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19 May 2006
HAYES, Rutherford B. Autograph letter signed ("Rutherford B. Hayes"), as former President, to Arthur J. Abernathy, Fremont, Ohio, 26 February 1888. 1 page, 8vo.
ADVICE TO A "YOUNG FRIEND": "DON'T BE LAZY...THE MAIN THING IS TO ACQUIRE HABITS OF INDUSTRY." "I have no fears as to your studies," Hayes writes to "my young friend," Arthur J. Abernathy. "After honesty and truthfulness the main thing is to acquire habits of industry. Don't be lazy. Let no day pass without two hours of work. Learn to draw and to work at some useful trade and thus gain the spirit of labor, the ability for labor and respect for labor. With willingness and ability to work with your own hands, you will take the place nature has qualified you to fill easily, with the respect of your fellow men and to your own lasting welfare." Hayes knew the value of diligence and application first-hand. His father died before he was born and his mother relied on a sometimes precarious income from a boarding house to raise her family. A financially comfortable bachelor uncle helped young Rutherford into Kenyan College, where he graduated at the head of his class before going on to Harvard Law School.
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