Quotations From RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES

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  • Not being a K.N. [Know-Nothing] I am left as a sort of waif on the political sea with symptoms of a mild sort towards Black Republicanism.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 497, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Guy M. Bryan (April 16, 1856). Bryan, a proslavery Democrat, was an old college chum.

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  • One of the most interesting and affecting things [on a difficult return march from a raid into Virginia] is the train of contrabands, old and young, male and female—one hundred to two hundred—toiling uncomplainingly along after and with the army.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. II, p. 464, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (May 20, 1864).
  • I am "a radical in thought (and principle) and a conservative in method (and conduct)."
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 622, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (December 12, 1890).
  • All appointments hurt. Five friends are made cold or hostile for every appointment; no new friends are made. All patronage is perilous to men of real ability or merit. It aids only those who lack other claims to public support.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. V, p. 131, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to William McKinley (December 27, 1892). Advice to his protege, McKinley.

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  • I regard the inflation acts as wrong in all ways. Personally I am one of the noble army of debtors, and can stand it if others can. But it is a wretched business.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 255, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to Austin Birchard (April 21, 1874). Hayes was approximately $46,000 in debt.
  • I find that with me low spirits and feeble health come and go together. The last two or three months I have had frequent attacks of the blues. They generally are upon me or within me when I am somewhat out of order in bowels, throat, or head.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 352, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (29 March 1851). Written while a struggling lawyer in Cincinnati.

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  • I do not think a revival of business will be greatly postponed by [Samuel J.] Tilden's election. Business prosperity does not, in my judgment, depend on government so much as men commonly think.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. III, p. 373, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (November 7, 1876). Written on Election day.
  • Colonel [John Charles] Fremont. Not a good picture, but will do to indicate my politics this year. For free States and against new slave States.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 501, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (July 29, 1856). Written under a crude woodcut pasted in his diary.
  • I am now quite lame, from scuffling, all my fingers stiffened by playing ball. Pretty business for a law student. Yes, pretty enough; why not? Good exercise and great sport.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 149, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (April 8, 1844). Written while a student at Harvard Law School.
  • The man of large and conspicuous public service in civil life must be content without the Presidency. Still more, the availability of a popular man in a doubtful State will secure him the prize in a close contest against the first statesman of the country whose State is safe.
    Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. IV, p. 395, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Hayes to T.C. Jones (June 27, 1888). Reaction to the nomination of Benjamin Harrison of Indiana rather than John Sherman of Ohio.

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