Timeline

October 4, 1822: Rutherford Birchard Hayes, son of Rutherford Hayes and Sophia Birchard, was born in Delaware, Ohio.

1836: Enrolled at Norwalk Academy in Ohio. The school, which was headed by Jonah Chaplin, was a Methodist school.

1837: Transferred to Isaac Webb’s Preparatory School in Middletown, Connecticut.

November, 1838: Hayes attended Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio.

August 3, 1842: Hayes graduated top of his class (i.e. Valedictorian).

1842: Studied law under the tutelage of Thomas Sparrow.

August 28, 1843: Got admitted to Dane Law School at Harvard.

March 10, 1845: At the age of 22, Hayes got admitted to Ohio bar at Marietta.

August 27, 1845: Graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Harvard University.

18451849: Opened a law practice in Lower Sandusky (present-day Fremont, Ohio).

1847: Came down with what was most likely tuberculosis, according to his doctor.

18501861: Moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to rejuvenate his career in law.

December 30, 1852: Hayes got married to Lucy Ware Webb. The ceremony took place at his mother-in-law’s residence.

November 4, 1853: The first child – Birchard Austin Hayes – of Hayes and Lucy is born.

December 26, 1853: Hayes entered into a partnership with Richard M. Corwine and William K. Rogers in Cincinnati. The name of the law firm was Corwin, Hayes and Rogers

March 20, 1856: Hayes’ second child – Webb Cook Hayes – is born.

1856: Served as a delegate to the state Republican Convention in Columbus. Hayes supported John C. Fremont for presidency.

June 24, 1858: The third child (Rutherford Platt Hayes) of Hayes is born.

December 9, 1858: Hayes was appointed City Solicitor in the Cincinnati City Council after incumbent Samuel Hart died.

April 1, 1861: He loses his bid to retain his City Solicitor seat.

April 15, 1861: The American Civil War breaks out and Hayes, almost 40, joins the volunteers to fight for the Union.

June 27, 1861: Appointed Major in the 23 rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He had no prior military experience.

December 21, 1861: Hayes’ fourth child – Joseph Thompson Hayes – is born.

18611865: Fought bravely in a number of Civil War battles such as the Battle of Opequon Creek and the Battle of South Mountain in Maryland (during Antietam Campaign in 1864). Hayes was promoted to field commander and later Brevet Major General of Volunteers.

June 24, 1863: Hayes’ son Joseph Thompson Hayes dies.

September 29, 1864: A fifth child of Hayes is born. The child is called George Crook Hayes. He was named after Hayes’ Civil War commander – George Crook.

October 17, 1864: Elected to the U.S.House of Representatives to represent Ohio’s Second District.

June 8, 1865: Hayes draws his army service to an end and resigns from the army.

December 4, 1865: Rutherford B. Hayes gets sworn into the 39 th Congress as Ohio’s Second District representative.

May 24, 1866: Barely two years old, Hayes’ son George Crook Hayes dies of scarlet fever.

October 1866: Wins at the polls and gets re-elected to Congress.

June 19, 1867: The Republican Party nominates Hayes for governor of Ohio.

September 2, 1867: Hayes’ sixth child and only daughter – Fanny Hayes – is born.

October 8, 1867: Elected governor of Ohio. Hayes defeated Democrat Allen G. Thurman by about 2900 votes.

January 13, 1868: Inauguration ceremony is held and Hayes is sworn in as the 29th Governor of Ohio.

October 12, 1869: Wins a re-election as governor. He defeated Congressman George H. Pendleton (Democrat). His campaign had themes such as equal rights for minorities, especially black Ohioans.

January 10. 1870: Sworn into office as the governor of Ohio for the second time. With Republican majority in the legislature, Hayes helped ratify the 15 th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

February 8, 1871: Hayes’ wife gives birth to their seventh child – Scott Russell Hayes.

June 1872: Serves as a member of the platform committee during the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

August 6, 1872: His party nominates him to represent Ohio’s Second District at Congress.

October 1872: Fails in his bid to become a Congressman, losing to Henry B. Banning by 1500 votes.

March 1873: Turns down the position of Assistant US Treasurer at Cincinnati. The offer of appointment came from President Ulysses S. Grant.

May 3, 1873: Retires from politics and moved to Spiegel Grove, Fremont.

