A letter of May 5th, to a distinguished New York journalist, says:
"Your article on the Ohio governorship is of course satisfactory to me, but you will not object to two corrections. I have not been and shall not be a candidate for re-nomination. I probably could without effort have been renominated, but usage and personal inclination were against it. The more serious error is: You omit to name the Republican candidate who is nearly certain of the nomination and election. General Edward F. Noyes, of Cincinnati, a brave and popular soldier, who lost a leg in the Atlanta campaign; an eloquent and attractive speaker, and a gentleman of integrity and purity of character, will, I think, without question, be nominated. He is the sort of man you would support heartily if you lived in Ohio."
On the 6th of October, 1871, Governor Hayes delivered the striking address we give below, on the occasion of the inauguration of the celebrated Davidson fountain, in Cincinnati. This fountain, in design and execution, is a work of art of extraordinary merit.
It is altogether fitting that the citizens of Cincinnati should feel a deep interest in the occasion which has called together this large assemblage. It is well to do honor to this noble gift, and to do honor to the generous giver. This work lends a new charm to the whole city.
Longfellow's lines in praise of the Catawba that grows on the banks of the Beautiful River gives to the Catawba a finer flavor, and renders the Beautiful River still more beautiful. When art and genius give to us in marble or on canvas the features of those we admire or love, ever afterward we discover in their faces and in their characters more to admire and more to love.
This work makes Cincinnati a pleasanter city, her homes more happy, her aims worthier, and her future brighter.
But this fountain does not pour out its blessings for Cincinnati or for her visitors and guests alone. Cincinnati is one of the central cities of the Nation—of the great continent. It is becoming the convention city. Witness the National assemblies in the interest of commerce, of industry, of education, of benevolence, of progress, of religion, which annually gather here from the most distant parts of America. This monument is an instructor of all who come. Whoever beholds it will carry away some part of the lesson it teaches. The duty which the citizen owes to the community in which, and by which, he has prospered, that duty this work will forever teach. No rich man who is wise will, in the presence of this example, willingly go to his grave with his debt to the public unpaid and unprovided for. Many a last will and testament will have a beneficent codicil, suggested by the work we inaugurate to-day. Parks, fountains, schools, galleries of art, libraries, hospitals, churches—whatever benefits and elevates mankind—will here receive much needed encouragement and support.
This work says to him who, with anxious toil and care, has successfully gathered and hoarded—Do not neglect your great opportunity. Divide wisely and equitably between the few who are most nearly of your own blood, and the many who in kinship are only a little farther removed. If you regard only those reared under your own roof, your cherished estate will soon be scattered, perhaps wasted by profligate heirs in riotous living, to their own ruin, and you and your fortune will quickly be forgotten. Give a share—pay a tithe to your more distant and more numerous kindred—to the general public, and you will be gratefully remembered, and mankind will be blessed by your having lived!
Many, reflecting on the uncertainty of the future, will prefer to see their benefactions distributed and applied while they are still living. Regarding their obligations to the public as sacred debts, they will wish to pay as they go. This is commendable; perhaps it is safest.
But at some time and somehow the example here presented will and must be followed. All such deeds are the parents of other similar good deeds. And so the circle within which the blessings flowing from this fountain are enjoyed will forever grow wider and wider, and the people of distant times and places will rejoice to drink, as we now do, healthful and copious draughts in honor of its founder.
Here, this matchless structure will link together, in perpetual, grateful remembrance, the names of Tyler Davidson and Henry Probasco! Ever honored be those names in the city they have so greatly honored!
The message of Governor Hayes, on retiring from office at the close of his fourth year, calls attention to the encroachments upon the rights and interests of the people by railway corporations, and discusses at length the important subject of securing economy, efficiency, and purity in the administration of the local governments of cities and towns. For its able discussion of these and other subjects, this message of 1872 commends itself.
Fellow-Citizens of the General Assembly:
The finances of the State government are in a satisfactory condition. The balance in the State treasury on the 15th of November, 1870, was $766,038.10; the receipts during the last fiscal year were $5,241,184.91; making the total amount of available funds in the treasury during the year ending November 15, 1871, $6,007,223.01.
The disbursements during the year have been $5,259,046.74, leaving a balance in the treasury, Nov, 15, 1871, of $748,176.27.
The estimates of the auditor of State of receipts and expenditures for the current year, are as follows:
Estimated receipts from all sources, including balances, $5,206,366.27.
Estimated disbursements for all purposes, $4,776,035.73.
Leaving an estimated balance in the treasury, November 15, 1872, of $430,330.54.
The public funded debt of the State November 15, 1870, after deducting the amount invested in Ohio stocks, was $9,730,144.36.
During the past year the debt has been reduced $729,415.
Leaving the total debt yet to be provided for, $9,000,729.36. Of this amount, the sum of $44,518.31 has ceased to bear interest, the holders thereof having been notified of the readiness of the State to pay the same. This leaves the total interest-bearing debt of the State, $8,956,211.05.
The taxes levied in 1870, collectible in 1871, were as follows:
State taxes $4,666,242.23 County and local levies 18,797,389.59 Delinquencies and forfeitures in former years 667,188.69 ——————— Total taxes, including delinquencies collectible in 1871 $24,130,820.51
The taxes levied in 1871, collectible in 1872, were as follows:
State taxes $ 4,350,728.28 County and local levies 18,604,660.12 Delinquencies and forfeitures 632,275.84 ——————— Total taxes and delinquencies collectible in 1872 $23,587,664 24
It will be noticed, with gratification, that the annual increase of taxation, to which the people have been long accustomed, has been checked, and that the taxes, both State and local, have been somewhat reduced.
The increase of local indebtedness still continues. The returns made to the auditor of State are imperfect, but enough is shown to warrant the opinion that during the past year the indebtedness of the towns and cities of the State has increased not less than one million of dollars, and that their aggregate indebtedness now equals the indebtedness of the State. I respectfully repeat, as the remedy for this evil, the recommendation heretofore made, that all public debts be prohibited, except in cases of emergency, analogous to those specified in sections 1 and 2, article 8, of the constitution.
The report of the adjutant-general shows that there has been collected by him from the United States during the year, on account of the State war claims, the sum of $145,304.60, making the total amount of war claims collected $2,826,247.94. It is probable that about $100,000 more can be collected on these claims without additional legislation by Congress. This will leave about $400,000 of claims unpaid, which, it is believed, when presented to Congress, with proper vouchers and explanations, will be provided for by special act. As long, however, as the board of military claims exists, these claims will continue to increase, and it would not be advisable to seek Congressional action until the State, by closing its accounts with individuals, shall be able to ask for a final settlement.
It is therefore recommended that the statutes providing for the allowance of claims against the State by the commissioners of military claims be repealed; the repeal to take effect at such date in the future as will afford opportunity for the presentation and allowance of all just claims.
The report of the commissioner of common schools shows that, upon the whole, the educational interests of the State continue to be very prosperous. He presents, however, for your consideration, a number of changes in the school laws, which he deems essential to further progress. The proposed reforms are treated of in his report under the following heads: normal instruction, supervision, a codification of the laws, and the township system.
The commanding position which Ohio has held in the great transactions of our recent civil and military history is largely due to the educational advantages enjoyed by her people. Every measure which tends to continue and increase those advantages merits your earnest and favorable consideration.
For many years the most eminent teachers and friends of education have urged the necessity of establishing institutions for the instruction of teachers in the principles and duties of their high and honorable calling. A few thousand dollars of the school fund applied every year to this purpose will, it is believed, make the expenditures for school purposes vastly more beneficial to the State.
There are serious objections to the present mixed system of school management by means of township boards and sub-district directors. It is believed that this system ought to give place to the purely township system, in which all of the schools of the township are under the exclusive control of a board of education chosen by the electors of the township. This plan is in conformity with that which has been adopted with satisfactory results in most of our towns, and is sustained by the experience of other States in which the purely township system has been tried.
In several counties of the State colored children are practically deprived of the privilege of attending public schools. The denial of education to any citizen of Ohio is so manifestly unjust that it is confidently believed that the legislature needs only to be informed that such a wrong exists to promptly provide a remedy.
The official reports of the penitentiary, the Reform School for Boys, the Reform School for Girls, and the benevolent institutions of the State, which will be laid before you, show that the work of these institutions has during the past year been well done. They will, without question, receive from you all needed encouragement and support. It seems proper, however, to direct your attention to the urgent necessity of such legislation as will empower the boards of trustees and directors charged with the erection of buildings for the insane and for the orphans of deceased soldiers, to complete them as soon as practicable.
By the census of 1870 the number of insane persons in the State was 3,414. The number of patients under treatment in the insane asylums of the State was, last year, only 1,346. The trustees of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home report that the number of orphans in Ohio needing care is about eight hundred, and that the number cared for is only about two hundred and fifty. These facts sufficiently demonstrate the importance of the suggestion here made.
