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Chapter 14:

General Sherman's daughter Minnie was married October 1, 1874. Thus three important weddings had taken place in the families of General Grant and General Sherman-those of Nellie and Fred in Grant's family, and Minnie in Sherman's family.

When we arrived in Washington early in December we found that Colonel Fred and Mrs. Grant were ensconced in the White House, and were to spend the winter with the President and Mrs. Grant, Colonel Fred being on duty in Washington. The presence of the fascinating Mrs. Grant, Jr., in the White House, and the promise that Nellie would soon return for a visit to her native land, were a guarantee that Mrs. Grant's receptions would be very brilliant during the season. In fact, the society season began December 1, and promised to be unusually gay.

King David Kalakaua and his suite arrived December 12. Much ado was made over the fact that a real king was to [350] visit Washington. As I remember it, Congress made an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars for the entertainment of His Majesty during his stay. Secretary Fish, Secretary Belknap, and Secretary Robeson joined the committee to welcome the King on his arrival. He was escorted to his apartments which had been prepared for him in the Arlington Hotel. Unfortunately, on account of a severe cold which he had contracted, the King was unable to carry out part of the programme which had been arranged for him, but was able to attend the theatre to hear Clara Louise Kellogg in “Mignon.” He displayed his gallantry by showering flowers on the prima donna. In appearance, the King was a fine specimen of a man. He was very tall, broad-shouldered, with a dark-olive complexion and very black hair and eyes. He looked more of a king than he was, and the devotees of titles went wild over this dusky sovereign. President Grant accorded him a brilliant reception and a state dinner. The Japanese minister and his lovely wife, Madame Yoshida, were among the guests who were invited to do honor to the King. A more magnificent costume was never worn in the White House than that of Madame Yoshida's. The material was of the rarest and most lustrous kind, and the gown had been made in the fashion of a full Japanese court dress. Mr. Yoshida, of course, appeared in the regulation court dress of his native country. King Kalakaua and his suite appeared in full-dress evening suits, except two of his generals, who wore the uniform of the Hawaiian Guards. General Logan and I attended both functions, and of the many occasions of this character at which I have been present at the White House none have been more attractive in the matter of appointments. Congress, and official and civilian Washington entitled to invitations to such affairs, were there in full force, the ladies rivalling each other in the splendor of their costumes. Very few who participated in the attentions to King Kalakaua anticipated what the future held for Hawaii, or that the King [351] and the royal family were doomed to close their imperial careers in a few brief years.

There was an unusual number of famous people in Washington that year. Many of the houses, especially on K Street, were occupied by persons who had made their impress on the history of their country. Alas! the majority of them have passed away, and their places have not been filled by persons who are their equals in extending hospitality and cordial greetings. There was much excitement over the approaching centennial exposition in Philadelphia. Every one was busy with some feature which was to be used to add to the attractiveness of the celebration of our glorious victories one hundred years before. Among the entertainments which were given to raise money was a centennial tea in the rotunda of the Capitol on December 16, 1875, in which every person at all prominent in society took a very active part. There were thirteen tables to represent the thirteen original States, and it was gratifying to see the taste and the strict adherence to the custom and style of refreshments of Colonial days. The ladies who presided over these tables were attired in gowns of the days of seventy-six, many of the dresses belonging to the wardrobes of their illustrious ancestors. The tables of North and South Carolina were especially attractive, the ladies who presided being typical of their native State. The beautiful flowers and delicious fruits which characterized these States were in abundance, while Maryland and many of the other States had innumerable revolutionary relics displayed. The rotunda was decorated as never before. Boxes of tea in imitation of the Boston Tea Party were in evidence. Tea was served in cups marked George and Martha Washington. These were sold at one dollar apiece, and I have the pleasure of still retaining the one which I purchased. Liberty bells which had been rung in those historic days were on exhibition. On the committee of arrangements were prominent army and navy officers and officials of the Government. [352] Senator Hawley of Connecticut and Secretary Robeson made eloquent addresses, and the Marine Band discoursed patriotic music during the afternoon and evening.

