Christmas Comes Early
At dinner time, Lt. Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, who is sequestered with the 23rd
Wife and boy doing well. Stranger arrived Saturday,
The “little stranger,” as the newcomer will be called for a while, is the fourth child and fourth son to Rutherford and Lucy Hayes. Hayes exults to his diary, somewhat curiously:
Good! Very! I preferred a daughter, but in these times when women suffer so much, I am not sure but we ought to rejoice that are girls are boys. What shall I call him?
Quickly, he dashes off a note to Lucy:
Dearest: I am so happy to hear today by telegraph that…”mother and son are doing well.” Darling, I love you so much and have felt so anxious about you. The little fellow, I hope, is healthy and strong. It is best it was not a daughter. These are no times for women….Kiss the boy, yes, “all the boys” for me.
Notes go out as well to Uncle Birchard in Fremont, Ohio, and Rud’s brother-in-law, the physician (“You will of course stay with Lucy until after she is out of all danger.…Get Lucy for me some ring or ‘sich’ thing that she will like—something nice.”
The child will be named Joseph Thompson Hayes. He will live for only 19 months.
He immediately dashes off a note to Lucy:
I am so happy to hear today…that “mother and son are doing well.” Darling, I love you so much and have felt so anxious about you….Kiss the boy, yes, “all the boys” for me.
Other happy notes go off immediately to Uncle Birchard and Rud’s brother-in-law, the doctor. This is a time for happiness in the Hayes family; the time for sorrow will come soon enough.
THE BIG PICTURE: With Great Britain threatening action against the United States (and the Confederacy looking on gleefully), Secretary of State William H. Seward, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells, and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase meet with President Lincoln at the White House to discuss the thorny Trent affair. Influential Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner, a Radical Republican, advises