The "Memoirs" of Thomas Donaldson
Republican National Convention, Philadelphia, Pa. Continental Hotel. May [June 4-6] 1872.—A great fight goes on in the Ohio Delegation to the Republican National Convention in this city to get a unanimous vote for General Grant’s renomination. Si [Josiah L.] Keck, a delegate from Cincinnati, swore that he would be d--d if he would vote for him. In the convention, at the Academy of Music, I sat with the Ohio delegation, and watched them squeeze Si into the traces. He wore a cap, and was an impulsive and hot headed man. After much kicking and cajoling, he voted for Grant, of course. General R. B. Hayes [an error; Donaldson meant Edward F. Noyes] got into the [Ohio] delegation in an odd way. Ex-Governor William Dennison of Ohio (who died in June , 1882), wanted to be nominated for Vice President; so in the Columbus district he had his brother-in-law, W. A. Neil, of Madison County, elected a delegate. In the rooms of the delegation at Continental Hotel, Neil resigned, and ex-Governor R. B. Hayes [Noyes] being present was selected as a delegate in his stead. Ex-Governor Hayes was put on the Committee on Resolutions.
The Ohio Delegation put a banner out of the window of their rooms with "Grant and Dennison" on it. There was a heavy drizzling rain, and the banner clung to the balcony. The day after it was put out, William D. Bickham, editor of the Dayton, Ohio, Journal, hauled it in. He said, "It’s all folly; Bill Dennison is a clever fellow, but he has no more chance of being nominated Vice President that I have; it is folly." With that he threw the banner into a corner of the room. Bickham, a warm hearted but a curious man, attends all Republican National Conventions as measles does childhood.
General J[oseph] R. Hawley of Conn. [Secretary], Gen. R. B. Hayes of Ohio, and Glenni W. Schofield [Scofield] of Pa. [Chairman], were appointed a sub-committee of the Committee of Resolutions, to arrange the platform. They got the [sub-] committee out of the room, gathered up all the resolutions that had been offered, and sat down to work. Scofield soon went to sleep and Hawley and Hayes fixed the platform. I heard Governor Hayes, in December 1877, while President, one night at midnight in the White House, joke Hawley about what they did that night at the Philadelphia convention of 1872 while on the committee of Resolutions. President Hayes told me in 1880 that Scofield was a long-headed and a very wise man. Scofield, an ex-Member of Congress, became Judge [Associate Justice] on the bench of the [U.S.] Court of Claims at Washington [1881-1891], after being Register of the Treasury [1878-1881], and retired in 1891.
One day when I was in his office in the Treasury in 1880, Judge Scofield asked if I knew Wayne McVeagh. He said that he frequently met McVeagh at table at the Riggs, but that he had the impression that he was a small man mentally; that he never seemed serious in anything he undertook, always trying to be witty. He did not think he had much substance. I assured him that Mr. McVeagh was very able and that his wit was natural.
Philadelphia, Pa. [Thursday] November 2, 1876—After the session of the Centennial Commission to-day, ex-Governor R[ichard] C. McCormick [of Arizona] who had arrived during the day, called Genl. [Joseph R.] Hawley, [A.T.] Goshorn and myself along with Mr. John [A.] Wasson of Arizona, into Mr. Goshorn’s room. He said that at a consultation held at the Republican Committee rooms in New York the evening before, Mr. Thurlow Weed and others had insisted that there was danger of Gov. Hayes being defeated for the Presidency by reason of voters being at the Centennial, and [suggested] that Governor McCormick should come to Philadelphia and insist that the Exhibition be closed on Tuesday, November 7th, election day. I was for it, as I had insisted before that we had no right to interject a great ceremonial at the close of the Exhibition so as to interfere with the duties of citizens, and voted against it [keeping the Exhibition open on election day] in the Commission. I did not believe in having any great attraction on [the Exhibition’s] closing day to keep men from staying at home and voting (all parties).
George K. Nash, Hayes’ friend at Columbus, Ohio, and Chairman [Treasurer] of the State [Executive] Committee, had written me to have it closed. I have no doubt Governor Hayes knew it. This evening I favored closing it on election day, and of giving widespread notice by means of the telegraph that it would be closed that day. President Hawley was undecided and Goshorn was against it on account of a loss of revenue. Finally I suggested that we advertise that in consideration of the great interest they had taken and influence they had exercised, we would devote [election day] Tuesday, November 7th, to the ladies, and that none but the ladies would be admitted on that day. The result of the talk was that it came to nothing. The others declined to act.
Columbus, Ohio [Monday] November 27, 1876—I came here to-day at the request of some political friends from Washington to see Governor R. B. Hayes. He was very cordial and took me into his private office to chat over the situation. He asserted promptly his belief in his election, but that he had never had a doubt since 1873 that the country was passing into the democracy, owing to increased citizenship from naturalization and the South; and the mixed political result, just over, was one of the indications.
Governor Hayes was quite anxious about who would be Speaker of the next House, and also anxious to know what I thought Governor [LaFayette] Grover [of Oregon] would do in the matter of the electors, and whether [E. A.] Cronin, the one Democratic elector who claimed to be elected, would be given a certificate by Governor Grover.
Governor Hayes was never seated during the hour’s chat. He kept moving about the floor, stepping quickly from one block of the marble floor to the other. He showed me a bundle of, say, fifty, letters asking for his autograph. His son answered most of them, so the writers got the son’s signature for the father’s. He inquired much about public men and as to their opinions of the recent election, and especially about [former Congressman] D. J. Morrell of Pennsylvania; and as to J. G. Blaine’s views of the result.
While I was with him a crazy man opened the door abruptly, came in, and said he was looking for his glasses. He had a razor and his eyes [were] glazed. He turned out to be a wandering crazy man. He had not lost his glasses, and simply wanted to carve Mr. Hayes. The Governor kept his eye on him, took him by the arm and quietly led him to the door and closed it. I gave a sigh of relief. Undoubtedly he meant to assault the Governor, and by his inquiry for his glasses forced his way into the inner office where we were. He was captured outside and taken off.
In the chat about the election just passed, Governor Hayes thought we had unquestionably carried all of the Southern States which we claimed to have carried. I asked him to account for our losing the House of Representatives, and for the queer vote in several States. He had on squeaky shoes which kept up an ominous squeak as he stepped about from one 14 in. square of marble to the other; these were white and black alternately. He stopped walking and said, "One day while the canvass for the Presidency was on, and while on a visit to the northern part of this State, I saw some men putting the tin on the mansard of a large building. Someone had painted on one side of the roof with red paint, ‘Tilden and good times,’ and on the other, ‘Hayes and bad times.’ I think this is the key to much of the result."
When I left him, Governor Hayes made me promise to write him and give details of affairs at Washington, I being a member of the Republican National Committee.
Washington, D.C., February 1877.—While the Electoral Commission was on, David Dudley Field was running the [Select] Committee [on the Privileges, Powers and Duties of the House of Representatives in the Vote for the President and Vice President of the United States] and examining witnesses. By some means he got information of a Republican check or checks for $10,000, in the Third National Bank, New York, drawn by Mr. Zach. Chandler to the order of Governor Hayes, and endorsed by Governor Hayes to A. T. Wykoff, chairman of the Ohio Republican Committee. The [check] was [issued] in the fall of 1876, and gathered from assessments on office holders. Governor [Richard C.] McCormick told me that upon Governor Hayes sending for the money to Chandler, he [Chandler] became very angry at the fact that a State having the candidate should draw on the National Committee for money for election expenses, so he made the drafts payable to Governor Hayes. McCormick tried to stop him, but he sent them off anyway. They [the cancelled checks] were returned to the bank in New York, and Fields obtained possession of [them and also] some queer facts relating to Mr. Tilden’s bank account, of just as much political importance. Mr. Field, upon being advised of this, stopped further examination on this point. As an intended political offset, Governor McCormick showed me (about February 15th, 1877), a letter from Governor Hayes which had evidently been written a few days before, but of date September 1876, protesting against assessments of officers of the Government for political purposes as being against the spirit of acceptance; this was not used as the necessity did not arise.
H[oratio] C. Burchard, M. C. of Illinois (Republican) on the Committee with Field, was, in case Field exposed the checks, to ask Governor McCormick, as an offset, "If the Committee had ever been advised by Governor Hayes, that he was opposed to assessments for political purposes;" and then Governor McCormick was to pull the letter out and read it. D. D. Field fought shy, no questions were asked, and Governor Hayes’ letter against assessments never saw daylight. I read it. The sending of money to Governor Hayes was true. It was lawfully used, so what was the harm?
The "New York Sun" in August or September, 1877, published a facsimile of the two drafts.
The first day of the count for President (Tilden and Hayes) I stood on the floor of the House immediately in the rear of James F. Wilson of Iowa. When D[avid] D[udley] Field of New York got up to object to the count of Florida, Wilson said: "D--n him! Objections come with bad grace from him, a new member and for a purpose, and a former Republican." Wilson [formerly of Ohio] is one of the ablest members of Congress. I have known him many years. At the Cincinnati convention of 1876 it was agreed in caucus that he should be (and would have been) President or chairman thereof but for the fact of his being railroad magnate.
When the state of Alabama was called and its vote recorded without objection, Ex-Governor R. C. McCormick, Secretary of the Republican National Committee, who stood near me, said: "There, what cowardice! We have been working up a case in that state for a week, and Spencer, who was to object, has fizzled out." Senator [George Eliphaz] Spencer, it was stated, had agreed to object to the counting of the vote of his state of Alabama. Usually he is bravery itself; still, very few men can face fire when the fire is close by.
