Thomas F. Bayard
|Thomas F. Bayard|
|30th United States Secretary of State|
March 7, 1885 – March 6, 1889
|Preceded by||Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen|
|Succeeded by||James G. Blaine|
|President pro tempore of the United States Senate|
October 10 – October 13, 1881
|Preceded by||Allen G. Thurman|
|Succeeded by||David Davis|
|United States Senator
March 4, 1869 – March 6, 1885
|Preceded by||James A. Bayard, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||George Gray|
|United States Ambassador
to the United Kingdom
|Preceded by||Robert Todd Lincoln|
|Succeeded by||John Hay|
October 29, 1828|
|Died||September 28, 1898
Mary W. Clymer
|Children||Thomas F. Bayard, Jr.|
Thomas Francis Bayard (October 29, 1828 – September 28, 1898) was an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served three terms as U.S. Senator from Delaware, and as U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Civil War and Reconstruction
- 3 United States Senator
- 4 Diplomatic career
- 5 Death and legacy
- 6 Almanac
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Sources
- 10 Places with more information
- 11 External links
Early life and family
Thomas F. Bayard was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1828, the second son of James A. Bayard, Jr. and Anne Francis. The Bayard family was prominent in Delaware: Bayard's father would be elected to the United States Senate in 1851. Among Thomas Bayard's ancestors were his grandfather, James A. Bayard, also a Senator; and great-grandfather, Richard Bassett, who served as Senator and Governor of Delaware. Several other relatives served in high office, including Bayard's uncle, Richard H. Bayard, another Delaware Senator, and his great-great-uncle, Nicholas Bayard, who was mayor of New York City. On his mother's side, Bayard descended from Philadelphia lawyer and financier Tench Francis, Jr.
Bayard was educated in private academies in Wilmington and, after his father moved to New York City for business reasons, in Flushing, New York. Bayard's father returned to Delaware in 1843, but Bayard remained in New York, working as a clerk in the mercantile firm of his brother-in-law, August Schermerhorn. In 1846, his father secured him a job in a banking firm in Philadelphia, and Bayard worked there for the next two years. Bayard was unsatisfied with his progress at the firm, and returned to Wilmington to read law at his father's office.
Bayard was admitted to the Bar in 1851, the year his father was elected to the United States Senate.[a] The son took on greater responsibilities in the family law office, and rose quickly in the legal profession. In 1853, he was appointed United States Attorney for Delaware, but spent only a year in the position before moving to Philadelphia to open a practice with his friend William Shippen, a partnership that would last until Shippen's death in 1858. While in Philadelphia, Bayard met Louise Lee, whom he married in October 1856. The couple would go on to have twelve children.
Civil War and Reconstruction
Bayard's return to Wilmington brought greater involvement in the political scene. James Bayard was a delegate to the 1860 Democratic National Convention, and his son attended with him. The elder Bayard supported Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia for the nomination, and told his son that he thought the eventual nominee, Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, was untrustworthy. The subsequent election of Republican Abraham Lincoln and secession of the seven states of the Deep South led both Bayards to fear for the future of the Union, and the elder Bayard to propose a convention of all the states to resolve their differences. In the meantime, as four more Southern states seceded, James Bayard encouraged his son to help organize an independent militia unit, the Delaware Guard; Thomas Bayard was commissioned as its First Lieutenant.
Opinion on secession was mixed in Delaware, but the Bayards were Peace Democrats and leaned to the Southern perspective. They blamed the war on abolitionist Republicans and believed that secession, while unwise, should not be suppressed with military force. Thomas Bayard spoke at a public meeting in Dover in June 1861, saying that "with this secession, or revolution, or rebellion, or by whatever name it may be called, the State of Delaware has naught to do." Even after the Civil War's first battles erupted in Virginia, Bayard continued to hope for peace. Meanwhile, by early 1862, the Delaware Guard came under suspicion of Southern sympathies and Major General Henry du Pont, commander of the state militia, ordered it disarmed. When Bayard refused to comply, he was briefly arrested before being released on parole.
Bayard's father was reelected in 1862, but resigned shortly thereafter in protest of the new oath of office, which demanded that Senators swear they had never borne arms against the United States nor given aid and encouragement to its enemies. Bayard and his father continued in private practice through the war. He was pleased with the Democrats' peace platform in 1864, but disappointed in the choice of nominee, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, a War Democrat. In 1866, Bayard successfully represented four South Carolinians in habeus corpus cases against the military. The following year, Senator George R. Riddle died and the legislature elected James Bayard to fill the remainder of the term, which ended in 1869.