At the opening of the exposition General Logan attended with the congressional committee, who were handsomely entertained by the commission at Horticultural Hall. In August I took our two children and their governess, Miss Parke, to Philadelphia, where we spent two weeks in seeing everything of interest at the exposition and enjoyed every moment. At the time I had not visited Europe, as I have done many times since, and therefore there were to me very many novelties and interesting exhibits. I had not previously appreciated the advancement of my own country and was delighted to find so many evidences that the wheel of progress had been busy developing our resources and bringing to our land the fruits of a higher civilization. The Centennial Exposition was a good thing for our country. If it did nothing else, it was the initiative in the opening of the way for its successors.

During the winter General Sherman's memoirs appeared and brought forth much adverse comment from various quarters, on account of the fact that they reflected strongly his natural prejudices and, it was frankly said, unjust criticism of distinguished officers under him in the service. He was especially severe on General Logan and General Frank P. Blair, two volunteer officers, whom he characterized as “political generals,” notwithstanding the fact that they had arisen to the rank of major-general by their military skill in handling troops-many times in independent command --and their gallantry on the field of battle. While he had to comment favorably upon their action in battle and their soldierly conduct, he could not give them the praise they deserved because of the fact that they were not graduates of the military academy at West Point. If I remember correctly, Frank Blair died without Sherman ever having corrected his unfair estimate of Blair's military career. [353]

In the case of General Logan it was different. There was an additional reason for Sherman's criticism of General Logan --on account of the fact that General Logan was the author of the bill for the reduction of the army after the close of the war, and had greatly offended Sherman by recommending a cut in his salary. Although Sherman wrote a very bitter letter to Congress denouncing the bill, the majority of Congress considered that its provisions were just, and General Sherman was unable to prevent its passage. This, in addition to the fact that General Sherman had recommended General Howard to supersede General Logan in command of the Army of the Tennessee, after General Logan had won the great battle at Atlanta, and after Sherman had assured Logan that he should retain the command, intensified the antagonistic feeling existing between General Sherman and General Logan. General Logan, however, was conscientious in the preparation of the bill and had not taken occasion to be revenged on account of General Sherman's unkind treatment of him. General Logan was entirely vindicated by the army, and was restored to the command of the Army of the Tennessee. He had no malice toward Sherman about the matter, because he felt that it all came from the prejudice existing against a man not a graduate of West Point. General Logan knew he had never lost a battle, or in any way failed in the execution of orders issued to him during the war, more than which could not be said of graduates of West Point. He never at any time felt that the latter had much the advantage over faithful, conscientious, brave volunteer officers, whose patriotism guided them in their services to the country. General Logan believed if a man were desperately in earnest in his desire to serve his country, he would not be long in mastering military tactics and in fitting himself for any emergency which might arise. There is no doubt at all that General Logan's military genius was inborn. General Grant was lavish in his praise of him as a soldier and commander, and would undoubtedly [354] have retained him as commander of the Army of the Tennessee had he (Grant) been in command of the Western Army at the time. It was a source of gratification that the scene at the Corkhill Banquet, described in the earlier pages of this autobiography, was enacted, and that there was a reconciliation between General Logan and General Sherman before they passed to that land from which no one returns.

The New Year's reception of January i, 1875, was in many respects more brilliant than any previous one. The New Year's reception at the White House was then, as now, the signal for the beginning of the round of social events for the winter. Dinners, luncheons, receptions-official and otherwise — were the rule. In January Mr.Sartoris and Mrs. Sartoris returned and took up their abode in the White House, greatly to the delight of Mrs. Grant, who now had her daughter and Mrs. Fred Grant to assist in the discharge of her social duties. Her Saturday afternoons were especially attractive and, she often told me afterward, were really the most enjoyable social functions that were held in the executive mansion. Persons came in so informally and received such a cordial welcome that they were at once made to feel it a privilege to pay their respects to the occupants of the White House. People wandered about through the red room, blue room, green room, east room, and the beautiful conservatories then at the west end of the corridor, and the state dining-room. Mrs. Grant seemed very happy when she had Nellie standing beside her. Nellie had not contracted any European airs, but stood beside her mother the same unpretentious, lovely, girlish woman whom everybody was delighted to welcome back to Washington. Perhaps it is a matter of prejudice, but it seems as if the representative ladies in Washington in those days were far more attractive than the majority we meet now. I have sometimes thought that the frequent intercourse with Europe and the contracting of the habits of cocktail-drinking and cigarette-smoking have affected the [355] cordiality and simplicity of the manners of American women. I can remember when the suggestion was made that the ladies of the White House and the wives of members of the cabinet and other officials should not shake hands with their callers because it was supposed to be a matter of too much fatigue. I confess that the custom which causes a hostess to stand erect with a bouquet in her right hand and a fan or something in her left, which prevents her from extending a more cordial greeting than a stiff bow to her callers, is not calculated to put people at their ease or make them feel that their calls are appreciated. There never was any reason why Americans should ape the airs and stiffness of any European court. We welcome to our shores people from all lands and extend to them the privileges of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: and why we should erect a barrier against those of our kind whom we recognize as fitting persons to be invited across our thresholds is an incomprehensible question, which has not been satisfactorily answered. Cordiality and hospitality are supposed to be the chief characteristics of Americans, and I regret to see any departure from the customs and manners which have ever been the charm of our people. Of all women in the world, American women should be considered the most sincere and attractive as hostesses.

