CINCINNATI, JANUARY 1, 1850. -- November 10, 1849, -- day

Pierpont Marsh was buried (Sunday),--[I] left Mrs.

Valette's, Fremont, Ohio, with Uncle to make a new home in

Cincinnati. Health and stimulus, my principal motives. Spent

a month in Columbus-- health bad. Prepared argument in Bos-

well case [involving title to lands long in the possession of his

uncle]; visited Circleville, Lancaster, and Chillicothe to get old

records. Found Judge Tilden was going to Cincinnati to reside.

To avoid the widowers' party at Columbus, left Columbus with

Judge Tilden and reached Cincinnati Christmas evening. Dined

Christmas day with Judge Tilden at Broadway Hotel.

  Mem.:--At Columbus dreaded the widowers' party solely be-

cause there would be published accounts of it; and as Miss H---

had requested my escort, I feared to be heralded as her accepted

and intended, feeling quite sure that no acceptance is intended

at this present by her, nor much desired by myself; that flirtation

will never ripen into anything. It once bloomed but is now

pretty much sham and [on] both sides. I still talk love to her,

but it is habit and coquetry, not felt and true. So mote it be.

  Am making a few acquaintances, seeking an office, etc., etc.

Called at Wesleyan College. Miss L[ucy Webb] not in.

                               CINCINNATI, January 4, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--. . . You would like, I suppose, to hear

of my doings, views, and prospects. After remaining a short

time at the hotel, I became satisfied that the advantages of being

in a public house would not, at least for the present, compensate

for the increased expense. I have accordingly commenced board-

ing with Mrs. Fulton on the southeast corner of Fourth and

Vine Streets. Mrs. Fulton is a very excellent widow lady --a



Presbyterian after Mother's own heart -- who has the reputation

(like General Taylor) of never deserting her sick and wounded.

There are about a dozen boarders,  chiefly merchants.  The

situation is pleasant and is next door to Mat Stem's boarding

place. So much for my eating and sleeping.

  I came down with Judge Tilden, who soon got his partnership

(quite a respectable one) formed, but [I] found Mr. Meline had

made arrangements for the present at all events, to get along

by the aid of a clerk, so I have been since studying the ways and

means and probabilities of obtaining practice in a crowd by

myself; and although I would greatly prefer a connection with

an established lawyer, I yet am satisfied that, in due time, I

shall be able to wedge in.  The tediousness of waiting a year

or two before I can reasonably expect much to do does not

trouble me.   I shall spend it pleasantly enough brushing up and

preparing and making friends and acquaintances.  I find Mr.

Jones very willing to aid me, and quite confident that, by holding

on, I will succeed.   He will give me favorable introductions to

business men as fast as I want them.  Judging by what I have

seen of the practice, the arangements of the several courts, and

the intercourse of the members of the bar, I shall be better suited

if I get practice, and have more to stimulate to exertion than I

ever could in the country.

  I have not yet got into an office; there is some difficulty in

getting a good one, and I shall look about a good deal before I

take up with an indifferent one.    I shall send to Edgerton for

my books as soon as I engage an office. In the meanwhile, time

is not wasted nor do I find it hanging on my hands.        So far

as my position as to social pleasures is concerned, I am, as I

supposed I should be, most pleasantly situated.       I can go in

society little or much, and in one circle or another pretty much

as suits my taste. New Year's day I made about a dozen calls-a

part with Jones and the remainder with a young brother chip.

In the evening I went to Mr. King's to a small gentlemen's

gathering where, among other notorious persons, I met Cassius

M. Clay, and to my surprise found him not only pleasant and

agreeable, but exceedingly unobtrusive and modest.

  Judge Lane left here this morning. He was, of course, quite

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          277

desirous of aiding me and spoke a good word or two for me

in some quarters where I am likely to get some benefit from it.

I hope you will be well enough to spend a part of the winter

here. Jesse Stem, Mrs. Stem tells me, is intending to be here

to stay the remainder of the winter.     You, I am sure, would

enjoy it.  In writing to me, direct simply to Cincinnati.   I shall

get your letters, although not directed to anyone's care.  I shall

write to you often, and shall be anxious to hear from you until

I know you are quite well again. My kindest regards and a

happy New Year to all Mr. Valette's family.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


  January 8, 1850.--This day I have gone into an office--a

good office--on Third Street with John W. Herron, not as a

partner but as a mere office chum. He is young, of good habits,

education, and mind --a good fellow, by accounts and by appear-

ance and "sign," as the hunters say. The arrangement is prob-

ably only temporary. We sleep on little hard mattresses in a

little room cooped off from one end of our office.  Quite like

living my college life over again. Now for a period of waiting,

patience, perseverance, etc., etc.

                              CINCINNATI, January 14, 1850.

  DEAR  BROTHER:--I received your very satisfactory letter,

(bating the suspicion about the wine parties) in due season and

shall tomorrow take advantage of the permission given by draw-

ing for fifty dolars. After I have got such office "fixin's" as are

required, my expenses will be about thirty dollars per month,

not including clothing. I am very pleasantly located in an office

on the south side of Third Street, between Main and Sycamore,

directly opposite the Henrie House.     Telegraphic communica-

tions should be sent to my office. I will enclose my cards in my


  My office chum is quite another person from Mr. Heith M.


Ware! He was a classmate and chum of Henry Noble. We

share the office together until spring, and longer if no better

location then is open to me.

  By the by, you folks must have given the wine at that gather-

ing a more important place than it deserved.      I regarded the

quails and oysters as the crowning glory of the feast.  It was as

far from a gentleman's wine party as anything of the kind I

ever saw.

  I found Lucy Webb the other night. She had so far forgotten

me as not to recognize me, although I laughed and chatted with

her a long while before I relieved her curiosity by telling her my

name.   Don't you think I read the Journal's description of the

soir'ee without discovering you and Fanny among the characters!

Lucy enlightened me on that score or I should never have known

what "a sterling and popular couple" you are.

  I have heard from Fremont that Uncle is recovering his health

again. Love to all.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


                              CINCINNATI, January 20, 1850.

  DEAR CHUM:-- Quite like old times to get a letter from you,

although it was short and a good while coming.         If ever  I

abused long letters, it was when I had more clients than I now

have, or am likely to have, for some time yet.

  Your information on the points touched upon was quite satis-

factory, especially that on the subject of ethnology (I think

that's what it's called).  But there was one point of some  im-

portance which you somehow omitted to speak of, viz., the

whereabouts of Miss Lucy Webb. Friend Jones has introduced

me to more than one charming damsel; but still, for a country-

bred boy, it's pleasanter to meet the natural gaiety of such an

one as I fancy Miss Lucy must have become by this time, than

any of the artificial attractions of your city belles.   So that,

while I feel quite indebted for the intelligence that "Sam" or

"Jim" or "Jake" is not quite white, but nearly so--that his

father is dead and gone, and that his mother is so green as to

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          279

swallow your pills, I still think you might have stretched your

patience and your letter long enough to have said a little for the

fair one referred to.  However, I suppose you didn't want to

give it to me faster than I could bear it.

  I have got me into a pleasant office, a pleasant boarding-house,

and an agreeable set of companions and damsels to match; all

that seems wanting is the sober reality of clients and business

to place me in a situation more after my own heart than any I

have ever been placed in.  Without any business in hand, the

prospect in expectancy is so good that I am content to bide my

time, not forgetting to enjoy myself in the meanwhile. . . . .


                                                R. B. HAYES.

  P. S. -- Lest you should be troubled at not having mentioned

Miss Lucy's whereabouts, I would simply say that I found her as

soon as she returned from her holiday visit, and have enjoyed

the light of her gleesome smile and merry talk times not a few

nor far between.--H.


     Columbus, Ohio.

  Cincinnati, January 25, 1850.--I have just finished reading

Bulwer's "Life of Schiller," prefixed to a translation of his poems

and ballads. It is very interesting, very instructive. I shall read

it again -- I had almost said -- and again. I am almost persuaded

to go stoutly to work and master the German; but no, perhaps

my strength better be preserved for the mastery of my profes-

sion, which, as Judge Story was fond of repeating, is "a jealous

mistress and will endure no rivals."

  I am now living again a student, with abundant leisure and

few cares. Why may I not, by a few hours daily spent in sys-

tematic study, regain all I have lost in the last three or four

unfortunate years spent or wasted at the North? Let me awake

to my old ambition to excel as a lawyer, as an advocate. For

style and language read Webster and Burke, Byron (!) and

Bulwer (!).  The last two are strange names to be heard in a


student's mouth, but to counteract the cramping effect of legal

studies and practice and to give one that copia verborum and

power of intense expression, which are so essential to success as

a jury advocate, what are better? For mental discipline, read

carefully and thoughtfully the most logical treatises on evidence,

pleading, on kindred topics.

  January 27.--Heard Mr. Thompson, President of the Col-

lege at Delaware, preach a good, practical sermon today at the

Wesleyan Chapel. After dinner called on Mr. Jesse Stem and

lady at the Gibson House; walked with Jesse and A. M. Stem

down to the landing. The river is booming full. The fine

weather and busy scene on the quay with its crowds of Sunday-

dressed people presented a glorious sight for one accustomed to

the wintry weather and deserted streets of lake shore villages.

  Returned and read a little Byron. Sick of that, then took up

Mrs. Adams' "Letters." What better shows the spirit and

character of the people of those times than the following. Speak-

ing of a body of two hundred men (a mob?) who came into

Braintree one Sunday evening to carry off the powder lest the

British should get it, she says:

  "They put it to vote whether they should burn the warrants

taken from the sheriff, and it passed in the affirmative. They

then made a circle and burnt them. They then called a vote

whether they should huzza, but it being Sunday evening, it passed

in the negative." --Letter dated September 14, 1774.

  Where in all history is there anything to parallel this little

incident ?

  January 31. --Last day of my first month in Cincinnati, and

the last day of the first month of the year. I have had no

business as yet; have, however, extended my acquaintance, and

think I can see streaks betokening the approach of day. My

studies have been pursued with tolerable diligence and earnest-

ness. Tonight heard a lecture on Louis Philippe's career and

fall by an old college acquaintance, J. D. French. At college,

I thought him the most promising and gifted of all my acquaint-

ances. I now think he is destined to fulfill his early promise.

Can as much be said of myself? Oh, the waste of those five

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          281

precious years at [Lower] Sandusky! Shall I ever recover what

I have lost? I believe I can, and so will go on, high of heart

and full of hope, determined to do whatever my hand findeth to

do with my might.

  February 4, 1850. -- Read all day -- Starkie on "Evidence,"

with occasional sips of Greenleaf and reported cases; Kent on

"Negotiable Papers," referring to our statute and the decisions in

Ohio; the Law Journals; a little German, and a little of Bulwer's


  February 10. -- Finished Starkie on "Evidence" yesterday.

Shall tomorrow begin Greenleaf, reading it in connection with

the Ohio Reports. During the last week have read pretty dili-

gently with friend Herron Story's "Promissory Notes," in con-

nection with Ohio Reports. Shall continue it next week. Shall

also add logic and to speak German to my list of studies. I

have called on Dr. Schmidt, and from my conversation with him

think a little brushing up of my German may be well "worth my


  This forenoon heard Dr. Humphrey, of Louisville, son of old

President Humphrey of Amherst, preach in the First Presby-

terian Church. He is a graceful, animated, and entertaining

speaker, without much depth or strength. This afternoon have

been reading Byron's truly imcomparable and matchless letters.

What a racy (I hate the word) way he has of hitting off a

thing. Witness the following: "Like other largish parties, it

was first silent, then talky, then argumentative, then disputatious,

then unintelligible, then altogethery, then inarticulate, and then

drunk." --October, 1815.

                            CINCINNATI, February 10, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I have been hoping to hear from you for some

time past, but suppose you do not get down to your office very

often this bad weather.   I now get the Democrat regularly so

that I am likely to know if anything very extraordinary happens

to any of my friends at Fremont.     Stem has not left here yet.

He is waiting for Poag and his wife and Judge Reznor and his


lady (all of whom are now here) to get ready to go down the


  Glenn, I think, intends to make his fortune here by speculat-

ing in real estate. He is satisfied that the fortunes are not all

made that can be in that way, and I think he is quite right.

Judge Reznor bought a farm of about sixty acres five or six

miles from the city last fall, which would now sell for three

thousand more than he gave.

  I called on Mrs. Glenn a few days ago.        She seems to be

pleased with the place, but as she is yet boarding does not feel

quite at home.   They expect to buy a house and go to house-

keeping in the spring.

  I am really sorry that old Eddy didn't remain here. Those

qualities which in a small town render him somewhat of a bore

to his friends would here make him very valuable. He would

pry into everything--know who was compelled to sell out, who

was in want of money, or a lawyer, or anything of that sort.

But as it is, we have enough northern [Ohio] folks to make a

very respectable little society by ourselves. . . .

  I suppose you have noticed by the papers that your lawsuit

has been submitted to the court. I now watch the papers pretty

closely to see the decision. It will be decided, I presume, within

two or three weeks; although of this I am not certain.

  My office chum has this minute brought from the office a long

family letter from Fanny. She and William are coming down

here to spend one day when the first train of cars run from

Xenia, which will be in about a week. Fanny says she wrote

to Charlotte a few weeks ago and Charlotte not being at home,

Aunt Birchard replied sending with her reply "a volume of let-

ters received from Mary who is in Yazoo, Mississippi." Mary

in her letters tells her mother she intends to spend her sum-

mer with her friends in Ohio, and that she expects Uncle Sardis

to meet her at Sandusky, etc., etc. To this piece of information

Fanny adds that she thinks she can make it go off pleasantly

enough at Columbus, and (here I quote) "how I would like to

see Uncle when he hears of it!  How he will stride across the

floor revolving means of escape!" Aunt Birchard says, "I hope

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          283

you will all think of Mary in that wilderness in a log cabin with

niggers and write to her."

  It was an old English lawyer's favorite maxim "never to stop

speaking until he had given the jury something to chew upon";

and as I think I have accomplished that for you now, I will stop.

  Love to Mr. Valette's folks.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


  February 15. -- Attended last evening the most agreeable little

soir'ee at which I remember ever to have been present, --

at Mr. Key's.    The  ladies all were intimate with each other,

gentlemen ditto. No stiffness, nothing uproarious, all, all agree-


  Yesterday received my first retainer in Cincinnati--five dol-

lars from a coal trader to defend a suit in the Commercial Court.

  February  19. --Tuesday evening. --Just returned  from the

lecture room of the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association,

where I heard a most eloquent and glorious lecture from [the]

Rev. Thomas Stockton.      "Materialism the Foundation  of Ir-

religion and Spiritualism the Corner-stone of Piety." Mr. Stock-

ton certainly resembles Henry Clay in personal appearance as

well as in genius.-- Attended last evening a pleasant little soir'ee

at Mr. John D. Jones'.

                             CINCINNATI, February  19, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I received your letter of the 14th yesterday

I reply thus promptly because I have leisure and happen to feel

like writing.  Besides, if you are housed up, you are no doubt

glad to have the monotony of an indoors life broken in upon

even by a letter which has nothing in it.