Thomas Bayard became more politically active, as well, speaking at a public meeting in September 1867 against constitutional proposals for ending racial discrimination in voting rights. He also condemned the impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, who had succeeded to the presidency in 1865 after Lincoln's assassination and had foiled the Republican Congress's plans for Reconstruction of the Southern states. Both Bayards attended the 1868 Democratic National Convention and, although they were unenthusiastic about the nominee, Horatio Seymour, supported the unsuccessful ticket that fall.
United States Senator
Reaction to Reconstruction
James Bayard retired from the Senate when his term ended in 1869, and the legislature elected his son to the seat with little opposition. Thomas Bayard entered a Senate in which his fellow Democrats were greatly outnumbered; the new president, Ulysses S. Grant, was also a Republican. In the Reconstruction Era, Bayard took up the cause of the defeated South, speaking against the continued military rule of the conquered states and advocating a return to civilian (and conservative) government. He protested the requirement that readmitted Southern states ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection of the laws to all Americans, and inveighed against the continued presence of federal troops in the South. Bayard also spoke against each of the three Force Acts, which increased the federal government's power to protect black Southerners' civil and political rights in the face of rising violence by the Ku Klux Klan and other groups.
Although his protests were to little effect, Bayard continued to voice opposition to the majority party's plans for reconstructing the South. In 1871, he was named to a joint committee sent by Congress to investigate conditions in the South. The committee, like the Congress, had a Republican majority, and their report detailed many of the Klan's outrages against the newly freed slaves. Bayard dissented, questioning the veracity of the witnesses' testimony and stating that there were few incidents of lawlessness and that the South was generally at peace. The majority disagreed, and their findings were the basis for the Third Force Act later that year.
As more Democrats returned to the Senate, and as Republican goals shifted elsewhere, Bayard's ideas gained some traction, but were still largely in vain. In 1873, the Senate passed a resolution he wrote that demanded that Grant disclose how much government money was being expended in enforcing Reconstruction laws in the South, and to whom it was paid; the President ignored the request. The next year, Bayard opposed a Republican bill authorizing federal supervision of the upcoming election in Louisiana, attacking the Republican administration there as corrupt; he was unsuccessful, and the election was supervised by federal troops. He spoke forcefully against the proposed Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was to be the last such act for nearly a century. Again, he was unsuccessful and the bill, which guaranteed equal treatment in public accommodations regardless of race, passed Congress and became law.[b] Although ultimately unsuccessful, Bayard's actions endeared him to his conservative constituents, and he was elected to another six-year term in 1874.
From the start of his congressional career, Bayard was an advocate of hard money, i.e., a dollar backed by gold. During the Civil War, Congress had authorized a new form of currency, redeemable not in specie but in 6% government bonds. These United States Notes, popularly known as "greenbacks," had helped to finance the war when the government's gold supply did not keep pace with the expanding costs of maintaining the armies. When the crisis had passed, many in Congress (including Bayard) wanted to return the nation's currency to a gold standard as soon as possible. The process of retiring the greenbacks had already begun when Bayard was elected, but stopped when many congressmen thought the fiscal contraction too severe, and likely to be harmful to the economy. In 1869, Congress passed the Public Credit Act of 1869, which required that the government pay its bond holders in gold, not greenbacks. Bayard thought the bill not strong enough, since it did not require removing greenbacks from circulation, and he voted against it.
In 1873, a financial panic (known as the "Panic of 1873,") increased the pressure for greenbacks, as some in Congress believed that inflating the currency would ease the economic problems. Grant's Treasury Secretary, William Adams Richardson, reissued $26 million of the redeemed greenbacks, reversing the administration's previous policy of removing them from circulation. This ignited a four-month debate in the Senate over whether and when the government should return to backing all of its currency with gold—including the remaining greenbacks. The majority, including Bayard, favored resumption, but in the resolution that passed the Senate, Republican John Sherman of Ohio left vague the exact timing; Bayard feared it would be put off indefinitely. When Sherman proposed a bill that would remove greenbacks from circulation by exchanging them for bonds payable in gold, Bayard proposed an amendment limiting the amount of debt the government could incur. When the amendment was rejected, Bayard voted against the bill, believing that it was likely to cause inflation.
Election of 1876
Bayard's popularity with his party had grown in his time in the Senate, and by 1875 he was seen as a contender for the presidency. His advocacy of hard money had won him friends in some of the Northern cities, and his stance against Reconstruction made him popular throughout the South. Competing for those same factions of the Democratic party was New York governor Samuel J. Tilden, who had gained national fame for fighting the political corruption of William M. Tweed's Tammany Hall machine in New York City. Other contenders included Governor Thomas A. Hendricks of Indiana and Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock. Tilden's wealth and national renown helped gather delegates to his cause, and in June 1876, he entered the convention with a 404½ votes; Bayard placed fifth with 33. Tilden was nominated on the second ballot.
