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The Door of HopeRepublican Presidents and the First Southern Strategy, 1877–1933$
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Edward O. Frantz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036533

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036533.001.0001

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Hitchhiking on the Hayes Highway

Hitchhiking on the Hayes Highway

The First Southern Tour, 1877

(p.22) 1 Hitchhiking on the Hayes Highway
The Door of Hope

Edward O. Frantz

University Press of Florida

The 1877 tour of the South was significant for a number of reasons. It provided the most concrete evidence of the balance Rutherford B. Hayes was trying to strike between protecting the constitutional rights of southern African Americans and returning “local government” to the whites. Hayes's tour also set a number of key precedents that his Republican presidential successors would employ when visiting the region. He billed the tour as “non-political,” when in fact the purpose of the tour was of high political importance. He appealed to diverse political groups in an effort to bolster the party in the region. He preached the primacy of nationalism over sectionalism. He also created a pastime for those who read daily newspapers. All of these were legacies of Hayes's southern tour. Hayes earnestly believed that there was room in the southern branch of the Republican Party for both black and white.

Keywords:   tour, South, Rutherford B. Hayes, rights, African Americans, whites, Republican Party, nationalism

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