Presidential Inaugural Address of Rutherford B. Hayes [March 4, 1877] - History

Presidential Inaugural Address of Rutherford B. Hayes [March 4, 1877] - History

Fellow-Citizens:

We have assembled to repeat the public ceremonial, begun by Washington, observed by all my predecessors, and now a time- honored custom, which marks the commencement of a new term of the Presidential office. Called to the duties of this great trust, I proceed, in compliance with usage, to announce some of the leading principles, on the subjects that now chiefly engage the public attention, by which it is my desire to be guided in the discharge of those duties. I shall not undertake to lay down irrevocably principles or measures of administration, but rather to speak of the motives which should animate us, and to suggest certain important ends to be attained in accordance with our institutions and essential to the welfare of our country.

At the outset of the discussions which preceded the recent Presidential election it seemed to me fitting that I should fully make known my sentiments in regard to several of the important questions which then appeared to demand the consideration of the country. Following the example, and in part adopting the language, of one of my predecessors, I wish now, when every motive for misrepresentation has passed away, to repeat what was said before the election, trusting that my countrymen will candidly weigh and understand it, and that they will feel assured that the sentiments declared in accepting the nomination for the Presidency will be the standard of my conduct in the path before me, charged, as I now am, with the grave and difficult task of carrying them out in the practical administration of the Government so far as depends, under the Constitution and laws on the Chief Executive of the nation.

The permanent pacification of the country upon such principles and by such measures as will secure the complete protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment of all their constitutional rights is now the one subject in our public affairs which all thoughtful and patriotic citizens regard as of supreme importance.

Many of the calamitous efforts of the tremendous revolution which has passed over the Southern States still remain. The immeasurable benefits which will surely follow, sooner or later, the hearty and generous acceptance of the legitimate results of that revolution have not yet been realized. Difficult and embarrassing questions meet us at the threshold of this subject. The people of those States are still impoverished, and the inestimable blessing of wise, honest, and peaceful local self-government is not fully enjoyed. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the cause of this condition of things, the fact is clear that in the progress of events the time has come when such government is the imperative necessity required by all the varied interests, public and private, of those States. But it must not be forgotten that only a local government which recognizes and maintains inviolate the rights of all is a true self-government.

With respect to the two distinct races whose peculiar relations to each other have brought upon us the deplorable complications and perplexities which exist in those States, it must be a government which guards the interests of both races carefully and equally. It must be a government which submits loyally and heartily to the Constitution and the laws--the laws of the nation and the laws of the States themselves--accepting and obeying faithfully the whole Constitution as it is.

Resting upon this sure and substantial foundation, the superstructure of beneficent local governments can be built up, and not otherwise. In furtherance of such obedience to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution, and in behalf of all that its attainment implies, all so-called party interests lose their apparent importance, and party lines may well be permitted to fade into insignificance. The question we have to consider for the immediate welfare of those States of the Union is the question of government or no government; of social order and all the peaceful industries and the happiness that belongs to it, or a return to barbarism. It is a question in which every citizen of the nation is deeply interested, and with respect to which we ought not to be, in a partisan sense, either Republicans or Democrats, but fellow-citizens and fellowmen, to whom the interests of a common country and a common humanity are dear.

The sweeping revolution of the entire labor system of a large portion of our country and the advance of 4,000,000 people from a condition of servitude to that of citizenship, upon an equal footing with their former masters, could not occur without presenting problems of the gravest moment, to be dealt with by the emancipated race, by their former masters, and by the General Government, the author of the act of emancipation. That it was a wise, just, and providential act, fraught with good for all concerned, is not generally conceded throughout the country. That a moral obligation rests upon the National Government to employ its constitutional power and influence to establish the rights of the people it has emancipated, and to protect them in the enjoyment of those rights when they are infringed or assailed, is also generally admitted.

The evils which afflict the Southern States can only be removed or remedied by the united and harmonious efforts of both races, actuated by motives of mutual sympathy and regard; and while in duty bound and fully determined to protect the rights of all by every constitutional means at the disposal of my Administration, I am sincerely anxious to use every legitimate influence in favor of honest and efficient local self-government as the true resource of those States for the promotion of the contentment and prosperity of their citizens. In the effort I shall make to accomplish this purpose I ask the cordial cooperation of all who cherish an interest in the welfare of the country, trusting that party ties and the prejudice of race will be freely surrendered in behalf of the great purpose to be accomplished. In the important work of restoring the South it is not the political situation alone that merits attention. The material development of that section of the country has been arrested by the social and political revolution through which it has passed, and now needs and deserves the considerate care of the National Government within the just limits prescribed by the Constitution and wise public economy.

But at the basis of all prosperity, for that as well as for every other part of the country, lies the improvement of the intellectual and moral condition of the people. Universal suffrage should rest upon universal education. To this end, liberal and permanent provision should be made for the support of free schools by the State governments, and, if need be, supplemented by legitimate aid from national authority.

Let me assure my countrymen of the Southern States that it is my earnest desire to regard and promote their truest interest--the interests of the white and of the colored people both and equally--and to put forth my best efforts in behalf of a civil policy which will forever wipe out in our political affairs the color line and the distinction between North and South, to the end that we may have not merely a united North or a united South, but a united country.

I ask the attention of the public to the paramount necessity of reform in our civil service--a reform not merely as to certain abuses and practices of so-called official patronage which have come to have the sanction of usage in the several Departments of our Government, but a change in the system of appointment itself; a reform that shall be thorough, radical, and complete; a return to the principles and practices of the founders of the Government. They neither expected nor desired from public officers any partisan service. They meant that public officers should owe their whole service to the Government and to the people. They meant that the officer should be secure in his tenure as long as his personal character remained untarnished and the performance of his duties satisfactory. They held that appointments to office were not to be made nor expected merely as rewards for partisan services, nor merely on the nomination of members of Congress, as being entitled in any respect to the control of such appointments.

The fact that both the great political parties of the country, in declaring their principles prior to the election, gave a prominent place to the subject of reform of our civil service, recognizing and strongly urging its necessity, in terms almost identical in their specific import with those I have here employed, must be accepted as a conclusive argument in behalf of these measures. It must be regarded as the expression of the united voice and will of the whole country upon this subject, and both political parties are virtually pledged to give it their unreserved support.

The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party, the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential importance the principles of their party organization; but he should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves the country best.

In furtherance of the reform we seek, and in other important respects a change of great importance, I recommend an amendment to the Constitution prescribing a term of six years for the Presidential office and forbidding a reelection.

With respect to the financial condition of the country, I shall not attempt an extended history of the embarrassment and prostration which we have suffered during the past three years. The depression in all our varied commercial and manufacturing interests throughout the country, which began in September, 1873, still continues. It is very gratifying, however, to be able to say that there are indications all around us of a coming change to prosperous times.

Upon the currency question, intimately connected, as it is, with this topic, I may be permitted to repeat here the statement made in my letter of acceptance, that in my judgment the feeling of uncertainty inseparable from an irredeemable paper currency, with its fluctuation of values, is one of the greatest obstacles to a return to prosperous times. The only safe paper currency is one which rests upon a coin basis and is at all times and promptly convertible into coin.

I adhere to the views heretofore expressed by me in favor of Congressional legislation in behalf of an early resumption of specie payments, and I am satisfied not only that this is wise, but that the interests, as well as the public sentiment, of the country imperatively demand it.

Passing from these remarks upon the condition of our own country to consider our relations with other lands, we are reminded by the international complications abroad, threatening the peace of Europe, that our traditional rule of noninterference in the affairs of foreign nations has proved of great value in past times and ought to be strictly observed.

The policy inaugurated by my honored predecessor, President Grant, of submitting to arbitration grave questions in dispute between ourselves and foreign powers points to a new, and incomparably the best, instrumentality for the preservation of peace, and will, as I believe, become a beneficent example of the course to be pursued in similar emergencies by other nations.

If, unhappily, questions of difference should at any time during the period of my Administration arise between the United States and any foreign government, it will certainly be my disposition and my hope to aid in their settlement in the same peaceful and honorable way, thus securing to our country the great blessings of peace and mutual good offices with all the nations of the world.

Fellow-citizens, we have reached the close of a political contest marked by the excitement which usually attends the contests between great political parties whose members espouse and advocate with earnest faith their respective creeds. The circumstances were, perhaps, in no respect extraordinary save in the closeness and the consequent uncertainty of the result.

For the first time in the history of the country it has been deemed best, in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, that the objections and questions in dispute with reference to the counting of the electoral votes should be referred to the decision of a tribunal appointed for this purpose.

That tribunal--established by law for this sole purpose; its members, all of them, men of long-established reputation for integrity and intelligence, and, with the exception of those who are also members of the supreme judiciary, chosen equally from both political parties; its deliberations enlightened by the research and the arguments of able counsel--was entitled to the fullest confidence of the American people. Its decisions have been patiently waited for, and accepted as legally conclusive by the general judgment of the public. For the present, opinion will widely vary as to the wisdom of the several conclusions announced by that tribunal. This is to be anticipated in every instance where matters of dispute are made the subject of arbitration under the forms of law. Human judgment is never unerring, and is rarely regarded as otherwise than wrong by the unsuccessful party in the contest.

The fact that two great political parties have in this way settled a dispute in regard to which good men differ as to the facts and the law no less than as to the proper course to be pursued in solving the question in controversy is an occasion for general rejoicing.

Upon one point there is entire unanimity in public sentiment--that conflicting claims to the Presidency must be amicably and peaceably adjusted, and that when so adjusted the general acquiescence of the nation ought surely to follow.

It has been reserved for a government of the people, where the right of suffrage is universal, to give to the world the first example in history of a great nation, in the midst of the struggle of opposing parties for power, hushing its party tumults to yield the issue of the contest to adjustment according to the forms of law.

Looking for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destinies of nations and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators, Representatives, judges, fellow-citizens, here and everywhere, to unite with me in an earnest effort to secure to our country the blessings, not only of material prosperity, but of justice, peace, and union--a union depending not upon the constraint of force, but upon the loving devotion of a free people; "and that all things may be so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations."


Presidential Inaugural Address of Rutherford B. Hayes [March 4, 1877] - History

Rutherford B. Hayes became the 19th president of the United States in one of the most disputed elections in American history. He was a champion of civil service reform, supported hard money policies, and worked to reconcile North and South by ending Reconstruction through withdrawl of Federal troops from the South Carolina and Louisiana statehouses. His dignity and integrity helped revive the prestige of the presidency, which had been shaken by the Johnson impeachment and the corruption and scandal of the Grant administration. Hayes&rsquo most famous quote, "He serves his party best who serves his country best," is from his 1877 Inaugural Address. Hayes moved to his Spiegel Grove estate in 1873 and immediately began to enlarge the house to accommodate his large family. When he left office in 1881, he returned to the house, now totaling over 30 rooms, and lived there until his death in 1893. He and his wife lie buried on the grounds.

