HIS SOLDIER CAREER BEGUN
Mr. Hayes had been interested in the stirring controversies which preceded
the outbreak of the civil was and was an earnest Republican, but had taken
no active or prominent part in politics. After the secession movement in
the South began by the passage of the ordinance in South Carolina, he
wrote: "Disunion and civil war are at hand, and yet I fear disunion and war
less than compromise." After the firing upon Sumter, he determined to take
his part in the military service of the country, and was not among those
who believed that the struggle was to be a short one. The Cincinnati
Literary Club had formed a military company, which he, with thirty-four
other lawyers, joined. Having little faith in the three months' call for
troops, he waited until the necessity of a larger force and a longer term
of service was recognized by the Government, and then, with his friend
Matthews, tendered his services to Gov. Dennison among the three years'
men. He was commissioned as Major and Matthews as Lieutenant Colonel in
the Twenty-third Ohio Regiment, then under the command of W.S. Rosecrans.
Before the regiment was called into the field Rosecrans was promoted to be
Brigadier General and his place was taken by Col. Scammon. The regiment
was first stationed at Clarksburg, West Va., to protect the Baltimore and
Ohio Railroad from raid.
For some month during the Summer and Fall of 1861 Major Hayes was on the staff of General Rosecrans as Judge Advocate, but returned to his regiment and was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonelcy in October, when Stanley Matthews resigned to take command of another regiment. The first conspicuous display of coolness and military skill was made by Hayes in May, 1862, when he was stationed in command of nine companies at Giles Court House, or Parisburg, Va. A sudden attack was made by a largely superior force, and he succeeded in extricating his men and fighting his way out with great intrepidity. In the month of August he was promoted to the place of Colonel of the Seventy-ninth Ohio Regiment but, being greatly attached to his old regiment, he hesitated about accepting the commission. In the meantime the Twenty-third had been attached to Gen. J.D. Cox's division of Burnside's command in the Army of the Potomac, and was ordered into Maryland to meet Gen. Lee's threatened raid. Hayes decided to go with is, and, as a consequence, took an honorable and gallant part in the battle of South Mountain, where he commanded his regiment, Col. Scammon being in charge of a brigade. He was carried off the field severely wounded and he was laid up several weeks with his wounds, being attended in an extemporized hospital near Middletown, Md., by his wife and his brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph Webb. In October, 1862, the Twenty-third Regiment was ordered back to West Virginia, and Col. Scammon, having been promoted to Brigadier General, Gov. Dennison revoked the commission for the Colonelcy of the Seventy-ninth and put Hayes in command of his old comrades.
Soon after his recovery from his injuries, however, he was detached to act as Brigadier General (Dec. 25, 1862,) and placed in command of the Kanawha Division. He passed a quiet Winter at Kanawha Falls, but in the Spring and Summer following was engaged in several important raids to destroy Confederate stores, break up railroad communications, &c., in Southwestern Virginia. On hearing of Morgan's contemplated raid across the Ohio while at Fayetteville, some fifteen miles from his camp, Col. Hates, by prompt and energetic action and the chartering of steamboats to convey his troops, succeeded in heading off and turning back the raider, first at Fayetteville, then near Gallipolis, and finally at Buffington's Island. After the capture of Morgan, whose escape had been prevented by the promptness and energy of Col. Hayes, he returned to his station in Virginia. He was engaged in no other movement of importance until April, 1864, when Gen. Crook, then in command in West Virginia, was ordered by Grant to gather all his available force and cut the line of communication from the South by the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad near the bridge over the Upper Kenawha.