Every year it seems that attractive features of society grow fewer and fewer. Horatio King, John J. Nicolay, and Mrs. Dahlgren formerly had regular evenings in their homes, when musical programmes were rendered, impromptu papers read, and lectures delivered by able persons, among them General Garfield, General Logan, Librarian Spofford, Senator Ingalls, Jean Davenport Lander, and a daughter of Mrs. Scott Siddons, then a resident of Washington. Readings and recitations from Shakespeare and other classics were given, much to the enjoyment of the persons fortunate enough to be invited to these literary gatherings. The Schiller Bund gave delightful entertainments, when lectures were given, and the [356] programme usually closed with amateur theatricals. Miss Edith Fish and Miss Nannie Jeffreys figured prominently in these plays. Miss Jeffreys won an enviable reputation as an amateur actress in her part in “Meg's diversion.”

When we came to Washington, early in December, General Logan was just recovering from a very serious attack of illness. He had been a victim of inflammatory rheumatism contracted at Fort Donelson and, after a political campaign, frequently was confined to his bed for weeks. The opening day of Congress the galleries of both houses were packed. Sir Edward and Lady Thornton and Hon. William M. Evarts were in the diplomatic gallery, as were also Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Fish. The people of the whole country were very much interested in the proceedings in Congress, as it was known that the matter of the reconstruction of the Southern States was still at white heat, and it was supposed that the Louisiana question would furnish food for many an exciting controversy in the Senate.

Mr. Pinchback had been elected United States senator from Louisiana, and was bitterly opposed because of the fact that it was said he had colored blood in his veins. Every day some member of the House or Senate was heard in denunciation of the privileges and protection extended to the colored men in the South. There were outbreaks of Indians in the West, and a serious controversy arose over the Black Hills Reservation, as gold had been discovered there, and the Indians sternly opposed the influx of gold-seekers into their domain.

There were constant charges and countercharges of corruption and defalcations of officials, the Whiskey Ring figuring conspicuously at this time. Charges of membership in the Whiskey Ring were made against persons in official positions under the very roof of the White House. Grant himself did not escape the insinuations on the part of these marplots that he, if not a member of the ring, was cognizant of the connection of those intimately associated with him; and his [357] accusers went so far in their persecution as to make it necessary for General Babcock to demand an investigation of his conduct. He was, of course, exonerated, but the authors of these charges had accomplished their purpose of throwing discredit upon the administration. Men in the Republican party who advocated the election of Mr. Blaine, and other prominent men, took an active part in the warfare upon the integrity of the appointees of General Grant. The political campaign of 1876 may be said to have begun in 1875, since long before the holding of the convention for the election of delegates to the national convention, to be held at Cincinnati, the champions of candidates had exhausted much of their ammunition in trying to kill off the rivals of men whose cause they advocated. Men opposed to Mr. Blaine retaliated by making grave charges as to his connection with various questionable schemes. Blaine's reading of the Mulligan letters on the floor of the House of Representatives is perhaps the most remarkable incident of a personal explanation that has ever occurred in Congress. Subsequently Nast's caricature, appearing originally in a New York paper, showing Mr. Blaine as the “Tatooed man,” was without exception the most cruel persecution ever inflicted upon a public man.