Rutherford B. Hayes&rsquo father died shortly before his birth on October 4, 1822, in Delaware, Ohio. Sardis Birchard, his maternal uncle and a successful businessman, served as guardian and surrogate father to young Rutherford and his sister Fanny Arabella. Hayes graduated from Kenyon College in 1842 and Harvard Law School in 1845. He then took up practicing law in Lower Sandusky. Active in local politics, Hayes headed up the committee that suggested that the community be renamed &ldquoFremont,&rdquo after the dashing hero of the West, Colonel John C. Fremont.

Hayes&rsquos law practice and political career blossomed after he moved to Cincinnati in December 1849. Opposing the expansion of slavery, he joined the Republican Party in the 1850s and played an increasingly important role in city politics. In 1852, he married Lucy Ware Webb, the first wife of a president to be a college graduate. He soon came to share her deeply religious opposition to slavery. They had seven sons and one daughter. They lived in Cincinnati until the Civil War.

Hayes became a major general during the Civil War. He sustained a severe wound at the Battle of South Mountain, near Antietam, Maryland--the only president ever wounded in action during the Civil War. Nominated for a seat in Congress in 1864, Hayes refused to campaign and served with his regiment until the end of the war. He took his seat in the House of Representatives when the session opened in December 1865. As a congressman, Hayes supported a Radical Reconstruction program. Reelected in 1866, Hayes resigned to run for governor of Ohio.

The first Ohio governor to serve three terms, 1868 to 1870, 1870 to 1872, and 1876 to 1877, Hayes was a competent leader. In 1873, Hayes returned to live at Spiegel Grove, which remained the family residence until 1965. Recognizing that the house was too small for his family of seven, he commenced plans for the construction of a frame addition to the west side of the original building for a new kitchen, woodhouse, and privy.

Congress finally created a special commission to settle the dispute in January 1877. The 15-member commission consisted of five from each house of Congress and five from the Supreme Court, eight Republicans and seven Democrats. The commission voted in favor of Hayes on strict party lines. Hayes took the oath of office privately in the Red Room of the White House on March 3, becoming the first president sworn in at the White House. A second, public swearing in took place later at the Capitol.

Controversy followed Hayes into office. During the election dispute, the Republicans in Congress promised southern Democrats railroad subsidies, Federal patronage, at least one Cabinet post, and cessation of support of the Republican governors in South Carolina and Louisiana. Although Hayes may not have been personally involved in this deal, he did withdraw Federal troops from statehouses in South Carolina and Louisiana, effectively ending Reconstruction. He also included an ex-Confederate in his Cabinet, while insisting that he made his appointments based on merit. His actions helped reconcile the North and South, but outraged members of his own party.

Hayes also had to deal with labor strife and immigration issues. The first wave of great national strikes occurred during his administration. In the summer of 1877, the country was still suffering from the depression that began during the Grant administration. When the railroads slashed wages for the third time in as many years, strikes and riots ensued. Hayes sympathized with the plight of the workers but sent Federal troops to restore order in certain areas. In 1879, as anti-Chinese agitation increased on the West Coast, he vetoed a popular immigration bill that would have prohibited all Chinese immigration, contending that it violated treaty obligations. He later worked out a modification of the treaty that did restrict immigration.

President Hayes was the first president to focus on civil service reform. He succeeded in removing some government jobs from partisan control. In the most famous episode of his crusade, he removed Chester A. Arthur, future president, from the collectorship of customs at New York City. Opposed by many members of his own party, Hayes was unable to create a Civil Service Commission. He signed a bill in February 1879 allowing women attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1878, Hayes began the annual Easter Egg Roll for children on the White House lawn, a tradition that still takes place on the Monday after Easter.

Hayes honored his pledge that he would only serve one term and retired to Spiegel Grove in 1881. He prepared for his retirement by building an addition to the house that more than doubled its size. The addition included a library and drawing room on the first floor, with bedrooms above, and indoor plumbing. It also incorporated a number of interior changes and the construction of a fourth-floor cupola that Mrs. Hayes used as a greenhouse for her plants. A spectacular four-story walnut and butternut staircase added during the renovation leads to a 360-degree view of Spiegel Grove.

After his presidency, Hayes remained active with humanitarian causes such as prison reform, education, aid for black schools, veteran&rsquos affairs, and local charities. He travelled frequently for speaking engagements. He wrote extensively on his beliefs on social reform and growing concern about the increasing disparity of economic classes. He died at his beloved Spiegel Grove in 1893.

In 1912, the president&rsquos children gave the Spiegel Grove property to the State of Ohio, although the family continued to live in the house until 1965. Today the Hayes Presidential Center manages the property in association with the Ohio Historical Society. Several family portraits and original furnishings adorn the house. The library in particular contains numerous mementoes including two framed photographs of Lincoln. Hayes, an avid reader, designed the room to display portraits of former political greats. The graves of Lucy and Rutherford Hayes are on a small hill at the south end of the estate.

The State of Ohio constructed a museum and library building on the grounds of Spiegel Grove in 1916. Two additions date from 1922 and 1969. The research library has approximately 70,000 volumes, including the president's personal library. The exhibits in the museum focus on the life and times of Rutherford B. Hayes, his family, and Ohio history. The first floor is primarily a biographical exhibit it includes a lovely large breakfront, which displays Hayes&rsquo White House china. A life-size diorama of Hayes in camp during the Civil War illustrates his active participation in that conflict.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Spiegel Grove, located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland Aves., Fremont, OH has been designated a National Historic Landmark. For mapping purposes only the address is Spiegel Grove. Click here for the National Historic Landmark registration file: text and photos.

The Rutherford B. Hayes home is also an Ohio Historical Society Site. The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center includes two major buildings &ndash the Hayes Home and Hayes Museum. Daily tours of both are available year-round, Tuesday &ndashSaturday 9:00am to 5:00pm and Sundays and Holidays 12:00pm to 5:00pm. The buildings are closed New Year&rsquos Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Visitors can opt to tour one building or both. Tours of the Hayes Home are guide led and take 45 minutes. The Hayes Museum is a self-guided tour, with docent-led tours available for groups of 15 or more by prior arrangement. For more information visit, the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center website or call toll free 800-998-7737. The website provides a wealth of information on the place and people of Spiegel Grove.


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. progress made. In the structure of his essay, he first states something that is terrifying but supersedes the idea with something more positive and hopeful. In one instance, Kennedy first talks about other countries bringing “the absolute power to destroy other nation under the absolute control of all nations” (Kennedy 17). He follows this grim statement with the hopeful declaration, “[t]ogether let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce” (Kennedy 18). By structuring his essay this way, Kennedy presents a grim reality but then follows with something upbeat and encouraging. This gives hope to the American people, so they do not lose their hope for the country. An inaugural speech comes once every four years. The speech often echoes the mood of the country at the time the speech is made. Kennedy decided to use two main elements in his speech fear and hope. He intended for people to be hopeful for the future, but he also wants people to know they will have to work towards the future. He notes that this will not be easy to achieve, but it is attainable. Now in 2016, we have a new president-elect. Our president-elect’s speech, like Kennedy, will echo the issues of today’s world and today’s America. .


Contents

Dates Edit

The first inauguration, that of George Washington, took place on April 30, 1789. All subsequent (regular) inaugurations from 1793 until 1933, were held on March 4, the day of the year on which the federal government began operations under the U.S. Constitution in 1789. The exception to this pattern was those years in which March 4 fell on a Sunday. When it did, the public inauguration ceremony would take place on Monday, March 5. This happened on four occasions, in 1821, 1849, 1877, and 1917. Inauguration Day moved to January 20, beginning in 1937, following ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, where it has remained since. A similar Sunday exception and move to Monday is made around this date as well (which happened in 1957, 1985, and 2013).

This resulted in several anomalies. It has been alleged that in 1849, Senate President pro tempore David Rice Atchison was president for a day, although all scholars dismiss that claim. [2] [3] In 1877, due to the controversy over the Compromise of 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes was sworn in secretly on March 3 before Ulysses S. Grant's term ended on March 4—raising the question if the United States had two presidents at the same time for one day. [2] In modern times, the president took the oath on a Sunday in a private ceremony and repeated it the following day with all the pomp and circumstance. In 1985 and 2013 these ceremonies were televised. Irregular inaugurations occurred on nine occasions intra-term, after the death or resignation of a president.

Inauguration Day, while not a federal holiday, is observed as a holiday by federal employees who would be working in the "Inauguration Day Area" and who are regularly scheduled to perform non-overtime work on Inauguration Day. [4] There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees or students who are not regularly scheduled to work or attend school on Inauguration Day. The Inauguration Day Area consists of the District of Columbia Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia (the City of Fairfax is considered part of Fairfax County for this purpose), and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia. [4]

Locations Edit

Most presidential inaugurations since 1801 have been held in Washington D.C. at the Capitol Building. Prior inaugurations were held, first at Federal Hall in New York City (1789), [5] and then at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1793 and 1797). Each city was, at the time, the nation's capital. The location for James Monroe's 1817 swearing in was moved to the Old Brick Capitol in Washington due to on-going restoration work at the Capitol building following the War of 1812. [6] Three other inaugurations—Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth (1945), Harry S. Truman's first (1945), and Gerald Ford's (1974)—were held at the White House.

Presidential inaugurations (aside from intra-term ceremonies following the death or resignation of a president) have traditionally been outdoor public ceremonies. [7] In 1909, William H. Taft's inauguration was moved to the Senate Chamber due to a blizzard. [8] Then, in 1985, the public second inauguration of Ronald Reagan was held indoors in the Capitol Rotunda because of harsh weather conditions.

The first inauguration of Andrew Jackson, in 1829, was the first of 35 held on the east front of the Capitol. Since the 1981 first inauguration of Ronald Reagan, they have been held on the Capitol's west front a move designed to both cut costs and to provide more space for spectators. [9] Above the west front inaugural platform are five large United States flags. The current 50-star flag is displayed in the center. [7] On either side are earlier variations of the national flag: two are the official flag adopted by Congress after the admission to the Union of the new president's home state and two are the 13-star flag popularly known as the Betsy Ross flag. [10]

Organizers Edit

Prior to Inauguration Day, the president-elect will name a Presidential Inaugural Committee. This committee is the legal entity responsible for fundraising for and the planning and coordination of all official events and activities surrounding the inauguration of president and vice president (other than the ceremony), such as the balls and parade. [11]

Since 1901, the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies. [12] Since 1953, it has also hosted a luncheon at the U.S. Capitol for the new president, vice president, and guests. Three senators and three representatives make up the committee.

The Joint Task Force National Capital Region, composed of service members from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, including Reserve and National Guard components, is responsible for all military support to ceremonies and to civil authorities for the inaugural period (in 2017, January 15–24). U.S. military personnel have participated in Inauguration Day ceremonies since 1789 when members of the Continental Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. Their participation traditionally includes musical units, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. Military support to the inauguration honors the new president, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and recognizes civilian control of the military. [13]

Attendees Edit

In addition to the public, the attendees at the inauguration generally include the vice president, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, high-ranking military officers, former presidents, living Medal of Honor recipients, and other dignitaries. The outgoing president and vice president also customarily attend the ceremony.