Col. Hayes, still in command of a brigade, took a prominent part in this important and difficult movement, showing conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Cloyd Mountain and the attack on Lynchburg, especially in covering the retreat from the latter place, in which great coolness and bravery were demanded. Crook's force had been recalled by orders from Gen. Hunter in consequence of the sudden appearance of Confederate reinforcements, and these had been encountered just as the retrograde movement began. After a very fatiguing but comparatively fruitless expedition, the worn troops reached Charleston, Va., July 1, 1864. Shortly afterward Crook's command was ordered East and took part in the Shenandoah campaign under Hen. Sheridan. Hayes's brigade was engaged in several important raids and skirmishes and took a leading part in the battles of Winchester, or Opequan, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. At the end of this campaign, which practically closed his military career, Col. Hayes was in command of a division, having for about two years commanded a brigade without change of title. He was now promptly promoted to be a Brigadier General, to take tank from Oct. 19, 1864, "for gallant and meritorious services in the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek," and was brevetted Major General "for gallant and distinguished services during the campaigns of 1864 in West Virginia, and particularly in the battles of Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek." He had suring his service been wounded four times and had four horses shot out from under him. In the Spring of 1865 he was placed in command of an expedition against Lynchburg, and was preparing for the campaign when the war was brought to a close by Lee's surrender.
AN ARDENT SUPPORTER OF LINCOLN.
When Mr. Hayes began his active life his sympathies were with the Whig
Party, but in 1853 he joined the Free Soil Club of Cincinnati, and was a
delegate to the convention that nominated Salmon P. Chase for Governor. He
took no very active interest in politics until 1860, when the fate of the
Union seemed to depend on the canvass. Even then, though an ardent
supporter of Lincoln, he took no public part in the contest. In the Fall
of 1864, while still in active service in the field, he was nominated for
Congress in the Second Ohio District. In reply to a request to go home and
conduct a personal canvass he replied: "I have other business just now.
Any man who would leave the army at this time to electioneer for Congress
ought to be scalped." He was elected by a good majority, though the
district was previously Democratic. He served in Congress during the term
of 1865-7, but without attracting special attention. His most important
committee position was the Chairmanship of the Committee on the Library.
He was industrious and methodical in his attention to duty, but delivered
no speeches and made no decided impression. He was, nevertheless,
renominated in 1866, and for the first time in his life made political
speeches. They were devoted chiefly to supporting the constitutional
amendments and the plan of reconstruction.
He was re-elected, but before his return to Washington for a second term he was surprised by receiving the nomination for Governor of Ohio from the Republican Convention, held at Columbus June 10, 1867. He decided to accept, and resigned his seat in Congress. His rival for the office of Governor was Allen G. Thurman, and they both made a large number of speeches during the canvass. They treated each other with respect and consideration and devoted themselves to a discussion of political questions. Hayes ran considerably ahead of his ticket and was elected by about 3,000 votes, while the Democratic Party secured both branches of the Legislature. He was renominated in 1869, his opponent being George H. Pendleton. Discussions then turned largely on financial questions, and Gov. Hayes was re-elected by a majority of 7,518. As Governor during his two terms he won the respect of all classes of citizens. In 1872 he was again a candidate for Congress, but the Liberal Republican and Democratic combination caused his defeat at the election. He then resolved to retire from public life.
In accordance with the desire of his uncle, Sardis Birchard, he then made his home at Fremont, and on the death of Birchard in January, 1874, he inherited that gentleman's wealth, which had become quite large, including the substantial house, built in 1862, in which he has lived. From this retirement Gen. Hayes was reluctantly drawn in 1875 to be again the Republican candidate for Governor. The Democrats had obtained control of all branches of the State Government, and had carried the election of the previous year by nearly 17,000 votes. To retrieve their lost ground, the Republicans urged Gen. Hayes to accept the candidacy for Governor. This he persistently declined in advance, but when the convention tendered him the nomination by a unanimous vote he replied by telegraph: "In obedience to the wishes of the convention I yield my preference and accept the nomination." He made several effective speeches during the campaign, which resulted in his triumphant election over Gov. William Allen and the recovery of both branches of the Legislature from Democratic control.
Unquestionably this display of popularity and political strength in the important State of Ohio was what led to Gov. Hayes's nomination for President by the Republican National Convention held the following year at Cincinnati. The convention was held on the 4th of June, and seven ballots were taken on the nomination for President, James G. Blaine leading in all but the last. There were nine names presented, including those of Blaine, Bristow, Conkling, Hartranft, Hayes, Jewell, and Morton of Indiana. On the first ballot the vote for Hayes was 61, on the second 64, on the third 67, on the fourth 68, on the fifth 104, on the sixth 113, and on the seventh 384, the total being 756. Blaines final vote was 351, and 21 remained to Bristow. In his letter of acceptance, dated July 8, the candidate laid special stress on the necessity of reform in the civil service and in the methods of appointment. He declared his "inflexible purpose, if elevated, not to be a candidate for election to a second term," because he believed that "the restoration of the civil service to the system established by Washington, and followed by the early Presidents, can best be accomplished by an Executive who is under no temptation to use the patronage of his office to promote his own re-election."
