James A. Garfield (1831 – 1881) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: James A. Garfield is remembered as one of the four "lost Presidents" who served rather uneventfully after the Civil War. Of the four lost Presidents—Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, and Harrison—Garfield is best remembered for his dramatic assa… more life in brief » Essays about James A. Garfield Life in Brief Life in Brief: James A. Garfield is remembered as one of the four "lost Presidents" who served rather uneventfully after the Civil War. Of the four lost Presidents—Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, and Harrison—Garfield is best remembered for his dramatic assassination a mere 100 days after he assumed office.… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: The youngest of three living children, James Abram Garfield was born on November 19, 1831, on a frontier farm in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He spent his youth helping his near penniless, widowed mother, Eliza, work her farm outside of Cleveland, Ohio. He never knew his father, Abram Garfield, a strong m… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1880: President Rutherford B. Hayes had vowed to be a one-term President, and he kept his pledge. When Republicans convened in Chicago in June 1880, the fight for the nomination stood between former President Ulysses S. Grant, a Stalwart, and James G. Blaine, the Ha…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: The great American novelist Thomas Wolfe, in his book From Death to Morning (1935), once referred to Garfield as one of the "lost presidents": Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and Hayes, time of my father's time, blood of his blood, life of his life, . . . were the lost Americans: their gra…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: James A. Garfield's foreign policy activities were limited to filling vacant diplomatic positions, most notably his appointments of writer James Russell Lowell as U.S. minister to England and Lew Wallace, a former Union general and popular writer, to the post in Turkey. Garfield had hoped that …Death of a President Death of the President: On July 2, 1881, at 9:20 a.m., James A. Garfield was shot in the back as he walked with Secretary of State Blaine in Washington's Baltimore and Potomac train station. The proud President was preparing to leave for Williams College—he planned to introduce his two sons to his alma mater.…Family Life Family Life: Because Garfield never knew his father, he always held a special place in his heart for his mother, to whom he credited his success. Eliza Ballou Garfield, the first mother of a President to attend her son's inauguration, survived her son's death by seven years. She lived at the White House …The American Franchise The American Franchise: In the decade prior to Garfield's election in 1880, Republicans and Democrats were nearly equal in number in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In most years, a slight majority of Democrats in the House faced a bare majority of Republicans in the Senate. This equal division in governme…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: Murdered within months of his inauguration, Garfield served as President too briefly for him to have left much of an impact. Still, his legacy is far more ambiguous than most people realize. His replacement of Merritt shows him not only lacking judgment but acting as a spoilsman himself. His secreta… About His Administration First Lady Lucretia Garfield Vice President Chester Arthur (1881) Secretary of State James G. Blaine (1881) Secretary of the Interior Samuel J. Kirkwood (1881) Attorney General Isaac Wayne MacVeagh (1881) Postmaster General Thomas L. James (1881) Secretary of the Treasury William Windom (1881) Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt (1881) Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln (1881) Facts about James A. Garfield Term: 20th President of the United States (1881 – 1881) Born: November 19, 1831, Orange Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio Political Party: Republican Died: September 19, 1881 Nickname: None Education: Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (now Hiram College), Williams College (graduated 1856) Religion: Disciples of Christ Marriage: November 11, 1858, to Lucretia Rudolph (1832–1918) Children: Eliza A. (1860–1863), Harry A. (1863–1942), James R. (1865–1950), Mary (1867–1947), Irvin M. (1870–1951), Abram (1872–1958), Edward (1874–1876) Career: Teacher, Public Official Buried: Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio WritingsDiary, 1848–1874 (2 vols., 1967), ed. by H. J. Brown and F. D. Williams James A. Garfield Image Gallery More images » Citation Information Consulting Editor Justus Doenecke Professor Doenecke is a professor emeritus of history at the New College of Florida. His writings include: The Presidencies of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur (University Press of Kansas, 1981) Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Foreign Policies, 1933–1945 (With Mark S. Stoler, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005) Chester A. Arthur » « Rutherford B. Hayes American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!