Washington, D.C., [Monday] February 26th, 1877—John L. Thomas, of Baltimore, came to me in the House of Representatives today, and advised me to write President-elect Hayes not to come through Baltimore to Washington. There was danger of his life if he did so. I wrote as he asked, but believed the other way. Thomas was afterwards appointed by Hayes, Collector of the Port of Baltimore. President-elect Hayes came through Baltimore and no one molested him.
Thomas Cochran of Philadelphia told me, in Philadelphia, in September, 1877, that he had heard Governor Hayes say at Philadelphia in July 1876, when speaking of the fact of Mr. Lincoln’s going through Harrisburg in 1860 and avoiding Baltimore when en route to be inaugurated, that he (Governor Hayes) thought it was an evidence of weakness in Mr. Lincoln; that he believed in going right ahead.
Washington, D.C., [Wednesday] Feb’y 28, 1877—I was talking with Mr. Blaine to-day in the Naval Committee room of the Senate where I had sought him. I asked him if he would like to be in Gov. Hayes’ Cabinet. He said no, and he would not, but he would like Gov. Hayes to offer him the post of Secretary of State so that he could decline it. He then called my attention to the fact that Gov. [Edward F.] Noyes and all those supposed to be close to Hayes or his confidential friends avoided him (Blaine).
The truth is the little coterie that surrounded Prest. Hayes in Ohio came to Washington thinking they had an entire mortgage on Mr. Hayes for all and a deed for the equities. How he has fooled some of them! and how quickly they left him when he showed his teeth and [he] did as he liked.
Washington, D.C., [Friday] March 2, 1876 .—The closing scene of the Presidential count [by Congress] was very dramatic. The Senate in its own chamber was holding itself in readiness, by all being asleep, for the call from the House. Mr. [George M.] Adams, clerk of the House, had his message ready so that when the Speaker ordered the message sent, he immediately started for the Senate. At 10 minutes before 4 A.M., Friday, the arrival of the Senate headed by Senator T[homas] W. Ferry, Vice President pro tem., was announced. The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate had his assistants carrying two mahogany boxes, with the papers, surrounded by armed men. George C. Gorham, the Secretary, led the Senate behind the Vice President. The boxes, containing the Electoral returns from the various states, were carried by the handles on top by the venerable Isaac Bassett, Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate. First came the Vice President who marched with the Secretary of the Senate; next, the two Tellers of the Senate, Senators [John J.] Ingalls and [William B.] Allison; and then Bassett with the boxes guarded by four men armed with revolvers, and then the Senators. Twenty-four revolvers were purchased by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate to arm his men.
Ferry was shaking as if he had the ague. He had been awakened from sleep. There were very few Senators, say thirty. John Sherman, Simon Cameron, and Hannibal Hamlin were noticeable. O[liver] P. Morton, always carried in a chair by two men, had the advantage. The Senators came straggling in and were seated among the Members of the House.
Most of the Republicans of the House were present, and just before the entrance of the Senate, almost all of the Democrats. As the arrival of the Senate was announced by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House, E. John Ellis, of La., Dem. M.C., one of the conciliated, yelled out in a loud voice, "Democrats, leave your seats!" About sixty rose and went out to the cloak rooms or to the rear of the hall, on the east and north sides, departing with much noise and confusion. The usual thirty Democrats of the House who were with Mr. Randall in keeping their agreement and themselves under the lead of the tall and dignified Fernando Wood, remained. General John McNeil, of St. Louis, and myself had just before come through the door from the lobby to the right of the Speaker’s chair. A moment before we started in, the Chief of the Capitol Police, Captain S. S. Blackford, brought up the stairway a force of men, say ten, armed with revolvers, headed by Col. Jack Skiles, to protect the tellers, the boxes, and the Vice President, if necessary. They took position near the door and immediately in the rear and to the right of the Speaker, facing the Democrats. I recall that a few moments before while we were sitting in the cloak room, General [James A.] Garfield came out of the House and sat down with us. He chatted a short time, putting his arm around McNeil the while. On the floor I was close by young LaFayette Lane of Oregon, a Democrat in Congress, who was very much loaded with ultra democracy and grief, and near to Col. A. V. Rice, Democrat Member of Congress, a one-legged M.C. from Ohio, who was very angry. Lane would stamp his foot, wheel around and yell; he had an Oregon map in hand. I also stood near J[ohn] R[andolph] Tucker, and J. D. C. Atkins of Tennessee. They were much excited.
The proceedings were dreary as usual. The action and findings of the Electoral Commission were read, and all that remained was to declare the result. As President Pro Tempore Ferry, presiding with Speaker Randall on his left, raised the eagle quill, which had been sent from Montana to sign the poll sheet, the House became still as death. The galleries were crowded with persons including some ladies who had sat from 10 A.M. of the day before. One was the daughter of Judge J[eremiah] S. Black, Mrs. Hornsby. All in the galleries leaned over to see the end. The press gallery was not full. Just as he raised the quill, a Democratic member near where I stood called out: "The tail feather of a buzzard; a fit instrument with which to do a craven deed."
As Ferry signed the tally sheet and announced the result, that R. B. Hayes had 185 and S. J. Tilden, 184 Electoral votes, and that R. B. Hayes was duly elected President for four years from March 4, 1877, he shook like a man with ague. Just then some one called out "Shoot." I remarked this to Mr. Randall afterwards, and he replied, "I noticed that. I wondered what was the matter with him." The only applause that greeted the declaration was from W[illiam] D. Bickham of Dayton, Ohio, a visitor who stood near the door at the main entrance, his face wreathed with smiles and glowing with the aid of liquor and excitement, like a full moon. He raised his hands, and twice clapped them together.
Just as the result was declared a locomotive whistle sounded fiercely near the Capitol and to the South. It was said Gov. Hayes was on this train. A motion was made that the House proceed with business. Much confusion followed. J. R. Tucker, of Virginia, in a moment, moved adjournment, alleging that "After such scenes as had been enacted, the House was in no humor for business." Not many votes were cast of the question, but all in the affirmative. In three minutes the Hall and galleries were cleared, in ten minutes the lights were out, and the Capitol as still as death—and thus a King was made.
I met Speaker Randall as he came out of the Chair, and as he passed to his room, through the left rear door, I walked with him. We were warm friends, and as I clasped hands with him, I said: "We were good friends always, but we are better now. But for you, Mr. Randall, this result would not have been reached; you stood by the law." And thus made Mr. Hayes President. He said, "Don’t say that; you will hurt me with the Democracy."
Washington, D.C. [Monday] March 5, 1877.—The troops ordered by General Grant from Fortress Monroe are arriving and going into camp below the city. The men—mostly Irish—are almost all Democrats, and all are for Tilden.(?) The Officers of the U.S. Army, up to the period of the leaves of absence for a day, come into the city, get drunk, and hurrah for Tilden. A night or two ago, March 2nd, just before the inauguration of Prest. Hayes, two drunken artillery soldiers (Irish) in a Restaurant where whisky was sold, drew me to the bar as I was leaving from dinner, and insisted on my drinking with them to the health of the next President, Tilden. There were the soldiers which Grant had brought from Fortress Monroe to preserve order.
In March, 1878, on the cars coming from Charlotte, N.C., a gentleman from Columbia, S.C., told me that his partner was chairman of the Democratic State Committee of S.C., and that he had told him at Columbia, during the Presidential count, that the U.S. Regular Army soldiers stationed there, upon having to face the question of the State control by the negroes, or white Democrats, would side with and fight for the Democratic whites. The Regular Army [men] of the United States, before and ten years after the war, were largely foreigners by birth, and the remainder since the war were about half ex-Rebels. While there was a prejudice and a prohibition against a Rebel being an officer, all of them could enlist as privates.
Washington, D.C. [Saturday] March 10th, 1877.—James H. Hopkins, M. C., Pittsburgh, Pa., a fine fellow, told me to-day that he believed it was true that Roscoe Conkling had gone to the Senate in February 1877, the day the vote came up to confirm the decision of the Electoral Commission in the Louisiana case, for the purpose of speaking against it. His courage failed and he hid away for two days.
Some expression made by Conkling that way [which seemed to indicate his opposition to the decision] had led Democratic papers to have leaders [headlines] calling Mr. Conkling a great man and a statesman and to rise above the occasion. It is wonderful how sweet the Democratic lute is when they expect or can get something, but how sour their tune is when it is refused; they do so love a bolter from the other party but promptly put the knife in one should he be of their party.
Washington, D.C., [Saturday] April 28, 1877.—It rained rather hard to-day. At 1:30 I went out with the President for a walk. We went down F Street and at F and 14th I waited at the foot of the stairs; he went up into Samuel Shellabarger’s office and staid a few minutes. We resumed our walk. At the corner of 13th and F two men were standing talking, one with his back to us as we closed up on them. The one with his back to us turned around suddenly. It was S. N. Hoyt, a newspaper man Colorado (in the Star Route business in 1881), whom I knew. As he faced us he said, "Oh," taken aback with surprise. He then spoke as we passed. I said to the President, "Did you notice that man’s surprise?" He said, "Yes," I said, "I venture he was abusing you." He laughed and thought it most probable. (I met Hoyt the next day, and he told me that at that moment of turning and seeing Hayes and myself he was abusing Hayes to the man he was talking to.)
