Excursion to Baltimore, Md.
and Washington, D.C.,
January 18 - February 15, 1881
By Lucy Elliot Keeler
Lucy Elliot Keeler was born in Fremont, Ohio, in 1864. She was the daughter of Isaac Keeler, who migrated to Fremont in 1840 and became a newspaper editor, publisher, and businessman. Her mother, Janette Elliot, was a cousin of President Rutherford B. Hayes. Lucy was educated in the Fremont public schools and at Wells College. An essayist, photographer, and horticulture enthusiast, Lucy was a frequent contributor to Atlantic Monthly, the Ladies Home Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Weekly, Youth’s Companion, and others. She also wrote articles and monographs on local history which were included in the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society publications. She wrote a weekly column, "Pot-Pourri," in her father’s newspaper, the Fremont Journal. Ms. Keeler was also an instructor and board member of the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, an organization often referred to as "Home Study." She was a frequent visitor to Spiegel Grove and was especially close to the Hayes children. She died March 11.1930.
The first issue of the Hayes Historical Journal began with sixteen-year-old Lucy Keeler’s account of her visit to Washington during the winter social season of 1881. She describes her impressions of society in the White House and Washington. The account is part of the much larger Lucy Elliot Keeler Collection at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.
The Day I had so long looked forward to had arrived and on the 18th of January 1881, father [Isaac M. Keeler]1 and myself took the eight o’clock train for Monroeville, [Ohio], made close connections there for the southern train bound for Zanesville. Here the editors were to meet, and from thence the Ohio Editorial Excursion2 was to start for the East.
The journey south in summer must be beautiful, the country being very rolling and well cultivated, but in winter, especially at the time we started, it was anything but lovely: - no leaves, grass, fine residences nor many of any kind [of residences] near the track. We passed through Mansfield between one & two. This is quite a large city. John Sherman was at home that day.3 We arrived in Zanesville about one half past three and went to the Claredon Hotel; but we found all the rooms were engaged, and soon found the city was very full of strangers. At the Zane House we found rooms, by rooming with others. Father went with Mr. [J. H.] Drennon of Martin’s Ferry, [editor of the Ohio Valley News], and I with his daughter Mrs. Robinson, two doors above. I was around the streets a little, but it was rainy and damp and dismal, and I was glad to bo [sic] bed as soon as I could.
Next morning the editors were called to Gold Hall, for business and election of officers. President [I. F.] Mack4 of the Sandusky Register was re-elected and most of the other officers. At eleven the fire department [men] were to exhibit. The signal was given, the run made in quick time but when the nozzle was attached - no water would come! They rushed around and at last found one plug that would work, but it was so late nothing more was done. It happened that all the plugs were frozen up, for they [there] had not been any special attention given them. It was well that there had been no fires. Zanesville raved and made all manner of excuses for their boasted of, and really, fine water works.
After dinner the ladies of the party were taken in hacks to the Children’s Home, a little way out of the city; the gentlemen went to some of the manufacturing houses of the city. The Home is situated in a lovely place on a high hill, all the rooms are neat and clean and the children and teachers very happy. Coming home we met the male part of the excursion and went with them to the Tile Manufactory. Here se [sic] were shown in order every detail of the work: - from the different colored clay to where it was purified, from the pressing in molds, to where it was pressed it [in] different colors; the coloring, glazing, polishing, etc. As we passed out [of the buildings] each person was presented with a package of four tile each about two inches square, and each different. Returning to the Zane House we took supper. Immediately after the tea we were called by President Mack to Gold Hall (which is in the same block). When collected we were escorted to the Opera House for a complimentary exhibition from the proprietors. I will five a brief history and sketch of the block.
On Fifth street with a front of 275 feet is the magnificent block, in the centre of the city and opposite the Post Office. It comprises a hotel (Zane House), a row of Business Rooms, the Grand Theatre, Offices, Large Public Hall (Gold Hall) all fitted up with the latest desirable improvements. The Opera House was opened in January, 1880. The House is one of the finest in Ohio. We went first to the Gallery which will seat about 400 persons. Next to the Balcony, which will seat about 300, and last to the floor which holds about four hundred. This makes a total of 1,100 chairs, with crowding capacity of many more. The chairs are of iron elegantly trimmed with plush and satin, - folding and elegant. The rows are graded in steps affording equal opportunities for all to see the stage. The boxes were elegantly trimmed and provided with chairs. The Drop Curtain was painted by Matt Morgan,5 the great English Artist, and is superb.
