19th U.S. President: Rutherford B. Hayes

About the nineteenth President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes, his birth, death, biography, description, facts and quotes.

19th President


Born: October 4, 1822, Delaware, Ohio.

Died: January 17, 1893, at his home in Fremont, Ohio.

Career: Harvard Law School, prosperous attorney, Cincinnati city solicitor, major of volunteers at outbreak of Civil War, promoted to major general, elected to U.S. Congress, governor of Ohio. Noted as a competent but colorless reformer.

Personal Life: Hayes's adolescence was marked by a passionate attachment to his older sister--a beautiful, high-strung woman who later spent time in an insane asylum. When he was 30, he escaped from her domination by marrying Lucy Webb, 21. Lucy bore Hayes 7 sons. As First Lady she was noted for her intelligence, energy, and her ban on all alcoholic beverages in the White House, giving rise to the popular nickname "Lemonade Lucy."

His Person: Described as "one of the most mediocre-looking men ever to run for President," he was 5'8" tall, with a sandy red "rat's nest" beard, large nose, blue eyes.

Election: As the Republican nominee in 1876, Hayes ran 250,000 votes behind Democrat Samuel Tilden, but the count in the Electoral College was disputed. In the most controversial electoral decision in American history, Hayes was awarded all of the 19 contested electors at the last minute--giving him a razor-thin 185-184 "victory."

Term of Office: March 4, 1877-March 4, 1881 (4 years).

Little-Known Facts: In the White House, Hayes and Lucy held morning prayer readings every day after breakfast. For intimate family entertainment, the favorite presidential diversion was old-fashioned Sunday night hymnsinging. Cabinet members, congressmen, and

Quote from Hayes:

Vice-President Wheeler often participated.

"Nobody ever left the Presidency with less regret, less disappointment, fewer heartburnings, or any general content with the result of his term (in his own heart, I mean) than I do."

Quotes about Him:

"He is a 3rd rate nonentity, whose only recommendation is that he is obnoxious to no one."--Henry Adams

"Hayes is a modest man, but a very able one."--Senator John Sherman

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