James A Garfield
James Garfield Facts | 20th US PRESIDENT
US President: 1881
US Vice President: Chester Arthur
Political Party: Republican
Birth: November 19, 1831 in Moreland Hills, Ohio
Death: September 19, 1881 in Elberon, New Jersey
Education: Hiram College, Williams College
20th President of the United States (1881)
United States Senator-elect from Ohio (1880 – 1881)
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations (1871 – 1875)
Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services (1869 – 1871)
Chmn. of the House Committee on Military Affairs (1867 – 1869)
First Ladies: Lucretia Rudolph
Children: Eliza Garfield, Harry Augustus Garfield, James Rudolph Garfield, Mary “Mollie” Garfield, Irvin McDowell Garfield, Abram Garfield, Edward “Ned” Garfield
Pictures of Lucretia Garfield from the Library of Congress
Facts about James A Garfield
Garfield was the first left handed president. Also, known as the first ambidextrous president. It is said you could ask him a question in English and he could simultaneously write the answer in Greek with one hand and in Latin with the other.
- James Garfield is the only president to ever have been a preacher. He was a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
- James Garfield met his future wife in 1849 when both were students at Geauga Academy in Chester, Ohio.
- In 1880, Garfield was elected to the US Senate for Ohio. However, he would never take office due to winning the presidency in November.
- To stay in shape and build muscles, James Garfield liked to juggle Indian clubs, a popular exercise device during the late 19th and early 20th century.
- Garfield lay in the White House mortally wounded and near death for almost three months. Doctors were unable to locate the bullet in his back.
- He initiated the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, a federal law passed in 1883 that instituted the practice of awarding government jobs on the basis of merit rather than political association.
- In support of civil rights, James Garfield appointed former slaves to government positions and recommended a universal education system funded by the federal government that would be free to all Americans.
James Garfield facts show that Garfield’s death was a turning point in the history of American medicine. His death spurred positive reforms that furthered the use of antiseptics and sterilization methods. Garfield is the only person in American history to be a U.S. Representative, a Senate-elect and a President-elect all at the same time.
James A Garfield Childhood
James Abram Garfield was born on November 19, 1831, in a log cabin in Orange Township, Ohio. Garfield’s father, a wrestler, died when Garfield was an infant.
As an avid reader of adventure novels, Garfield aspired to become a sailor. Instead, as a teen, he settled for a position towing barges up the Ohio Canal to help support his impoverished family. Garfield excelled in academics, particularly Latin and Greek. From 1851 to 1854, he attended the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (later renamed Hiram College), and later enrolled at Williams College.
After completing his studies, Garfield returned to the Eclectic Institute as an instructor and administrator. In his spare time, he spoke publicly in support of the Republican Party and abolition. On November 11, 1858, Garfield married Lucretia Rudolph, a former pupil. They ultimately had seven children.
In 1859, Garfield began to study law. At the same time, he embarked on a career in politics. Elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1859, serving until 1861.
Where is James A Garfield buried?
Garfield’s funeral train left Long Branch on the same special track that brought him there, traveling over tracks blanketed with flowers and past houses adorned with flags. His body, transported to the Capitol and then to Cleveland for burial. More than 70,000 citizens, some waiting over three hours, passed by Garfield’s coffin as his body lay in state in Washington; later, on September 25, 1881, in Cleveland, more than 150,000 – a number equal to the entire population of that city – likewise paid their respects.
His body was temporarily interred in a vault in Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery until his permanent memorial was built. On May 19, 1890, Garfield’s body was permanently interred, with great solemnity and fanfare, in a mausoleum in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.
How did James A Garfield die?
Garfield, shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled office seeker, at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. After eleven weeks of intensive and other care Garfield died of blood poisoning due to the unsanitary manner in which the physicians attended to his wounds, in Elberon, New Jersey.”