There being no opera nor theatre in town we were shown some of the scenery and the orchestra played while they were being changed.
After this was ended I went to my room and then with father started over to the Clarendon Hotel for the evening banquet. Here the tables were most bountifully laded [laden] with a great abundance of everything eatable and some, not. Pyramids of flowers, cakes, oranges, figs, nuts, and other delacacies [sic], to tempt the eye and palate. Speeches and toasts were made and responded [to]. But we left about 11 o’clock, long before it was finished, and knowing we were to start early I retired. The next morning (Thursday [January 20]) we were waked at half past four, and after breakfast, although no one ate much, we started for the depot. The train was delayed a short time, but at 6:20 A.M. we entered the train; we had a special train and the engine is to be "shown off" - we are to make quick time and reach Baltimore two hours before the fast train "A."
About one hundred and five are on the train. W.[D.] Bickham6 of Dayton [editor of the Dayton Journal] is left at Zanesville. The party have [sic] just sent this telegram to him: "We, in behalf of the Editorial Association, congratulate you on your safe voyage." I learned from some one behind me: "He’ll be mad." But it was his own fault, for he would not get up when called.
The scenery now begins to be beautiful. In summer it must be exquisite. The Ohio River was grand. The ice was broken and packed up and we went across the bridge very slowly that we might see it all. A train of barges, about one hundred, were fastened to a steamer, so that they might follow immediately when the ice started.
The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers unite and form the Ohio: we crossed the latter river and ran along with it for some time, crossing from one side to the other, and back again. The river is clear of ice and very beautiful. It seems warmer than in Ohio. There are a great many tunnels through the mountains. One can look out the window almost opposite them and see the track curving around, and then disappear in a great mountain; some of the tunnels are very long, one especially, so that the lights are lit in daytime in the cars. Now we are Buckhorn wall, Cheat River. This is the grandest sight of the journey. The cars are stopped, and we get out. On the right the bank is built up with solid masonry for many feet. Hundreds of feet below is a lovely valley, with the narrow Cheat River. Cheat, because it looks shallow and little, but in reality is very deep. On the other side of the track the rocks loom up, up - very high. On this landing between are the two tracks and a little standing room, scarcely twenty feet, between the sky and earth. The scenery is beyond description. We are now ascending the mountains in the steapest [sic] and highest part; two camel-back engines are pulling us. Farther up, the banks are covered with huge massed [sic] of laurel, growing often in banks of snow or beside great ice masses where the water falls over the rocks. One might easily imagine a frozen Niagara, as we race between the cliffs covered with these [sic] frozen water. More tunnels now; we are ascending the Allegheny Mountains, eleven miles, one hundred and sixteen feet a mile. Such scenery! - Undescribable. Now we are on top of the mountains. We will go twenty miles across. All along the sides are "greeneries" of pine and hemlock, and the laurels and rhododendrons. Down grade now- swift, for we are running wild; houses, now deeper snow, logs - everything but dinner. From supper till the next day at three o’clock is a long time for a person to fast, especially when riding so fast on the cars. A great many people were sick, but neither Father nor myself. Coming farther down we passed the great hotel at Oakland; so one of Senator [Henry G.] Davis’ (of [West] Virginia) Houses. Deer Park, a summer resort, belonging to the B. & O. R.R. is next, and Senator Davis resides near. At last the welcome word is called out, "Cumberland," for here we have dinner. At five o’clock the cars stopped, and we went to the Queen City Hotel, also owned by the B. & O. R.R., and had a big banquet. Some were so sea sick they could not taste their food, but most heartily enjoyed the meal, after a long fast.