  Mrs. Valette's thinking of my place of worship reminds me

that I have never given you a detailed account of my way of

living and spending time, and, therefore, thinking it may perhaps

interest her if it does not you, I will try to give you a picture of


my days.  My office is in the "Law Buildings."  The lower story

is occupied by two express offices, an auction store, and a tele-

graph office; the upper stories by about eighteen lawyers, three

or four architects, and a loafer or two, about one-third of whom

sleep in their offices or rooms adjoining.    The rooms rent for

about ten dollars per month each.  Our office is one of the best,

if not the best, in the building.    In one corner of the room,

about twelve feet square is partitioned off for a bedroom, in

which are two husk mattresses on bunks the size of Mrs.

Valette's lounge, a washstand, a bureau, and divers pegs on

which hang divers dusty garments.       In  the morning about  5

o'clock, an Irishman (who is not a Son of Temperance) comes

in and builds a fire and sweeps out the office; about seven (more

or less) the newsboy comes with the daily paper, and we get up,

scratch open our eyes, read the news, and go to breakfast.

  My boarding-house is three squares off. A very respectable

set of boarders;--one Old School Presbyterian clergyman, four

or five intelligent Scotch merchants, also Presbyterians (but not

members of our preacher's church), and strong on doctrinal

points, an agreeable lawyer and his lady (an old schoolmate

of Fanny's), a young Methodist New Yorker who is always get-

ting the worst of the argument from the Scotchmen, an insur-

ance broker from Connecticut, very like John Pease, and with

more sense than all the rest, two or three nondescripts, an old

widow lady, great on homoeopathy and Swedenborgianism, a

son of hers about forty who echoes his mother's sentiments

most dutifully, and myself.

  While we are gone to breakfast, our Irishman and his wife

make up the beds, bring water, and brush off the dust, never

omitting to arrange all the books and papers on our tables right

wrong exactly.

  After breakfast, I read law student-fashion till noon, when

one of us go to the postoffice and then read news and letters, if

there are any, until dinner. Every few days a forenoon is spent

in court, if anything interesting is going on.     Dinner at one

o'clock.  Remain in the office until near  four, when we sally

out to call on friends or ladies--in short, in search of prey.

About half-past five, I go to the gymnasium where I often meet

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          285

Mat Stem and occasionally Glenn; Glenn you know is pussy

[pursy]. He works hard and looks among the youngsters who

are seen there like a whale in Green Creek.  About half our

evenings are spent in the office--one or two evenings a week

with the ladies, and one or two at lectures, Sons [of Temper-

ance], or something of that sort.  Among the lawyers in this

building are Judge Walker, Judge Read, Tom Gallagher, Ghol-

son & Minor, etc.--all clever and social.

  I attend church at Mr. Nicholson's (Episcopal). He is a very

showy, dashing declaimer, once a Methodist, who draws large

crowds of the younger sort.  My Sunday resort is Mr. Jones's

(who, by the way, often mentions you).  There I find often

some young lady or (now that George is East, his wife) with

whom I go to church in the morning and return to dine (mem.:--

great Sunday dinners Mrs. Jones gets up) and in the afternoon

to church again, or not, as suits the crowd.  I belong to a de-

lightful little club, composed of lawyers, artists, merchants, and

teachers, which meets once a week--has debates, conversations,

(similar, I suppose, to those of the "Fremont Literary Associa-

tion, H. Everett, Secretary"), essays, and oysters.

  All this looks well for enjoyment, but you would know the

prospect of [my] getting into business.   This is not different

from what I expected when I came here. All who stay and are

found in their offices ready to do business, do get it.  I think

I can see some symptoms of work. About a week ago a sub-

stantial coal dealer accidently stumbled in and gave me a five-

dollar retainer to defend a suit for which I shall charge him

twenty-five dollars when finished.   Mr. Jones has given me  a

lot of notes which will probably have to be sued; if so, there is

probably a hundred dollars more if I succeed in collecting them.

It is a difficult affair, but I feel pretty confident of collecting

them. I have two houses which wish to do for me what they can;

at present, their business is in the hands of regular attorneys and

they cannot change except by degrees and slowly. Their business

would support me. Stem, Baker & Co. also speak good words for

me occasionally. I met Horace Hunt at a party the other evening.

 He wished to be remembered to you. By the way, I gave a

young German a letter to you and Buckland.  He is agent of


the German Whig paper here. Will you see Buckland and have

the young man sent out to Woodville and aided in his work?

  Dr. Schmidt is very friendly to me and says he will send me

some German clients. Dr. Schmidt, you know, is the proprietor

of the paper.   It is now  a large establishment and is making

money hand over hand.

  Jesse Stem and company sailed on the Yorktown Saturday.

By a mistake which was much regretted, Poag and lady got on

the wrong boat, so they are separated after all their efforts to

keep together. Mr. Stanbery went on to Washington a short

time ago. He had not prepared any additional argument, I pre-

sume. Whether he will do so, I do not know. It may, accord-

ing to the way of doing business, be some time yet before your

case is reached.  I have filled a good sheet full.  My health is

fine.-- So, love to all.


  S. BIRCHARD.                                            RUD.

  March 1, 1850 --Yesterday about 11 A. M., was surprised by

the entrance of my brother-in-law, William A. Platt, into my

office. He had just arrived on the first passenger train of cars

through from Columbus to Cincinnati --sister Fanny with him.

Her first visit to the City of Pigs. Strolled up and down Fourth

Street gaping at the windows of shops and houses; also over the

Burnet House -- not yet quite finished.  Evening spent with

Mrs. Stem (A. M.) by my sister and William and with

and others by myself. A sleepless night, thinking of the silli-

ness of permitting such a brutish fellow as            [to] count

himself among my friend's friends. No envy or jealousy in it,

for I know he is too "egregiously an ass" to win in that difficult

game. But then, the looks of the thing! Why, I should almost

hate my own sister if she were to permit such intimacy.

  March  3.--Made my  first speech in the Club last night.

So-so, but ratherish good, considering. Shall improve the privi-

leges of the Club in the future to the full. About ten adjourned.

Went to Masonic Hall with friend Collins just in time to witness

reception of the Legislature who had come down on the new

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          287

railroad by invitation to have a spero or bender. Speeches made

by President of the City Council, Speaker Converse of the

Senate, Leiter of the House, Mr. Kelly, president of the road,

etc., etc.; after which oysters, roast turkey, champagne, etc.,

until midnight. Good, good. President of the City Council wel-

comed the Solons by wishing them a "safe and SPEEDY (!) re-


                                 CINCINNATI, March 5, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I write to you again so soon to know about a

couple of matters and wish you would reply as quick as you con-

veniently can First, whether it will pay expenses (I don't mean

in money, but in pleasure to you and other friends) for me to

come to Fremont next court, and if so, when the court sits? I do

not want to be gone long, and would prefer to be back here

election day, the first Monday in April. If court sits about that

time, I will come up the week before court and stay the first two

or three days of court week and then come home. The other

matter is this: Mr. Jones had about seven hundred dollars of

notes intended to circulate as money issued by the Whitewater

Canal Company. He lost, by the acts of that company, fifteen

hundred dollars besides this money, and wishes to make the

stockholders individually liable on the money if possible. Mr.

Longworth, Judge Burnet, Judge Walker, and a score of the

other leading men of the city (friends of Mr. Jones) are the

stockholders. He did not wish to sue them in his own name,

and, accordingly transferred the legal title to the notes to me.

If Pease will permit me to use his name in collecting the notes,

it will oblige me and do him no harm. It is just and honorable

that the notes should be paid. I do not use my own name, be-

cause I wish to appear as attorney, and it will be pleasanter not

to be a party. I have spoken to Judge Walker (who, thanks to

Judge Lane's introduction, is very friendly to me) on the sub-

ject, and he, as one of the parties in interest, regards it as per-

fectly fair game, although he will be one of the losers if it goes

against him. I do not ask you for the use of your name, be-

cause, you, I hope, will be in Cincinnati so often, that it might


be unpleasant. Tell Pease all these things, and I have no doubt

he will give me his name. Good luck is in his name, you know,

and going to law is a matter of luck oftentimes. I may get along

without beginning suit at all, as one suit to try the same questions

is now pending; but if I sue it will be in a week or two, and I want,

therefore, a reply as soon as convenient.

  William and Fanny came down last Thursday morning on the

first train of cars from Columbus. They returned the next day

after dinner. They were in raptures about the excellence of the

road and the pleasure of the trip. The weather was fine and

both appeared to enjoy their trip mightily. They avoided seeing

acquaintances except Mrs. Stem and (accidentally) Mr. Jones'

family. It seems no journey at all now. The members of the

Legislature are here with the Governor; Sam Medary, Mr. Kel-

ley, and others. I, of course, have hunted up all my friends

among them--among others, Dr. Bell, Sergeant at Arms, etc.

  I see they now elect Whig associate judges at Columbus. Will

Sandusky County have a Whig? . . .

  My health never was better, and of late years not so good as



  S. BIRCHARD.                                  R. B. HAYES,

  Wednesday, March 6.-- Sunday evening [I spent] at Mrs.

Williams', visiting the Columbus  girls.    Monday  afternoon,

likewise. Tuesday afternoon (5th) rode on to Mount Auburn

and to Spring Grove Cemetery. Evening in the rain to hear Mr.

Galloway lecture. Echo bad, speaking good. Shall devote this

week to the Columbus ladies. Fanny and William visited me

Thursday the 28th [of] February. Left Friday. How delight-

ful to be practically so near one's best friends!  Six or eight

hours quite enough to find them in.

  March 11. --Still tramping out to Sixth Street to see my

Columbus friends (?)    . . .  [To-day], called on them; had

a good chat (A. M.) with           and agreed to give up letters,

but nothing to dampen or discourage in all this.

  My busiest week during the time of my stay in Cincinnati-- I

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          289

mean real business in addition to the business of "sparking."  I

have had ten new claims in Commercial Court, one title to ex-

amine and make out papers, etc.

  March 15.-- Night before last called with Mr. Drake on "the

girls" (credit Miss Sallie with that quotation); chatty until 9

o'clock. Then go to Colonel Bond's. Mr. Drake devoted to

Miss Lucy and I to Miss Ellen until 12.  Colonel Bond read

the eloquent portions of Mr. Webster's speech on secession.

Well read. . . . Yesterday, sleepy and  snoozy but no  re-

freshing rest.  P. M., walk with "cousin Ed,"  as sweet lips

sweetly call him, and evening spent at a little sociable at Mrs.

W --'s.  War among the women  (mem.: like them-- I mean

many of them).      Mrs.  W--  imagines that her sons--one,

sensible and agreeable, the other "a weak sister"--have been

neglected, and asks the girls, "Don't you think my sons respect-

able?" The discreet and unsuspecting Miss Sallie seems to fancy

that she owns "the girls" and that she alone is responsible for

and capable of promoting their happiness; intimates that but

for the assiduous attentions of Collins and myself, more agree-

able beaux would have attended to the sight-seeing with the

ladies. Ask pardon "girls"! As the old one crows the young

one "peeps."    Her mother happened to be sitting at a table

reading.   I at the other side of the room sat conversing with

some one in such a position that my back was towards Mrs. W--.

She construed this into intentional and inexcusable disrespect!

Human nature is mysterious enough, but woman nature is its

queerest phase.

  March 17. --As Byron says, "it is awful work this love and

prevents all a man's projects of good and glory."     I have not

dared put on paper, even in my sacred diary, much of my love.

I have been afraid of profane eyes, and, with shame be it said,

that one day I might myself blush to see it; not the love, but

the repulse.  Success, success even in affairs of the heart, is the

thing which crowns and ennobles. For almost two years I have

been in love with------. She has been at times "coy and hard

to please" and again yielding and kind, smiling sweetly upon my

protestations of affection. Woman nature is, indeed, "a mystery



past all finding out."   I now fear she is thinking of another.

She asks for her letters but wishes to keep mine! To take from

my hands all proofs of her former feelings and to keep the evi-

dence which is good against me. To free herself and to keep me

in chains. As long as there is a hope, my love is so blindly strong

I must cling to it, though my pride prompts decision. When a

straw indicating a favorable "air from heaven" is seen, I am

happy as the angels; could strive and labor and learn, be good,

and, if in me there lies such power, great.  When she frowns, the

world is drear and desolate; "man delights not me nor woman

neither."   It is as "a blast from hell."    I am more infirm of

purpose than a child, weaker than an infant.        Shall  I say to

her "now or never"? This suspense must have an end! If I

am wrecked and hurried o'er the shoals of disappointment, I

have elasticity and firmness and pride enough to quickly stand

erect and free.   But then it may  lose what patience and time

and suspense and suffering may win.       What glory, hope, hap-

piness in the thought!  I'll talk again with her--probe her yet

again. This giving up the letters severs a few more of the frail

strands which seem to hold us together; but that must be and

shall be --this night, if possible. She loves and don't love. She

has a weak longing for a dark eye and tawny brow. Hence her

insane penchant formerly for L-, whom no man, not to say

woman, else could see but with loathing and disgust. Hence

her endurance of D --, who is scarcely less disgustful to intel-

ligence and sensibility.  Hence here is the ache! the alas!--her

apparent preference for          who though gut genug is not the

man to fascinate by any other personal advantages.         Foolish-

ness!  Shall I tear the page?     No, let it stay a little while.

  April 12, 1850.-- The last three or four weeks have been

spent journeying to my old homes, Columbus and Fremont

Wednesday morning, March 20, left here at 6:30 A. M. in com-

pany with-----in the cars for Columbus.        Met Mrs. E -- as

fellow passenger in the cars.      How  wise she tried to look!

Think of her asking my mother if I were engaged or not to----- !

A pleasant ride; talky and agreeable company.      Poetry repeated

in which occurs the line, "There's beauty all around our paths."

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          291

Query: Did she mean to pump? If so, a failure. Or was it

to tell me that she knew where a certain New Year's gift came

from?   If the latter, O. K.--Afternoon spent at home with


  April 17. -- Mother seemed more happy than usual. What a

happiness it is for her to have such a child as Laura [Platt, her

granddaughter,] to educate and train!  She spoke of the gossip

concerning myself and a certain fair one in a sensible way that

pleased me very much. In the evening [of March 20] saw

"Brother John," Dr. Little. I do love him and Mrs. Solis. I am

getting to have a genuine regard for all coquettes from seeing

her. She was an exquisitely captivating one in her day, and now

what a patient, loving, and devoted wife. Her affection for a

man not overwinning or lovable (in my judgment) is in truth

beautiful to look upon and contemplate.

  [The next morning], Thursday, [March] 21, early visit

Doctors Case and Little. After that, Miss Lizzie Baldwin, a

cheery, charming girl -- growing pass'ee, but as young and hard

to please as ever she was in the day of her most triumphant

coquetry. P. M. Met Mrs. --- on my way. She tells where to

find Miss ---. Spend the whole afternoon; give up my letters.