I renew the recommendation heretofore made that the legislature provide for the erection of suitable monuments at the graves of General Harrison and General Hamer.
General Harrison has many titles to the grateful remembrance of the people of Ohio. He was one of the pioneers of the West, a soldier of honorable fame in two wars against the savages and in the war of 1812, a secretary and acting governor of the Northwest Territory before Ohio was organized, a law-maker of conspicuous usefulness at the State capital and at Washington, and was chief magistrate of the Nation at the time of his death. To honor him is to honor all who were eminent and useful in the early settlement of Ohio.
General Hamer served with distinction four times in the General Assembly; was the speaker of the house of representatives; was six years a member of Congress from the Brown county district, and died in Mexico in 1846, a volunteer from Ohio, in the service of his country, with the rank of brigadier-general. At the time of his death the General Assembly, with entire unanimity, "resolved that the body of the deceased be brought from Mexico and interred in the soil of Ohio, at the expense of the State." Having undertaken, as the duty of the State, to give the remains of General Hamer a fitting burial, the legislature can not regard that duty as completely performed until an appropriate monument has been built at his grave.
Since the adoption of the present constitution the governor's duties have compelled him to reside at the capital. If any change is made in respect to the powers and duties of the executive in the revision about to be made of the constitution, the change, it is probable, will increase rather than diminish his duties. The evident impropriety of subjecting each new incumbent of the office to the inconvenience and expense of procuring and furnishing a suitable residence for the short period of a governor's term of office has led, in many States, to the purchase of a governor's mansion. Three of the States adjoining Ohio have adopted this course. It can not be doubted that Ohio will, at no distant day, follow their example. The rapid increase in the value of real estate in Columbus in consequence of its present growth and its promise of continued prosperity in the future gives force to the suggestion that if the State is to purchase a governor's residence at all it would be well to do it promptly.
The importance of wise legislation on the subject of railroads, in a State having the geographical position which belongs to Ohio, can not be over-estimated. The greater part of the trade and travel between the commercial and manufacturing States of the East and the agricultural States of the West, and of the business of the continental railways which connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, passes over the railroads of this State. Fourteen years ago, Governor Chase, speaking of the railroads of Ohio, said: "This vast interest, affecting vitally so many other interests, has grown suddenly to its present dimensions without system, without general organization, and, in some important respects, without responsibility." Then the railroads of the State carried annually about a million of passengers, and their gross receipts were about six millions of dollars a year. Last year they carried twelve millions of passengers, and their gross receipts exceeded thirty million of dollars.
All of the just powers of the corporations which conduct this immense business are derived from the laws of the State. If these laws fail to guard adequately the rights and the interests of our citizens, it is the duty of the General Assembly to supply their defects. Serious and well-grounded apprehensions are felt that in the management of these companies, which are largely controlled by non-residents of Ohio, practices, not sanctioned by the law, nor by sound morality, have become common, which are prejudicial to the interests of the great body of the people, and which, if continued, will ultimately destroy the prosperity of the State.
Regarding railroads as the most useful instrumentality by which intercourse is carried on between different sections of the country, the people do not desire the adoption of a narrow or unfriendly policy toward them. But it should be remembered that these corporations were created, and their valuable franchises granted by the legislature to promote the interests of the people of the State. No railroad company can sacrifice those interests without violating the law of its origin. It is not to be doubted that the authority of the General Assembly is competent to correct whatever abuses have grown up in the management of the railroads of the State.
The late commissioner of railroads and telegraphs, in his last able and valuable report, directs attention to a large number of what he terms "clear and palpable violations of law" by railroad companies, which are of frequent occurrence.
In relation to the rates prescribed by law for the transportation of persons and property, he says: "There is not a railroad operated in the State, either under special charter or the general law, upon which the law regulating rates is not in some way violated nearly every time a regular passenger, or freight, or mixed train passes over it."
As to the laws regulating the occupation of streets and alleys by railroad tracks, the speed of locomotives in towns and cities, and railroad crossings, he says that statutes which he regards as wholesome are, "it is notorious, wholly ignored by some companies, and only partially obeyed by others."
He quotes the laws forbidding railroad officials from being interested in fast freight, express, or transportation companies, and from dealing in railroad securities, and adds, that "the violation of these laws is believed to be very common among railroad officials."
The commissioner also gives examples of the "increase or watering of stock" by railroad companies, and remarks, "the foregoing statements are the more striking in view of the fact that the stockholders in the company have been in receipt of regular semi-annual dividends for seven years of from six to ten per cent per annum."
The significance of this remark of the commissioner lies in the fact that the rates which railroad companies may charge for the transportation of passengers and freight may be prescribed by the General Assembly, whenever the net profits amount to ten per cent on the capital actually invested.
The interests involved are of such magnitude that all legislation ought to be based on the fullest and most accurate information which a careful investigation can furnish. I, therefore, recommend that a commission of five citizens, of whom the railroad commissioner shall be one, be organized, with ample powers to investigate the management of the railroad companies of the State, their legal rights, and the rights of the State and its citizens, and to report the information acquired, with a recommendation of such measures as the commission shall deem expedient.
During the past year, the traveling public has enjoyed, in Ohio, remarkable immunity from railroad accidents. According to the reports of the railroad companies to the commissioner, not a single passenger has lost his life by the fault of the railroads in the State during the year. But the number of persons, "other than passengers," and of "employees" who have lost their lives, is quite large. One hundred and fifty-seven persons are reported to have been killed, and it is without doubt that many deaths have occurred which have not been reported. Many of these fatal accidents happened in the streets of towns and cities, and at street and road crossings. It is perfectly practicable to protect citizens from these dangers, by enforcing proper regulations as to the speed of trains, and as to the occupancy and crossing of streets and roads. Your special attention is called to this subject.
One of the most difficult and interesting practical problems which now engages the thoughts of the American people is how to maintain economy, efficiency, and purity in the administration of local affairs, and especially in the government of towns and cities, without a departure from principles and methods which are deemed essential to free popular government. Many of the most important functions of government are in the hands of the local authorities. They are directly charged with the expenditure of large sums of money, with the protection of life and property, and with the administration of civil and criminal justice. These duties, in one way or another, touch nearly and constantly the interests and feelings of every citizen. Upon their faithful performance depends the prosperity, happiness, and safety of the community. It is true that as yet Ohio is happily, in a great measure, free from the operation of causes which in the commercial metropolis of the country recently led to such extraordinary corruption in the government of that city. But those causes do not belong alone to the great cities of the East. They are already at work in our midst, and they are steadily and rapidly increasing in power. No political party is altogether free from their influence, and no political party is solely responsible for them. We have laws prohibiting almost every conceivable official neglect and abuse, and penalties are affixed to the violation of those laws which can not be regarded as inadequate. The difficulty is to secure their enforcement. Those whose duty it is to detect and prosecute are often interested in maintaining good relations with the wrong-doers. The contractors for public work and supplies not infrequently have a community of interest with those who are the agents of the public to let and superintend the performance of contracts. Where these abuses exist there is apt to be a large circle of apparently disinterested citizens, who labor to conceal the facts and to suppress investigation. What the public welfare demands is a practical measure which will provide for a thorough and impartial investigation in every case of suspected neglect, abuse, or fraud. Such an investigation, to be effective, must be made by an authority independent, if possible, of all local influences. When abuses are discovered, the prosecution and punishment of offenders ought to follow. But even if prosecutions fail in cases of full exposure, public opinion almost always accomplishes the object desired. A thorough investigation of official corruption and criminality leads with great certainty to the needed reform. Publicity is a great corrector of official abuses. Let it therefore be made the duty of the governor, on satisfactory information that the public good requires an investigation of the affairs of any public office or the conduct of any public officer, whether State or local, to appoint one or more citizens who shall have ample powers to make such investigation.
If by the investigation violations of law are discovered, the governor should be authorized, in his discretion, to notify the attorney-general, whose duty it should be, on such notice, to prosecute the offenders. The constitution makes it the duty of the governor to "see that the laws are faithfully executed." Some such measure as the one here recommended is necessary to give force and effect to this constitutional provision.
In compliance with the constitution, the last General Assembly submitted to the people the question of holding a convention "to revise, alter, or amend" the constitution, and at the October election a large majority of the voters of the State decided in favor of a convention. It is the duty of the General Assembly, at its present session, to provide by law for the election of delegates and the assembling of the convention.
The vote on the question of calling the convention which formed the present constitution was taken at the October election, 1849. At the next session of the General Assembly an act was passed which provided for the election of delegates to the convention the first Monday of April, 1850, and the convention was convened on the first Monday of May following.
In conclusion, I wish to make my grateful acknowledgments to the people of Ohio for the honorable trusts they have confided to me, and to express the hope that the harmony, prosperity, and happiness which they now enjoy in such full measure may, under Providence, be perpetual.