Then we returned to the cars, and about one o’clock Friday morning [January 21] reached Baltimore. A sorrier looking crowd of women, than were in the parlor, I never saw. For myself, I enjoyed it; but some were so sick and miserable looking; how their faces would glow when the gentlemen came to call them, after getting rooms. We all had rooms in the Carrollton House, a mammoth six story hotel. I roomed with Mrs. Robbinson [Robinson?]. It was raining when we reached Baltimore and continued all the next day. But nevertheless, that morning we were shown a little of the city. We went first to the house of D. [D.] Mallory and Co., the great oyster-firm! And were shown all over the building. In the yard, were immense heaps of shells, and beyond, wagons were bringing fresh oysters. We saw them taken from the shells, washed; cans made - formed, soldered and finished; the oysters put in and the cans closed and tested. Then a banquet was served of oysters, raw and steamed with lemons; but they were too big for me. I prefer for my uncultivated taste smaller ones, by many degrees.
We then went to the tobacco manufactury of G. W. Gail and Ax. I went in but got out as soon as I could. The tobacco was awful enough alone; but when mixed with the fragrance of snuff, I think "Discretion is the better part of Valor," and immediately retire by the shortest route. I never heard such sniffing and sneezing as our party made when in there. Here, another banquet was served; and thence the party was to go out on the Chesapeake in an ice boat. As I did not care to go, I returned under the care of an usher to the hotel; and after a little rest, went out with another young lady for a short walk.
That evening we had another banquet at the Carrollton House: - everything in the finest style. We assembled in the elegant parlors, and had a social, meeting many Baltimorians. There were some addresses, and then we descended to the dining hall. About twelve [p.m.] Mrs. [George G.] Washburn[e,] [whose husband was editor of the Elyria Republican] and I left and went to our rooms. About one [o’clock] I was taken sick and had a bad morning of it, but when I got on the cars before noon [for Washington], I felt much better. I am inclined to think that chicken salad with olive oil, and then ice-cream (for I ate nothing else), did not agree with me. We reached Washington at twelve o’clock [Saturday, January 22] and went to the Imperial Hotel. Waited for the baggage, and then I went with father in a hack, to the Executive Mansion. An usher took me in, and Rud [P. Hayes]7 met me in the hall. Father had returned to the Hotel. Rud told me that Isaiah [Lancaster]8 was hunting around for me; father had neglected to give the station we would reach, and while I[saiah] had gone to the B. & P. Depot and [sic] we came to the B. & O. Rud took me to my room and Lucy Cook9 came up; then I went down to lunch with Fan [Fanny Hayes].10 Afterwards I came back and slept till five o’clock, all through Mrs. Hayes[’] [Saturday afternoon] Reception. Father was then there. Sunday [January 23] I was tired and stayed at home; looked around the rooms and the twelve conservatories.
Monday [January 24]: - Anna Stilwell,11 Mary Miller,12 Miss [Maria] McKell13 and I went with Mr. Dinsmore14 to the Building of the State, War and Navy Departments - an elegant building on the west of the White House. We were shown all over the Building, and then went on top. The view from here is considered second only to the Dome [of the Capitol] view and is much more accessible; we could go up the first five stories in an elevator; - then we had to climb.
From here we went to the Ordinance Museum, full of guns and army equipments. On one end of the building was a life size picture of General Grant and his staff, mounted. It was elegant, and all the faces - over thirty - are said to be perfect. In the afternoon, Fan and I went to Corcoran’s Art Gallery - it was elegant - containing many choice paintings. That evening, Mr. and Mrs. [Henry L.] Dawes and Miss Anna15 called, and finding Mary Miller was from Fremont asked if she knew Mrs. [Isaac M.] Keeler. Mary told her I was upstairs; and so I was called down and introduced to them. I like them very much.