While most outgoing presidents have appeared on the inaugural platform with their successor, six did not:

    left Washington rather than attend the 1801 inauguration of Thomas Jefferson[14][15] also left town, unwilling to be present for the 1829 inauguration of Andrew Jackson[14][15] was, for reasons unknown, not present for the 1841 inauguration of William Henry Harrison[16] conducted a final cabinet meeting rather than attend the 1869 inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant[14][15] , due to poor health, remained inside the Capitol Building during the 1921 inauguration of Warren G. Harding[17] held a "departure ceremony" and then left Washington, D.C. prior to the 2021 inauguration of Joe Biden[15]

Communication Edit

The way inauguration ceremony events are communicated to the public has changed over the years with each advance in technology. Improvements in mass media technologies have allowed presidents to reach substantially greater numbers of their constituents. In 1829, Andrew Jackson spoke to approximately 10,000 people at his inauguration. [18] Most recently, in 2017, it is estimated that about 160,000 people were in the National Mall areas in the hour leading up to Donald Trump's swearing in. [19] An additional 30.6 million people in the United States watched it on television, [20] and more than 6.8 million worldwide streamed it live on Twitter. [21] Among the inauguration mass communication milestones are: [22]

  • 1801 first inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, first newspaper extra of an inaugural address, printed by the National Intelligencer
  • 1845 inauguration of James K. Polk, first inauguration to be covered by telegraph, and first known newspaper illustration of a presidential inauguration (The Illustrated London News)
  • 1857 inauguration of James Buchanan, first inauguration known to have been photographed
  • 1897 first inauguration of William McKinley, first inauguration to be recorded on film
  • 1905 second inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt, first time that telephones were installed on the Capitol Grounds for an inauguration
  • 1925 second inauguration of Calvin Coolidge, first inauguration to be broadcast nationally by radio
  • 1929 inauguration of Herbert Hoover, first inauguration to be recorded by a talking newsreel
  • 1949 second inauguration of Harry S. Truman, first inauguration to be televised
  • 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy, first inauguration to be televised in color
  • 1981 first inauguration of Ronald Reagan, first closed-captioning of television broadcast for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 1997 second inauguration of Bill Clinton, first time that the ceremony was broadcast live on the Internet

Inauguration procedure is governed by tradition rather than the Constitution, the only constitutionally required procedure being the presidential oath of office (which may be taken anywhere, with anyone in attendance who can legally witness an oath, and at any time prior to the actual beginning of the new president's term). [14] Traditionally, the president-elect arrives at the White House and then proceeds to the Capitol Building with the out-going president. Around or after 12 noon, the president takes the oath of office, usually administered by the chief justice of the United States, and then delivers the inaugural address.

Oaths of office Edit

The vice president is sworn into office in the same ceremony as the president. Prior to 1937, the vice presidential oath was administered in the Senate Chamber (in keeping with the vice president's position as president of the Senate). The oath is administered to the vice president first. Immediately afterwards, the United States Marine Band will perform four "ruffles and flourishes", followed by "Hail, Columbia". Unlike the presidential oath, however, the Constitution does not specify specific words that must be spoken. Several variants of the oath have been used since 1789. The current form, which is also recited by senators, representatives, and other government officers, has been in use since 1884:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God. [23]

At noon, the new presidential and vice presidential terms begin. At about that time, the president recites the constitutionally mandated oath of office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

According to Washington Irving's biography of George Washington, after reciting the oath at his (and the nation's) first inauguration, Washington added the words "so help me God". [24] However, the only contemporaneous source that fully reproduced Washington's oath completely lacks the religious codicil. [25] The first newspaper report that actually described the exact words used in an oath of office, Chester Arthur's in 1881, [26] repeated the "query-response" method where the words, "so help me God" were a personal prayer, not a part of the constitutional oath. The time of adoption of the current procedure, where both the chief justice and the president speak the oath, is unknown.

The oath of office was administered to Washington in 1789 by Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York State. Four years later, the oath was administered by Supreme Court associate justice William Cushing. Since the 1797 inauguration of John Adams, it has become customary for the new president to be sworn into office by the Supreme Court's chief justice. Others have administered the oath on occasions when a new president assumed office intra-term due to the incumbent's death or resignation. William Cranch, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court, administered the oath of office to John Tyler in 1841 when he succeeded to the presidency upon William Henry Harrison's death, and to Millard Fillmore in 1850 when Zachary Taylor died. In 1923, upon being informed of Warren Harding's death, while visiting his family home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president by his father, John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., a notary public. [27] [28] Most recently, federal judge Sarah T. Hughes administered the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One after John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963.

Since 1789 there have been 59 inaugural ceremonies to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of a president of the United States, and an additional nine marking the start of a partial presidential term following the intra-term death or resignation of an incumbent president. With the 2021 inauguration of Joe Biden, the oath has been taken 76 different times by 45 people. This numerical discrepancy results chiefly from two factors: a president must take the oath at the beginning of each term of office, and, because the day of inauguration has sometimes fallen on a Sunday, five presidents have taken the oath privately before the public inaugural ceremonies. In addition, three have repeated the oath as a precaution against potential later constitutional challenges. [22]

There is no requirement that any book, or in particular a book of sacred text, be used to administer the oath, and none is mentioned in the Constitution. By convention, incoming presidents raise their right hand and place the left on a Bible or other book while taking the oath of office. While most have, John Quincy Adams did not use a Bible when taking the oath in 1825 [29] neither did Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. [30] In 1853, Franklin Pierce affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it. [31] More recently, a Catholic missal was used for Lyndon B. Johnson's 1963 swearing in ceremony. [32] [33]

Bibles of historical significance have sometimes been used at inaugurations. George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Dwight D. Eisenhower used the George Washington Inaugural Bible. Barack Obama placed his hand upon the Lincoln Bible for his oaths in 2009 and 2013, [34] as did Donald Trump in 2017. [35] Joe Biden placed his hand upon a large leather-bound family Bible. [36]

Immediately after the presidential oath, the United States Marine Band will perform four "ruffles and flourishes", followed by "Hail to the Chief", while simultaneously, a 21-gun salute is fired using artillery pieces from the Presidential Guns Salute Battery, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment "The Old Guard" located in Taft Park, north of the Capitol. The actual gun salute begins with the first "ruffle and flourish", and "run long" (i.e. the salute concludes after "Hail to the Chief" has ended). The Marine Band, which is believed to have made its inaugural debut in 1801 for Thomas Jefferson's first inauguration, is the only musical unit to participate in all three components of the presidential inauguration: the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade, and an inaugural ball. During the ceremony, the band is positioned directly below the presidential podium at the U.S. Capitol. [37]

Inaugural address Edit

Newly sworn-in presidents usually give a speech referred to as an inaugural address. As with many inaugural customs, this one was started by George Washington in 1789. After taking his oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall, he proceeded to the Senate chamber where he read a speech before members of Congress and other dignitaries. Every president since Washington has delivered an inaugural address. While many of the early presidents read their addresses before taking the oath, current custom dictates that the chief justice administer the oath first, followed by the president's speech. [12] William McKinley requested the change in 1897, so that he could reiterate the words of the oath at the close of his first inaugural address.

William Henry Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address, at 8,445 words, in 1841. John Adams' 1797 address, which totaled 2,308 words, contained the longest sentence, at 737 words. In 1793, Washington gave the shortest inaugural address on record, just 135 words. [12]

Most presidents use their inaugural address to present their vision of America and to set forth their goals for the nation. Some of the most eloquent and powerful speeches are still quoted today. In 1865, in the waning days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln stated, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt avowed, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And in 1961, John F. Kennedy declared, "And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." [12]

On the eight occasions where the new president succeeded to the office upon their predecessor's death intra-term, none gave an address, but each did address Congress soon thereafter. [14] When Gerald Ford became president in 1974, following the resignation of Richard Nixon, he addressed the nation after taking the oath, but he characterized his speech as "Not an inaugural address, not a fireside chat, not a campaign speech – just a little straight talk among friends". [38] (Full text )

Prayers Edit

Since 1937, the ceremony has incorporated one or more prayers. [39] [40] Since 1933 an associated prayer service either public or private attended by the president-elect has often taken place on the morning of the day. [41] At times a major public or broadcast prayer service takes place after the main ceremony most recently on the next day. [42]

Poems Edit

Six inaugural ceremonies since 1961 have included a reading by a poet. [43] The following poetry readings have taken place:

    (1961): Robert Frost read part of "Dedication" and recited "The Gift Outright" [44] (1993): Maya Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" [45] (1997): Miller Williams read his poem "Of History and Hope" [46] (2009): Elizabeth Alexander read her poem "Praise Song for the Day" [47] (2013): Richard Blanco read his poem "One Today" [48] (2021): Amanda Gorman read her poem "The Hill We Climb" [49]

Over the years, various inauguration traditions have arisen that have expanded the event from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long one, including parades, speeches, and balls. In fact, contemporary inaugural celebrations typically span 10 days, from five days before the inauguration to five days after. On some occasions however, either due to the preferences of the new president or to other constraining circumstances, they have been scaled back. Such was the case in 1945, because of rationing in effect during World War II. More recently, in 1973, the celebrations marking Richard Nixon's second inauguration were altered because of the death of former president Lyndon B. Johnson two days after the ceremony. All pending events were cancelled so preparations for Johnson's state funeral could begin. Because of the construction work on the center steps of the East Front, Johnson's casket was taken up the Senate wing steps of the Capitol when taken into the rotunda to lie in state. [50] When it was brought out, it came out through the House wing steps of the Capitol. [50] In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festivities were scaled back.

Congressional luncheon Edit

Since 1953, the president and vice president have been guests of honor at a luncheon held by the leadership of the United States Congress immediately following the inaugural ceremony. The luncheon is held in Statuary Hall and is organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and attended by the leadership of both houses of Congress as well as guests of the president and vice president. By tradition, the outgoing president and vice president will not attend. In 2021, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the luncheon was replaced by a gift-giving ceremony.