Hayes, during his two terms as Governor, proposed and carried through the following measures of the first importance to the welfare of the State:
He recommended and had completed a comprehensive Geological Survey of Ohio.
He secured the establishment of a Soldiers' Orphans' Home.
He had the powers of the Board of State Charities restored and enlarged.
He had provision made for the care, by the State, of the chronic insane.
Under his direction the graded system was adopted in the State Prison and prison reforms introduced.
Minority representation on Election Boards was secured.
The Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded, trustees appointed, and the institution organized.
Portraits of the Governors of Ohio were placed in the State collection.
The suffrage amendment to the Constitution of the State was adopted.
The fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified.
The Lincoln Memorial, an admirable work of art, was placed in the capitol.
The right of soldiers in the National Asylum to vote was restored.
The students' privilege of voting while attending college was given back.
The odious "visible admixture" law was repealed.
The St. Clair papers were purchased, and letters and manuscripts relating to pioneer history collected.
A Reform School for Girls was established and made successful.
The State debt was reduced, and all increase of debt opposed.
Can any Governor of any State say that he has done a better business?
THIRD TIME ELECTED GOVERNOR.
The Senatorship declined—Army Banquet Speech—Third Time nominated for Congress—Glendale Speech—Declines a Federal Office—Making a Home—Nomination for Governor—Platform—Serenade Speech—Democratic Convention and Platform—Marion Speech of Hayes—Woodford—Grosvenor—Schurz—Inflation Drivel—Interest in the Contest—Honest Money Triumphant—Third Inaugural.
Just as Governor Hayes was vacating the office of chief executive of Ohio, to which he had positively refused to be re-elected, he was offered and declined the Senatorship from that State. The proofs of this fact are before us. The circumstances were these: A Senator in Congress was to be elected by the State Legislature, in January, 1872, to succeed John Sherman. Mr. Sherman had secured the nomination and election of a majority of Republicans who were favorable to his own re-election; but the Republican majority on joint ballot was small. Before the meeting of the Republican caucus, a sufficient number of members to control the result, with the aid of the Democrats, proposed to Governor Hayes to stay out of the caucus, and, uniting the entire opposition to Sherman, secure his defeat.
Hayes had authoritative assurances that the Democratic members would support him, with a view of defeating Sherman; while the Independent or anti-Sherman Republicans, who held the balance of power, were importunate that he should allow himself to be their compromise candidate. But he firmly rejected all these overtures, and forbid the use of his name in connection with the matter in any manner whatever. A leading State Senator declared it "was most extraordinary to see the Senatorship refused, with the Presidency in prospect."
On the 7th of April, General Hayes delivered a speech in Cincinnati in response to the toast "Our Country," which contains thoughts worthy of reproduction. It was upon the occasion of the fifth annual banquet of the Army of the Tennessee. After some general introductory remarks, the orator said:
"Consider the history of our country. It is the youngest of the nations. We are just beginning to look forward to the celebrations, five years hence, of the completion of the first century of its existence. This brief period, so crowded with interesting events, with great achievements in peace and war, and adorned with illustrious names in every honorable walk of life, has witnessed a progress in our country without a parallel in the annals of the race.
"Add to these considerations the visions of greatness and prosperity which the future opens to America, and we shall begin to see by what titles our country claims from all of her children admiration, gratitude, and loyal love.
"Those who are accustomed to take gloomy views of every event and every prospect, will perhaps remind us that all the parts of this picture have their dark side; that this extended and magnificent territory of ours must needs have rival interests hostile and dangerous to unity; that people differing in race, nationality, religion, language, and traditions will, with difficulty, be fused into one harmonious Nation; that written constitutions do not make a government unless their provisions are obeyed or enforced. As to our boasted history, they will point to pages darkened with grave crimes against the weaker races; and as to our future, they will tell us of the colossal fortunes which, under the sanction of law, are already consolidating in the hands of a few men—not always the best men—powers which threaten alike good government and our liberties.
"In reply to these views, it can not be denied that in a wide domain like ours, inhabited by people not always harmonious, something more than written constitutions are required. A mere paper government is not enough. The law, if not voluntarily obeyed, must be firmly enforced. To accomplish this there must be wisdom, moderation, firmness, not only in those who administer the government, but in the people, who, at last, are the government.
"The great task is to educate a whole people in these high virtues, to the end that they may be equal to their opportunities and to the dangers that surround them. The chief instrumentalities in this education are the home, the school, the platform, the pulpit, and the press, and all good men and women are the educators.
"Doubt and difficulty and danger lend to every human enterprise its chief interest and charm. Every man who fought in the Army of the Tennessee at Shiloh knows that the gloom and despondency in which the first day's battle closed, gave an added glory to the victory of the second day; that the victory is always most highly prized which, after a long and desperate struggle, is snatched at last from the very jaws of disaster and defeat.
"If, in the future of our country, trials and conflicts and calamities await her, it is but the common allotment of Providence to men. The brave and the good will (here always) find noble work and a worthy career, and will rejoice that they are permitted to live and to act in such a country as the American republic."
In July, 1872, Ex-Governor Hayes received a petition, signed by the most influential men in the second Congressional district in Cincinnati, asking him to accept a nomination for Congress. Scores of letters and telegrams were sent to him at Fremont, where he was detained by illness in his family, urging upon him the duty of sacrificing personal to public interests and consent to become a candidate. He refused absolutely. The nominating convention met August 6th, and the following telegram tells the story:
"In spite of your protests, you were nominated on first ballot. Great enthusiasm, and whole party lifted up. We assured Republicans that Governor Hayes never retreated when ordered to advance. Things are looking bright.
Two days after, a petition was forwarded, signed by two hundred influential Republican and non-partisan voters of the second district, containing the words, we "most urgently solicit you to accept the nomination given you."
His acceptance being demanded on the ground of duty, he returned to Cincinnati and made the canvass. At Glendale, on September 4, he delivered a lengthy speech, from which we take these extracts:
My purpose in addressing you this evening is to spread before the people of the second district my views on the questions of National policy which now engage the public attention.
In the present condition of the country, two things are of vital importance—peace and a sound financial policy. We want peace—honorable peace—with all nations; peace with the Indians, and peace between all of the citizens of all of the States. We want a financial policy so honest that there can be no stain on the National honor and no taint on the National credit; so stable that labor and capital and legitimate business of every sort can confidently count upon what it will be the next week, the next month, and the next year. We want the burdens of taxation so justly distributed that they will bear equally upon all classes of citizens in proportion to their ability to sustain them.
We want our currency gradually to appreciate, until, without financial shock or any sudden shrinkage of values, but in the natural course of trade, it shall reach the uniform and permanent value of gold. With lasting peace assured, and a sound financial condition established, the United States and all of her citizens may reasonably expect to enjoy a measure of prosperity without a parallel in the world's history.
When the debates of the last presidential election were in progress, four years ago, there were troubles with other nations threatening the public peace, and, in particular, there was a most difficult, irritating, and dangerous controversy with Great Britain, which it seemed almost impossible peaceably to settle. Now we are at peace with all nations; the American government is everywhere abroad held in the highest honor; and an example of submitting National disputes to the decision of a court of arbitration has been set, which is of incalculable value to the world.
* * * * *
Four years ago, and for a considerable period since, the public peace has been broken or threatened in a majority of the late slave States, by bands of lawless men, oath bound, disguised, and armed, who, by terror, by scourging, and by assassination, undertook to deprive unoffending citizens, both white and colored, of their most cherished rights, for no reason except a difference of political sentiment. Now these organizations have, it is claimed by their political associates, disbanded. Large numbers of citizens in those States, heretofore hostile to the recent amendments to the constitution, and to the equal rights of colored people, declare themselves satisfied with those amendments, and ready to maintain the constitutional rights of colored citizens. Notwithstanding the predictions of our adversaries, that to confer political rights upon colored people would lead to a war of races, white people and colored people are now voting side by side in all of the old slave States, and their elections are quite as free from violence and disorder as they were when whites alone were the voters. In a word, peace prevails in the South to an extent which, under the circumstances, the ablest statesmen among our adversaries three years ago pronounced impossible. The watchword of the Republican party four years ago was "Let us have peace." A survey of every field where the public peace was then imperiled, of our affairs with foreign nations, with the Indians, and in the South, shows that the pledge implied in that famous watchword has been substantially made good, and that, if the people continue to stand by the government, the peace we now enjoy will be continued and enduring.
CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.
There are several questions relating to the present and the future which merit the attention of the people. Among the most interesting of these is the question of civil service reform.
