Rutherford B. Hayes and Lucy Webb Hayes lived their lives as though they knew Rutherford would become President of the United States one day. They not only led exemplary lives from beginning to end, but saved an incredible amount of information for the future historian. Lucy saved almost all of her letters since girlhood. Rutherford did likewise, plus kept a regular diary from his youth to his death.
It is the opinion of this author that it is more interesting to hear the story of Lucy Hayes through the words of Lucy and those who knew her, when their statements are clear and succinct, than to have the events filtered through a historianís paraphrase and summary. Accordingly, there is a fair amount of quotation from Lucy herself, from Rutherford, and from others, in the course of this book. It is hoped that these quotations have been woven into the biography in such a manner as to give the reader a closer view of its subject than can be had by pure narrative.
It is necessary to write about Rutherford to know what Lucy was doing. This is true for two reasons. First, he left an excellent diary which records many events for which no writing from Lucy or others is available. Second, even without the diary, it is impossible to understand the life of a First Lady without also knowing something of the life and career of the man who took her to the White House. Still, this biography is about Lucy Hayes, not Rutherford.