She reads from her "what-ye-may-call-it" the closing paragraphs

of my letter from Delaware in reply to hers requesting a discon-

tinuance of our correspondence; gives me the fanciful names of

her "friends," as she strangely enough terms her lovers; among

others "Rudolph Hastings," whom I take to be my humble self.

Then reproached herself with folly for letting me know she kept

such an article.  After tea walked over to her sister's, spent a

half-hour and returned chatting lovingly (on my part) another

half-hour in the night air on the pleasant west balcony. 'Tis

plain to see and feel that she has grown coquettish, amazingly,

since I first began to love her. Had she then been such as now,

with all her "fascinating and admiring qualities," "however

talented and agreeable," I should probably never have "affected"

her much; but now I am

       "Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more,

        Returning were as tedious as go o'er."


   I feel now that this "affair of the heart" is degenerating into a

mere flirtation on both sides.     How strange that I can  feel so,

looking back. Less than a month ago I wrote in a very different

vein.   Since that, seeing more of her and reflection on what I

had before seen, has led me to a feeling midway between love

and entire indifference.     I still think her at heart estimable,

capable of deep and strong and lasting emotions.  Of her intel-

lectual endowments there can be no difference of opinion.           I

believe she will be a most faithful, affectionate, and angelic wife

to the man she loves. But my trip to Columbus with her, the

previous intercourse, and the observations then made have cured

me, at least for the time, thoroughly of everything like a weak

attachment for her. I am now regarded by many as the lucky

one. Better so than the opposite. And as long as she cares to

keep it going, I shall be happy to contribute my share to the evi-

dence which brings the gossips to that conclusion. I shall, as

opportunity offers, visit her, flirt with her, and talk love to her as

long as it is as agreeable, as it now appears to be, to her and to

myself. If I wish a wife before a change comes o'er the spirit

of her dream or of mine, I'll think naturally first of her. Other-

wise, otherwise. More content am I now with my own views,

feelings, and designs in this affair than at any time since the de-

lusion began.

   [On] March 18, [I] saw Murdoch in the play "Lady of

Lyons" with------. She thought Pauline was too near yielding

at  the  last  moment  to  relieve  her  father.       She  admires

"Shirley," and is not offended at being "likened unto" her. She,

as an excuse for encouraging my disposition to flirt with her, says

she needs a "counterirritant" to prevent gossip from settling

down upon another, and perhaps (?) to her less agreeable, quar-

ter. She detests coquettes, abuses them, and tries to fancy her-

self not one! Oh women, women, Byron knew ye after all.

  Thursday evening, March 21, [I spent] at home, talking with

the family. Morrison Gregory, about to start for California,

made  some sport, etc., etc.  Mother  alone sat up and talked

kindly and cheerfully until midnight,--when into the omnibus

over to the cars, and off to Xenia. Friday evening reach Tif-

fin  and . . . Saturday,  March  23 . . . [by}  stage to Mr.

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          293

Valette's near Fremont. Uncle and all well. Weather cold

as the frigid zone.

  [Hayes remained at Fremont for ten days or so, renewing

old acquaintances there and in neighboring towns. April 5, he

went by rail from Tiffin to Springfield. From there, the next

day, by stage to Dayton whence he travelled by packet to Saint

Marys. After two days there and at Celina he took packet again

and in twenty-four hours reached Cincinnati, April 1O.]

                               CINCINNATI, April 18, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I have just learned of the loss of the Bos-

well suit. I do not write by way of condolence; that would be

out of place with you, besides, I hate it as much as you can;

perhaps a good deal more; but I thought you might like to hear

my first impressions about the matter.

  1. I understand the decision to be flatly in the teeth of our

state decision. I hope it is so, for in that case, tracts 7 and 9

are in the same boat, and the state court will ultimately be

forced either to back out or stand up in opposition to the United

States court. There will be no chance of holding one way as

to tract 7 and another as [to] tract 9.

  2. I suppose the case will be remanded to the July term of

the Circuit Court. The case of tract 9 will then also be de-

cided and writs put into the hands of the marshall to turn you

all out. At that time, we must be ready to take the benefit of

the new occupying claimant law which is strongly in favor of

the defendants. There will probably be a struggle against this.

That's one fight ahead.

  3. Then, going on the presumption that our state court will

stand firm, how to fight them and when to begin, is the ques-

tion. I don't give it up, and of course, you will not have any

thoughts of doing so. One thing, you have the control, I be-

lieve, of some lots in tract 9. Now, it may be worth while to get

a suit on one of them into the state court before any suit is

begun as to lots in tract 7. So that precisely the same title may


again come before the court which they have already ad-


  Another thing. The sooner Boswell transfers his title to per-

sons residing in Ohio, the better; for if you beat a citizen in

the state court, he can not turn round and sue you in the federal


  You will not need another attorney in conducting the future

proceedings. I can attend to it as well residing here as if I

were in Fremont--on some accounts, better.  We  have from

now until July to deliberate as to what is best.  Before that

time I mean to master the whole subject.--Sincerely,

                                              R. B. HAYES.

  The rascals will soon get tired of it and want to compromise.

Ewing is always pinched for money, and you know how it is

with the others.


  Friday, April 26. -- Governor Ford's Fast Day. Out of date

in this age, it seems to me. Yesterday saw an article in the

Republic charging Byron with having stolen his beautiful song

in the first canto of "Childe Harold" from Wolfgang, an ob-

scure German poet of 1797.

                "Adieu, adieu, my native shore

                 Fades o'er the waters blue,"

and so forth, is an exact translation of the pretended extract

from the German. I suspected it was a hoax, and am now told

at the German Republican office that no such thing could well be.

  "Speaking of "whales," how queer the coincidence! I had

just finished my very cool moralizing on my "affaire de coeur"

(bad French) when on calling at the postoffice, my blood was

sent leaping hotly through my veins by seeing her well known

superscription on the back of a letter mailed April 15, Colum-

bus. It proved to be simply a little tie of oak geranium and

white violet, signifying, I am told, "faithfulness and friend-

ship." The joyous play of the pulse which ensued showed but

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          295

too plainly how thin is the coating of philosophy which covers

my attachment.  [On the] 17th, wrote her "a thankee," with

a rather saucy letter mailed under cover to Dr. J. on the 18th.

Hardly expected a reply.  Saw Miss Harriet yesterday.  She

had received a letter from and said I was remembered;

probably since my writing--not "sartain."

  It is time I was again at my studies. "Promissory Notes" in the

forenoon, Uncle's case P. M., Burke and German any time.

  April 28. -- Last evening had a delightful meeting of the Lit-

erary Club. Several new members, viz. Dixon, Skinner, and

Pierce. In the course of the conversation on American prose

writers it was said that Prescott was nine years writing his

"Ferdinand and Isabella." Longfellow saw it at the end of the

first year, complete as far as the plan and scope of the work

went, but crude and imperfect in style, arrangement, and detail.

If published then it would have proved a failure and Mr. Pres-

cott would probably have attempted no other work. But he

was a man of wealth, could wait, and continued to write and

rewrite it until at the end of nine years from its commencement

it was published as we now see it-perfect and admirable.

  May 4, 1850. -- Burnet House opened last night with a grand

soir'ee-- a ten-dollar affair. Did not attend. Thought I could

buy more gratification with my eagle in some other way. Herron,

my office chum, left for Chillicothe by way of Columbus this

morning to be gone a fortnight or so, visiting, sparking, and en-

joying his-self. I spent last evening with that charming, sweet

girl Miss L- [Lucy Webb]. Must keep a guard on my sus-

ceptibles or I shall be in beyond my depth.

  Must map out my plan of study and exercise, diversion and

business, for the coming summer as soon as the office is thor-

oughly purified from the accumulation of dust and filth of the


  My favorite lady acquaintances in the city viz, "the Sixth

Street girls," Miss C--, Miss L--, and the Misses Jones,

are gone or going, so I shall be left quite out of employment

"occupation gone" -- in that "ilk" of duties.


  Sunday, May  5.--With Miss  Lib S-  from Covington to

the Wesleyan Female College, and with Miss Lucy thence to

Christ Church. See Will Howard. Dine with both the ladies

at Mrs. White's in Covington. Return with same P. M. and Mr.

Cameron (a banker of Covington) and lady and Miss Mary

Clemens to the Cathedral and so back to Covington. Evening

with Miss Harriet C- to Christ Church. A great day among

the women, all in all, for one in love and not "a lady's man."

  Monday, [May] 6. -- Supreme Court call over their docket.

Trial of Jones for the murder of a police officer. Jesse Jones,

though a desperate character, is a good-looking, intelligent young

man. Nothing in his appearance or demeanor proclaims [the]

ruffian or murderer.

  P. M. According to promise, with Miss C- to see the

Adoring Angel and Hope, two fine statues intended to ornament

the Cathedral. Introduce Howard to her (Miss C-), not the

marble, but the flesh and blood angel. After the departure of

Miss C-, and Miss S-, I am without anything do draw my

thoughts from the law. So, "wiggle waggle."

  Saturday, May 11. -- This week I have been in the court-house

a good deal. In the Supreme Court two murder cases have been

tried.  Jesse Jones, for killing a policeman  (Brasham), and

James  Summons,  for poisoning  a  whole  family -- his  own

father's ! --during the cholera  season.    Judge  Walker  con-

ducted the prosecution.    I could  not but admire the manner

in which his ability is adorned by his constant courtesy.  In

this respect I have nowhere seen his superior. This is a quality

to be imitated and cultivated.

  There is much discussion in the political circles as to Mr.

Webster's recent movements on the slavery questions. I am one

of those who admire his genius but have little confidence in his

integrity. I regret that he has taken a course so contrary to that

which he has hitherto pursued on this subject. I saw the fol-

lowing lines by Whittier in the New Era which can only refer to

the godlike Daniel. [Here "Ichabod" is quoted.]

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          297

                                 CINCINNATI, May 13, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I send you by this mail a copy of Judge Mc-

Lean's decision of your case. It does not go so far as I supposed

from reading the note of the case in the newspapers. It only

decides the case of tract 7, and evades a decision of the point

which applies also to tract 9. He does not overrule the Ohio de-

cision but dodges it. It is not to be disguised that this course is

worse for you in your future litigation than if his decision had

covered all the points. He may now decide the case of tract 9

when it comes before him in July in the same way that the state

court did, and if he does, the state court will be far more likely

to follow him in the cases which you will hereafter bring before

them as to tract 7. There is nothing in the decision which ap-

plies to tract 9, and if that case is attended to, it may yet be won

even before Judge McLean. It would be better, as I have said

before, for you to have them all in "the same boat." It now

becomes more important than ever to you that Myers' New Occu-

pant Law, abominable as it is, should be sustained. I have writ-

ten to Judge Myers at Toledo on the subject-- as to where he got

it -- whether borrowed from another State, etc., and shall

probably hear from him on the subject soon. Watson says it is

unconstitutionaal beyond doubt. I have not yet satisfied myself,

but fear it will be so held.

  Watson was here a few days ago on his return from a visit

to Boswell. I saw him by a mere accident. I think he was not

anxious to see me. He says you are reported to have been a good

deal excited when you learned the result, and talked about rais-

ing a little army and making resistance! etc., etc. He evidently

considers the decision to be in their favor on all the points, cov-

ering both tracts, and not on one point only, applicable solely to

tract 7. "Boswell," said he, "asked me the value of the property.

I told him I couldn't tell. It would be in litigation for ten years,

see-sawing between the state and federal courts, and no man in

Ohio would dare to buy it." Judge Tilden thinks the decision

wrong, but fears that Myers' law will not stand.  However, I

shall study that out very soon. The owners of lots in [tract] 9

ought to have their attorneys engaged to attend to it. Neither

Buckland nor I are bound to do anything more.


  Jesse Stem will be home in the course of this week. He will

visit you if the weather is good very soon. If you want to talk

over McLean's decision with anybody, Dr. Rawson is your man.

He will see through the whole difficulty as well as Judge Lane or


  No news. I will write you again in a week or two. Booby

Johnson will be a good candidate. He is great on the stump and

among the people. If the Locos in the Convention go the radical

doctrines, Johnson will give Judge Wood a closer race than many

now imagine . . .


                                             R. B. HAYES.


  Monday, May 20.-- Last Friday morning Colonel Noble came

into my office and said there was a stranger on the pavement be-

low who wished to see me. Going down, I was agreeably sur-

prised to find Mother there. Called with her at various places,

etc., etc. On Saturday 18th, went with Garrard over to the

Queen City race-course to see the foot-race between a white man

Jackson (the American deer) and four Indians -- Canada, Cof-

fee, Armstrong, etc. My sympathies were all with the redmen.

Glory and success in such efforts seem appropriately and of right

to belong to them. They are not white men's gifts. Canada was

the favorite of the field at first. He ran light, leaping like a

deer. He had beaten Jackson before, but he was taken with a

cramp at the sixth mile and "let down." Coffee pushed the

white man until the ninth mile when he gradually fell behind,

losing the race by a minute. Time, ten miles, Jackson: 56

minutes and a few seconds. The training and dogged perse-

verance of the white man were more than a match for the greater

natural gifts of the red. Jackson is a small man, five feet six

inches high, weighing only one hundred seven pounds, but he is all

bone and muscle. His lungs are large --a full chest, muscular

neck and arms, and thin legs. I lost a dime on the race to Col-


  Sunday [yesterday], heard Dr. Murray's first discourse with

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          299

Mother. P. M. Heard Dr. Leland of South Carolina, the Mod-

erator of the Old School Presbyterian Convention [Assembly].

  [This] evening with mother to hear Ralph W. Emerson's first

lecture. It was quaint and queer in expression, but suggestive

and pithy; rather a series of disjointed thoughts on the same

subject than a methodical, sustained chain of reasoning and dis-

course. His subject was "Natural Aristocracy," the aristocracy

founded on the ability to do something useful or admirable bet-

ter than anybody else. To speak well--the magnetism and

readiness which is eloquence; to fight well, or true courage; to

write well (here he named as those who would bring tears and

smiles in all ages, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Burns, Scott, and

now perhaps, Dickens); and, above all, the mark of gentleman

confers the distinction which admits its wearer into the natural

aristocracy, etc., etc.

  Since or while writing the above,  Judge Reed  is hunting

through my Milton for some quotations for his speech in defense

of the poisoner Summons. Mem.: -- That's the way it's done.

  "Whoever is a genuine follower of truth, keeps his eye steady

upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she

is the leader."--"Natural Society," Burke.

  The evils of "party spirit," "artificial law,"  "the law's delay,"

"the law's uncertainty," the anxieties which cluster about power,

the unsatisfying nature of pleasure, the unequal distribution of

the good things of earth between the industrious poor and the

idle rich, are topics all well handled in the capital burlesque or

"argumentum ad absurdurm" of Burke.

