A Chronology of Rutherford B. Hayes Life

Rutherford B. Hayes Chronology

1822    October 4.  Born in Delaware, Ohio, the last of five children of Rutherford and Sophia Birchard Hayes.

1836    Enrolled in Norwalk (Ohio) Academy, a Methodist school run by Jonah Chaplin.

1837    Fall.  Enrolled in Isaac Webb’s Preparatory School in Middletown, Connecticut.

1838    Early November.  Enrolled at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.

1842    August 3.  Graduated valedictorian of his class.

1842    Fall.  Began studying law in the office of Thomas Sparrow, brother of Dr. William     Sparrow, president of Kenyon College.

1843    August 28.  Entered Dane Law School at Harvard as a member of the “middle class.”

1845    March 10.  Admitted to the Ohio bar at Marietta.

1845    August 27.  Awarded a Bachelor of Laws degree from Harvard University.

1845-1849       Practicing law in Lower Sandusky, now Fremont, Ohio.

1850-1861       Practicing attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1852    December 30.  Married Lucy Ware Webb, formerly of Chillicothe, Ohio.

1853    November 4.  Birth of first child, Birchard Austin Hayes.

1853    December 26.  Established a partnership in Cincinnati with Richard M. Corwine and William K. Rogers; law firm known as Corwin, Hayes and Rogers.

1856    March 20.  Birth of second child, Webb Cook Hayes.

1856    Fall.  Delegate to the state Republican convention in Columbus; campaigned for John C. Fremont, the Republican nominee for President.

1858    June 24.  Birth of third child, Rutherford Platt Hayes.

1858    December 9.  Appointed City Solicitor by the Cincinnati City Council, incumbent Samuel Hart died in office.

1859    April.  Elected City Solicitor, leading Republican ticket.

1861    April 1.  Defeated in his bid to be re-elected City Solicitor.

1861    April 15.  Responded to Lincoln’s call for volunteers by joining home guard unit.

1861    June 27.  Commissioned a Major in the Twenty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

1861    December 21.  Birth of fourth child, Joseph Thompson Hayes.

1861 – 1865    Distinguished himself as an able field commander in the campaigns of the Twenty-Third Ohio in western Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, rising to the rank of Brevet Major General of Volunteers.  

1863    June 24.  Joseph Thompson Hayes, son of Rutherford and Lucy, dies while visiting his father’s military encampment at Camp White, near Charleston, West Virginia.

1864    September 29.  Birth of fifth child, George Crook Hayes.

1864    October 17.  Elected to the House of Representatives (Thirty-Ninth Congress) from Ohio’s Second District.

1865    June 8.  Resigned his commission in the army to ready his affairs before taking his seat in Congress.

1865    December 4.  Took his seat in the House of Representatives.

1866    May 24.  George Crook Hayes, son of Rutherford and Lucy, dies of scarlet fever.

1866    October.  Re-elected Representative to Fortieth Congress.

1867    June 19.  Nominated for governor of Ohio on Union Party ticket.

1867    July 20.  Resigned his seat in Congress.

1867    September 2.  Birth of sixth child, and only daughter, Fanny Hayes.

1867    October 8.  Elected governor of Ohio, defeated Allen G. Thurman, the Democratic candidate.

1868    January 13.  Inaugurated governor at Columbus.

1869    October 12.  Re-elected governor, defeating Democratic Congressman George H. Pendleton by some 7,500 votes.

1870    January 10.  Inaugurated governor for the second time.

1871    February 8.  Birth of seventh child, Scott Russell Hayes.

1871    July Road trip to Connecticut and New England to do his  family history

1872    January.  Refused offer to run for the United States Senate against John Sherman.

1872    June.  Delegate to Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, where he served as a member of the platform committee.

1872    August 6.  Reluctantly accepted the nomination for Congress from Republicans of Ohio’s Second District.

1872    October.  Lost his bid for Congress by 1,500 votes, running ahead of the Republican ticket.

1873    March.  Declined President Grant’s appointment as Assistant United States Treasurer at Cincinnati.

1873    May 3.  Moved to Fremont and settled at Spiegel Grove, avowing that he had retired from politics.

1873    August 1.  Birth of eighth child, Manning Force Hayes.

1874    January 21.  Sardis Birchard, his uncle, died, leaving bulk of his estate to Hayes, including Spiegel Grove, his home in Fremont, Ohio.