Inaugural parade Edit

Following the arrival of the presidential entourage to the White House, it is customary for the president, vice-president, their respective families and leading members of the government and military to review an inaugural parade from an enclosed stand at the edge of the North Lawn, a custom begun by James Garfield in 1881. The parade, which proceeds along 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the stand and the Front Lawn in view of the presidential party, features both military and civilian participants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia this parade largely evolved from the post-inaugural procession to the White House, and occurred as far back as Jefferson's second inauguration in 1805, when workers from the Washington Navy Yard, accompanied by military music, marched with the president [51] on foot as he rode on horseback from the Capitol to the White House. By the time of William Henry Harrison's inauguration in 1841, political clubs and marching societies would regularly travel to Washington for the parade. That year was also the first in which floats were part of the parade. It was at Lincoln's second inauguration, in 1865, that Native Americans and African Americans participated in the inaugural parade for the first time. [52] Women were involved for the first time in 1917. [53]

In 1829, following his first inaugural parade, Andrew Jackson held a public reception at the White House, during which 20,000 people created such a crush that Jackson had to escape through a window. Nevertheless, White House receptions continued until lengthy afternoon parades created scheduling problems. Reviving the idea in 1989, President George H. W. Bush invited the public to a "White House American Welcome" on the day after the inaugural. [54]

Grover Cleveland’s 1885 inaugural parade lasted three hours and showcased 25,000 marchers. Eighty years later, Lyndon Johnson’s parade included 52 select bands. [54] Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1953 parade included about 22,000 service men and women and 5,000 civilians, which included 50 state and organization floats costing $100,000. There were also 65 musical units, 350 horses, 3 elephants, an Alaskan dog team, and the 280-millimeter atomic cannon. [55]

In 1977, Jimmy Carter became the first president to set out by foot for more than a mile on the route to the White House. The walk has become a tradition that has been matched in ceremony if not in length by the presidents who followed. [56]

Twice during the 20th century, an inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was not held. In 1945, at the height of World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth Inauguration was simple and austere with no fanfare or formal celebration following the event. There was no parade because of gas rationing and a lumber shortage. [57] In 1985, with the temperature near 7 °F (−14 °C), [58] [59] all outdoor events for Ronald Reagan's second inauguration were canceled or moved indoors. [51]

Interfaith national prayer service Edit

A tradition of an interfaith national prayer service, usually the day after the inauguration, dates back to George Washington and since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the prayer service has been held at the Washington National Cathedral. [60] This is not the same as the Inaugural Prayer, a tradition also begun by Washington, when on June 1, 1789, Methodist bishops Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, Rev. John Dickins, the pastor of Old St. George's (America's oldest Methodist Church) and Major Thomas Morrell, one of President Washington's former aides-de-camp called upon Washington in New York City. [61] This tradition resumed in 1985 with President Reagan and continues under the auspices of a Presidential Inaugural Prayer Committee based at Old St. George's.

Inaugural balls Edit

The first Inaugural Ball was held on the night of James Madison's first inauguration in 1809. Tickets were $4 and it took place at Long's Hotel. [53]

Security Edit

The security for the inaugural celebrations is a complex matter, involving the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service (DHS-FPS), all five branches of the Armed Forces, the Capitol Police, the United States Park Police (USPP), and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC). Federal law enforcement agencies also sometimes request assistance from various other state and local law-enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

Presidential medals Edit

Beginning with George Washington, there has been a traditional association with Inauguration festivities and the production of a presidential medal. With the District of Columbia attracting thousands of attendees for inauguration, presidential medals were an inexpensive souvenir for the tourists to remember the occasion. However, the once-simple trinket turned into an official presidential election memento. In 1901, the first Inauguration Committee [62] on Medals and Badges was established as part of the official Inauguration Committee for the re-election of President McKinley. The Committee saw official medals as a way to raise funding for the festivities. Gold medals were to be produced as gifts for the president, vice president, and committee chair silver medals were to be created and distributed among Inauguration Committee members, and bronze medals would be for sale for public consumption. McKinley's medal was simple with his portrait on one side and writing on the other side. [63]

Unlike his predecessor, when Theodore Roosevelt took his oath of office in 1905, he found the previous presidential medal unacceptable. As an art lover and admirer of the ancient Greek high-relief coins, Roosevelt wanted more than a simple medal—he wanted a work of art. To achieve this goal, the president hired Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a famous American sculptor, to design and create his inauguration medal. Saint-Gaudens' obsession with perfection resulted in a forestalled release and the medals were distributed after the actual inauguration. Nonetheless, President Roosevelt was very pleased with the result. Saint-Gaudens' design, executed by Adolph A. Weinman, was cast by Tiffany & Company and was proclaimed an artistic triumph. [64] Saint-Gaudens' practice of creating a portrait sculpture of the newly elected president is still used today in presidential medal creation. After the president sits for the sculptor, the resulting clay sketch is turned into a life mask and plaster model. Finishing touches are added and the epoxy cast that is created is used to produce the die cuts. The die cuts are then used to strike the president's portrait on each medal. [65]

From 1929 through 1949, the official medal was struck by the U.S. Mint. This changed in 1953 when the Medallic Art Company was chosen to strike Walker Hancock's portrait of President Eisenhower. The official medals have been struck by private mints ever since. [64] The Smithsonian Institution and The George Washington University hold the two most complete collections of presidential medals in the United States.

Gerald Ford's unscheduled inauguration also had a medal. [66]

The 59 inauguration ceremonies marking the start of a new four-year presidential term of office and also the nine marking the start of a partial presidential term following the intra-term death or resignation of an incumbent president are listed in the table below.


Contents

Childhood and family history Edit

Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on October 4, 1822, to Rutherford Hayes, Jr. and Sophia Birchard. Hayes's father, a Vermont storekeeper, had taken the family to Ohio in 1817. He died ten weeks before Rutherford's birth. Sophia took charge of the family, raising Hayes and his sister, Fanny, the only two of the four children to survive to adulthood. [6] She never remarried, [7] and Sophia's younger brother, Sardis Birchard, lived with the family for a time. [8] He was always close to Hayes and became a father figure to him, contributing to his early education. [9]

Through each of his parents, Hayes was descended from New England colonists. [10] His earliest immigrant ancestor came to Connecticut from Scotland in 1625. [11] Hayes's great-grandfather Ezekiel Hayes was a militia captain in Connecticut in the American Revolutionary War, but Ezekiel's son (Hayes's grandfather, also named Rutherford) left his Branford home during the war for the relative peace of Vermont. [12] His mother's ancestors migrated to Vermont at a similar time. Most of his close relatives outside Ohio continued to live there. John Noyes, an uncle by marriage, had been his father's business partner in Vermont and was later elected to Congress. [13] His first cousin, Mary Jane Mead, was the mother of sculptor Larkin Goldsmith Mead and architect William Rutherford Mead. [13] John Humphrey Noyes, the founder of the Oneida Community, was also a first cousin. [14]

Education and early law career Edit

Hayes attended the common schools in Delaware, Ohio, and enrolled in 1836 at the Methodist Norwalk Seminary in Norwalk, Ohio. [15] He did well at Norwalk, and the next year transferred to the Webb School, a preparatory school in Middletown, Connecticut, where he studied Latin and Ancient Greek. [16] Returning to Ohio, he attended Kenyon College in Gambier in 1838. [17] He enjoyed his time at Kenyon, and was successful scholastically [18] while there, he joined several student societies and became interested in Whig politics. His classmates included Stanley Matthews and John Celivergos Zachos. [19] [20] He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors in 1842 and addressed the class as its valedictorian. [21]

After briefly reading law in Columbus, Ohio, Hayes moved east to attend Harvard Law School in 1843. [22] Graduating with an LL.B, he was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1845 and opened his own law office in Lower Sandusky (now Fremont). [23] Business was slow at first, but he gradually attracted clients and also represented his uncle Sardis in real estate litigation. [24] In 1847 Hayes became ill with what his doctor thought was tuberculosis. Thinking a change in climate would help, he considered enlisting in the Mexican–American War, but on his doctor's advice instead visited family in New England. [25] Returning from there, Hayes and his uncle Sardis made a long journey to Texas, where Hayes visited with Guy M. Bryan, a Kenyon classmate and distant relative. [26] Business remained meager on his return to Lower Sandusky, and Hayes decided to move to Cincinnati. [27]

Cincinnati law practice and marriage Edit

Hayes moved to Cincinnati in 1850, and opened a law office with John W. Herron, a lawyer from Chillicothe. [28] [a] Herron later joined a more established firm and Hayes formed a new partnership with William K. Rogers and Richard M. Corwine. [30] He found business better in Cincinnati, and enjoyed its social attractions, joining the Cincinnati Literary Society and the Odd Fellows Club. [31] He also attended the Episcopal Church in Cincinnati but did not become a member. [31]

Hayes courted his future wife, Lucy Webb, during his time there. [32] His mother had encouraged him to get to know Lucy years earlier, but Hayes had believed she was too young and focused his attention on other women. [33] Four years later, Hayes began to spend more time with Lucy. They became engaged in 1851 and married on December 30, 1852, at Lucy's mother's house. [32] Over the next five years, Lucy gave birth to three sons: Birchard Austin (1853), Webb Cook (1856), and Rutherford Platt (1858). [30] A Methodist, Lucy was a teetotaler and abolitionist. She influenced her husband's views on those issues, though he never formally joined her church. [34]

Hayes had begun his law practice dealing primarily with commercial issues but won greater prominence in Cincinnati as a criminal defense attorney, [35] defending several people accused of murder. [36] In one case, he used a form of the insanity defense that saved the accused from the gallows she was instead confined to a mental institution. [37] Hayes also defended slaves who had escaped and been accused under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. [38] As Cincinnati was just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, a slave state, it was a destination for escaping slaves and many such cases were tried in its courts. A staunch abolitionist, Hayes found his work on behalf of fugitive slaves personally gratifying as well as politically useful, as it raised his profile in the newly formed Republican Party. [39]

His political reputation rose with his professional plaudits. Hayes declined a Republican nomination for a judgeship in 1856. [40] Two years later, some Republicans proposed Hayes to fill a vacancy on the bench and he considered accepting the appointment until the office of city solicitor also became vacant. [41] The city council elected Hayes city solicitor to fill the vacancy, and voters elected him to a full two-year term in April 1859 with a larger majority than other Republicans on the ticket. [42]

West Virginia and South Mountain Edit

As the Southern states quickly began to secede after Lincoln's election to the presidency in 1860, Hayes was lukewarm about civil war to restore the Union. Considering that the two sides might be irreconcilable, he suggested that the Union "[l]et them go." [43] Though Ohio had voted for Lincoln in 1860, Cincinnati voters turned against the Republican party after secession. Its residents included many from the South, and they voted for the Democrats and Know-Nothings, who combined to sweep the city elections in April 1861, ejecting Hayes from the city solicitor's office. [44]

Returning to private practice, Hayes formed a very brief law partnership with Leopold Markbreit, lasting three days before the war began. [44] After the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, Hayes resolved his doubts and joined a volunteer company composed of his Literary Society friends. [45] That June, Governor William Dennison appointed several of the officers of the volunteer company to positions in the 23rd Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Hayes was promoted to major, and his friend and college classmate Stanley Matthews was appointed lieutenant colonel. [46] Joining the regiment as a private was another future president, William McKinley. [46]

After a month of training, Hayes and the 23rd Ohio set out for western Virginia in July 1861 as a part of the Kanawha Division. [47] They did not meet the enemy until September, when the regiment encountered Confederates at Carnifex Ferry in present-day West Virginia and drove them back. [48] In November, Hayes was promoted to lieutenant colonel (Matthews having been promoted to colonel of another regiment) and led his troops deeper into western Virginia, where they entered winter quarters. [49] The division resumed its advance the following spring, and Hayes led several raids against the rebel forces, on one of which he sustained a minor injury to his knee. [50] That September, Hayes's regiment was called east to reinforce General John Pope's Army of Virginia at the Second Battle of Bull Run. [51] Hayes and his troops did not arrive in time for the battle, but joined the Army of the Potomac as it hurried north to cut off Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which was advancing into Maryland. [51] Marching north, the 23rd was the lead regiment encountering the Confederates at the Battle of South Mountain on September 14. [52] Hayes led a charge against an entrenched position and was shot through his left arm, fracturing the bone. [53] He had one of his men tie a handkerchief above the wound in an effort to stop the bleeding, and continued to lead his men in the battle. While resting, he ordered his men to meet a flanking attack, but instead his entire command moved backward, leaving Hayes lying in between the lines.

