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When Grant left office, the Republican Party faced an uphill battle during the Election of 1876. In order to win the closest election in American History, Republicans made a deal with the Democrats to end Reconstruction. Although this won them the election, it also had numerous problems, as the Ku Klux Klan and the Southern States went back to subverting Black people’s rights. Garfield was elected in an easier election in 1880, but was assassinated in office and succeeded by his Vice President, Arthur.

Rutherford B. Hayes

19th President 1877-1881

Title: [President Rutherford B. Hayes, half-length portrait, seated, facing left]   Date Created/Published: [between 1877 and 1893, printed later]

Title: [President Rutherford B. Hayes, half-length portrait, seated, facing left]
Date Created/Published: [between 1877 and 1893, printed later]

Fast Facts:

  • Born: October 4, 1822 in Delaware, Ohio
  • Died: January 17, 1893 in Fremont, Ohio
  • Home: Spiegel Grove, Ohio
  • Parents: Rutherford (1787-1822) and Sophia Birchard (1792-1866) Hayes
  • Wife: Lucy Ware Webb (1831-1889)
  • Marriage: December 30, 1852
  • Children: Birchard Austin (1853-1926), James Webb Cook (1856-1934), Rutherford Platt (1858-1927),Fanny (1867-1950), and Scott Russell (1871-1923)
  • Occupations: Lawyer
  • Religion: Methodist
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Political Offices Before Presidency: U.S. Representative, Governor of Ohio
  • Military Service: Brevet Major General in U.S. Army
  • Election Results: 1876: 185 Electoral Votes to 184 for Samuel J. Tilden of New York
  • Vice President: William A. Wheeler of New York 1877-1881

More Facts:

  • Hayes’s father died before Hayes was born
  • Hayes had been governor of Ohio twice
  • Hayes banned alcohol in the White House
  • Hayes was the president of the National Prison Association after the Presidency

Grading: C

  • Hayes ended Reconstruction, resulting in former Confederates hampering Black’s Rights
  • The Bland-Allison Act was passed over Hayes’s veto, requiring the government to purchase lots of silver
  • Hayes redeemed in gold all greenbacks in the Resumption of Specie Act
  • Hayes called for Civil Service Reform
  • A bill allowing Chinese immigration to be restricted in America after 1880 was passed over Hayes’s veto

Hayes was succeeded by a U.S. Representative and a fellow Civil War veteran.

James A. Garfield

20th President 1881

Title: Pres. James Garfield   Date Created/Published: [between 1870 and 1880]

Title: Pres. James Garfield
Date Created/Published: [between 1870 and 1880]

Fast Facts:

  • Born: November 19, 1831 in Orange Township, Ohio
  • Died: September 19, 1881 in Elberon, New Jersey
  • Home: Lawnfield, Mentor, Ohio
  • Parents: Abram (1799-1833) and Eliza Ballou (1801-1888) Garfield
  • Wife: Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918)
  • Marriage: November 11, 1858
  • Children: Harry Augustus (1863-1942), James Rudolph (1865-1950), Mary (1867-1947), Irvin McDowell (1870-1951), and Abram (1872-1958)
  • Occupations: Schoolteacher, Soldier, and President of Hiram College
  • Religion: Disciples of Christ
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Political Offices Before Presidency: Ohio State Senator, U.S. Representative
  • Election Results: 1880: 214 Electoral Votes to 155 for Winfield S. Hancock of Pennsylvania
  • Vice President: Chester A. Arthur of New York 1881

More Facts:

  • Garfield’s father died when Garfield was 2 years old
  • Garfield was a Senator-Elect when he was elected President
  • Garfield was shot 3 months before he died
  • Garfield was the 4th President to die in office and the 2nd to be Assassinated

Grading: I (Incomplete)

Garfield died before he could make a mark on the Presidency.

Garfield was succeeded by his Vice President, a man well known for being corrupt.

Chester A. Arthur

21st President 1881-1885

Title: Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States   Creator(s): Bell, C. M. (Charles Milton), approximately 1849-1893, photographer   Date Created/Published: 1882.

Title: Chester A. Arthur, President of the United States
Creator(s): Bell, C. M. (Charles Milton), approximately 1849-1893, photographer
Date Created/Published: 1882.

Fast Facts:

  • Born: October 5, 1829 in North Fairfield, Vermont
  • Died: November 18, 1886 in New York City, New York
  • Home: New York City, New York
  • Parents: William (1796-1875) and Malvina Stone (1802-1869) Arthur
  • Wife: Ellen Lewis Herndon (1837-1880)
  • Marriage: October 25, 1859
  • Children: Chester Allen Jr. (1864-1937) and Ellen (1871-1915)
  • Occupations: Teacher and Lawyer
  • Religion: Episcopalian
  • Political Party: Republican
  • Political Offices Before Presidency: Collector of the Port of New York, Vice President
  • Election Results: None
  • Vice President: None

More Facts:

  • Arthur fixed his date of birth at 1830, but it is now thought to have been 1829
  • There were rumors that Arthur had been born in Canada, but this was most likely false
  • Arthur was charged with corruption and removed from the Port of New York in 1878
  • Arthur’s opponents argued that Arthur was a puppet of Boss Roscoe Conkling
  • Arthur enjoyed the second shortest retirement of any President, one year

Grading: C

Arthur was expected by practically everyone to be a corrupt President, but he surprised both his opponents and his supporters in passing the Pendleton Act in 1883, creating the modern civil service system.

  • Arthur vetoed and then signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, banning immigration from China
  • Arthur also vetoed the River and Harbors Act, stating that it was pork-barrel spending (It was passed over his veto)
  • Arthur signed the Mongrel Tariff in 1883, reducing the tariff by 1.5 percent

Arthur was succeeded by the Governor of New York and a well-known reformer and enemy of Tammany Hall.

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