Where Did the Expression “Mending Fences” Come From and What Does the Phrase Mean?

In 1880, the strong-willed senator John Sherman was testing the water for a presidential nomination.

He slipped out of Washington but was followed to his Ohio farm by a reporter who found the senator talking with a high-ranking party official while standing near a fence.

When the reporter asked what they were doing, the response, “We’re mending fences,” gave him his headline, and it became a new phrase for healing relationships.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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