James A. Garfield’s Biographical Information

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A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck

The spirit should not grow old

The right reason is stronger than force

Ideas control the world

By James A. Garfield

Biographical Information

James A. Garfield was born on November 19, 1831, and his humble background saw him grow into a leader looking to bring positive change to the lives of all Americans. His political career started when he won the elections for a college presidency seat, and he would later serve as a congressman and a general in the military. Garfield was brought up in Orange Township, Ohio, where he attended the current Hiram College, where he worked as a lecturer after his studies. He also studied at Williams College. Garfield married Lucretia Rudolph in 1858, and they had seven children. He enrolled in law school in 1859, and he became the Senator of Ohio the same year. Garfield joined the army as a lieutenant colonel in 1861 and joined the Civil War as a major advocate of the abolition of slavery.

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Resident Life in the White House

In 1880, Garfield, the presidential nominee of the Republican Party won the seat alongside his running mate, Chester A. Arthur. Garfield became the 20th President of the United States after serving in Congress for nine terms (Skidmore, 2014). During his 200 days in the White House, Garfield was quite busy because he influenced the development of reforms in various government agencies, including the Post Office Department. He also reasserted the superiority of the Presidency over the Senate to ensure that the office of the president had the power to appoint various executives in the government. His actions revealed that he was willing to implement policies that would ensure that civil rights prevailed in the United States.

One of Garfield’s primary goals was the development of an education system in the public sector that would provide free education to every citizen. This was an initiative aimed at providing the minority ethnic groups with a chance to enhance their education and qualifications for employment, which would empower them. He also appointed some former slaves to the government to act as representatives for the issues facing the minority groups, especially African Americans. Garfield was shot at a train station by a bitter attorney who had been denied the chance of serving in his government (Pappas & Joharifard, 2013). He was placed under close monitoring as experts, including Alexander Graham Bell, tried to find the bullet (Rosen, 2016). Garfield succumbed to an infection and excessive internal bleeding on September 19, 1881 (Ackerman, 2012).

Facts about President Garfield

President Garfield was born in a log cabin, and he was the last president of the United States from such a background. When he became president, Garfield’s inauguration was one of a kind because it was the first presidential inauguration where the mother of the president attended. In 1881, the United States had a total of three presidents following Garfield’s inauguration and death. Garfield is the only president of the United States who was a preacher before taking an interest in politics. Garfield’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate was a surprise because he did not expect to win. He also became the first American president to be a sitting member of the House of Representatives. Sadly, Garfield was the second American president to be assassinated (Stewart, 2016). He was almost saved by physics (Overduin, Molloy, & Selway, 2014).


Ackerman, K. D. (2012). Dark horse: The surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield. New York City, NY: Kenneth Ackerman.

Overduin, J., Molloy, D., & Selway, J. (2014). Physics almost saved the president! Electromagnetic induction and the assassination of James Garfield: a teaching opportunity in introductory physics. The Physics Teacher, 52(3), 137-139.

Pappas, T. N., & Joharifard, S. (2013). Did James A. Garfield die of cholecystitis? Revisiting the autopsy of the 20th president of the United States. The American Journal of Surgery, 206(4), 613.

Rosen, F. (2016). Murdering the president: Alexander Graham Bell and the race to save James Garfield. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

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Skidmore, M. J. (2014). Maligned Presidents: The Late 19th Century. New York City, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Stewart, G. (2016). The clinical aspects of the assassination of President James Garfield (1881). Anz Journal of Surgery, 86, 155.

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1. StudyCorgi. "James A. Garfield's Biographical Information." April 9, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/james-a-garfields-biographical-information/.


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StudyCorgi. 2021. "James A. Garfield's Biographical Information." April 9, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/james-a-garfields-biographical-information/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'James A. Garfield's Biographical Information'. 9 April.

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