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Chapter 16:

General Logan was much exhausted by the labors of the campaign of 1880, and had not fully recovered when we came to Washington for the convening of Congress in December of that year. When we arrived we found many of our old friends at Mrs. Rhine's. The month of December until the time of the adjournment of Congress for the holidays was a busy one socially and politically. The usual forebodings and anxiety of persons occupying appointive official positions and employees of the Government as to their fate in a change of administration made them active in trying to secure influence which would help them retain their positions. Another class who felt they had contributed to the election of Garfield and Arthur were equally impetuous in their efforts to secure appointments or employment.

Intense interest was aroused as to whom Garfield would select as cabinet officers. There was a particular desire to have Mr. Conkling return to the Republican fold that he [410] might be counted upon to help carry out the policy of that party. Mr. Conkling's prejudices were very strong when he was against a man. He personally disliked Garfield, whom he accused of duplicity on several occasions when the Republican party had to hold confidential conferences to be sure of Garfield's attitude toward certain important measures.

The inauguration was, as so often has been the case, seriously marred by inclement weather. General Sherman was chief marshal of the procession and the whole parade moved with clockwork precision. Garfield was escorted by Senators Bayard and Anthony with the Columbia Commandery Knights Templar, of which he was a member, as a guard of honor. Vice-President-elect Arthur was escorted by Senator Pendleton. At the Senate chamber Mrs. Hayes and General Garfield's wife and mother were conducted to reserved gallery seats. Mrs. Hayes wore a sealskin coat and a black brocaded silk dress. “Mother” Garfield wore black silk trimmed with silver-fox fur. Mrs. Garfield, wife of the President-elect, wore a suit of dark-green velvet, while Miss Mollie Garfield wore a plum-colored woollen suit. General Garfield's first act after taking the oath of office was to kiss his mother and wife. After reviewing the inaugural procession Garfield lunched with Mr.Hayes and Mrs. Hayes, who soon afterward left the White House to spend the night with Secretary Sherman.

The inaugural ball was held in the new museum building. Mrs. Garfield wore light heliotrope satin with point lace, while Mrs. Hayes, who was escorted by the Hon. John B. Alley, wore a cream-colored satin dress trimmed with ermine. The preponderance of gold lace on the uniforms of the officers of the army and navy, marine corps, staffs of the governors and officers of the national guard from the various States, the court dress of the Diplomatic Corps, the magnificent costumes and resplendent jewels worn by the hundreds of ladies present, made the affair extremely brilliant.

The multitudes which had gathered for the inauguration [411] had hardly dispersed before legions of place-hunters made their appearance. James G. Blaine was made Secretary of State; William Windom of Minnesota was made Secretary of the Treasury; Robert T. Lincoln of Illinois was made Secretary of War; William M. Hunt of Louisiana, Secretary of the Navy; Samuel J. Kirkwood of Iowa, Secretary of the Interior; Thomas L. James of New York, Postmaster-General; and Wayne MacVeagh of Pennsylvania, Attorney-General. President Garfield had served in Congress with several of the members of his cabinet and naturally felt he knew them thoroughly and could depend upon their fidelity to him.

One of the most notable events in Congress at this time was the three hours speech of Senator Mahone of Virginia. This speech was in reply to the bitter personal attacks which had been made on the senator from Virginia by the Democrats, and principally by Senator Ben Hill of Georgia, since he had acted with the Republican party. Altogether the session was a very stormy one.

Garfield's first appearance in public after his inauguration was at the unveiling of the Farragut statue, which had been executed by Mrs. Vinnie Ream Hoxie. A procession formed at the Capitol and marched to the statue. Speeches were made by Garfield, Horace Maynard of Tennessee, and Senator Voorhees of Indiana. Garfield also attended the commencement exercises and conferred the degrees at Kendall Green College for Deaf Mutes.

President Garfield had the largest family that had been in the White House since General Grant's administration. Having four sons, as well as one daughter, it was necessary to provide some amusement for the growing boys. The billiard table was accordingly restored, enabling General Garfield also to take much-needed exercise. The young daughter, Mollie, was the constant companion of her mother. The conditions under which wine was restored to the table of the [412] White House have never been known, as Mrs. Garfield was a very modest, quiet little woman, who made very few suggestions and gave no opinions for publication. She was gentle and ladylike, and always appropriately dressed. She gave only four receptions, and at these she acquitted herself with great credit. “Mother”

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