Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Scope and Content
The collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes
Presidential Center in 1955 by Mrs. Francis J. Bloodgood
Stanley Matthews (July
21, 1824 – March 22, 1889), U.S. Supreme Court justice, was born in
Matthews married Mary Ann Black in 1843. They had eight children, of whom five survived to adulthood. The death of three sons in an 1857 scarlet fever epidemic led Matthews to discard the rationalist Unitarianism of his youth for a fervent, though liberal, Calvinist Presbyterianism. Mary Ann Matthews died in 1885, and he married Mary Theaker in 1887.
In 1861, Matthews
joined the Republican Party and volunteered for military service. He was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the
Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry and then colonel in the Fifty-first Ohio
Volunteer Infantry. He was provost
Back in private
practice, Matthews prospered, representing railroads and other corporate
interests. He became active in
Republican politics and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of
Representatives in 1876. In 1877, he
argued the cause of his college and army friend Rutherford B. Hayes before the
electoral commission. Matthews also helped
engineer the Wormley Compromise of 1877, which
resolved the disputed 1876 presidential election on the basis of Republican
pledges to terminate what was left of military Reconstruction. This assured a return of Democratic control
in the southern states. The former
opponent of slavery seemed untroubled that this action abandoned the freed
people of the South to domination by vengeful, racist regimes, who within a generation would impose Jim Crow, economic
servitude, political disfranchisement, and the political ideology of white
supremacy. Republicans in control of the
In 1881, President
Hayes nominated Matthews to the Supreme Court, but the nomination proved
politically controversial and languished in the Judiciary Committee. Democrats bore a grudge over his political
role in the 1876-77 negotiations and considered him Hayes’s crony because the
two men were related by marriage. Hard
money proponents resented his support for silver, while reformers of either
party viewed his lucrative railroad practice suspiciously. Newly elected president James A. Garfield
resubmitted the nomination, and Matthews was confirmed by a margin of one vote
in 1881. He sat until his final illness
in 1888 forced him off the bench and he died in
Though Matthews served only seven years and was little differentiated ideologically from his brethren on the Court, several of his opinions have lasting significance.
In Yick Wo
Stanley Matthews was esteemed by his contemporaries for legal acumen and remembered affectionately by former enemies such as Senator George Edmunds, who had opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court for “the gentleness of his disposition, the affability of his conduct.” Matthews was one of the more progressive jurists on a Court that was beginning to formulate doctrines, such as substantive due process, that were hostile to state regulatory power. His realistic approach in Yick Wo was far in advance of its time and marked one of the few occasions before 1950 when the equal protection clause was enforced to protect racial minorities. In his seven years of service on the Supreme Court, Matthews left an enduring mark on American public law. American National Biography
Scope and Content
This collection dates from 1803 to 1932 and consists mainly of family correspondence, memoranda, court opinions, speeches, notes on the Matthews family as well as addresses and arguments from 1856 to 1881. Also included are biographies of Matthews, an article about Matthews and the Presbyterian church, photographs, and printed material. An item level description of this collection, including the names all correspondents is available in the reading room at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Letters from Matthews to President Rutherford B. Hayes and to William K. Rogers (Hayes’ secretary during his term in office) that are a part of the Rutherford B. Hayes Papers are listed in this inventory. Several letters to Hayes family members from Mrs. Stanley (Mary Ann Black) Matthews and Mortimer and Paul Matthews, sons of Stanley Matthews may also be found in the Hayes Papers.
3 linear ft.
1. Longworth & Horne, ads. Sturges & Anderson Nicholas Longworth, ads. Sturges & Anderson Brief for the defendants for rehearing Worthington & Matthews, solicitors. (1852 +)
2. Remarks of Stanley Matthews upon resolutions of Mr. Brazee, and the substitute therefore proposed by Mr. Kelley, relative to the canal contracts. February 26, 1857, Ohio Senate, 2 copies.
ex dem. Joseph C. Parrish, against Eliphalet Ferris, and others. Argument for plaintiff by
relations of the state to religious
The City Solicitor vs. the City of
delivered at the reunion of the Army of the
address before the literary societies of the University of
the Senate of the
to alumni of
12. Speech regarding the function of the legal profession in the progress of civilization by Stanley Matthews, September 20, 1881.
address delivered before the graduating classes at the 64th
anniversary of the
of the bench and bar of the Supreme Court of the
of the Historical and Philosophical Society of
Chase’s argument in defense of John Vanzant before
the Supreme Court of the
17. “Some Letters of Salmon P. Chase,” (1848 – 1865). American Historical Review, volume 34 number 3 (1929). 3 copies.