August 1, 1873: Hayes’ eight child – Manning Force Hayes – is born.

January 21, 1874: Hayes inherits a sizable amount of fortune from his uncle Sardis Birchard.

August 28, 1874: The youngest of Hayes’ children – Manning Force Hayes – dies at Spiegel Grove.

June 2, 1875: Nominated to run for governor of Ohio for the Republican Party.

October 12, 1875: Elected for the third time as governor of Ohio. He won the election by 5,500 votes.

January 10, 1876: Hayes is sworn in as governor of Ohio for the third time. An unprecedented feat of accomplishment.

June 14-16, 1876: Nominated for president at the Republican National Convention. His win came on the seventh ballot. William Almon Wheeler was voted as his running mate.

November 8, 1876: Election disputes ensues after Democrat Samuel J. Tilden pulls in 184 electoral votes against Hayes’ 166 electoral votes. The contentious votes amount to nineteen.

January 26, 1877: Electoral Commission is set up by Congress. The commission comprised five Senators, five representatives and five Supreme Court Justices.

February 28, 1877: The Electoral Commission’s verdict goes in favor of Hayes as he wins by one vote (i.e. 185 versus 184).

March 2, 1877: Congress declares Hayes the winner of the election. As part of the concessions (i.e. the “Compromise of 1877” or “The Great Betrayal”), Republicans agree to bring an end to the Reconstruction Era by removing federal troops from the South.

March 2, 1877: Hayes resigns from his position as governor of Ohio.

March 3, 1877: Rutherford B. Hayes gets sworn in as the 19 th US president. The oath of office was privately administered by Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite.

March 5, 1877: At a ceremony in the capital, Hayes is publicly sworn in as the nineteenth president of our nation.

March 15, 1877: President Rutherford B. Hayes taps Frederick Douglass as the US Marshal of the District of Columbia.

April 24, 1877: President Hayes removes military from Louisiana and South Carolina. This marks the end of Reconstruction.

June 22, 1877: Hayes rolls out a host of civil service reforms and implementation strategies. These reforms are designed to break Republican Senator Roscoe Conkling’s patronage system.

Rutherford B. Hayes timeline

July 1877: Great Railway Strike erupts in Maryland before spreading to other states. President Hayes responds by using federal troops to quell the riots before protesters could damage or cripple the US postal service infrastructure .

October 16, 1877: Hayes appoints John Marshall Harlan to the Supreme Court.

February 28, 1878: He vetoes the Bland-Allison Act. Congress went ahead and passed it anyways.

July 11, 1878: Hayes removes Chester A. Arthur (later 21st president of the United States) and Alonzo B. Cornell from the New York Customs House. This was part of Hayes’ effort to eliminate the enormous influence New York Senator Roscoe Conkling had on Capitol Hill.

September 28, 1878: Hayes hosts the first native Chinese ambassador – Chen Lan Pin- at Washington D.C.

May 10, 1880: White House receives its first telephone

November 17, 1880: President Hayes signs a treaty with China. The treaty allows the U.S. to regulate immigration from China.

December 15, 1880: Hayes appoints William Burnham Woods of Georgia as U.S. Supreme Court justice.

January 26, 1881: Stanley Matthews of Ohio gets appointed to the Supreme Court by Hayes.

March 4, 1881: Curtains close in on President Hayes’ term of office. He leaves the White House to retire at his home in Fremont, Ohio. His successor, Republican James A. Garfield, won the 1880 presidential election by defeating Democrat Winfield S. Hancock.

1881: Rutherford Hayes gets appointed as a trustee of the Western Reserve University.

May 3, 1882: He joins the Grand Army of the Republic.

September 7, 1883: The former commander-in-chief of our nation becomes the President of the National Prison Association.

Rutherford B. Hayes timeline

December 1883: Hayes is appointed trustee of Mount Union College

January 1887: Appointed trustee of The Ohio State University

October 17, 1888: Appointed commander of the National Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion.

June 25, 1889: Rutherford B. Hayes’ wife Lucy Web passes away in Fremont, Ohio.

April – May, 1890: Hayes embarks on a tour of Bermuda with his daughter Fanny.

October 20, 1892: Appointed President of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society.

January 17, 1893: Rutherford B. Hayes dies at his Fremont home. He was 71 at the time of his death.