The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965

Rutherford A jayes's
JAorseback Ride through relas
CLAUDE MICHAEL GRUENER
UTHERFORD B. HAYES'S DIARY OF HIS TRIP ON HORSEBACK
R through Texas during the winter of 1848-1849 is a living
story of Texas' earliest citizens, their country, their work,
and their amusements.' Hayes's descriptions of life on the Perry
plantation in Brazoria County, near Freeport, serve as an accurate
look at institutions of that time, when the county was rich with
its sugar plantations and cotton fields. All that remain at present
of the plantation are two old, moldy brick pillars that marked
the entrance and part of the original house which has been
restored.
When he made the trip, Rutherford was twenty-six years old
and a promising lawyer, who within twenty-nine years was to
become the nineteenth President of the United States. He came
to see an old friend of college years, Guy M. Bryan, who lived
with his mother, Emily Austin Bryan Perry, and his step-father,
James F. Perry, on the family plantation. A warm friendship had
developed between Bryan and Hayes after they met at Kenyon
College in Gambier, Ohio. In his diary, Rutherford spoke of Guy
as "A real gentleman, holds his honor dear, respects the feelings
and wishes of others; is a warm and constant friend."
Rutherford had entered Kenyon College with high ideals to
become a good lawyer. He had decided to leave politics alone
and wanted to "acquire a character distinguished for energy,
firmness, and perseverance." In his diary, Rutherford listed what
he thought constituted a fine character and then worked on
'Charles Richard Williams (ed.), Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard
Hayes, Nineteenth President of the United States (5 vols.; Columbus, Ohio, 1922-
1926). See also William D. Howells, Sketch of the Life and Character of Ruther-
ford B. Hayes (Boston and New York, 1876); Charles R. Williams, The Life of
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Nineteenth President of the United States (2 vols.;
Boston and New York, 1914); Harry Barnard, Rutherford B. Hayes, and His
America (Indianapolis, 1954).

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed September 2, 2014.