Ohio History Journal

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Historical anniversaries have a way of reviving interest in events and

personalities-long forgotten or neglected. Now that centennial observances

of the Civil War have run their course, our national memory is turning to-

ward the last third of nineteenth century American history. Already a major

reconsideration of these years is underway.

A basic source for the study of the period 1865 to 1900 is one of Ohio's

finest historical properties, The Rutherford B. Hayes Library and Museum,

located in Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio. Opened in 1916 it is the nation's

oldest presidential library, but unlike other institutions of its type which

are federally controlled and administered, the Hayes Library is jointly op-

erated by the Hayes Foundation and The Ohio Historical Society for the

State of Ohio.

This special issue of Ohio History commemorates the dedication on

October 4, 1968, of a handsome new building designed to better interpret

the life and times of President Rutherford B. Hayes to the general public.

Another reason for greatly expanding and modernizing the facilities of the

Hayes Library and Museum is to launch a new research and publishing pro-

gram on the Hayes era. The articles of this issue represent only a small

part of the many research projects undertaken in recent years utilizing the

rich resources on deposit in Fremont.*

The ten essays treat a variety of topics centering around the life of Hayes

and are arranged roughly in chronological order. Each one deals with a

relatively neglected theme or offers a fresh interpretation. Together they

range from the struggle of the young Hayes to establish himself as an Ohio

lawyer to the final twelve years after the White House when he devoted his


* See Watt P. Marchman and James H. Rodabaugh, "Collections of the

Rutherford B. Hayes State Memorial," Ohio History, LXXI (July 1962),