Hitchhiking on the Hayes Highway

Edward O. Frantz

in The Door of Hope

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036533
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038452 | DOI:
Hitchhiking on the Hayes Highway

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The 1877 tour of the South was significant for a number of reasons. It provided the most concrete evidence of the balance Rutherford B. Hayes was trying to strike between protecting the constitutional rights of southern African Americans and returning “local government” to the whites. Hayes's tour also set a number of key precedents that his Republican presidential successors would employ when visiting the region. He billed the tour as “non-political,” when in fact the purpose of the tour was of high political importance. He appealed to diverse political groups in an effort to bolster the party in the region. He preached the primacy of nationalism over sectionalism. He also created a pastime for those who read daily newspapers. All of these were legacies of Hayes's southern tour. Hayes earnestly believed that there was room in the southern branch of the Republican Party for both black and white.

Keywords: tour; South; Rutherford B. Hayes; rights; African Americans; whites; Republican Party; nationalism

Chapter.  12492 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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