The President had an old slouch hat and a black alapaca coat on. As we came out of his room in the second story of the White House, he asked me how the hat would do. "Well," I said, "I suppose you are the first gentleman in the land and can set the fashion." His suit of clothes, he told me, had been obtained from the tailor of his nephew, Genl. John G[rant] Mitchell of Columbus, Ohio, who insisted that he should get them. I did not think much of them. As we walked along I asked the President if he observed from time to time the manner of different persons as they approached him. He said he certainly did. Not one man in 10 can tell exactly what he wants at first; they color up, blush, stammer, and get uneasy. Women are more self-possessed. Beggars that infest the White House are always cool and easy and begin by being personal.
The President has a fashion I don’t like, and I don’t feel it becomes him, of wearing his hair long and turning its ends under; it is awfully country-like. I dislike dreadfully an old alapaca sack coat he wears. I don’t think I ever noticed a watch chain on his vest. He has a very small foot and he wear tasty, light boots. In 1877, 1878, and 1879 he visibly got old to me, his beard showing it most. In the spring of 1879 I noticed that his face was getting fat and heavy-set like an old man’s. He was very fond of candy but not a great eater of food.
Hayes is very pleasant in the Cabinet when they assemble. They frequently sit for half an hour and chat. Thompson (Navy) is the most genial man of all, and he tells the quaintest stories. Evarts (State) does the high comedy. Sherman (Treasury) simply sits and listens along with McCrary (War); Schurz (Interior) could tell a good German dialect story because he speaks so brokenly; but, like all foreigners, he tries to tell a story in a dialect he can’t speak. Key (Postmaster General), with his big round form and face is a good old farmer; fill him with good food and that’s all, he sits and laughs a grunty laugh. Devens (Attorney General) occasionally in a grim old Puritan yawn is one of the Cromwellian sort.
Hayes’ cabinet is the queerest looking set of men possible. Mr. Evarts had a dried leaf or brown parchment look to his skin that many gormands get when about 70. To see him look sideways out of his carriage is to regret that Hogarth is dead. His face is cunning, self esteem and old woman shrewdness. My opinion, formed from what I see and know, is that Evarts thinks Hayes a very weak man and has contempt for him. Time will show.
Sherman, thin as a rail, over six feet high, and with close cropped beard, is very homely, and when he laughs—as Agent Jenks said of Ben Butler—when he laughs, "He is divine." Sherman has bad teeth.
Devens, an old bachelor, as Hayes said to me, is the "Beau of the Cabinet," and called him our "fixey young man." He was always the best dressed of any of them, in sober black. His dignity was a good dignity. He knew but little of the world and was not a politician. He was a Judge rather than a lawyer. He never thought beyond the words he could find in the books. Twenty years to him on the bench would mean sixty or seventy volumes of prosy repeating, reiterating case reports.
Schurz is oddly plain and this is aided by his head with its shock of red hair and whiskers. His eye glasses don’t help his face.
Key is big, burly, round and fat. His face, head whiskers, body, hands, even his finger ends and nails are round. His eyes (I noticed them the other day) are exactly round. He is always laughing. His teeth being good, it helps his face. He walks squat. He is over six feet and weighs 250.
Uncle Dick Thompson, whom the President calls "Brother Thompson," resembles Andres Jackson in face and figure. No beard, large white face, black eyes. Tall white silky hair, of thin figure, say 5’9" or 10" in height. He has one of the purest, loudest most musical voice I ever listened to. He always wears a silk had and a black suit and carries a cane. So does Mr. McCrary. Thompson has a look of the old school and a little antique; Mr. McCrary is stout, with round bald head, generally with a brown frock coat with velvet collar, decidedly homely but the liveliest man of all of them.
Hayes’ Cabinet physically is the most ordinary looking seven men ever in any President’s Cabinet. It is a bouquet of personal ugliness. Still, they possess strong individuality. This is proved by their acts. Each is tenacious for all under him is a way of patronage—and none of them think of actively going into the other’s jurisdiction. Devens is the best looking man in the cabinet. Schurz is the homeliest. McCrary looks the commonest, and Thompson the most antique. Evarts—well, you would notice him in almost any place.
Governor John A. Campbell, Third Assistant Secretary of State, told me in Washington, in May 1877, that Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, told him that if he had been in President Hayes place he would have cut his right arm off before he would have taken the Presidency on the electoral vote from Louisiana and then let go of Governor S. B. Packard.
Washington, D.C., About May 1, 1877.—I was in the private office of R. C. McCormick, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, to-day when Governor Shelby M. Cullom of Illinois, Senator R. J. Oglesby of Illinois, and Senator William Windom of Minnesota came in. It was 12 M. They had been to see President Hayes in regard to getting the Pension Agency held or retained in Springfield, Illinois, and had asked the appointment of a man as agent in place of Miss [Ada C.] Sweet, whose time had expired. Oglesby said impatiently: "What kind of fellow is Hayes anyhow?" I answered: "First rate. He will do what he says with you." Cullom, a tall, lank, sallow, Abraham Lincoln style of man, a member of Congress for many years (and who in convention renominated Grant in 1872) had just arrived from Illinois where as Governor he had sent a message to the Legislature of his State, then in session, in favor of bi-metalism. All in the room began to laugh and poke fun at him as to the "dollar of our daddies." (He was elected Senator in 1882.)
Windom, Oglesby and all of them seemed certain of gaining their point with Prest. Hayes (as above set out) and said he had promised them. "But," said Windom, "perhaps Schurz won’t let him." Sure enough, he [Hayes] did just the reverse of what they expected. The woman was reappointed. She was the daughter of a soldier [Benjamin J. Sweet] who once filled the position, and who died suddenly. She filled his unexpired term, and the office was moved to Chicago, just as it was agreed not to be. The political moral reform within our party, inaugurated by President Hayes’ Cabinet, is largely a grab for the places. The Cabinet is against the field and the Cabinet wins for a time, but they will come [back] to the old methods by and by.
Washington, D.C., [Saturday] May 19, 1877.—I was at the White House with Governor B[enjamin] F. Potts of Montana this morning. Afterwards President Hayes took Potts to luncheon under the trees in the White House grounds. With them was one [Andrew J.] Keller, editor on the Memphis Avalanche. He was a great supporter of the "Policy." President Hayes said to Potts: "I see you are fast becoming a Democrat;" and to Keller, "You are soon to be a Republican;" meaning that his policy would blend men of all political opinions into one belief. I wonder if he really dreams of such a thing.
Washington, D.C., [Tuesday] August 28, 1877.—To-day was Mrs. Hayes’ birthday. I was at the White House from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. She came in from the Soldier’s Home about 12 o’clock. She had a vase and glass goblet with the President’s picture on it, intended as a present for Fanny on her birthday, yet to come.
[September 2] Secretary John Sherman came in; also Gen. M[anning] F. Force of Ohio. It was Cabinet day, and the President offered to introduce us to the Cabinet. I, having met most of the members, declined. General Force went into the Cabinet room while I remained in the library. After the session General Devens and Schurz came in and congratulated Mrs. Hayes. She insisted upon General Schurz and myself staying to lunch. Schurz replied that he was afraid, from the frequency with which he lunched with them, they might think he boarded there. Mrs. Hayes still insisted, and he remained. At lunch, the President said: "I want to appoint two men to one office; how am I to do it?" Schurz suggested that the safest way was to abolish the office. I said, "As a start, promote the incumbent."
Schurz endeavored to get Mr. Hayes to appoint a man to the surveyorship in connection with the Hot Springs of Arkansas. He tried his best, but Hayes said "We will let this rest awhile." Schurz insisting, Hayes said sharply, "We will let this rest."
This day I got the impression that Mr. Schurz was the maneuvering member of the Cabinet and that he sometimes tried to run Mr. Hayes, but Mr. Hayes is not in the habit of being run by anybody. The face of Schurz is most peculiar when observed closely. It has a restless, watchful look. His conversation to-day was commonplace. He spoke of General John McNeil, of St. Louis, as a brave patriot, and of Col. Alex. McClure now here, or just gone, and of his paper. He characterized him as a sharp, shrewd man, very able, and a revolver in politics.
The lunch was substantial; not a society lunch, but a family meal with something more than ornaments on the table. I had an hour’s talk with Mrs. Hayes after lunch. She is shrewd and able and up in current matters. She was lying on a lounge suffering from a headache. Referring to the President’s acts on Southern policy, she asked me what I would have done had I been in his place. I told her I would have recognized both Chamberlain and Packard and would have forced the Southern people to submit to the rule of the majority. She said: "Why, what could Mr. Hayes do but what he did? He had no army," showing me that President Hayes wanted to do just what I would have done had he had the army. I think General W. T. Sherman had much to do with this so-called Southern policy. He wanted to save his own scalp; it looked threatening about that time as to his own retention, so he caved and advised non-use of the army to uphold government.
Mrs. Hayes, speaking of Mexican annexation, a topic then current, said we had enough mongrel population to assimilate, without taking the Mexicans. There is now a full-length portrait of Diaz in the library of President Hayes.
Mr. Hayes asked me about the labor movement in Pennsylvania, and thought it ephemeral.
One day in August 1877, the President (Hayes), when I mentioned to him my having a large piece of "Kearsarge" from which I was going to have canes made, said: "The queerest cane I have ever seen is one presented to me by a gentleman from New Jersey the other day. It was made from a piece of the bridge recently built on the site over which Washington would have passed in crossing the Delaware above Trenton, in the Revolution, had the bridge then been built."
Philadelphia, Pa., [Saturday] September 29, 1877.—I was at Samuel J. Randall’s office on Walnut Street, Philadelphia, this day, and I asked him if he was going to sustain President Hayes. He said he was in what Alexander Stephens called his "constitutional policy." He said he would vote for supplies to the army so long as President Hayes kept them out of the South. He said that he thought Roscoe Conkling had the most of his party in New York at his back; that he had been told this by James W. Husted, speaker of the New York Assembly. He remarked that Benjamin H. Bristow was one of the best Secretaries of the Treasury we had ever had, and referred to the time that he and I had met Mr. Bristow at his own house in Washington, one Sunday in 1876, and how Bristow had told us of his dismissing A. B. Mullet.
