Governor Hayes, Five Years Away From the Presidency, Tells His Jewish Confidant that He is Quitting Public Life Forever

May 29, 1871

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Governor Hayes, Five Years Away From the Presidency, Tells His Jewish Confidant that He is Quitting Public Life Forever
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 1211

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  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    Background

    Writing to his old comrade-in-arms whom, Hayes says, he cherishes as one of his true friends, the second term Governor announces to his Jewish confidante that he has decided to quit public life altogether:

    I am looking forward to a release from public life, and to freedom, as hopefully as a schoolboy to his coming vacation, or a soldier to a furlough. I retire absolutely. I shall make no attempt to go higher. If I ever accept public employment again, it will be incidental and for special reasons not as falling within the line of my life as now chosen.


    Hayes writes, too, that having recently visited the Shenandoah Valley battle scenes of 1864, to benefit his health as well as “revive recollections of stirring events,” he is feeling better; that he has a new baby boy; and encloses an account, not present, of the “estimation in which your church is held here.”
    Autograph Letter Signed (“R.B. Hayes”), as Governor, 2 pages, quarto, on the decorative stationery of the State of Ohio Executive Department, Columbus, Ohio, May 29, 1871. To Joseph A. Joel in New York City.
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    State of Ohio
    Executive Department.
    Columbus, 29th May 1871

    My Dear Joel :

    I was much gratified to receive your kind letter of the 10th.  Chills and fever, and as a consequence, inflamed eyes have prevented an earlier reply.  I went up the Shenandoah Valley two weeks ago, visiting the battle scenes of 1864, hoping to benefit health, as well as to revive recollections of stirring events.  I am now nearly well again.

    I congratulate you and Mrs [sic] Joel on your new happiness.  We also have another boy, now three and a half months old, a healthy well behaved little fellow.  It will not be possible to visit New York this season, I think.  I am looking forward to a release from public life, and to freedom, as hopefully as a schoolboy to his coming vacation, or a soldier to a furlough.  I retire absolutely.  I shall make no attempt to go higher.  If I ever accept public employ-

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    Page 2 transcript

    State of Ohio
    Executive Department.
    Columbus, ____ May 18__

    ment again, it will be incidental and for special reasons not as falling within the line of my life as now chosen.  

    I shall always cherish you as one of the true friends, and shall be interested in whatever befalls you.  

    The enclosed slip shows the estimation in which your church is held here.  Not less than ten or twelve Protestant clergymen of the City were also present.  

    Permit my kind regards to Mrs [sic] Joel.  

    Sincerely  

    RB HAYES  

    Jos [sic] A. Joel 

    New York City