James Abram Garfield – 20th president of America
James Abram Garfield was the 20th US President (March – September 1881), versatile self-taught prodigy, Republican Party activist. He is the only president in US history elected to this position when he was a member of the House of Representatives. He was seriously wounded, three months after taking office and died two and a half months later.
James Abram Garfield was born on November 19, 1831 in a log cabin near Orange, Ohio. He grew up on his family’s farm. Garfield graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts in 1856. In 1858 Garfield married Lucretia Rudolph. They had seven children.
He worked as a boatswain, a teacher at the folk school and finally became a teacher and director of one of the institutions of higher education. He also was engaged in the legal profession and was a minister in the Ohio Senate.
When the American Civil War began in 1861, Garfield formed a volunteer regiment in Ohio and took part in military operations in Kentucky. Then he was the Chief of Staff and on January 11, 1862 he was promoted to brigadier general.
In 1862 he was elected a member of Congress, where he became one of the prominent figures in the Republican Party.
In December 1863 Garfield was elected to the House of Representatives in recognition of his military service.
In 1880 the Ohio legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate. At the national convention in Chicago on the presidential elections in 1880 Garfield supported the candidacy of his friend Sherman, but when neither Sherman nor Grant did not receive proper majority, Garfield himself was declared a candidate for the presidency. He took office in March 1881.
Garfield’s presidency lasted only six months. On July 2, President was seriously wounded by Charles Guiteau. The president was at the railway station in Washington, DC, when he was shot in the back with a revolver. “Oh my God! What is it?” – he exclaimed and was sent to the hospital.
James Abram Garfield died on September 19, 1881 in New Jersey. The cause of his death was a bad treatment. Vice President Chester A. Arthur became president the next day.
Guiteau was hanged in 1882. Russian terrorist organization Narodnaya Volya that killed Alexander II in the same year condemned Guiteau’s assassination.
– Garfield was able to write in Greek with his left hand and in Latin with his right hand.
– He offered a new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.