James Garfield Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1831 - 1881 *** Full Name: James Abram Garfield *** Occupation: American Lawyer, Teacher, Lay Preacher and 20th President of the United States *** Date of Birth: James Garfield was born on November 19th 1831 *** Place of Birth: James Garfield was born in a log cabin in Orange Township, Moreland Hills, Ohio, United States *** Family background: His father was Abram Garfield and her mother was Eliza Ballou. When he was a very small boy, James’ parents joined the Disciples of Christ, a choice that would ultimately shaped his life in a significant way. His father also died when he was two years old and it would be nine years before his mother remarried *** Early life and childhood: He grew up four older siblings although not all survived *** Education: James Garfield attended Geauga Academy followed by Western Reserve Eclectic Institute and finally Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts ***
James Garfield Fact 1: James Garfield was born on November 19th 1831 and during the 19th century period in history when slavery would largely become abolished during this century with slave revolts in Britain, Haiti and France. In particular in America the Civil War of 1861 to 1864 saw the abolition of slavery and in England the Slavery Abolition Act saw the British Royal Navy put an end to the global slave trade.
James Garfield Fact 2: Having met Lucretia Rudolph originally at Geauga Academy he again met up with her at the Institute where they began courting.
James Garfield Fact 3: He completed his education as salutatorian but he also learned some very important social skills as well including respect of those from different social backgrounds with himself being from the unsophisticated west.
James Garfield Fact 4: He received more at Williams than just an education, it was where he became politically aware and it was there that the seeds of become a politician as a career began to develop.
James Garfield Fact 5: He would marry Lucretia in 1858 and together they had seven children of which five survived infancy.
James Garfield Fact 6: Shortly after getting married he decided to read law and would be admitted to the bar in 1861 and in the same became a member of the Republican Party.
James Garfield Fact 7: In 1861 as the country went to war Garfield knew that he belonged in the Union Army but when Governor William Dennison asked that he refrain from joining, he reluctantly agreed and began appropriating funds and raise money to buy arms and equipment.
James Garfield Fact 8: Eventually he would be commissioned into the 42nd Ohio Infantry regiment as a colonel. However this particular infantry existed on paper only and Garfield would be responsible for filling the ranks.
James Garfield Fact 9: Once this was done and his troops ready to fight they were sent to Ohio. He soon received a promotion and was assigned to join Major General Ulysses S. Grant.
James Garfield Fact 10: Although there was a war raging the politicians still needed to run the country and Garfield was approached by friends to run for Congress which he agreed to do but would still give him time to continue his service to his country for a while longer.
James Garfield Fact 11: Post war Garfield returned to his law practice as well as becoming a proponent of black suffrage although he was known to have doubts with regard to having African Americans as political equals.
James Garfield Fact 12: In 1880 having been elected as Senator, several Republicans thought Garfield a more than suitable candidate than the nominee Garfield himself was proposing, John Sherman, for the Republican presidential nomination.
James Garfield Fact 13: Sherman had very few supporters but Garfield was being supported much to his chagrin. When the two main nominees did not garner enough votes, a dark horse candidate was offered and so Garfield was entered into the race as a nominee and quickly votes for Garfield began to accumulate giving him 399 votes of the 379 that were required although he did protest that it was not what he had sought.
James Garfield Fact 14: His running mate was chosen from Conkling’s political machine and was Chester A. Arthur as vice president.
James Garfield Fact 15: The race was close but Garfield and Arthur won through to become the next president and vice president of the United States.
James Garfield Fact 16: Having won the election and in preparation for the inauguration, Garfield was putting together a cabinet that he hoped would bring some peace.
James Garfield Fact 17: As a result of his time being taken up with cabinet matters it meant the time needed to prepare an inaugural speech that would live up to his oratorical standards was sadly lacking and although his speech covered what was necessary it was however very disappointing.
James Garfield Fact 18: During his presidency Garfield was a strong believer in reform not only within the political offices but also within the civil service, in particular at that time in the Post Office Department.
James Garfield Fact 19: On July 2nd 1881 as President Garfield was about to board his train for New Jersey where he would spend the summer. While on the platform he was approached and shot twice. James Garfield Fact 20: The assassin was Charles J. Guiteau, a man known to members of the White House as an office seeker. He had sought a position as consul in Paris but he spoke no French and so had been denied the position or any other position simply because he was qualified and had convinced himself that if Garfield was dead and Arthur were President he would be given a job.
James Garfield Fact 21: The shot President was immediately transported to an office in the station where doctors were able to examine him. He had been shot in the arm. The shot in the arm was merely a flesh wound but the shot to the back shattered a rib and lodged itself in his abdomen. The doctors examining him were doing so with unwashed hands.
James Garfield Fact 22: Once back in the White House and further examinations having taken place, the bullet lodged in his abdomen was irretrievable. Although the President seemed to be making a slow recovery, albeit he was unable to stand, he had been sitting up and was able to accomplish a small amount of writing.
James Garfield Fact 23: Eager to escape the heat and unhealthy atmosphere of Washington in the height of summer, he was transported to a seaside mansion in Elberon in September but unfortunately his health did not improve, in fact he began to deteriorate.
James Garfield Fact 24: President James Garfield died on November 19th 1881 aged forty nine years. His body laid to rest at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.
Influence & Legacy: s a result of Garfield’s untimely assassination it cannot be said whether or not he would have been one of America’s better presidents or worse ones. As it stands there are those that have said it was likely he would not have been one of the better ones, certainly there were doubts as to whether or not he would have been able to contend with the recession that began the year he died. What can be said for James Garfield was that he died in service to his country.
Short Facts about James Garfield for Kids
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