Eventually, his men brought Hayes back behind their lines, and he was taken to hospital. The regiment continued on to Antietam, but Hayes was out of action for the rest of the campaign. [54] In October, he was promoted to colonel and assigned to command of the first brigade of the Kanawha Division as a brevet brigadier general. [55]

Army of the Shenandoah Edit

The division spent the following winter and spring near Charleston, Virginia (present-day West Virginia), out of contact with the enemy. [56] Hayes saw little action until July 1863, when the division skirmished with John Hunt Morgan's cavalry at the Battle of Buffington Island. [57] Returning to Charleston for the rest of the summer, Hayes spent the fall encouraging the men of the 23rd Ohio to reenlist, and many did. [58] In 1864, the Army command structure in West Virginia was reorganized, and Hayes's division was assigned to George Crook's Army of West Virginia. [58] Advancing into southwestern Virginia, they destroyed Confederate salt and lead mines there. [59] On May 9, they engaged Confederate troops at Cloyd's Mountain, where Hayes and his men charged the enemy entrenchments and drove the rebels from the field. [59] Following the rout, the Union forces destroyed Confederate supplies and again successfully skirmished with the enemy. [59]

Hayes and his brigade moved to the Shenandoah Valley for the Valley Campaigns of 1864. Crook's corps was attached to Major General David Hunter's Army of the Shenandoah and soon back in contact with Confederate forces, capturing Lexington, Virginia on June 11. [60] They continued south toward Lynchburg, tearing up railroad track as they advanced, [60] but Hunter believed the troops at Lynchburg were too powerful, and Hayes and his brigade returned to West Virginia. [60] Hayes thought Hunter lacked aggression, writing in a letter home that "General Crook would have taken Lynchburg." [60] Before the army could make another attempt, Confederate General Jubal Early's raid into Maryland forced their recall to the north. Early's army surprised them at Kernstown on July 24, where Hayes was slightly wounded by a bullet to the shoulder. [61] He also had a horse shot out from under him, and the army was defeated. [61] Retreating to Maryland, the army was reorganized again, with Major General Philip Sheridan replacing Hunter. [62] By August, Early was retreating up the valley, with Sheridan in pursuit. Hayes's troops fended off a Confederate assault at Berryville and advanced to Opequon Creek, where they broke the enemy lines and pursued them farther south. [63] They followed up the victory with another at Fisher's Hill on September 22, and one more at Cedar Creek on October 19. [64] At Cedar Creek, Hayes sprained his ankle after being thrown from a horse and was struck in the head by a spent round, which did not cause serious damage. [64] His leadership and bravery drew his superiors' attention, with Ulysses S. Grant later writing of Hayes, "[h]is conduct on the field was marked by conspicuous gallantry as well as the display of qualities of a higher order than that of mere personal daring." [65]

Cedar Creek marked the end of the campaign. Hayes was promoted to brigadier general in October 1864 and brevetted major general. [66] Around this time, Hayes learned of the birth of his fourth son, George Crook Hayes. The army went into winter quarters once more, and in spring 1865 the war quickly came to a close with Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox. Hayes visited Washington, D.C. that May and observed the Grand Review of the Armies, after which he and the 23rd Ohio returned to their home state to be mustered out of the service. [67]

U.S. Congressman from Ohio Edit

While serving in the Army of the Shenandoah in 1864, Hayes was nominated by Republicans for the House of Representatives from Ohio's 2nd congressional district. [68] Asked by friends in Cincinnati to leave the army to campaign, he refused, saying that an "officer fit for duty who at this crisis would abandon his post to electioneer for a seat in Congress ought to be scalped." [68] Instead, Hayes wrote several letters to the voters explaining his political positions and was elected by a 2,400-vote majority over the incumbent, Democrat Alexander Long. [68]

When the 39th Congress assembled in December 1865, Hayes was sworn in as a part of a large Republican majority. Hayes identified with the party's moderate wing, but was willing to vote with the radicals for the sake of party unity. [69] The major legislative effort of the Congress was the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, for which Hayes voted and which passed both houses of Congress in June 1866. [70] Hayes's beliefs were in line with his fellow Republicans on Reconstruction issues: that the South should be restored to the Union, but not without adequate protections for freedmen and other black southerners. [71] President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded to office following Lincoln's assassination, to the contrary wanted to readmit the seceded states quickly without first ensuring that they adopted laws protecting the newly freed slaves' civil rights he also granted pardons to many of the leading former Confederates. [71] Hayes, along with congressional Republicans, disagreed. They worked to reject Johnson's vision of Reconstruction and to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866. [72]

Reelected in 1866, Hayes returned to the lame-duck session to vote for the Tenure of Office Act, which ensured that Johnson could not remove administration officials without the Senate's consent. [73] He also unsuccessfully pressed for a civil service reform bill that attracted the votes of many reform-minded Republicans. [74] Hayes continued to vote with the majority in the 40th Congress on the Reconstruction Acts, but resigned in July 1867 to run for governor of Ohio. [75]

Governor of Ohio Edit

A popular Congressman and former Army officer, Hayes was considered by Ohio Republicans to be an excellent standard-bearer for the 1867 election campaign. [76] His political views were more moderate than the Republican party's platform, although he agreed with the proposed amendment to the Ohio state constitution that would guarantee suffrage to black male Ohioans. [76] Hayes's opponent, Allen G. Thurman, made the proposed amendment the centerpiece of the campaign and opposed black suffrage. Both men campaigned vigorously, making speeches across the state, mostly focusing on the suffrage question. [76] The election was mostly a disappointment to Republicans, as the amendment failed to pass and Democrats gained a majority in the state legislature. [77] Hayes thought at first that he, too, had lost, but the final tally showed that he had won the election by 2,983 votes of 484,603 votes cast. [77]

As a Republican governor with a Democratic legislature, Hayes had a limited role in governing, especially since Ohio's governor had no veto power. Despite these constraints, he oversaw the establishment of a school for deaf-mutes and a reform school for girls. [78] He endorsed the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson and urged his conviction, which failed by one vote in the United States Senate. [79] Nominated for a second term in 1869, Hayes campaigned again for equal rights for black Ohioans and sought to associate his Democratic opponent, George H. Pendleton, with disunion and Confederate sympathies. [80] Hayes was reelected with an increased majority, and the Republicans took the legislature, ensuring Ohio's ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed black (male) suffrage. [80] With a Republican legislature, Hayes's second term was more enjoyable. Suffrage was expanded and a state Agricultural and Mechanical College (later to become The Ohio State University) established. [81] He also proposed a reduction in state taxes and reform of the state prison system. [82] Choosing not to seek reelection, Hayes looked forward to retiring from politics in 1872. [83]

Private life and return to politics Edit

As Hayes prepared to leave office, several delegations of reform-minded Republicans urged him to run for United States Senate against the incumbent Republican, John Sherman. [83] Hayes declined, preferring to preserve party unity and retire to private life. [83] He especially looked forward to spending time with his children, two of whom (daughter Fanny and son Scott) had been born in the past five years. [84] [b] Initially, Hayes tried to promote railway extensions to his hometown, Fremont. He also managed some real estate he had acquired in Duluth, Minnesota. [86] Not entirely removed from politics, Hayes held out some hope of a cabinet appointment, but was disappointed to receive only an appointment as assistant U.S. treasurer at Cincinnati, which he turned down. [87] He agreed to be nominated for his old House seat in 1872 but was not disappointed when he lost the election to Henry B. Banning, a fellow Kenyon College alumnus. [88]

In 1873, Lucy gave birth to another son, Manning Force Hayes. [89] [c] That same year, the Panic of 1873 hurt business prospects across the nation, including Hayes's. His uncle Sardis Birchard died that year, and the Hayes family moved into Spiegel Grove, the grand house Birchard had built with them in mind. [91] That year Hayes announced his uncle's bequest of $50,000 in assets to endow a public library for Fremont, to be called the Birchard Library. It opened in 1874 on Front Street, and a new building was completed and opened in 1878 in Fort Stephenson State Park. (This site was per the terms of the bequest.) Hayes served as chairman of the library's board of trustees until his death. [92]

Hayes hoped to stay out of politics in order to pay off the debts he had incurred during the Panic, but when the Republican state convention nominated him for governor in 1875, he accepted. [93] His campaign against Democratic nominee William Allen focused primarily on Protestant fears about the possibility of state aid to Catholic schools. [94] Hayes was against such funding and, while not known to be personally anti-Catholic, he allowed anti-Catholic fervor to contribute to the enthusiasm for his candidacy. [94] The campaign was a success, and on October 12, 1875 Hayes was returned to the governorship by a 5,544-vote majority. [94] The first person to earn a third term as governor of Ohio, Hayes reduced the state debt, reestablished the Board of Charities, and repealed the Geghan Bill, which had allowed for the appointment of Catholic priests to schools and penitentiaries. [95]

Republican nomination and campaign against Tilden Edit

Hayes's success in Ohio immediately elevated him to the top ranks of Republican politicians under consideration for the presidency in 1876. [96] The Ohio delegation to the 1876 Republican National Convention was united behind him, and Senator John Sherman did all in his power to get Hayes the nomination. [97] In June 1876, the convention assembled with James G. Blaine of Maine as the favorite. [98] Blaine started with a significant lead in the delegate count, but could not muster a majority. As he failed to gain votes, the delegates looked elsewhere for a nominee and settled on Hayes on the seventh ballot. [99] The convention selected Representative William A. Wheeler from New York for vice president, a man about whom Hayes had recently asked, "I am ashamed to say: who is Wheeler?" [100]

The Democratic nominee was Samuel J. Tilden, the governor of New York. Tilden was considered a formidable adversary who, like Hayes, had a reputation for honesty. [101] Also like Hayes, Tilden was a hard-money man and supported civil service reform. [101] In accordance with the custom of the time, the campaign was conducted by surrogates, with Hayes and Tilden remaining in their respective hometowns. [102] The poor economic conditions made the party in power unpopular and made Hayes suspect he would lose the election. [103] Both candidates concentrated on the swing states of New York and Indiana, as well as the three southern states—Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida—where Reconstruction Republican governments still barely ruled, amid recurring political violence, including widespread efforts to suppress freedman voting. [104] The Republicans emphasized the danger of letting Democrats run the nation so soon after southern Democrats had provoked the Civil War and, to a lesser extent, the danger a Democratic administration would pose to the recently won civil rights of southern blacks. [105] Democrats, for their part, trumpeted Tilden's record of reform and contrasted it with the corruption of the incumbent Grant administration. [106]

As the returns were tallied on election day, it was clear that the race was close: Democrats had carried most of the South, as well as New York, Indiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey. [107] In the Northeast, an increasing number of immigrants and their descendants voted Democratic. Although Tilden won the popular vote and claimed 184 electoral votes, Republican leaders challenged the results and charged Democrats with fraud and voter suppression of blacks (who would otherwise have voted Republican) in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. [108] Republicans realized that if they held the three disputed unredeemed southern states together with some of the western states, they would emerge with an electoral college majority. [109]

Disputed electoral votes Edit

On November 11, three days after election day, Tilden appeared to have won 184 electoral votes, one short of a majority. [110] Hayes appeared to have 166, with the 19 votes of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina still in doubt. [110] Republicans and Democrats each claimed victory in the three latter states, but the results in those states were rendered uncertain because of fraud by both parties. [111] To further complicate matters, one of the three electors from Oregon (a state Hayes had won) was disqualified, reducing Hayes's total to 165, and raising the disputed votes to 20. [112] [d] If Hayes was not awarded all 20 disputed votes, Tilden would be elected president.