A CRISIS IN NATIONAL HISTORY.
The Presidential election of 1876 occasioned one of the most critical
disputes to which the working of our political institutions has ever given
rise. Under the Reconstruction acts, by which the suffrage was secured to
the enfranchised negroes, the Republican Party had obtained ascendancy in
the States formerly in rebellion, and had maintained it with the aid of the
national power against the most desperate efforts of the dominant white
element, which insisted at once upon its right to control the local affairs
of those States and upon the necessity of its doing so for the protection
of their vital interests. By a variety of means, which it is not necessary
to rehearse here, this conservative element had been gradually breaking
down the Republican majority against it, until in some States it was on the
verge of getting the control for which it had so long struggled. After the
election of 1876 it was found that the vote in Florida and South Carolina
was very close and the result uncertain, and that in Louisiana, though the
majority of the vote cast was unquestionably Democratic, the result might
be reversed under the power of the State Returning Board to throw out
returns vitiated by violence and fraud.
In Florida the State Canvassing Board consisted of the Secretary of State, the Controller, and the Attorney General, the last mentioned alone being a Democrat. The law authorized the board to reject returns "that shall be shown, or shall appear to be so irregular, false, or fraudulent that the board shall be unable to determine the vote." This power was exercised to a moderate extent, and the vote was returned as 23,849 for the Republican and 22,923 for the Democratic candidates for Electors, against the protest of the Attorney General, and the certificate was issued to the Republican Electors by Gov. Stearns. Under the orders of a State court the Canvassing Board was required to make a report of the vote for State officers according to the face of the returns, and on this the Democratic candidates were declared elected. There was also a Democratic majority in the Legislature, and in January, 1877, an act was passed requiring a canvass of the vote for Electors to be made by the new Canvassing Board, now consisting wholly of Democratic officials. This showed a vote of 24,434 for the Democrats and 24,340 for the Republican candidates. Another act was passed declaring and establishing that as the result of the election, and certificates were given by Gov. Drew to the Democratic Electors.
In South Carolina the Canvassing Board consisted of the Secretary of State, Treasurer, Controller General, Adjutant General, and Attorney General. All of these were Republicans, three were colored men, and three had been candidates for re-election. The law gave them power to decide upon the county returns in all cases, "under protest or contest." An attempt was made on the part of the Democrats to prevent them by writ of prohibition from exercising judicial functions or doing anything but to declare the vote as returned, but while the proceedings were pending they declared the result as 91,672 for the Republicans and 90,856 for the Democratic candidates for Electors, the returns of Laurens and Edgefield Counties being rejected on account of alleged violent interference with the election there. As the result of the dispute over the returns for State officers two rival Governments were established and means were taken by the Democrats to declare the Electoral vote in their favor, so that two certificates of the vote of this State were also sent to Washington.
THE LOUISIANA RETURNING BOARD.