Tuesday [January 25] - A crowd of us went to the Botanical Gardens; Rud told the rest to look around and took me into some of the smaller rooms, of choice plants. Then we all went to the Agricultural Department. The Herbarium fills two rooms. When we returned Fan was going to her drawing lesson, and I went with her; as I often did afterwards. There was a big reception that night - the President’s. He has one every fortnight. The [Marine] Band played all evening in the band hall. We came down two by two. The halls below were empty save [for] policemen and ushers. The band played as we marched down. The President stood just within the Blue Room between the doors. Rud [Hayes] at his left introduced [the guests] to him. Next [to] the President was Col. [Thomas L.] Casey16 (Mrs. Hayes’ introducer) and next, Mrs. Hayes. Behind her were the young ladies. When all were in the Blue Room, the vestibule was opened and as the band struck up, people came in across the hall into the Red Room, passed into the Blue, gave their names to Rud, he introduced them to his father; then, giving their names again to Col. Casey, he introduced [them] to Mrs. Hayes. Then they passed on into the Green Room, thence through to the East Room, or stopped in one of these. At nine o’clock the hall doors were opened and people could promenade through the elegantly lighted Main Conservatory and Fernery. At ten o’clock, the President with some lady, Col. Casey with Mrs. Hayes, went through the Conservatory and then upstairs, ending the reception. The parlors were massed with growing and cut flowers, and ferns, and foliage plants, from the conservatories.
Wednesday afternoon [ January 26], Fan and I accompanied by Mr. [George A.] Gustin,17 the President’s private secretary, went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where paper money is made. We saw all the processes - the engraving, transferring, &c. The building is some way from the White House off beyond the Washington Monument.
Thursday morning [January 27], Rud took me to the Dep’t [of] Agriculture to see some "herbarium." Saw some lovely ferns and mosses. Then we went to the artist’s room, in the top of the building, where he moulds and paints the elegant and deceptive fac-similes of fruit. He had just finished a fruit piece for a bracket - a plate containing grapes, peaches, plums, a pear and apple - all perfectly natural - in fact, "good enough to eat." Then I went in the carriage with the President, Miss [Martha Day] Porter18 and Mary [Otis] Miller, to the Soldier’s Home and then beyond to Arlington. The Home in on a hill, the President’s cottage being level with the top of the figure of the Dome [of the Capitol], and is the most beautiful of places.19
Thursday evening several young men came in to dinner and afterwards we had games, ending in a good game of Hide and Seek. We played this in the Green, Blue and Red rooms, putting out the lights save in the hall. Father stayed all night with Henry R. Elliot.20
Friday [ January 28] - We, that is Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. And Mr. [ Joseph S.] McKell21 and myself went to the Capitol today. We intended to see the judges [Supreme Court justices] come in, but were too late and so went in to the House. The room is very fine. The President’s Room is one of the most elegant. The ceiling and walls are painted most elegantly - designed and painted by fine artists.
The Marble room which is near the former is all of marble, white from V[ermon]t and brown from New Jersey. Mr. [Edwin E.] Dickinson, Vice President [William A.] Wheeler’s Private secretary and a very fine young man, showed us the various objects of interest. I did not go up in the Dome, but admired the superb paintings from below.
Friday I went to the Depot with father. He has been here a week and enjoyed it very much. We then went to the Treasury. I enjoyed this "lion," I think, the most of any I have seen. We saw many interesting things. Went into the vaults and saw heaps and bags of gold and silver. One huge vault contains the Government bonds in big envelopes. In one room where few were allowed we all saw four women - experts - at work, detecting from burnt notes - burnt to a crisp, the amount, etc., and then redeeming the amount. In this way thousands of dollars are redeemed. The women would slice off the notes, and even build up the notes from the ashes. It was wonderful.
Saturday [January 29] we went [to] the Capitol and again we missed the judges, for they do not come out Saturday. We went into the Senate Chamber. This afternoon Mrs. Hayes has a reception. Fan and Scott22 [Hayes] go to the Soldiers Home to spend the evening. They play "Cinderalla" with the Potter children [at the Home].
We have had one or two musical evenings when the family were alone, and we all would play or sing, ending it in a grand game of Hide and Seek in which the "dignitaries" all join. The [William M.] Evarts23 receive tonight. Lucy Cook and Mr and Mrs McKell have gone.
Sunday [January 30] - I went to the Foundry Methodist Church24 with Mr & Mrs Hayes, Anna Stilwell and Mary Miller. Lucy Cook & Dora [Dean] Scott25 went with the Vice President to the Presbyterian [Church]. In the afternoon I went out to the Soldiers Home for Fan & Scott.