There was considerable debate about which person or house of Congress was authorized to decide between the competing slates of electors, with the Republican Senate and the Democratic House each claiming priority. [114] By January 1877, with the question still unresolved, Congress and President Grant agreed to submit the matter to a bipartisan Electoral Commission, which would be authorized to determine the fate of the disputed electoral votes. [115] The Commission was to be made up of five representatives, five senators, and five Supreme Court justices. [116] To ensure partisan balance, there would be seven Democrats and seven Republicans, with Justice David Davis, an independent respected by both parties, as the 15th member. [116] The balance was upset when Democrats in the Illinois legislature elected Davis to the Senate, hoping to sway his vote. [117] Davis disappointed Democrats by refusing to serve on the Commission because of his election to the Senate. [117] As all the remaining Justices were Republicans, Justice Joseph P. Bradley, believed to be the most independent-minded of them, was selected to take Davis's place on the Commission. [118] The Commission met in February and the eight Republicans voted to award all 20 electoral votes to Hayes. [119] Democrats, outraged by the result, attempted a filibuster to prevent Congress from accepting the Commission's findings. [120] Eventually, the filibusterers gave up, allowing the House to reject the objection in the early hours of March 2. The House and Senate then reassembled to complete the count of the electoral votes. At 4:10 am on March 2, Senator Thomas Ferry announced that Hayes and Wheeler had been elected to the presidency and vice presidency, by an electoral margin of 185–184. [121]

As inauguration day neared, Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders met at Wormley's Hotel in Washington to negotiate a compromise. Republicans promised concessions in exchange for Democratic acquiescence to the Committee's decision. The main concession Hayes promised was the withdrawal of federal troops from the South and an acceptance of the election of Democratic governments in the remaining "unredeemed" southern states. [122] The Democrats agreed, and on March 2, the filibuster was ended. Hayes was elected, but Reconstruction was finished, and freedmen were left at the mercy of white Democrats who did not intend to preserve their rights. [123] On April 3, Hayes ordered Secretary of War George W. McCrary to withdraw federal troops stationed at the South Carolina State House to their barracks. On April 20, he ordered McCrary to send the federal troops stationed at New Orleans's St. Louis Hotel to Jackson Barracks. [124]

Inauguration Edit

Because March 4, 1877, was a Sunday, Hayes took the oath of office privately on Saturday, March 3, in the Red Room of the White House, the first president to do so in the Executive Mansion. He took the oath publicly on March 5 on the East Portico of the United States Capitol. [125] In his inaugural address, Hayes attempted to soothe the passions of the past few months, saying that "he serves his party best who serves his country best". [126] He pledged to support "wise, honest, and peaceful local self-government" in the South, as well as reform of the civil service and a full return to the gold standard. [127] Despite his message of conciliation, many Democrats never considered Hayes's election legitimate and referred to him as "Rutherfraud" or "His Fraudulency" for the next four years. [128]

The South and the end of Reconstruction Edit

Hayes had firmly supported Republican Reconstruction policies throughout his career, but the first major act of his presidency was an end to Reconstruction and the return of the South to "home rule". [129] Even without the conditions of the Wormley's Hotel agreement, Hayes would have been hard-pressed to continue his predecessors' policies. The House of Representatives in the 45th Congress was controlled by a majority of Democrats, and they refused to appropriate enough funds for the army to continue to garrison the South. [130] Even among Republicans, devotion to continued military Reconstruction was fading in the face of persistent Southern insurgency and violence. [131] Only two states were still under Reconstruction's sway when Hayes assumed the presidency and, without troops to enforce the voting rights laws, these soon fell to Democratic control. [132] [e]

Hayes's later attempts to protect the rights of southern blacks were ineffective, as were his attempts to rebuild Republican strength in the South. [134] He did, however, defeat Congress's efforts to curtail federal power to monitor federal elections. [135] Democrats in Congress passed an army appropriation bill in 1879 with a rider that repealed the Enforcement Acts, which had been used to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. Chapters had flourished across the South and it had been one of the insurgent groups that attacked and suppressed freedmen. [135] Those Acts, passed during Reconstruction, made it a crime to prevent someone from voting because of his race. Other paramilitary groups, such as the Red Shirts in the Carolinas, however, had intimidated freedmen and suppressed the vote. Hayes was determined to preserve the law protecting black voters, and vetoed the appropriation. [135]

The Democrats did not have enough votes to override the veto, but they passed a new bill with the same rider. Hayes vetoed that bill too, and the process was repeated three times more. [135] Finally, Hayes signed an appropriation without the offensive rider, but Congress refused to pass another bill to fund federal marshals, who were vital to the enforcement of the Enforcement Acts. [135] The election laws remained in effect, but the funds to enforce them were curtailed for the time being. [136]

Hayes tried to reconcile the social mores of the South with the recently passed civil rights laws by distributing patronage among southern Democrats. "My task was to wipe out the color line, to abolish sectionalism, to end the war and bring peace," he wrote in his diary. "To do this, I was ready to resort to unusual measures and to risk my own standing and reputation within my party and the country." [137] All his efforts were in vain Hayes failed to persuade the South to accept legal racial equality or to convince Congress to appropriate funds to enforce the civil rights laws. [138]

Civil service reform Edit

Hayes took office determined to reform the system of civil service appointments, which had been based on the spoils system since Andrew Jackson's presidency. [139] [f] Instead of giving federal jobs to political supporters, Hayes wished to award them by merit according to an examination that all applicants would take. [141] Hayes's call for reform immediately brought him into conflict with the Stalwart, or pro-spoils, branch of the Republican party. Senators of both parties were accustomed to being consulted about political appointments and turned against Hayes. Foremost among his enemies was New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, who fought Hayes's reform efforts at every turn. [142]

To show his commitment to reform, Hayes appointed one of the best-known advocates of reform, Carl Schurz, to be Secretary of the Interior and asked Schurz and Secretary of State William M. Evarts to lead a special cabinet committee charged with drawing up new rules for federal appointments. [143] Treasury Secretary John Sherman ordered John Jay to investigate the New York Custom House, which was stacked with Conkling's spoilsmen. [141] Jay's report suggested that the New York Custom House was so overstaffed with political appointees that 20% of the employees were expendable. [144]

Although he could not convince Congress to prohibit the spoils system, Hayes issued an executive order that forbade federal office holders from being required to make campaign contributions or otherwise taking part in party politics. [144] Chester A. Arthur, the Collector of the Port of New York, and his subordinates Alonzo B. Cornell and George H. Sharpe, all Conkling supporters, refused to obey the order. [144] In September 1877, Hayes demanded their resignations, which they refused to give. He submitted appointments of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., L. Bradford Prince, and Edwin Merritt—all supporters of Evarts, Conkling's New York rival—to the Senate for confirmation as their replacements. [145] The Senate's Commerce Committee, chaired by Conkling, voted unanimously to reject the nominees. The full Senate rejected Roosevelt and Prince by a vote of 31–25, and confirmed Merritt only because Sharpe's term had expired. [146]

Hayes was forced to wait until July 1878, when he fired Arthur and Cornell during a Congressional recess and replaced them with recess appointments of Merritt and Silas W. Burt, respectively. [147] [g] Conkling opposed confirmation of the appointees when the Senate reconvened in February 1879, but Merritt was approved by a vote of 31–25 and Burt by 31–19, giving Hayes his most significant civil service reform victory. [149]

For the remainder of his term, Hayes pressed Congress to enact permanent reform legislation and fund the United States Civil Service Commission, even using his last annual message to Congress in 1880 to appeal for reform. Reform legislation did not pass during Hayes's presidency, but his advocacy provided "a significant precedent as well as the political impetus for the Pendleton Act of 1883," which was signed into law by President Chester Arthur. [150] Hayes allowed some exceptions to the ban on assessments, permitting George Congdon Gorham, secretary of the Republican Congressional Committee, to solicit campaign contributions from federal officeholders during the Congressional elections of 1878. [151] In 1880, Hayes quickly forced Secretary of the Navy Richard W. Thompson to resign after Thompson accepted a $25,000 salary for a nominal job offered by French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps to promote a French canal in Panama. [152]

Hayes also dealt with corruption in the postal service. In 1880, Schurz and Senator John A. Logan asked Hayes to shut down the "star route" rings, a system of corrupt contract profiteering in the Postal Service, and to fire Second Assistant Postmaster-General Thomas J. Brady, the alleged ringleader. [153] Hayes stopped granting new star route contracts but let existing contracts continue to be enforced. [154] Democrats accused him of delaying proper investigation so as not to damage Republicans' chances in the 1880 elections but did not press the issue in their campaign literature, as members of both parties were implicated in the corruption. [153] Historian Hans L. Trefousse later wrote that Hayes "hardly knew the chief suspect [Brady] and certainly had no connection with the [star route] corruption." [155] Although Hayes and the Congress both investigated the contracts and found no compelling evidence of wrongdoing, Brady and others were indicted for conspiracy in 1882. [156] After two trials, the defendants were acquitted in 1883. [157]

Great Railroad Strike Edit

In his first year in office, Hayes was faced with the United States' largest labor uprising to date, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. [158] To make up for financial losses suffered since the panic of 1873, the major railroads had cut their employees' wages several times in 1877. [159] In July of that year, workers at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad walked off the job in Martinsburg, West Virginia, to protest their reduction in pay. [160] The strike quickly spread to workers of the New York Central, Erie, and Pennsylvania railroads, with the strikers soon numbering in the thousands. [161] Fearing a riot, Governor Henry M. Mathews asked Hayes to send federal troops to Martinsburg, and Hayes did so, but when the troops arrived there was no riot, only a peaceful protest. [162] In Baltimore, however, a riot did erupt on July 20, and Hayes ordered the troops at Fort McHenry to assist the governor in suppressing it. [161]

Pittsburgh exploded into riots next, but Hayes was reluctant to send in troops without the governor's request. [161] Other discontented citizens joined the railroad workers in rioting. [163] After a few days, Hayes resolved to send in troops to protect federal property wherever it appeared to be threatened and gave Major General Winfield Scott Hancock overall command of the situation, marking the first use of federal troops to break a strike against a private company. [161] The riots spread further, to Chicago and St. Louis, where strikers shut down railroad facilities. [161]