In Louisiana the Returning Board consisted of five members, chosen by the
State Senate under a law which required that they should be taken from both
political parties and should fill any vacancy that might exist in their
number when called upon to act. The board was empowered to exclude the
returns of any polling place when convinced that there had been riot,
tumult, acts of violence, intimidation, armed disturbance, bribery, or
corrupt influence which materially interfered with the purity and freedom
of the election or prevented a sufficient number of qualified voters from
registering and voting to materially change the result. The Returning
Board consisted of J. Madison Wells, United States Naval Officer at
New-Orleans; T.C. Anderson, a State Senator; L.M. Kenner, G. Casanavo,
(colored,) and Oscar Orroyo. The last-named was the only Democrat, and he
resigned before the canvassing began and the vacancy was not filled. It
was known that on the face of the returns there was a Democratic majority
of several thousand, but as Gov. Kellogg claimed that it would be reversed
because certain parishes had been overrun and intimidated by armed bands of
the White League, much anxiety was felt regarding the canvass of the
President Grant requested a number of prominent Republicans to visit New-Orleans to witness the canvass in the interest of a "fair count," and others were associated with them by the National Committee. They included E.W. Stoughton, J.H. Van Allen, and Courtlandt D. Kelley of Pennsylvania, J.A. Garfield, Stanley Mathews, and E.F. Noyes of Ohio, John A. Kasson of Iowa, Will Comback and Lew Wallace of Indiana, and others. The Democratic National Committee also designated a number of persons to watch the count in the interest of their party, including John M. Palmer, Lymon Trumbull, and W.R. Morrison of Illinois; S.J. Randall, A.G. Curtin, and William Bigler of Pennsylvania; J.F. McDonald and George W. Julien of Indiana; Henry Watterson of Kentucky, Oswald Ottendorfer of New-York, J.E. Broadhead of Missouri, and John Lee Carroll of Maryland. There was much dispute and contention over the returns and many claims and protests, with the result that the returns from many polling places were excluded from the count, including all those of East Feliciana and Grant Parishes. Republican ballots in certain parishes which bore the names of only three of the eight candidates were counted for all. The highest vote for Electors as returned was 83,723 Democratic and 77,174 Republican; as promulgated by the Returning Board it stood 75,135 Republican and 70,508 Democratic. Gov. Kellogg certified to the election of the Republican candidates, and John McEnery, claiming to be the rightful Governor by virtue of a former disputed election, caused a canvass to be made according to the face of the returns and certified to the election of the Democratic candidates. The result was two returns of the Electoral vote sent to Washington, whither the dispute was now transferred.
There had been a controversy pending for some time in Congress in regard to the manner of counting and declaring the Electoral votes of the several States. Efforts in the forty-third Congress to secure the passage of an act regulating the matter had failed. At the beginning of the first session of the Forty-fourth Congress, in December, 1875, the question of adopting the joint rules, which had previously continued in force from Congress to Congress, was raised in the Senate for the purpose of abrogating the twenty-second rule, which regulated the count of the Electoral votes. This was accomplished, but the renewed effort to pass a law on the subject was unsuccessful, as the two houses were unable to agree, the Senate being Republican and the House of Representatives Democratic. The twenty-second joint rule had provided that when the return from any State was objected to it should not be counted except by the concurrent action of the two houses acting separately.
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION BORN.
The bill introduced in the Senate provided that in the case of objection
the return should be excluded except by concurrent action of the two
houses, but the chief controversy arose over the case of two or more papers
purporting to be returns of the Electoral vote of a State, when the two
houses could not agree as to which was the correct return. It was claimed
in the Senate that it should be decided by the presiding officer of the
joint convention, and in the House that it should be decided by the House
of Representatives, voting by States.
The matter was left unsettled when Congress was confronted in December, 1876, by the coming controversy over the returns of Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana. A joint committee of the two houses was created to devise a method for settling such disputes as might arise. A bill was reported and passed providing for the Electoral Commission. Five members were to be appointed by each house, and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court for the First, Third, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits were designated to act with them after agreeing upon a fifth Justice to be added to their number. In this way the commission was made up of Senators Edmunds, Morton, Frelingheuysen, Thurman, and Bayard -- three Republicans and two Democrats; Representatives Payne, Hunton, Abbott, Hoar, and Garfield -- three Democrats and two Republicans, and Justices Clifford, Miller, Fields, Strong, and Bradley, the last being the one agreed upon by the others. Of the four designated Judges, two were Republicans and two Democrats, and the one selected by them was a Republican. Justice Clifford presided over the commission.