                                 CINCINNATI, May 22, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Mother came down here Thursday evening

last. She has remained at the Pearl Street House. Mr. Moody

and wife, Mr. Pennington and Walker with their families from

Tiffin are there also. So she has had company enough. She

appears to enjoy her visit very much. We were over to Ken-

tucky this morning calling on Mrs. White (Ann Williams for-

merly), to hear Mr. Emerson lecture last evening, and to divers

meetings. The Presbyterian Assembly for the United States is in


session here, and meetings and ministers are plenty as black-

berries. A good time for Mother to visit.

  As I said in my former letter, Judge McLean's decision is less

favorable than I had supposed, but there is good ground for hope

yet. I believe he will decide tract 9 the same way. If he does,

we are just where we thought this decision placed us. If, how-

ever, he makes a distinction, there is still a chance to contest the

matter in the state court; for a careful examination of the Ohio

decision will satisfy any one that its principle covers both cases,

and that the court so intended it.

  If, as Judge McLean says, the court of Ohio only decided the

proceedings valid as to the property actually in dispute, as merely

valid in rem, then Hawkins' decree could convey a good title

to only one-fourth of B. B. & W.'s interest in tract 9--not to

the whole of it, as our state court held.    The decree is just as

valid to convey a title to tract 7, or any other property of the

defendant's, as it is to carry a good title to the extra three-

fourths of tract 9, which Hawkins did not pretend to have a

claim upon.    This position is certainly sound, and unless our

state court is willing to swallow its former decision, there is still

a fair chance to keep up the conflict between the two jurisdic-


  As to the Occupant Law, I find nothing which goes to show

that it is unconstitutional.  I am sure it will stand.  I only fear

that Judge McLean, and after him the Supreme Court, will hold

that you cannot take advantage of it because your litigation was

begun before the law was passed, and I don't see how that can

be done. I see no reason for it. What reason do Dr. Rawson

and Mr. Otis give for thinking the law will not control future

proceedings in the case? I can think of none.

  Jesse Stem went home a few days ago. He heard me read

from one of the Indiana Reports what, I have no doubt, is the

law as to occupying claimants, and thinks from that as I do,

that the law is constitutional.   He will see you soon after his

return if his health is good, as he means to ride about a good deal.

  Remember me to Mr. Lincoln. I should like to see him here.

I could show him some of the prettiest girls above ground. Is

not that inducement enough to bring him here? Tell Pease that

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          301

one of the Hungarian refugees who was here could beat Dr.

Schmidt and the best chess players here, and throw off a castle.

It satisfied me that I never had seen any one who knew the

alphabet of the game before


  S. BIRCHARD.                                            RUD.

  Thursday, May 23.--Last night with Miss Emma  Ruth to

hear Emerson's lecture on "Eloquence."      Mr. Emerson is cer-

tainly a very entertaining lecturer; whether very instructive or

profound is another question.  It strikes me that he shows him-

self a keen, close observer rather than a profound thinker.

Logic and method, he has none; but his bead-string of sug-

gestions, fancies, ideas, anecdotes, and illustrations, delivered in

a subdued, earnest manner, is as effective in chaining the attention

of his audience as the most systematic discourse could be. He has

great faith in the notion that men are what they are born; great

faith in the mysterious magnetism by which one man controls

another or others. He said when you meet a man of the same

tastes with yourself, but in greater strength, he will not only

rule you, but make you love your ruler. He regards the fanati-

cisms and occasional excitements of the day as the best teachers

of eloquence to those who are moved by them. The great ele-

ment of good speaking in a lawyer is statement, arrangement; if

to this he can add an agreeable manner, can, like Dickens, touch

the hidden cords which bind the emotions, he is perfect in his

vocation of advocate.  A  few phrases contain the pith of the

whole matter in most causes, and the correct and skilful hand-

ling of these will always command the verdict of the jury.

  Burke is quite as remarkable for his use of epithets, often

low and vulgar but always significant, as for his gorgeousness of

diction.  Witness the following: -- "Your ministerial directors

blustered like tragic tyrants here; and then went mumping with a

sore leg in America, canting and whining and complaining of

factions," etc.

  Friday, [May]  24. --Called on Ralph Waldo Emerson at the

Burnet House, in company with Collins and Spofford, as a com-


mittee to invite Mr. Emerson to meet the Literary Club on some

evening convenient to himself for the purpose of a free confab

on literary men and matters. Mr. Emerson is above the middle

height, a tolerable figure, but rather awkward; dresses in the

plainly genteel style--black surtout and pants, black satin vest

and cravat, common shoes.     His head is not large, forehead low

and narrow, hair cut short--a brown color, eyes grayish blue,

a rather large nose with deep lines from the nostrils on either

side arching around the mouth, but not so as to give an un-

pleasant expression.   Is agreeable in his manners and first ad-

dress. Talks, as he speaks, freely, and in a somewhat quaint way.

  He spoke of the clubs of London.        Said he, "The clubs are

London. One does not know London until he knows the clubs."

He was introduced to the Athenaeum as an honorary member.

"Only thirteen strangers can be introduced at the same time--

one from a nation.     There are some twelve hundred members.

And to a bachelor his club is his all.  It introduces him to an

agreeable society of the first men in London, to a good library

and reading-room -- the best selected library in London, to good

eating at cost prices.    Entrance  fee one hundred dollars and

thirty dollars per year.   The  bachelor's letters are sent to the

club hall, a noble building.   He meets his friends here, invites

others to dine with him, gets the latest news, etc., etc.  His club

[is]his home.

  "The Geological Club has a paper read before it once a fort-

night which is followed by speeches, etc., from Buckland, Lyell,

etc. The Reform Club is the finest club in London. Has the

grandest building in which to meet.

  "English gentlemen affect a slowness and hesitancy of speech.

It is like the country--like a man  just from his estate.         To

speak fluently is too like an attorney, which is thought low.

  "Macaulay was not a successful debater.         His  best efforts

were on the Reform Bill. He did not come into the debate until

near its close.   After he had spoken, all the speeches on the

other side were in reply to him. Macaulay is the growth of

the present state of society in England.     He  is a cockney.  All

the English are cockneys.     He  affects an elegance and youth-

fulness of style in his dress which is unfitting in a man who has

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          303

gray hairs.   I have an old grudge against him because of his

abuse of Bacon. He has abused all of England's noblest names.

His 'History' is a libel on the English character. No man is

found who escapes him. Sidney and Hampden are not spared.

His 'History' has the merit of proceding upon the principle that

the history of a nation is not the history of its officers but its

people--not an original notion with him, although Jeffrey very

ungenerously gives him credit for it. Jeffrey knew that Carlyle

had stated it long ago.

  "I met Prince Albert in one of the clubs. Buckland was ex-

plaining to him some mechanism. He is a fine-looking man. I

have said I never saw a good-looking German, but he is one."

  Such are a few points he spoke of in a half-hour's chat. He

has the common  fault of his sect--the Transcendalists--of

thinking that the hearty, earnest, sincere benevolence in the

world is centred in themselves; that all others are so bigoted

as not to see the truth, or are too timid boldly to avow it; or, as

Mr. Emerson said, "have too little pluck to avow it." He spoke

of Henry Ward Beecher as one of the bold, hopeful reformers.

Bushnell he wished well, because he thinks well and hopes well

for mankind.

  His lecture this evening was on "The Spirit of the Age."

There are three, or have been, three sorts of civilization: 1. The

Greek, or the age of the senses, when the senses were perfect.

2.  The religious, Christian age, the ideal age -- everything

founded on religion. 3. This age, distinguished as an examin-

ing, analytical, arithmetical, critical age; an age which is turn-

ing the elements of nature into tools, which is looking to the

individual man --each into his own nature for the something.

  The King of Sicily when recommended to adopt a new uniform

for his soldiers, said, "It matters not what uniforms they have,

they will surely run away."

  Chris Anderson says Agassiz has discovered and proved that

Adam was not the father of the whole race but only of the Jews;

that he is glad of it, for he never liked the idea of having a

henpecked husband for his ancestor.

  Sunday, [May] 26. -- This evening our Literary Club met and

received a visit from Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson. He, after


being introduced to each member, sat down and began a free and

easy conversation on literary men and things in England. Talked

two and a half hours on all matters from letters to raising corn

and pigs. A very pleasant man. A few items I give:--

  "There are in London, it is estimated, seventy thousand per-

sons who are considered 'good society'; and those who compose

it find such a variety of persons, ideas, facts, important and

trifling, always interesting in this great multitude, that the rest

of the world is scarcely thought of.  America is like Turkey

or Hungary, interesting and talked of only when some particular

circumstance makes it an object of notice.     These people are,

therefore, quite uninformed as to all the rest of the world--

that is, their local peculiarities, politics, and geography which are

usually known to travelled people.    I spoke to Carlyle -- think-

ing he would have none of this narrow cockneyism about him--

of the future of the English race, and said that America was to

be the seat of the English.   With a continent, a quarter of the

world at their command, to be peopled and improved by them,

in America would be their history.  Carlyle was restive, vexed,

uneasy, couldn't think of it.  They see so much wealth, power,

energy, and talent; they see the whole world passing in and out

of their gates, that they cannot realize or imagine the possibility

that there is any outside nation or people who shall ever be their


  "In America there have been no creative, constructive, imagin-

ative men.  They do not come much oftener than once in two

hundred years, and perhaps it is not our time yet to have one.

Wordsworth, Scott, and Shakespeare are creative men.

  "Every author's writings are the transcript of his own life,

emotions, etc., --it is autobiography thinly veiled. George Sand,

the best living French novelist, has written nothing but her own

confessions, veiled under the names and characters of her

romances.   The  Mme. ----- is herself.   Shakespeare had all

emotions and passions-- portrayed all in his dramas.

  "lt is said of D'Israeli that he is like all his tribe-- a gatherer

of rags, a vendor of old clothes. Sharp saying and quite true.

He is a great fop.

  "I never knew what people meant by 'Transcendental.' If it

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          305

means those who believe with Plato in man's immortality, they

should be called Platonists.  But that does not describe the class

to whom the term is applied --Coleridge and others.  They are

men who believe in themselves, in their own convictions, and rely

upon them; these are the true men. I have some hope of such;

they hope for themselves, they believe there is something more

than this narrow scene in which we are to act. Men who are

self-trusting, self-relying, earnest, are called by the name Tran-


  Mr. Emerson seemed quite puzzled, not to say vexed, when

speaking of this subject.  It was forced upon him by questions

and suggestions.

  "Macaulay is a man whose wares are all marketable. He is

popular, simple, splendid in style. He has a prodigious memory,

but to what end? What good does he do?"

  [Mr.] Stevenson asked, "What good has Carlyle done?"

  "Why, Carlyle [replied Emerson] has done  the good which

any man does who makes people think. He makes them feel

their immortality; a man can't think without feeling that.

  "Children ought to have their imaginations cultivated.        It

must be done while they are young. Some things must be im-

pressed on the mind when it is susceptible and tender, or they

never can be.  If children want to hear a story, tell it to them

if you can, or get somebody that can do it if you cannot. Give

them the 'Arabian Nights,' attractive books; fill their minds with

glorious thoughts.  Let them early learn what they are, spiritual

and immortal; and they must be when men such as they ought

to be."

  Monday, [May] 27. --This evening Mr. Emerson lectured on

England. He gave England and Englishmen the high place in

the world's history.    She  [England]  has  the best working

climate, not too hot or cold; the best race of people -- the mettle

of the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, the Saxons, and Britons,

a good cross; the Normans, an improvement, men of physical

health and strength.    There never was a duel at Oxford or

Cambridge with their thousands of students. He thinks Alfred,

the man of sense, learning, bravery, temper, skill, industry, laws,

etc., the type of the race; or Cromwell.    Bishop or Chancellor



Wykeham  founded in Winchester the school and college for

seventy persons each, which for seven centuries has existed, with

its motto, "Manners make the man." But the fault of England,

if she has one, is, her success is material. She has no mysticism,

no faith, no soaring.    The Americans have more versatility,

adaptedness; they are the people of the future.        England is

"mortgaged" to the past.    But what a fate is hers!  Like the

upas tree she has struck her roots, by her colonies, in India,

Australia, and America, into the four quarters of the globe,

establishing her laws, extending her language and her race wide

as the waters and the earth.

  "Macaulay wrote a letter to his constituents dated 'Windsor

Castle.' He happened to be there once a half-hour and took that

opportunity to write the letter, or rather to date it, for he

carried it with him ready written.     It has been thrown  up to

him ever since. It was such a faux pas. A man like Macaulay,

too, with such a sense of the proper!" -- Emerson, in conver-


  Tuesday, [May] 27 [28.] -- Mr. Emerson's lecture this evening

was on "Books." After speaking of the "uncounted multitudes

of books" in the great libraries of Europe he gave these rules

for readers:

  1. Read no book not a year old.

  2. No book but a (I think) thin one.

  3.  No  book but those you like --as Shakespeare says, "af-


  "The better works are all translated and translatable, and I

would as soon swim a river when I could cross it in a ferryboat

or on a bridge, as blunder through a book in the original when

I could read it in a good translation."

  There are five books of Greece which ought to be read.         1.

Homer, in the old translation.     2.  Herodotus, with his good

stories.  3.  AEschylus, "Prometheus,"  etc.  4.  Plato, "the

book of books," and  [5.]  Plutarch--"Lives"  and "Morals."

Also the "Banquets" -- Plato's, Xenophon's and Plutarch's (I

think); an easy history, Goldsmith's or Gillies', of Greece.

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          307

  The successors or followers of Plato six or seven hundred

years afterwards. Gibbon, easy, flowing, glorious, but not pro-

found, will bring you down to the fall of Constantinople. The

middle ages by Hallam. Dante.

  Read autobiography, lives of great men, letters, etc.  Charles

V and his contemporaries, Luther, Columbus, and so on down

to the Elizabethan age.

  Cultivate the imagination --read Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon,

all but his apothegms.  Read good novels.

  The book containing the religion of every people, Bible, Koran,

and Confucius -- all named in "a lump"!-- to be read on bended

knee with throbbing heart.

  Montaigne, Rousseau's "Confessions," Rabelais, "The Cid,"

Sharon Turner's "Anglo-Saxons," Goethe, Wordsworth, De

Quincey, etc., etc.

  Let a club parcel out books to individuals who shall [each]

read and report honestly his impressions, and then each one can

judge of the fitness of the book to his own wants.

                                CINCINNATI, May 29, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Sebring handed me your letter containing

fifty dollars this morning for which many thanks.

  If I understand it rightly, the question as to applying the new

Occupying Claimant Law to your case will be decided at the

July term, and if it is decided against you, I suppose there is no

doubt but you can appeal to the Supreme Court of the United

States.  Under the new law, no jury need be sent out if the

parties can agree, and if they don't agree, the party who loses his

point in the disagreement as to values, must pay the cost of the

jury, which will be quite an item in this case.

  As to warranties, you must pay the amount paid to you and

interest. You are entitled to nothing for the use of the lot. It

was not your lot but Boswell's (as the court has decided), and

if any one is entitled to rent, it is Boswell, though the new Oc-

cupant Law cuts that off too, as far as Boswell is concerned.

