Rutherford B. Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes ( 1822-93) was prouder of having been a soldier than of having been President. "I am more gratified by friendly references to my war record," he wrote toward the end of his life, "than by any other flattery." And he added: "I know that my place was a very humble one -- a place utterly unknown in history. But I also am glad to know that I was one of the good colonels."1 When the Civil War came, Hayes volunteered at once; he participated in several engagements, was praised by Grant for "conspicuous gallantry," and rose to the rank of major general. 2 Ever afterward he enjoyed being addressed as " GeneralHayes." Being Governor of Ohio and even President of the United States did not afford him nearly as much pleasure.
As President, Hayes was, in fact, called "His Fraudulency," "Rutherfraud B. Hayes," and "the Usurper" for a time. Many Democrats felt that he had not come by his office fairly and squarely and that Samuel J. Tilden, the Democratic candidate, had really won the election of 1876. During the election, both parties had resorted to fraud in the South (still partly occupied by federal troops), with the result that the House of Representatives appointed an electoral commission to decide the outcome. Voting along strict party lines, the commission gave Hayes the victory by one electoral vote; many people were outraged. During the election crisis Hayes received many threatening letters, and one evening someone even fired a bullet into