Lucy Webb Hayes a Memorial Sketch

Cover of book Lucy Webb Hayes a Memorial Sketch
Categories: Nonfiction

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She had come to a conclusion upon this matter before going to Washington, she and General Hayes together; for, as she repeatedly said, she could have done nothing without his support. She reasoned after this fashion : " I trust I am not a fanatic, but I do want my influence to be always in favor of temperance. Now, I have never hitherto offered wine to my family or my guests. I am not willing to begin to do so now. I am still to be mistress and hostess, even though I may be the wife of the President of the United States, and my table be laid in Washington instead of Cincinnati, Columbus, or Fremont. It is true I shall violate a precedent; but I shall not violate the Constitution, which is all that, through my husband, I have taken the oath to obey. If Iwere to be a guest in foreign courts I should expect my entertainers to dictate the table, courses according to their individual customs; I certainly should not expect them to yield a conviction in my behalf. I believe these gentlemen and ladies of the Diplomatic Corps and other foreigners will concede as much to me. I am willing to trust them. As for my own countrymen, they are accustomed to independent action. I shall trust them, too." And so, without reflection upon her predecessors, she quietly acted according to her best judgment, and dispensed her hospitality without stimulants. That so simple a matter as deciding upon the menu for her own table should have occasioned so much comment, caused her some surprise. It was easier for her to bear unkind criticism than the expostulation of friends who feared it would be considered an unwelcome innovation, and cause embarrassment in the festivities incident to their official position. But she held herground. She said she hoped to provide so generously in ot...

Lucy Webb Hayes a Memorial Sketch
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