1874    August 28.  Manning Force Hayes, son of Rutherford and Lucy, dies at Spiegel Grove.

1875    June 2.  Nominated by Republicans at state convention in Columbus to run for governor.

1875    October 12.  Elected governor by 5,500 votes; name immediately mentioned as a presidential possibility.

1876    January 10.  Inaugurated governor for unprecedented third time.

1876    March 29.  Selected as favorite son candidate of Ohio delegates to the National Convention to be held in Cincinnati.

1876    June 14-16  Nominated for President by the Republican National Convention on the seventh ballot; William Almon Wheeler of New York was chosen for Vice-President.

1876    November 7.  Disputed election; Samuel J. Tilden one electoral vote shy of a majority with 184; Hayes received 166 votes, with nineteen votes questioned.

1876 – 1877    November-February. Election controversy.

1877    January 26.  The Electoral Count Act passed by Congress, creating an Electoral Commission composed of five Senators, five Representatives, and five Supreme Court Justices.

1877    February 28.  Electoral Commission awards last of contested electoral votes to Hayes, giving him the presidency by the margin of one vote.

1877    March 1.  Hayes and his family start for Washington.

1877    March 2.  Congress declared Hayes and Wheeler duly elected with 185 votes to 184 for Tilden and Hendricks; Hayes resigns governorship.

1877    March 3.  Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite privately administered oath of office to Hayes after dinner at the Executive Mansion so the nation would have a President on Sunday, March 4.

1877    March 5.  Publicly inaugurated as the nineteenth President of the United States, stressing in his inaugural address the importance of settling the “Southern Problem.”

1877    March 15.  Appointed Frederick Douglass United States Marshal of the District of Columbia.

1877    April 24.  Removed military support from remaining two carpetbag governments in Louisiana and South Carolina, officially bringing Reconstruction to an end.

1877    June.  Beginning of war with Nez Perce Indians and Chief Joseph. 

1877    June 22.  Civil service reform implemented in the executive department by executive order.

1877    July.  Great Railway Strike, federal troops sent to four states to suppress the rioters.

1877    October.  War with Nez Perce Indians ended with surrender of Chief Joseph.

1877    October 6.  Elected trustee of the Peabody Education Fund.

1877    October 16.  Appointed John Marshall Harlan of Kentucky to the Supreme Court.

1877    December 30.  Celebrated Silver Wedding Anniversary in the White House.

1878    February 28.  Vetoed the Bland-Allison Act, Congress passing it over his veto the same day.

1878    July 11.  Suspended Chester A. Arthur and Alonzo B. Cornell from the New York Customs House.

1878    September 28.  Received first native Chinese ambassador, Chen Lan Pin, in Washington.

1879    March 1.  Vetoed Chinese Exclusion Bill on the grounds that it violated the Burlingame Treaty of 1868.

1879    May 10.  First telephone placed in the White House.

1880    March 8.  Special message emphasizing American control of interoceanic canal sent to Congress.

1880    September-November.  Made an extended tour of the western United States, first time a United States President went to the West Coast while in office.

1880    November 17.  Treaty negotiated with China giving the United States the right to supervise and limit, but not prohibit, Chinese immigration.

1880    December 15.  Appointed William Burnham Woods of Georgia to the Supreme Court.

1881    January 26.  Appointed Stanley Matthews of Ohio to the Supreme Court.

1881    March 4.  Retired from the Presidency, returning to his Spiegel Grove estate in Fremont, Ohio.

1881    Spring.  Appointed a trustee of the Western Reserve University; became more active in the affairs of the Peabody Fund.

1882    May 3.  Joined the Grand Army of the Republic and Ohio and National Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

1882    May 18.  Chosen first president of the John F. Slater Fund.

1883    September 7.  Selected president of the National Prison Association.

1883    December.  Appointed a trustee of Mount Union College.

1884    Appointed a trustee of Ohio Wesleyan University.

1887    January.  Appointed a trustee of The Ohio State University.

1888    October 17.  Chosen commander of the National Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, a position he held until his death.

1889    June 25.  Death of his wife, Lucy Webb Hayes, in Fremont.

1890    April-May.  Visited Bermuda with his daughter Fanny.

1892    October 20.  Named president of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society.

1893    January 17.  Died at his home in Fremont.