The decisions were all in favor of the Republican claims by a vote of 8 to 7. The main ground of all the decisions was substantially the same in all cases, and was thus expressed in the case of Louisiana: "That it is not competent, under the Constitution and the law as it existed at the date of the passage of said act, [that creating the commission,] to go into evidence aliunde the papers opened by the President of the Senate in the presence of the two houses, to prove that other persons than those regularly certified by the Governor of the State of Louisiana, on and according to the determination and declaration of their appointment by the returning officers for elections in the said State prior to the time required for the performance of their duties, had been appointed Electors, or by counter proof to show that they had not; or that the determination of the said returning officers was not in accordance with the truth and the fact; the commission, by a majority of votes, being of the opinion that it is not within the jurisdiction of the two houses of Congress assembled to count the votes for President and Vice President or to enter upon the trial of such questions."
Objection was made to the certificate from Oregon -- two papers having been received from that State -- on account of the fact that one of the Republican Electors had held the office of Postmaster when elected and was therefore ineligible for Presidential Elector. The Secretary of State, who canvassed the vote, had certified to the election of the three Republican candidates, but the Governor had refused to sign the certificate and had given a certificate of election to the candidate opposed to the Republican who held the office of Postmaster, though he received a smaller number of votes. The commission decided, 8 to 7, that the refusal of the Governor to sign the certificate of the persons elected did not have the effect of defeating their appointment; that the Governor had no authority to give a certificate of election to a man who had not received a majority of votes; that the fact that one of the Electors was a Postmaster when chosen was rendered immaterial by the fact that he had resigned both offices and been subsequently appointed to fill the vacancy in the Electoral College. The result of the proceedings was the declaration on March 2, 1877, of the election of Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio for President, and William A. Wheeler of New-York for Vice-President, by a vote of 185 out of 369, 184 being counted for Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks.
INAUGURATED AS PRESIDENT.
During these proceedings Gen. Hayes quietly awaited in his Ohio home the
action of the tribunal to which Congress had referred the disputed
Electoral returns and of Congress itself. When the result had been
declared he proceeded to the capital and was inaugurated on the 5th of
March, 1877. His inaugural address was mainly devoted to a discussion of
the "permanent pacification of the country" and the establishment of
genuine self-government in the Southern States and to the need of civil
service reform. His Cabinet consisted of William M. Evarts of New-York,
Secretary of State; John Sherman of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury; George
W. McCrary of Iowa, Secretary of War; Richard W. Thompson of Indiana,
Secretary of the Navy; Carl Schurz of Missouri, Secretary of the Interior;
David M. Key of Tennessee, Postmaster General, and Charles Devons of
Massachusetts, Attorney General.
The situation of affairs in the States of South Carolina and Louisiana, where rival State Governments were in existence and the peace between them was maintained by the presence of Federal troops, demanded the President's first attention. The rival Governors of South Carolina, Gen. Wade Hampton and D.M. Chamberlain, were invited to Washington for consultation by letters dated March 23. The result was a determination to withdraw the troops under command of Gen. Tuger from the State House at Columbia, which was effected on the 10th of April. As a consequence Gov. Chamberlain published an address to the people of the State in which, while insisting upon the validity of his title to the office, he declared that: "owing to the unaccountable action of the Federal Administration" in suddenly taking away its moral as well as material support, he retired from the contest. Peaceable possession was then taken of the State Government by the Democratic officials.
In Louisiana there was a much higher tension of popular and party feeling, but matters were firmly held in check by the military forces of the United States under Gen. Augur, whose orders were to limit himself strictly to the preservation of order. On the 28th of March the President unofficially appointed a commission consisting of Joseph R. Hawley of Connecticut, Charles B. Lawrence of Illinois, John M. Harlan of Kentucky, ex-Gov. John C. Brown of Tennessee, and Wayne MacVeagh of Pennsylvania, which was sent to New-Orleans with specific instructions drawn up by the Secretary of State, the purpose of which was to effect a withdrawal of military interference without precipitating an outbreak of violence which would necessitate its exercise again, and to assist in a peaceful settlement of existing difficulties. The commission reached New-Orleans on the 5th of April and began to listen to the representations upon both sides. It became evident at once that its object could only be accomplished by the withdrawal of the pretensions of S.B. Packard, who had been the Republican candidate for Governor and the recognition of the claims of Francis C. Nicholls on satisfactory assurances from him. This was effected, and on the 20th of April the order was given for the withdrawal of troops on the 24th. The following day Packard issued an address reviewing the events that led up to the existing situation and announcing that he was "compelled for the present" to abstain from all active assertion of his Government, but he said, "I waive none of my legal rights, but yield only to superior force." The Government of Nicholls was peacefully established and Packard subsequently received the appointment of Consul at Liverpool.