About forty years ago a system of making appointments to office grew up, based on the maxim, "to the victors belong the spoils." The old rule—the true rule—that honesty, capacity, and fidelity constitute the highest claim to office, gave place to the idea that partisan services were to be chiefly considered. All parties in practice have adopted this system. Since its first introduction it has been materially modified. At first, the president, either directly or through the heads of departments, made all appointments. Gradually, by usage, the appointing power in many cases was transferred to members of Congress—to senators and representatives. The offices in these cases have become not so much rewards for party services as rewards for personal services in nominating and electing senators and representatives. What patronage the president and his cabinet retain, and what offices congressmen are by usage entitled to fill is not definitely settled. A congressman who maintains good relations with the executive usually receives a larger share of patronage than one who is independent. The system is a bad one. It destroys the independence of the separate departments of the government, and it degrades the civil service. It ought to be abolished. General Grant has again and again explicitly recommended reform. A majority of Congress has been unable to agree upon any important measure. Doubtless the bills which have been introduced contain objectionable features. But the work should be begun. Let the best obtainable bill be passed, and experience will show what amendments are required. I would support either Senator Trumbull's bill or Mr. Jenckes' bill, if nothing better were proposed. The admirable speeches on this subject by the representative of the first district, the Hon. Aaron F. Perry, contain the best exposition I have seen of sound doctrine on this question, and I trust the day is not distant when the principles which he advocates will be embodied in practical measures of legislation. We ought to have a reform of the system of appointments to the civil service, thorough, radical, and complete.
The people of the United States will be agreeably surprised to learn that, four years ago, not only the sentiments, but almost the identical language of the recent letter of acceptance upon the subject of this great reform was publicly proclaimed by the Republican candidate for the presidency.
In 1872, when the Presidency was not in his thoughts, he advocated with great force the doctrines which Independent Republicans especially commend him for maintaining to-day. These opinions it would then be foolishly needless to say are honest; they are deep-rooted convictions of long growth.
The elections went heavily against the Republicans in Hamilton county, in 1872. Mr. Eggleston, the sitting member of Congress from the First District, was beaten three thousand five hundred and sixty-nine votes; and General Hayes was defeated by General H. B. Banning, whose majority was one thousand five hundred and two. Compared with the result in the First District, Hayes ran a thousand votes ahead of his ticket. He had performed his duty and was satisfied.
A few months later he was offered, by the President, the office of Assistant Treasurer of the United States, at Cincinnati, which appointment he respectfully declined.
The years 1873 and 1874 were employed by General Hayes in making and adorning a future home for himself and his family, near Fremont. He planted over a thousand trees, and filled his grounds with vines, shrubs, and flowers.
In January, 1874, his patron uncle and life-long friend Sardis Birchard died, leaving his favorite nephew heir to a considerable estate. It elevates our estimate of human nature to find that this heir-apparent, or rather heir inevitable to a handsome fortune, diminished the amount he would naturally inherit by persuading his uncle to make bequests, amounting to seventy-five thousand dollars, to the citizens of Fremont for a Public Park and a Free Public Library. It is not necessary to add, that this unselfish course of action makes known character, nor to say what kind of a character it makes known.
The Republican State Convention, which assembled at Columbus, June 2, 1875, nominated General Hayes a third time for the office of Governor. He received the news of the nomination while playing base ball with his children at their home in Fremont. The circumstances of this nomination were extraordinary, and the honor it implied exceptional. The facts, in brief, were these: The Hon. William Allen having been put in nomination by the Democrats, for the office of Governor, in 1873, mainly through the influence of his nephew, Senator Thurman, was elected by a small majority in October of that year. Mr. Allen, as Governor, made himself active in the direction of economy and the reduction of taxation, and seemed to increase his popularity because of the high reputation he enjoyed for personal integrity. Early in 1875 it became apparent that he would secure, without opposition, a re-nomination. It became equally apparent, also, that the Republicans would encounter no slight difficulty in defeating him. He was in possession, he had the prestige of victory, and was immensely popular with his party. It was the plainest dictate of policy and duty for the Republicans to proceed with extremest caution and put in nomination their very strongest man. Personal ambitions and interests must be put aside in every great emergency, when the success of a cause is at stake. What every great emergency needs is a MAN. The eyes of the Republicans of Ohio were at the same period of time turned toward Hayes as that leader—that man. He was written to, from every portion of the State, to consent to become again a candidate. His uniform reply was, that he had retired finally and absolutely from public life, and that his tastes and interests would keep him at home. Some, receiving these responses in the spirit in which they were given, looked around for other candidates. In Cincinnati there was a strong local influence favoring Judge Taft, the able and most estimable gentleman who is now Attorney-General of the United States. Governor Hayes repeatedly announced that he would, under no circumstances, be a candidate against his friend, Judge Taft, and urged the delegates from his county to support Taft, which they did. Notwithstanding these facts, when the Convention met, the delegates, according to the public statement of General Grosvenor, were four to one in favor of Hayes' nomination. On the first ballot, two hundred and seventy-four being necessary to a choice, Hayes received four votes less than four hundred, and Taft one hundred fifty-one. The nomination was made unanimous on motion of Judge Taft's son.
Finding himself once more an involuntary candidate for office, Governor Hayes lost no time in getting ready for the supreme struggle, thus far, of his life. Visiting, three weeks later, the home of his relative, General Mitchell, in Columbus, he was serenaded by the Hayes Club of the capital city, and, in response to their calls, foreshadowed the great issues of the approaching campaign. Without circumlocution, he said:
"If it shall turn out that the party in power are opposed to a sound, safe, stable currency, I have no doubt that in October the people will make a change. If it shall turn out that the party in power were guilty of gross corruption in the legislative department, and that when that corruption was exposed the majority shielded those who were implicated, I have no doubt the people will make a change. If it shall turn out that the party in power yielded to the dictation of an ecclesiastical sect, and through fear of a threatened loss of votes and power has suffered itself to be domineered over in its exercise of the law-making power, there ought to be, as I doubt not there will be, a great change. If it shall turn out that the party in power is dangerously allied to any body of men who are opposed to our free schools, and have proclaimed undying hostility to our educational system, then I doubt not the people will make a change in the administration."
The convention which nominated Hayes had adopted some sensible resolutions. It declared, first, that:
"The United States are one as a Nation, and all citizens are equal under the laws, and entitled to their fullest protection.
"Third. We are in favor of a tariff for revenue with incidental protection to American industry.
"Fourth. We stand by free education, our public school system, the taxation of all for its support, and no division of the school fund.
"Eleventh. The observance of Washington's example in retiring at the close of a second presidential term will be in the future, as it has been in the past, regarded as a fundamental rule in the unwritten law of the Republic."
The Democratic State Convention met on the 17th of June, and was presided over by Judge Rufus P. Ranney. It renominated Governor Allen by acclamation and a rising vote amidst great cheering.
The governor delivered an intemperate speech upon the occasion, in which his denunciation was about equally divided between the old alien and sedition laws and Grant's administration. Samuel F. Cary, nominated for lieutenant-governor, made a loud speech. Pendleton, Ewing, Thurman, Allen, and Cary spoke at the ratification meeting in the evening.
The platform contained the sound proposition that the president's services should be limited to one term, thereby endorsing a material part of Governor Hayes' letter of acceptance in advance. It also contained what some have called the rascally, others the asinine propositions that the volume of currency should be made and kept equal to the wants of trade; that all National Bank circulation should be promptly and permanently retired, and legal tenders be issued in their stead, and that the payment of at least one-half of the customs should be in legal tenders.
Senator Thurman, much to the surprise of his eastern friends, acquiesced in, or at least failed to denounce this inflation platform. He forgot the proverb that it is the bold man who wins. Had he made a ringing, thirty-minutes, hard-money speech on the occasion, no power on the continent could probably have kept him out of the White House. This was the day of his destiny, but the day of his destiny is over.
The public and non-partisan estimate of this Democratic platform is fairly reflected in the editorial utterances of the Cincinnati Commercial of June 18th, to the effect that:
"This platform is a declaration of war upon the National credit. The programme of repudiation is made particularly clear.... The contest in Ohio this summer in an extraordinary degree concerns the Nation."
The Chicago Times said:
"If Allen be elected, the immediate effect is very sure to be a prodigious rise in the threatening and dangerous tidal wave of inflation and repudiation. The political tradition which goes by the name of the Democratic party, will be forthwith pervaded in every part by an active and aggressive repudiation sentiment."
The inflation Democracy were not only hopeful but boastful. Governor Allen made and repeated the prediction that he would be re-elected by from 60,000 to 70,000 majority. He said that he would not compromise with Hayes on 20,000. It was represented that the hard times were caused by the Republicans, and that the people wanted "more money," which interpreted meant more debts or due bills. Much was said on the stump about what "the people think," forgetting that the material question is not what they think, but what they ought to think.