There were innumerable resignations of men holding high positions by appointment. Some resigned from disgust and some to avoid the humiliation of investigations. Senators whose term expired March 4, 1877, were much concerned, as candidates for the members of the legislature would be elected on the ticket that would be nominated in 1876. Hence they had not only to be on the lookout in the interest of the candidates for the Presidency and Vice-Presidency, but had to watch every movement, politically, in their home States, to be sure that their party was successful.

The national convention was held in Cincinnati in June, 876, and it was thought that Blaine, notwithstanding the intense abuse heaped upon him, had a majority. The [358] convention was very largely attended by legions of Republicans who were not delegates, but who had gone there for the purpose of advocating or opposing Blaine's election. General Granville M. Dodge recently explained how Blaine's defeat was really brought about. He was a Blaine delegate in the convention and strongly advocated the election of Hon. James F. Wilson, of Iowa, as permanent chairman. Mr. Wilson was one of the ablest and most experienced statesmen of the nation. Don Cameron wanted McPherson, of Pennsylvania, then clerk of the House of Representatives and compiler of the “Political hand book of the Republican party.” Dodge worked very hard for Wilson and thought his election was agreed upon. He retired to get a few hours' sleep and rest, during which time the opponents of Wilson succeeded in electing McPherson as permanent chairman. This was the beginning of the blunders that led to Blaine's Waterloo. McPherson, as Dodge had suspected, was unequal to the position. He was too unsuspecting for the wily politicians who were inimical to Blaine, and at a critical moment entertained a motion to adjourn, which was followed by boisterous commotion and confusion, intensified by the trick of turning off the gas and enshrouding the hall in total darkness. Caucusing was the rule during the hours between the fatal adjournment and the meeting of the convention the following morning. No sleep was allowed to jeopardize the schemes of the anti-Blaine delegates, which culminated in nominating Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, for President, and William A. Wheeler, of New York, for Vice-President. Mr. Hayes was the weakest man, save one, ever elected to the Presidency. His associate on the ticket, Mr. Wheeler, was really a nonentity.

It would not have been possible to have nominated two more non-committal, conservative men. They were the very antipodes of the candidates prominent before the convention met. They were the usual types of compromise candidates, [359] and brought no strength to the ticket. As a matter of fact, no one anxious for the success of the party wanted either of them.

The whole campaign of 1876 was characterized by the most virulent abuse of the candidates, active persons of both parties striving with each other in making charges of fraud, irregularities, and malfeasance on the part of officials and members of their respective parties. Nominees on the tickets for the various offices from President down were anxious as to the results. In addition, reformers were busy advocating all kinds of isms and theories. The hapless farmers, the inevitable prey of political demagogues, came in for unusual attentions. They were persuaded that they were the victims of merciless injustice; that their only hope for relief was through the election of reformers to the house and senate of the legislatures of the States most interested in agriculture. Illinois, the great “Prairie State,” was completely overrun by “Grangers,” who were posing as the farmers' special friends. They declared, if they were put in power they would readjust the management of the railroads and secure a change in the freight schedules, so that the products of the farm could be set down at the great market points for half the rate then in existence. They would, in fact, procure high prices for every commodity the agriculturist had to sell. A majority of the Republican county conventions had instructed their nominees for the house and senate of the Illinois legislature for General Logan for re-election to the United States Senate, which event was dependent upon the election of these instructed candidates. Hence the campaign had scarcely begun when importunities came from every quarter urging General Logan to visit almost every county in the State to speak in behalf of the election of the candidates instructed for him. Congress was in session for some time after the adjournment of the Republican national convention.

Loyal and far-seeing Republicans realized the full force of [360] the mistake the national convention had made, but there was no alternative but to make the best of it, and if possible elect Hayes and Wheeler. Strangely enough, it was during this campaign that the Democratic party, while boasting of Jeffersonian simplicity, began to intimate that Mr. Tilden's “barrels of money would enable them to win a Democratic victory all over the United States.” They claimed that the solid South, supplemented by the influence of money, would put their party in power-nationally and locally. When the election returns were in the people were amazed to find that their predictions had come so near being true. The election of President and Vice-President was in controversy and had to be finally settled by the famous Electoral Commission, under a special act to provide for the settlement of the important question as to who had been elected President and Vice-President in 1876. Republican majorities had fallen off everywhere. In Illinois the political complexion of the legislature was in doubt, depending largely upon the party-Republican or Democratic — with which the “Prohibitionists,” “Grange's,” “Reformers,” and “Independents” would co-operate.

