Rutherford B. Hayes, fully Rutherford Birchard Hayes

Rutherford B.
Hayes, fully Rutherford Birchard Hayes
1822
1893

American Politician, 19th President of the United States who oversaw the end of Reconstruction

Author Quotes

Every good cause gained a victory when the Union troops were triumphant. Our final victory was the triumph of religion, of virtue, of knowledge.... During those four years, whatever our motives, whatever our lives, we were fighting on God’s side. We were doing His work. What would this country have been if we had failed?

Is there anything in which the people of this age and country differ more from those of other lands and former times than in this — their ability to preserve order and protect rights without the aid of government? ... We are realizing the paradox, that country is governed best which is governed least. I no longer fear lynch law. Let the people be intelligent and good, and I am not sure but their impulsive, instinctive verdicts and sentences and executions, unchecked by the rules and technicalities of law, are more likely to be according to substantial justice than the decisions of courts and juries.

Perhaps the happiest moment of my life was then, when I saw that our line didn’t break and that the enemy’s did.

The sacred obligation to the Union soldiers must not — will not be forgotten nor neglected.... But those who fought against the Nation cannot and do not look to it for relief.... Confederate soldiers and their descendants are to share with us and our descendants the destiny of America. Whatever, therefore, we their fellow citizens can do to remove burdens from their shoulders and to brighten their lives is surely in the pathway of humanity and patriotism.

We had an inspection today of the brigade. The Twenty-third was pronounced the crack regiment in appearance, ... [but] I could see only six to ten in a company of the old men. They all smiled as I rode by. But as I passed away I couldn’t help dropping a few natural tears. I felt as I did when I saw them mustered in at Camp Chase.

Fighting battles is like courting girls: those who make the most pretensions and are boldest usually win.

It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear.

Personally I do not resort to force — not even the force of law — to advance moral reforms. I prefer education, argument, persuasion, and above all the influence of example — of fashion. Until these resources are exhausted I would not think of force.

The study of tools as well as of books should have a place in the public schools. Tools, machinery, and the implements of the farm should be made familiar to every boy, and suitable industrial education should be furnished for every girl.

We have now become pretty well acquainted with the sugar-growing part of Texas. The life of a planter who has a fair start in the world is one of the most independent imaginable. We here find the pleasures of fashionable life without its tyranny. I doubt, however, whether a person of Northern education could so far forget his home-bred notions and feelings as ever to be thoroughly Southern on the subject of slavery. We have seen none of the horrors so often described, but on the other hand I have seen nothing to change my Northern opinions.

For honest merit to succeed amid the tricks and intrigues which are now so lamentably common, I know is difficult; but the honor of success is increased by the obstacles which are to be surmounted. Let me triumph as a man or not at all.

It will be the duty of the Executive, with sufficient appropriations for the purpose, to prosecute unsparingly all who have been engaged in depriving citizens of the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

Strikes and boycotting are akin to war, and can be justified only on grounds analogous to those which justify war, viz., intolerable injustice and oppression.

The truth is, this being errand boy to one hundred and fifty thousand people tires me so by night I am ready for bed instead of soirees.

We now talk of our killed and wounded. There is however a very happy feeling. Those who escape regret of course the loss of comrades and friends, but their own escape and safety to some extent modifies their feelings.

General education is the best preventive of the evils now most dreaded. In the civilized countries of the world, the question is how to distribute most generally and equally the property of the world. As a rule, where education is most general the distribution of property is most general.... As knowledge spreads, wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth. To give all an equal chance to acquire knowledge is the best and surest way to give all an equal chance to acquire property.

Law without education is a dead letter. With education the needed law follows without effort and, of course, with power to execute itself; indeed, it seems to execute itself.

The [Loyal] legion has taken the place of the club — the famous Cincinnati Literary Club — in my affections.... The military circles are interested in the same things with myself, and so we endure, if not enjoy, each other.

The unrestricted competition so commonly advocated does not leave us the survival of the fittest. The unscrupulous succeed best in accumulating wealth.

When the weather is bad as it was yesterday, everybody, almost everybody, feels cross and gloomy. Our thin linen tents, about like a fish seine, the deep mud, the irregular mails, the never to-be-seen paymasters, and "the rest of mankind," are growled about in "old-soldier" style. But a fine day like today has turned out brightens and cheers us all. We people in camp are merely big children, wayward and changeable.

I am a radical in thought (and principle) and a conservative in method (and conduct).

Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.

The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business.

There can be no complete and permanent reform of the civil service until public opinion emancipates congressmen from all control and influence over government patronage. Legislation is required to establish the reform. No proper legislation is to be expected as long as members of Congress are engaged in procuring offices for their constituents.

While your rheumatism stays with you I naturally feel anxious to hear often. If you should be so unlucky as to become a cripple, it will certainly be bad, but you may be sure I shall be still a loving husband, and we shall make the best of it together.

Author Picture
First Name
Rutherford B.
Last Name
Hayes, fully Rutherford Birchard Hayes
Birth Date
1822
Death Date
1893
Bio

American Politician, 19th President of the United States who oversaw the end of Reconstruction