Governor Hayes was not unmindful of the national and international importance of the contest. Knowing that the Democrats had carried the State the year before by a majority of 17,000 on their State ticket and 24,000 on their Congressional ticket, he did not underrate the difficulties to be contended with in the struggle. Several Republican members of Congress had taken the inflation shute, and were continually writing him not to be too decided; that a little more currency would be a good thing. But he buckled on his hard-money armor, and going into the contest early, delivered at Marion, Lawrence county, the sound and solid speech which closes this volume. Thus, in the midst of the miners and furnace men who were suffering most from hard times and clamoring most loudly for more money, Hayes boldly proclaimed his sound currency creed, and opposed inflation to the extent of a dollar.
Strong men came from other States to aid him in this battle against odds. The strongest in this kind of battle were Stewart L. Woodford, of New York, and Schurz and Grosvenor, of Missouri. General Woodford, in the dozen debates he conducted with General Ewing, the ablest of the inflationists, developed debating abilities of the first order, and exhibited a complete mastery of the science of finance.
Colonel Wm. M. Grosvenor showed the same powers on the stump he had shown as a writer, and presented arguments which will probably remain unanswered for some centuries to come.
Carl Schurz appeared late in the field, upon the call of two hundred merchants of Cincinnati, who assured him that the cause of "National honor and common honesty" was involved, and delivered a half dozen superb speeches. Senator Morton, Senator Oglesby, Senator Windom, and Senators Sherman, Dawes, and Boutwell took part in the canvass.
Attorney-General Taft, Ex-Governor Noyes, Garfield, Monroe, Foster, Danford, and Lawrence strengthened the State forces.
We can not waste time upon the dreary drivel on the inflation side of this campaign. Men who have not learned the elementary principles of the science of political economy, who have not mastered the definitions, as we say, in geometry, could say nothing intelligible to the finite understanding. The speeches were as "incoherent" as the New York World proved the platform to be. They all contained doctrines, however, in perpendicular antagonism to the financial doctrines of the St. Louis convention. When the inflationists learn what money is—what its office, its function is—they may be able to resume the discussion of finance with their opponents in the Democratic party.
After a campaign which called forth almost daily leaders from the press of New York and London, and aroused the interest of Europe, General Hayes was a third time elected governor of Ohio by a majority of 5,544.
The character of the contest lifted him from a State leader to a national, an international man, and made the presidency a possibility. We now leave the reader to engage in the profitable pleasure of reading the only Ohio governor's third inaugural:
Fellow-citizens of the General Assembly:
Questions of National concern, in the existing condition of public affairs, may well be left to those officers to whom the people, in conformity with the constitution of the United States, have confided the important duties and responsibilities of the various departments of the general government.
During the term for which you have been elected, the constitution of the State devolves on you the task of dealing with many subjects very interesting to the people of Ohio. The duty of communicating to you the condition of the State, and of recommending measures deemed expedient, was performed at the opening of your present session by the distinguished citizen who has preceded me in the executive office. In complying with the usage which requires me to appear before you on this occasion, I am, therefore, relieved from the necessity of entering upon any extensive examination of the subjects which will claim your attention. There are, however, a few topics on which brief suggestions may, perhaps, be profitably submitted.
The attention of the legislature has often been earnestly invoked to the rapid increase of municipal and other local expenditures, and the consequent augmentation of local taxation and local indebtedness. This increase is found mainly in the cities and large towns. It is certainly a great evil. How to govern cities well, consistently with the principles and methods of popular government, is one of the most important and difficult problems of our time. Profligate expenditure is the fruitful cause of municipal misgovernment. If a means can be found which will keep municipal expenses from largely exceeding the public necessities, its adoption will go far toward securing honesty and efficiency in city affairs. In cities large debts and bad government go together. Cities which have the lightest taxes and smallest debts are apt, also, to have the purest and most satisfactory governments.
The following statement, showing the increase of municipal taxation and indebtedness in the cities and large towns of Ohio, ought to arrest attention:
In 1871, in thirty-one of the principal cities and towns of the State, the average rate of taxation was twenty-three and one-tenth mills on the dollar. The total amount of taxes levied for all purposes was $8,988,064. The total indebtedness was $7,187,082.
In 1875, in the same cities and towns, the average rate of taxation was twenty-eight and three-tenths mills on the dollar. The total amount of taxes levied for all purposes was $12,361,934. The total indebtedness was $20,800,491.
The salient points in this statement are, that in four years the rate of municipal taxation has increased almost 25 per cent; the total amount of municipal taxes has increased over thirty-seven per cent, and municipal indebtedness has increased about one hundred and ninety per cent, or more than thirteen and a half millions of dollars. If this great increase of burdens affected directly the whole people of the State, they would give their agents in the legislative and executive departments of the State government no peace until effective measures to prevent its continuance were adopted. But, in fact, the whole people of the State are deeply interested in this subject. The burdens borne by the cities and towns must be shared, in part at least, by all who transact business with them. The town and the neighboring country have a common interest, and, in many respects must be regarded as one community.
It has been said that the discretion committed to the local authorities, however limited and guarded, must be necessarily large; that in respect to the imposition of the largest proportion of the burden imposed upon the citizen, they constitute the real legislature; and that for the prevention of the evils we are considering, the people must exercise the greatest care in the choice of citizens to fill the important local offices. Experience does not seem to justify the expectation that an adequate remedy can be obtained in this way.
I submit that to the subject of local indebtedness the General Assembly should apply the principles of the State constitution on the subject of State indebtedness.
It is not enough to require in every grant of special authority to incur debt as a condition precedent that the people interested shall approve it by their votes. It is well known how easily such elections are carried under the influence of local excitement and local rivalries. If the rule of the State constitution which forbids all debts except in certain specified emergencies is deemed too stringent to be applied to local affairs, the legislature should at least accompany every authority to contract debt with an imperative requirement that a tax sufficient to pay off the indebtedness within a brief period shall be immediately levied, and thus compel every citizen who votes to increase debts to vote at the same time for an immediate increase of taxes sufficient to discharge them.
The wisdom of the policy long since adopted of placing a judicious limitation on the power of municipal authorities to levy taxes has been vindicated by experience. It must, however, ultimately fail to accomplish its object if the increase of municipal indebtedness is allowed to go on. To authorize a town to contract a debt, whose expenditures already require taxation up to the limit allowed by law, is, in its necessary effect, tantamount to a repeal of the limitation.
Under the provisions of the eighth article of the constitution, already referred to, the State debt, notwithstanding the extraordinary expenditures of the war, has been reduced from over twenty millions, the amount due in 1851, until it is now only about seven millions. An important part of the constitutional provisions which have been so successful in State finances is the section which requires the creation of a sinking fund and the annual payment of a constantly increasing sum on the principal of the State debt. Let a requirement analogous to this be enacted in regard to existing local indebtedness; let a judicious limitation of the rate of taxation which local authorities may levy be strictly adhered to, and allow no further indebtedness to be authorized except in conformity with these principles; and we may, I believe, confidently expect that within a few years the burdens of debt now resting upon the cities and towns of the State will disappear, and that other wholesome and much needed reforms in the whole administration of our municipal government will of necessity follow the adoption of what may be called the cash system in local affairs.
Among the most interesting duties you will have to perform are those which relate to the guardianship and care of the unfortunate classes of society and to the punishment and reformation of criminals. According to the latest official reports the State is responsible for the support and care of about fifteen thousand of her dependent citizens. The State is also bound to see that many thousands more, who are imprisoned for longer or shorter periods on account of crime, have just and wise treatment. There is annually expended in the performance of these duties a sum exceeding two and a half millions of dollars. The people of Ohio feel a profound interest in what are known as the benevolent, reformatory, and penal institutions of the State.
In order that the General Assembly might from time to time receive full and accurate information as to the efficiency of the management of these institutions, and of the county and city jails, infirmaries, and work-houses, it was enacted in 1867 that a Board of State Charities be established. It was intended that this board should be composed of citizens of intelligence and benevolence, who would serve without compensation. They were "to investigate the system of the public charitable and correctional institutions of the State, and to make such recommendations as they might deem necessary." They were also required to make annually a full and complete report of their doings to the legislature. In pursuance of this law a board was organized, which, at a trifling expense to the State, did much valuable work. By reason of their investigations and reports, important improvements were introduced into the infirmaries and jails of the State, and the general efficiency of our penal and reformatory system was increased. In 1872 the General Assembly, without due consideration, it is believed, repealed the act creating the board. I respectfully recommend that the Board of State Charities be re-established.
It is believed that an investigation in the interest of economy will discover that several offices, somewhat expensive to the State, may, without detriment to the public service, be either abolished, or so consolidated as to accomplish a material saving to the treasury.
Agreeing generally with the sentiments of Governor Allen's recent message, I desire especially to concur in what is said on the subject of the National Centennial Celebration.
No community in the world has been permitted by Providence to enjoy more largely the blessings conferred on mankind by the great event of 1776 than the people of Ohio. Ohio and her interests had no existence one hundred years ago. They are the growth of less than a century. The people naturally wish that their State, and her history, and her advantages should be widely known. No other such opportunity for their exhibition will probably occur for several generations.
