HAYES, Rutherford B. Autograph letter signed (''RB Hayes'') as President, to Secretary of State William M. Evarts, Washington, D.C., 22 August 1878. 1 page, 8vo (4½ x 6 13/16 in.), on Executive Mansion stationery, integral blank, excellent condition.
HAYES, Rutherford B. Autograph letter signed ("RB Hayes") as President, to Secretary of State William M. Evarts, Washington, D.C., 22 August 1878. 1 page, 8vo (4½ x 6 13/16 in.), on Executive Mansion stationery, integral blank, excellent condition.
HAYES APPOINTS EX-CONFEDERATE JOHN SINGLETON MOSBY, PARTISAN RANGER, AS CONSUL TO HONG KONG
John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916), a Confederate scout under the command of General J.E.B. Stuart at the outset of the Civil War, raised a band of partisan rangers in 1862 whose guerilla activities in Northern Virginia were a scourge to Union forces. Mosby's men mercilessly preyed upon Union supply lines in a region which was quickly dubbed "Mosby's Confederacy." The Yankees searched endlessly for the rangers but were unable to significantly control their activities before the end of the war. Mosby, a hero in the South, opened a law practice after the war and befriended his former enemy, Ulysses S. Grant, much to the displeasure of his southern brethren.
Here, President Hayes writes to his Secretary of State, expressing concerns that his first choice for consul at Hong Kong, Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926), might not be approved: "The father in law of Lincoln at Canton fears L. would not be confirmed for Hong Kong on account of opposition from [Lucius Q.C.] Lamar." Robert, the eldest son of Abraham Lincoln, was frequently considered as a political candidate because of his name. He would later serve as Secretary of War under President Garfield. Hayes suggests Mosby as a possible replacement: "In view of this I prefer to send Col. Mosby to H.K. as he is a good lawyer unless there are Committals on your part which are in the way." Mosby's appointment was approved and he served faithfully in Hong Kong until 1885.
President Hayes, whose election marked the official end of Reconstruction, was the first President to appoint ex-Confederate officials to high office.
Provenance: Paul C. Richards Autographs, 1985.