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James A. Garfield Biography and Facts For Kids


James A. Garfield was born in the log cabin of American myth on Nov. 19, 1831, near Cleveland, Ohio. Although his family dated back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, his immediate ancestors had not prospered, and Garfield’s upbringing was plagued by dire poverty. He graduated from Williams College and, before he was 30, became a lay preacher for the Disciples of Christ. He taught school briefly and returned to Hiram as a professor and head of the college, but he did not enjoy the life. James Abram Garfield was the 20th President of the United States, serving from March4, 1881 until his death on September 19, 1881, a brief 200 days in office. Garfield was an American Civil War general before becoming president of the United States. His inability to perform the duties of office following an assassination attempt on July 2, 1881, raised, for the second time in U.S. history, the question of presidential succession. He had the second shortest presidential tenure after William Henry Harrison. He was also the only incumbent of the U.S. House of Representatives to be elected President.

Fun Facts and Trivia About James A. Garfield

When was James A. Garfield born: November 19, 1831
Where was James A. Garfield born: Orange, OH
What was James A. Garfield’s job before becoming president: Lawyer
Who was James A. Garfield married to: Lucretia Rudolph Garfield
What number president was James A. Garfield: 20th
What political party did James A. Garfield belong to: Republican
Who was James A. Garfield’s vice president: Chester A. Arthur
When was James A. Garfield president: 1881
How many terms did James A. Garfield serve as president: Less than 1
When did James A. Garfield die: September 19, 1881
How old was James A. Garfield when he died: 49
Where is James A. Garfield buried: Cleveland, OH

James A. Garfield Quotes

  • “A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.”
  • “Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. “
  • “A law is not a law without coercion behind it. “
  • “Poverty is uncomfortable; but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim.”
  • “If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it’s the best possible substitute for it. “
  • “If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.”

Timeline of the Life of James A. Garfield

1831 Born in Orange, Ohio on November 19th
1856 Graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts
1858 Married Lucretia Rudolph
1859 Elected to the Ohio Senate
1862 Became youngest brigadier general in the Union Army
1862 Elected to the House of Representatives
1880 Elected President of the United States
1881 Terrorists assassinated Alexander III of Russia
1881 Shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2nd
1881 Died in New Jersey September 19th

The Assassination of James A. Garfield

Were was James A. Garfield Shot? He was shot in Washington, D.C.
When was James A. Garfield Shot? July 2, 1881
Who Shot James A. Garfield? Charles J. Guiteau at 9:30 a.m.

Garfield died eleven weeks later on September 19, 1881, the second of four Presidents to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln and preceding William McKinley and John F. Kennedy.