Rutherford Birchard Hayes


Quotations

  • ''The real grounds of difference upon important political questions no longer correspond with party lines.... Politics is no longer the topic of this country. Its important questions are settled... Great minds hereafter are to be employed on other matters.... Government no longer has its ancient importance.... The people's progress, progress of every sort, no longer depends on government. But enough of politics. Henceforth I am out more than ever.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 422, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (September 24, 1852). Written during the presidential campaign in which he took little interest since both parties viewed the slavery issue as settled by the Compromise of 1850. "The truth is," he remarked on October 17, 1852, "there is no principle at stake in the election."
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  • ''Partisanship should be kept out of the pulpit.... The blindest of partisans are preachers. All politicians expect and find more candor, fairness, and truth in politicians than in partisan preachers. They are not replied to—no chance to reply to them.... The balance wheel of free institutions is free discussion. The pulpit allows no free discussion.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. V, p. 44, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 3, 1892). Hayes was annoyed by a preacher advocating prohibition.
  • ''When the weather is bad as it was yesterday, everybody, almost everybody, feels cross and gloomy. Our thin linen tents—about like a fish seine, the deep mud, the irregular mails, the never to-be-seen paymasters, and "the rest of mankind," are growled about in "old-soldier" style. But a fine day like today has turned out brightens and cheers us all. We people in camp are merely big children, wayward and changeable.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. II, p. 540, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Lucy Webb Hayes (November 23, 1864).
  • ''I am blamed for the pardon of [Ezra Hervey] Heywood, convicted in Boston of sending obscene matter through the mails. A man guilty of circulating, writing, or publishing obscene books—books intended or calculated to corrupt the young—would find no favor with me.... I think the real objection to Heywood's act is ... that he was on the wrong side of the question ... as to marriage.... But it is no crime by the laws of the United States to advocate the abolition of marriage. In this case the writings were objectionable but were not obscene, lascivious, lewd, or corrupting in the criminal sense.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 518, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 10, 1879).
  • ''The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.—How is this?''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 374, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (11 March 1888).
  • ''Law without education is a dead letter. With education the needed law follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 103, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 23, 1883).
  • ''Both parties are injured by what is going on at Washington. Both are, therefore, more and more disposed to look for candidates outside of that atmosphere.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 307, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to D.K. Smith (9 March 1876).
  • ''I prefer to make no new declarations [on southern policy beyond what was in the Letter of Acceptance]. But you may say, if you deem it advisable, that you know that I will stand by the friendly and encouraging words of that Letter, and by all that they imply. You cannot express that too strongly.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 415, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to John Sherman (February 15, 1877).
  • ''Both of us felt more anxiety about the South—about the colored people especially—than about anything else sinister in the result. My hope of a sound currency will somehow be realized; civil service reform will be delayed; but the great injury is in the South. There the Amendments will be nullified, disorder will continue, prosperity to both whites and colored people will be pushed off for years.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 376, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (November 11, 1876). The reaction of Hayes and his wife, Lucy, to what they assumed to be his defeat on the evening of Election day.
  • ''Push, labor, shove,—these words of great power in a city like this. Two years must find me with a living and increasing business, or I quit the city and probably the profession.''
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 338, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (November 22, 1850). Written while a struggling attorney in Cincinnati.

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