Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Raise the Rutherford!

The Seven Days of Hayes
December 24 – December 30

A week-long celebration commemorating Rutherford B. Hayes’s arrival in Cincinnati on December 24, 1849 and ending with his wedding to Lucy Webb on December 30, 1852.

On the First Day of Hayes . . .
Christmas Eve Arrival

December 24, 2008 is the 159th anniversary of Rutherford B. Hayes’s arrival in Cincinnati. From his diary at the Hayes Presidential Center he had this to say on December 24, 1859, his 10th anniversary of his arrival in 1849:

"Arrived at Pearl Street House about 9:30 P.M., a cold clear night, a stranger seeking ‘room’ among the brethren of the greenbag."

Pearl Street House was, obviously enough, on Pearl Street. I am not sure where though exactly. Close to Pearl Street Market? (Whose bell is now at Findlay Market.) Or maybe close to the Central Union Depot? I guess I’d need to go to the Library. Pearl Street was approximately where 2nd Street is today. 2nd Street of 1849 followed approximately the alignment of the current Pete Rose Way and Freedom Way. (I think anyway. It may have been slightly south of that.)
Another interesting note regarding the above quote is the use of the term "greenbag". After some research it appears to be a slang term common of the time period for the law or lawyers. It had something to do with lawyers carrying a common green bag.

Image of Pearl Street House from the University of Cincinnati Digital Press

"Raise the Rutherford!" is a continuing, slightly humorous series to raise awareness of Rutherford B. Hayes and erect a statue of him in Cincinnati.

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