Archive for July 9th, 2012

Rutherford B. Hayes speaks with “Fred[erick] Douglass” and Rev. James Preston Poindexter “on the Southern question” [Feb. 18, 1877]

Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Frederick Douglass United States Marshal for the District of Columbia days after he was inaugurated the 19th President. Hayes was the first to have a Presidential Center, or Library. It is located in Fremont, Ohio.

The folks there have been gracious in helping to understand the relationship and respect that Douglass and Hayes had for each other. Keeping a daily journal, historians have been able to glean insights into Hayes thinking on certain decisions of his presidency.

All five volumes of his Diary and Letters are searchable HERE.

On pg. 417, vol. 3 is this entry,

February 18. Sunday. [1877]- The indications still are that I am to go to Washington. I talked yesterday with Fred Douglass and Mr. Poindexter, both colored, on the Southern question. I told them my views. They approved. Mr. Douglass gave me many useful hints about the whole subject. My course is a firm assertion and maintenance of the rights of the colored people of the South according to the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, coupled with a readiness to recognize all Southern people, without regard to past political conduct, who will now go with me heartily and in good faith in support of these principles.

* Special thanks to Nan Card for the early help and support! *

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