First Lady: The Life of Lucy Webb Hayes

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9780873382991: First Lady: The Life of Lucy Webb Hayes
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The only biography of the wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes. Lucy Hayes was First Lady from 1877-1881. The book covers her early life, the Civil War, and emphasizes her influence in expanding the role of presidential wives.

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From the Author:

From the first time I encountered the figure of Lucy Webb Hayes, I have been intrigued by the diametrically opposed portraits of this woman who served as First Lady of the United States from 1877-81. Ridicule of Mrs. Hayes by opponents of the Hayes temperance policy for White House entertaining evokes the picture of a stern and intolerant "Lemonade Lucy," while the saint-like image ascribed to her by overzealous supporters seems just as misleading. As her biographer, my challenge has been to discover the true character of Lucy Hayes.

A panoramic view of the life of Lucy Hayes, who lived through some of the most eventful years of the nineteenth century (1831-89), reveals much about the society and thought of the period, and descriptions of the activities of the eight Hayes children add a dimension of family history. Because of Lucy's close identification with her husband's political career, this account also includes her reactions to political issues and practices of the time. In addition, the story of Lucy's childhood in southern Ohio and her college years in Cincinnati, her adventures during the Civil War, and her experiences as the wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, an ambitious politician who became president of the United States, provide an intimate account of the eventful life of an interesting woman.

Nearly half the pages of this biography describe Lucy's years in the White House (March 5, 1877 to March 4, 1881). The time was propitious in 1877 for the First Lady to assume a more public role than had been possible for earlier mistresses of the White House. Leaders of the movement to improve the status of women hoped Lucy Hayes, the first wife of a United States president to have earned a college degree and a woman known for her interest in politics, would endorse their efforts. Advocates of temperance also looked to Lucy for support. The response of Lucy Hayes to these and other demands of public life paved the way for First Ladies of the future. Emily Apt Geer

About the Author:

Dr. Geer (1912-1998) was an educator, a businesswoman, an historian and an award-winning author. She received degrees from Bowling Green State University and Case Western Reserve in Ohio, teaching history at BGSU and Findlay University. She became an expert on Lucy Hayes, who she felt was "secure enough in her social world to defy the crowd and who had the will and the energy to put good intentions into action."

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780967839615: First Lady: The Life of Lucy Webb Hayes

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0967839610 ISBN 13:  9780967839615
Publisher: Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential..., 1995
Softcover

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Geer, Emily Apt
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