Portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes

Civil War general, U.S. Congressman, and Governor of Ohio, Rutherford Birchard Hayes served as nineteenth President of the United States from March 3, 1877 to March 4, 1881. [Wikimedia Commons]

Rutherford Birchard Hayes - Facts

October 4, 1822 - January 17, 1893

Key facts about Rutherford B. Hayes, Civil War general, U.S. Congressman, and Governor of Ohio, who served as nineteenth President of the United States from March 3, 1877 to March 4, 1881.

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Full Name:

  • Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Birth Date:

  • October 4, 1822

Birth Location:

  • Delaware, Ohio

Parents:

  • Rutherford and Sophia (Birchard) Hayes

Education:

  • Kenyon College (1842)
  • Harvard Law School (1845)

Occupation:

  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Military officer

Career Summary:

  • Brigadier general (USVA)
  • Brevet major general (USVA)
  • U.S Congressman
  • Governor of Ohio
  • Nineteenth President of the United States

Spouse:

  • Lucy Ware Webb (1852)

Nickname(s):

  • Rutherfraud B. Hayes
  • His Fraudulency

Place of Death:

  • Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio

Date of Death:

  • January 17, 1893

Place of Burial:

  • Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio
  • Significance:

  • Rutherford B. Hayes’s father died ten weeks before Hayes was born.
  • After his father’s death, Rutherford B. Hayes was raised by his mother and his mother’s bachelor brother, Sardis Birchard, who lived in Lower Sandusky (Fremont), Ohio.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes attended common schools in Delaware, Ohio before enrolling in the Methodist Norwalk Seminary in Norwalk, Ohio in 1836 and a preparatory school in Middletown, Connecticut in 1837.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes entered Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1838 and graduated with honors in 1842.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was valedictorian of his graduating class at Kenyon College.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1845.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was admitted to the Ohio bar and opened his own law practice in Lower Sandusky (Fremont), Ohio in 1845.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1850 and opened a law office with John W. Herron.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes became engaged to Lucy Ware Webb in 1851 and the couple married on December 30, 1852.
  • A staunch abolitionist, Rutherford B. Hayes’s defense of escaped slaves raised his profile in the newly emerging Republican Party.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes served as city solicitor for Cincinnati from 1857 to 1859.
  • After the Civil War began, Ohio Governor William Dennison appointed Rutherford B. Hayes as a major in the 2nd Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry on June 27, 1861.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes took part in the Battle of Carnifex Ferry (September 10, 1861).
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was promoted to lieutenant colonel on October 24, 1861.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was shot in the arm during the Battle of South Mountain (September 14, 1862).
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was promoted to colonel and assigned to command of the first brigade of the Kanawha Division as a brevet brigadier general on October 24, 1862.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes’ Kanawha Division skirmished with John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry during the Battle of Buffington Island (July 19, 1863).
  • Rutherford B. Hayes led a charge at the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain (May 9, 1864) that drove Confederate troops from their entrenchments.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes took part in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, seeing action in Hunter’s Raid on Lexington (June 11, 1864), the Battle of Lynchburg (June 17-18, 1864) the Second battle of Lexington (October 19, 1864), and the Battles of Opequon Creek (September 19, 1864), Fisher’s Hill (September 22, 1864) and Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864).
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on October 9, 1864.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was promoted to brevet major general on March 3, 1865.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district in November 1864 while he was serving with the Army of the Shenandoah in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes served in the 39th and 40th Congresses from March 4, 1865 to July 20, 1867.
  • While in Congress, Rutherford B. Hayes supported civil rights for freed slaves and voted with the Republican majority on Reconstruction legislation.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes resigned his seat in Congress on July 20, 1867, to campaign for the office of Governor of Ohio.
  • In 1867, Rutherford B. Hayes won a closely contested election for Governor of Ohio against Democrat Allen G. Thurman by a margin of 2,983 votes of 484,603 votes cast.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was elected to a second term as Governor of Ohio in 1869.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was an unsuccessful candidate for the House of Representatives in 1872.
  • In 1873, Rutherford B. Hayes moved his family to the Birchard family estate in Fremont, Ohio.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was elected to the governorship of Ohio for a third term in 1875.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes served as the Governor of Ohio from January 1876 to March 2, 1877, when he resigned to assume the office of the presidency of the United States.
  • On June 16, 1876, delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cincinnati selected Rutherford B. Hayes as their candidate for President of the United States on the seventh convention vote.
  • In the controversial presidential election of 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel J. Tilden, in a contest decided by a special election committee established by the United States Congress.
  • After his election, Rutherford B. Hayes’s detractors referred to him as “Rutherfraud B. Hayes” and “His Fraudulency.”
  • Rutherford B. Hayes became the 19th President of the United States on March 3, 1877, and served until March 4, 1881.
  • Within two months of his inauguration, Rutherford B. Hayes ordered the removal of federal troops from South Carolina and Louisiana, ending Reconstruction.
  • During his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes defended voting rights for black Americans and he supported civil service reform.
  • In 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes dispatched federal troops to several locations to limit violence and end rioting by striking workers during the Great Railroad Strike of 1877.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes chose not to run for reelection in 1880, fulfilling a pledge to serve only one term.
  • After his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes retired to private life and served as an advocate for several social reforms.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes died of complications from a heart attack at his home on January 17, 1893.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was originally interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Fremont, Ohio.
  • In 1915, Rutherford B. Hayes’s remains were re-interred on the grounds of his estate, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, Ohio.
  • In 1916, the Hayes Commemorative Library and Museum, the first presidential library in the United States, was opened at Spiegel Grove.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to take the oath of office in the White House.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes is the only president whose election has been decided by a congressional commission.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was one of four Ohio Civil War officers who were later elected to the presidency (Grant, Hayes, Garfield, and McKinley).
  • Rutherford B. Hayes is the only president who was wounded during the Civil War.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes was wounded five times during the Civil War.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Rutherford Birchard Hayes - Facts
  • Coverage October 4, 1822 - January 17, 1893
  • Author
  • Keywords rutherford birchard. hayes, 19th president of the united states, american civil war, charles guiteau, battle of middle creek
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date August 1, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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