Rutherford Hayes Lengthy ALS Foreshadowing His Political & Personal Passions
Bi-fold ALS, extensively written by Hayes on 3 pages, 5" x 8", with the final page blank. Dated "Fremont, O, 22 July 1873" Signed by Rutherford Hayes as "R.B. Hayes". Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in the hand of Hayes, to the recipient of his Uncle, Hon. M Scott Cook, 5.5" x 3.5". Letter near fine with expected folds. Envelope slightly grubby and neatly slit open along right edge.
A fascinating letter by this President who was elected to office only 3 years after this letter. The letter written while during his move to Fremont and touched upon several life goals and dreams which were ultimately achieved by him and/or his family. Bearing in mind Rutherford was President during the reconstruction era, he had numerous contentious issues to deal with. Interestingly his Presidential "win", carried with it some of the same ongoing concerns over the electoral system as he won the 1876 election only after the creation of a special commission to decide disputed electoral votes. Because of the tension surrounding his election, Hayes secretly took the oath of office on Saturday, March 3, 1877, in the Red Room of the White House (some things never change …)
However he worked tirelessly to solve the country's problems. By 1877, it was clear that the nation's voters were no longer willing to use the army to protect the civil rights of the freedmen. Because a hostile Congress refused to provide adequate funds, Hayes re-assigned the few remaining troops guarding two Southern statehouses. Before doing so, however, he extracted promises from southern leaders that they would protect southern African Americans in their political, economic, and civil rights. He hoped his actions would heal the wounds left by the Civil War. His sound money policies helped make business and industry stronger. He initiated civil service reform, aimed at ending patronage, and appointed men with sound qualifications to government positions. The President continued to be concerned with minorities, the poor, and immigrants. He believed that education and manual training would help all people achieve better lives. Hayes' honesty and fairness renewed respect for the presidential office. Honoring his commitment not to accept a second term, Hayes retired to Fremont, Ohio. Here, Hayes continued to give his time helping veterans to receive their pensions, improving conditions in prisons, and promoting universal education.
His ALS to his uncle touched upon his tenacious desire to both buy the site of Fort Stephenson, in addition to building a free library.
"I sent you a newspaper with an article … showing the effort we are making to buy the site of Fort Stephenson for a Park. Uncle in addition to his fund for a free library offers to pay one fourth of the purchase money… I think the people will see that it is carried through … All this has had me to mediate the collection of all printed matter … and they again remind me of you 2 small vols of Browns history of the War of 1812. I suspect it is a relic in your family + that I have the business to mention it - but hence this note …"
This passion was ultimately carried to completion when both the museum of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums was started by the president's second son, Col Hayes and his siblings shortly after the turn of the 20th century. They deeded the president's estate, Spiegel Grove, and all its holdings to the State of Ohio. Ground was broken in 1912 for the building, and the first presidential library/museum in the United States opened on May 30, 1916.
Another intriguing foreshadowing point within the ALS was in his comment of:
"I never knew until I saw in the list of aged pensioners in the gazette of about 20th of June that you Uncle .. Lived until he was 104 years old, + drew a pension for Revolutionary services. "
Hayes reverence for veterans and his tenacious goal to see to their ongoing care was continued for the balance of his life via his efforts to give his time helping veterans to receive their pensions, improving conditions in prisons, and promoting universal education.
All-in, a very lovely unique letter by Hayes in highly collectible condition.
WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE.