Ohio History Journal

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Rutherford B

Rutherford B.

Hayes and




At noon on Wednesday, January 18, 1893, the United States Senate con-

vened and, according to custom, heard a brief opening prayer by the Chap-

lain. When Dr. J. G. Butler had finished, the senior Senator from Ohio,

John Sherman, addressed his colleagues:

Mr. President, it becomes my painful duty to announce to the Senate

the death of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, at his residence in Fremont,

Ohio, last evening at 11 o'clock. . . .

It was my good fortune to know President Hayes intimately from

the time we were law students until his death. To me his death is a

deep personal grief. All who had the benefit of personal association

with him were strengthened in their appreciation of his generous qual-

ities of head and heart. His personal kindness and sincere enduring at-

tachment for his friends was greater than he displayed in public inter-

course. He was always modest, always courteous, kind to every one who

approached him, and generous to friend or foe. He had no sympathy

with hatred or malice. He gave every man his due according to his

judgment of his merits.

I therefore, as is usual on such occasions, move that the Senate, out

of respect to the memory of President Hayes, do now adjourn.1

This was no routine eulogy. John Sherman spoke from the heart, much

more feelingly than was his wont. The two politicians, near of age (Hayes

seven months the senior),2 had known each other and had participated in

the vagaries of political life in Ohio through half a century. Their particu-

lar differences in temperament, opportunity, experience and abilities had

been of sorts that enabled them to build and maintain through the decades