Displeased with the result, Bayard nonetheless supported the Democratic nominee against Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, the Republican candidate, speaking to large crowds in cities across the North and Midwest. On election day, the vote was close, but appeared to favor a Tilden victory. Three days later, Tilden appeared to have won 184 electoral votes, one short of a majority, while Hayes appeared to have 166 votes, with the votes of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina still in doubt.[c] Each party sent their people to observe the vote in the disputed states. Abram Hewitt, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, asked Bayard to travel to Louisiana along with several others, but Bayard refused to go.
The counts of the disputed ballots were inconclusive, with each state producing two sets of returns, one signed by Democratic officials, the other by Republicans, each claiming victory for their man. There was debate about which person or house of Congress was authorized to decide between the competing slates of electors, with the Republican Senate and the Democratic House each claiming priority. By January 1877, with the question still unresolved, Congress and President Grant agreed to submit the matter to a bipartisan Electoral Commission, which would be authorized to determine the fate of the disputed electoral votes. Bayard supported the idea, and visited Tilden in New York to convince him that it was the only alternative to stalemate and possible renewed civil war. The bill passed, with Bayard's vote, and provided for a commission of five representatives, five senators, and five Supreme Court justices. To ensure partisan balance, there would be seven Democrats and seven Republicans; the fifteenth member was to be a Supreme Court justice chosen by the other four on the commission (themselves two Republicans and two Democrats). Justice David Davis, an independent respected by both parties, was expected to be their choice. Bayard was among the seven Democrats chosen.
Davis upset the careful planning by accepting election to the Senate by the state of Illinois and refusing to serve on the commission. The remaining Supreme Court justices were all Republicans and, with the addition of Justice Joseph P. Bradley to the place intended for Davis, the commission had an 8-7 Republican majority. The commission met and considered all of the disputed ballots, awarding each to Hayes by an 8-7 party-line vote. Bayard and his fellow Democrats were outraged, and the Democratic majority in the House threatened to filibuster to prevent the results from being accepted. As the March 4 inauguration day approached, leaders of both parties met at Wormley's Hotel in Washington to negotiate a compromise. Republicans promised that, in exchange for Democratic acquiescence in the Committee's decision, Hayes would order federal troops to withdraw from the South and accept the election of Democratic governments in the remaining "unredeemed" states there. The Democrats agreed and the filibuster ended. Tilden later blamed Bayard, among others, for his role in creating the Electoral Commission, but Bayard defended his position, believing that the only alternative to the result was civil war.
In 1873, Congress had passed a Coinage Act that regulated which coins were legal tender. The list of legal coins duplicated that of the previous coinage act, leaving off only the silver dollar and two smaller coins. The rationale in the Treasury report accompanying the draft bill was that to mint a gold dollar and a silver dollar with different intrinsic values was problematic; as the silver dollar did not circulate and the gold did, it made sense to drop the unused coin. The bill passed easily, with Bayard's support, but quickly thereafter became unpopular. Opponents of the bill would later call this omission the "Crime of '73," and would mean it literally, circulating tales of bribery of Congressmen by foreign agents.
Over the next few years, pressure to reintroduce silver coinage grew, and cut across party lines. In 1877, Senator Stanley Matthews of Ohio introduced a resolution to pay the national debt in silver instead of gold. Bayard joined several Republicans in speaking and voting against the measure, calling it "folly," but it passed the Senate 42 to 20. Meanwhile, Democrat Richard P. Bland of Missouri furthered the silver cause from the House, proposing a free silver bill that would require the United States buy as much silver as miners could sell the government and strike it into coins, a system that would increase the money supply and aid debtors. In short, silver miners receive a silver dollar in exchange for bullion worth somewhat less than that, would sell the government metal worth fifty to seventy cents, and receive back a silver dollar. William B. Allison, a Republican from Iowa, agreed, and led the effort in the Senate. Allison offered an amendment in the Senate requiring the purchase of two to four million dollars per month of silver, but not allowing private deposit of silver at the mints. Thus, the seignorage, or difference between the face value of the coin and the worth of the metal contained within it accrued to the government's credit, not private citizens. Bayard saw this as the path to inflation and economic ruin. Again, he spoke against the bill, but like the Matthews resolution, the Bland–Allison Act passed both houses of Congress in 1878. President Hayes shared Bayard's fear of inflation, and vetoed the bill, but Congress mustered the two-thirds vote necessary to overturn the veto, and it became law.