Mr. Randall was engaged this day with two Negroes who wanted office, and he promised to aid them to get work on the new post office in this city. He always aided working men.
Washington, D.C., [Monday] October 15, 1877.—I came to Washington to see the opening meeting of the Forty-fifth Congress today. I called on the President at the White House at 7 P.M. He was alone and for one hour and a half we talked politics. He was firm in the opinion that the recent Ohio political disaster was occasioned by the working men’s movement. He was anxious about the November election in Pennsylvania, and upon my telling him what the Republican State Committee had said to me in Philadelphia a week before, he said he doubted if he could do anything to save the election. He claimed to be a full Republican and talk over his Civil Service policy and his order to office holders to keep out of politics. He seemed uneasy.
Mr. J. G. Blaine had made an appointment with me for the next day, Tuesday, to walk with him at 10:30. I told the President of this. He expressed some doubt as to the future political course of Mr. Blaine, relative to himself. I called his attention to the parallel between his political course and that of President John Tyler. He seemed to know public opinion as to this, but said that Daniel Webster had been the first (under Wm. H. Harrison) to issue an order against office holders taking part in politics. He talked of the time when he should go out of office, retire, and the pursuits he should follow. He had no earthly use for politics after his term; he was done. He asked me to have plans drawn for him for library building at Fremont, Ohio, the same to cost about $10,000.
He showed me his message to Congress (this before it went in on Tuesday) and said we ought to have the right to increase our army to about 25,000 men. I asked him to put in his message a recommendation for a committee to examine the claims for Indian depredations in Idaho and Montana. He promised to do so.
Just after I had left the President to-night at the White House, I met Hon. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, in the Riggs House. I asked him how he felt about President Hayes’ policy and the Ohio election. He said, "I am d----d mad." I replied I think President Hayes will come around all right; go and talk to him. He replied, "I hope he will; it is about time."
Washington, D.C., [Tuesday] October 16, 1877.—As pre-arranged, I met Mr. Blaine at his house on 15th Street for a walk at 10:30 A.M. We went together to the White House and spent half an hour with President Hayes. The latter was very cordial to Mr. Blaine and consulted him as to the method of procedure with his message in presenting it to Congress. Mr. Blaine was in a good humor and full of stories. The President seemed pleased at the visit and Mr. Blaine the same. Mr. Blaine and I then walked to the State Department and met Mr. Evarts, who asked Mr. Blaine about his friend [John L.] Stephens, whom he had sent to Sweden as minister. He invited Mr. Blaine to ride at 4 P.M. that afternoon. Mr. Blaine spoke to Mr. Seward, Assistant Secretary of State, and said: "Well, I suppose you have to stand a good deal of hammering from people here."
"Well," answered Mr. Seward, "we don’t fear it here; we are afraid of your hammering us at the other end."
He also called on Ex-Governor John A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State, who was ill, and to whom Mr. Blaine rendered his service in aiding him to get a consulate abroad (Campbell had been a Bristow man). As we left the State Department, we met General Robert C. Schenck at the foot of the elevator. Mr. Blaine and he compared notes as to weight. General Schenck weighed 211 ½ lbs., and Mr. Blaine 206 lbs. I told General Schenck that Governor Tom Young of Ohio had told me a few days before that if God took Allan G. Thurman, U.S. Senator from Ohio, who was then ill, he would appoint Robert C. Schenck, U.S. Senator. The General replied: "I believe he would."
After he walked away, Mr. Blaine showed me General Grant’s Army headquarters opposite and to the west of the State Department and said: "The day Grant was nominated for the Presidency in 1868, General Schenck, two others and myself called to notify him. Afterwards we four went into a restaurant around the corner, and General Schenck, raising his glass at lunch, said: "Here’s to James G. Blaine, Speaker of the Forty-first Congress." "This," said Blaine, "was the first time I had heard it mentioned."
Mr. Blaine drifted into talking about the National Republican Convention in Cincinnati, June 1876, and called my attention to the struggle that the men, who had connived at his defeat, had been through since to maintain themselves politically. He claimed that he honestly had 404 votes in that Convention. He said he had asked Eugene Hale why he did not promise the men who bolted him what they [had] asked for politically. Many of his delegates had been led astray by stories of his probable death and offer of high political posts.
Mr. Blaine said that he was afraid that President Hayes’ political course had been such as to break up the party, and, as to the future, it was very bleak. When Douglas was defeated by Pierce, Pierce as President left his party in such a shape as to make a Democratic succession inevitable. So defeat in one Democratic convention left a chance in the future for a man. He said: "In February, 1876, I went to General Grant and talked to him about the Presidency. General Grant said to me that he did not intend to be a candidate and gave me to understand that he would not be against me, at least he would not work against me." Now, in fact, after all of this, General Grant did his best to defeat me." I asked Mr. Blaine if he had ever spoken to Grant since, and he said no, that he had met Grant face to face in the street one day, but he did not speak to him. "Ah," said Mr. Blaine, "his face became as red as a woman’s blushing, with the consciousness of his offense against me." Mr. Blaine cited the fact that after General Grant went out of the presidency, he stopped at the house of Hamilton Fish, just opposite his, for several weeks, but that he, Blaine, never called.
Blaine spoke of several political moves he thought the party ought to try, one being against the National Banks. He also said he thought that General Grant might be nominated in 1880. Mr. Blaine mentioned that he [Blaine] was 47 years of age and felt well and vigorous.
I asked him as we parted whether he was going to hammer President Hayes. He said emphatically, "No! I cannot afford to, but I am going to give the Southern men the devil at all times." It would have been bad taste in him to differ publicly with President Hayes, as they had been rival candidates. He said that the editor of the Bangor Whig, [C. A.] Boutelle, a shrewd fellow, had predicted that within seven months President Hayes would be back into the Republican ranks.
Mr. Blaine spoke of John [J.] Patterson, United State Senator from South Carolina, who had held out against him (Blaine) at the Cincinnati Convention in 1876 and worked with Cameron and others to defeat him and, as had been said, for money. Patterson was now absent. He had asked him (Blaine) to see Senator M. C. Butler and others to arrive at a compromise whereby he, Patterson, under indictment at the time for conspiring to defraud in South Carolina, might be kept out of the penitentiary. Mr. Patterson’s new political allies were powerless to assist him.
Washington, D.C., [Wednesday] October 17, 1877.—I spent this evening from seven to eight thirty with the President. We conversed for a time on personal matters but finally discussed politics. He expressed his appreciation of Mr. Blaine and his personal liking for him (I had told him on Tuesday, October 15th, of the current opinion that Carl Schurz was the old man of the sea of his administration, and the Republicans of Ohio and Indiana has said so; also of the complaints of Mr. Evarts’ political weakness and lack of political sagacity.) The President began a long talk about his "Southern policy" and how it was brought about. "The reconstruction plan of President Johnson was a failure because the times were not ripe for it. The attempted reconstruction by the Democrats was a failure, as the people had no confidence in them. General Grant, holding on to the army, sustained a Southern policy for seven years, and a large portion of the Republicans in those states sloughed off, and he was finally compelled to let go; he came to the turn of the road. This was the condition when I came in as President, so I had to act promptly. Besides, if my plan fails, our party will be aided by it and the Independents stopped from further talk. In addition, the House was against me and I had no army, and public sentiment demanded a change of policy. Neither the Republican nor Democratic party now has control of the country, and for many years there has been an element working between the lines of the parties, and this element holds the balance of power in the country." He was playing to satisfy them. If so, we [Republicans] could get the Presidency in 1880.
It was evident he meant that he was trying to propitiate the disaffected element and was working a political scheme in the country. He said that my judgment was hasty in saying the Democrats would probably get the Presidency in 1880. I showed him that by the vote of the solid South and the loss of New York and Indiana, we would be defeated. He said, "You assume that we will not carry a single state south?" Of course I did and so answered him. He seemed to have faith in the promises made by certain Southern men, which I told him were, in most cases, political frauds and would not deliver any votes. I asked him to have more confidence in Republican leaders, call them in, and consult them, even if he did not take their advice; and told him of how Lincoln and Sumner met. He said, "You know my way of doing things; I can’t change my nature." I replied, "But you must change toward the leaders of the Republican party. If you had called them in on the start and talked over your position and your difficulties, they would have aided you, would have agreed with you, if not in fact, would appear to, for the party’s sake. After this they would have followed you like a troop of school boys." He was impressed with this and seemed to appreciate my effort to induce Mr. Blaine to make up with Roscoe Conkling. He intimated to me that he would soon have a political talk with our leaders. Mr. Hayes, in my judgment, has no hope of his Southern policy succeeding. It is a gamble.
I told him the Civil Service business would eventually fail and that he had issued his order prohibiting office holders from taking part in politics at the wrong end of the line; that he had issued it first instead of last. That this order was based upon civil service with a life tenure and pension, and in this case, it would perhaps be as General Grant had told me, that American people would never stand for such a service, and he was not in favor of it. The President explained that his idea was that the rank and file should hold for life, but that the leading officers (Brigadier Generals he called them) should be appointed from time to time, and that the varied nature of our service prevented a promotion from the line to all posts. Form what I know, I believe that Mr. Evarts had the order issued to hit at the New York Custom House; and, further, my opinion is that the President has been otherwise misled in the Civil Service business. I told him if he expected the Democratic party to break up, he would wait a century or so, and his political friends must come from the Republican party.
