網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

journey, he expressed lively chagrin at being absent from the only military "excitement" in which his regiment was involved.

Although the regiment saw no service worth the name, it was well drilled, and in every way thoroughly prepared for the field. The emergency which had called it out soon passed, and on August 13 it was returned safely to Cleveland after a disagreeable journey in a train of cattle cars. On August 23 it was mustered out, having served for one hundred and ten days. Jay C. Morse and George W. Chapin, later to become brothersin-law of Mark Hanna, were sergeants in Company C, and Edward 0. Wolcott, subsequently Senator of the United States from Colorado, and George K. Nash, subsequently governor of Ohio, were privates in other companies. The historian of the regiment, 'Major' Gleason, refers to Lieutenant Hanna as a "jolly, auburn-haired, freckle-faced youth," while his lieutenant-colonel, John N. Frazee, supplies the following description: "Lieutenant Hanna must have been six feet or over in height, weighing from 160 to 180 pounds; complexion fair, full-faced, with side whiskers; full-chested, square-shouldered; in fact a very manly man and thoroughly conscientious in the discharge of his duties."

At the time of his service in the fortifications of Washington, Mark Hanna was not so much interested in the defence of his country as he might have been. Or rather he was interested in something else very much more. He was at that moment head over heels in love, and just before starting for the front his loveaffair had developed into a recognized engagement. To leave Cleveland at such a crisis was exasperating to a young man who had been obliged to overcome obstacles before he was accepted as suitor for the lady's hand; and during the whole of his enforced absence he was more preoccupied with the end of his service than with its duties and opportunities. As he was to be married soon after his return, he counted the days which he had still to wait, and was not happy until the orders were given for the journey back to Cleveland. His wedding did take place a few weeks after he was mustered out of the service; and we must now turn to the series of incidents which culminated in his marriage, and the no less important series of incidents which were its immediate consequences.

CHAPTER VI

MARRIAGE AND ITS RESULTS

The lady to whom Mark Hanna was married in September, 1864, was Miss C. Augusta Rhodes. They had met at a'bazaar in the spring of 1862, just after Miss Rhodes had returned from a finishing school in New York City. On that occasion Mark had won the favor both of mother and daughter by helping them out of an embarrassing situation. An acquaintance followed, and the two young people promptly fell in love with each other. Mark was an eligible suitor, and there was no good reason why an engagement should not have immediately followed. But when Miss Rhodes's father was approached, he met the suitor with a peremptory and probably an explosive negative.

Mrs. Hanna gives two reasons to account for the opposition. Her father, Mr. Daniel P. Rhodes, a coal and iron merchant and one of Cleveland's most successful business men, was a vigorous and self-willed man. Behind his opposition was apparently the instinctive repugnance which certain fathers have to the marriage of their children; but of course he had what appeared to be a better reason at the end of his tongue. He did not want his daughter to marry Mark Hanna because he did not like the young man's politics — which is not such a bad reason at a time when differences of political opinion were deluging the country with blood. Daniel P. Rhodes was a strong Democrat, and unlike many of his partisan associates in the Middle West, he was more of a Democrat than he was a unionist. Stephen A. Douglas was distantly related to him, and he had taken an intense interest in Douglas's political career. The defeat of his favorite in 1860 so embittered him that he could not forgive the Republicans, who brought it about. He used to say to the young suitor, "I like you very well, Mark, but you are a damned screecher for freedom."

The order was issued that the two young people should be kept apart; but it was an order easier to issue than to execute. Mark was captain of the Ydrad Boat Club, and both conspicuous and ubiquitous in Cleveland society. The order to keep Miss Rhodes away from her lover was equivalent to an order for her to stay at home. She was forbidden to attend the dances given during the winter by the Boat Club, an enforced isolation which increased her unhappiness. Mark does not appear to have been absolutely forbidden the house, but his visits were discouraged, and he saw Miss Rhodes, if at all, only under surveillance.

For a long time the young suitor appeared to make no headway. Daniel Rhodes was really in earnest, and he was not the man to yield except under compulsion. In a country where the exercise of parental authority is sanctioned by public opinion the opposition might have proved fatal, but in the land of freedom a way is usually found to bend a stubborn parent to the will of his offspring. Mark Hanna was as obstinate a man as Daniel Rhodes, and he was armed with the swords both of Passion and of Righteousness. He persisted. Miss Rhodes was very unhappy. She pleaded and wept. Her health suffered. There was no telling what might happen. Daniel Rhodes had no peace at home or abroad. Finally he yielded. Before Mark started for Washington the engagement was recognized, and on Sept. 27, 1864, he was married to Miss Rhodes in St. John's Church — the groom being a little over twenty-seven years old and the bride twenty-one. The day of the ceremony Daniel Rhodes said to the triumphant groom, "It's all over now, Mark, but a month ago I would like to have seen you at the bottom of Lake Erie."

Daniel Rhodes may have consoled himself for the loss of a daughter by the idea that he had acquired a son. After the marriage he did his best to keep the young couple near him and under his thumb. When they returned from their wedding trip Mark Hanna and his wife lived for a while in the Rhodes mansion on Franklin Avenue, and more than a year elapsed before they set up an establishment of their own. Early in 1866 they moved into a small house on Prospect Street, in spite of the opposition of Mr. Rhodes; but their move towards independence was not a success. The young couple had one dif

[graphic][merged small]
« 上一頁繼續 »