Election of 1880
As the election of 1880 drew near, Bayard was again regarded as a likely candidate. Hayes had pledged himself to a one-term presidency, which meant the Republicans would not have the advantage of incumbency. On the Democratic side, Tilden was regarded as the natural choice, as many Democrats were still convinced he had been robbed of the office in 1876. Tilden's supporters saw Bayard as a rival, and sought to smear him by suggesting he had colluded with Republicans to defeat Tilden in 1876. Meanwhile in the House, Tilden supporter Clarkson Nott Potter of New York began an investigation into the 1876 election, hoping that evidence of Republican malfeasance would harm that party's candidate in 1880. In fact, the Potter committee had the opposite effect, as they uncovered telegrams from Tilden's nephew, William Tilden Pelton, that offered bribes to Southern Republicans in the disputed states to help Tilden claim their votes.[d] The telegrams doomed Tilden's hopes for the nomination, and boosted Bayard's chance among the erstwhile Tilden supporters.
Bayard resigned from the U.S. Senate to become U.S. Secretary of State in the first administration of U.S. President Grover Cleveland. He was in office from March 7, 1885, until March 6, 1889, and was best known for negotiating the Fishery Treaty, settling fishing rights between the United States and Canada in the North Atlantic. He also helped settle the Samoan question with Great Britain and Germany, and upheld the special interest of the United States in the Hawaiian Islands. His time in office also saw a dispute with Russia, known as the Bering Sea controversy, and an agreement with Spain over abolishing certain tariffs.
Afterwards, he spent four years in the private practice of law. In 1893, during the second administration of U.S. President Grover Cleveland, he was appointed the Ambassador to Great Britain. The first person with that title, he served until 1897.
Bayard is sometimes credited for building the first strong links between the United States and the United Kingdom.  His term was controversial, however, because while Ambassador, Bayard condemned the American policy of protectionism in trade, which he deemed "state socialism."
The Encyclopædia Britannica notes
his tall dignified person, unfailing courtesy, and polished, if somewhat deliberate, eloquence made him a man of mark in all the best circles. He was considered indeed by many Americans to have become too partial to English ways; and, for the expression of some criticisms regarded as unfavorable to his own countrymen, the House of Representatives went so far as to pass, on the November 7, 1895 a vote of censure on him. The value of Bayard's diplomacy was, however, fully recognized in the United Kingdom where he worthily upheld the traditions of a famous line of American ministers.
Death and legacy
Bayard died at his daughter’s home in Dedham, Massachusetts, on September 29, 1898, and was buried in the Old Swedes Episcopal Church Cemetery at Wilmington. U.S. Senator Thomas F. Bayard, Jr. was his son. There is a Thomas F. Bayard Elementary School in Wilmington and a statue on Kentmere Parkway in Brandywine Park, also in Wilmington.
The General Assembly chose the U.S. Senators, who took office March 4, for a six-year term. The U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassadors are appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the U.S. Senate.
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||March 4, 1869||March 3, 1875|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||March 4, 1875||March 3, 1881|
|U.S. Senator||Legislature||Washington||March 4, 1881||March 6, 1885|
|Secretary of State||Legislature||Washington||March 7, 1885||March 6, 1889||United States|
|United States Congressional Service|
|1869–1871||41st||Senate||Republican||Ulysses S. Grant||class 1|
|1871–1873||42nd||Senate||Republican||Ulysses S. Grant||class 1|
|1873–1875||43rd||Senate||Republican||Ulysses S. Grant||Engrossed Bills||class 1|
|1875–1877||44th||Senate||Republican||Ulysses S. Grant||Engrossed Bills||class 1|
|1877–1879||45th||Senate||Republican||Rutherford B. Hayes||Engrossed Bills||class 1|
|1879–1881||46th||Senate||Democratic||Rutherford B. Hayes||Finance, Chair
|1881–1883||47th||Senate||Democratic||James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
|Private Land Claims||class 1|
|1883–1885||48th||Senate||Republican||Chester A. Arthur||Private Land Claims||class 1|
|1885–1887||49th||Senate||Republican||Grover Cleveland||class 1|
- Before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913, Senators were chosen by their states' legislatures.
- The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was struck down in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883.
- One of the three electors from Oregon (a state Hayes had won) was disqualified, reducing Hayes's total to 165, and raising the disputed votes to 20.
