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Hayes Rutherford Birchard

Hayes, Rutherford Birchard (1822-93), 19th President of the United States of America, was born at Delaware, Ohio, where his father was a merchant. He was educated at Ohio and Harvard, and having been called to the Ohio bar practised at Cincinnati till 1861. He served as a volunteer in the Federal army during the war, and rose to the rank of major-general. He was first returned to Congress for Ohio in 1865, of which state he became governor two years later, and again in 1869 and 1875 held the same position.

In 1876 he was Republican candidate for the Presidency, but was returned only by very questionable procedure. There were double returns in Louisiana, Florida, and Oregon, and an Electoral Commission, in which the Republicans had a majority, decided by one vote only that the Republican set was genuine. The chief events of Hayes's presidency were an attempted reform of the Civil Service, which was thwarted by the opposition of his supporter Conkling; the withdrawal of troops from the Southern States, and his conflict with Congress on the silver question, the Monetisation Bill being carried against his veto in 1878. After his retirement from office he took little further part in public life.