Rutherford B. Hayes - Autograph Letter Signed 08/16/1879 For SaleRUTHERFORD B. HAYES
Rutherford B. Hayes sends an autograph letter regarding hazing at West Point.
Autograph Letter Signed: "R.B. Hayes" as President, 1p, 5x8½. Executive Mansion, Washington, 1879 August 16. To Congressman and Civil War General, Thomas Ewing, Democratic nominee for Governor of Ohio. Replying to a letter from Ewing concerning a constituent, the Republican President from Ohio writes, in full: "I have your note as to young Longfilt. For the present no action will be taken on applications in behalf of the dismissed Cadets. If after the next 'hazing time', (it comes round like 'ball time' and 'kite time'), the practice seems to have been substantially abandoned, I will be disposed to hear motions to reconsider." Headed: "Private" by Hayes. The practice of hazing at West Point was not abandoned. Twenty-two years later, on January 20, 1901, Mark Twain was reported to have said, in part: "I would make it the duty of a cadet to report...any case of hazing...make such reports a part of the vaunted West Point 'code of honor' and the beating of young boys by upper class men will be stopped...When I was a boy...we used to have our fights...but we always matched boys...and there was none of the cowardly methods that seem to prevail at West Point." When Twain gave this interview, two of the cadets at West Point were Douglas A. MacArthur (son of Civil War hero and Spanish American War General Arthur MacArthur) and Ulysses S. Grant III (grandson of the General and President). Each endured far more hazing than their fellow cadets because of their alumni predecessors. Although outlawed, hazing still exists on college campuses. In a close election, the recipient of President Hayes' letter, THOMAS EWING, lost the October election for Governor of Ohio to Republican Charles Foster by 17,000 votes out of 670,000 votes cast. Folds, not touching signature. Fine condition.
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