Former President Rutherford Hayes Expresses Satisfaction with Himself, His Successor, and John Sherman

March 6, 1881

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Former President Rutherford Hayes Expresses Satisfaction with Himself, His Successor, and John Sherman
Autograph Letter Signed
2 pages | SMC 1213

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      Background

      Two days after leaving office, and one day after the special train he was riding was involved in a collision that left two dead and eleven wounded, Hayes’ pauses to take stock of his administration, his public career, and the new President’s start. “The only untoward event connected with our leaving Washington was the accident at Severn by which a number of lives, perhaps four, were unfortunately lost,” Hayes begins. He has “written the President congratulating him warmly on his Inaugural Message and his Cabinet.” As he sees it, “his Administration starts under very favorable auspices." About his own Administration, Hayes is pleased - and appreciative:

      On the whole I am exceedingly gratified by the results, and the closing scenes of my administration. To no one am I more indebted - to no one am I so much indebted for the Career in public life which is now closed as I am to you. I want you to know that I know and appreciate this fact.

      Hayes is pleased to note, too, that in Sherman’s “extremely felicitous” farewell remarks to the Treasury Department, he did much to dispel the notion that his Secretary was “too cold in temperament.” Indeed, he closes with the thought that he knows “a most honorable course of public life is before” Sherman – and in it, he shall “always feel the deepest personal interest.”


      Autograph Letter Signed (twice: as “R.B. Hayes: and “H”), 2 pages, recto and verso, quarto, on the decorative letterhead of the Hogan House hotel, Altoona, Pennsylvania, March 6, 1881. To ex-Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman.
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      No 35 [...]

      Hogan House
      W. D. Tyler Sup't
      Altoona Pa.
      Keystone Hotel Co.

      Altoona, Pa. Sunday 6 March 1881

      My Dear Sir:

      We stopped over the day here, and expect to reach the house at Fremont. The only untoward event connected with our leaving Washington was the accident at Severn by which a number of lives, perhaps four, were unfortunately lost. This caused a delay of several hours. I have written the President congratulating him warmly on his Inaugural Message and his Cabinet. As I see it, his Administration starts under very favorable auspices.   I read the parting between you and the Treasury people. It was an affecting and interesting occasion. Your remarks were [text is crossed out] extremely felicitous. The notion that you are too cold in temperament will not outlast many such scenes.

      On the whole I am exceedingly gratified by the results, and the closing scenes of my administration.  To no one am I more indebted -  to no one am I so much indebted for the

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      Career in public life which is now closed as ^I am to you.  I want you to know that I know and appreciate this fact.  Please remember us warmly to Mrs Sherman and thank her for us both.

      I know that a most honorable course of public life is before you.  In it I shall always feel the deepest personal interest.

      Sincerely


      R B HAYES


      Hon John Sherman


      P.S. If I left a letter to Bowser of the Independent on your study table please mail it. Could you help Rogers to Hunts [sic] vacancy?

      H