Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Nineteenth President (1877-1881)
Rutherford B. Hayes, 1861, Oil on canvas by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews
Republican presidential hopeful Rutherford B. Hayes went to bed on election night of 1876 thinking that he had lost the contest. But charges of ballot-tampering led to prolonged investigations of the vote count in several states. Out of this inquiry, itself marked by backstairs chicanery, Hayes finally emerged triumphant by a single electoral vote.
All of the irregularities surrounding his election led some to view Hayes as "His Fraudulency." But questions about his legitimate right to office did not prevent this former Ohio governor from being an able chief executive. Among his presidential accomplishments were the termination of the harsh policies that had been imposed on the South since the Civil War and the first significant steps toward curbing rampant corruption in the civil service.
Hayes's portraitist, Eliphalet Andrews, was the founding director of Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran School of Art. In addition to this bust portrait, the German-trained Andrews painted a three-quarter-length likeness of Hayes that now resides at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.