The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

NOTES AND FRAGMENTS
THE BRYAN-HAYES FRIENDSHIP: On September 26, 1926,
President William F. Pierce of Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio;
delivered to the students a sermon on College Friendship. The
examples which he used were the friendship of Jesus and St. John,
the friendship of Tennyson and Arthur Hallam, and the friend-
ship of Guy M. Bryan and Rutherford B. Hayes. Concerning the
Bryan-Hayes friendship-no doubt suggested by the correspond-
ence published in TilE QUARTERLY-he said:
A college friendship that will interest you Kenyon men more
closely is the intimacy that bound together for more than half a
century two members of the Kenyon Class of 1842, Rutherford B.
Hayes of Ohio and Guy MI. Bryan of Texas. This friendship,
which no doubt to outward seeming did not differ from dozens
of other college intimacies, was dostined to have a national sig-
nificance.
In those days the Philomathesian Literary Society was composed
of men from the Northern States and Nu Pi Kappa of men from
the Southern States, but the membership of Nu Pi Kappa falling
off, Hayes, though from Ohio, entered the society at the earnest
solicitation of his friend Bryan of Texas, and took with him ten
other men. That happy mixture of men of different regions, who
held the most divergent political views, was in itself an education
in tolerance, but the friendship of Hayes with Bryan carried him
far beyond tolerance-into a genuine sympathy and admiration
for the South.
Years passed and the conflict between North and South came
to the wager of battle, and the two Kenyon friends, though friends
still, fought in opposite camps. And after the war, when the
North had lost its great dispassionate, compassionate leader, came
reconstruction, sadder and harsher for the South than the long
years of fighting. The government of the Southern States was
placed in the hands of negroes and carpetbaggers from the North,
and was "debased into a means of revenge, theft, and debauchery."
Taxes, though enormous, were levied not to be expended but to
be stolen. Society threatened to disintegrate in aimless anarchy
and private lawlessness. We are told that ten years after the
Civil War closed the feeling of the South against the national
government was far more bitter than at the end of the war. The
inhumanity and stupidity of the policy of reconstruction had done
more to envenom sectional difference than seventy years of the
slavery and anti-slavery contest.
In 1876 when our Kenyon president, Rutherford B. Hayes, was

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 31, July 1927 - April, 1928. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101088/. Accessed November 27, 2014.