It would be difficult to imagine with what disgust General Logan confronted the situation in the legislature when he found that old farmers, who were supposed to be the soul of honor and integrity, and had been for years enthusiastic supporters of himself, had been changed by some surreptitious influence. While they claimed to be undecided as to whom they would support for the Senate, nothing could induce them to commit themselves to General Logan. Upon investigation later it was found that these men had received from three to five thousand dollars each, with which to lift the mortgages off their farms, from their Granger friends, who had been using the money of ambitious aspirants to the Senate. So trustful was General Logan that it was some time before he could really credit the indubitable evidence that was laid before him of the dishonesty and duplicity of these old friends. [361] The designing political jugglers had skilfully bought up just enough of the senators and members of the house to prevent General Logan from having a majority in either. The legislature had not long been in session when it was found that a part of the scheme was to defeat General Logan by the election of Hon. David Davis as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to prevent him from being chosen on the Electoral Commission. Somebody's barrel accomplished the purpose of defeating General Logan for re-election and put David Davis in the Senate in his place. Mr. Davis regretted this as seriously as any one else, and did not hesitate to maintain that both he and General Logan had been sacrificed to the stupendous scheme of political demagogues. For weeks the election of the United States senator from Illinois was in doubt. The action of the legislature was so uncertain because of the instability and lack of integrity on the part of members of both houses. This may be said to have been the beginning of the political demoralization of the great State of Illinois, and was, perhaps, the first instance of the flagrant use of money to influence the action of the legislature in the election of a United States senator. I was with General Logan at Springfield, and shall not forget to my dying day the deep humiliation and suffering which he experienced as day after day he discovered fresh evidences of the duplicity of men whom he had trusted in war and in peace. He felt that he had served his State honorably and acceptably from the day he took the oath of office as a member of the Illinois legislature in 1856, through all the trying years of the war, to that hour. Believing as he did that the people approved of everything he had done, and desired to reward him by a reelection to the United States Senate, he could not bear to think that their will was being thwarted by the use of money, a force which it was impossible for him to combat.

I hope it will not be considered indelicate to say that these reverses came at the most unfortunate time in our whole lives. [362] General Logan devoted every hour of his life and time to the discharge of his public duties, and therefore was obliged to neglect opportunities for money-making. It will be remembered that the salary of a United States senator was at that time only five thousand dollars a year. We had lived very prudently in inhospitable boarding-houses, and in many ways practised self-denial and economy. But the unavoidable demands that have always been made upon public men, for political and other purposes, including requests by individuals to whom public men consider themselves under obligations, for the indorsement of their notes for financial responsibilities --nine times out of ten the indorser having to pay these notes --all these things made accumulation almost impossible for a United States senator. General Logan, like many others, had encroached upon the savings of years to meet these various demands, and was at a loss to know just what he should do at the expiration of his term, March 4, 1877.

Prior to that time the Electoral Commission had declared Hayes and Wheeler elected President and Vice-President, and every one supposed that General Logan would be offered some position within the gift of the President. He received no such consideration, notwithstanding the fact that some of his friends had gone to the President and explained to him General Logan's necessities. We were both too proud to make any sign. After March 4 we went home to Chicago and finally solved the problem of what we should do. We had some land in southern Illinois which we were quite sure we could utilize in the payment of notes which were coming due in June. The general was too sensitive to go back to southern Illinois and make an appeal to his old friends for an extension of time, or to have them think that he was in the least discouraged by the temporary dislodgement from his seat in the Senate. I insisted that we had lived a long time before he was a senator, and that I was quite sure that we could manage in some way. I begged him to let me go down to southern [363] Illinois and dispose of some lands which we had owned for years. With great reluctance he agreed to let me try to see what I could do. When I arrived in Carbondale I was received with so many manifestations of genuine friendship and interest in our welfare that I felt no hesitancy in going to the substantial men who I thought wanted the property and. could afford to buy the land which we had to sell. Memory will forever retain the tenderness with which these dear old men responded to my request that they buy this land and relieve our embarrassment. They gave me exactly what I asked for the property and said that they were ready to carry for an indefinite length of time any notes which General Logan had given, and would give him cash for his land beside. I could only express my gratitude by tears which they hastened to wipe away, and to say: “Be cheerful and happy. Your discomfiture is only a brief affair. Two years hence we will send him back to the Senate or die in the attempt.”

