Quotations From RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES


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  • My speaking is irregular. Sometimes quite good, sometimes not, but generally will do.... I am too far along in experience and years both for this business. I do not go into [it] with the zest of old times. Races, baseball, and politics are for the youngsters.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 291, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes (August 14, 1875). Campaigning once again to be Ohio's governor.

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  • There is a feeling of loyalty to her which seems to compel me to indulge in mournful thoughts. Do not mistake. Relief is coming. I am more like myself—more hopeful.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 533, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Harriet Herron (December 26, 1889). Written six months after his wife's death.

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  • [Lucy's] Aunt Margaret [Boggs] and Miss Sharpe are here on their way to a Woman's Rights Convention in Dayton. My point on this subject is that the proper discharge of the function of maternity is inconsistent with the like discharge of the duties of (the political duties of) citizenship.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 105, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (April 27, 1870).

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  • Conviction.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 52, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to J.C. Lee (May 6, 1868). Governor Hayes's response to the query, "What do Ohio Republicans desire as to impeachment?"
  • I too mean to be out of politics. The ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment gives me the boon of equality before the law, terminates my enlistment, and discharges me cured.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 90, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to J. Irving Brooks (1 March 1870). Governor Hayes was primarily responsible for Ohio's approval of the voting rights amendment.
  • All surprisingly beautiful—stupendous, amazing, unequalled.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. V, p. 116, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (October 18, 1892). On viewing Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

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  • There are good points about all such wars. People forget self. The virtues of magnanimity, courage, patriotism, etc., etc., are called into life. People are more generous, more sympathetic, better, than when engaged in the more selfish pursuits of peace.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. II, p. 15, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Guy M. Bryan (May 8, 1861). Putting the best face on the war to an old college chum who as a secessionist from Texas was on the other side.

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  • Fanny was not there! How she would have enjoyed the scene.... I could not but think of her, and in spite of my efforts to prevent, the unbidden tear would flow. Alas! I cannot feel the satisfaction some appear to do in the reflection that her eyes beheld the scene from the other world.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 525, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (June 13, 1858). Reflections on his sister's death at the time of her daughter's graduation.

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  • The President of the United States ... should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves his country best.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. The Life of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. II, p. 9, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 2 vols. (1914), Inaugural Address (5 March 1877).
  • No political party can ever make prohibition effective. A political party implies an adverse, an opposing, political party. To enforce criminal statutes implies substantial unanimity in the community. This is the result of the jury system. Hence the futility of party prohibition.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 299, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (December 13, 1886).
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