During the conversation the President said he had that day received by mail the photograph of the man who had made him President by his vote in the Illinois Legislature. The man voted for David Davis for U.S. Senator, elected him, and that took him off the bench, which ensured such a political condition of the Electoral Commission as to reverse the 7 to 8.
Upon my stating that the Republicans generally were pleased with the appointment of General John M. Harlan as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the President said that the reason he had appointed him was the he [Harlan] had come from a family of which two generations before him had been born in Kentucky; and that the South desired a member of the Court. Here was a true Southern man, who was loyal and brave and a Union Soldier, so he had appointed him. He also said to me that Mr. Blaine had better not be too quick in shoving Roscoe Conkling into the Presidential race in 1880, expecting him to be elected, as it was by no means certain that he would succeed.
Dr. W. A. Brown, of Washington, a family friend of Senator Allen G. Thurman, told me today that Thurman cried when the decision was made seating Hayes, and that Thurman had never since called upon Hayes and would not. Mrs. Thurman had called on Mrs. Hayes.
I think that Mr. Hayes did so much for Ex-Governor R. C. McCormick, who was Thurman’s son-in-law, to try and win Thurman. It must have been dramatic to see Mr. Thurman weep for Tilden. The Electoral Commission went to Thurman’s house on 15th St., and the Louisiana case was virtually decided in his bedroom by the Commission.
I knew General W. A. Knapp, chief Clerk of the Post Office Department, who I saw today. We were in the Army together. (He was my groomsman.) He was at one time Governor Hayes’ Adjutant General (of Ohio). He spoke to me of Hayes’ faculty of listening. He said that in the fall of 1876, he had information that Conkling had sent a man out to Ohio to see Governor Hayes, the then Republican nominee, and get him to agree to do certain things. The man was T. C. Platt, a Member of Congress from New York. Knapp said that he wrote General James M. Comly about it and requested him to inform Hayes. Comly went over to Hayes’ office and found Platt in the room and Hayes talking to him. Comly was introduced and handed Knapp’s letter to Hayes, remarking, "If Mr. Platt will excuse me, this is of some importance, so please read." Hayes read the letter and said: "Very well, very well," and closed up like an oyster. Mr. Platt got no further talk.
I was in the room of the House Committee on Appropriations today with my friend Major [Robert J.] Stevens, the clerk. Honorable Hiester Clymer, Member of Congress of Pennsylvania [a member of the Committee], whom I knew, came in. He said that if President Hayes had had the House of Representatives of the Forth-fifth Congress and an Army, he never would have done what he did about the South. On the contrary, he would have followed Grant’s course and his Southern policy would have been vigorous Republicanism. This I too believe. Clymer gave him no credit for what he did in this matter, necessity having forced him to do it.
Washington, D.C., [Thursday] October 18, 1877.—Today after 10:30 A.M. I walked with Mr. Blaine from his house to the Senate. I told him of the points of interest to him in the talk which I had had with President Hayes last evening. He seemed much pleased. He was having his house repaired and before we left for the Senate, he took me all over it. He showed me Miss Dodge’s (Gail Hamilton’s) room and said that she had once remarked of a distinguished American Minister of Hayes’ appointment that "you could track him all the way to ---- by the trail of the smell of bad whiskey he left behind him." I mentioned to Mr. Blaine that I had told the President last night of her remark that "the Government now had four heads: Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and Stanley Matthews;" and that the President laughed heartily. Mr. Blaine then began to talk of a future life and religion. I found that he is intensely orthodox; in fact, a rigid Presbyterian.
As we went out Mr. Blaine’s door Hon. Fernando Wood, a neighbor, came out of his house, and they had a pleasant chat. Mr. Blaine introduced me to him, and I found him a delightful man. Mr. Wood drove off in his trap, a one horse carriage, seated between two children—a pleasant picture. As Mr. Wood left, a phaeton driven by W. P. Copeland [New York Bulletin], accompanied by H. J. Ramsdell, another newspaper man [New York Tribune and Philadelphia Times], drove up, and they halted for a chat. Copeland said that he was the man who took the two interviews with General Grant in Europe which were published in the New York Herald. Mr. Blaine said: "Grant has not told the true story in the Sumner removal matter. I know it. I could give you an interview as to the reasons why Sumner was removed from the [chairmanship of the committee on foreign relations].
Washington, D.C., [Monday] October 29, 1877.—I went with Alex. R. Boteler, of [Shepherdstown,] W. Va., to see the President at 10 A.M. to-day. We were invited into the library where we met Mrs. Hayes and Sherman. The President came in, after keeping us waiting thirty minutes or so, and was very pleasant. Mr. Boteler was courteous, and the President was polite.
Later, Mr. Boteler told me that Beverly Tucker, whom we met to-day, had told him that in his judgment Hayes was the purest and noblest President since [George] Washington. I was [an] attorney with Tucker in a claim against the Chilian Government for nearly $2,000,000.
There was some discussion in the papers as to Stanley Matthews and a bill which he presented to Zach. Chandler in Washington for his services or expenses as counsel before the Electoral Commission. I was a member of the Republican National Committee, and knew a great deal of the inside workings. In February, 1877, I was in Washington the entire month. I met ex-Governor McCormick, Secretary of the Republican National Committee, and asked him about money and how much there was on hand for expenses of the contest for the Presidency. He said that John M. Forbes, of Boston, had sent a check for $2,000 and E. W. Stoughton, of New York, had sent one for $5,000. Mr. Zach. Chandler had himself put up over $20,000. I carried an offer to McCormick to raise $10,000 or more, but the offer was coldly received, and I made no further effort. I could have raised it easily. Mr. McCormick was not particularly in love with Mr. Zach. Chandler’s way of doing things.
Samuel Shellabarger, of Shellabarger and Wilson, Attorneys, Washington, D.C., told me that in November, 1876, Governor Hayes wrote him to keep an eye out as his attorney for the case. Shellabarger wrote back and asked what case. Gov. Hayes replied that he anticipated a contest and a quo warranto from S. J. Tilden and wanted Shellabarger to be on the alert. Shellabarger then agreed to assist him. About the time the Commission was organized, Mr. Wilson, Shellabarger’s partner, advised him to write again to Governor Hayes and see if they were to consider that they were engaged for the case before the Commission. He did so and was answered "Yes." Stanley Matthews was put on the case by or out of courtesy to Gov. Hayes. E. W. Stoughton, of New York, was selected by the Republican Executive Committee as chairman of our committee because, I suppose, of the $5,000 check.
As an evidence of Democratic esteem of his ability, I was standing just within the door of the Commission (Supreme Court Room) when Stoughton arose to speak (February 1877). There was some pushing in the rear of my by persons who desired to see the new man. As Stoughton’s white head (he had a rare and peculiar shock of curly white hair, which set his smooth shaved features off to an advantage – he was really a fine looking man) rose above the crowd, John Coyle, of Washington, D. C., who was a Tilden fugleman, said to a prominent Democrat with him, "Oh, come along; he’s not much," and left. W. E. Chandler, of New Hampshire, was selected because he was very able, and because he knew the facts of Florida and other Southern states better than any one else; having been in Florida at the settlement; besides, he was a member of the National Committee.
Mr. W. M. Evarts, in February – say the 15th – according to the newspapers, had volunteered his services for the Republicans; therefore, all the Republican papers whose editors did not know Mr. Evarts, and some who did, said "Good!" Next day Mr. Evarts had this denied; so the day after the same newspapers said that if he was not in the case, he should be, and so he was retained. Mr. John Sherman arranged this. Ex-Attorney General G. H. Williams, by request of our National Committee, had been south in Louisiana and Florida and was also retained. When the other counsel were ready to use the facts and law, two days before the hearing, he had the Louisiana and Florida cases prepared, and they took his brief. I went to Mr. McCormick, secretary of our Committee, and I told him that Williams ought to be permitted to argue before the Commission, at least the case from Oregon, William’s own state. He replied that William’s character was such that it might injure the case. What stuff! I never knew a better or purer man than George H. Williams.
Stanley Matthews did put in a bill for nearly $1,000 for his expenses, which old Zach. paid. It cost Governor Hayes a great deal of money to aid the settlement. He mortgaged property in Ohio to a brother-in-law about this time for $25,000. He did his share and held his end up in the fight.
Washington, D.C., [Friday] November 2, 1877.—On the evening of Nov. 2d. I called on the President and handed him many papers endorsing Boteler, from ante-bellum times. He asked me what grade of place Boteler wanted. I told him he wanted to go abroad and suggested Cairo. The President said, "All right, we will try and fix him." I asked the President to reappoint Gen’l. L. F. Carter as Surgeon General of Idaho and to appoint General John McNeil Postal agent at St. Louis. He agreed to appoint Carter and instructed me to call on Schurz, and so inform him, Carter’s time being up in December. I was with him half an hour. He had Robert T. Lincoln and Maj. William McKinley, M. C., Ohio, to dinner.
I called on Doctor George B. Loring, M.C. [of Massachusetts] just after this. He had been to Virginia with Hayes three days before [October 30] and was enthusiastic as to Hayes and the Virginians. He called Hayes a shrewd and cunning, as well as stubborn, man. He also spoke of Gen’l. Francis A. Walker, of Conn., as being such a smart fellow. Walker was then in Washington.
President Hayes promised me this night to appoint J[oseph] R. Hawley President of the Paris Commission and Milward, a friend of his, as well as E. C. Knight, of Ohio, a friend of mine. I suggested that the two last to be Jurors, as well, to which he dissented.