By July 29, the riots had ended and federal troops returned to their barracks. [164] No federal troops had killed any of the strikers, or been killed themselves, but clashes between state militia troops and strikers resulted in deaths on both sides. [165] The railroads were victorious in the short term, as the workers returned to their jobs and some wage cuts remained in effect. But the public blamed the railroads for the strikes and violence, and they were compelled to improve working conditions and make no further cuts. [166] Business leaders praised Hayes, but his own opinion was more equivocal as he recorded in his diary:

"The strikes have been put down by force but now for the real remedy. Can't something [be] done by education of strikers, by judicious control of capitalists, by wise general policy to end or diminish the evil? The railroad strikers, as a rule, are good men, sober, intelligent, and industrious." [167]

Currency debate Edit

Hayes confronted two issues regarding the currency, the first of which was the coinage of silver, and its relation to gold. In 1873, the Coinage Act of 1873 stopped the coinage of silver for all coins worth a dollar or more, effectively tying the dollar to the value of gold. As a result, the money supply contracted and the effects of the Panic of 1873 grew worse, making it more expensive for debtors to pay debts they had contracted when currency was less valuable. [168] Farmers and laborers, especially, clamored for the return of coinage in both metals, believing the increased money supply would restore wages and property values. [169] Democratic Representative Richard P. Bland of Missouri proposed a bill to require the United States to coin as much silver as miners could sell the government, thus increasing the money supply and aiding debtors. [170] William B. Allison, a Republican from Iowa, offered an amendment in the Senate limiting the coinage to two to four million dollars per month, and the resulting Bland–Allison Act passed both houses of Congress in 1878. [170] Hayes feared the Act would cause inflation that would be ruinous to business, effectively impairing contracts that were based on the gold dollar, as the silver dollar proposed in the bill would have an intrinsic value of 90 to 92 percent of the existing gold dollar. [171] He also believed that inflating the currency was dishonest, saying, "[e]xpediency and justice both demand an honest currency." [171] He vetoed the bill, but Congress overrode his veto, the only time it did so during his presidency. [170]

The second issue concerned United States Notes (commonly called greenbacks), a form of fiat currency first issued during the Civil War. The government accepted these notes as valid for payment of taxes and tariffs, but unlike ordinary dollars, they were not redeemable in gold. [170] The Specie Payment Resumption Act of 1875 required the treasury to redeem any outstanding greenbacks in gold, thus retiring them from circulation and restoring a single, gold-backed currency. [170] Sherman agreed with Hayes's favorable opinion of the Act, and stockpiled gold in preparation for the exchange of greenbacks for gold. [171] But once the public was confident that they could redeem greenbacks for specie (gold), few did so when the Act took effect in 1879, only $130,000 of the outstanding $346,000,000 in greenbacks were actually redeemed. [172] Together with the Bland–Allison Act, the successful specie resumption effected a workable compromise between inflationists and hard money men and, as the world economy began to improve, agitation for more greenbacks and silver coinage quieted down for the rest of Hayes's presidency. [173]

Foreign policy Edit

Most of Hayes's foreign-policy concerns involved Latin America. In 1878, following the Paraguayan War, he arbitrated a territorial dispute between Argentina and Paraguay. [174] Hayes awarded the disputed land in the Gran Chaco region to Paraguay, and the Paraguayans honored him by renaming a city (Villa Hayes) and a department (Presidente Hayes) in his honor. [174] Hayes became concerned over the plans of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal, to construct a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, then part of Colombia. [175] Worried about a repetition of French adventurism in Mexico, Hayes interpreted the Monroe Doctrine firmly. [176] In a message to Congress, Hayes explained his opinion on the canal: "The policy of this country is a canal under American control . The United States cannot consent to the surrender of this control to any European power or any combination of European powers." [176]

The Mexican border also drew Hayes's attention. Throughout the 1870s, "lawless bands" often crossed the border on raids into Texas. [177] Three months after taking office, Hayes granted the Army the power to pursue bandits, even if it required crossing into Mexican territory. [177] Mexican president Porfirio Díaz protested the order and sent troops to the border. [177] The situation calmed as Díaz and Hayes agreed to jointly pursue bandits and Hayes agreed not to allow Mexican revolutionaries to raise armies in the United States. [178] The violence along the border decreased, and in 1880 Hayes revoked the order allowing pursuit into Mexico. [179]

Outside the Western hemisphere, Hayes's biggest foreign-policy concern dealt with China. In 1868 the Senate had ratified the Burlingame Treaty with China, allowing an unrestricted flow of Chinese immigrants into the United States. As the economy soured after the Panic of 1873, Chinese immigrants were blamed in the American West for depressing workmen's wages. [180] During the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, anti-Chinese riots broke out in San Francisco, and a third party, the Workingman's Party, formed with an emphasis on stopping Chinese immigration. [180] In response, Congress passed a Chinese Exclusion Act in 1879, abrogating the 1868 treaty. [181] Hayes vetoed the bill, believing that the United States should not abrogate treaties without negotiation. [182] The veto drew praise from eastern liberals, but Hayes was bitterly denounced in the West. [182] In the subsequent furor, Democrats in the House of Representatives attempted to impeach him, but narrowly failed when Republicans prevented a quorum by refusing to vote. [183] After the veto, Assistant Secretary of State Frederick W. Seward suggested that the countries work together to reduce immigration, and he and James Burrill Angell negotiated with the Chinese to do so. [183] Congress passed a new law to that effect, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, after Hayes had left office. [183]

Indian policy Edit

Interior Secretary Carl Schurz carried out Hayes's American Indian policy, beginning with preventing the War Department from taking over the Bureau of Indian Affairs. [184] Hayes and Schurz carried out a policy that included assimilation into white culture, educational training, and dividing Indian land into individual household allotments. [185] Hayes believed his policies would lead to self-sufficiency and peace between Indians and whites. [186] The allotment system under the Dawes Act, later signed by President Cleveland in 1887, was favored by liberal reformers at the time, including Schurz, but instead proved detrimental to American Indians. They lost much of their land through sales of what the government classified as "surplus lands", and more to unscrupulous white speculators who tried to get the Indians to sell their allotments. [187] Hayes and Schurz reformed the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reduce fraud and gave Indians responsibility for policing their reservations, but they were generally understaffed. [188]

Hayes dealt with several conflicts with Indian tribes. The Nez Perce, led by Chief Joseph, began an uprising in June 1877 when Major General Oliver O. Howard ordered them to move to a reservation. Howard's men defeated the Nez Perce in battle, and the tribe began a 1,700-mile retreat to Canada. [189] In October, after a decisive battle at Bear Paw, Montana, Chief Joseph surrendered and William T. Sherman ordered the tribe transported to Indian Territory in Kansas, where they were forced to remain until 1885. [190] The Nez Perce war was not the last conflict in the West, as the Bannock rose up in spring 1878 in Idaho and raided nearby settlements before being defeated by Howard's army in July. [184] War with the Ute tribe broke out in Colorado in 1879 when some Ute killed Indian agent Nathan Meeker, who had been attempting to convert them to Christianity. The subsequent White River War ended when Schurz negotiated peace with the Ute and prevented white settlers from taking revenge for Meeker's death. [191]

Hayes also became involved in resolving the removal of the Ponca tribe from Nebraska to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) because of a misunderstanding during the Grant administration. The tribe's problems came to Hayes's attention after its chief, Standing Bear, filed a lawsuit to contest Schurz's demand that they stay in Indian Territory. Overruling Schurz, Hayes set up a commission in 1880 that ruled the Ponca were free to return to their home territory in Nebraska or stay on their reservation in Indian Territory. The Ponca were awarded compensation for their land rights, which had been previously granted to the Sioux. [192] In a message to Congress in February 1881, Hayes insisted he would "give to these injured people that measure of redress which is required alike by justice and by humanity." [193]

Great Western Tour of 1880 Edit

In 1880, Hayes embarked on a 71-day tour of the American West, becoming the second sitting president to travel west of the Rocky Mountains. (Hayes's immediate predecessor, Ulysses Grant, visited Utah in 1875.) Hayes's traveling party included his wife and William T. Sherman, who helped organize the trip. Hayes began his trip in September 1880, departing from Chicago on the transcontinental railroad. He journeyed across the continent, ultimately arriving in California, stopping first in Wyoming and then Utah and Nevada, reaching Sacramento and San Francisco. By railroad and stagecoach, the party traveled north to Oregon, arriving in Portland, and from there to Vancouver, Washington. Going by steamship, they visited Seattle, and then returned to San Francisco. Hayes then toured several southwestern states before returning to Ohio in November, in time to cast a vote in the 1880 presidential election. [194]

Hayes's White House Edit

Hayes and his wife Lucy were known for their policy of keeping an alcohol-free White House, giving rise to her nickname "Lemonade Lucy." [195] The first reception at the Hayes White House included wine, [196] but Hayes was dismayed at drunken behavior at receptions hosted by ambassadors around Washington, leading him to follow his wife's temperance leanings. [197] Alcohol was not served again in the Hayes White House. Critics charged Hayes with parsimony, but Hayes spent more money (which came out of his personal budget) after the ban, ordering that any savings from eliminating alcohol be used on more lavish entertainment. [198] His temperance policy also paid political dividends, strengthening his support among Protestant ministers. [197] Although Secretary Evarts quipped that at the White House dinners, "water flowed like wine," the policy was a success in convincing prohibitionists to vote Republican. [199]


Learn More

    includes a series of photographs of Plymouth’s 300th anniversary festivities in 1921. Search the collection on Plymouth Tercentenary to see more images from this series.
  • The Detroit Publishing Company collection contains fifteen images related to the New Plymouth colony including several of the tablet rock and a photograph of a painting of pilgrims embarking from Delft-Haven in Holland in 1620.
  • Visit Religion and the Founding of the American Republic. This online exhibition explores the role that religion played in the founding of the American colonies and the shaping of early American life and politics.
  • Search on the term church in the Legislative Petitions Digital Collection External to see a number of petitions submitted to the legislature of Virginia between 1774 and 1802. These petitions concern such topics as the historic debate over the separation of church and state championed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the rights of dissenters such as Quakers and Baptists, the sale and division of property in the established church, and the dissolution of unpopular vestries.

Rutherford B. Hayes has first phone installed in White House

On May 10, 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes has the White House’s first telephone installed in the mansion&aposs telegraph room. President Hayes embraced the new technology, though he rarely received phone calls. In fact, the Treasury Department possessed the only other direct phone line to the White House at that time. The White House phone number was 𠇁.” Phone service throughout the country was in its infancy in 1877. It was not until a year later that the first telephone exchange was set up in Connecticut and it would be 50 more years until President Herbert Hoover had the first telephone line installed at the president’s desk in the Oval Office.

In more recent years, presidential phone recordings have given the public insight into the personalities and political maneuvers of the nation’s leaders. On such tapes, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Harry Truman were frequently heard using profanity or openly criticizing political opponents without the constraints of being in the public eye or having to maintain a facade of presidential decorum. Most of the time those on the other end of the White House phone line had no knowledge they were being taped.