Let your session be short—avoid all schemes requiring excessive expenditure, whether State or local, and your constituents will cheerfully approve the appropriation required to secure to Ohio a fitting representation in the approaching celebration of the Nation's birth.
Before taking the oath of office, I desire to make my acknowledgments to my predecessor, Governor Allen, for the friendly and considerate way in which he has treated me, both during and since the recent political contest in Ohio; and to express the wish, in which I am sure you and all the people whom he has served will unite with me, that, returning to his beautiful home overlooking the ancient capital of our State, he may enjoy for many years to come the best blessings which belong to this stage of existence.
NOMINATION TO THE PRESIDENCY.
Early Suggestions—Letters on Subject—Garfield Letter—Action of State Convention—Cincinnati Convention—Course of his Friends—First and Second Day's Events—Speech of Noyes—Balloting—Nominated on Seventh Ballot—Officially Notified—Habits—Personal Appearance—Family—Letter of Acceptance—Character as a Soldier, Magistrate, and Man—Domestic Surroundings.
No able man can for a long time fill the office of chief magistrate of one of the three great States of the Union without having his name more or less mentioned by his friends in connection with the presidency. As early as October, 1871, the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Cincinnati, at a large public meeting held in that city just prior to the fall election, introduced Governor Hayes as the next Republican candidate for President of the United States.
In 1872 a modest poet was inspired by the surrounding sentiment to sing:
"We bow not down to yonder rising sun, As did the Parsee worshiper of old, But bend in homage when its race is run, And watch it sink in purple-fretted gold. And thus to thee, oh Hayes! the tried, the true, On battle-field and in the civic chair, Our heart's deep gratitude, thy meed and due, (As closes far too soon thy proud career), Goes out with benedictions pure and high: Oh may thy set be brief, and, like the sun, Rise thou again—thy light to fill the sky, A brighter course of glory still to run, Till millions now unborn shall hail thy name In ages yet to come, with grand acclaim!"
Early in 1875 he was overwhelmed with letters urging upon him the acceptance of the third nomination for governor. Many of these letters presented as an inducement in favor of acceptance that if he ran for governor and succeeded in beating Allen, the prize of the presidency would be within his reach. To one of these letters from a leading editor he replied on April 10:
"The personal advantages you suggest rather tend to repel me. The melancholy thing in our public life is the insane desire to get higher.... But now I can't take that direction, and I will be ever so much obliged if you will help drop me out of it as smoothly as may be."
To a member of the State legislature he wrote:
"Content with the past, I am not in a state of mind about the future. It is for us to act well in the present. George E. Pugh used to say there is no political hereafter."
In the canvass of 1875, so much were the hearts of the people set upon having their great State leader the National leader, that the masses were invited in announcements for political meetings to come out and hear "the next President of the United States."
As illustrating the firmness of Governor Hayes in adhering to convictions, we give below a letter addressed to Hon. James A. Garfield. It must be remembered that at the time this letter was written the paper money madness prevailed through Ohio and in Congress to an alarming extent.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, STATE OF OHIO, } COLUMBUS, March 4, 1876. }
My Dear General:
I have your note of 2d. I am kept busy with callers, correspondence, and the routine details of the office, and have not therefore tried to keep abreast of the currents of opinion on any of the issues. My notion is that the true contest is to be between inflation and a sound currency. The Democrats are again drifting all to the wrong side. We need not divide on details, on methods, or time when.
The previous question will again be irredeemable paper as a permanent policy, or a policy which seeks a return to coin. My opinion is decidedly against yielding a hair's breadth.
We can't be on the inflation side of the question. We must keep our face, our front, firmly in the other direction. "No steps backward," must be something more than unmeaning platform words. "The drift of sentiment among our friends in Ohio," which you inquire about, will depend on the conduct of our leading men. It is for them to see that the right sentiment is steadily upheld. We are in a condition such that firmness and adherence to principle are of peculiar value just now. I would "consent" to no backward steps. To yield or compromise is weakness, and will destroy us. If a better resumption measure can be substituted for the present one, that may do. But keep cool. We can better afford to be beaten in Congress than to back out.
Sincerely, R. B. HAYES.
Here is high courage and lofty political morality. The letter proclaims the grand truth that the only inquiry worthy of a statesman is, not what the tendency of public opinion is, but what ought it to be?
To a delegate to the Cincinnati Convention he wrote, under date of April 6:
"Having done absolutely nothing to make myself the candidate of Ohio, I feel very little responsibility for future results. When the State Convention was called it seemed probable that if I encouraged my friends to organize for the purpose, every district would elect my decided supporters. But to make such an effort in my own behalf, to use Payne's phrase on repudiation, 'I abhorred.'"
The Republican State Convention, which met March 29, had passed, by a unanimous vote, and with boundless enthusiasm, the following resolution:
"The Republican party of Ohio, having full confidence in the honesty, ability, and patriotism of Rutherford B. Hayes, cordially presents him to the National Republican Convention, for the nomination for president of the United States, and our State delegates to that Convention are instructed and the district delegates are requested to use their earnest efforts to secure his nomination."
We shall not stop to trace the growth of the Hayes sentiment in other States. When the Sixth Republican National Convention assembled in Cincinnati, on June 14, 1876, the situation was this: Hayes was the first choice of every one for the second place on the ticket, and every one's second choice for the first. He and his friends had in no way antagonized other candidates, and had been guilty of no uncharitableness of judgment toward them. In the convention, he was modestly presented as the one candidate who could harmonize all interests, and unite all party elements. His friends argued that he combined merit and availability to a higher degree than any one whose name was before the convention.
The spirit of the convention was good, and there seemed a willing response to this portion of the opening prayer:
"By Thy grace, give to them a spirit of concord, that harmony may prevail in their counsels; a spirit of wisdom that may discern and use the right means to promote the end for which they are convened; a spirit of patriotism, that the prosperity of the Nation may overshadow all personal or sectional desires; a spirit of courage, that they may be faithful to the deepest convictions of duty."
Ex-Governor Morgan, of New York, Chairman of the National Executive Committee, in his opening address, pertinently said:
"Resumption accomplished, then, in all human probability, will follow ten or fifteen years of prosperity, equal to that of any former period, perhaps greater than the country has yet seen. If you will, in addition, put a plank in your platform, declaring for such an amendment of the constitution as will extend the presidential office to six years, and make the incumbent ineligible for re-election, you will deserve the gratitude of the American people."
The Hon. Theodore M. Pomeroy, Temporary Chairman, forcibly declared:
"No, gentlemen, the late war was not a mere prize-fight for National supremacy. It was the outgrowth of the conflict of irreconcilable moral, social, and political forces. Democracy had its lot with the moral, social, and political forces of the cause which was lost; the Republican party with those which triumphed and survived. The preservation of the results of that victory devolves upon us here and now. Democracy has no traditions of the past, no impulses of the present, no aspirations for the future, fitting it for this task. The reaction of 1874 has already spent itself in a vain effort to realize the situation. It has simply demonstrated that no change in the machinery of the government can be had outside of the Republican party, without drawing with it a practical nullification of the great work of reconstruction, financial chaos, and administrative revolution. The present House of Representatives has succeeded in nothing except the development of its own incapacity."
The additional speeches delivered on the first day (which was devoted to organization) were by Senator Logan, General Joseph R. Hawley, Ex-Governor Noyes, Rev. Henry Highland Garnett, Ex-Governor Wm. A. Howard, of Michigan, and Fred. Douglass.
Mr. Douglass was vociferously applauded, when he said:
"The thing, however, in which I feel the deepest interest, and the thing in which I believe this country feels the deepest interest, is that the principles involved in the contest which carried your sons and brothers to the battle-field, which draped our Northern churches with the weeds of mourning, and filled our towns and our cities with mere stumps of men—armless, legless, maimed, and mutilated—the thing for which you poured out your blood and piled a debt for after-coming generations higher than a mountain of gold, to weigh down the necks of your children and your children's children—I say those principles, those principles involved in that tremendous contest, are to be dearer to the American people in the great political struggle now upon them than any other principles we have."
The most significant event of the first day's proceedings was the reading from the platform, by George William Curtis, of the outspoken address of the Republican Reform Club of the city of New York.
