Rutherford B. Hayes

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Nineteenth President of the United States, 1877-1881

Elected to office amid a hotly disputed election.

Born in Ohio in 1822, Hayes was educated at Kenyon College and Harvard Law School. A veteran of the Civil War, and wounded in action, Hayes won election to the US House of Representatives while still an active duty Army officer. Two years later he was elected Governor of Ohio and served until 1876.

In 1876 he became the Republican candidate for President against Democrat Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York.

Disputed electoral college votes in Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida lead to an Electoral Commission appointed by Congress in January 1877 to decide the election outcome. The commission, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, decided all of the disputes in Hayes favor along strict partisan votes. Hayes won the Presidency 185 to 184.

Hayes advocated for the withdrawal of Federal troops overseeing the Reconstruction in the South hoping to build a "new Republican party" in the South composed of white businessmen and conservatives.

Hayes had announced in advance that he would serve only one term, and retired to Fremont, Ohio, in 1881. He died in 1893.

Hayes was married to Lucy Ware Webb Hayes a leading voice in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and notably barred wines and liquor from the White House.

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