General Logan had not quite forgotten the law which he knew so well before he took up his sword in the defence of his country. In the great State of Illinois there were grand men who knew what he had done. They came to him to place in his hands large legitimate claims which they wished him to collect, and he was soon happy in the possession of fees larger than his salary as a United States senator. As I look back upon it I feel that the two years intervening before he was again elected to the Senate were by no means the most unhappy years of our lives, and I am not quite sure but that, had he refrained from again taking an active part in politics, we should have been better off financially, and perhaps the days of his life might have been multiplied.

After General Logan became accustomed to being out of the treadmill routine and daily drudgery to which members of both houses of Congress are accustomed, he really enjoyed his freedom. He was not permitted, however, to remain long out of the political arena. Every day he received some [364] communication from friends all over the country, urging him not to forswear politics; that there was much for him to do for his party and country that no other man could do. He employed his time in gathering up the threads of his private business affairs and in preparing to go to Washington in the winter of 1877-8 for some clients who had engaged his services as attorney.

November 27, 1877, on the twenty-second anniversary of our marriage, our only daughter was married to William F. Tucker of Chicago. Could we have known the sequel of this unfortunate alliance, General Logan and I would have suffered more keenly than we did in giving our only daughter into the hands of any man's keeping, as no one could have seemingly been more eligible for a trust so sacred than W. F. Tucker. It was arranged that our son, John A. Logan, Jr., then twelve years of age, should return to the Morgan Park Military Academy and that Mr.Tucker and Mrs. Tucker were to remain in our Chicago home, while I was to accompany General Logan to Washington.

We returned to Mrs. Rhine's boarding-house, 812 Twelfth Street, and were soon ensconced in our old quarters. Mrs. Edmund Miller, of Waterloo, Iowa, a cousin of the general's, was with us. Her husband had died, and she decided to join us for the winter. In reading over a diary kept that winter, I think it was perhaps one of the happiest we ever spent in Washington. Mrs. Rhine's boarding-house was composed of three private houses, 801-812-814 Twelfth Street, Northwest, and was one of the best of the old-time hostelries, having been the home of more prominent people than any other in Washington. Mrs. Mary S. Lockwood and Miss Ricksford were Mrs. Rhine's successors, and continued the establishment long after we moved away. General Logan was not at the beck and call of every one who needed a friend to intercede for him at the departments. His numerous constituents who had formerly deluged him with their correspondence requesting everything [365] from commissions from the State Department to seeds, plants, reports, and bulletins from the Department of Agriculture, realizing that he was an “ex,” turned to his successor with indifferent success, that venerable ex-Associate Justice of the Supreme Court being disinclined to activities as an errand boy for his constituents.

We had many invitations for dinners and receptions. Mrs. Hayes sent me flowers and invited us to dine at state and informal dinners. She has had no superior and few equals as mistress of the White House. An unprejudiced, truthful historian would doubtless place the name of Lucy Webb Hayes at the head of the list of women who were most eminently qualified by nature and acquirement for the position of mistress of the White House. She was probably the only rival of the fame of Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, second President of the United States. Mrs. Adams's intellect, dauntless courage, and devoutly religious character may be said to have been repeated in the person of Lucy Webb Hayes.