    Herron put the question as to the validity of the new


law to Thurman and Judge Whitman at Chillicothe. The first

was doubtful, but the judge said it was constitutional beyond a


   S. BIRCHARD.                                 [R. B. HAYES.]

  May 31.-Today Cousin Mary  Birchard, Miss Knight, and

[Miss] Walker, Vermont girls who have been teaching in Mis-

sissippi, reached here.

  Tonight heard the second of Mr. Emerson's methaphysical

lectures on the identity of "Intellect and Nature."     He spoke

of the analogy between mental processes, etc., and those of

vegetables. How thoughts grow and ripen, how [they are] im-

proved, enlarged, beautified, etc., by cultivation, manuring, etc.

Also the analogy of animal growth, etc.  Minds improved by

crossing--the memory answering to the belly, digesting, etc.

How the great world is an animal assimilating all things to it-

self--bellowing in its caves, breathing in its ocean, prespiring,

etc. He soon wandered from his subject, and after speaking

of the similarity between men and beasts, hardly returned to it.

  "The whole history of man is a series of conspiracies to win

from nature some advantage without paying for it."  E.  g.:

If a man could master the stores in the minds of great men

around him--the facts and figures of the historian and statis-

tician, the science of the chemist, etc.--what a prodigious ad-

vantage could be gained!     Magnetism attempted this-to let

a man steal into the brain of the sleepy subject and rob him of

his wealth; to make the plunderer rich, indeed, and not make

the robbed the poorer."

  Judge Walker mentioned in his speech in the Summons case

as the most affecting incident in literary history the killing of

Charles Lamb's mother by his sister.  Its concealment from her

and from the world; the breaking off of his engagement with a

beautiful woman to devote his life to his sister, etc.

 Monday, June 3, 1850. -- Yesterday or day before Mr. Orms-

bee told me a story of friend Pease's early life which I never

heard before.   Pease was an agent of Fessenden of Brattleboro

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          309

to obtain subscriptions for a Bible, or Bible Commentary, he was

about to publish.   Pease called on a Dr. Campbell of Putney,

Vermont, to solicit a subscription. Dr. Campbell was an expert

card-player, and finding Pease not averse to a game they were

soon "a-shuffling."   They finally began to bet.   Pease put up

Bibles against  the doctor's "Mexicans"; before morning  Dr.

Campbell had "chiseled" Pease out of twelve Bibles at twelve

dollars each. Pease with a poor face told the doctor to put his

name down which was done with alacrity. Now Pease "had"

him.   The collecting agent of Fessenden knew nothing of the

matter, would believe nothing of it, and the doctor was compelled

to pay the hundred and forty-four dollars for Bibles he did not

want. A just punishment for seducing a mere boy into gaming.

                            CINCINNATI, OHIO, June 6, 1850.

  DEAR Guy: -- Yours of the 10th, mailed the 18th, ult., I

received this morning and shall begin a reply now as I hope to

see this afternoon some gentlemen who can tell me something

about the characters who are supposed to be connected with the

bank at Galveston.

  Of course you are the better judge as to the wisdom of divid-

ing Texas into two or more States.      What  I wrote as to my

wishes in view of your personal prospects was penned on the

supposition that the division was a thing likely soon to occur,

and one which would be agreeable to the people of your State.

If you deem the measure bad, you will oppose it; but if beaten,

I would still keep "my eye on the main chance."

   I really can not tell, nor have I the slightest recollection of

what I said to General Harrison on the subject indicated by

you.  That something was said is quite probable, for he was,

or appeared to me to be, a great gossip and talked on all matters

of personal history which could possibly come within the range

of ordinary conversation. One thing I am quite sure of, I was

not at all communicative or confidential in talking to him.   My

 replies on such topics must have  meant as near nothing as I

 could make them, for I, as well as our whole party (your sister,


Mrs. Joel Bryan will recollect this), had a most thorough dis-

like of the man.   I must exempt a lively and, I thought, rather

frivolous, lady from New York who separated, I think, from

her company here and went from this city to New York with


  I think you ask too much for your claims in New Mexico.

Don't haggle too much about price. Just now the North is good-

humored and liberal and you should make the best bargain you

can, but make it now the first chance.  There is no telling but

gold placers will be found there, and if so you will be swamped

by an influx of Northern workers such as crowded slavery out

of California.  The cry of disunion is grown to be very sense-

less and harmless.   The thing is shown to be impossible.     The

border States will not permit it.  No man could live in political

strife [life?] anywhere along the line who would uphold the

Nashville Convention.    It may be a good hobby further South

and off North but where the division line is to be run, the feel-

ing is in opposition to it.

  Joe Lake's friends have not lost entire confidence in him even

since the failure of the Wooster bank. He is a shrewd operator

and was regarded as a man of integrity until within a few years.

But he has had too many irons in the fire for safety.      That is

perhaps his greatest fault.    What  is his connection with the

Galveston bank, of course I do not know, but he is thought to

have a controlling interest in it. His son-in-law, Mr. Clem, ha

charge of the office at New Orleans, and has been considered a

good man. S. M. Williams, another chief manager, you know

all about. The charter of the bank at Galveston is regarded a

great piece.  The idea which has been circulated in Ohio about

it is that real estate is the basis of circulation and no redemption

required until the final winding up.    Bills will have to be re-

deemed to give the thing credit, but it is said the law or charter

does not require it.  The upshot of it is, I would be careful

about embarking my good name on such a craft with such  a

crew.   In fair weather all will be well enough, but if trouble

comes! --

  Where is Henry now? You have not mentioned him in any

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          311

of your letters for a long time.   Give my regards to all your

family--not forgetting a kiss for little Mary.

                          As ever,

                                             R. B. HAYES.



  June 10.--I am daily introduced to so many persons that I

am quite unable to remember the names of all whom I would

desire to recollect, although I rarely forget a face. . .

  A good one on Emerson and a lady of kindred intellectual

habits is told as follows: They were witnessing one of Fanny

Elssler's dances. Miss--- [Fuller] said to Emerson: "Waldo

that, is poetry." To which Emerson replied: "Margaret, it is


                                CINCINNATI, June 1O, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Mary Birchard arrived here from the South

a week ago last Thursday, and left yesterday for Columbus in

company with Mr. Stem.       I think I may safely undertake to

relieve your mind from any great anxiety or trouble on her ac-

count. She appears decidedly well, --kind, amiable, grateful for

civility, and ladylike. I must confess to an agreeable disap-

pointment in regard to her good qualities.  She came up the

river in company with two other Yankee  girls--Miss Knight

of Dummerston, who is, I fear, dying of consumption, and an-

other from Wardsboro, Miss Walker. The two others went on

without stopping, and Mary remained with Mr. Ormsbee's

family, with whom she seemed very welcome and very pleasantly

situated.  I did all I could, consistently, to make her stay as

happy as possible. Fanny is determined to make her like Colum-

bus and will, no doubt, succeed, as Mary does appreciate good

treatment.  She is going to Circleville to make a visit and ex-

pects, I should think, to remain in Ohio several weeks.     Her

father has written that he intends to come West this summer.

If he should do so, Mary will go home with him. Stem and


his wife, with Charlotte Gardiner, are going to Green Spring to

spend a good part of the summer.

  Judge Johnson made his opening speech last week.        He is a

capital speaker to please the masses.      He has none of Tom

Corwin's fine strokes of wit and pathos, but he has a good-

humored, honest, droll way of speaking that is hardly less effec-

tive with a common audience.  If it was a year of excitement, he

would be most formidable as a stumper.

  I called on Mrs. Shoemaker this morning.        She is boarding

over at the Henrie House.     I imagine Mr. Shoemaker will find

enough to do in the vicinity of this city to fasten him here the

rest of his days. He said he would like to run your line from

Wellington to Toledo, if it is a thing you feel an interest in,

but he is overwhelmed with business here.      One likes to hear a

pleasant thing from a man of sense, if it does smack of flattery;

speaking of Boalt, he said, he lacked soul; that there was more

heart in your finger nail than in Boalt's whole composition. . .

  From present appearances, there is no prospect of an adjourn-

ment of the Constitutional Convention until after the Circuit

Court of the United States in July.  If so, I will postpone going

to Columbus until that time.    Love to friends.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                                  CINCINNATI, June 12, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY: -- I do not think I shall visit you until the July

term of the circuit court when I suppose Uncle will also be at

Columbus to look after his immortal lawsuit. I wish to be with

you sometime before Mary leaves for the East, and if anything

occurs to send her home before that time I hope you will give

me seasonable notice of it.

  Mr. Jones came home yesterday leaving his family at New

Haven.    I was gratified to hear that Aunt Emily and  Mrs.

Fitch had called on Mrs. Jones.      Not  having received a reply

to my letter, I was fearful that Yankee civility, as too often

happens in the large towns of the East, was "nowhere." He and

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          313

George will return in about a fortnight to spend the remainder

of the summer.

  I more than half suspect that you manifest an interest in Mr.

Emerson, more for the purpose of affording me an excuse to

branch out on topics which have been uppermost in my circles

the last few weeks, than because of any great attractiveness you

discover in the subject.  I can say, as I heard Mr. Emerson say

of Carlyle, that I have gossipped so much about him lately that

I am almost ashamed to open my lips about him. His qualifica-

tions and peculiarities as a lecturer or essayist on miscellaneous

subjects are quite a different affair --stand quite differently in

my estimation-- from his opinions (not opinions, either, but)

impressions or "inspirations" in regard to religious subjects. On

general subjects such as "the gentleman," "eloquence," "Eng-

land," etc., he is a charming, but not, in an equal degree, an

instructive lecturer. He strikes me, contrary to my preconceived

notions of him, as a close, keen observer, rather than a profound

thinker.  There is no logic or method in his essays or lectures.

A  syllogism he despises.   The force of a connected chain of

reasoning, his mind seems incapable of appreciating. There is

no such thing as one of his thoughts following from another.

The natural result of this lack of logic is that one finds it next

to impossible to grasp and hold fast what he says. When you

leave the lecture-room, you remember that he said many witty,

sensible, pretty, and some deep things, but you feel at a loss

where to begin in attempting to recall them. The whole lecture

seems but a bead-string of suggestions, fancies, ideas, anecdotes,

and illustrations having no connection with each other except that

they are upon the same subject. They are all either quaint, para-

doxical, sensible, humorous, or have some other element which

gives them interest if not positive value.    They are expressed

in a terse, singular style -- Saxon -- but not at all Carlylish, and

delivered in a subdued earnest tone which is in perfect keeping

with the style and thought.

  Mr. Emerson is middle-aged, modest, but self-possessed, of a

good-humored, honest strain, which gives one a favorable im-

pression of his heart and character.   He gesticulates scarcely at


all, and awkwardly. I never knew one who could hold more

undivided attention of his audience. The matter of his lectures

-the substance of them-is contained  in a few leading  ideas

which pervade all his productions.     The filling up, the season-

ing, is, of course, new and different in different lectures, and

his lectures are remarkable for being stuffed with thoughts;

but still the great stratum which underlies and supports all he

writes and says consists of a very few notions which are repeated

and reappear over and over again a thousand times in his

various writings. Reading any one book or even lecture will

make you master of nearly all of them.      They are such as the

following:   That men are born with a certain portion of mag-

netism or divinity in them, which determines their rank among

their fellows.  That a man should have faith in this divinity -

faith in himself; that he in fact does have this faith in propor-

tion to the amount of magnetism which belongs to him. That

all uneasiness and striving is vanity. If a man strives after what

is not in him he can never attain to it.  If he appears to win it

by effort, he is after all a sham.  He may deceive the world but

he doesn't deceive himself; for when in the presence of another

who has the true magnetism both know and feel where the real

power is.  This is a sort of fatalism, but it is comfortable:

it is satisfying to a man whatever is his condition.   I remember

one of his sentences expressing this notion:    "When you meet

a man with the same tastes with yourself but with greater mag-

netism he will not only rule you but make you love your ruler."

If your tastes are not the same your strength does not work on

the same level; you are not antagonists -- you do not come in

collision.  Mr. Emerson says Macaulay is a cockney; that his

memory is a prodigy like Jenny Lind's voice; but to what pur-

pose is it?  He is the greatest conversationalist in England ex-

cept Charles Austin, an eminent advocate of London. Macaulay

has no faith in high souls; high destiny. His "History" is a libel

on English character.     He touches  no great  name in history

that he doesn't daub; for example, Penn, Sidney, Bacon, and

others.  D'Israeli is a fop.  He has strung together in his novels

things beautiful and true from the literatures of all languages.

Like all his tribe he is a vendor of old clothes collected from a

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          315

thousand backs, soaped and washed and varnished to look like


  He is a worshipper of Carlyle but says that in temper and

manners,  particularly to strangers,  Carlyle  is a bear.  Mr.

Emerson was a Unitarian clergyman. Now he has some misty

notions on religion resembling the German philosophy. He de-

livered three lectures, "Instinct and Inspiration," "Nature," and

  , of which no one could make out anything definite or valu-

able. I guess at the ideas in this wise: (If what I say seems

foolish, don't suppose Emerson said the same, for he don't say

at all--  he  hints or intimates or walks around about what he

would say but don't say.) The common distinction between mind

and matter, -- there is nothing in it. Matter is spirit with certain

attributes superadded, as color, weight, hardness, etc., etc.  Spirit

in the abstract, without these attributes,-- there is no such thing.

Matter in the abstract, not based on spirit, is an absurdity. Mat-

ter and spirit are identical, in a certain sense, therefore.  Spirit

is the subtle essence which pervades all things.      There is no

personal creative God; but spirit which is diffused through all,

which is a part of man and beast, is God. The highest mani-

festation of spirit is man.    Man differs from mere matter in

this:  His spirit is self-conscious.  Therefore, man is nearer

than any other object in nature to an impersonation of Deity.

And it may be said with more truth of man than of anything

else, that he is God; there is more God in him than in anything

else.  It is of the nature of spirit to be creative -- to work itself

out into material forms.     This spirit is like an all-pervading

yeast which foments incessantly, working out new and constantly

improving forms of what is called matter.         Men  die but the

spirit which was in their bodies takes to itself new attributes of

a higher and more perfect nature, or mixes with the spirit of

all things--with God, and goes on bubbling to all eternity a

drop in the great caldron of spirit, which is at once God and the


  Now, in all this account of Mr. Emerson's theology (!), I have

not said a word or used an illustration that I ever heard him use,

but if I could comprehend what he would have said if he had

come down out of the clouds or up out of the mists, the notions


I have given you are like those he would have expressed. The

German philosophers with Coleridge, Carlyle, Emerson, etc., are

called by some "Pantheists" or "Transcendentalists." Mr. Emer-

son hates those terms. He says "Platonists" would be more ac-

curate but yet not precisely so. He classes the writings of Plato,

Mahomet, Confucius, the Bible, and the religious books of all

nations in the same category -- all valuable as exhibiting the stir-

rings of the human mind after a knowledge of Deity, or of

themselves.  He speaks of the feelings awakened by music, by

the sight of a boundless landscape, the ocean, the skies, etc., etc.,

as the longing of the spirit in us to mingle with the great ocean

of spirit of which every being has a part.