- The Pelton telegrams were in cipher, which the committe was able to decript. Republicans had also sent ciphered dispatches, but the committee was unable to decode them.
- Spencer 1880, p. 13.
- Spencer 1880, pp. 1–9.
- Tansill 1946, p. 4.
- Tansill 1946, p. 5.
- Tansill 1946, p. 6.
- Spencer 1880, p. 15.
- Tansill 1946, p. 7.
- Tansill 1946, p. 8.
- Tansill 1946, p. 9.
- Tansill 1946, p. 13.
- Spencer 1880, pp. 17–18.
- Tansill 1946, p. 14.
- Tansill 1946, p. 15.
- Currie 2006, p. 1155.
- Tansill 1946, p. 19.
- Tansill 1946, p. 20.
- Tansill 1946, p. 21.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 22–23.
- Tansill 1946, p. 23.
- House 1940, p. 48.
- House 1940, pp. 52–54.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 32–39.
- Tansill 1946, p. 48.
- Tansill 1946, p. 50.
- Tansill 1946, p. 51.
- Tansill 1946, p. 90.
- Tansill 1946, p. 92.
- Tansill 1946, p. 100.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 26–27.
- Dam 1981, p. 373.
- Tansill 1946, p. 28.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 87–88.
- House 1940, p. 61.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 100–101.
- Tansill 1946, p. 104.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 64–67.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 121–122.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 131–132.
- Tansill 1946, p. 136.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 126–128.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 138–139.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 145–154.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 152–153.
- Robinson 1968, p. 158.
- Robinson 1968, p. 161.
- Tansill 1946, p. 170.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 159-161.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 166-171.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 171-183.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 182-184.
- Robinson 1968, pp. 185-189.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 199–200.
- Friedman 1990, pp. 1163–1165.
- Tansill 1946, p. 205.
- Friedman 1990, pp. 1165–1167.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 207–208.
- Tansill 1946, p. 209.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 206–207.
- Tansill 1946, p. 210.
- Tansill 1946, p. 213.
- Guenther 1983, pp. 283–284.
- Guenther 1983, pp. 289–291.
- Guenther 1983, p. 291.
- Tansill 1946, pp. 220–221.
- Chisholm 1911.
- "BAYARD, Thomas Francis, Sr., (1828 - 1898)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- Hancock, Harold Bell (1946). Delaware During the Civil War. Wilmington, Delaware: Historical Society of Delaware. ISBN 0-924117-24-9.
- Nevins, Allan (1932). Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage. New York, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co. OCLC 1373564.
- Robinson, Lloyd (2001) . The Stolen Election: Hayes versus Tilden—1876. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-7653-0206-9.
- Spencer, Edward (1880). The Public Life and Services of T. F. Bayard. New York, New York: D. Appleton & Co.
- Tansill, Charles Callan (1940). The Foreign Policy of Thomas F. Bayard. New York, New York: Fordham University Press. OCLC 444777.
- Tansill, Charles Callan (1946). The Congressional Career of Thomas F. Bayard. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. OCLC 1518321.
- Welch, Richard E. (1988). The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 0-7006-0355-7.
- Campbell, Charles S. (March 1958). "The Dismissal of Lord Sackville". The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 44 (4): 635–648. JSTOR 1886600.
- Currie, David P. (Autumn 2006). "The Civil War Congress". The University of Chicago Law Review 73 (4): 1131–1226. JSTOR 4495583.
- Dam, Kenneth W. (1981). "The Legal Tender Cases". The Supreme Court Review 1981: 367–412. JSTOR 3109549.
- Friedman, Milton (December 1990). "The Crime of 1873". Journal of Political Economy 98 (6): 1159–1194. doi:10.1086/261730. JSTOR 2937754.
- Guenther, Karen (January 1983). "Potter Committee Investigation of the Disputed Election of 1876". The Florida Historical Quarterly 61 (3): 281–295. JSTOR 30149125.
- House, Albert V. (February 1940). "Northern Congressional Democrats as Defenders of the South During Reconstruction". The Journal of Southern History 6 (1): 46–71. JSTOR 2191938.
- Kennedy, P.M. (June 1972). "Bismarck's Imperialism: The Case of Samoa, 1880–1890". The Historical Journal 15 (2): 261–283. JSTOR 2638121.
Places with more information
- Delaware Historical Society; website; 505 Market St, Wilmington, Delaware; (302) 655-7161
- University of Delaware; Library website; 181 South College Ave, Newark, Delaware; (302) 831-2965
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas F Bayard.|
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Find a Grave
- The Political Graveyard
- Thomas F. Bayard papers, 1780-1899 (Library of Congress)