18. An Address on the Character and Influence of Chief Justice Marshall by Horace Gray (1901).
19. The Development of the Constitution as influenced by Chief Justice Marshall, by Henry Hitchcock (1889).
21. Proceedings of the Bar and of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Memory of Horace Gray, January 17, 1903.
1. Newspaper clippings. (1877)
2. Newspaper clippings. (1877)
Institution of the Society of the
2. Friend’s Miscellany: Containing the Journal of William Matthews.
3. Manuscript by Mary Ann Matthews (nee Black) 283 pp
4. Manuscript by Mary Ann Matthews (nee Black) 7 sections
5. Manuscript by Mary Ann Matthews (nee Black) pp 5 – 129
6. Manuscript by Mary Ann Matthews (nee Black) 10 pp
7. Manuscript by Mary Ann Matthews (nee Black) fragments.
8. Letters: Matthews family miscellaneous (1817-1860)
9. Letters: Sara Matthews to her son Thomas J. Matthews (1803-1805)
10. Letters: Isabella Matthews (2nd Mrs. Thomas J.) to her sister Ruth Miller. (1812-1827)
11. Letters: Harriet Matthews to her sister Eliza Paxson (1818-1821)
12. Letters: To Harriet (Johnson) Matthews, first wife of Thomas J. Matthews (1809-1822)
13. Letters: Thomas Matthews to his son Thomas J. Matthews. (1817-1827)
14. Letters: Thomas J. Matthews miscellaneous. (1821-1822).
15. Letters: Thomas J. Matthews to his son Stanley Matthews. (1839-1848)
16. Letters: Thomas J. Matthews to Mrs. Stanley Matthews. (1848-1881)
Mrs. Thomas J. Matthews to
18. Letters: Johnson Matthews (1823)
3. Letters: To Stanley Matthews from siblings.
7. Letters: Photocopies of Stanley Matthews letters (1865-1881) copied from the originals at other institutions.
Mary Ann Matthews to
9. Letters to Mary Ann (Black) Matthews (Mrs. Stanley Matthews).
10. Letters: Mr. and Mrs. James Black to and from their children.
12. Miscellaneous documents:
13. Campaign of 1872 speech of Hon. Stanley Matthews (August 2, 1872).
14. Electoral Commission (1877)
16. Supreme Court material.
17. Biographical material for Stanley Matthews.
18. Matthews genealogy.
19. Tax forms. Mrs. Harland Cleveland (Grace) (1907-1927).
20. Church publications (Grace Matthews Cleveland?) (1918-1920).
1863, Sept. 23
1869, May 10; May 13; July 30 (telegram)
1870, March 26
1871, May 8
1875, June 12; Dec. 9
1876, Jan. 25; March 2; March 24; April 3; June 16 (telegram); June 17; June 23 (two letters); June 24; July 1; July 16 (telegram); July 29; Nov. 9; Dec. 15; Dec. 26; Dec. 28
1877, Jan. 3; Jan. 27 (telegram); Feb. 13 (two letters); Feb. 19; Feb. 23; March 16; March 20; March 23; April 27 (two letters); April 30 (two letters); May 2; May 14; May 15; May 19; May 26; May 30; June 20; June 27 (telegram); July 16; July 26 (telegram); Aug. 3; Aug. 6; Sept. 3; Oct. 1;
1878, Dec. 9
1879, March 1; March 10; April 5; April 15; May 24; July 2 (telegram); July 3; Oct. 29; Nov. 6; Nov. 12 (telegram); Dec. 5
1880, April 7; April 22; April 26; Nov. 6
1881, Jan. 13; Jan. 31; Feb. 8; March 12; May 22; May 24; June 13
1882, May 4
1883, April 1
1884, May 8
1885, March 28; April 17
1886, May 12
1887, May 13
1888, May 17
Unknown year, Oct. 22 (telegram)
Letters to W. K. Rogers (private secretary to Rutherford B. Hayes) in the Rutherford B. Hayes Papers
1877, April 13; May 4; May 5; May 14; May 15; May 27; May 29; June 24; Oct. 17
1879, Jan. 29; Feb. 12; April 15.