Now Something about the White House. It faces the north, the Potomac is south; on the East the Treasury Building, on the West the Building of the State, War and Navy.
It is 1½ mile from the Capitol. The private grounds consist of about twenty acres. Two gateways connected by a semi-circular drive & footpath lead to the North Portico. The Vestibule is a large tile-floored entrance room; large glass doors separate it from the Hall. From it are doors into the Ushers Waiting Room, private stairway, and the hall and stairs leading up to the business part of the Mansion.
An elegant life size portrait of Lincoln rests against the east wall. The East Room is 80-40 feet and 22 feet high. The ceiling is divided in three panels and all painted in oil. The walls are a grey drab. The woodwork throughout is in gilt and white. There are eight immense mirrors two on each side. The crystal chandeliers are magnificent. The furniture is in grey and maroon. On the east side hang life size paintings of Gen & Lady Washington. Mrs. Hayes’ portrait now adorns the room. Going out a door on the left, we enter the Green Room. The walls are green and gray and the furniture is black & green. There is an elegant, grand piano; and head [bust] pictures of four presidents hang on the walls. Passing through the Green [Room], we enter the Blue Room - the handsomest parlor. Its shape is oval - 40 by 30 ft - and is furnished in blue and gold. The blue divan is fixed in the centre of the room. The meridian of Washington runs through the centre of the room. On the south are large doors opening on the piazza. This was formally the chief entrance. Beyond the Blue room is the Red Room,26 the family parlor, and the one used the most by them, probably because nearest the door and stairs. Its size is like the Green Parlor, 30 by 20 feet. The furniture is more modern than that in the other parlors. An upright piano stands against the south wall. There stand[s] the Victorian stand [desk], made from the ship Resolute, sent in search of Sir John Franklin, and presented by the Untied States to Her Majesty. Queen Victoria had the desk made and presented to the President in officio.27 From the Red Room opens the State Dining Room: 40 by 50 feet. A long table seating about forty is in the centre, and a long mirror runs through the middle. On the side board is the elegant silver boat bought by Mrs. Grant, at the Centennial.28 The windows open into the Main Conservatory. On the other side of the Hall is the Family Dining room. The Table and Side Board are beautifully carved; were made in Cincinnati for $1,000.29 Behind this is a small room where meals are brought up and served from.
Second Story. The east part of the building is occupied by the business work - secretarys’ rooms and the elegant Cabinet room, where the President meets with his Cabinet on Tuesdays and Fridays. There is a private door leading into the Library. This room is over the Blue Room and is of the same shape. It is furnished in Green Leather and is a resort for the family. An upright piano is against the wall.30 Books are in cases and pictures and busts are numerous. The next room is the Regal Chamber furnished in Red, and is the finest in the house. Next, and opening to it is Mrs. Hayes bedroom, a large and beautiful apartment where the family like to go. Books, easy chairs, pictures and knick knacks are plenty. From the South windows may be seen the Washington Monument and the large Bureau of Engraving and Printing in the distance. The Potomac with its Larg[e] Bridge, and before the house the beautiful grass slope down to the river. Behind this room is a smaller dressing room. Across the hall is the Buff Room, beautifully furnished in Buff. At the end of the hall stood the collesal [colossal] painting of President Hayes.
The family have breakfast at 8:30, lunch at 2:00 and dinner at 6:00. In the huge basement are the family and State Cooking Rooms; the servants’ rooms and packing and store rooms. The Conservatories are large and beautiful. Every one has a beautiful bouquet of flowers at his place at dinner time, and every morning flowers were sent to different persons in the city.31
Going to the Capitol today we went down to the basement to see the ventilating machinery. By means of this the air under the seats of the members of the House may be changed every eight minutes.
Rud [Hayes] took me only to [the] Smithsonian today. We stayed only a short time and then went to the Patent Office. This building is beautiful, but the inside is awful; everything jammed into every thing else, and dust of ages over that. We stayed seven minutes, long enough to see Washington’s things and then went to the Post Office Department. We went right to the Dead Letter Office and staying five minutes, I was glad enough to get away. But I had been there - that was enough.