Transitions

A president commits to upholding the Constitution and the people commit to accepting the leadership of the new president. This mutual covenant provides a smooth transition from one chief executive to the next. Ronald Reagan described this transition in his 1981 inaugural address:

"[t]he orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution…. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle."

The generally smooth transition from one president to the next is probably appreciated most when it doesn't exist. In 1877, Democrats boycotted Rutherford B. Hayes' inauguration to protest his controversial electoral victory. During his inaugural address, Hayes emphasized a non-partisan commitment to the nation and proclaimed, "He who serves his country best serves his party best."

While we may wonder what history will say about each election, the nation has experienced a peaceful change of leaders ever since the inauguration of George Washington.

  • What does it imply that the president swears (or affirms) an oath to uphold the Constitution?
  • How does this distinguish American presidents from leaders prior to the founding of the United States?


Presidential Inaugural Address of Rutherford B. Hayes [March 4, 1877] - History

We have assembled to repeat the public ceremonial, begun by Washington, observed by all my predecessors, and now a time- honored custom, which marks the commencement of a new term of the Presidential office. Called to the duties of this great trust, I proceed, in compliance with usage, to announce some of the leading principles, on the subjects that now chiefly engage the public attention, by which it is my desire to be guided in the discharge of those duties. I shall not undertake to lay down irrevocably principles or measures of administration, but rather to speak of the motives which should animate us, and to suggest certain important ends to be attained in accordance with our institutions and essential to the welfare of our country.

At the outset of the discussions which preceded the recent Presidential election it seemed to me fitting that I should fully make known my sentiments in regard to several of the important questions which then appeared to demand the consideration of the country. Following the example, and in part adopting the language, of one of my predecessors, I wish now, when every motive for misrepresentation has passed away, to repeat what was said before the election, trusting that my countrymen will candidly weigh and understand it, and that they will feel assured that the sentiments declared in accepting the nomination for the Presidency will be the standard of my conduct in the path before me, charged, as I now am, with the grave and difficult task of carrying them out in the practical administration of the Government so far as depends, under the Constitution and laws on the Chief Executive of the nation.

The permanent pacification of the country upon such principles and by such measures as will secure the complete protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment of all their constitutional rights is now the one subject in our public affairs which all thoughtful and patriotic citizens regard as of supreme importance.

Many of the calamitous efforts of the tremendous revolution which has passed over the Southern States still remain. The immeasurable benefits which will surely follow, sooner or later, the hearty and generous acceptance of the legitimate results of that revolution have not yet been realized. Difficult and embarrassing questions meet us at the threshold of this subject. The people of those States are still impoverished, and the inestimable blessing of wise, honest, and peaceful local self-government is not fully enjoyed. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the cause of this condition of things, the fact is clear that in the progress of events the time has come when such government is the imperative necessity required by all the varied interests, public and private, of those States. But it must not be forgotten that only a local government which recognizes and maintains inviolate the rights of all is a true self-government.

With respect to the two distinct races whose peculiar relations to each other have brought upon us the deplorable complications and perplexities which exist in those States, it must be a government which guards the interests of both races carefully and equally. It must be a government which submits loyally and heartily to the Constitution and the laws--the laws of the nation and the laws of the States themselves--accepting and obeying faithfully the whole Constitution as it is.

Resting upon this sure and substantial foundation, the superstructure of beneficent local governments can be built up, and not otherwise. In furtherance of such obedience to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution, and in behalf of all that its attainment implies, all so-called party interests lose their apparent importance, and party lines may well be permitted to fade into insignificance. The question we have to consider for the immediate welfare of those States of the Union is the question of government or no government of social order and all the peaceful industries and the happiness that belongs to it, or a return to barbarism. It is a question in which every citizen of the nation is deeply interested, and with respect to which we ought not to be, in a partisan sense, either Republicans or Democrats, but fellow-citizens and fellowmen, to whom the interests of a common country and a common humanity are dear.

The sweeping revolution of the entire labor system of a large portion of our country and the advance of 4,000,000 people from a condition of servitude to that of citizenship, upon an equal footing with their former masters, could not occur without presenting problems of the gravest moment, to be dealt with by the emancipated race, by their former masters, and by the General Government, the author of the act of emancipation. That it was a wise, just, and providential act, fraught with good for all concerned, is not generally conceded throughout the country. That a moral obligation rests upon the National Government to employ its constitutional power and influence to establish the rights of the people it has emancipated, and to protect them in the enjoyment of those rights when they are infringed or assailed, is also generally admitted.

The evils which afflict the Southern States can only be removed or remedied by the united and harmonious efforts of both races, actuated by motives of mutual sympathy and regard and while in duty bound and fully determined to protect the rights of all by every constitutional means at the disposal of my Administration, I am sincerely anxious to use every legitimate influence in favor of honest and efficient local self-government as the true resource of those States for the promotion of the contentment and prosperity of their citizens. In the effort I shall make to accomplish this purpose I ask the cordial cooperation of all who cherish an interest in the welfare of the country, trusting that party ties and the prejudice of race will be freely surrendered in behalf of the great purpose to be accomplished. In the important work of restoring the South it is not the political situation alone that merits attention. The material development of that section of the country has been arrested by the social and political revolution through which it has passed, and now needs and deserves the considerate care of the National Government within the just limits prescribed by the Constitution and wise public economy.

But at the basis of all prosperity, for that as well as for every other part of the country, lies the improvement of the intellectual and moral condition of the people. Universal suffrage should rest upon universal education. To this end, liberal and permanent provision should be made for the support of free schools by the State governments, and, if need be, supplemented by legitimate aid from national authority.

Let me assure my countrymen of the Southern States that it is my earnest desire to regard and promote their truest interest--the interests of the white and of the colored people both and equally--and to put forth my best efforts in behalf of a civil policy which will forever wipe out in our political affairs the color line and the distinction between North and South, to the end that we may have not merely a united North or a united South, but a united country.

I ask the attention of the public to the paramount necessity of reform in our civil service--a reform not merely as to certain abuses and practices of so-called official patronage which have come to have the sanction of usage in the several Departments of our Government, but a change in the system of appointment itself a reform that shall be thorough, radical, and complete a return to the principles and practices of the founders of the Government. They neither expected nor desired from public officers any partisan service. They meant that public officers should owe their whole service to the Government and to the people. They meant that the officer should be secure in his tenure as long as his personal character remained untarnished and the performance of his duties satisfactory. They held that appointments to office were not to be made nor expected merely as rewards for partisan services, nor merely on the nomination of members of Congress, as being entitled in any respect to the control of such appointments.

The fact that both the great political parties of the country, in declaring their principles prior to the election, gave a prominent place to the subject of reform of our civil service, recognizing and strongly urging its necessity, in terms almost identical in their specific import with those I have here employed, must be accepted as a conclusive argument in behalf of these measures. It must be regarded as the expression of the united voice and will of the whole country upon this subject, and both political parties are virtually pledged to give it their unreserved support.

The President of the United States of necessity owes his election to office to the suffrage and zealous labors of a political party, the members of which cherish with ardor and regard as of essential importance the principles of their party organization but he should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves the country best.

In furtherance of the reform we seek, and in other important respects a change of great importance, I recommend an amendment to the Constitution prescribing a term of six years for the Presidential office and forbidding a reelection.

With respect to the financial condition of the country, I shall not attempt an extended history of the embarrassment and prostration which we have suffered during the past three years. The depression in all our varied commercial and manufacturing interests throughout the country, which began in September, 1873, still continues. It is very gratifying, however, to be able to say that there are indications all around us of a coming change to prosperous times.

Upon the currency question, intimately connected, as it is, with this topic, I may be permitted to repeat here the statement made in my letter of acceptance, that in my judgment the feeling of uncertainty inseparable from an irredeemable paper currency, with its fluctuation of values, is one of the greatest obstacles to a return to prosperous times. The only safe paper currency is one which rests upon a coin basis and is at all times and promptly convertible into coin.

I adhere to the views heretofore expressed by me in favor of Congressional legislation in behalf of an early resumption of specie payments, and I am satisfied not only that this is wise, but that the interests, as well as the public sentiment, of the country imperatively demand it.

Passing from these remarks upon the condition of our own country to consider our relations with other lands, we are reminded by the international complications abroad, threatening the peace of Europe, that our traditional rule of noninterference in the affairs of foreign nations has proved of great value in past times and ought to be strictly observed.

The policy inaugurated by my honored predecessor, President Grant, of submitting to arbitration grave questions in dispute between ourselves and foreign powers points to a new, and incomparably the best, instrumentality for the preservation of peace, and will, as I believe, become a beneficent example of the course to be pursued in similar emergencies by other nations.

If, unhappily, questions of difference should at any time during the period of my Administration arise between the United States and any foreign government, it will certainly be my disposition and my hope to aid in their settlement in the same peaceful and honorable way, thus securing to our country the great blessings of peace and mutual good offices with all the nations of the world.

Fellow-citizens, we have reached the close of a political contest marked by the excitement which usually attends the contests between great political parties whose members espouse and advocate with earnest faith their respective creeds. The circumstances were, perhaps, in no respect extraordinary save in the closeness and the consequent uncertainty of the result.

For the first time in the history of the country it has been deemed best, in view of the peculiar circumstances of the case, that the objections and questions in dispute with reference to the counting of the electoral votes should be referred to the decision of a tribunal appointed for this purpose.

That tribunal--established by law for this sole purpose its members, all of them, men of long-established reputation for integrity and intelligence, and, with the exception of those who are also members of the supreme judiciary, chosen equally from both political parties its deliberations enlightened by the research and the arguments of able counsel--was entitled to the fullest confidence of the American people. Its decisions have been patiently waited for, and accepted as legally conclusive by the general judgment of the public. For the present, opinion will widely vary as to the wisdom of the several conclusions announced by that tribunal. This is to be anticipated in every instance where matters of dispute are made the subject of arbitration under the forms of law. Human judgment is never unerring, and is rarely regarded as otherwise than wrong by the unsuccessful party in the contest.

The fact that two great political parties have in this way settled a dispute in regard to which good men differ as to the facts and the law no less than as to the proper course to be pursued in solving the question in controversy is an occasion for general rejoicing.

Upon one point there is entire unanimity in public sentiment--that conflicting claims to the Presidency must be amicably and peaceably adjusted, and that when so adjusted the general acquiescence of the nation ought surely to follow.

It has been reserved for a government of the people, where the right of suffrage is universal, to give to the world the first example in history of a great nation, in the midst of the struggle of opposing parties for power, hushing its party tumults to yield the issue of the contest to adjustment according to the forms of law.

Looking for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destinies of nations and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators, Representatives, judges, fellow-citizens, here and everywhere, to unite w

ith me in an earnest effort to secure to our country the blessings, not only of material prosperity, but of justice, peace, and union--a union depending not upon the constraint of force, but upon the loving devotion of a free people "and that all things may be so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations."


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