Mrs. Hayes was born in Chillicothe, then the capital of Ohio. Her father, Doctor James Webb, was an eminent practitioner and very prominent in public affairs. He was an ardent Republican, after liberating the slaves which came to him through his North Carolinian ancestry. Mrs. Webb, her mother, was a remarkable woman, devoutly religious in character, and wonderfully well-informed for the epoch in which she lived. From her Mrs. Hayes inherited the best Puritan blood of New England. Being left a widow when her family was young, she removed to Delaware, Ohio, to be near the Wesleyan University, so that her children might be educated. Her sons were good students. Lucy, the only daughter, would not be outdone by her brothers. She therefore studied with them, and was tutored by the instructors of the college until prepared for the Wesleyan Female College, of Cincinnati, entering that institution at the same time her brothers began their studies in the Medical College of that city. She graduated from the Wesleyan Female College with high honors. [366] To her mother she gave all the credit for her splendid preparation for the sphere she was destined to fill. She possessed a rare mind, and wonderful mental and physical strength. She was of medium height, her complexion was a clear olive, and her abundant dark hair was always combed smoothly over her ears and wound into a coil quite low on the back of her head, and held in place by a beautiful comb. Her glorious eyes were indescribable in their color and expression, ever reflecting the bright spirits which animated her whole soul. Her face beamed with intelligence and happiness, and I am quite sure no one ever detected the slightest care, impatience, or unpleasantness in her countenance, as it was always full of tenderness and good humor. Her winsome manners, sunny temperament, and cordial greetings vanquished all fear of the timid, and made them feel that they could tell her all their woes and be assured of sympathy.

Her inheritance and training seemed especially to fit her for the position she was to fill. Her mother's example, care, and determination that her daughter should be educated beyond what was then thought necessary for girls; the excellent opportunities she had in the Female College at Cincinnati, under the guidance and tutelage of ReverendWilbur and Mrs. P. B. Wilbur, pioneer advocates of higher education of women in the West, developed her superior executive ability and well-balanced character. Mrs. Hayes met her husband when she was a student in college at the Wesleyan, and they were married soon after they had both been graduated from their respective colleges. Their marriage proved to be one that must have been made in heaven, if one may judge by its perfect happiness. Mrs. Hayes, as all true wives should, immediately devoted herself to everything which tended to advance the interests of her husband. She had absolute faith in his destiny, and unbounded confidence in his ability to climb to the topmost rung of the ladder of fortune and fame. He had begun the ascent when the nation was startled by a call to arms of her loyal sons. Rutherford B. Hayes could not turn [367] a deaf ear to that call. He helped to raise the 23d Ohio Volunteer Infantry, of which General Rosecrans was colonel, and the late Associate Justice Stanley Matthews, was lieutenant-colonel, going himself as major of that regiment. During the trying years of the varying fortunes of the Army of the Potomac, in which the 23d served, Mrs. Hayes was a frequent visitor to her husband in the field. At South Mountain Major Hayes was badly wounded. Mrs. Hayes appeared soon afterward to nurse him and many others back to health. When in camp, and it was possible to leave her husband, she spent her time in ministering to the Union and Confederate sick and wounded. One might write a long story of the never-failing devotion of these men to this noble woman.

Colonel Hayes left the field a brigadier-general, promoted for gallantry on the field of battle, to become a member of Congress. After several years' service in that body he was chosen governor of Ohio. From this position he was elected President of the United States. President Hayes always accorded Mrs. Hayes a full measure of credit for his phenomenal advancement to the highest position within the gift of the people. Her unselfish devotion to the unfortunate, her unceasing labors for the enlargement of the charities of Ohio, her arduous labors in church work, her womanly and wifely interest in her home and her husband, brought her a rich reward in the realization of all her hopes and aspirations. Hence, when she came to be installed as mistress of the White House, she was well equipped by nature, training, cultivation, and unusual knowledge and long experience in official life for anything which might arise. The sphere in which she had always moved had only been enlarged.

Her first appearance was eagerly awaited by the denizens of Washington and official representatives from all over the world. They sought to criticise, but went away admiring and praising this gifted, accomplished woman. The word was passed from mouth to mouth: “Mrs. Hayes is lovely.” She was so radiantly happy herself that her gay spirits became [368] infectious. She began her reign by giving an afternoon reception on a Saturday, soon after the inauguration, to which every one entitled to be received was invited. She had flowers and music and everything as elaborate as for an evening social function. Every one was charmed by the warmth of her greetings, which made them feel that she at least was destined to do her part toward making the new administration socially a success. Following this afternoon reception was a state dinner, given to the Russian Grand Dukes, Alexis and Constantine, to which were bidden diplomats, judges, senators, representatives, and many other distinguished persons, with their wives, including ourselves. The decorations of the house and table and everything connected with the magnificent entertainment were directed by Mrs. Hayes in person. Her triumph on this occasion convinced the critics that she was not a novice in social affairs of state.