Mr. [Lewis] Leppleman32 came this week. Mrs. Hayes took Fan and Scott to New York; she went to sit for the portrait [being painted of her by Daniel Huntington]. Webb went with her, and Mr. Leppleman came on with him. To-night, Friday [February 4], Lucy Cook and I are the only ladies in the House. There are a couple of delegations coming to meet the President.
Saturday [February 5]. The reception last night was a private affair for two parties - the Librarians who came first; and an excursion party from Boston. Lute [Lucy] Cook stood up with the President [in the receiving line]. I was given the list of those present. This morning Miss Edith Harlan will come to stay till Mrs. Hayes returns [from New York]. Her father is one of the judges of the Supreme Court.33
When Miss Harlan came we went out riding in the sleigh, the last ride one [sic] of the season. We went out to Briggs Street where George Buckland34 is boarding with Mrs. Belding.
Sunday [February 6]. Lucy Cook, Miss Harlan and myself went with the President to the Foundry Church.
Monday [February 7]. Rud & I arranged to go to the Botannical [sic] Gardens for ferns. I found Mr. Leppleman and invited him to go with us. George Buckland came also. Rud and I left the others and went with Mr. [William R.] Smith [superintendent of the Gardens] to the smaller rooms. Here we filled our collecting box and finding the others, started off. We went to the Agricultural Building, and into the conservatories adjoining, and then down into the specimen room. From here we went to [the] Washington Monument. It is very large. We sent inside and then into another building where the monument to go inside were [sic] kept. Some of them were very fine.
Mrs Hayes and Fan have returned [from New York] and brought with them Bettie Hammond.35 Scott stayed there for a few days longer. Dr. and Mrs. Carter of Columbus, [Ohio], are now here. Mrs Hayes and myself rode to Georgetown this afternoon. It is a very old city. Some of the house[s] are very old and queer looking. We went up to Oakhill Cemetery. It is a lovely place in winter, and must be much more so in summer. Expect Sam [Keeler36 to arrive] next week. Mrs. Hayes telegraphed for him to come for me. I am so delighted.
A party of us are going to the Government Printing Office. Fan, Sam and myself were going with Mr. Gustin, and we persuaded Lucy Cook to go with us. This was one of the most interesting places. We saw the processes of sterotyping, electotyping, and everything of that kind; binding, printing, gilding, numbering pages, folding, and everything necessary. Mr. Gustin had our names printed there. Mine, as the rest, is done in the finest gold, 23 carets [sic], and by good & skilled workmen.
At a reception the other day, Rud and I were talking together and having a laugh over something by the south window in the Blue Room. Presently, when he got up, a lady assailed him and wanted to know if I was his cousin. Rud said "yes" and she said "I thought she looked very much like your mother." I suppose she heard him call me "Lucy" and knowing Lucy Cook looked something like Mrs. Hayes, took me for her, and thought it a good time to show her knowledge. We had a good laugh over that.
The Elliots - Aunt Martha, Charles, Henry R & James Henry called to-night [February 11]. I like the latter very much. I am going to Aunt Marcia’s (1229 N Street, N.W.) soon, to spend the day. Mrs. [Henry L.] Dawes boards at (904 - 14th Street N.W.) at present.
Last week [Thursday evening, February 3] there was a State Dinner - the grand occasion. The table in the State Dining Room was set with the elegant china, and massed with flowers. The silver boat, filled with flowers, was in the centre on the mirror. Fruit and bon-bons were on the table; and that was all, yet the table was loaded. The food was cooked by five French cooks, and elegantly served. I received an invitation, bon-bon &c. but was obliged to decline going (younger folks never go) but Fan and I in the Family Dining Room were served with each course as the others. The Marine Band were [sic] in attendance. The windows into the State Dining Room from the Conservatory were "piled up" with flowers. After dinner, all adjourned to the East Room, and coffee was served, standing.
The China is elegant - in fact, almost indescribable.37
I have been collecting and pressing many ferns from the conservatory. I changed them every day, or oftener, and had splendid success.