  Mr. Emerson said one thing that would please Laura. Speak-

ing of the duty of cultivating the imaginations of children:

"Give them glorious stories to read.  If they want you to tell

them stories do it if you can; if you can't, get some one else to

do it for you."

  I have run on so that I have no room to speak of lesser items.

I do not know Mr. Perkins but from all I hear I would advise

Miss Helen to catch him if she can. He is of good family, has

talent, scholarship, and wealth; and is probably in all other

respects a more "eligible" match than is found twice in a life-

time.  I want Miss Helen to see Mary.       I once told her that

Mary looked some like her. Don't you think she does?

  Love to her and all.



  Carlyle said America had twenty millions of bores. Here is

a specimen of my nationality.


                                  CINCINNATI, June 27, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY:--I intend, or expect, nothing more from the

scrawl I shall give you this morning than that it will answer

me for a bait to draw a reply from you. Three or four days

ago, during that very hot weather, there were a few deaths by

cholera--perhaps fifteen or twenty in the three days, Saturday,

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          317

Sunday, and Monday,--but as there have been no new  cases

since that time there is no excitement or alarm about it.

  I am very glad to hear that you are so delighted with Cousin

Mary and that she seems to enjoy herself at Columbus. I hope

she will not go to Circleville until after my visit to you which

will probably be about the 10th of next month.     I can not tell

certainly but suppose I can stay with you as long as I desire to

do so.

  The Jenny Lind hat is not paid for and I suppose its owners

regard it as lost property.  Of course you can return it if you


  Your views of certain matters, indeed all matters hinted at

in your letter, quite correspond with my own.     I should think

there would be no difficulty in preliminaries which is, of course,

all you would desire to have a finger in.  . . . Love to all.

                    Sincerely, your brother,



  July 4, 1850. --Spent with the Literary Club and a few in-

vited guests at Latonia Springs over in Kentucky. An oration

by Spofford, poem by Guilford, speeches, toasts, songs, nine-

pins, and fun generally by the whole club. A glorious day-

Dodd,  Lieutenant  Collins, John  McDowell, Baker,  Garrard,

Pierce, Cross, Guilford, Spofford, Wilson, Blackwell.

  After a hot pleasantly spent day and a fight for our "bus,"

got home safely, 8 P. M.

  Friday, [July] 5.-- Cars to Columbus.  Find friends all abed,

but too hot for sleeping.  Cousin Mary and the rest got up and

chatted until midnight.

                                      COLUMBUS, July 9, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I left Cincinnati  Friday  afternoon.         The

cholera is slowly increasing there --some sixty or eighty deaths

a day. The courts have all wound up business and very little is

doing, so that I shall probably not return for some time.


  The Circuit Court will sit here as usual next Monday.     Mr.

Stanbery says that your case can be continued; if so, I would

prefer to do it.  I do not know the practice of the court but Mr.

Stanbery does, and I, therefore, suppose your case can be con-

tinued; so you need not come unless you desire it.  But please

send me the opinion of Judge McLean which I sent you, and

also tell me what to do about the tract 9 suits.  Shall I defend

them? I would as soon do it as not, even though not paid for it.

  The convention have made a stampede of it. Mr. Orton can

give you the particulars.

  Mary Birchard goes to Circleville tomorrow for a visit of two

weeks.   Alvin Austin will go with his family East in about

three weeks, and Mary will probably go with him home. All

our folks here like her very much. All will be glad to see you

and expect you, but be sure to send me that opinion and write if

you don't come.

                    Sincerely, your nephew,

                                               R. B. HAYES.


                            COLUMBUS, June [July] 11, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--. . . Mary Birchard left for Circleville

this morning; will be back in a week or two, and then goes

straight home. She is quite a charming little body, and has made

great friends of all from Mr. Platt down to little Fanny.

  Cholera is disappearing in Cincinnati and there is none here

now. Old Zack's death is felt as a really great calamity. Her-

ron writes me that it caused the greatest gloom in Cincinnati

among all parties.  I would come out and write up your letters

for you, if I thought 'twould pay expenses.    Love to all.

                                      Yours--R. B. HAYES.


  Thursday, [July] 18.-- This morning my sister gave birth to

a daughter.   I last evening played backgammon with her.       I

thought Fanny never looked so handsome as then.      No portrait

could flatter her as she then appeared.

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          319

  I am gradually and systematically discontinuing my attentions

to the lady I alluded to April 12 [17]. I am satisfied, perfectly

satisfied, that she is not the person I thought she was when I first

became interested in her. Either she has greatly changed, as she

says, or her natural temper is developing with years and inter-

course with society. Her sense of religious obligation has al-

most disappeared. In short, she is no longer my charmer. But

with her many good qualities which I shall never be blind to, her

friendship is to be prized and, if possible, preserved.  Can I let

her preceive that I am not a lover nor an ardent admirer with-

out offending? I'll try it.

  July 27. -- Have seen Miss -- several times, and had one

good old-times talk with her since I last wrote.       I am  free,

quite free -- and happy, most happy in my freedom.  She treated

me as of old, and exhibited some curiosity to know my sentiments

towards her.    In a laughing way I told her the precise truth,

rallied her not a little on her coquetry, told her I should never

have dreamed of loving such a flirt as she now is, that when I

was charmed by her she was a modest, sincere, pious young girl,

differing toto coelo from the present.  It all went off with a

laugh, and now I am again at my ease with any lady; can con-

verse with my ancient glibness. Good, good. When I am in

again, t'will be with another sort of person, I trow.

                                  COLUMBUS, August 1, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I had intended to go north before now, but

the cholera has been so much worse here for the last week, and

the family being unable to leave on account of Fanny's confine-

ment, I thought it best to remain with them. I went up to Dela-

ware and staid over one day.  . . . . Judge Johnson made

a capital speech the day I was at Delaware. Some think he will

be elected. Galloway will, I think, be the Whig candidate for

Congress here. Dennison is not seeking it.

  Mr. Platt and Fanny's nurse are both a little unwell. I shall

stay here until all are well. There is no cholera in this neigh-

borhood.   You remember this is the first ward, and can judge


of the health of this part of town by the reports of the Board

of Health. Ten died yesterday in town; four in Franklinton;

there have been eleven deaths here today.      I speak of cholera

deaths, for some others have died of fevers, etc.  All who are

ever in the habit of leaving town have gone, but there is not

much panic.    If the cholera abates soon, and the family are

well, I shall go to Fremont; if not, I shall return to Cincinnati

without visiting you.  If I come at all, 'twill be the last of next



             S. BIRCHARD.                    R. B. HAYES.


                                 FREMONT, August 22, 1850.

  DEAR MOTHER:--. . . I am well and busy with both

business and pleasure.   I shall be kept here necessarily a week

longer.  Shall probably get home to Cincinnati the last of next


  I am glad to find that you are all mistaken in supposing that

Uncle was much affected by the loss of his suit at Washington.

He does not feel [it] at all, this I am fully satisfied of.  I today

placed in the way of final settlement a difficulty with one of his

tenants which I am sure troubled him ten times as much as the

loss of his great suit.  I before thought that possibly you were

right but I now know you are not.  . . . Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


                            CINCINNATI, September 7, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I reached home safely Monday evening. A

great many of my friends and acquaintances are still away from

the city and very little is doing as yet. The courts begin again in

October, and lawyers and others will nearly all be at home by

that time. John Little's wedding is the week before the session

of the court, and I shall go up at that time. I saw Cousin Austin

at Xenia. He will insist upon your stopping there either going

or returning from Columbus.

  I omitted to tell you to bring along your tax deed or cer-

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          321

tificate for tract 7. It may be of use. I think you will have a

lien on the tract for all taxes.    I am quite sure of it if you

bought it since March, 1831. . .


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                           CINCINNATI, September 15, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY:-- I don't see that the eleven years of married

life, or the birth of a fifth "responsibility" has done anything to

dull the interest of your letters.  You are one of the very lucky

ones. We often see people who retain youthful looks and some-

times those who keep their "memory green," but it is rare indeed

for one to be young in appearance and reality both, after being

the parent of such a flock as yours. May you be equally happy

long, long after years have written their wrinkles on your brow.

  I was, as you would suppose, pleased and amused with Willie's

letter. It was even more droll than Lollie's first. Boys haven't the

knack of composing near as early as girls.      They really ache

with their efforts to think ideas into words and fasten them on-

to paper.

  Since my return I have been busy attending to little scraps of

business and renewing my acquaintance with various friends. I

spent one evening with Anne White. She is more lovable the

more one sees her and knows her.  There is a good prospect, I

think, that Mr. White will settle down on the old Williams farm

"up the run," leave off preaching, and enjoy himself the rest of

his days.  I hope he will for his family's sake.    He is a queer

compound of weaknesses and good qualities, but is upon the whole

a man to be liked.

  I have had some additions to my docket and have hopes of

more erelong.  That sort of friends are not so easily gained as

the other, but as those I have constantly tell me, I suppose more

will "come by and by."

  I have called on but one young lady as yet, and shall not get

very deeply into that business this fall.  We are to have, among

the folks that one knows, some twenty weddings in the next

month or two.    I have no desire to get into that round and shall



 so demean myself as to get reputably out of it if possible.     We

 are to have no lectures, no courts, no anything until sometime

 in October.

   By the new contract between Barnum and Jenny Lind it is

 feared that the West is to be cheated out of their concerts, and

 some talk very vigorously of the inducements which Western

 spirit should hold out to the little pleasant Dutchy-looking girl

 to favor us with her warbling.

   I see by the papers that Dr. Jones is expected to come down

 here this winter. I wonder if he means to move his family also.

 Dr. Hoge is expected shortly too, so I suppose we shall not be

 without Columbus people visiting friends here the coming winter.

 Glad to see them always.      It is like home.

   I shall go up to Columbus in the afternoon train next Satur-

day, the 21st, if nothing occurs to prevent, so as to be in time to

go up to Delaware with Dr. Little on the occasion of his wed-

ding. Mr. Stem thinks his wife will be ready to come back with

me when  I return.     Enclosed are notes to Willie and  Lollie.

   Love to all.


   MRS. W. A. PLATT.                                RUTHERFORD.

   Wednesday, September 18, 1850.-- Yesterday called with W.

C. McD-- on Miss Hand, of Hillsboro, at City Hotel.              Met

there Dr. Dawson of the Covington Hospital.           Last evening

visited with J. H. McD- at Judge McL-'s at Clifton.  Reached

there at 6 P. M.; knocked at three doors; first turned out to be

dining-room, second, library, third, the one. Received no reply;

heard Mrs. McL-- talking to a workman in the yard; entered

and all right. .  .  Spent a pleasant evening after tea and

returned to city half-past eleven.

  I have  just commenced  reading  Shakespeare  again--my

favorite plays at least--beginning with that beautiful vision,

"The Tempest." It has less of proverbial, sententious, quotable

wisdom than some other plays, but is after its kind most "exqui-

site fine fancy." Prospero, telling Miranda of his escape from

the cruel fate to which he was destined by his usurping brother,

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          323

says he was put in a "rotten carcass of a boat, . . . the

very rats instinctively had quit it."  And here too is the oft-

quoted sentence:    "Misery acquaints a man with strange bed-

fellows."  But, perhaps, the truest bit of beauty and nature is

Ferdinand's love-making address to Miranda.

  Friday, September 20.-- Just finished "Merry Wives of Wind-

sor."  Great in many points, it is like the last deficient in pithy

sentences which effect a lodgment in the brain to be quoted on

occasion, and point a passage in speech or letter.  In describing

slander he is said to have "a little wee face, with a little yellow

beard, a Cain-colored beard." Cain and Judas in old pictures

were represented with yellow beards.

  October 4, 1850.--Another  birthday's ensuing.        How  fast

the years are chasing one another.     Today at the great State

Fair. This forenoon at the law. Tonight tired, stupid, sleepy.

Some good purposes I have in mind resolved: To improve in

mind, manners, character, and to find if possible a sweetheart.

How crotchety one grows on that subject as years bring wisdom

and experience and at the same time temper passion's heat. Some

I wot of whom a year since I almost loved and quite admired,

and now the same would not suit at all. So we go.

                               CINCINNATI, October 6, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY: --I don't know what to talk about this morn-

ing.  I could tell some snake stories that would amuse Laura

or Willie about the monstrous specimens of animal and vegetable

productions which were exhibited at the fair, or the machines,

the music, the flowers, and the crowds of people; but for your

amusement I think they may be dispatched in a single sentence.

  The Episcopal Convention brings to town a great many sleek,

well-fed people whose appearance reminds one of the cattle and

horses exhibited at the fair, looking as if to feed and primp were

the most important duties and occupations of life.  One of the

most extraordinary changes I ever knew to be wrought in any-

body has been "experienced," as the Methodists say, by our

Member of Congress from Sandusky County, Amos E. Wood.


William will recollect him as a farmer-like, uncultivated speci-

men of Black Swamp life who thought himself supremely blessed

as the Representative in the Legislature of a few of the north-

western counties a winter or two ago. He lost his wife about a

year since, went to Washington last winter as an "M. C." and

made his first appearance in this city last Thursday. We had

hardly shaken hands before he "opened" up the subject which

seemed to burden his conscience most, to wit, the flirtations he had

carried on with three of four of our city belles whom he had met

in Washington, and which he intended to continue here; and to

explain that neither large oxen, fat hogs, or imported sheep have

been the attraction which brought him to the city, but a showy

niece of Judge McLean's, a daughter of Nibob Johnson's, or

some other young beauty whose smiles had beguiled the tedium

of his widowerhood. And true enough, in an incredibly brief

space, he was to be seen parading Fourth Street, driving fast

horses towards the fair and dancing at the Burnet with delicate

damsels just "out," and apparently tickling them with his delicate

flattery in a way to excite the envy of young bachelors "tre-

mendously." I couldn't but think of the contrast. Two years

ago he kept a tavern in the Swamp on the banks of Carrion

River, justly so called.

  Just at this point a friend came and took me to church to

hear Bishop Hopkins. Well, he preached only a middling sort

of sermon.   I went home to dine with Jones.      His father has

just returned from New Haven and says that two weeks ago

today Mrs. Fitch died very suddenly. Truly the Trowbridges

have been an afflicted family.

  This afternoon I have heard Dr. Stowe of Brooklyn. He is

another chuckleheaded, strong, but uninteresting preacher.     So

I've not made much out of the grand convention after all.       I

shall keep trying until I hear somebody. . . . Love to all.


                                             R. B. HAYES.


             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          325

                               CINCINNATI, October 10, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- I reached here in time for the fair and other

great doings connected with it.  In the more farming part of

the exhibition, as cattle, horses, etc., etc., I think people were

generally disappointed; but fruits, flowers, and mechanical fabrics

were as superior as anyone could expect.     Since the excitement

of the fair, the election has kept the city in an uproar.  It was

shamefully managed on the part of the Whigs and the result is

an overwhelming defeat. However, it was expected that Wood

was to be Governor. For once, it seems as if Mr. Ewing was

a-going to be in luck. I can hardly believe that the Whigs have

carried the Legislature, but it really looks like it now.

