Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1822–93, 19th President of the United States (1877–81), b. Delaware, Ohio, grad. Kenyon College, 1843, and Harvard law school, 1845. He became a moderately successful lawyer in Cincinnati and was made (1858) city solicitor. In the Civil War he began as a major of volunteers, took part in some 50 engagements, was several times wounded, and rose in rank to be (1865) major general of volunteers. Elected to Congress while still in the field, he served (1865–67) as a regular Republican, quietly supporting the radical Reconstruction program. He was three times (1867, 1869, 1875) elected governor of Ohio and was chosen as the Republican candidate for President in 1876, opposing Samuel J. Tilden, the Democratic candidate. The election marked the resurgence of the Democrats and the political reentry of the South into the Union.

The chaotic political conditions brought on by Reconstruction resulted in disputed elections in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. This was complicated by the death of an elector from Oregon. Congress created an electoral commission to decide the elections. Although Tilden had won the popular vote by a small majority, the commission awarded all disputed returns to Hayes and thereby gave him a majority of one in the electoral college. Indignation over the obviously partisan decision affected Hayes's administration, which was generally conservative and efficient but no more than that. He withdrew federal troops from Louisiana and South Carolina, and the Reconstruction era was ended. His conciliatory policy toward the South and his genuine interest in civil service reform alienated important Republican groups, notably the "Old Guard" led by Roscoe Conkling. An advocate of hard money, he vetoed the Bland-Allison Act, which was passed over his veto and provided for resumption of specie payments in gold. After his presidential term Hayes was active in philanthropic foundations.

See his diary ed. by T. H. Williams (1964); biographies H. J. Eckenrode (1957, repr. 1963), T. H. Williams (1965), H. Barnard (1994), and H. L. Trefousse (2002); A. Hoogenboom, The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes (1988); studies of the disputed 1876 election by P. L. Haworth, (1906, new ed. 1927, repr. 1966), K. Polakoff (1973), R. Morris (2003), and W. H. Rehnquist (2004).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

FREE! Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States
Charles Richard Williams.
Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, vol.1, 1922
Presidents from Hayes through McKinley, 1877-1901: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents
Amy H. Sturgis.
Greenwood Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Rutherford B. Hayes"
From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877-1896
H. Wayne Morgan.
Syracuse University Press, 1969
Librarian’s tip: Chap. I "Hayes: Harmony and Discord"
Rutherford B. Hayes and the Politics of Discord
Vazzano, Frank P.
The Historian, Vol. 68, No. 3, Fall 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Congressional Relations and "Public Relations": In the Administration of Rutherford B. Hayes
Paul, Ezra.
Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Documents Related to the Disputed General Election of 1876
Schamel, Wynell; Potter, Lee Ann; Snodgrass, Katherine.
Social Education, Vol. 64, No. 5, September 2000
Ohio and Its People
George W. Knepper.
Kent State University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Ohio Leads the Nation: Politics from Hayes to McKinley"
The Unitary Executive during the Second Half-Century
Calabresi, Steven G.; Yoo, Christopher S.
Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 3, Summer 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Ford: Not a Lincoln but a Hayes? A Lesson in History and Political Science
Donnangelo, John A.
Social Education, Vol. 71, No. 2, March 2007
Popular Images of American Presidents
William C. Spragens.
Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Rutherford B. Hayes"
Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns, and Elections
William C. Binning; Larry E. Esterly; Paul A. Sracic.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Hayes, Rutherford B. (1822-1893)" begins on p. 209
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