The Saturday [February 12] before I returned [to Fremont] there was a big flood over the city. The ice from above had swollen the Potomac and the water was rapidly rising. While Fan was stud[y]ing, I went down town and found the water up to Pennsylvania Av. The streets were filling and everyone hurrying around. I stayed down in a store for some time and on coming out, found the water up to the door. I had to take a long way home and did not get there till after lunch. Then I so excited Fan & Betty [Hammond] that we all started off again. By this time it was much worse. Street cars were off the tracks, and abandoned. The Chariots were floating on side streets. the Water in the Baltimore and Potomac Depot was five feet deep. Passengers were landed in boats and brought out as far as possible and then carried across. The streets were jammed. Goods in the stores were packed and carried away. Part of Long Bridge was carried off by the flood and the water was up to the foot of the [Executive] Mansion grounds. We saw some very funny sights. One young dandy wished to get into the Opera House, but did not wish to wade through three feet of water. So he got a big colored man to wheel him through on a big wheelbarrow. He perched himself on the very top, drew up his knees and put his whalebone cane on the top of them. Then [he] told the man to start. Every one was watching him on the streets. They were progressing nicely and rather swiftly when lo! - a curbstone, hid under water, impeded the wheelbarrow, and forsmooth [forsooth]! the man went on. He landed in the water, lost his cane and hat, and dashed off on his own feet for the Opera House. "Oh, what a fall there was, my countrymen!" and what a shout rose up from the crowd. Well, we walked till we were tired and then started home; but we were up at forth [Fourth] street and had nearly a mile to walk; we could not get in a car or chariot, for they were so full, till about 10th street, when we obtained a place [and arrived at the White House]. Then we went in and dressed for the [Saturday afternoon] reception. We came back soon, and stood there by Fan’s window for nearly two hours watching the people come in and I caught a terrible cold.
A few days before [earlier], we went to hear the electoral count [for the incoming President]. There was an immense crowd there of elegant and rich people. Vice President [William A.] Wheeler officiated. Mr. [Edwin E.] Dickinson stood by him, helping him. James [A.] Garfield was with our party.
On Monday [February 14], Sam [Keeler] and I started off [for home]. A lunch and box of lovely flowers were put up for us; and Rud, Fan and Betty came to the depot with us. We had a good journey home. I was very hoarse, could hardly speak; & was very glad to get home. So ended my journey....I arrived home the fifteenth of February, after a four weeks visit.
1 Isaac Marvin Keeler (1823-1907) was a native of Norwalk, Conn. He migrated to Lower Sandusky (Fremont), Ohio, in 1840 and became a newspaper editor, publisher and businessman. He was editor of the Fremont Journal between 1854 and 1866, and later, in partnership with his son Samuel P. Keeler, between 1877 and his death. Twice married, his second wife was Janette Elliot, a daughter of President Hayes’ aunt, Linda Hayes, and Samuel Elliot, of Brattleboro, Vermont. Isaac M. Keeler wrote and published a 4-column article on the editorial excursion which appeared in his weekly newspaper, the Fremont Journal, Friday, February 11, 1881, page 1, columns 5-9.
