Rutherford Birchard Hayes Essay

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Rutherford Birchard Hayes, the nineteenth president of the United States of America had many profound accomplishments before setting out on the campaign trail in 1876. Rutherford was born on October 4, 1822 in Delaware, Ohio, by his mother Sophia who had lost her husband, Rutherford’s father ten weeks earlier. Rutherford grew up in a house full of love and faith, which helped to smooth the rough times of growing up without a father, as well as losing two siblings. Rutherford earned the nickname “Rud” as he was growing up in Delaware, unable to play and socialize with other kids his age until he was seven years old due to his frail and unstable health in early years. With Rud couped up around the Hayes household for many of his early years,…show more content…
Rud’s closeness with his sister became a large contribution to Rutherford diving in to legal and political pursuits, as she always wanted him to pursue a career in law or politics which she admired, but was unable to…show more content…
Rutherford attended multiple schools ranging from a public school in Deleware to a private institution in Connecticut. In 1842 Rutherford graduated from Kenyon College as the valedictorian of his class, deciding to then pursue a legal career at Harvard Law School where he graduated in 1845 with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Hayes represented minorities and societies outcasts in criminal cases, which helped him to emerge as a successful lawyer in Cincinnati. In December, 1852, Hayes married Lucy Webb who was from Delaware as well, and similarly to Rutherford, she had lost her father at an early age. After marriage, Hayes returned to his work, and began to defend runaway slaves and other cases involving slaves. Hayes considered himself against slavery, but thought that abolitionists were often times too radical and extreme to accomplish much. In March of 1856 Rutherford’s sister Fanny passed away, leaving Rutherford very upset as he had lost his childhood best friend. The attack on Fort Sumter in 1861 angered Hayes fiercely, pushing him to become determined to help his country in one way or another. Hayes stated upon entering the Ohio 23rd Volunteers “I would prefer to go into it if I knew I was to die . . . than to live through and after it without taking any part in it.”

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