  I have spent nearly the whole time since my return in the in-

vestigation of your tax title. I am a good deal encouraged about

it.  I have found the law under which Boswell obtained his

patent.  It is the same that you and Bartlett supposed it was.

I feel quite confident, therefore, that your title is good, if there

are no substantial defects in the auditor's proceedings.   I think

it is likely, however, that it will not avail you in the present suit.

It will probably be held to be an equitable not a legal title, inas-

much as the legal title to the tract was in the Government at

the time it was forfeited to the State of Ohio. It is possible

that the court may do better and say that, as the legal title was

in Boswell at the time of the sale to you, it was conveyed to

you by the sale; but I think it will be otherwise as intimated

above.  The important matter now is, to see if the preliminary

proceedings are regular.     Let me hear  from you as to that.

  I hope you have carried your railroad vote. I enclose a few

of the important points in a tax title.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


                              CINCINNATI, October 16, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I write in some haste.  Bartlett has written

me that he and Ewing will be at Columbus November I, and

insist upon a disposition of the case. You will see Judge Lane


and inform him of it in time to be on hand. I have been figur-

ing away at your tax title and the abstract you sent me. From

1820 up to the time you bought, there were two or three laws

passed every year affecting more or less such matters as taxing,

duties of auditors, collectors, etc., etc., so that there is many a

chance for a slip.   But still I have a good deal of hope and

some confidence that your tax title will save you yet.     I find

nothing very bad in the abstract. I send you on a slip of paper

a couple of things I want looked into, and the result made known

to me as soon as convenient.

  I am sorry your railroad vote is lost. It may not, however, be

so bad as it looks now. I will write soon again.


                                                R. B. HAYES.


  Tuesday, October 24. -- By letter today from Fanny learn

the sudden death of Sarah Wasson, a second or third cousin.

She was not so near to me nor our acquaintance so intimate, as

that this sad news sent such a pang through me as otherwise the

death of so fine, so joyous, and so healthful a young lady would

have done.    Yet so many recollections of childhood are con-

nected with her, she appears so often in every scene of early days

which memory recalls, that her death fills me with peculiar emo-

tions--leads to many a train of sad reflection.      She was the

first-born of one who was of our family when I was born and

through the days of infancy and early childhood.     I remember

her mother's wedding as one of the first I ever saw--perhaps

the first. Sarah I saw the morning of her birth, tasted wine

given me by her father after looking at her as she lay wrapt in

flannel on the hearth rug (the first wine I remember to have

tasted), the first new-born babe I ever saw. I thought as they

told me she was found in the woods in a log, that there was

something of joke in it from their smiling, but yet I wondered if

it were true or not! I nursed and played with her and have seen

her at every stage of life until she was a bright, happy, blooming

woman with hosts of beaux and admirers. A few weeks ago

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          327

at Delaware I called on her one evening and found a beau who

seemed confused at being seen with her; for roguery, I gave her

a smacking buss, knowing she would relish the joke if not the

kiss. And now she is gone from earth to be seen no more


  How strange a scene is this in which we are such shifting

figures, pictures, shadows.  The mystery of our existence--  I

have no faith in any attempted explanation of it.  It is all a

dark, unfathomed profound.

                              CINCINNATI, October 30, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- All your letters have been received, I suppose,

but as my telegraphic dispatch must have failed to reach you,

judging by the letter Platt got from you yesterday morning, I

am not sure that my letter even has been received.  There seems

to have been a sort of fatality about it.  Every communication

likely to disturb the nerves of your timid friends, as well as

your own, was duly received, while everything soothing and

quieting in its tendency, seems to have lost its way. You had a

right to be a good deal vexed with those who were so fearful

of losing their improvements "by the carelessness of your law-

yers."  After all the expense and trouble you have been at in

defending the suit, and considering that two, at least, of your

attorneys have never had the reputation of being fools, it strikes

me as very silly for grown-up men to go about the streets whin-

ing on any information so notoriously uncertain as a telegraphic

dispatch, especially when coming from the other side.

   If you received my letter written from Columbus, you know

that the case comes up next May in the same manner sub-

stantially, and on precisely the same question that everybody who

knew anything at all about the matter supposed it would come up

last July; viz.: on the question of the Occupant Law. What has

been done by the manoeuvring of the last term is merely a further

delay of the case, and that is all that anybody had any reason

to expect.   The tax title is altogether an afterthought, which

none of your tenants were ever told to rely upon.      We looked

it up on the principle that a drowning man catches [at] a straw.


We were satisfied that the United States Court would not regard

it a moment--that there was not the slightest legal claim for a

new trial, and yet, Stanbery acting under instructions, coolly

told the court that we had a perfectly good tax title, and insisted

upon a new trial so pertinaciously to the last, and appeared so

astonished when it was decided against him, that the court did

not force him into the argument of the question of the Occupant

Law, and in this way only was the delay obtained which we now

have. If there is anybody complains after hearing how it is,

tell them to hire their own lawyers and see if they can do any

better.  Let them try Bartlett, if he is such a great gun.  I'll

insure their getting his services even now for one hundred dol-

lars and expenses, notwithstanding he is so nearly in possession

of tract 7, improvements and all.

  I have been thinking over your tax documents, and if we have

now got them all, I do not feel much confidence in it. If it can

be sustained anywhere, it will be in the state court out of regard

for long possession, had in good faith, etc., and there is some

hope of that.

  Well, after all the fuss, as it is now over, I hope you will not

let yourself be vexed by it any more.    "Study philosophy and

live low" was the advice of a wise one to a rejected lover.     I

guess you had better practice on it.  You will see Jesse Stem

soon, I suppose.   My regards to him.     Write to me soon.     I

am anxious to hear that the alarm among your tract 7 tenants is

over.  I returned here last evening.


                                               R. B. HAYES.


  October 31.-- Since writing last I have had one of the most

delightful little visits to my friends at home that I ever made.

Thursday morning, a week ago, Judge Lane called, telling me I

must go up to Columbus to look after Uncle's land suit in the

Circuit Court. I was off by railroad immediately after dinner

and reached home that evening. A good chat with Fanny who

was awake and uneasy about me.        Mother gone to Delaware

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          329

to carry comfort if possible to Mrs. Wasson in her affliction.

Spent three or four days figuring about the suit, calling on old

friends, etc., etc. Dr. Little returned from his wedding tour

with his sweet wife, happy and hopeful. Only to think that I

have been too busy to put down a word about his wedding!

Thus it is, things which occupy my thoughts the most find

smallest space in this my "book." Well, a few days before the

24th [of] September, I went up to Columbus and Delaware. At

Delaware on Tuesday evening Dr. Little and Cary Williams

"assisted" by Lib Starling and Linton Pettibone and Miss Lucy

Webb and self were joined in the holy bonds of wedlock by

Rev. William C. French, in the Episcopal church. At the party

in the evening were my sister and her "goodman" and all the

old acquaintances of boyhood. Fanny and myself "promenaded"

among them with peculiar feelings.     Another peculiar feeling

was awakened too by the bright eyes and merry smiles of that

lovely girl whose image is now so often in my thoughts.      But

whither am I straying? I sat down to write of the glorious an-

niversary meeting of the Literary Club, of which "more anon."

  November 3, 1850.--Last Tuesday left Columbus at 2:15

P. M. to be at home in time for the anniversary meeting of the

Literary Club. At about 9 P. M. reached the city and found at

Grundy's building, northwest corner Fifth and Walnut [Streets],

the club assembling. Order of exercises: 1. A song by James

K. Wilson and the McDowells. 2. A poem smoothly written,

of the Pollock's "Course of Time" class, but too long, by William

Ferguson. This was interrupted in a most ludicrous way by the

announcement by Herron of 3. "Oysters." Some thirty sat

down to a good supper, liquors, etc., etc.  4.  Cloth removed,

W. C. McDowell, being chairman, announced the toasts-- one at

a time -- some member responding to each: -- First toast, by

Blackwell in capital poem --spoken.     Second, a history of the

club well told by I. C. Collins.   Third, Zachos made a good

speech on teachers; White ditto; Sam Thompson, on lawyers;

Hoadly, ditto; Sam Keys told a good story to show his opinion

of literary clubs, viz., "the picture of Daniel in the lion's den";

retort, witty, by Garrard, viz., "We admire your honesty but


damn your politeness." "Thomas Carlyle," by Spofford, giving

the witty saying of said Thomas, "that from eighteen to twenty-

five young men should be balmed"; "Emerson," beautifully and

spiritually spoken to by Warriner; "Jefferson," by Pierce;

"Shakespeare," by Force, finely done; "Shadow of the State

House," an impromptu toast for self; a witty speech by Cross;

a good one on "Truth" by Sheldon; a short one by Herron --

suffering with toothache.

  November 4.-- I am now almost ready to attack winter work,

winter reading, and winter amusements. Sunday, Monday, and

Tuesday evenings, I can devote to friends, lectures, or studies,

as seems fitting at the time; Wednesdays, I think better be de-

voted to my Old Fellows brethren; Thursdays, to "Sons of Tem-

perance" ditto; Fridays are as Tuesdays, etc., and Saturdays, the

best of all, to the Club.  In the last I mean to speak every op-

portunity, and on each occasion "put the best leg foremost."     I

am not a good speaker for such a body.          I must have  the

stimulus of an audience or of a cause, an object, or I am a tame

talker. This I shall try to mend for the sake of the exercise. I

must not forget, too, "to show my hand" oftener in the "Division

Room" and the "Lodge."

  Days I must visit court, visit friends, and add to the list of my

acquaintances.   My course of law reading, I have not marked

out for the winter; of that hereafter.

                             CINCINNATI, November 7, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY: -- I suppose you need an excuse for writing to

me, and that you may no longer find yourself without one I will

write again although you are still on my list among those who

"owe me one."

  I reached home in company, as I anticipated, with Lieutenant

Collins in time to attend a very gay meeting of our Literary

Club held in honor of its first anniversary.    The good things

that were read, spoken, sung, toasted, and eaten, were quite "too

numerous to mention in one advertisement," making no allusion

to "things" good or evil which were smoked and drunk. Suffice

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          331

it, that the ceremonies beginning at nine o'clock P. M. did not

"taper off until" after two A. M., nor till all were satisfied that

we had had "one of the times we read of." Since then nothing

has occurred to disturb the usually tranquil current of my affairs

and thought.

  I have got me a sign, newer, larger, showier and more richly

gilt than any other on the front of the Law Building,

albeit its face was adorned before with more numerous and

gaudy shingles than any other in the city. Whether the staring

gold capitals on a field of lemon will draw more flies into my

web than are wont to stray in thither, Time, that daring navigator

in the unexplored seas of the future, can alone discover; but as

I have earned enough since my return to pay for this bit of

extravagance, I think I shall be able to await the result with true

philosophical coolness.   I am  not naturally a quack --am  not,

either constitutionally or by education, "A bag of wind"; yet I

have a proper appreciation of the advantages and superiority of

this character over mere unpretending merit. And so, for thrift's

sake, I mean deliberately and decidedly "to cut" in future all

my old ideas on this head.     I don't think modesty "pays."     It

is a good quality in a family, it is a domestic virtue, it makes a

home happy after you have got a home, but it is not potent in

getting homes.  It is not a money-maker, neither is it lucky in

gaining a reputation. I am of the impression that gaseous bodies

do better.   Don't be alarmed after all this talk lest you shall

hear that I am blown up in an explosion, or gone off in a vapor.

No, I mean to begin with creeping and ascend gradually to the

enviable height of a decided "blow."

  I was the other day at a little dinner party of half a dozen

young men at Dr. Richards'. One son invited a couple of his

Kenyon friends, to wit, myself and another, and the other a

couple of his Yale college friends. The conversation fell upon the

democracy which prevails at colleges, where scholarship and

service is more valued than family, etc., etc. Mrs. Richards was

shocked (most excellent lady though she seems) to hear that the

bosom crony of one of her guests was a son of a landlord, viz.,

of Colonel Noble!     Great  "fixin's," this family pride!     Isn't

it a pity that Eve was the mother of landlords as well as doctors?


  I called on the Bonds t'other night.     They had on an in-

ordinate quantity of bad taste, and talked "a power" on their

Eastern trip and other subjects without either "grace or unction."

  I saw Pot Hoge last night. She seems happy enough and her

father was interesting, bordering on funny.     They are cooped

up in a wee house whose parlor is at once hall, study, and sitting-

room, a state of things not at all to the taste of young men who

make calls, still less, if they wish to "take off their things and

stay awhile."--Love to all.--Good-bye.

                                                R. B. HAYES.


                               CINCINNATI, November 8, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--I would not write to you again before hear-

ing from you, but I have a "suggestion, or perhaps a motion to

make. I am not clear in my own mind which I shall do" (Samp-

son Mason), which I hope will induce you to make me a visit.

Glenn, you know, is building a plank road into the city from the

west. It crosses Mill Creek bottoms, about a half mile above

the present lowest bridge. Near the middle of the bottom, and

not over a hundred rods from a thickly built part of the city, is

a piece of land of about ten acres, which never overflows but has

never been laid out into town lots, because there was no getting

to it except by crossing the bridge away below it and going up

on the west side of the creek.     Glenn's road  now brings, or

will bring, it in direct connection with the principal streets of

the city. It belongs to a house-joiner, three old maids, and some

minor heirs. They were offered three thousand dollars per acre

 for it a year ago and refused it. They will now sell five acres

for twenty thousand dollars--four thousand dollars in hand

and the balance in ten years with interest. Glenn is timid about

real-estate operations, but is inclined to go halves with anybody

else.  I suspect it is a great speculation.   The five acres can

be cut into about eighty town lots of twenty-six feet front. This

at ten dollars a foot would pay expenses; but no lots half as

 favorably situated as these will be when the plank road is fin-

ished, are ever sold for less than thirty dollars or forty dollars.

That these five acres can be cut up and sold for fifty thousand

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          333

dollars within three years--one-fourth in hand and the balance

in installments payable in two, three, and five years, I fully be-

lieve. I know how easy it is to figure up profits on paper, but

I've no doubt if you were here, you would think the speculation

worth looking up. A bargain like this can be made probably:

That the purchasers may go on and get a partition of the property

so that the owners can give a clear title to the five acres owned

by the brother and old maids, and then if the purchasers wish to

take the land on the terms mentioned, they can do it, or, if not,

back out on paying the expenses, say thirty dollars, of the parti-

tion. By that time it can be known definitely whether the pur-

chase will pay or not.    This is altogether the best speculation

that I have heard of since I came here.  The moment it is gen-

erally known that a good bridge and road are to be built over

the bottom, this property will double in value and price; it can't

be otherwise. Lots over two miles further off have been sold

this summer for twenty dollars per foot.     It is within less than

half a mile of the Hamilton & Dayton Railroad depot, and the

first ground this side of it that is above the floods, now rents at a

valuation of fifty dollars per foot.  I think a voyage down here

wouldn't hurt you, even if nothing comes of it, and perhaps it

will pay.

