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GARFIELD, James Abram [1831-1881] -- American legislator, soldier & 20 POTUS

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United States, POTUS 20

GARFIELD, JAMES ABRAM, twentieth president of the United States, was born Nov. 19, 1831, in Cuyahoga county, Ohio.

He learned the carpenter's trade at the age of fourteen; attended Geauga seminary, Hiram College, and graduated at Williams college, Massachusetts, in 1856, and earned the necessary money at his trade and teaching school. He then became professor in Hiram College, and in 1857 was made its president.

He married Miss Lucretia Rudolph in 1858.

In 1859 he was elected state senator. Studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1861. Enlisted Aug. 16, 1861, and Sept. 5 was commissioned colonel of the forty-second Ohio infantry. On Jan. 10, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and afterward to that of major-general. Having been elected to congress in 1862, while absent in the field, he resigned his commission in the army upon taking his seat in congress in December, 1863. He was re-elected eight times in succession, and was finishing his eighteenth year when elected president. In January, 1880, the Ohio legislature elected him United States senator for six years from March 4, 1881.

The republican national convention met at Chicago June 2, 1880. General Garfield headed the Ohio delegation, and presented the name of John Sherman as a candidate for president. The first ballot was taken June 7, and stood: U. S. Grant, 304; James G. Blaine, 284; John Sherman, 93; George F. Edmunds, 34; Elihu B. Washburne, 30, and William Windom, 10 votes. On the third ballot Garfield received one vote, and from one to two on each succeeding ballot up to the thirty-third, except five ballots, when he received none. The balloting continued until June 8. On the thirty-fourth ballot Garfield got 17 votes. The thirty-fifth stood: Grant, 213; Blaine, 257; Sherman, 99; Edmunds, 11; Washburne, 23; Windom, 3, and Garfield, 50. The thirty-sixth and last vote gave Garfield, 399; Grant, 307; Blaine, 42; Washburne, 5, and Sherman, 3.

After an adjournment, Chester A. Arthur, who was also a delegate to the convention, was nominated for vice-president. They were elected Nov. 4. Garfield was then representative in congress, United States senator-elect and president-elect. Nov. 8 he resigned his seat in congress, declined the office of senator, and remained at his home at Mentor, Ohio, until his inauguration, March 4, 1881.

On July 2 he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau in a railroad depot in Washington. He was removed to Long Branch, N.J., Sept. 6, where he died from the effects of the wound Sept. 19, 1881.

He held political offices about twenty-one years, and died poor. HE
He was not only bilingual but ambidextrous. In fact, he could write in two classic languages, Greek and Latin, simultaneously.  -30-
 

Chronology

1856
Graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, MA
1857
Classics professor at Hiram College, OH
1857-1861
President of Hiram College
1858
Married Lucretia Rudolph
1859
Elected state senator (Ohio)
1861
Admitted to the bar
1861
Enlisted and commissioned colonel
1862
Promoted to brigadier-general
1862
Elected in absentia to US Senate
1863
Promoted to major-general
1863/12/05
Resigned his commission, on advice from Lincoln, to take his seat in congress
1880/01/13
Elected to the US senate by the Ohio legislature for the term beginning March 4, 1881
1880/06/08
Nominated by the republican national convention as candidate for President of the United States
1880/11/04
Elected President of the United States by a slim margin
1880/11/08
Resigns his senate post
1880/12/23
Declines the senate post (of Jan. 13)
1881/03/04
Inaugurated 20th <4POTUS>
1881/07/02
Shot by Charles J. Guiteau in a Washington rail depot
1881/09/06
Removed to Long Branch, NJ
1881/09/19
Died of his wound

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