Dr. Loring said he would have appointed Simon Cameron Minister to England.
Dr. Loring was on the U.S. Centennial Commission with me for four or five years [1872-1876]. He voted against the opening of it on Sunday. On his own statement, it elected him to Congress from Salem, Mass. Genl. Hawley, of Connecticut, [president of the Commission in 1876] voted against it, and he was defeated for Congress by the German vote of Hartford for doing so.
A. G. Gorham voted against it and ran for State Senator in Oct. 1877 at Cincinnati, Ohio; ran thousands behind his ticket and was defeated. He admitted that his party ticket got a fair majority. The Dutch did this. Dr. Loring was an accomplished, able, and handsome man—crotchety at times. He was not really a quarrelsome man but a hard hitter and a good hater. He was a Democrat up to 1864 and the president of the United New England Agricultural Societies. He used to travel around at these fairs and was very popular with some of the women. Good horse racing became a feature of the fairs, and they were finally known as "Agricultural Horse Trots."
President Hayes told me that he liked him (Loring) very much and that he was a man of much general information. Loring told me that he had told President Hayes his civil service order was a great mistake; it would have met the approval of every body by saying that "federal office holders should not be required to take part in" and omitting "or permitted." Loring was appointed Commissioner of Agriculture in 1881 by President Garfield.
Loring always wanted to be Governor of Massachusetts. One day an old farmer presented his little boy about five years old and said, "Bob, this is Doctor Loring; look at him good because some day you may vote for him for Governor of Mass." "Good God forbid," said Loring, "I hope I won’t have to wait that long." (16 years)
Washington, D.C., [Tuesday] November 6th, 1877.—To-day at ten P.M. I met Senator J. J. Patterson of S.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue and First Street. He mentioned that President Hayes had denied him several time in official matters, that he had promised everything and done nothing. He did not now care to go near him, neither did the rest of the Republicans. He said he would vote to seat M. C. Butler as Senator from South Carolina because Butler had been his friend and was, in fact, now down South defending him. Wade Hampton and Connor (Attorney-General) wanted both him and Butler out. He said he thought that Capt. Robert J. Smalls (colored), now on trial, would be convicted, go to the penitentiary, and be pardoned out. This prosecution was to get him out of Congress. He mentioned that the "New York Herald" had said that the reading of the new indictment against him in court was received with applause, which was promptly checked. He said that the intention of the Democrats in South Carolina was to run every Northern man out of the State. He thought W. Pitt Kellogg would come in as Senator from Louisiana. He himself would vote for Corbin against Butler for admission as Senator, but for the fact that the other Republican senators would not vote for Corbin. He said the tide would take a turn presently; that the Republicans must break with President Hayes, and it would end in his drifting off alone. I have always liked Mr. Patterson; he is frank and fearless; still he was forced to be out of the District of Columbia for several days lately to escape extradition to South Carolina. The earnestness of Southern Democrats in going after political enemies always commands my admiration — they never mislead as to this.
Washington, D.C., [Thursday] November 8th, 1877.— I came here on the 29th of October last on the matter of the proposed government aid to the French Exposition. Mr. Abram S. Hewitt, M.C., New York, had introduced a bill on the subject of the coming Paris Exposition, which was referred to the committee on Foreign Affairs of the House. I got a letter to Mr. Hewitt from Samuel J. Randall, M.C., Pennsylvania. Mr. Hewitt told me when I presented it that he had nothing further to do with the bill. I then got a letter to ex-Governor Thomas Swann, chairman of the committee, who received me kindly. Wednesday night, October 31st, I wrote my friend John H. B. Latrobe, of Baltimore, to write or telegraph Swann in my favor, which he did.
Swann, getting the dispatch of Thursday night, November 1st, I wrote out my bill on Wednesday evening. E. H. Knight of Ohio helped in and about the city. He went with me to the Department of State, where we saw Fred Seward. He asked me for my plan, which I gave him, and he said he would give it to the Committee through one of its members, which he did through Charles G. Williams of Wisconsin. I went to Philadelphia November 2d, conditioned that I should be informed of every step and telegraphed when to come to appear before the committee.
I received a telegram from Mr. Williams, November 6th, and was in Washington November 6th. I appeared before the committee from 11 A.M. to 12 M. and made a good impression.
General Francis A. Walker, of Mass., was in Washington from November 1st to 2d. He was on the train with me to Philadelphia; he was working against the possible appointment of General J. R. Hawley for chief commissioner to the French Exposition. James Monroe, M.C. of Ohio, intimated this to me on November 6th by saying that General Hawley was a quarrelsome man.
I recall that I met a reporter named [B. P.] Gaines, of the Chicago Times, who took offence at me because I would not tell him all that occurred in the closed committee meeting on the 7th. He was one of the few ungentlemanly reporters I have ever met. After my speech before the Committee, I was handed a communication from William M. Evarts, Secretary of the State to Thomas Swann, Chairman, recommending an appropriation of $225,000. I saw Mr. Hewitt November 7th [for] a moment in the committee room and made an appointment with him at his house. In the mean time, I went to Mr. S. J. Randall (Speaker) and asked him to commend me personally to Hewitt, which he did. I called on Mr. Hewitt at the Arlington, as agreed. He was walking the floor dictating to a stenographer. When we got to work, he brought me up by saying — "Sir, you are ignorant of the subject." I saw a fine chance to fight but I kept my temper and said "We cannot all be Mr. Hewitt." Mr. Hewitt was a very positive, irrascible man, but I think a very good one. He was stubbornly positive and tried to master all there was in a subject, so he was frequently himself impressed with the fact that he knew what he was about (and did know). He was really a well informed man. We agreed and I parted from him better informed.
I took the papers to Mr. Swann’s house. He was very kind to me, and he showed me his pictures, which were good. He had an exquisite house and was an elegant old man. This morning, November 8th, a message from the State Department came to the hotel where I stopped and informed me that Mr. Evarts wanted to see me. I called at 11 A.M. and he was not in. In the mean time I called at the Capitol and met the committee. Mr. Williams of Wisconsin told me that Mr. Evarts thought that I was opposing his bill for $225,000 and said that I had better see him. I went there at 1:30 P.M. and waited in his room for twenty minutes. He came in at five minutes before two and looked sour. He said short and snappishly "You are reported to be opposing me on this Paris Exhibition." I replied that I was helping him. He said: "Yes, by cutting down my $225,000 to $140,000." I said, "Yes sir, I did, because I believe it to be enough."
"Mr. Hewitt wants $150,000," Mr. Evarts said. "I have seen Mr. Hewitt; he is a man that thinks he knows everything and nobody can tell him anything." Mr. Evarts them became abusive. He claimed that the people expected him to make an exhibition worthy of the Nation; that he could not do it without $225,000; that he was responsible, implying that I was not. He went on in a rambling, loose, egotistical, vain talk of five minutes and finally said, "Why did you not come to me with your bill to this department?" I wanted to knock him down at this, and felt like it. I held my tongue and looked at him. He was an old man, dried, thin, and like Hecate. His tongue was young and fresh, however. He insisted that he was Alpha and Omega. I think now, and thought then, that William M. Evarts was the weakest, vainest, smallest big man I had ever met. The conversation lasted about fifteen minutes. He was contemptuous, supercilious and sarcastic. He finally said, "Why did you not see me about what you proposed?" "Because," I said, "I am in the habit of doing as I please; besides I looked for you, but you were not here." He was at Richmond on a "bum." He acted as though he was personally aggrieved at me. He finally suggested that we perhaps could come together and compromise all interests. I declined, or rather did not notice this. He went out one door saying, "I want $200,000." I went out the other saying, "All I can get."
He said at one time in the conversation that he wanted the money above my estimate, in case of emergency.
My impression of the whole thing was and is that he has promised to appoint half a dozen men Commissioners with pay and was mad because Mr. Hewitt and I, in our estimates, left them out. At 7 P.M. I called on the President and told him the whole thing. He said, "I am sorry that it occurred. I will fix it all right." I told him my fear that Mr. Evarts might get mad at General Hawley, when he knew I was his friend, and prevent his appointment as chief commissioner. I think the President does not much love Mr. Evarts and believe he will slide out presently, I wrote out three pages with the aid of [E. H.] Knight for Governor Swann’s report; he asked me to and sent it to him at night by a messenger. He used it in his report to the House.
Washington, D.C., [Friday] November 9, 1877.—I had a long talk to-day with Ex-Governor R. C. McCormick, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He was much put out with the fact that our party was sliding away and thought that President Hayes should do something Republican and call in the leaders and consult. He asked me who managed Mr. Hayes and who his advisers were (Queer he should ask; as he sits in [with] the Cabinet).
He said that Mr. Evarts had appointed Sanford [Henry S. Sanford] Minister to Belgium against the protest of President Hayes, and that Rogers, private secretary, told him that Hayes stopped it once. McCormick said "You know John Q. Smith of Ohio, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Mr. Schurz wanted him out—President Hayes wanted him in, as he had recommended him for the position and urged him for it under Grant. Secretary Schurz said Smith was not suspicious enough and asked me to appoint him one of the auditors of the Treasury. I objected to this as Ohio already had two. Mr. Schurz appealed to President Hayes, who told me quietly to let it alone, saying, ‘We must laugh Schurz out of this.’ President Hayes wanted Smith to remain, as he knew that he was an honest man." Mr. Schurz finally triumphed, and he appointed one E. A. Hayt of New York, a natural obstructionist, whom Grant had gotten rid of for this quality on the old Indian Commission.