The Hon. Edward McPherson, of Pennsylvania, was chosen permanent chairman. The important events of the second day's proceedings were the adoption of the platform and the putting presidential candidates in nomination. The candidate the convention subsequently selected was placed in nomination by Ex-Governor Noyes, of Ohio, through the following eminently appropriate speech:
GENTLEMEN:—On behalf of the forty-four delegates from Ohio, representing the entire Republican party of Ohio, I have the honor to present to this convention the name of a gentleman well known and favorably known throughout the country; one held in high respect, and much beloved, by the people of Ohio; a man who, during the dark and stormy days of the rebellion, when those who are invincible in peace and invisible in battle were uttering brave words to cheer their neighbors on, himself, in the fore-front of battle, followed his leaders and his flag until the authority of our government was established from the lakes to the Gulf, and from the river round to the sea. A man who has had the rare good fortune since the war was over to be twice elected to Congress from the district where he resided, and subsequently the rarer fortune of beating successively for the highest office in the gift of the people of Ohio, Allen G. Thurman, George H. Pendleton, and William Allen. He is a gentleman who has somehow fallen into the habit of defeating Democratic aspirants for the Presidency, and we in Ohio all have a notion that from long experience he will be able to do it again. In presenting the name of Governor Hayes, permit me to say we wage no war upon the distinguished gentlemen whose names have been mentioned here to-day. They have rendered great service to their country, which entitles them to our respect and to our gratitude. I have no word to utter against them. I only wish to say that General Hayes is the peer of these gentlemen in integrity, in character, in ability. They appear as equals in all the great qualities which fit men for the highest positions which the American people can give them. Governor Hayes is honest; he is brave; he is unpretending; he is wise, sagacious, a scholar, and a gentleman. Enjoying an independent fortune, the simplicity of his private life, his modesty of bearing, is a standing rebuke to the extravagance—the reckless extravagance—which leads to corruption in public and in private places.
Remember now, delegates to the convention, that a responsible duty rests upon you. You can be governed by no wild impulse. You can run no fearful risks in this campaign. You must, if you would succeed, nominate a candidate here who will not only carry the old, strong Republican States, but who will carry Indiana, Ohio, and New York, as well as other doubtful States. We care not who the man shall be, other than our own candidate. Whoever you nominate, men of the convention, shall receive our heartiest and most earnest efforts for their success. But we beg to submit that in Governor Hayes you have those qualities which are calculated best to compromise all difficulties, and to soften all antagonisms. He has no personal enemies: His private life is so pure that no man has ever dared to assail it. His public acts throughout all these years have been above suspicion even. I ask you, then, if, in the lack of these antagonisms, and with all of these good qualities, living in a State which holds its election in October, the result of which will be decisive, it may be, of the presidential campaign—it is not worth while to see to it that a candidate is nominated against whom nothing can be said, and who is sure to succeed in the campaign?
In conclusion, permit me to say that, if the wisdom of this convention shall decide at last that Governor Hayes' nomination is safest, and is best, that decision will meet with such responsive enthusiasm here in Ohio as will insure Republican success at home, and which will be so far-reaching and wide-spreading as to make success almost certain from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The nomination was seconded by Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio, Colonel J. W. Davis, of West Virginia, Hon. A. St. Gem, and Hon. J. P. Jones, of Missouri.
The third and last day of the sitting of the Convention was employed in balloting and in making the nominations.
At twenty minutes to 11 the balloting for president began:
Bl: Blaine Mo: Morton Co: Conkling Br: Bristow Hy: Hayes Hr: Hartranft Wh: Wheeler Je: Jewell
- - - - - - - - - STATES. Bl Mo Co Br Hy Hr Wh Je - - - - - - - - - Alabama 10 7 2 1 Arkansas 12 California 9 1 2 Connecticut 2 10 Delaware 6 Florida 1 4 8 Georgia 5 6 8 3 Illinois 38 3 1 Indiana 30 Iowa 22 Kansas 10 Kentucky 24 Louisiana 2 14 Maine 14 Maryland 16 Massachusetts 6 17 3 Michigan 8 1 9 4 Minnesota 10 Mississippi 12 3 Missouri 14 12 1 2 1 Nebraska 6 Nevada 2 3 1 New Hampshire 7 3 New Jersey 13 5 New York 69 1 North Carolina 9 2 7 1 Ohio 44 Oregon 6 Pennsylvania 58 Rhode Island 2 6 South Carolina 13 1 Texas 2 5 3 6 Tennessee 4 10 10 Vermont 1 8 1 Virginia 16 3 3 West Virginia 8 2 Wisconsin 20 Arizona 2 Colorado 6 Dakota 2 Idaho 2 Montana 2 New Mexico 2 Utah 2 District of Columbia 2 Washington 2 Wyoming 1 1 - - - - - - - - - Totals 285 125 99 113 61 58 3 11 - - - - - - - - -
The second ballot resulted as follows: Blaine, 296; Morton, 120; Bristow, 114; Conkling, 93; Hayes, 64; Hartranft, 63: Wheeler, 3; Washburne, 1.
Third ballot: Blaine, 293; Bristow, 121; Morton, 113; Conkling, 90; Hartranft, 08; Hayes, 67; Wheeler, 2; Washburne, 1.
Fourth ballot: Blaine, 292; Bristow, 126; Morton, 108; Conkling, 84; Hartranft, 71; Hayes, 68; Washburne, 3; Wheeler, 2.
Fifth ballot: Whole number of votes cast, 755. Necessary to a choice, 378. Not voting, 1. Blaine, 286; Morton, 95; Bristow, 114; Conkling, 82; Hayes, 104; Hartranft, 69; Wheeler (Mass.), 2; Washburne, (Ga. 1, 111. 1, Minn. 1), 3.
On this ballot Hayes passed from the fifth to the third place, through the aid of 22 votes cast for him by Michigan, and 12 by North Carolina. This was the first distinct foreshadowing of the result.
On the sixth ballot Hayes was second, the vote standing: Blaine, 308; Hayes, 113; Bristow, 111; Morton, 85; Conkling, 81; Hartranft, 50; Washburne, 5; Wheeler, 2.
The decisive ballot stood:
STATES. Hayes Blaine Bristow
Alabama 17 3 Arkansas 1 11 California 3 16 Connecticut 3 2 7 Delaware 6 Florida 8 Georgia 7 14 1 Illinois 3 35 5 Indiana 25 5 Iowa 22 Kansas 10 Kentucky 24 Louisiana 2 14 Maine 14 Maryland 16 Massachusetts 21 5 Michigan 22 Minnesota 1 9 Mississippi 16 Missouri 10 20 Nebraska 6 Nevada 6 New Hampshire 3 7 New Jersey 6 12 New York 61 9 North Carolina 20 Ohio 44 Oregon 6 Pennsylvania 28 30 Rhode Island 6 2 South Carolina 7 7 Texas 15 1 Tennessee 18 6 Vermont 10 Virginia 8 14 West Virginia 4 6 Wisconsin 4 16 Arizona 2 Colorado 6 Dakota 2 Idaho 2 Montana 2 New Mexico 2 Utah 2 District of Columbia 2 Washington 2 Wyoming 2
Totals 381 351 21
The nomination of Governor Hayes was received with indescribable enthusiasm, with long-continued cheering, and every other demonstration of joy and delight.
Outside of Ohio the State that contributed most to this far-reaching result was Michigan. From the fact that Mr. Bristow telegraphed to the Kentucky delegation several hours before the crisis was reached to cast their votes for Hayes, that State should share, after Michigan, the honor of achieving the grand result. Indiana, North Carolina, and New York followed close upon Kentucky, if it is possible to compare the value of the aid each State brought.
On motion of the Hon. Wm. P. Frye, of Maine, Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the unanimous choice of the Republican National Convention for President of the United States.
This great convention concluded its labors by nominating the able and incorruptible Wm. A. Wheeler, of New York, for vice-president by acclamation.
On the 17th of June, the day following the nomination, the committee appointed by the convention to notify Governor Hayes of the fact presented themselves in the executive office at Columbus.
Mr. McPherson, the chairman, approaching him, said:
"GOVERNOR HAYES: We have been deputed by the National convention of the Republican party, holden at Cincinnati on the 14th of the present month, to inform you officially that you have been unanimously nominated by that convention for the office of President of the United States. The manner in which that action was taken, and the response to it from every portion of the country, attest the strength of the popular confidence in you and the belief that your administration will be wise, courageous, and just. We say, sir, your administration, for we believe that the people will confirm the action of the convention, and thus save the country from the control of the men and the operations of the principles and policy of the Democratic party. We have also been directed to ask your attention to the summary of the Republican doctrine contained in the platform adopted by the convention. In discharging this agreeable duty we find cause of congratulation in the harmonious action of the convention, and in the hearty response given by the people we see the promise of assured success. Ohio, we know, trusts and honors you. Henceforth you belong to the whole country. Under circumstances so auspicious, we trust you will indicate your acceptance of the nomination."
The governor, who had had no intimation as to what the length or character of the address would be, was left in doubt with respect to the response expected from him by the committee. He, however, without embarrassment, but in an intentionally subdued tone of voice, gave this appropriately brief reply:
"SIR: I have only to say in response to your information that I accept the nomination. Perhaps at the present time it would be improper for me to say more than this, although even now I should be glad to give some expression to the profound sense of gratitude I feel for the confidence reposed in me by yourselves and those for whom you act. At a future time I shall take occasion to present my acceptance in writing, with my views upon the platform."
