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James Garfield was the 20th President of the United States, who served for only six months in 1881. He was a military man, a U.S Representative, and a Senator. Charles J. Guiteau was found guilty of assassinating him. For more information on James Garfield read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- James Garfield was born on November 19, 1831 in Orange Township, Ohio, and was one of the five children of Abram Garfield and Eliza Ballou. Young James learned how to read and write at the village school, and at the age of 16, he left home to work on canal boats between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but returned after few months due to illness. He worked as a carpenter and a part-time teacher to support his education at the Geauga Seminary. From 1851 to 1854, James attended the Eclectic Institute in Hiram, Ohio, and afterwards, he enrolled at the Williams College in Massachusetts where he graduated with honors in 1856.
- On November 11, 1858, James married Lucretia Rudolph with whom he had seven children. In 1861, he passed the bar after studying law by himself.
- In 1859, Garfield was elected as a state Senator in Ohio, where he served until 1861. In August of the same year, he became a colonel while commanding the 42nd Ohio Infantry. By 1862, he had been promoted to brigadier general, and then major general a year later. Garfield also served as the chief of staff of Major General William S. Rosecrans, the Commander of the Army of the Cumberland.
- In December 1863, he resigned from the military to try his luck in the U.S House of Representatives. Garfield served the House from 1863 to 1879 before winning a seat in the U.S Senate in 1879.
- During the Republican Party’s national convention in 1880, Garfield was chosen as the party’s presidential candidate. He won the presidential election with 48.3% of the popular vote plus the majority of the electoral votes.
James Garfield’s Presidency and Death
- On March 4, 1881, James Garfield took his oath as the 20th President of the United States at the East Portico, U.S Capitol. Chester A. Arthur became his vice president.
At the beginning of his term, he argued with New York Senator Roscoe Conkling over appointments on governmental posts. President Garfield appointed William H. Robertson, who was an enemy of Conkling, to be the Collector of the Port of New York.
- New York Senators Conkling and Tom Platt resigned to protest Garfield’s actions and the appointment of Robertson. They were hoping that the majority of the House would support them, however the state elected replacements for both of them. The appointment of Robertson was soon approved by the Senate.
- In addition, the president appointed several African-Americans to positions in his government.
- In May 1881, the Star Route Scandal involving the Post Office Department was exposed. As a result, Garfield demanded the resignation of the second assistant Postmaster General.
- He also started the reciprocal trade negotiation with Madagascar sometime in May.
- On July 2, 1881, President Garfield was scheduled to visit his alma mater Williams College when he was shot twice in the back by Charles J. Guiteau. He was a lawyer who had been denied a post at the consulate in Paris.
- One of the bullets remained inside the president’s body, and as a result, it weakened him as it caused an infection. Before his transfer to Jersey Shore, he stayed in the White House.
- The inventor Alexander Graham Bell invented a metal-detecting device to locate the bullet inside the president’s body, but at that time, Bell failed to locate it.
- On September 19, 1881, Garfield died from his injury. Before he was interred at the Lake View Cemetery, his casket was sent in a funeral train to Cleveland, Ohio.
- On October 14, 1881, the assassin Guiteau was indicted and by January 1882, he was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged on June 30.
- In his memory, the James A. Garfield Memorial was built inside Lake View Cemetery. A monument named after him was also built inside the grounds of the U.S Capitol.
James Garfield Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use James Garfield Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about James Garfield who was the 20th President of the United States, who served for only six months in 1881. He was a military man, a U.S Representative, and a Senator. Charles J. Guiteau was found guilty of assassinating him.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- James Garfield Facts
- The Canal Boy
- Wanted Assassin!
- Cabinet Members
- Political Career
- The Star Route Scandal
- Opposition from the Senate
- Cartoon Analysis
- My Ideal President
- Garfield Administration
- In His Memory
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Link will appear as James Garfield Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 17, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
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