As the Forty-fourth Congress had adjourned without passing the Army Appropriation bill the President convened the new Congress in extra session on the 15th of October by a proclamation issued May 5. He submitted his first message at this session, but it was confined mainly to the needs of the army and to recommendations in regard to representation at the Paris Exposition and the Stockholm Prison Congress of 1878. In his message for Congress at the regular session in December he dwelt upon the necessity of completing and making permanent the "pacification of the country," and justified the withdrawal of the military forces from any part in maintaining Local Governments in the South. Controversies regarding the President's title to his office continued for many months, a suit was begun in Maryland to test the question, and an investigation of alleged frauds in the election of 1876 was ordered by the National House of Representatives, but it was evident that the sentiment of the country was against the continuance of the old contest, and it was finally dropped.
Efforts were continued in Congress, however, to prevent any possible use of military force at elections, and to repeal the laws which authorized the appointment of United States Supervisors and Special Deputy Marshals in connection with those at which national officers were to be chosen. In the Forty-fifth Congress the Senate and the House of Representatives were not politically in accord, and on account of their failure to agree upon amendments to the Army and Legislative Appropriation bills having this object in view, those measures failed to pass in March 1879. The new Congress, which was Democratic in both branches, was immediately summoned to meet in special session to make the needed appropriations. The amendment prohibiting the employment of troops "to keep the peace at the polls" was again put upon the Army bill, and that repealing the provision for Supervisors and Special Deputies for elections was put upon the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial bill. The President promptly vetoed them both, giving his reasons clearly and firmly. He thought there was law enough to prevent military interference with elections, but that the power to use the military to preserve the peace might be necessary, and should be retained. He also defended the supervision of national elections by national authority, and strenuously objected to the practice of attempting to coerce the Executive into approving general legislation by inserting it in appropriation bills. The veto could not be overcome, and the bills were finally passed without the objectionable features, but no provision at all was made for the the compensation of United States Marshals and Supervisors. At the regular session of 1879-80 the controversy was renewed in the consideration of a Deficiency bill, and the President firmly held his ground by vetoing that bill as first passed because it made changes in the election laws. A separate bill requiring that Supervisors and special Deputy Marshals for elections should be appointed by the United States Judges was also vetoed and failed to pass. This practically ended the long contest over Federal interference with elections.
EFFORTS FOR CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.
To the subject of civil service reform Mr. Hayes had given special
attention in his letter of acceptance and his inaugural address, and he
returned to it in his first regular message to Congress. He strongly urged
the need of the reform and the complete separation of the responsibilities
of the executive and legislative branches of the Government, and
recommended a renewal of the policy which had been begun under the first
Civil Service Commission, and which had been suspended b the withdrawal of
financial support by Congress. His appeals were unavailing, but his own
course was in the main guided by his avowed principles, and this, no doubt,
was why he never commanded a strong party support for his Administration.