2 The Ohio Editorial Association, consisting of editors and journalists of Ohio, with Isaac F. Mack, Jr., of the Sandusky Register, president, embarked on its 1880 excursion late in January, 1881, postponed because of the Presidential election in 1880. The excursion carried the journalists first to Zanesville, Ohio, for the Association’s annual meeting, and then on to Baltimore for other meetings, and to Washington, D.C., for an evening reception at the White House. One of the Association members, Henry B. Kelly, editor of the Allen County Democrat, died suddenly at the Imperial Hotel in Washington while on the trip. go back
3 John Sherman (1823-1900) was Secretary of the Treasury in the Hayes Administration (1877-1881). go back
4 Isaac Foster Mack, Jr. (1837-1912), Civil War veteran, attorney, and editor, was president of the Ohio Editorial Association for several years, and was one of the founders of the Western Associated Press, later the Associated Press. He acquired the Sandusky Register in 1869 and continued as its editor and publisher until his retirement in 1909. See Charles E. Frohman, Sandusky’s Editor: Isaac Foster Mack’s Blazing Forty Years as Editor of the Sandusky Register (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio Historical Society, ). go back
5 Matthew Somerville Morgan (1839-1890) was an Anglo-American graphic artist and scene painter. He was born in London, and came to America in 1870 as special artist for Frank Leslie, the publisher, and later was a theatrical manager in New York City for several years. Matt Morgan managed a lithograph concern in Cincinnati (1880-1885), and established there the Matt Morgan Pottery Company and formed the Art Student’s League. In America, his influence was greatest in the domain of the poster and of scene painting. See The New International Encyclopaedia. Second edition (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1925), XVI, 255. go back
6 William D. Bickham (1827-1894) was editor of the Dayton Journal, and a long-time friend of President Hayes. go back
7 Rutherford Platt Hayes (1858-1927) was the third son of President and Mrs. Hayes. He was a graduate of Cornell University and took post-graduate work at Boston Institute of Technology. He became active in banking, in scientific agriculture, and in libraries, serving as one of the founders of the Ohio Library Association and as secretary of the American Library Association (1896-1897). go back
8 Isaiah Lancaster was the Black valet and handyman of the President. The President’s son Webb recalled that he was "...the footman who was always sent to receive the visitors at the railway stations...he found all the ...relatives and friends who flocked to the White House during the four years." See Webb C. Hayes to William Dean Howells, October 7, 1919, in the Hayes Papers, The Rutherford B. Hayes Library. go back
9 Lucy Cook (1851-1902) of Chillicothe, Ohio was a first cousin of Lucy Webb Hayes. Her father, Matthew Scott Cook was a brother of Lucy Hayes’ mother, Maria Cook Webb. Lucy Cook was frequently in the Hayes family for long visits, and when she was married on April 3, 1888, in Chillicothe, the former President and Mrs. Hayes were present. Her bridegroom was Edward V. McCandless of Allegheny Pennsylvania. go back
10 Fanny Hayes (1867-1950) was the only daughter and sixth child of President and Mrs. Hayes. She was born in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, while her father was serving his second term as Congressman from Ohio. She received her education at the White House, in the Fremont public schools, at a boarding school in Cleveland, and at Miss Sarah Porter’s school at Farmington, Conn., (1885-1887). When she was married in Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio, on September 1, 1897, to Ensign Harry E. Smith of Fremont, President William McKinley and other high public officials attended. Divorced in 1919, Fanny resumed her maiden name. go back
11 Annie M. Stillwell (1865-1905) was a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Stilwell, of Fremont, Ohio, close personal friends of President and Mrs. Hayes. go back
12 Mary Otis Miller (1856-1935) was a daughter of Anson H. Miller, Fremont banker, who had been a partner of Sardis Birchard in the banking business. Mary Otis Miller was twice married; after the death of her first husband, Samuel Brinkerhoff, she was married on September 30, 1912, to Webb C. Hayes, the President’s second son. go back
13 Maria Webb McKell (1840-?) of Chillocothe, Ohio, was a first cousin of Lucy Webb Hayes. Lucy’s and Maria’s mothers were sisters. go back
14 Probably Andrew F. Dinsmore, who was a draughtsman for the Topographic Division of the Post Office Department. go back
15 Senator and Mrs. Henry Laurens Dawes and their daughter, Anna Laurens, were from Massachusetts, and were personally acquainted with Lucy Keeler’s mother, Janette Elliot Keeler. The daughter, Anna, became known as a writer on political topics. go back
16 Thomas L. Casey (1831-1896) was a graduate of West Point in 1859, and was brevetted colonel for meritorious service in the Civil War. He became superintendent of the public buildings in Washington on March 3, 1877. go back
17 George A. Gustin was a stenographer in the President’s office. He had served as a stenographer in the Post Office Department, and later was a clerk in the Surgeon-General’s office. He was a native of England and was appointed to government service from Augusta, Ga. go back
18 Martha Day Porter was a daughter of Noah Porter, President of Yale University. go back
19 President Hayes, like other chief executives before him, spent part of the hot, humid summers in a