He was a Representative from Ohio prior to his Presidency. He was born
in Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio , October 4 , 1822 . He attended the
common schools, the Methodist Academy in Norwalk, Ohio, and the Webb Preparatory
School in Middletown, Connecticut . He was graduated from Kenyon College
, Gambier, Ohio, in August 1842 and from the Harvard Law School in January
1845 . He was admitted to the bar May 10 , 1845 , and commenced practice
in Lower Sandusky (now Fremont). He moved to Cincinnati in 1849 and resumed
the practice of law. He was city solicitor from 1857 to 1859 . He was commissioned
a major of the Twenty-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, June 27
, 1861 , lieutenant colonel October 24 , 1861 , colonel October 24 , 1862
, brigadier general of Volunteers October 9 , 1864 and brevetted major
general of Volunteers March 3 , 1865 .
Hayes was elected as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses
and served from March 4 , 1865 , to July 20 , 1867 , when he resigned,
having been nominated for Governor of Ohio. He was Governor from 1868 to
1872 , and an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Forty-third Congress.
He was again elected Governor and served from January 1876 to March 2 ,
1877 , when he resigned, having been elected President of the United States.
Since March 4 , 1877 was a Sunday, Hayes was took the oath of office in
the Red Room of the White House on March 3 . He took the oath again publicly
on March 5 on the East Portico of the Capitol, and he served until March
4 , 1881 .
Hayes became president after the tumultuous, scandal-ridden years of the
Grant administration. He had a reputation for honesty dating back to his
Civil War years, when as a major general, he refused to campaign for Congress
, saying that any officer, who left his command to run for office "ought
to be scalped." As Governor of Ohio , his scrupulousness sometimes dismayed
even his political allies, and Hayes was nicknamed "Old Granny." Nevertheless,
his opponent in the presidential election, Democrat Samuel J. Tilden was
the favorite to win the presidential election and, in fact, won the popular
vote by about 250,000 votes (with about 8.5 million voters in total).
Election of 1876
However, as with all elections, the decision was left to the U.S. Electoral
College , where the votes of four states were contested. In order to win,
the candidates had to muster 185 votes: Tilden was short just one, with
184 votes, Hayes had 165, with 20 votes representing four states were contested.
To make matters worse, three of these states ( Florida , Louisiana , and
South Carolina ) were in the South, which was still under military occupation.
After months of deliberation and bargaining, Southern Democrats were
assured that if Hayes were elected, he would pull federal troops out of
the south and end Reconstruction . In return, the Democrats agreed to a
committee to determine the final outcome of the election. The committee,
which consisted of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, voted to give
all the disputed electoral votes to Hayes. The Republicans justified this
by claiming that the problem in these states was over who had the right
to vote. The Democrats, on the other hand, felt that they had been robbed
of the presidency, and called Hayes "Rutherfraud."
During his presidency Hayes signed a number of bills including one signed
on February 15 , 1879 which, for the first time, allowed female attorneys
to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States .
He died in Fremont , Sandusky County, Ohio , January 17 , 1893 . Interment
was in Oakwood Cemetery. Following the gift of his home to the State of
Ohio for the Spiegel Grove State Park he was reinterred there in 1915 .