New York , NY
Major General Garfield, 20th American
Chicago Historical Society
Photograph - Photograph
James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831 - September 19, 1881) served as the 20th President of the United States. He worked at many jobs to finance his higher education at Williams College, Massachusetts, from where he graduated in 1856. A year later, he entered politics as a Republican, after campaigning for the party's antislavery platform in Ohio. In 1860 was admitted to practice law while serving as an Ohio State Senator (1859-1861). He opposed Confederate secession, served as a Major General in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was first elected to Congress in 1862 and served nine consecutive terms. His accomplishments as President included a controversial resurgence of Presidential authority above Senatorial courtesy in executive appointments, energizing US naval power, and purging corruption in the Post Office Department. He made notable diplomatic and judiciary appointments, including a US Supreme Court justice. Garfield appointed several African-Americans to prominent federal positions. He advocated a bi-metal monetary system, agricultural technology, an educated electorate, civil rights for African-Americans, and proposed substantial civil service reform. His presidency lasted just 200 days, from March 4, 1881, until his death on September 19, 1881, as a result of being shot by assassin Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. He suffered a massive heart attack and a ruptured splenic artery aneurysm, following blood poisoning and bronchial pneumonia. He was 49 years old.
March 7th, 2013
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