Since his nomination for the presidency, Governor Hayes has changed in no perceptible respect the habits, recreations, or labors of his daily life. He rises early and accomplishes much work before breakfast. He labors in the executive office in the capitol from nine until five, discharging his varied duties as governor, answering or dictating the answers to be given his official, political, and private correspondence, and remaining at all times accessible to visitors of every age, sex, color, and condition, who seek to see him. His evenings are passed with his family, or at the social parties of his many friends. He makes his customary trips to his home and farms near Fremont, and, while profitably managing large property interests, finds time to devote to pioneer history, to domestic architecture, to gardening, to general literature, to languages, and other liberal studies and pursuits. He is sobered, but not overpowered or oppressed by the new responsibilities cast upon him. He suffers himself to be—as he ever has been—natural. Moderate, discreet, and wise in all things as he has been in the past and is in the present, he is conspicuously one who grows wiser each day that he lives.
Governor Hayes has reached the age of fifty-four, is five feet nine inches in height, and weighs one hundred and eighty pounds. Perfect health and habits leave him just in the ripe maturity of physical manhood and mind. His shoulders and breast are broad, his frame solid and compact, his limbs muscular and strong. He has a fresh, ruddy complexion, is full of activity and elasticity, and is very fond of the amusements of young people. He has an exceptionally high and full forehead, a prominent nose, and bluish-gray eyes. A heavy sandy mustache and beard, which are silvered a little, conceal his mouth and chin. His light-brown hair is thin and slightly sprinkled with gray.
The Governor is the father of eight children, five of whom are now living. Those still living were born as follows: Birchard Austin, November 4, 1853; Webb Cook, March 20, 1856; Rutherford Platt, June 24, 1858; Fanny Hayes, September 2, 1867; Scott Russell, February 8, 1871.
The youngest of these children was born in Columbus, the others in Cincinnati. The oldest son graduated at Cornell University, in the class of 1874, and is now at the Harvard Law School. The second son passed three years at Cornell, and is now at home. The third son is at Cornell.
Three weeks from the day that Governor Hayes was nominated for the Presidency, his private secretary, Captain A. E. Lee, put upon the telegraphic wires, at Columbus, the following accurate copy of:
THE LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, July 8, 1876.
Hon. Edward McPherson, Hon. Wm. A. Howard, Hon. Joseph H. Rainey, and others, Committee of the Republican National Convention.
GENTLEMEN: In reply to your official communication of June 17, by which I am informed of my nomination for the office of President of the United States by the Republican National Convention at Cincinnati, I accept the nomination with gratitude, hoping that, under Providence, I shall be able, if elected, to execute the duties of the high office as a trust for the benefit of all the people.
I do not deem it necessary to enter upon any extended examination of the declaration of principles made by the convention. The resolutions are in accord with my views, and I heartily concur in the principles they announce. In several of the resolutions, however, questions are considered which are of such importance that I deem it proper to briefly express my convictions in regard to them.
The fifth resolution adopted by the convention is of paramount interest. More than forty years ago, a system of making appointments to office grew up, based upon the maxim "To the victors belong the spoils." The old rule, the true rule, that honesty, capacity, and fidelity constitute the only real qualifications for office, and that there is no other claim, gave place to the idea that party services were to be chiefly considered. All parties, in practice, have adopted this system. It has been essentially modified since its first introduction. It has not, however, been improved.
At first the president, either directly or through the heads of departments, made all the appointments. But gradually the appointing power, in many cases, passed into the control of members of Congress. The offices, in these cases, have become not merely rewards for party services, but rewards for services to party leaders. This system destroys the independence of the separate departments of the government; it tends directly to extravagance and official incapacity; it is a temptation to dishonesty; it hinders and impairs that careful supervision and strict accountability by which alone faithful and efficient public service can be secured; it obstructs the prompt removal and sure punishment of the unworthy. In every way it degrades the civil service and the character of the government. It is felt, I am confident, by a large majority of the members of Congress, to be an intolerable burden, and an unwarrantable hindrance to the proper discharge of their legitimate duties. It ought to be abolished. The reform should be thorough, radical, and complete.
We should return to the principles and practice of the founders of the government, supplying by legislation, when needed, that which was formerly established custom. They neither expected nor desired from the public officer any partisan service. They meant that public officers should owe their whole service to the government and to the people. They meant that the officer should be secure in his tenure as long as his personal character remained untarnished, and the performance of his duties satisfactory. If elected, I shall conduct the administration of the government upon these principles; and all constitutional powers vested in the executive will be employed to establish this reform.
The declaration of principles by the Cincinnati Convention makes no announcement in favor of a single presidential term. I do not assume to add to that declaration; but, believing that the restoration of the civil service to the system established by Washington and followed by the early presidents can be best accomplished by an executive who is under no temptation to use the patronage of his office to promote his own re-election, I desire to perform what I regard as a duty, in stating now my inflexible purpose, if elected, not to be a candidate for election to a second term.
On the currency question, I have frequently expressed my views in public, and I stand by my record on this subject. I regard all the laws of the United States relating to the payment of the public indebtedness, the legal tender notes included, as constituting a pledge and moral obligation of the Government, which must in good faith be kept. It is my conviction that the feeling of uncertainty inseparable from an irredeemable paper currency, with its fluctuations of values, is one of the great obstacles to a revival of confidence and business, and to a return of prosperity. That uncertainty can be ended in but one way—the resumption of specie payments; but the longer the instability connected with our present money system is permitted to continue, the greater will be the injury inflicted upon our economical interests, and all classes of society.
If elected, I shall approve every appropriate measure to accomplish the desired end, and shall oppose any step backward.
The resolution with respect to the public school system is one which should receive the hearty support of the American people. Agitation upon this subject is to be apprehended, until, by constitutional amendment, the schools are placed beyond all danger of sectarian control or interference. The Republican party is pledged to secure such an amendment.
The resolution of the convention on the subject of the permanent pacification of the country, and the complete protection of all its citizens in the free enjoyment of all their constitutional rights, is timely and of great importance. The condition of the Southern States attracts the attention and commands the sympathy of the people of the whole Union. In their progressive recovery from the effects of the war, their first necessity is an intelligent and honest administration of government, which will protect all classes of citizens in all their political and private rights. What the South most needs is peace, and peace depends upon the supremacy of law. There can be no enduring peace if the constitutional rights of any portion of the people are habitually disregarded. A division of political parties, resting merely upon distinctions of race, or upon sectional lines, is always unfortunate, and may be disastrous. The welfare of the South, alike with that of every other part of the country, depends upon the attractions it can offer to labor, to immigration, and to capital. But laborers will not go, and capital will not be ventured, where the constitution and the laws are set at defiance, and distraction, apprehension, and alarm, take the place of peace-loving and law-abiding social life. All parts of the constitution are sacred, and must be sacredly observed—the parts that are new no less than the parts that are old. The moral and material prosperity of the Southern States can be most effectively advanced by a hearty and generous recognition of the rights of all by all—a recognition without reserve or exception.
With such a recognition fully accorded, it will be practicable to promote, by the influence of all legitimate agencies of the general government, the efforts of the people of those States to obtain for themselves the blessings of honest and capable local government.
If elected, I shall consider it not only my duty, but it will be my ardent desire, to labor for the attainment of this end.
Let me assure my countrymen of the Southern States that if I shall be charged with the duty of organizing an Administration, it will be one which will regard and cherish their truest interests—the interests of the white and of the colored people both, and equally; and which will put forth its best efforts in behalf of a civil policy which will wipe out forever the distinction between North and South in our common country.
With a civil service organized upon a system which will secure purity, experience, efficiency, and economy; with a strict regard for the public welfare, solely, in appointments; with the speedy, thorough, and unsparing prosecution and punishment of all public officers who betray official trusts; with a sound currency; with education unsectarian and free to all; with simplicity and frugality in public and private affairs, and with a fraternal spirit of harmony pervading the people of all sections and classes, we may reasonably hope that the second century of our existence as a Nation will, by the blessing of God, be pre-eminent as an era of good feeling, and a period of progress, prosperity, and happiness.
Very respectfully, Your fellow-citizen, R. B. HAYES.
The non-partisan verdict upon this letter is that it is faultless in style, sound in principle, courageous, broad and elevated in tone, liberal, wise, statesmanlike, and strong. It is, in short, the declaration of faith of an honest man who has a heart in his breast and a head on his shoulders, with purity in that heart and brains in that head.
The conclusions which follow our study of the public career of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, and the study of that interior life, the beauty of which the world will not know until he has passed from it, are briefly these.
In boyhood, in battle, in the civic chair, in the esteem of his State, in every duty and relation of life, he has been first, and now, it would seem, is first in the hearts of his countrymen. As a student, he was foremost; as a lawyer, he was in the front rank; as a soldier, he was the bravest; as a legislator, the most judicious; as a governor, second to none of Ohio's great magistrates.