Mrs. Hayes was much criticised by a certain class for the stand she took in banishing wine from the White House table, but even her severest critics have since come to laud and magnify her name for the wisdom and Christian firmness she displayed. She never discussed the question with the numerous officious and intrusive persons who are ever eager to talk, and especially with authors of innovations. She said to one friend: “Regarding the question of wine, it is true that I shall violate a precedent, but I shall not violate the Constitution, which is all that, through my husband, I have taken the oath to obey.” To another she spoke of her sons and of her hesitancy in putting the wine before them, when it was in violation of her principles. She felt strongly her duty, and had the grace and courage to do it. From one of her addresses before the Home Missionary Society, of which she was an honored and useful member, I copy an extract, which was probably the foundation upon which she built her peerless character:

The corner-stone to practical religion is the Golden Rule. How best to obey its mandate is the vital question. Our conviction, [369] our faith, is that the surest hope of mankind is in America. Within our limits, within our reach, are gathered representatives of all the races of mankind. . . . That duty is of highest obligation which is nearest in time and place. With America and American homes what they should be, we need not greatly fear the evils that threaten us from other lands. We can easily shun or safely meet them, if our duty is faithfully done in behalf of the weak, the ignorant, and the needy of our country. If our institutions, social and political, are imperiled to-day, it is largely because of the wealthy and the fortunate. Engrossed as they are in the midst of our vast material progress and prosperity, they are not sufficiently mindful of what was taught by the words and life of the Founder of our blessed religion: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

Though a Methodist, she earnestly supported every movement for the advancement of religion and the betterment of the world.

General Logan having been returned to the Senate the winter of 1879, I saw much of Mrs. Hayes during President Hayes's administration, and am proud to repeat that I consider her to have been one of the noblest types of American womanhood, and beyond all question the ablest, and her influence for good the most abiding, of all the women who have ever presided in the White House.

During the winter we had delightful evenings in the parlor of the boarding-house, there being so many talented people in the house who were always ready to furnish papers, talks, recitations, and music. The regular residents in the house had guests from time to time, who frequently added interesting features to the programme. Reverend J. P. Newman was then filling the pulpit in the Metropolitan Church. His sermons were, without exception, full of inspired language. He made a study of the English language, and always used the exact word which would express his meaning most forcefully and beautifully. I once spoke to him about his peculiar gift. He said it was an acquisition rather than a gift. That he [370] analyzed every word he used in writing and preaching, as he wished his readers or his hearers to have a clear comprehension of the subject he handled. He was a large man, with a big head full of brains, and it would have been impossible for him to be other than forceful. He was intensely patriotic and courageous, and there was never any doubt as to the meaning of his utterances. He was devoted to General Grant, and bore with ill grace the attacks upon his hero. Losing all patience with General Grant's detractors, he was ever ready to defend him valiantly. There is a pew in the Metropolitan Church assigned to the President of the United States. President Hayes being a Methodist, it was thought he would be Grant's successor in the occupancy of that pew, but for some unknown reason President Hayes had a prejudice against Doctor Newman, and decided to attend Foundry Church, then on the corner of Fourteenth and G Streets. I one day said to the wife of a member of President Hayes's cabinet: “Why do not the President and Mrs. Hayes attend the Metropolitan Church?” She replied: “Because Grant attended that church, and Doctor Newman is always defending Grant and all the ‘skulduggery’ of his administration.” No further explanation was necessary. I have often wondered if President Hayes, after his retirement from the White House under the adverse criticism of the many, did not have a keener appreciation of the injustice heaped upon the chief magistrate by disappointed critics.

General Logan and I had a very happy winter, in that we were able to read aloud to each other, accomplishing more in that direction during this winter than we had been able to do for many years. We read a great many interesting books, and went to many lectures, dramatic performances, and social affairs. We had more time to enjoy our friends than we had ever had in Washington.

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