I asked Governor McCormick what he was going to do after December 1st when he was to go out of office. He did not know, but asked me if I thought President Hayes had not gone back on Secretary Schurz and would he not go out soon? Governor McCormick would probably have liked his place.
Philadelphia, Pa., [Tuesday] November 13, 1877.— Julius J. Wood, former Postmaster of Columbus, Ohio, an intimate friend of William H. Seward, Thurlow Weed, Noah H. Swayne, and President Hayes, lunched with us today. He was one of my boyhood friends.
President Hayes was opposed to the electoral commission bill becoming a law; that the reason for this was that he considered it a departure from the settled rule of procedure and dangerous to the Republican side. Doctor James Williams, Auditor of Ohio [1872-1880], also told me in March, 1877, that President Hayes was against it. In February, 1877, General W. A. Knapp showed me a letter from General James M. Comly of Ohio, an intimate friend of President Hayes, and later Minister Resident to the Sandwich [Hawaiian] Islands, in which he called the bill "the gizzard bill."
Mr. Wood said that from all his conversations with President Hayes, then Governor Hayes, prior to his departure from Columbus to Washington in February, 1877, he thought him as radical as possible. In January, 1877, he went to the Governor for the third time and asked him to retain a man in office whose Republicanism was weak. Wood told the Governor: "He is not as strong as I in the faith, but is a good man." Governor Hayes contemptuously said: "Pshaw, he was a Greeley man."
Mr. Wood accounted for the change in President Hayes’ views by his being forced to act on the trades and promises made by Charles Foster and Stanley Matthews to John Young Brown and General John B. Gordon in the Wormley Conference. He had heard Governor Hayes speak lightly of Foster’s Republicanism and ability prior to March 1, 1877.
Mr. Wood considered Stanley Matthews a weak sister in any society. He knew Mr. Evarts and said that in the old days when guided by Mr. Seward or Mr. Weed in politics, he amounted to a little something, but now he was without balance and a vain man. Roscoe Conkling, whom he had known from boyhood, was a great man in ability, but a boy in judgment. He considered himself a pretty man, handsome. "If" said Mr. Wood, "somebody had broken his nose when he was a boy, so he would have been an ugly boy and a man in features, it would have been better for him."
Mr. Wood is an uncompromising Republican and blames President Hayes for all our party troubles and thinks we are on the verge of party disaster. He was on his way to New York but said he would not go to Washington, as he did not wish to see President Hayes at this time.
He told me that had he been in President Hayes’ position, he would have appointed Simon Cameron Minister to England; that he was an able and excellent man. Mr. Wood was one of the best politicians I ever met, a man of great natural ability, with good powers of memory. He was a wonderful judge of men; it was almost an intuitive faculty with him. He was opposed to Mr. Blaine. He said politically Mr. Blaine had caused his own defeat as a Presidential candidate by appointing, while Speaker, milk and water committees to go South and investigate and by coming on the floor and helping to defeat the "Force Bill."
Washington McLean, proprietor of Cincinnati Enquirer, who had in the past been a bitter and unrelenting enemy of Grant, said to him [J. J. Wood] a week or so ago; "Grant is the greatest man of this country; you should have nominated him for the third term. He would have gone through like a whirl. In ten days your people would have held the Southern Republican States. This was mistake No. 1 for your party. Mistake No. 2, failing in the above, your party should have nominated Blaine. True, it was charged that he was in all sorts of railroad schemes, but in ten days they would have been forgotten. He would have held your party together after he became President."
Mr. Wood had been Postmaster at Columbus, Ohio, under Mr. Lincoln, President Johnson and President Grant. Thurlow Weed once introduced Mr. Wood at a party as the best politician he ever knew. Mr. Wood had a poor opinion of the political ability of Mr. Hayes’ Cabinet, especially Messrs. Devens, Key and Schurz. He said that President Hayes’ present attitude toward some of the leading men of the Republican party was caused as much by Roscoe Conkling as anything else; that Mr. Conkling had acted the fool and bolted off on an idea when he turned against the Vice President counting the Electoral vote, by which action President Hayes was considered as being against him and our party. D. J. Morrell, an old politician and member of Congress from Pennsylvania, told me the same thing, that the Electoral Commission was considered a serious mistake by leading Republicans at the time of its creation.
Washington, D.C., [Friday] Nov. 23d, 1877.—I met Senator S. B. Conover [of Florida] near the Ebbitt House this afternoon. I got out of a street car to meet him. I spoke of his deflection to the democracy yesterday in the [David T.] Corbin—[M.C.] Butler case. He said the administration had sent for Senator [Charles W.] Jones [of Florida], his Democratic colleague, and had consulted him as to appointments in Florida and had ignored him (Conover); that when he was still a Republican he was elected Senator from Florida; the Democrats in the Legislature did it. He had been snubbed by the Republicans. He did not intend that the Senate should be Democratic. He should vote for the admission of Kellogg from Louisiana. I urged him not to vote for Butler. He said he had seen Prest. Hayes to-day [November 23] and told him he was not a Democrat but was still a good Republican. Mr. Hayes had told him he wanted to see him before Monday. Senator Edmunds [of Vermont] had been to see him (Conover) and had upbraided him for voting as he did. He replied to him (Edmunds) that if he had done his duty two years ago as he (Conover) did in the Pinchback case, the Senate would not have been in the shape it is.
I have known Conover a long time and think him quite a decent man — an honest one, poor and badly treated. He is a carpetbagger, I think. He saw his chance on account of the close majority to make the administration stand up to him in giving him the patronage of his State, that he might aid himself in re-election. He discovered all at once that he himself was of some consequence, as well as the party.
Raleigh, N.C., [Tuesday] November 27, 1877.—I arrived here tonight from Charlotte, N.C. We came to Greensborough on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, where we found the roads broken; we then came to this point, and from here we go to Petersburg and Richmond tomorrow. In the evening I called on Governor Zebulon B. Vance at the hotel. I found him a large, genial man, above six feet, with iron gray hair, a fine face, pleasant voice, and smooth, easy manner. He was very cordial and interesting. He seemed well preserved, say 50 to 55 years of age. He spoke of the State being badly off financially, the towns feeling it more than the country. The farmers were now doing pretty well, however, their stock and farms being improved, and good houses being put up. He said the gold mines had been a curse to the State, as in the sections where they were located men became speculators. He said he and all of his family were old Whigs; that they had opposed the war, but when it came (he had been a member of the 35th and 36th U.S. Congress), he became about the worst rebel of all (going into the army.) He said the South was now solid, and the Democratic party in North Carolina stronger and more united than ever; that barring the results of the annoying and irritating constitutional enactments and amendments which were forced upon his people after 1865, and by the convention of 1868, whereby 30,000 men who had held office, from road supervisors up, were disfranchised, the position of the State in respect to its leading men and their control of the state, and in national affairs, was about as it would have been if General Sherman’s proposition to Johnston had prevailed.
He spoke kindly of President Hayes. He said: "I think him an honest man, but a very weak one politically. However, things are in such shape that he cannot do the country much harm. The Democrats of the South and this state are grateful to him for withdrawing the army, and for any other thing or things he may have done Democratic, but as for a single Democrat voting the Republican or Hayes ticket on account of this, it is all simple bosh.
"Mr. Hayes will be a failure. He will have to go to Blaine if he wants strength, or he must come to the Democracy who do not need him; in either event, he will be a failure. He will try to drift along to the end, trying to please everybody. He will use Talmadge to please some religious folks; Bob Ingersoll the infidels; and Brother Newman to please the Methodists. With the curious Cabinet he has and their methods he must fail. Still, he cannot do much harm. I consider Conkling the ablest man in the Republican party and Edmunds next. Blaine is a cunning, shrewd man of information, who does not get angry. He excels Conkling in this."
He continued: "We of this State don’t care much whether the Southern Pacific Railroad is built or not. As it stands at present, it is a scheme to help Tom Scott. Still, if these subsidy grants become national policy and there is to be a division of things, we want our share. However, I am an anti-subsidy man. President Hayes is certainly being deceived by men who claimed to know the South about Democrats going to support him. These men do not know and are simply petting Hayes and deceiving him for the purpose of building themselves up in his good graces."
As the State of North Carolina was one of the States promised Hayes by Tom Keogh [Thomas B. Keogh], Douglas, and others, this was very interesting to me. The old Whigs are not in his judgment redivivus.
After chatting half and hour he gave me his autograph both on paper and on a photograph and invited me to call again. I liked his manner, his frankness and genial way. He is a forcible, strong man and his firm will and striking speech easily explain why he is so popular in his state. His idea is that the Democrats will win the Presidency in 1880 beyond a doubt.
Washington, D.C., [Thursday] November 29, 1877.—I came over the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad last night from Raleigh to Weldon, where we crossed the [Roanoke] river by a ferry as the bridges were down. I met Sam W. Small [Samuel White Small] on the train. "Old Si" of the Atlanta Constitution, the leading paper of the South. He was Andrew Johnson’s private secretary, while Senator , and now has Johnson’s private papers. He was 27 years of age, and intelligent, active and quite a self-satisfied young man. (He afterwards became a famous revivalist.)
He said that he considered President Hayes a fraud in ability and politics, and that as long as he bled to the South, he would be all right. He had been recently with President Hayes and party from Louisiana, south on the "Southern swing" to Atlanta, and in his dispatches had praised President Hayes as a wise and able statesman. This he was directed to do. He considered many of President Hayes’ speeches silly, and his political methods bound to be failures. The South was now to come to the top in national affairs and to rule. Robert Toombs, in his judgment, was the representative man of Georgia. The Negro in the South was doomed and would eventually go to the wall. Any interference on the part of the North to improve their condition or prospects would not be tolerated. The supremacy of the white race was assured in the South. To him, the Rebellion was a glorious fight for principles which had now been vindicated. The South, defeated in the field was now triumphant in council, and, besides, there was not a traitor in the South and never had been.