  Judge Justice sent me a dollar to buy him a book on dreams,

witchcraft, etc., which is not now in town. There will be a new

supply in a week or two, when I will send it along. Please tell


  I wrote to Abner Root, Land Officer at Defiance, and to Joseph

H. Larwill of Wooster for information and documents about

tract 7. I told them it was for you and they replied very promptly

and fully, so you may thank them when you see them, or treasure

it up in their favor.

  I shall be out of funds one of these days unless clients come in

a little faster, so if you are not coming down--but do come if it

is not risking your health -- I would like you to send me a trifle

when it is convenient. I am thinking some better of your tax

title to tract 7 than I did. Mr. Coles says tract 7 is not on the

sale list of 1827. I think it must be there. The reason he gives


for its not being there is not a good one.    The list is a very

long one, and he may have overlooked it.  If it is there, the

greatest defect I now see in the tax title is removed, and I repeat,

it must be there, although it has been twice overlooked. Write.

Love to all.


                                                R. B. HAYES.

  November 10.--Since writing the above I have looked over

the whole ground of our proposed speculation again, and am still

pleased with it.  I send you a hasty plot of the ground.     The

ten acres is the square in the horseshoe bend of Mill Creek. By

looking at the map of the city in the newspaper I sent to you a

few days ago, you can see precisely how it is. It is six hundred

yards by the way of Gest street across Mill Creek to the east line

of the ten-acre lot from Freeman  Street which is one of the

greatest streets in the city. All the sanguine people predict that

in ten years Freeman will be the main street.      You need not

put yourself out to come down, for if a conditional bargain can

be made, such as I mentioned, Glenn and myself have determined

to make it, and think of the next step any time in the next six

months. -- H.


  Saturday, November 16. -- The first snow of the season.

Heard from John G. C. of the marriage of his brother J. A.

to a lady of my acquaintance [in the] East whom I formerly

"affected" somewhat.     Regret to hear that she is so out of

health that he has been delayed in bringing her West.     Success

to him for her sake and his own, health and happiness to both!

But still it was fortunate that my "affair" went no farther than

it did. Singular, that the sweet smile which beams so lovingly

in features now familiar to dreams and "reveries," was in con-

trast or comparison with this lady's charms in my thoughts over

three years ago, when the one was a "bonnie" schoolgirl of six-

teen and the other a blooming woman of twenty-two or upwards.

Now as then the preference for the former is sufficiently decided,

only more so.

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          335

  Tuesday, November 19. -- Opened up at a temperance meet-

ing in Rev. [James] Prestley's church (Associate Reformed

Presbyterian) between Race and Elm [Streets]. Have no idea

how the speech took. There were present not to exceed six of my

acquaintances; only one crony, McDowell. The only indication of

success: I overheard a young lady, as I was coming out of

church, say, "I wish I could get the young man who lectured

first for a beau."  The remarks were extempore, being the first

speech of the kind I ever made to a mixed audience.  It is not

very difficult; requires more preparation of the particular dis-

course, so as to fasten the heads of it in my mind, or a better

knowledge of the subject without any previous preparation for

the particular speech. In time, I fancy, I can make a decent tem-

perance speech.

                           CINCINNATI, November 20, 1850.

  DEAR FANNY:-- I suppose it is time I should write again if I

want a Sabbath day's journal from you. A letter from you is

always regarded as one of the necessaries of life,--luxury, and

sometimes rarity, though it is.    I feel this more just now as

Uncle is too busy to write. I have not received one of his laconic

epistles since I first returned from Columbus three weeks ago.

He is, I learn "collaterally," going into the private banking busi-

ness with Mr. Otis. They have been building a brick banking

house with its vaults and mysteries and expect to go to financier-

ing extensively soon.   Otis is a close, successful money dealer

and with Uncle's credit and influence the firm is no doubt a very

good one.    Good  luck to them.    Something of the kind  was

much needed at Fremont and will be more necessary now that

they have undoubtedly secured at least one railroad, to be com-

menced in a few weeks, with a good prospect of one or two

more after [a] while.

  I called to see Mrs. Ormsbee evening before last.  She says

it is common rumor that Charlotte [Birchard] is to be married

to the Mr. DeWitt who went home with Mary. Mr. Ormsbee

says, on the other side, that the Fayetteville gossip is not good

authority, and that if Charlotte is not a desperate flirt, the Rev.


Mr. Plympton, Presbyterian clergyman in Fayetteville, is the

happy (?) man.      The last named gentleman he describes as a

young man of talent, "human beauty, and moral perfectibility";

also a great favorite with his congregation generally and with

Uncle Austin in particular.

  Little "Sard" is bright, good-looking, and gloriously spoiled,

rules the whole household with despotic sway. Charles is suffer-

ing from a combination of the vapors, idleness, and ill health.

It is doubtful which of these elements predominates.       Charity

would say the last.    Truth probably would insinuate the first.

Uncle Austin really takes as much interest in the store as ever,

and is probably a silent partner.   He  is in good spirits and is

gradually exchanging politics for religion as the topic of thought,

study, and conversation.

  Mike Sullivan has been here dancing attendance on Miss Eliza

Carson of Chillicothe.   She is represented as witty, intelligent,

and aspiring. Which of these qualities would determine her to

smile favorably on Mr. Sullivan's claims, I cannot say. She is

withal fine-looking and the selection of her for his lady-love is

very creditable to Mr. Sullivan.    Mr. Sullivan reports a feud

between the house of Deshler and "the castle," as Mr. Deshler

was in the habit of familiarly styling the "premises" on Broad

Street.  I hope for "the castle's" sake that the report is true.

How is it? The "empressment" that was lacking in Miss H--'s

greeting to you must have been wasted on me, for at both our

meetings I fancied her more cordial than usual.

  I have just stopped writing long enough to read Mr. Clay's

speech to the Legislature of Kentucky, at Frankfort.      I find it

in the morning paper.  You will see it soon.  It is worth read-

ing even for a mother looking after her flock.

  In pursuance of my recently adopted system of blowing my own

trumpet, I last night made a temperance speech in one of the

Presbyterian Churches on Sixth Street. By stoutly denying my

identity with the "Hayes" named in the bills, I succeeded in

getting off my speech with only one of my cronies in the audi-

ence and not over half a dozen of my acquaintances. I got

along quite decently "considering."    The only remark indicat-

ing how it took, (except the matter-of-course congratulations of

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          337

my acquaintances) was a remark I heard a young lady make to

her companions on the way home: "Well, I wish I could get

that young man who spoke first for my beau!"           It was too

dark to distinguish features or I might have offered her "that


  I see Miss Hoge and have a good laugh with her occasionally.

She must be blue enough at times with nobody but well-behaved

old folks to listen to. They are about changing their abode to the

Walnut Street House.     Just think of Dr. Hoge shifting about

from "pillar to post" in a town like this, as if he were a strolling

bachelor!   A pregnant proof of the falsity of the saying that

"a prophet is not without honor save in his own country."

  I am told that Mrs. Webb is coming here to keep house in a

week or two, so I shall see somebody soon.

  I wrote to Uncle William a long letter, and, upon mature

deliberation enclosed to him your letter to me and also Lollie's

containing an account of the Bell Ringers.    I am not sure that

the last named young lady will be pleased with such a freedom

with her correspondence and perhaps you better not mention

it to her. Your letter seemed to me a very proper one for such

a purpose.   Your naming Miss H -  was the only thing that

made me  hesitate.  But it meant nothing and can  be easily

explained if questions are asked.

  Write.--Love to all.

                 Affectionately, your brother,

                                              R. B. HAYES.

  Tell Laura I was much pleased with her account of the Bell

Ringers and will reply to her letter soon.


  Thursday, [November] 21.-- Wake with a sore throat-- old

complaint. Have many fears that it will be my ruin if not my

death.  Linton W. Pettibone and self went to all the principal

hotels and most of the boarding-houses in search of the husband

of his sister Estelle --J. J. Richardson. The full name of ----

is "L. W. W." [Lucy Ware Webb.]



  Friday, [November] 22.--Nothing on hands this afternoon.

Received a case to examine and argue from friend T--. Shall

seek such opportunities as often as possible.     Learn legal prin-

ciples, their application, and the most forcible method of stating

them; besides the advantage of notoriety which it will afford me.

I am now to work my way almost unaided. Push, labor, shove,

--these words of great power in a city like this.         Two years

must find me with a living and increasing business, or I quit the

city and probably the profession.

  I am a sincere but not extreme or violent friend of the temper-

ance cause.  I mean to prepare myself to speak on the subject

by accumulating and arranging in my memory as many interesting

facts, arguments, and statistics as I can; also by jotting down my

own ideas on the subject as they occur to me. The learning to

speak as well as the notoriety (not to speak of the good I may do)

are objects worthy of the pains.

  Reading "Twelfth Night or What You Will." I find much

beauty, much wit. Gossip in all times: "As you know, what

great ones do, the less will prattle of."    .  .  . A capital love

story, good plot, good characters and beauty all over.

                             CINCINNATI, November 25, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Yours of the 22nd with the enclosed came

safely to hand yesterday.     I was not sorry to have confirmed,

what I had previously learned by rumor, that you and Otis are

about starting a private bank.    If you are to spend your time in

Fremont, the occupation will, no doubt, be a pleasant one; and,

as Glenn said, "with your popularity and Otis figuring," it must

succeed. With the amount of deposits you can command and

the prospect of greatly increasing business at Fremont, the enter-

prise must be a capital one.

  Judge Reznor reports from Columbus that the railroad proj-

ects have finally settled down precisely as I suppose you would

wish. This is attributed in part to the fact that Judge Lane is

interested with you at Fremont!  I am afraid that our "horse-

shoe" (so called from the shape of the land) speculation will not

succeed. The fellow who manages for his sisters has taken the

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850          339

hint, and is changing his terms very materially. Glenn thinks there

is still hope of his settling down on a fair proposition, but I am

pretty will satisfied that he thinks he might as well cut it up into

lots himself.  Had Glenn been as quick on the trigger as you

would have been, we should, perhaps, have got it. He is timid

in real-estate matters.   For example, Gregory offered him a

chance to go into a "spec" with him, which I, with no other

means than I have, would have embraced at once; Glenn was

afraid of it, and now it has turned out in Gregory's hands ahead

of anything we read of in California.     In six weeks from the

time of purchase, he has sold one-twentieth of the land for fifty

per cent more than he gave for the whole of it.  But this is one

chance in a million. I mean to tell Gregory that when he hears

of good offers requiring not more than I can probably borrow

of some of my friends, to let me know.

  I am glad you are coming down; don't give up if you can

help it. I had some business in Paris, Kentucky, and wrote to

the gent who was so frightened by your "Cold Huckleberry Pud-

ding" that night at Brazoria.  I alluded to our chance meeting

there. He replied very politely, inviting me to come to see him,

and attending to my business without any fee.       So much for

being polite to crazy men.

  I had a long talk with the "human mind" on the street the

other day. He was quite tickled at meeting me. Love to all.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  Sunday, December 1.--Unshaved and unshirted, spent the

day in reading "David Copperfield." Read the last half of the

book; very fine-- very. Dickens "is the fellow yet." Traddles

says, "the society of the girls is very delightful but not profes-

sional." But the lesson of the book is in David's philosophizing

on his marriage to Dora, his "child wife." In the words of the

doctor's Annie (Mrs. Strong): "There can be no disparity in

marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose."       She was

thankful for being saved from "the first mistaken impulse of

my undisciplined heart."


  A hateful female would be a cross between Miss Murdstone

and Miss Rosa Dartle.

                            CINCINNATI, December 5, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE:--Glenn will tell you about our purchase, or

bargain, for the Mill Creek tract. I expected to raise the means

at Columbus, so you need not be troubled on my account. It

is considered a capital hit, and if the cholera will only let us alone

next summer, we shall doubtless do well with it.

  You send some Plank Road certificates to be struck off. This

leads me to suggest that possibly, if you want to borrow money

in New York at five per cent for your banking, it can be done

by pledging Plank Road stock to good advantage.

  . . . There is an excellent chance to get a "spec" in real

estate that would take about three thousand five hundred dollars,

so if you come down soon, please put your hand in the safe and

take out about that amount, as I am sure I can satisfy you of

a way to invest it better than private banking, though I have no

doubt that is good. How cozy you will be in your little counting-

room; it is quite "a green spot to think about," as Lizzie Baldwin

would say. Love to friends.


                                              R. B. HAYES.


  December 9. -- Yesterday afternoon, Sunday, went up to

Columbia with Mr. Gossin and Mr. Tuttle and made a tem-

perance speech in the church.    Not hard to face an audience

now, but I ought to have something good to say. Must be pre-

pared for such sudden calls. Should think with a good collec-

tion of ideas, facts, etc., I could make a tolerable speech. The

audience seemed attentive and pleased; will try to improve.

  Saturday, December 14.-- Just returned from the National

Theatre where I saw Miss Cushman in "Meg Merrilies." Can

anything be more grand, more perfect, more awful? Can't write

about it, but most glorious it is, indeed.

             BEGINS PRACTICE IN CINCINNATI, 1850           341

                             CINCINNATI, December 17, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- Glenn and Orton have told you all about me

and I only write to tell you that I start to Columbus tomorrow

to remain there and at other places two weeks--until the day

after New Year's.    Ormsbee has some little matters that will

pay expenses to Circleville.   I have another matter at Ports-

mouth and must go to Delaware probably to get my money, so

I shall make quite a round of it going and coming.


                                Sincerely,     R. B. HAYES.

  P.  S.--Tell Mrs. Valette "Copperfield" is the best book

Dickens has written.  I would send it if I supposed it was not

in Fremont.


                             CINCINNATI, December 22, 1850.

  DEAR UNCLE: -- You will be surprised to see that  I have

returned from Columbus so much sooner than I expected when

I left. Yesterday I received a dispatch from Judge Reznor de-

siring me to come down immediately.       I accordingly took the

first train of cars and reached here last night.  I shall start for

western Virginia tomorrow morning in company with one of the

parties in an enterprise of this sort: A large body of land has

been contracted for; a small proportion of it is common farming

land worth from five to fifteen dollars per acre; the balance is re-

garded by its former owners as waste and wholly worthless.

They sell the whole tract for what would be about a fair price for

the tillable land, so that the average rate per acre is only sixteen

cents.  The waste land has been examined and is found to be

valuable for coal and iron. I am to go up and see to titles, etc.,

etc., and to have the privilege of going in as one-fourth partner.

The amount of money required is very small; still, I care nothing

about it at present, but I wish you would, if you can, come down

here about the 5th of January.     I shall be home in ten days

again, and if you are coming down at all this winter, you can,

perhaps, come as well at that time as any other. . . . Write

and tell me whether you will come, and do come.

                                                R. B. HAYES.


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