In June, 1877, he had issued an order prohibiting officers of the
Government from taking part in "the management of political organizations,
caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns." "Their right to vote and to
express their views on public questions, either openly or through the
press," the order declared, "is not denied, provided it does not interfere
with the discharge of their official duties. No assessment for political
purposes on officers or subordinates should be allowed." In the most
conspicuous cases of violation of this order, those of Collector Arthur and
Naval Officer Cornell of New-York, the offenders were promptly
Though he had no support from Congress, and little from his party, President Hates maintained his attitude on this question to the last, and his course did much to prepare the way for the new reform law and the work of the commission appointed thereunder. The only changes that occurred in his Cabinet were the appointment of Horace Maynard of Tennessee to succeed Postmaster General Key in 1880; Alexander Ramsay of Minnesota to succeed Secretary of War McCrary, who retired to take a place on the Bench the same year, and that of Nathan Goff, Jr., of West Virginia to be Secretary of the Navy in place of Mr. Thompson, who went into the service of the Panama Canal Company near the close of the Administration. The most important appointments, outside of the Cabinet, during Mr. Hayes's term of office, were the following: John A. Kasson to be Minister to Austria-Hungary; Henry W. Hilliard of Georgia, Minister to Brazil; Thomas A. Osborne of Kansas, Minister to Chile; Edward F. Noyes of Ohio, Minister to France; John Welsh of Pennsylvania, Minister to England; Edwin W. Stoughton of New-York, Minister to Russia, and James Russell Lowell of Massachusetts, Minister to Spain; John M. Harlan of Kentucky, Justice of the Supreme Court -- all in 1877; Bayard Taylor of Pennsylvania, Minister to Germany; J.C. Bancroft Davis of New-York, and William H. Hunt of Louisiana, Judges of the Court of Claims, in 1878; Andrew D. White of New-York, Minister to Germany on the death of Taylor, and Isaac P. Christiancy of Michigan, Minister to Peru, in 1879; James Russell Lowell, Minister to England on the retirement of Mr. Welsh; John W. Foster of Indiana, Minister to Russia; Lucius Fairchild of Wisconsin, Minister to Spain; William B. Woods, Justice of the Supreme Court, in 1880.
President Hayes's record in connection with financial questions was eminently honorable. He strongly favored a consistent adherence to the policy of resuming specie payments, which was effected during his Administration; insisted upon the payment of the national debt in gold coin in strict accordance with the understanding upon which it was incurred; favored refunding the bonds at lower interest; defended the national bank system, and, while favoring the restoration of silver to the currency, opposed any overvaluation of the coin or its use as an unlimited legal tender. He vetoed the original Bland Silver bill on Feb. 28, 1878, on the ground that the dollar provided for would both be of full value and might be used to pay debts, public and private, that had been contracted on a gold basis. It was passed in spite of his objection. One of his last official acts was to veto a bill to facilitate the refunding of the national debt, because it would compel all national banks to accept new 3 per cent. bonds as the basis of their circulating notes and as security to the Government for their obligations. The bill was not passed in the objectionable form. The President's position on all financial questions was always clearly and candidly stated, ably defended, and firmly adhered to. The most important funding operations since the public debt was created were carried out under his Administration.
DEVOTED TO PRINCIPLE AND CONVICTION.
His firmness and disregard of all considerations but those of principle and
conviction were displayed on many occasions. The first bill for the
restriction of Chinese immigration was vetoed because he believed it
involved bad faith with China in abrogating portions of the Burlingame
treaty without the consent of the other party, and without any effort to
secure its modification by mutual agreement. The purity of the President's
purposes, his courage, consistency, and firmness were rarely questioned,
but the opposition to him of the Democratic Party was bitter, while the
support of the Republicans was at best lukewarm. In his letter of
acceptance he expressed his opposition to the re-election of Presidents,
and avowed his purpose of not being a candidate for re-election under any
circumstances, and he advocated in one of his earliest messages an
amendment of the Constitution extending the term to six years and
prohibiting re-elections. He was never considered as a candidate for
re-election, and at the end of his term retired to his home in Ohio. His
public career ended with his retirement from the Presidency, and he led a
tranquil life at his home in Fremont, Ohio, appearing as a distinguished
guest on many occasions of public celebration or military reunion.
His most recent public appearances were at the Columbus celebration in this city last October and at the dedication of the World's Fair building in Chicago a few days later. Mr. Hayes was for some years one of the Trustees of the Peabody Fund for the education of colored children in the South, and was assiduous in his attention to duty in that capacity. He was also interested in several organizations for the promotion of material and social interests, and took part in their meetings. Otherwise he passed his latest years entirely out of the public view.
The purity of his private and personal life was never questioned, and during his term of office at Washington there was a distinct elevating of the tone and standard of official life. There is no doubt that his Administrations served a very useful purpose in the transition from sectional antagonism to national harmony, and from the old methods of dealing with the public service as party spoils to the new method of placing ascertained merit and demonstrated fitness above party service or requirements. It was an inevitable consequence that he should lose popularity and political influence in serving these important ends, but the value of his services will nevertheless be permanently recognized.