Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Lucy Webb Hayes Photograph Collection
Scope and Content
Images of Lucy Webb Hayes appear in the Hayes Presidential Center Portrait File, the Hayes Bigelow Collection, the Elizabeth Mitchell Heyl Collection, and the Lucy Elliot Keeler Photograph Albums as well as the Rutherford B. Hayes Photograph Collection, including the Hayes Photograph Albums and collections of Webb C., Scott, Fanny, and Birchard A. Hayes. An index of all images contained in the Hayes Photograph Albums is available in the Hayes Presidential Center’s reading room.
Lucy Webb Hayes was born in Chillicothe, Ohio to Dr. James Webb and Maria Cook on 28 August 1831. Two years later Dr. James Webb died during a cholera epidemic in Kentucky, where he had gone to free slaves he had inherited. In 1844 the Webb family moved to Delaware, Ohio. Lucy’s brothers enrolled at Wesleyan University there, and although women were not allowed to study at Wesleyan, Lucy was permitted to enroll with her brothers. Several months later Lucy transferred to Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College and graduated from there in 1850.
Lucy first met Rutherford B. Hayes on the campus of Wesleyan University in Delaware. Two years later Lucy and Rutherford were married in Cincinnati in a simple ceremony on 30 December 1852. Eight children were born to the couple: Birchard Austin (1853-1926), Webb Cook (1856-1934), Rutherford Platt (1858-1927), Joseph Thompson (1861-1863), George Crook (1864-1866), Fanny (1867-1950), Scott Russell (1871-1923), and Manning Force (1873-1874).
When he practiced law in Cincinnati, Rutherford, influenced by Lucy’s anti-slavery sentiments, defended runaway slaves who had crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky. Lucy supported Rutherford’s decision to volunteer for military service during the Civil War. As often as she could, Lucy – sometimes with her mother and children – visited Rutherford in the field. She often assisted her brother, Dr. Joe Webb, in caring for the sick.
Lucy took an active interest in her husband’s political career. When Rutherford served in the United States Congress, Lucy worked for the welfare of children and veterans. During his tenure as governor of Ohio, she secured funding for an orphanage for the children of Civil War veterans.
Lucy Webb Hayes was a helpmate during Rutherford’s term as President. She did not serve alcohol at the White House, but in reality it was Rutherford’s decision to forego alcohol. He realized the importance of temperance advocates to the Republican Party and the need for public officials to maintain a dignified demeanor in public.
Lucy’s compassion and sincerity endeared her to Washingtonians. She regularly visited the National Deaf Mute College and the Hampton Institute where she sponsored a scholarship for Native American students. She continued to show concern for the poor by contributing generously to Washington charities. Fond of children, the White House was open to her children’s friends. She also started what has become a tradition: when the children of Washington were banned from rolling their Easter eggs on the Capitol grounds, Lucy invited them to use the White House lawn on the Monday following Easter. Her young adult nieces and cousins were also guests at the White House, often assisting in the hosting of White House social functions. By the end of Rutherford’s term in office, Lucy was acclaimed the "most widely known and popular President’s wife the country has known."
The Hayes family returned to their Fremont, Ohio, home, Spiegel Grove, in 1881. Surrounded by family, friends, flowers, and fauna, Lucy spent her last eight years at Spiegel Grove. A few days after suffering a stroke, Lucy Webb Hayes passed away 25 June 1889.
Scope and Content
The bulk of the collection contains original images and copies of Lucy Webb Hayes in a variety of formats. Most are formal, posed portraits and engravings. The collection is arranged chronologically. beginning with the earliest known image, a copy of a daguerreotype dated 1847, and extending to the year of her death, 1889. Some of the copies were created from originals in the Hayes Photograph Albums. Notations, including dates, in the handwriting of President Hayes appear on many of the images. The daguerreotypes from which the copies were produced are stored in the daguerreotype collection.
The collection also contains images that were given to Lucy Webb Hayes as gifts while she was First Lady (1877-1881). Of particular note are the stereoviews and albumen prints of American Indian students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The stereoviews are housed in the Stereoview Collection.
The Hayes Photograph Albums contain additional images of Lucy Webb Hayes as does the Rutherford B. Hayes Photograph Collection. Many candid views of Lucy Webb Hayes with family and friends at Spiegel Grove (1881-1889) were taken by her son Rutherford Platt Hayes and by Lucy Keeler. The albums of Lucy Elliot Keeler are part of the Lucy Elliot Keeler Collection.
ca. 400 items
Box 1 Portraits
1. 1847 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes from a daguerreotype; aged 16.
2. 1850 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes from a daguerreotype, Wesleyan College, aged 19
3. 1850 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes from a daguerreotype, Wesleyan College, aged 19; with classmates Jane
Lewis and Rachel L. Bodley
4. 1850-1860, Image of Lucy Webb Hayes, (seated)
5. 1852 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes with Rutherford B. Hayes from a daguerreotype taken at the time of their
6. 1858 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes, aged 27
7. 1860-1870 of Lucy Webb Hayes (profile)
8. 1870 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (profile) by Landy, Cincinnati, Ohio
9. 1874 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders) by North & Oswald, Toledo, Ohio
10. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes ( standing, side view) by C. M. Bell, Washington, D. C.
11. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (seated, two views) from original by Brady.
12. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (seated, and head and shoulders) by Mora, New York
13. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (standing, full view) cabinet card by Grob, Fremont, Ohio from original
by Mora, New York.
14. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders) by Sarony, New York with albumen copies by
Grob, Fremont, Ohio and McKecknie and Oswald, Toledo, Ohio.
15. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (standing) cabinet card, by Sarony, New York
16. 1877 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders) by Sarony, New York
17. 1878 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (standing) portrait painting by C. F. Andrews
18. 1879 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes in White House Conservatory with children
19. 1880 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (standing), portrait painting by D. Huntington, produced by Thos.
Endean, Cleveland, Ohio
20. 1880 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders), cabinet card by Thomas Southworth, San
21. 1880 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (standing, 2 views, seated 1 view), albumen prints by Taber, San
22. 1888 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders, 3 views) albumen prints by McKecknie &
Oswald, Toledo, Ohio and copies of a single view by J. Dick, Fremont, Ohio.
23. 1888- 1889 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes on the steps of Spiegel Grove feeding pigeons, entitled "The
Wounded Pigeon" (last photograph taken before her death)
24. 1889 Image of Lucy Webb Hayes on the grounds of Spiegel Grove, entitled "Feeding the Pigeons" (last
photograph taken before her death), circular Kodak
Box 2 Groups, Engravings, Miscellaneous
1. 1889 Images of floral funeral tributes to Lucy Webb Hayes, including the Women’s Home Missionary
Society, Clear Lake, Iowa, 27 July 1889
2. Pen and Ink Sketch of Lucy Webb Hayes, perhaps from portrait image (head and shoulders)
3. Photographs given to Lucy Webb Hayes
a. Image of the Philip Bremmer triplets, Ellen, Emma, and Sarah, 1877 - 1881
b. Colored cabinet card of religious painting
c. Albumen print of sketch of Detroit, Michigan from Canadian shore, August 1820, given to Lucy Webb
Hayes, by T. C. McGee, Sandusky, August 1888.
4. a. Engraving of Cincinnati Wesleyan College
b. Elliott Hall at Ohio Wesleyan College, Delaware, Ohio,
c. Prints of documents, including Lucy Webb Hayes’ diploma, 1850 commencement program, and address
given by Lucy Webb Hayes at commencement, entitled "Influence of Christianity on National Prosperity"
5. 1862 Image of painting by C. T. Webber of Lucy Webb Hayes helping the wounded during the Civil War
6. 1878 Engraving of Lucy Webb Hayes (head and shoulders) by C. Burt
7. 1881 6 January, Tintype (2) by Blacklidge with image of Lucy Webb Hayes with White House luncheon
group: Miss Maria Herron (sister of Mrs. W. H. Taft) Miss Lucy Hayes Cook (Mrs. W. D.McCandless),
Miss Elisabeth Mills (Mrs. Whitelaw Reid), Miss Caroline Russell (Marquese Lagergren), Miss Agnes
Devens (Mrs. Thomas M. Osborne), Lucy Webb Hayes, Miss Kate Morgan (Mrs. General H. G. Sharpe),
Miss Dora D. Scott (Mrs. Major C. A. Devol)
8. Engravings of Lucy Webb Hayes
9. Photographs of American Indian students at Carlisle Indian Industrial School, gift of R. Pratt, including
stereoviews of students and Carlisle scenes by J. N. Choate (housed in Stereoview Collection).
Ledger art tablets presented to Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes by Captain Richard H. Pratt, Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1880. Identified artists (from Carlisle’s first class, Oct. 1879): White Bear, Arapaho; John Washa, Cheyenne; Baldwin, Sioux (Pine Ridge).
Box 3 Peking, China
Albumen prints of scenes in and around Bejing (then named Peking) China, given to Lucy Webb Hayes by J. W. Wiley, Cincinnati, Ohio (for Mr. Cowles), in 1878. The date at which the images were made is unknown, but since the Summer Retreat, featured in one image burned in 1860, at least some portion of the images were produced prior to that date. The images include the Great Wall, the tomb of Confucius, pagodas near the city, the Altar of Heaven, the Imperial Palace, Summer Retreat (burned in 1860), Yunglo’s Tomb, Russian Cemetery, Grand Canal, Observatory on the Great Wall near the city, Imperial Palace sketch (1860), Engraved Rocks, Mortuary Chapel, and Coal Hill north of the city, and Temple of Agriculture.
Box 4 Images of Lucy Webb Hayes removed from the Hayes Home (7)
Box 5 Engravings and Portraits of Lucy Webb Hayes:
Enlargements of images of Lucy Webb Hayes appearing in Box1, Box 2
Box 6 China
Images of scenes in and around Peking, China, given to Lucy Webb Hayes by Richard McCormick, 5 September 1878 (30)
Enlargements of images of Lucy Webb Hayes appearing in Box 1, Box 2