Andrew Johnson’s political course has been singularly vindicated by the policy of President Hayes. President Hayes was forced to take the course he did by the advice of his Cabinet. Mr. Evarts was in Mr. Johnson’s Cabinet and advised President Hayes in regard to his Southern policy as he had President Johnson. R. W. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy, was also in favor of it, as (Small) had found his [Thompson’s] letter of approval of such a course among Johnson’s letters. Carl Schurz had written Johnson in 1865, endorsing the present Southern policy. Devens was also for it. So a majority of Mr. Hayes’ cabinet had been committed to this line of policy for years.
In December 1877, or January, 1878, Mr. Evarts appointed Small a clerk to the Paris Exposition Commission of 1878 at a large monthly compensation.
Washington, D.C., [Wednesday] Dec. 5 and [Saturday] Dec. 15, 1877.—On Monday December 3 and Tuesday, 4th, I was at Philadelphia. I received two telegrams from Col. S. T[aylor] Suit, of [Suitland,] Maryland, to come to Washington immediately, where I arrived on Wednesday at 6 A.M.; and Col. Suit came to my room with portentous news. On Thursday last he said he had begun a series of movements on [Senator] Stanley Matthews to get recognition for Senator S. B. Conover from President Hayes. On Sunday, December 2d, ex-Senator George H. Williams, a friend of Suit’s, met Matthews at his house and began the business. Senator Matthews promised Williams (who denounced President Hayes’ policy as a fraud and a snare and ruinous to the country, and that the North would soon have a dreadful political fight with the South) that Senator Conover could have everything he wanted in reason, provided the Senate could remain Republican; it hangs on one vote. Williams communicated this to Suit for Conover, Suit being a personal friend of Conover. Conover demanded as the first step that Suit should have anything he wanted. Suit wanted to be minister to Belgium; or secondly, Collector of the port of Baltimore. Finally, I prevailed upon him to ask for surveyor of the port of Baltimore. I knew he would get nothing.
At 2 o’clock, [Wednesday] December 5, he was to meet Conover and tell him what he wanted. This he did and Conover then went after Stanley Matthews. Suit said that President Hayes undoubtedly knew all of this, —queer? I met Senator Conover’s secretary, Col. Rice, on the street in the afternoon, and he told me that Conover was attempting to get the Legislature in Florida to favor his own succession; that he had voted to seat Senator Butler of South Carolina because of the peculiar sympathy of Georgians for Floridians; and that on party grounds alone he had voted to seat Kellogg of Louisiana.
This Matthews political business is funny! The trouble with Stanley Matthews is that he is a man of ability, very erratic and unsatisfactory, and as whimsical as the wind, in politics. He is a handsome man, above 6 feet, sandy complexion, light hair and beard, blue eyes and a frank engaging way. He has a pleasant voice and weighs about 200 pounds. He is personally genial and attractive. I have known him well for twenty years. He is not a great man at all but with his plausible speech and his personal morality and integrity, has much influence. Being a friend of President Hayes, he is in demand by political beats and leeches who inveigle him into recommending them for places. From these he became embarrassed and thus has had political greatness thrust upon him.
December 15, 1877,—Col. Suit told me he had learned that President Hayes had consented to appoint him surveyor of the Port of Baltimore after the present incumbent’s time was up. Stanley Matthews had told Conover so. Col. Suit also said that if these promises had been made a week or so sooner, Conover would not have voted to seat Butler of South Carolina.
Senator Conover, on the 12th, voted to confirm President Hayes’ New York man [Theodore Roosevelt as Collector of Customs for the District of New York, who was not confirmed]. On the 15th he received a magnificent bouquet from the White House! December 15, Rice, his secretary, asked me how Senator Conover’s vote sustaining the President suited me?
All of the above means that the administration was afraid of losing the Senate and that Conover would go to the Democrats. They played with Conover until he was harmless and then never afterward recognized him. Poor devil!
Washington, D.C., [Thursday] December 13, 1877.—Mr. Blaine and myself walked out of his house and down the street about eleven this morning. He said that he had recently written a letter [December 11, 1877] to President Hayes which would melt the heart of a stone, asking my appointment as Assistant Commissioner General to the French Exposition. I told him I was for ex-Governor [Richard C.] McCormick for Commissioner. At this he was much pleased. He said that in 1876, last year, just before the Maine spring election, ex-Governor Ed[ward F.] Noyes of Ohio was up in Maine stumping. The Presidential candidacy was brought up in conversation. Governor Noyes was inclined towards Blaine, but he was finally for Bristow. Some one remarked that Governor R. B. Hayes, of Ohio, might be the nominee. "Hayes," Noyes replied, "that ungrateful fellow, who never remembers a man who befriends him? Pshaw!" Mr. Blaine laughingly said to me: "Still, he has made Noyes Minister to France."
Mr. Blaine said that in the debate in secret [executive] session of the Senate recently [December 12] on the confirmation of the New York Custom house appointments [Blaine voted against confirmation], Senator George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts, who was sustaining the President and his order on the Civil Service, and especially to prevent office holders being active politicians, said that it was to keep the Janezaries of American politics (office holders) out of politics; and, turning to Blaine, said "No one has felt their power more than the Senator from Maine did at the Cincinnati Convention of 1876." "Yes," said Blaine, in an undertone to a senator next to him, "if Senator Hoar had kept his promise and voted for me in that convention, I need not have feared Janezaries or any one else."
Speaking of Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll [who had nominated him at the Cincinnati Convention], Blaine said: "We have always been very intimate up to this time. I have now been here [in Washington] eleven days, but he has never called. When President Hayes bolted the Republican party in the Louisiana case, in fact letting Packard out as Governor, Colonel Ingersoll was in my room, and they were trying to get me to consent. I said I should denounce it from my place in the Senate, and would never consent to it, that Mr. Packard’s title by votes cast or counted was higher than that of President Hayes. Ingersoll, turning round, said, ‘I have always loved you, now I can hug you.’ On the 6th of March I made the speech in the Senate announcing my dissent to such action. Colonel Ingersoll was to lecture later. Fearing that he might be too severe I saw him and said: ‘Bob, don’t be too hard on President Hayes in your speech.’ He said: ‘All right.’ Judge of my surprise when after all of this, he made a vigorous speech defending him."
General J[oseph] R. Hawley had been pronounced as being against Mr. Blaine at Cincinnati. When Hawley was being proposed to be Commissioner General to the Paris Exposition, I hear rumors of opposition to his confirmation. I went to Mr. Blaine, who had a right if any one to have feeling against him, and asked what he would do if Hawley was appointed. Mr. Blaine replied: "Why, I would move his confirmation."
[Thursday] December 13, 1877.—General [Joseph R.] Hawley [of Connecticut] mentioned to me to-night that President Hayes [had] told him (within the hour) that if he (Hawley) would let him know should N. P. Sperry, P.M. at New Haven, do anything against his being elected Senator, or intended to, he would remove him.
Washington, D.C., [Tuesday] December 18, ‘77.—I met Robert G. Ingersoll and wife at Major [John W.] Powell’s this evening for a few minutes. Ingersoll was in good humor. I asked him what he thought of President Hayes’ policy. He said the Republican party deserved just such a President and policy, and that it was now a party without convictions.
An intimate friend of Ingersoll’s told me on the 16th, in the depot at Washington, that he had asked Ingersoll for a letter of recommendation to [President] Hayes. He gave it, but said it was the last and only one; that if he were drowning he would not ask Hayes for a plank. As for Evarts, when he called with Senator Oglesby to know if he was to be appointed for the German mission, to which he had been unanimously recommended by the Illinois Congressional delegation, at the request of Evarts, the latter told him he was yet considering his name. "Considering my name!" said Ingersoll, "I do not permit such a man or such an administration to consider my name for an instant. It’s withdrawn." Evarts looked slightly exhausted after this; he did not even have strength to say, "Am I not the greatest man in America?"
General J. R. Hawley said to me today that Conkling told him that after [Salmon P.] Chase died, Evarts went to a friend and asked him whether or not, if he were in his [Evarts’] place, he would accept the position of Chief Justice of the United States. The gentleman said, "Well, of course, if it has been tendered to you, you must answer quickly." "Oh," said Evarts, "it is not as yet been tendered, but if Grant has an eye to the good of the country and wants the fittest man, he must take me."
New York, [Sunday] December 30, 1877.—Speaking of W[illiam] E. Chandler’s recent radical letter to the New Hampshire people [December 26, 1877], ex-asst. Secretary of the Treasury [Richard C.] McCormick said: "This could all have been avoided by doing what was right and giving him what he asked; he deserved it and ought to have had it."
Mr. McCormick said that in October, 1877, he took Mr. Chandler up to the White House one evening, where they staid an hour. The conversation was general, but no result followed. President Hayes was chatty and pleasant, but that was all.
In 1877 President Hayes appointed General George A. Sheridan, of Louisiana, Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. I was in Paris in 1878, and in conversation with General E[dward] F. Noyes, American Minister to France, the name of General George A. Sheridan came up. General Noyes stated that he was talking to Sheridan one day and chided him about his loose ways, telling him to straighten up, quit rum and bad stories, and with his talents and energy he might become a leader. In fact, he was to quit being a bummer. Sheridan, with a twinkle in his eye, replied: "Noyes, perhaps if you were to take the bummer out of me, there might be nothing left."
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