Library » About James Abram Garfield

About James Abram Garfield

James A. Garfield
20th President of the United States

  • 1831:  Born in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
  • 1856:  Graduate of Williams College.
  • 1857-1861: Teacher and head of Hiram College, Ohio.           
  • 1861:  Colonel, Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment.                 
  • 1862:  Brigadier General.                                             
  • 1863:  Major General.                                                         
  • 1863-1880:  U.S. House of Representatives.     
  • 1869-1871:  Chairman, Banking Committee.
  • 1880:  Elected President of the United States.
  • 1881:  Shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2nd.
  • 1881:  Died from infections brought on by gunshot wounds, September 19th.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Garfield was the first left-handed president.
  • James A. Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other -- at the same time.
  • He was the last of seven presidents born in a log cabin, and weighed 10 pounds at birth.
  • He was the first president to campaign in two languages, English and German.
  • Garfield was a member of the House, Senator-elect and President-elect at the same time (on election day, November 2, 1880).
  • Garfield's mother was the first president's mother to attend her son's inauguration.
  • At the age of only twenty-six, Garfield had become president of Hiram College. Although, at the time the school only had five faculty members.
  • After Garfield was shot, doctors repeatedly probed for the bullet with non-sterile instruments.  This would result in blood poisoning and would eventually kill him.

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"Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained." 
     - James A. Garfield